Ekka 2016: The best things to do at the Ekka with kids guide

Ekka with kids: Feeding a baby calf at the Animal Nursery
Ekka with kids: The sweetest calf being fed at the Animal Nursery

It’s time for Brisbane’s Ekka 2016! All the old Ekka with kids favourites are back from thrilling Sideshow Alley rides, primped up pups, piglets to pat, giant veg judging, wood chopping and over 300+ showbags. This year see’s a new pavilion in the Old Museum, a rejig of the layout, more affordable Ekka ticket packages, an impressive EkkaNites line up with life size Hot Wheels drift cars. There’s even the return of Agro, although most kids will not know who this cheeky 90’s famed puppet is.

Here’s the complete guide to Ekka 2016, the best things to do at the Ekka with kids. Everything your family needs to know, from steam train Bety, best parking, Ekka highlights, must-eat show foods, Ekka rides, slides and Ekka 2016 tickets are all here:

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  • Ekka 2016 Dates & Times
  • Getting to the Ekka with kids
  • 2016 Ekka tickets
  • Map of Ekka showgrounds
  • The best things to do at the 2016 Ekka with kids
  • TIPs for the 2016 Ekka with kids
  • Where to stay for the Ekka with kids?
  • Why goto the Ekka 2016 – Ekka with kids?

    CONS of 2016 Ekka with kids:

    Expensive Ekka
    A day out to the Ekka with kids can be a costly affair, with ticket entry, parking fees, good shows bags starting from $25, show food snacks at$5-$10 a pop, rides, locker hire and those must have random extras like an inflatable Frozen wand or spray painted personalised caps. It all adds up and it’s easy for a family to drop $250 without even trying.
    Germs & Crowds?
    Organisers are anticipating half a million people walk through the Ekka gates this year, combined with the infamous cold-westerly Ekka winds that bear down on the RNA Showground, it’s enough to want to save the pennies for a weekend escape instead.  
    Ulimate Ekka 2015 Guide, image RNA
    Ulimate Ekka with kids Guide, image RNA

    PROS of 2016 Ekka with kids:

    The Ekka has cleaned up it's act
    Despite Ekka’s reputation for being a germ-fest, valid as in 2013 there was a Norovirus outbreak linked back to the Ekka. They’ve implemented hand wash stations as well as sanitising bays throughout the grounds. Since 2013, the Ekka has cleaned up its act, we found the grounds clean, toilets of a high standard and hygiene levels enforced, note the hand-wash brainwashing at the Animal Barn, best to heed their all.
    Ekka on the cheap
    The 2016 Ekka sees the introduction of a $74 (pre-opening) or $87 (after open day) Family Pass for 2 adults and 2 kids. Families can bring their own picnic to save on food costs and TransLink has a Ekka Ticket that offers $6 adult and $3 return travel tickets.
    Priceless memories
    With some obsessive hand washing coupled with careful planning to avoid the big crowds, it’s worth braving the Ekka with kids to celebrate the country and creating those priceless childhood memories. Good old wholesome fun to be had at the Ekka with kids.

     

    Wash those hands, hand sanitiser stations at the Ekka in Eucalyptus!

    Reason to goto 2016 Ekkas with kids – Support Queensland Farmers

    Queensland’s rural community needs our support. Farmers are the backbone of our State, making their way to the 2016 Ekka in the face of Queensland’s worst drought in history, we should too. Let’s make the Ekka with kids a family tradition and experience Queensland’s best in agriculture from prize winning animals of every variety to our finest produce

    The Ekka, where city meets country. Support our farmers.
    The Ekka, where city meets country. Support our farmers. Image courtesy RNA.




    Ekka 2016 Dates & Times

    The 2016 Ekka with kids fun continues over 10 days and spans two weekends at Brisbane Showgrounds.

    Ekka 2016 Opens: 9am, Friday 5th August.

    Ekka 2016 Closes: 8pm, Sunday 14th August 2016.

    Getting to the Ekka with kids

    Wondering where to get discount Ekka tickets? Here’s the cheapest Ekka parking and all the tips for getting to the Ekka with kids here:

    Ekka 2016 Address & Location

    Held at the Brisbane Showgrounds: 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills Brisbane.

    Ekka Open Day Energex Community Arena cattle competitions
    Ekka 2015 Opening Day – Main Arena beef cattle competitions at The Show

    Public transport to the Ekka with kids

    The easiest way to get to the 2016 Ekka with kids is via public transport, no need to worry about car parking and frequent CityTrain servcies to the EKKA run every 15 minutes from 9am – 8pm and from the EKKA every 15 minutes from 9am to 10pm daily.

    Kids under 5 ride free of charge on public transport with an accompanied adult.

    Little Isla on her way via train to the Ekka Open Day 2015
    Little cutey on a train ride to the Ekka, kids 4 and under ride free!

    Getting to the Ekka with kids is easy, public transport prices remain at $6 per adult or $3 per child (ages 5-14) return trip, to and from the 2016 Ekka on any ferry, bus or train direct to Ekka’s Exhibition Station.

    The special Ekka fare applies anywhere on the TransLink public transport network, including Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich.

    Showgoers must show proof of Ekka entry ticket and purchase the special Ekka Travel Ticket from attended Queensland Rail ticket offices and on board any TransLink bus (excluding pre-paid services) or CityCats and cross river ferries (excluding free CityHoppers) from Friday 5th August 2016.

    Normal Go Card fare applies if not purchasing the Ekka Travel Ticket. If riding on an Ekka Bus service then no proof of Ekka entry ticket is required.

    Check out Ekka Travel Ticket details here.

    Additional 2016 Ekka public transport services

    There are also additional Ekka bus and train services running throughout the duration of the Ekka. Check out Ekka extra services here.

    Creating memories on the train to the Ekka
    Creating memories on the train to the Ekka

    Ekka 2016 – loop train service

    The Ekka loop train service between Roma Street, Central, Fortitude Valley and Exhibition stations will run every 15 minutes, travelling to Ekka from 9am-8pm and from Exhibition between 9am-10pm, except weekdays from 4pm-6pm when services will run every 30 minutes to Ekka.

    Click here for Translink Trainstation Map

    The Exhibition train pulling up to Roma Street Station
    The Exhibition train pulling up to Roma Street Station

    Bety the Ekka steam train – 2016 Ekka with kids

    Make the Ekka with kids fun and travel to the Ekka onboard Bety a heritage steam train.

    Bety will operate every third or fourth Ekka loop service between 11:00am from Roma Street to 3:30pm on both the Ekka weekends and People’s Day (Wednesday 10th August 2016).

    Bety the steam train arrives at Ekka station approximately twice per hour, so if you miss Bety, she will come around every 30-45 minutes. Times are indicative, as Bety is an old Steam Engine she requires a bit of a break during the day.

    The same fare applies on Bety as the standard trains and the Ekka Travel Ticket can be used on Bety also.

    Ekka with kids: Bety the Steam Train to the Ekka 2016.
    Catchy Bety the Steam Train to the Ekka

    Tips for Bety the Ekka steam train

    • Board the carriages at the back for a little more room.
    • The best bet to secure a seat is boarding at Roma street platform 9, otherwise Bety the steam train may get full at Central & Fortitude Valley stations.
    • The Ekka Train Loop runs continuously from Roma Street, Brisbane Central, Fortitude Valley and Exhibition (Ekka).

    Driving to the Ekka with kids – Ekka 2016

    There is limited street parking in and around the Ekka Showgrounds, you maybe lucky to score a free park on the side streets of the showgrounds if arriving before 8am. If driving to the Ekka with kids, it’s worth doing a quick loop. However the safest way of parking without fines and time limits is at a car park.

    Click here for a map of the closest parking spots for the Ekka with kids.

    Car Parking at the Ekka with kids – Ekka 2016

    Here are some of the best car parking deals for the Ekka with kids:

    1. Victoria Park Sportsground – entry via Gilchrist Avenue

    The most economical parking is found at Victoria Park Sportsground, entry via Gilchrist Ave, Herston. It’s still $15 for the Ekka 2016. For a family of four it turns out just as economical to park here than take the train in. A return journey for two adults (2 x $6) and two kids over 4 years (2 x $3) totals $18 return trip.

    $15 flat rate parking with an easy walk to Ekka at Victoria Park Sportsground
    $15 flat rate parking with an easy walk to Ekka at Victoria Park Sportsground

    Victoria Park Sportsground has long been the much needed car park overflow for the Ekka. It’s a very easy, connected 15-20 minute walk (with little legs) to the showgrounds via the underpass.

    If arriving a little later (around 11am) the free spots are towards the back furthest away from the showgrounds. Best to drop everybody off off at the undercover seating area near the entrance whilst the other adult parks the car. Saves time and conserves energy for kids at the Ekka.

    Parking is $15 cash only, EFTPOS is not accepted.

    Go early to park at Victoria Park Sporsgrounds. Plenty of space still at 9am on Ekka 2015 Opening Day.
    Go early to park at Victoria Park Sportsgrounds. Plenty of space still at 9am on Ekka 2015 Opening Day.

    It’s best to go early to secure a parking spot especially for one of the busiest day – People’s Day, the public holiday for Brisbane (Wednesday 10th August 2016).  This year, on Open Day at 10.30am the cars were steadily filling in and by 2pm the car park was quite full, although not at occupancy.

    This Ekka 2016 saw the same busy influx of cars and by 2pm the car park was busy although not at occupancy. There were several spaces available.

    Risk of getting parked in at Victoria Park Sportsground

    A couple of years ago there were complaints that cars were getting parked in. The Sportsground is a grassed area with no parking lanes. However I have it on advisement that staff are “on it this year” and there will always be at least an attendant to assist.

    By 2pm the Victoria Park Sportsground had filled up, but there were spots still available.
    By 2pm the Victoria Park Sportsground had filled up, but there were spots still available.

    Be mindful of where you are parking and if it’s in a spot that you feel may be at risk of getting parked in i.e. at the end of a lane or corner, advise the attendant or circle around and find a less risky spot.

    Gentle stroller friendly walk Victoria Park Sportsground car park.
    Gentle stroller friendly walk Victoria Park Sportsground car park.

    2. Three-hour (3P) metered street parking around Herston Street (FREE on weekends)

    Three hour parking bays along Herston street is available for parking from 7am – 7pm Monday to Friday. Although not enough time during the day, however a good option if arriving in the early afternoon as it’s only $8.40 for 3 hours and after 7pm its free for the remaining evening.

    On weekends, these spots along Herston Street are free all day, but it’s only for the lucky ones who arrive very early.

    4. Twelve-hour (12P) metered street parking along Gilchrist Ave (FREE on weekends)

    As you drive along Gilchrist Avenue before the Victoria Park car park entrance, there is car parking bays along both sides of the street that are 12 Hour Metered Parking Slots. It’s $1.60 per hour with maximum of $8.40 for 12 hours from 7am – 7pm Monday to Friday.

    On weekends, these spots along Herston Street are free all day, but it’s only for the lucky ones who arrive very early. On Ekka 2016 open day, returning to the car, there were three spots available! Most likely given by the early show goers with young kids calling it a day.

    3. Valley Metro Parking

    Address: Alfred or Alden Streets, Fortitude ValleyWebsite: Valley Metro Parking

    Parking is available at the Valley Metro and fair rates are available on on Show Day or a Weekend. It costs $20 via a pre-booked secure-a-spot promo code. It’s a good option to avoid getting parked in or if arriving later for EkkaNites and the fireworks where Victoria Park might be full. The cost of $12 for the evening makes it an affordable evening option, although families must arrive after 3pm.

    From Valley Metro Parking it’s a short 10-15 minute walk to the Ekka 2016 showbgrounds.

    • Evening Parking (Enter after 3pm, exit before 7am) – $12.00 (no promo code required)
    • Weekend Parking (All day flat rate) – $20.00 Enter Promo Code: EKKA16
    • Show Day (All day flat rate) – $20.00 Enter Promo Code: EKKA16
    • Week Day (All day flat rate) – $30.00 Enter Promo Code: EKKADAY16

    Cornerstone Parking – Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

    Address: 325 Herston Road, Herston. Website: Cornerstone Parking Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital.

    Formerly the Wilson Parking, Royal Brisbane and Women’s hospital, the car park is now operated by Cornerstone Parking and is close to the Showgrounds. There are no-prebookings for this car park although cash and credit payment facilities are available.

    It costs $25 flat rate on the weekends. On weekdays, the car park operates on an hourly fee with a maximum day rate of $32.

    Closer to the Ekka still is the RBWH Wilson Carparking.
    Closer to the Ekka still is former Wilson now Cornerstone operated RBWH car park

    New to the Ekka 2016 – O’Connell Terrace Carpark

    The new O’Connell Terrace car park, directly adjacent to the showgrounds is the best parking for the Ekka with kids and also cheap at $10 for up to 12 hours. However, it’s as rare as hens teeth, go early to get lucky. By 9am it was completely full.

    Payment is by card on exit. No cash accepted.

    Parking for the lucky New to the Ekka 2015, O'Connell Terrace Car Park
    Parking for the lucky! New to the Ekka 2016, O’Connell Terrace Car Park

    Metro Parking, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, 20 Butterfield St, Herston

    Address: 325 Herston Road, Herston. Website: Cornerstone Parking Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital.

    Metro Parking, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, 20 Butterfield St, Herston

    2-7 hours is $26 per entry or 7+ hours is $34. Click here to see Metro Parking RBWH parking rates.

     

    2016 Ekka tickets





    Pre- Show Special, discounted Ekka tickets online by Ekka Eve

    Book your Ekka tickets online before Ekka Eve (until 11:59pm, August 4th 2016) for 15% discounts on select tickets including Family Pass and new Two Day Passes with a discount of 50% of the second day.

    The discounted tickets are available exclusively at www.ekka.com.au and www.racq.com/ekka.

    2016 Ekka Tickets Pricing

    Pre Show Online (15% off)

    Adult Pass $26.35

    Child Pass $19.00

    Concession Pass $20.40

    Adult & Child Pass $37.40

    Little Ekka Pass Free. Child must be 4 years of age and under at time of entry.

    During Ekka Online (last year prices 2015)

    Adult Pass $30.00

    Child Pass $17.00

    Concession Pass $23.00

    Adult & Child Pass $42.00

    Little Ekka Pass Free. Child must be 4 years of age and under at time of entry.

    During Ekka at the Gate (full price)

    Adult Pass $31.00

    Child Pass $20.00

    Concession Pass $24.00

    Adult & Child Pass $44.00

    Little Ekka Pass Free. Child must be 4 years of age and under at time of entry.

    Family Pass

    While the Family Value Pack provides entry for a family of four for $73.95 pre-show online or $87 at the gate.

    Ultimate Family Value Pack

    The Ultimate Family Value Pack offers a family of four entry, meals, drinks and $80 worth of rides for $180 – a saving of almost $70.

    Rider Family Value pack

    Families also have the option of bringing their own food and purchasing a Rider Family Value pack, which offers entry and $80 worth of rides for $140 – a saving of more than $40. There’s no pre-show special with this pack.

    New Two Day Pass only available until Ekka Eve

    Available until Ekka Eve, 11:59pm AEST Thursday 4 August 2016. Ther new two day passes allows one single entry for any two days during show period.

    • Two Day Pass – Adult $45.00
    • Two Day Pass – Child $30.00
    • Two Day Pass – Concession $36.00

    Super Ride Tuesday 2 for 1 rides, 15% off gate price

    Super Ride Tuesday 2 for 1 rides are available on Tuesday August 9 at participating rides between 10am to 5pm (claim at ride). Plus 15% off gate price.

    Super Food Sunday 2 for 1 meals, 15% off gate price

    Super Food Sunday 2 for 1 meals on Sunday August 14 at participating outlets between 10am to 5pm (claim at outlet). Plus 15% off gate price.
    Book 2016 Ekka Tickets.

    Ekka with kids: Look out for Ekka’s Cuddly Farmyard Friends roving around Gregory Terrace each day. Hayden the Horse, Barbara the Sheep, Daisy the Cow and Milo the Sheep Dog love cuddles and high fives!
    Photo Opp of Ekka Mascots: Hayden the Horse, Barbara the Sheep, Daisy the Cow and Milo the Sheep Dog.

    Where to find discount 2016 Ekka tickets





    Until Ekka eve, RACQ members receive 15% OFF Ekka tickets pre-purchased online. There’s also VIP gate entry if you flash a RACQ membership card.

    At the RACQ Member Centre, members can get access to free giveaways. They also have an app to download where members can play the prize wheel.

    Unlimited Ride Wrist Band for $50 on Thursday 11th of August

    Members can purchase an Unlimited Ride Wristband at RACQ online before 10th August 2016. This entitles unlimited entry to all rides excluding the pony ride in the kids amusement area. Pre-purchased wristbands can be picked up at the RACQ Member Centre near Gate 2.

    Buy your $50 unlimited ride pass now.

    Buy Ekka tickets at your local Woolworths and receive 10% off Ekka tickets. Check your local Woolies for the deal. Read more about the Ekka tickets from Woolworths here.

    Look out for Shop a Docket 15% off coupon. I have collected a code: SHPADCKT16 for 15% off directly at the Ekka tickets site. It may or may not be valid after Ekka Eve.

    Keep an eye out on kids Happy Meals as McDonalds offered %15 off Ekka tickets.

    Ekka 10% off Woolies Sign
    Ekka 10% off at Woolies

    Pre-purchase 2016 Ekka tickets

    Pre-purchase tickets online to avoid unnecessary queues at the Ekka gates. Better still, jump the smaller queue of pre-purchased tickets by flashing an RACQ membership card.

    Pre-paid queue to enter the Ekka in the morning. There was a smaller queue for purchasing tickets.
    Pre-paid queue to enter the Ekka in the morning, there’s a smaller queue for purchasing tickets.

    Pre-paid fast track entrance

    This year if parking at Victoria Park showgrounds, from 9am to around 1.30pm there is a fast track entry for pre-paid tickets along the walkway just after the tunnel. Rather than entering via Gate 8, the entrance has you right at the start of Sideshow Alley close to Gate 8 and the Showbag Pavillion.

     

    Ekkas with kids: Ekka tickets scanned. Fast track entrance for pre-paid tickets.
    Fast track entrance for pre-paid tickets open until 1.30pm daily.

    Have your pre-paid ticket ready and staff scan your tickets and you don’t miss out on your Courier Mail paper with a stand offering a freebie on entry. A nice little touch this year to avoid the main gate queues (Map Ref: F-9 near Bowen Bridge entrance Gate 7).

    Map of Ekka showgrounds

    Continuing with the rejuvenation of Brisbane showgrounds this year, the layout has been tweaked and few things moved around.  The Old Museum is back as part of the RNA showgrounds and is home to the Ekka Flower and Garden Exhibition and Quilts.

    Ekka 2016 Map: Plan before you goto the Ekka with kids. Image: RNA.
    Ekka 2016 Map: Plan before you goto the Ekka with kids. Image: RNA.

    Download the Ekka Map and plan your day at the Ekka with kids

    View and download 2016 Ekka Map. Though there are copies at the Gate as well as a free Courier Mail paper.

    The best things to do at the 2016 Ekka with kids

    For those families braving the 2016 Ekka with kids, here are tips, tricks and the best of the best things to do at the Ekka with kids.

    1. Enjoy a Ekka Strawberry Sundae

    Debuting in 1950, the Ekka Strawberry Sundae is a simple recipe of fresh strawberry pieces sandwiched between scoops of strawberry and vanilla icecream in a crunchy wafer cone, dolloped with fresh cream and finished off with a strawberry on top.

    It's a winner, Ekka Stawberry Sundae
    It’s a winner, Ekka Stawberry Sundae

    An iconic Ekka treat, last year 3,000 volunteers scooped out 145,000 Ekka Strawberry Sundaes for happy patrons. Ekka with kids is not the same without this sweet treat.

    Feel good Ekka treat served by volunteers
    Feel good Ekka treat served by wonderful volunteers

    For $5 each, it’s a guilt free tasty tradition, with all proceeds going to The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation funding medical research.

    Look out for the pink trailers and signed Princes Charles strawberry sundae shops scattered throughout the Ekka. It’s also the most affordable place to get a drink with soft drink at $4.50 and water for $3.50.

    An iconic Strawberry Sundae at the Ekka
    See the fresh strawberry chunks? Iconic Strawberry Sundae at the Ekka

    2. Grab some of Ekka’s best showbags 2016

    It’s all about the showbags and this year there’s 360+ showbags to choose from. Check out all the showbags alphabetically or according to price at the Ekka Showbag List.

    Arriving early at the Showbag Pavilion to avoid crowds
    Succumbing to the showbags. Arrive early at the Showbag Pavilion to avoid crowds

    Arrive early to Showbag Pavilion to avoid the crowds and disappointment, though there are plenty on hand, some sell out quickly. When it gets busy the Showbag Pavilion has only one entry and exit point, however go at the start 10-11am and the crowds are less, with a free flow of people both entrances of the showbag paivlion and plenty of space inside, even with prams and strollers.

    After lunchtime the queues begins to grow and snakes its way outside the pavilion, this occurs on busy days such as People’s Day and late afternoon. It’s a miserable slow shuffle to get into the Showbag Pavilion and queues around popular showbag stands. A little more patience is needed, but people do get their bags in the end.

    To showbag or not to showbag?

    We all know that showbags are overpriced, filled with the cheap plastic merchandise and lollies made in China. If your kids are little enough you can get away with never stepping foot into the Showbag Pavilion. Other parents use a different tactic and offer something of better value, money towards a something like a bike or video game and others have given their kids $10 each to spend in the lolly section of the supermarket.

    Got it! Pokemon Showbag Ekka 2016 . Ekka with kids showbag pavilion.
    Got it! Pokemon Showbag Ekka 2016

    Then again, what’s a Show without a bag full of goodies?

    What's a show without a bag of goodies?
    What’s a show without a bag of goodies?

    The best Ekka 2016 showbags

    1. Pokemon Showbag – $26

    It’s all about the Pokemon this year at the Ekka with kids. There’s a “boy” and “girl” Pokemon Showbag which costs $26 each.

    The boys show bag in particular offers a bit of value with sunnies, backpack, cap and DVD. So hot is this showbag that when we arrived to buy ours they were selling them as quickly as they were packing them. We had to wait about five minutes for ours to be packed!

    Pokemon Showbag same as last year but perhaps more popular. Ekka with kids. Ekka 2016.
    Pokemon Showbag same as last year but perhaps more popular

    Pokemon Girl Ekka 2016 Showbag contents

    • 1 × Pokémon Backpack
    • 1 × Pokémon Headband
    • 1 × Pokémon Wallet
    • 1 × Pokémon Nail Art
    • 1 × Pokémon Pencil Case
    • 1 × Pokémon BFF Necklace
    • 1 × Pokémon Sunglasses
    • 1 × Pokémon Notebook
    • 1 × Pokémon Lip Gloss
    • 1 × Pokémon Earrings
    • 1 × Pokémon Socks
    Pokemon Girl Showbag at Ekka 2016
    Pokemon Girl Showbag at Ekka 2016. Image RNA

    Pokemon Girl Ekka 2016 Showbag contents

    • 1 × Pokémon Backpack
    • 1 × Pokémon Sunglasses
    • 1 × Pokemon Tin Locker
    • 1 × Pokemon Cap that reads “Gotta catch them all”
    • 1 × Pokemon DVD
    • 1 × Pokémon Tattoos
    • 1 × Pokémon Pencil Case
    • 1 × Pokémon Non- Woven Tote
    Pokemon Go boys bag (Gotta catch them all cap!)
    Pokemon Go boys bag (Gotta catch them all cap!). Image RNA.

     

    2. New Frozen showbag (new version) – $30

    Frozen doesn’t appear to be losing its steam and Ekka 2016 sees a new showbag but it still costs a whopping $30!

    Showbag highlights include a top with cape, which your daughter most probably has a version of, an inflatable wand, microphone and headband with plait.

    Ekka 2016 Showbags - New version this year but still $30.
    Ekka 2016 Showbags – New version this year but still $30. Image RNA.

    Frozen Ekka 2016 Showbag contents

    • 1 × Frozen Headband With Plait
    • 1 × Frozen Microphone
    • 1 × Frozen Gloves
    • 1 × Frozen Tattoo Book
    • 1 × Frozen Dress Up Cape
    • 1 × Frozen 3D Sticker Pack
    • 1 × Frozen Inflatable Star Wand

    Frozen Anna & Olaf Showbags

    There are also an Anna and Olaf themed showbags which are a little cheaper than Elsa.

    Frozen Anna Showbag – $25

    Ekka 2016 Showbag: Anna Showbag $25. Ekka with Kids.
    Ekka 2016 Showbag: Anna Showbag $25. Image RNA.

    Frozen Ekka 2016 Showbag contents

    • 1 × Anna/Elsa Board Game
    • 1 × Anna Earmuffs
    • 1 × Anna/Elsa Suncatcher
    • 1 × Anna Soft Toy
    • 1 × Frozen Colour in Puzzle
    • 1 × Anna Headband

    Frozen Olaf showbag – $20

    Ekka with kids 2016: Frozen Olaf showbag $20. Image: RNA Showgrounds.
    Ekka with kids 2016: Frozen Olaf showbag $20. Image: RNA.

    Frozen Olaf Ekka 2016 Showbag contents

    • 1 × Olaf Hat
    • 1 × Olaf Magnet
    • 1 × Mini Snowman Juggling Balls
    • 1 × Olaf Beach Tennis Game
    • 1 × Olaf Plush
    • 1 × Olaf Snow Ball Shooter

     

    Top 15 Ekka 2016 Showbags

    Click below to expand
    Click to expand, see the best Ekka Showbags 2016 detailed list

    3. Angry Birds new – $26

    New to Ekka 2016 is the Angry Birds showbag. Highlights include a Angry Birds backpack and inflatable boxing gloves.

    Ekka with kids 2016: Angry Birds Showbag
    New to Ekka 2016 is the $26 Angry Birds Showbag. Image RNA

    Angry Birds Ekka Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Angry Birds Backpack
    • 1 × Angry Birds Wallet Set
    • 1 × Angry Birds Keychain
    • 1 × Angry Birds Twisty Bird Game
    • 1 × Angy Birds Boxing Gloves

    4.  Shopkins (New version) – $28

    Shopkins is back this year, they have two bags for Ekka 2016, last years show bag and a new version that features a tin carry case, necklace and toy plush. The Shopkins 5 pack may not be the latest season.

    Ekka 2016 new version of Shopkins showbag $28. Image RNA Showgrounds. Ekka with kids.
    Ekka 2016 new version of Shopkins showbag $28. Image RNA

    Shopkins Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Shopkins Carry Case
    • 1 × Shopkins Tin Case
    • 1 × Shopkins Sticker
    • 1 × Shopkins Tattoos
    • 1 × Shopkins BFF Necklace
    • 1 × Shopkins Pencil Case
    • 1 × Shopkins Pencil Set
    • 1 × Shopkins Inflatable Wand
    • 1 × Shopkins Plush 15cm
    • 1 × Shopkins Stamp Set
    • 1 × Shopkins 5 Pack

    We love shopkins and for a showbag this is Ok value.

    5. Mon0poly Showbag – $22

    This is a one of those good value for money show bags especially if you do not own a Monopoly board game.

    Though they say $77 savings off the recommended retail price  for $22 you get a Mini Deluxe Monolopy board game and we particularly like it for the travel size.

    Ekka with kids: Monopoly Showbag with mini board game
    Ekka with kids: Monopoly Showbag with mini board game $22. Image: RNA

    Monopoly Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Monopoly Mini Deluxe Game
    • 1 × Monopoly ‘Go to Jail’ Flatpeak Cap
    • 1 × Monopoly A5 Notebook
    • 2 × Monopoly Pens
    • 1 × Monopoly Magnet Sheet
    • 1 × Monopoly Playing Cards
    • 1 × Monopoly $500 Note Stress Ball

    6. Emma Wiggle Showbag  – New!  $26

    Emma Wiggle is by far the most popular Wiggle with her very own showbag the Bow Bag, Show Bows and a Emma Hat with red pigtails are bag highlights.

    New to Ekka 2016, Emmay Wiggle Showbag $26
    New to Ekka 2016, Emmay Wiggle Showbag $26

    Emma Wiggle Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Emma Bow Bag
    • 1 × Emma Hat With Pigtails
    • 1 × Emma Colour Discovery Pad
    • 1 × Emma Dance Baton
    • 2 × Emma Shoe Bows

    Wiggle Showbag still available – $26

    The Wiggle Showbag is also available this year, with a choice of one wiggle plush, microphone, wall decals and an instrument pack as bag highlights.

    Also available The Wiggle Showbag $26 includes one plush. Image: RNA. Ekka 2016. Ekka with kids.
    Also available The Wiggle Showbag $26 includes one plush. Image: RNA

    7. My Little Pony (New Version) – $30

    So popular they had two different versions of My Little Pony. At the Ekka 2016 the My Little Pony features an umbrella, wings, backpack and a choice of one plush toy.  They’ve even thrown in a mug.

    Got it $30 My Little Pony show bag at Ekka 2016. Ekka with kids.
    Got it $30 My Little Pony show bag at Ekka 2016.

    It’s one of the most expensive coming at $30. A little better value for money than the Frozen one that is the same price.

    Ekka with kids 2016. New version My Little Pony showbag $30!
    New version My Little Pony showbag $30!

    My Little Pony Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × My Little Pony Backpack
    • 1 × My Little Pony Twilight Sparkle Umbrella
    • 1 × My Little Pony Wings
    • 1 × MY Little Pony Mini Mug
    • 1 x My Little Pony Soft Toy

    8. Disney The Good Dinosaur – new to Ekka 2016 $26

    For lovers of Arlo and the recent Disney release of The Good Dinosaur, this showbag is has soem cool stuff like Arlo foot stompers, choice of character plush and backpack with inflatable tail.

    Ekka 2016 with kids: New The Good Dinosaur showbag $26. Image RNA.
    Ekka 2016 with kids: New The Good Dinosaur showbag $26. Image RNA.
    • × Good Dinosaur Backpack With Inflatable Tail
    • 1 × Good Dinosaur Make A Scene
    • 1 × Arlo Foot Stompers (Set Of 2)
    • 1 × Arlo 3D DIY Puzzle
    • 1 x Good Dinosaur Soft Toy

    9. Disney Zootopia – new to Ekka 2016 $26

    New this year and coming off the back of the Zootopia movie release. The Disney Zootopia Showbag has some nice merchandise for $26 you get a carrot pen recorder and a choice of a Zootopia plush.

    Ekka with kids 2016: New Disney Zootopia Showbag $28. Image RNA.
    Ekka with kids 2016: New Disney Zootopia Showbag $26. Image RNA.

    Disney Zootopia Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Carrot Recorder Pen
    • 1 × Sherriff Badge And Notebook
    • 1 × Finger Print Art Set
    • 1 × Large Floor Puzzle
    • 1 x Zootopia Soft Toy

    10. Minecraft (New Version) –  $28

    The Minecraft showbag didn’t make the list last year because there were no Minecraft figurines, just cards and cardboard folding kit. This year it’s smartened up and worthy of tenth spot. The Ekka 2016 Minecraft Showbag has three figures and a couple of sticker packs. Quite good value for money for Minecraft fanatics.

    Ekka 2016 New Minecraft Bag
    Ekka 2016 New Minecraft Bag is much better than last years. Image RNA.

    Mikecraft Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Minecraft Survival Pack
    • 1 × Minecraft Villager Blacksmith Figure
    • 1 × Minecraft Alex Figure
    • 2 × Minecraft Sticker Packs

    11. Peppa Pig and Peppa Pig George Showbag – $26

    Peppa Pig and George are back and there’s only two this year (last year they had four).  They are both $26 and have some decent merchandise.

    Peppa Pig Ekka 2016 Showbag contents

    • 1 × Peppa Pig Backpack
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Ice Cream Set
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Wall Decal
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Drink Bottle
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Bucket Hat
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Apron
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Handbag
    • 1 × Peppa Pig Umbrella

    Peppa Pig George Showbag contents

    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Backpack
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Bucket & Spade
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Drink Bottle
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Sunglasses
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Toothbrush
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Bucket Hat
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George Placemat & Coaster
    • 1 × Peppa Pig George 300pc Sticker Set
    Peppa pig showbags seems good value for money as far as showbags go
    Peppa Pig and Peppa Pig George showbags (they’ve gone up $1 from last year) and costs $26.

    12. Mickey & Minnie Showbags – $26

    They debuted last year and are back at the same price of $26 with some cute merchandise that offers some value for money.

    Mickey Mouse clubhouse showbag comes with a light small backpack with a cute Mickey ears hood as well as signature Mickey ears, inflatable soccer ball and a Mickey glove velcro glove and ball. Also choose between a foam cricket set or ring toss game, not both.

    Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is new to the Ekka this year. Image RNA.
    Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is new to the Ekka this year. Image RNA.

    Minnies Bowtique – $26

    This bag includes a Minnie Mouse plush poka dotted backpack, cupcake lipgloss set of two, cupackae scene to colour using 3 glitter pens and 4 markers, plastic minnie tea set, chefs hat and polka dotted apron and a colour in treat box.

    Debuting this Ekka is Minnies showbag. Image RNA.
    Debuting this Ekka is Minnies showbag. Image RNA.

    13. Adventure Time $25

    The Adventure Time showsbag were hugely popular last year and are back, though there is only one this year.

    Adventure time showbags were hot on Ekka Opening Day
    Adventure time showbags were hugely popular at last years Opening Day 2015

    Adventure Time Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Adventure Time Jake Backpack
    • 1 × Adventure Time Jake Headwarmer
    • 1 × Adventure Time Sunglasses
    • 1 × Adventure Time Notebook
    • 1 × Adventure Time Finn Yard Sipper
    • 1 × Adventure Time 36″ Sword
    • 1 × Adventure Time 15cm Round Plush
    • 1 × Adventure Time Finger Tattoos
    • 1 × Adventure Time Pen Set

    14. Star Wars – $26

    Another popular one is the Star Wars showbag and the lightweight small bacpack with Yoda hood is quite unique. Other features include Star Wars Mobile and choice of plush toy.

    Ekka with kids 2016: Star Wars Showbag $26. Image: RNA
    Ekka with kids 2016: Star Wars Showbag $26. Image: RNA

    Star Wars Ekka 2016 Showbag Contents

    • 1 × Yoda Backpack With Hood
    • 1 × Star Wars 5 Piece Badge Set
    • 1 × Star Wars Ear Buds
    • 1 × Star Wars R2D2 Papercraft And Intergalactic Mobile
    • 1 × Star Wars Darth Vader Mask
    • 1 x Star Wars Soft Toy

    15. Bertie Beetle – still $2

    Still the Ekka favourite and still $2 at Ekka 2016. It’s great value with 4 Bertie Beetles, 2 Wonka Redskins and 2 Allen’s Milkos.

    All time Ekka fav - $2 Bertie Beetle
    All time Ekka fav – $2 Bertie Beetle

    3. Admire the Ekka 2016 District Exhibits at the Agricultural Hall

    The Agricultural Precinct is the heart and soul of the Ekka and the District Exhibits showcases the states finest grown produce, demonstrating a wonderful sense of rural community. A must-see particularly as volunteers spend up to 10 days to put together the display. The district exhibits are in the Agricultural Hall, map ref: H10.

    Darling Downs blue ribbon winner of the District Exhibits
    Last year’s Darling Downs blue ribbon tribute to the ANZACs, District Exhibits, Agril Hall.

    Meticulous displays, laboriously put together combines a medley of Queensland’s finest fruits, vegetables, wheat and grains to form wonderful exhibits.  Admire the beautiful pieces of art and embrace the kitsch including the giant vegetable judging.

    Ekka with kids: Moreton Bay wins it again with a fun Olympic themed display.
    Moreton Bay have a tradition of winnin and they did it this yea a fun Olympic themed display.

    Nothing goes to waste, towards the end of the day and on the last day of the Ekka all the produce is sold at cost or cheaper to Ekka patrons.

    District Exhibits blue ribbon winners

    This year Moreton Bay took back its crown for it’s Olympic themed district exhibit where three giant pumpkins take Gold, Silver and Bronze. There’s also a mini fruit and veg stadium.  The display took a full week to put together by a crew of 8 volunteers.

    Youth District Exhibits at the Ekka with kids

    The Youth Districts are a smaller display compete against youth groups like Scouts Queensland and Queensland high schools. They have no help from adults and all displays are put together by the young boys and girls, perhaps with a little gentle guidance from their elder peers!

    This year Dolby took home the blue ribbon for a colourful exhibit with a message where the future of agricultural is in the hands of the Youth and the emphasis on the importance of education. Creative flare goes for the nod to social media, the fairy lights and moving sheep, incidentally last years equal blue ribbon also had a moving sheep.

    Ekka 2016: Dolby takes Youth Exhibit blue ribbon. Ekka with kids.
    Ekka 2016: Dolby takes Youth Exhibit blue ribbon.

    4. Check out how clever local Queenslanders are – cakes, jams and fine arts

    Right next to the Agricultural Hall under the same roof, witness a sense of spirit and pride in the Queensland community and see how unbelievably clever and creative Queenslanders are.  There are cabinets of gorgeous baking creations, beautiful jars of delicious looking preserves, jams and chutneys, the finest knitting and a complete section dedicated to the Fine Arts.

    Take a look at the delicate parchment wall hangings, beautiful art and photography and finish off with a spot of bee watching.




    Cakes – Next to the Agricultural Hall, Map Ref: G-9.

    Surprisingly, the kids loved the cake displays, we were pulled in different directions as the kids discovered beautiful cake decorations. “Look! The Very Cranky Bear” as my four year old found her favourite book character in cake form.

    Ekka with kids. Ekka 2016 award winning cake.
    This years winning Esky Cake – how very clever!

    Our oldest was highly excited that there were Pokemon cakes in various styles and pointed to a blue ribbon winner that he though dad would like most a Esky cake with chilled beer bottles.

    Personal favourite the mini intricatly decorated petite cakes. Ekka with kids. Ekka 2016.
    Personal favourite the mini intricatly decorated petite cakes.

     

    Bees (apiculture) – Next to the Agricultural Hall, Map Ref: G-9.

    Check out the bees at the Ekka with kids, there are honey samples and honey products to buy as well as a  bee demonstration’s daily.

    A bee keeper bravely enters a glass box to deliberately rattle the working bees and show visitors the hive, the honey and the all important Queen Bee. A unassuming young man stands outside watching and narrating very interesting nuggets of bee information including how the Queen Bee selects her mate.

    Kids getting into the live bee demonstrations
    Kids getting into the live bee demonstrations

    The Queen flies straight up into the air with a bunch of suitors in hot pursuit, she continues to soar as one by one each suitor falls to the ground as their wings drop off until the last male bee with all wings intact is left. We could learn allot from bees. 

    5. Dig it up at the Little Farmers Patch

    Who would’ve thought digging out root vegetables from dirt could be so engaging. Our kids couldn’t get enough of the Little Farmers Patch.

    Armed with mini gloves, bucket and spade. Kids need to dig through the soil to find 5 assorted root vegetables, collect them in the bucket and sort the veggies out in the designated bins.

    Volunteers and staff manning this exhibit were run off their feet as kids were digging up potatoes and beetroots quicker than they can put them back in the soil. A good opportunity for adults to tag team for a look around.

    There were also little tables and chairs where kids can colour-in their favourite root vegetable, ours preferred the humble beet.

    6. See the Ekka 2016 best animals in show

    Ekka with kids and animals go hand-in-hand and there’s, with over 10,000 animals visiting the Ekka each year and 42 different animal competition sections attracting over 21,000 entries, there are plenty of cute and cuddly creatures for families to coo over.

    Animals are all centered around The Main Arena, check out the tan coloured section on the map.

    Ekka 2016: It's been a long day for Luca the Samoyed, he won 2nd place
    Ekka 2016: It’s been a long day for Luca the Samoyed, well deserved nap for second place ribbon

    If you head to the Animal Nursery first (Map 0-8), most of the animals are within close proximity of each other. The cats are back, part of the Animal nursery rather on their lonesome, near the Wool & Fleece exhibits. There is a small area for horse demonstrations and a few prized horse on show in the Horse Expo section, strategically separating the felines from the canines who have their own  spacious pavilion with show ring next to the Horse Expo.

    Poultry Pigeons and Birds at the Ekka with kids

    Feathered friends are back in their new location next to the Dairy Cattle and Sideshow Alley. Map Ref J-2.

    Pop into see the Pekin Batam a feature breed, very handsome chooks with their signature feathered legs. These and other poultry, pigeons and birds are competing for the very best in show and you will see competitions and chickens on show from 9am – 5pm daily.

    A prize chook at the Ekka
    A prize chook at the Ekka. Image courtesy RNA.

    Cats and kittens at the Ekka with kids

    The cats are back together with the other animals, having been separated last year. Check out over 50 breeds of cats groomed to perfection. Catch feline friends competing for a selection of ribbons. Judging occurs daily from 8:30am – 5pm.

    Kitty at Ekka 2016. Ekka with kids.
    We had a pet of this precious kitty. She didn’t win but is a winner in our books.

    If you’re around on Sunday 11th of August, they have the Kitten Litter Feature, the best litter of kittens is bound to be a hit with the kids.

    Cats and kittens are located Map Ref: 0-8 by the Animal Nursery.

    Fish (Pisciculture) at the Ekka with kids

    They even have fish at the Ekka 2016 with their own show category – Pisciculture. This year their display is a little more impressive,

    Common goldfish, exotic tropical and freshwater fish as well as crustaceans, amphibians and even aquatic plants will be judged prior to the show and on display near the Agricultural Hall. Map Ref: G-9.

    Prized fish at the Ekka
    Prized fish at the Ekka

    It’s a small display but worth a quick look.

    Dogs at the Ekka with kids

    The dogs are back at their own Canine Pavilion, Map Ref P-9 next to the Animal Nursery. The canines even have their own show ring as well as a dedicated area where owners are primping their prized pups. If you’re around on the last day of the Ekka (Sunday 14th August) there is a Dances with Dogs category, sure to be entertaining.

    Catch the dog competitions daily from 9am – 5pm. There’s even a chance to pet some of the very best dogs in Queensland

    So many dogs to pet at the Canine Pavilion.
    Petting the dogs at the Canine Pavilion.

    Over 200 breeds will compete for best in breed at the Royal Queensland Championship Canine Show. There will be plenty of good looking, perfectly behaved dogs strutting their stuff on the main arena. On August 11th catch the judging of adorable Toy Dogs.

    Blue ribbon winning brothers, King Charles Cavaliers
    Welcome children’s gentle pats are these blue ribbon winning King Charles Cavalier brothers

    Horse and Pony at the Ekka with kids

    The horses play a huge part in the Ekka and draw large crowds to it’s horse expo and competitions.

    There are eight different breeds on show at the Horse Breeds Expo, including the colourful Appaloosa and Pinto and the heavy Percheron and Clydesdale breeds. Talk to the breeders and learn more about your favourite horses or sit and watch the demonstrations put on by each breed in the expo.

    It's not every day kids get to see Clydesdales having a bath.
    It’s not every day kids get to see Clydesdales having a bath.

    Catch the horses at the stables near Gate 4 and the competitions held near Gate 3 at The Horse Pavilion, Map Ref: O-8.

    Plenty of horses on show at the Ekka.
    Plenty of horses on show at the Ekka.

    Horse Expo at the Ekka with kids

    See over 12 different breeds of horses on display from magnificent Clydesdale, beautiful Appaloosa and Pinto breeds and the very cute Miniature Horses. We enjoyed the paris chic Percheron stable whom were the fanciest by far.

    Meet with the Heroes of the Outback cast from the night show – Dave Manchon, Anthony Lucia, Mikayla Jade and Donal Hancock – each day at 11am and 2pm and watch on as they demonstrate how they do their amazing equine tricks.

    Apaloosa horse demonstration
    A “Fine looking Apaloosa” on demonstration

    There are demonstrations and talks throughout the show with horse whisperer and trickster Frank Green showing off his skills 10am and 3:00pm daily. Map Ref: O-8.

    This guy is so hipster! Have a chat to the saddle maker at the Horse Pavilion
    This guy is so hipster! Have a chat to the saddle maker at the Horse Pavilion

    2016 Ekka Horse Competitions at the Ekka with kids

    With 34 different breeds and 2,500 entries this year there are plenty of horses on show.

    Located in the Main Arena, check out various daily competitions from Hacks and Galloways, Driven Horses & Ponies, Junior Riders, incredible Showjumping events, and the remarkable Farriers & Blacksmiths Competition on Oval 2.

    Don't miss the horses at the Ekka
    Don’t miss the horses at the Ekka

    Thoroughbred Day at the Ekka with kids

    Thoroughbred Day held on Monday 8th August at the Main Areana, showcases the beauty and versatility of thoroughbred horses.

    The day-long event offers $32,000 in cash and prizes and the title of Supreme Champion Thoroughbred

    Beef Cattle at the Ekka with kids

    The beef cattle is Australia’s largest annual cattle competition with over 1000 of the best at the same address. Be sure to catch the Parade of Livestock on both of the Saturdays, otherwise there are cattle judging competitions throughout the tend days of the Ekka. Catch the cows at the Main Arena L-6.

    Ekka cattle competions at the main arena
    Ekka cattle competions at the main arena

    For locals growing up with the Exhibition, the show ring is their most loved part of the Ekka. Here’s where you get to enjoy the best of rural Queensland in a relaxed setting.
    The cattle competitions is a relaxed and enjoyable event for families to leisurely watch, with plenty of outdoor seating around the arena.

    To get up close to the Beef Cattle, walk through the Beef Cattle Pavilion, Map Ref: M-2 and have a chat to the friendly Queensland beef farmers.

    Get up close to prize winning cattle at the Ekka
    Get up close to prize winning cattle at the Ekka

    7. Pat-a-pig and cradle-a-chick at the Animal Nursery

    Ekka with kids: New to Animal Nursery are a little of farm puppies.
    New to the Animal Nursery for Ekka 2016 are a little of farm puppies.

    As if puppy dog tails and primped up kittens are not adorable enough, kids can get up close and personal with over 400 baby farm animals calling the Ekka home. Kid can pet baby calves, lambs, donkey’s, ducklings and goats in the Animal Nursery.

    FeedTheAnimals-EkkaAnimalNursery

    For $2 grab a cup of feed and watch the assorted lambs, goats and sheep flock over, as if they have never been fed.

    For little ones, it’s better for a parent to hold the cup of feed high and scoop out some into little hands when required. The opportunistic little animals will try to knock it out of kids hands.

    Beautiful snowy donkey who didn't bite as the sign may suggest.
    Beautiful snowy donkey who didn’t bite as the sign may suggest.

    Save some feed for the donkeys and calves in their little pens or have a gentle pat. They are adorable and well fed.

    Kids can also watch tiny chicks hatch from their eggs each day at Ekka. Sessions held throughout the day and there is a separate small queue to cradle-a-chick.

    The little ones love the baby chicks
    The little ones love the baby chicks

    The Pat-a-Pig display at the Animal Nursery is back for Ekka 2016, where kids get a chance to get cuddles from the the cutest little piglets.

    Pat a pig at this year's Ekka
    Pat a pig at this year’s Ekka

    Don’t miss the teeny tiny piglets in pens around the Animal Nursery.

    Spotty piglets and their huge mama
    Spotty piglets and their huge mama

    The piglets are rotated so they can get a reprieve from children’s advances and take a well deserved nap. Be sure to check them out, because it can’t get any cuter than grinning sleeping piglets!

    The three little piggies scene is a great spot for pigs to nap.
    The three little piggies scene is a great spot for pigs to hide.

    Last year, the six week old piglets  in the Pat-a-Pig pen were needing a nap, and not in a patting mood, this didn’t stop little hands from trying.

    Grinning sleeping piggies at the Ekka
    Grinning sleeping piggies at the Ekka

    Tips on the Animal Nursery at Ekka with kids

    • Go early to avoid queues as this is a very popular area and not very stroller friendly when crowded. Staff advised that during the first hour of opening, there were hardly any people and no queues.
    • If bringing a stroller or hand cart, there are designated stroller parking bays. It was easy to park the stroller and attend all the exhibits including the sheep shearing and milking demonstrations and return to the stroller parking bay.
    • Take all your valuables with you, hide and tuck all the showbags out of sight as the bay is not monitored.
    • Make use of the hand sanitisers and hand washing stations throughout the pavilion.

    Located opposite the Main Pavilion at The RACQ Animal Nursery Map Ref: N-8.

    8. Milk a cow at the Ekka with kids

    Located in the Legendairy Milking Barn Map Ref: O-7 are dairy cows ready for to be milked and a must see when at the Ekka with kids.

    The cow by the name of Rose Petal was soon to be milked on stage at the Legendairy milking demonstration
    The cow by the name of Rose Petal was soon to be milked on stage at the Legendairy milking demonstration

    Nambour State High School students will again be presenting the  informative milking demonstrations this Ekka. Learn about the art of separating cream and butter from the milk and take a turn at milking a cow.

     Half hour milking demonstrations daily at 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm

    9. Sheer a sheep at the Ekka with kids

    Drop in to meet Stan the macot for the 8th/9th Batalion of the Australian Regiment
    Drop in to meet Stan the macot of the 8th/9th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment

    Watch both traditional and modern styles of sheep shearing at the Animal Nursery Map Ref: N-8.

    Participants at Ekka's sheep shearing demonstrations.
    Participants at Ekka’s sheep shearing demonstrations.

    Once the fleece has been expertly and efficeintly shorn, kids can learn about the woold making process and what is involved in producing wool for everyday use. Kids were seen curiously asking questions including “Why do you need to shear them in the first place? Won’t they get cold!?”.

    Sheep shearer answering a child's question "But why do you have to do it? Won't they get cold?"
    Sheep shearer answering a child’s question “But why do you have to do it? Won’t they get cold?”


    Sheep shearing demonstrations are held daily in the Sheep and Wool Pavilion at: 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:00pm.

    10. Snack on a Woolies Pavilion Cheese Toastie, Mac n Cheese and other show treats

    The cheese toastie is a firm favourite at the Ekka with kids. At $2 is the cheapest hot meal for kids on the go. This year there is a mac n cheese stand within the Woolies Pavilion. Map Ref: J-11.

    So popular there is a new cheese toastie stand near the Animal Nursery for Ekka 2016. A combo deal is available with a small bottle of flavoured milk (chocolate or strawberry) for $5.

    Whilst you’re at the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavillion, amongst other great food options, mini hot dogs are $2, honey puffs $5 and giant lamingtons are $10. Try a Pie Floater another meal synonymous to the Ekka, a traditional meat pie topped with mushy peas, mashed potato and smothered in gravy for $10.

    There are all sorts of tasty treats to eat in the Woolies Pavilion including Bratwurst and Sausages, Greek, Chinese, Gourmet Meat Pies, Nitrogenie Icecream, Honey Puffs, Cheeses, Ice Cream, Rocky Road and Waffle on a stick.

    The Ekka meat pie floater, meat pie on gravy served with mash and mushy peas
    The Ekka meat pie floater, meat pie on gravy served with mash and mushy peas

    New this year is the Mac and Cheese stand where a bowl costs $5 with toppings like corn, capsicum or shallots costs an extra $1. A combo deal with a 600 ml soft drink costs $8 ($3 a drink only with mac n cheese purchase).

    Ekka 2015 introduces the Mac and Cheese $5 bowl (toppings extra $1). Ekka with kids.
    Ekka 2015 introduces the Mac and Cheese $5 bowl (toppings extra $1).

    The Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion is located near Gate 1, Map Ref: I-7. Head here before the lunch time crowds to avoid hungry Ekka visitors and long queues.

    11. Get your foodie on at the Gourmet Plaza

    Inbetween the Animal Farm and Main Arean is the Gourmet Plaza a recent addition to the Ekka with kids. It’s a wonderful alfresco dining space where families are invited to picnic in style on the readily available tables and chairs. Or sip a wine standing by an upturned barrel, note most tables do not have umbrella and there’s little shade.

    Plenty of seating at the Gourmet Plaza out the front of the Royal ICC building.
    Waiting for their pad thai. Plenty of seating at the Gourmet Plaza

    Ekka with kids has gotten allot more sophisticated with a wine bar, Italian street food, Doughnut time gourmet doughnuts (Ekka Strawberries and Cream is a hot fav), sausages, chips and drinks. There’s also Yum Cha, Thai and Italian street food vendors surrounding the plaza.

    Fancy minted ice teas amongst other sophisticated dining options at the Ekka
    Fancy minted ice teas amongst other sophisticated dining options at the Ekka

    It’s not just dagwood dogs anymore, apart from the gourmet food stores, you’ll find ribs and rumps, new york slice pizzas and tex mex stands.

    12. Go on the rides at the Ekka with kids – Sideshow Alley

    Ekka with kids: Sideshow Alley Water Ball Zorb ride
    Can’t get enough of these zorb water balls at Sideshow Alley – $10!

    There are two areas at the Ekka filled with rides. The Sideshow Alley caters for the older kids and Kids Carnival offer gentler rides for kids 2-8.

    Sideshow Alley is located next to the ShowBag Pavilion in two areas Map Ref: D-8 and G-2. near Gate 6. The Kids Carnival is located on Map Ref: 0-1 near Gate 2.

    Apart from the showbags, Sideshow Alley with a myriad of games and enticing oversized stuffed animal prizes is where families will drop most of their cash. It’s easy to do when games and rides cost $6-10 a go. Best to budget how many rides and games each child will go.

     

    Kids love the Ekka rides
    Kids love the Ekka rides. Image courtesy RNA.

    Ways to save on rides at the Ekka with kids

    If you know your kids will be on a few rides there are a few ways to save on ride costs:

    • Buy online before Open Day and purchase a $40 ride pass for $35 must be purchased online before the show commences and receive a saving of 12%.
    • There is the Family Rider Pack which includes food and $80 ride tickets.
    • There are different ticket booths for different rides. This years toddler area rides offer a slight discount of 6 rides for $30 deal. But be prepared to empty your wallets here. It’s expensive! $12 for the bungee trampoline, $10 for the inflatable water balls. Most rides cost between $6-8 per person.
    • For RACQ members, there is an exclusive $50 unlimited ride pass that can be purchased for unlimited rides between 10am-2pm Thursday 11th August.  Pre-purchase your pass and drop into the RACQ Ekka Member Centre to pick up your ride band on the day. Located by Gate 2.
    Kids Carnival "Wonderland" toddler friendly ride area. $6 a ride
    Kids Carnival “Wonderland” toddler friendly ride area. $6 a ride

    The best rides at the Ekka with kids

    Here are the best rides at the Ekka, covering rides for kids of all ages.

    NOTE: There are height restrictions for most rides, each ride is sign posted.

    You must be this tall to ride at the Ekka
    You must be this tall to ride at the Ekka

    1. Euro Slide

    The 8 lane super slide is an Ekka with kids favourite. It’s a steep but short walk up to the top, but kids are too excited to care. There are some great views out over the showgrounds before taking the plunge. Kids can accompany parents down or brave kids 4+ can go on by themselves if they dare.

    Located at the Sideshow Alley section (Map Ref: D-8) the super slide is the cheapest ride at the Ekka at $3 each slide or 3 rides for $7. Hats off to a particular blonde tattooed lady manning the slide at the bottom last year, more enthusiastic than the sliders.

    Take a ride down the Euroslide at the Ekka. Image courtesy RNA.
    Take a ride down the Euroslide at the Ekka. Image courtesy RNA.

    Super Fun Slide for smaller kids

    For the little ones, there is a mini slide equivalent at the Kids Carnvial Area and costs $6.00 for 3 slides. Adults slide free with small child. Located at the Kids Carnival Area Map Ref: 0-11.

    Beautiful mini flyer, Ekka with kids.
    Beautiful mini flyer, Ekka with kids.

    Flown over from the USA and new to the Ekka with kids this year is the Double Deck Carousel.  Choose to ride upper or lower deck on this whimsical merry go round. Fun for kids of all ages. Kids under 4 to be accompanied by a paying adult.

    This years Double Decker Carousel
    Double the fun on the Double Decker Carousel, flown in from the USA

    The best Ekka 2016 rides

    Click below to expand - best rides list
    Click to expand - more of the best rides Ekka 2016
    Check out the rides at the Ekka
    Check out the rides at the Ekka 2016

    3. Wave Swinger

    The fun and gentle chair ride, circles 15 meters above the showground in a oscillating wave-like motion.

    This Ekka classic is located in the Kids Carnival area Map Ref: 0-11 near Gate 2.  Each ride cost $7.00.

    Fantasy Flyer (smaller Wave Swinger)

    Young children under 4 years are not permitted on the big Wave Swinger, however there is the Mini Swing, the gentle cousin to the Wave Swinger.

    Kids can go for a spin in floating chairs by themselves, located in the Sideshow Alley section, each ride cost $6.00.

    4. Circus Train

    The recent addition of the Circus Train proved a hit last year. Jump onboard a carriage as the mini train takes you around it’s mini track.

    5. Tea Cups

    Hop in a a teacup and saucer as it spins the family around and around. Located in the Sideshow Alley area (D-7) each person costs $5.00 to ride.

    There are actually two of these, I think it’s a nice touch to position one under a shady tree.

    Tea cup ride under a shady tree.
    Tea cup ride under a shady tree.

    6. Jumbo the Flying Elephants

    New to the Ekka 2016 is the Jumbo the Flying Elephants ride where kids can take a spin on their very own flying elephant. They can control just how high they go as they fly around and around.

    7. Sky Flyer

    Another all time show favourite, a much bigger version of the Wave Swinger, it soars 35 meters high above the showgrounds with great views over the showgrounds.

    Located in the Sideshow Alley area (Map Ref: D-8) each ride costs $8.00.

    Skyflyer and the blue skies on 2015 Ekka Opening Day
    Skyflyer and the blue skies on last year’s Ekka Opening Day

    8. Freak Out

    New to the Ekka Freak Ou and one for the big kids. Freak Out swings and rotates up in the sky with its long swinging arm and surround sound music.

    Located in the Sideshow Alley area (Map Ref: D-8) each person costs $10.00 to ride.

    9. XXXL

    For the thrillseekers, a  triple action extreme ride that flips and spins 12 passengers, 24 metres upside down and inside out all at lightning speed!

    Located in the Sideshow Alley area (D-8) each person costs $15.00 to ride.

    10. Giant Wheel

    Take a ferris wheel ride on the Giant Wheel. Great for all ages, even the small kids will enjoy this ride and catch some lovely views over the Showgrounds.

    Fun for the family - Ekka ferris whee
    Fun for the family – Ekka ferris wheel

    This Ekka favourite is located in the Side Show Alley Carnival area Map Ref: G-8 near Gate 2. Each ride cost $7.00.

    There is also a mini Ferris Wheel in the Kids Carnival area. A scaled down version for little ones. Map Ref: 0-11.

    Sideshow Alley at the Ekka with kids

    Don’t forget the the traditional carni-games at Sideshow Alley at the Ekka with kids, fishing for ducks, basket ball hoops and the clowns are fun and easy even for the little ones to join in.

    There’s also a mini dodgem cars, just for little ones to go on by themselves.

    Don't you love the clowns at the show?
    Kid magnets – the Clowns at Ekka’s Sideshow Alley

    13. Ride a pony at the Ekka with kids

    Take a ride around the outback with sweet and patient ponies at the Ekka with kids. Children aged 4 and up can ride around on the themed track by themselves. Kids under 4 can still enjoy a ride, accompanied by an adult.

    Cameras and loose items such as food and bags are not permitted on the horse track. The Australian Outback Pony Rides owners are very strict on this.

    Jostle with other happy parent snappers at the much sought after spot, along the fence outside of the circuit for photo opportunities. The undercover red and yellow marquee means that photo’s are very orange hued and dark.

    A pony ride on Popcorn (left) and Appy at the Kids Carnival, Ekka.
    A pony ride on Popcorn (left) and Appy at the Kids Carnival, Ekka.

    There is a pony by the name of Mr Spots in a pen out the front of the ride that you can take snaps with.

    Don't forget to say hi to Mr Spots after the pony ride.
    Don’t forget to say hi to Mr Spots after the pony ride.

    Pony rides are located in the Kids Carnival area Map Ref: 0-11 near Gate 2. Rides cost $7.00.

    14. Watch the PAW Patrol live show

    For the first time at the Ekka, Nick Jr’s PAW Patrol with pups Chase and Marshall take the kids on a mission lead by a 10 year old boy named Ryder. Watch as they use their problem solving skills to get out of a trouble – no job is too big, no pup is too small!

    Ekka with kids. Paw Patrol live show this Ekka 2016.
    Catch the free live Paw Patrol show at Ekka 2016.

    Like previous Ekka stage shows, costume characters are moving to voiceovers and dancing to soundtracks.

    Catch the PAW Patrol crew at the Mumm Entertainment & Fashion Stage Map Ref: F-10. Daily at 10:00am, 11:00am and 12 noon (except no 10:00am show Saturday, August 6 there will be a 1pm show instead).

    It's Chase from Paw Patrol at the Ekka 2016. Ekka with kids.
    It’s Chase from Paw Patrol at the Ekka 2016.




    15. Be the Channel 7 Ekka Reporter

    Kids get a chance to be the Channel 7 Ekka Report at the 7 Live Studios, located next to the Woolworths Pavilion (Map Ref: J-10).

    Ekka with kids: 7 Live Studios recording at the Ekka 2016.
    7 Live Studios recording at the Ekka 2016.

    Record a video snippet of Sharon Ghidella crossing to your junior reporters “live at the Ekka” where the kids read a small 30 second script from a teleprompter. The video is then emailed to you for a cute keepsake and can be shared using #7Studios, to be in the running for daily prizes.

    There’s also a opportunity to take a snap at the Zumbo’s Just Desserts stage or with Cash Cow that pops in for an appearance.

    Throughout the Ekka, Seven personalities including The Morning Show, News Team and Home and Away stars will be making appearances at the 7 Live Studios.

    Afterwards pick up a free Channel 7 showbag which contains goodies including a balloon, an inflatable ball, cap and drink bottle.

    Don't forget the free Channel 7 showbag
    Don’t forget the free Channel 7 showbag

    16. Get Kids Cooking & learning at the Agricultural Hall

    Ekka 2016 sees the Agricultural Hall feature a brand new interactive initiative focussing on the role of agriculture plays. The Get Kid Cooking class will be welcoming kids to make a healthy meal from scratch. It’s best to book the class at least 15-20 minutes to avoid disappointment, most classes have been running at capacity.

    Ekka 2016: Get Kids Cooking in the Agri Hall. Ekka with kids.
    Ekka 2016: Get Kids Cooking in the Agri Hall

    The best and most quiet times to go are in the early afternoon around 2pm & 3pm. There is also cutting and peeling workshop, where kids can pick a single utensil to cut or peel a vegetable under supervision.

    Ekka 2016 with kids: Get kids cooking. Chopping and smelling mint for Maroccon Cous Cous.
    Smelling mint and chopping veggies to make a Moroccon Cous Cous at this years Ekka.

    Cooking classes at the Ekka with kids are held daily: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm. Agricultural Hall Map Ref: H-10.

    A lucky few get to take home their own chef hat and apron.
    Last years cooking class and a little lady chef

    Science fun at the Ekka with kids

    Also in the Agri Hall is a Science lab set up with interactive exhibits. Kids can make molecules out of lollies (big hit!) check out objects under a digital microscope and watch some exciting science shows at the Ekka with kids. We caught a demo with the “Super Nerd” from Channel Seven’s Chase Australia performing some tricks with liquid nitrogen.

    Science experiments with the Super Nerd (Seven's Chase Australia). Ekka with kids.
    Science experiments with the Super Nerd (Seven’s Chase Australia).

    Peddle tractors at the Ekka with kids

    After a cooking lesson, take a peddle tractor around a path marked on the floor, passing through the process of planting and maintaining crops.

    There are only four tractors and a long but steadily moving queue to have a go.

    Ekka 2016: Peddle tractors at the Agril Hall. Ekka with kids.
    Ekka 2016: Peddle tractors at the Agril Hall

    Interactive agricultural displays

    There are also opportunities to learn about the importance wheat and barley plays, with interactive displays where kids can touch (but don’t eat) oats, wheat and barley.

    The mill a flour exhibit is particularly fun where kids ground flour from oats.

    Kids get to mill their own flour from oats at the Agri Hall. Ekka with kids.
    Kids get to mill their own flour from oats at the Agri Hall.

    17. Down a dagwood dog at the Ekka with kids

    Another Ekka staple is the humble dagwood dog which costs $6.

    Dagwood dog at the Ekka
    Dagwood dog at the Ekka

    It’s one of the more affordable, instantaneous and satisfying foods at the Ekka with kids.

    A pink catering dagwood dog - home made batter might be the secret to it's success
    A pink catering dagwood dog – home made batter might be the secret to it’s success

    Pink Event Catering with two outlets at the Ekka with kids

    They say it’s voted “The best dagwood dogs at the Ekka” and they are pretty darn good. The Pin Event Catering dagwood dogs are home made and a decent size.

    Dagwood dogs are $8 each or they have a combo deal with a small cup of lemonade or slushie (red or blue) for $10.

    Pink dagwood dogs have two stands at the Ekka:

    A dag and his dagwood dog at the Gregory Terrace Pink Catering Event stand
    A dag and his dagwood dog at the Gregory Terrace Pink Catering Event stand
    • Under the Gatehouse on Gregory Terrace near the Lost Children’s Stand and Police Station.  Map Ref: K-8
    • Alexandria Street near the Animal Nursery. Map Ref: N-8
    This vendor on Gregory Terrace was selling Cheese on a Stick or Dagwood Dog + lemonade for $8
    Dagwood dogs everywhere, this one on Gregory Terrace was selling Cheese on a Stick or Dagwood Dog + lemonade for $8

    There are dagwood dogs sold throughout the showgrounds that look just as good.  Expect to pay between $6-10.

    Foot long dagwood dog and drink combo for $10
    Foot long dagwood dog and drink combo for $10 near the Kids Carnival

    Other show eats at the Ekka with kids

    There are lots of casual dining option from pulled pork rolls, chips on a stick, pork knuckle, pizzas, wings, ribs, turkey legs and sausages. Prices aren’t cheap but they aren’t ridiculous either, except for drinks ranging from $4.50-6.00, best to bring your own water bottle.

    Pork Knuckle, Turkey Legs, Ribs and Sausages being sold at the Ekka
    Pork Knuckle, Turkey Legs, Ribs and Sausages being sold at the Ekka near the Kids Carnival area

    18. Check out the iconic Woodchoppers

    See which burly man (chopper) is the quickest to bring down the log at a top of the tree. A traditional and historic event, woodchopping is quite exciting to watch. A tip when watching the Woodchoppers at the Ekka with kdis: take in a few speedy rounds and move on when the kids start to get restless.

    Don't miss the woodchopping event at the Ekka. Image RNA.
    Don’t miss the woodchopping event at the Ekka. Image RNA.

    Try to get to the event early to secure a seat as the tree climb events draw large crowds.  With more than $90,000 in prize money on offer this year, the woodchop and sawing competition will be hotly contested.

    The woodchopping heats will be on daily 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Woodchop Arena, Map Ref: L-2

    Woodchop Relays at the Main Arena

    More woodchop action can be found every around 5:30pm daily at the Main Arena, Map Ref L-6. This is part of the EkkaNites free nighty program.

    The Ekka woodchopping competion
    The Ekka woodchopping competition

    19. Check out the new ‘Old Museum Precinct’

    The Old Museum is now part of the Ekka and forms a brand new precinct for the 10 days of show. Unlike previous years where the Quilts were tucked away in a corner they now have a dedicated display room. Pride of place is Ekka’s Flower and Garden Exhibition where Queensland’s best and most beautiful roses are judged along with displays of of a variety of plants and garden installation.

    Quilts have a new home at Ekka 2016. Old Museum Precinct.
    Quilts have a new home at Ekka 2016.

    The precinct is quiet and if you’re strapped for time, this one can be left to last or dropped off your to-do list. It does offer calm in an otherwise hectic showgrounds. 

    Ekka with kids: The Ekka Love Tree at the Old Museum Precinct.
    The Ekka Love Tree at the Old Museum Precinct.

    Step through the Old Museum, down to the lawns and gardens is the Love Tree adorned with red ribbons and fairy lights and opportunities to instagram #EkkaLoveTree.

    Activities for kids in the Old Museum Precinct include:

    • Triceratops Tiara Tea Party: Life size dinosaurs will be all dressed up for a tea cake including one ginormous cake. On Open Day the cake looked half finished and there were only a few dinosaurs at the front of the garden draped in sheets and a few tinsel crowns. It’s a cute little setup though not a must-do for the show.
    • Make a flower crown: A group of lovely volunteers have formed The Flower School, where kids can make a flower crown with craft materials, a headband and fresh flowers.
    • Fairy Garden: Kids can wander through the secret fairy garden, with trees dressed with butterflies,  sparkling lights and some fluttering fairies.
    • Snap a photo with a colourful parrot.

    The Old Museum Precinct is located by Gate 7, Map ref: C-12. This space has loads of potential and we’re looking forward to what is in store for the Ekka 2017!

    20. See the sheep dog trials at the Ekka with kids

    Skill, speed, agility, patience and loyalty exemplified between farmer and his working sheep dog. Do not miss the Sheep Dog Trials at the Main Arena Map Ref: L-6.

    The intelligent, obedient and adorable sheep dog trials at the Ekka. Image RNA.
    The intelligent, obedient and adorable sheep dog trials at the Ekka. Image RNA.

    Watch highly skilled and ever obedient Aussie kelpies and collies show off their sheep herding skills as they round a tight pack of sheep through a gate in record time.

    Sheep dog trials are held on four days of the Ekka (August 7,9,11,12), T, with the finals held on Saturday August 13 and the top dog crowned. Alternatively Sheep Dog Demonstrations are held every night as part the EkkaNights program from 5:15pm to 5:30pm.

    21. Indulge in a scone with jam at the Ekka with kids

    The Country Women’s Association is back at the Ekka dishing out their signature show treat, the humble scone and jam. A must when visiting the 2016 Ekka with kids.

    The CWA tea room does a divine devonshire tea
    The CWA tea room does a divine Devonshire tea

    The CWA Eats and Treats stall will be selling Devonshire tea for $5.50 includes one scone with jam and fresh cream, tea or coffee under the John McDonald Stand. Map Ref: K-4 by the Main Arena.

    Have a lunch and a chat to the ladies at the CWA
    A cuppa tea and a chat to the ladies at the CWA

    These kind and camera shy ladies also serve raisin toast ($1.50) sandwiches ($6.50), sweets such as apple pie and custard tarts ($4), bacon and egg roll ($6.50) and hamburgers ($9 works) just the way mum use to make it

    There is also ample coffee and tea and a small dining area. Kids most welcomed.

    22. Catch the EkkaNites free nightly show

    The EkkaNites evening program is back and growing year on year and showcases the Ekka tradition with a nod to yesteryear with Penny Farthing Races, a parade of horse drawn carriages, the iconic Wood Choop Championships and Sheep Dog demonstrations as well as the National Anthem Featuring The Guruman Dancers and Brandon Woods.

    Ekka with kids. Ekka 2016 sees Pink and Blue Hot Wheel Drift Cars.
    Pink and Blue Hot Wheels at EkkaNites 2016.

    There’s Live Music, a Tribute to Aussie Music with the songs of Cold Chisel, Keith Urban and Kylie Minogue as well as Heroes of the Outback Show with Trick Riding, Rope Spinning and more. They’ve even brought back Agro for comic relief before the the new High Octane Hot Wheels commences with pink and blue Hot Wheel drift utes tearing up the Main Arena in a time trial. There’s also a a Hot Wheels Stadium Truck will hit a jump, launching high into the air.

    EKkaNites. This year's Ekka has a Penny Farthing race, mimus the top hats and mustaches.....
    EKkaNites. This year’s Ekka has a Penny Farthing race, mimus the top hats and mustaches…..

    Ekka Nites start in the Main Arena from 5:15pm (with the main program beginning at 7:10pm).

    If you want to see the entire EkkaNites program head to the arena before 5pm (at around 4pm) or earlier to secure a good seat as it will fill up early.

    23. Stay for the fireworks finale at the Ekka with kids

    If your little family can survive until 7:45pm, the Ekka ignites the night sky with spectacular fireworks capping off each show day. The 15 minute dazzling display starts at 7:45pm until 8:00pm. With the showgrounds closing at 9pm.

    Ekka with kid: EkkaNites pre-show parade. Ekka 2016.
    EkkaNites pre-show parade. Ekka 2016.

    This year features a new Pyrotechnic Tower never before seen in Australia. Fireworks will be fired from 49 positions on the 25 metre high tower creating a Bellagio fountain effect – shooting sideways, inwards and skywards – engulfing the entire arena in explosive light and colour.

    Quad motorcycles will tow 20 kites with silver fountain fireworks, while six illuminated horses will gallop around the arena changing colours before the crowd’s eyes. The audience won’t miss a second of the action, with the 360 degree show design allowing them to have an equal experience from any spot. Topping off the spectacle will be the fireworks soundtrack – a custom made mash up of jukebox classic hits mixed in the Main Arena by hot Brisbane DJ Yakedo.

    EkkaNites Fireworks Finale with laser light show.
    EkkaNites Fireworks Finale with laser light show (last years). Image courtesy RNA.

    What time does the EkkaNites program start?

    Showgoers start making their way to the Main Arena early as the EkkaNites free nightly program starts from 5:15pm.

    Ekka with kids: EkkaNites 2016 Program.
    Ekka with kids: EkkaNites 2016 Program.

    Fireworks from the ferris wheel at the Ekka with kids

    The best view for the fireworks can be found on the Giant Wheel, time your ride for 7:45pm where they usually stop the wheel, so ferris wheel patrons can see the fireworks from above.

    A great spot to watch the Ekka fireworks is from the ferris wheel. Image courtesy RNA.
    A great spot to watch the Ekka fireworks is from the ferris wheel. Image courtesy RNA.

    Understandably, with smaller children fireworks at the Ekka wit kids sounds better in theory, the kids have probably just gotten over their sugar high and melting down after a long but fun Ekka day.

    Catch the nightly fireworks at the Ekka, image courtesy Dave Burrows Flickr Creative Commons
    Ekka Fireworks, image courtesy Dave Burrows Flickr CC

    TIPs for the 2016 Ekka with kids




    Buy your showbags first & hire a locker

    To avoid the painful queues towards the end of the day, go early (9am on opening) and buy your showbags at the Ekka with kids. Whilst you may get first dibs on showbags it also means lugging around showbags all day.

    Stroller or hand cart is another alternative to hiring a locker.
    Ekka with kids tip: Stroller or hand cart is another alternative to hiring a locker.

    If you have a stroller or a hand cart (they sell some at the show), showbags can be stowed and safe guarded along with your other things you pick up during the day. Otherwise there are lockers for hire.

    Head to the Showbag Pavilion first to avoid crowds. Image RNA.
    Ekka with kids tips: Head to the Showbag Pavilion first to avoid crowds. Image RNA.

    Sideshow Alley small Ekka Lockers –  $2 per use

    There are lockers just outside the showbag pavilion at a bargain cost of $2 per use.

    Sideshow Alley Lockers. Lots available at 9am.
    Sideshow Alley Lockers. Lots available at 9am.
    $2 Coin Require to lock. Fee is per use.
    $2 Coin Require to lock. Fee is per use.

    Large Ekka Lockers & iPhone charging – John McDonald Stand

    Another bank of larger lockers is available at the John McDonald Stand next the CWA (Map Ref K-4). Open 9am – 9pm each Ekka 2016 day.

    Cost of lockers are $8 per day unlimited use with a $2 refundable hire key. These lockers are located in a sheltered marquee and are locked up by 9pm. Because of the cost, these lockers do not get snapped up as quickly so there are free ones available throughout the day.

    Ekka 2016 Lockers at John McDonald Stand (next to CWA)
    Ekka 2016 Lockers at John McDonald Stand (next to CWA)

    Another bonus is, if you’re carrying a massive stuffed toy prize around, or you trolley, stroller or large bag full of goodies to stow, the locker staff can put it inside their office provided you hire a locker for $10 (minus $2 refundable key deposit) plus and extra $5 to store it for the day.

    Phone Charging iPhone only – $2 per use

    A iPhone Phone charging is available for iPhone 4, 5 and 6 models in $2 per use lockers within the locker area. This is only for iPhone models and no Android lockers were available.

    Download Ekka Map

    Ekka 2016 sheltered large lockers and phone charging station. Lockable. Ekka with kids.
    Ekka 2016 sheltered large lockers and phone charging station.

    Ask for tips from the staff at the Information Booth

    Head to the Information Booths and ask for tips and info, the staff are extremely knowledgable and there to help when at the Ekka with kids. They might know where there is a locker if the ones you want have filled up.  Also a good meeting points if members of the family gets lost. These guys will help!

    Staff at the Information Booth are gorgeous
    Staff at the Information Booth can help or drop by to buy a Ekka hat or poncho.

    The Information Booth locations:

    • An Information Booth is located just on Gregory Terrace past Gate 1, next to the Gourmet Plaza area and opposite 7 Live Studios. Map Ref: I-10.
    • Another located next to the Showbag Marquee in Sideshow Alley. Map Ref: F-5
    Main Information Booth with ride card scanner
    Main Information Booth on Gregory Terrace (same location but no ride scanner card this year)

    Plan your day at the Ekka with kids

    Whilst casually strolling through the Ekka with kids to see what’s on maybe good for some, families need to be a little more methodical to avoid crowds, get around to all the must-see’s before the onset of a tantrum. As the kids get older there are less tantrums, but a good plan of attack is still the way to go to maximise your family Ekka day.

    Here are some things to help you plan your day at the Ekka with kids:

    Avoid peak times in main pavilions at the Ekka with kids

    Avoid the peak times and larger crowds, most exhibits, stalls and attractions are ready and prepared for the over 400,000+ visitors to roll through the RNA Showgrounds. Queues are therefore orderly and move quickly.

    Whilst it’s impossible to avoid the crowds altogether, you can maximise your personal space and be served faster by going to the Woolies Food Pavilion early (10.30/11am) to get ahead of the lunch time rush which starts just before noon. This is the same with the nursery section of Animal Boulevard and the Showbag Pavilion.

    Go on a Tuesday which is historically the quietest day of the Ekka.

    Bring a stroller to the Ekka with kids

    It’s a long day and there is plenty of ground to cover. Bring your stroller to navigate between pavilions and keep the kids from making a break in a busy crowd. There are large crowds so maneuvering quickly can be an issue, though it beats ultimately carrying your child around when they get tired.

    Strollers are great for stowing all the things you need for a big day out at the Ekka. They can also be hired at the Ekka but costs $30 a day. See the information booth for more details.

    It's a big day for the little ones, bring a stroller or you may end up carrying your kids.
    It’s a big day for the little ones, bring a stroller or you may end up carrying your kids.

    Things to pack for the Ekka with kids

    • Spare reusable or plastic bag. You never know when you need reusable or plastic bags to store extra goodies you receive at the Ekka with kids.
    • Hand Sanitiser. There’s allot of people and it’s flu season, though there are hand sanitising station. A personal stash means you can wash and sanitise those hands before kids put them straight in their mouth.
    • Spare change of clothes. You don’t want to go home due to a strawberry sundae going astray. If driving pack some in the car and you can get a pass out to lighten the load and change clothes.
    • Picnic and snacks. It’s a long day with lots of sugary temptations. Save on cost and bring your own picnic lunch and snacks. Perfectly acceptable at the Ekka with kids.
    • Water bottles are also permitted in the showgrounds and there are fountains to refill.
    • Sunscreen, sunglasses and hats. There is little shade outdoors and although it’s winter, the days can be warm and the sun shines bright.
    • Extra layers. The Ekka winds may still be coming, pack some extra layers as it’s quite chilly this time of the year and gets cold as soon as the sun drops.
    • Ponchos or raincoats. Just in case umbrellas or ponchos for wet weather. They sell Ekka hats and ponchos at the Information Booth.
    • Hand carts or a Stroller. Kids too old for a stroller? But have the dilemma of what to do with showbags? Bring a nanna trolley (hand cart) to store all your stuff and save your back. There are some trolleys for sale for $15-20 at the Ekka.
    • Lip balm, first aid kit and medicines. Whilst there is a St John’s First Aid station, it’s best to bring a very small first aid kit and any medicines you may need (adult panadol!) just in case. Lip balm or Paw Paw ointment as it’s dry this time of the year.
    • Picnic rug. Maybe for People’s Day as it will get busy. It’s better to sit on a rug than on the dusty grass. However, since the new refurbishments, there are lots of alfresco chairs and tables. It’s good for the new  ‘Chill Out Green’ at the Old Museum Precinct.
    BYO waterbottle. There are drinking fountains to refill.
    BYO water bottle. There are drinking fountains to refill.

    Kids under 5 are free at the 2016 Ekka with kids

    Kids 0- 4 years of age are free to enter.

    Managing the crowds at the Ekka with kids

    At the Ekka there were cases of children becoming seperated, all were found quickly and reunited.

    If you have lost your child at the Ekka, there are two 24 hour Lost Children Stands operated by The Queensland Police. Losing a child happens quite often at the Ekka, but as soon as a child is lost a call out is made across the showgrounds and the child is reunited with their parents.

    Police Lost Children's Stand on Gregory Terrace
    Police Lost Children’s Stand on Gregory Terrace

    Lost Children’s Stand Locations at the Ekka with kids:

    1. Police Station on Gregory Terrace Map Ref: K-8.
    2. One within the RACQ Animal Nursery Pavilion. Map Ref: N-8.
    Lost Children's Stand inside the Animal Nursery.
    Lost Children’s Stand inside the Animal Nursery.

    There is a increased amount of Queensland Police patrolling the Ekka this year. If you lose your child seek help from a uniformed Police Officer.

    Ekka staff will also be able to help in the event of a lost child.

    Large crowds at the Ekka's People's Day. Have a plan to manage kids in crowds. Image RNA.
    Large crowds at the Ekka’s People’s Day. Have a plan to manage kids in crowds. Image RNA.

    Tips for managing crowds at the Ekka with kids:

    • Step through the rules – stay close, hold mum or dads hand or the stroller and don’t run away. Keep these simple and reiterate them the day before and on the day at the Ekka with kids.
    • Discuss what to do in the event your child gets lost – stay still, we will find you and call out for mum or dad. Ask them to look out for safe strangers such as policeman, other mums with kids or store owners.
    • Brand them with emergency contact – make sure your kids have on them an emergency mobile contact number. You can mark them with a sharpie or there are special arm bands or tattoos just for this purpose. Police are handing out wristbands again at the Ekka with kids. See them at the Lost Children’s Stand at Gregory Terrace for a free wristband. Do not write their name on for security reasons, predators are usually men and a child might trust them if they use their first name.
    • Take a photo of your kids on the day – have an up to date photo of your child on your phone to make it easier for people to look for them and know exactly what they look like and what they are wearing.
    • Make sure your mobile is fully charged – that way police or staff can contact you in the event they find your lost child.
    • Wear bright clothes at the Ekka with kids – a good tip is to dress your kids in matching bright clothes to spot them easier in crowds. Or alternatively dress yourself in bright clothes so they can find you easy in a crowd. High-Vis vests and jackets for kids, make them stand out very clearly.
    • Assign a child to an adult – have clear responsibilities by dividing the kids up with each parent or adult. They are primarily responsible for them on the day, this avoids any assumptions of “I thought you were looking after him!?” If you swap for instance to take someone to the toilet, voice it out. E.g. “I got him, you take her, OK?” wait for the acknowledgement to avoid any confusion.

    Ekka 2016 Congestion on People’s Day (Wed 10th August 2016)

    Access will be temporarily closed beside machinery hill, near Cattlemans Bar on Wednesday 10th of August 2016 for the grand parade at 1pm to avoid congestion.

    To avoid the long walk around, make sure you are on the side you want to be on before 1pm because you can’t cross during the parade.

    The Grand Parade, Be on the side you want to be before 1pm on People's Day
    The Grand Parade, Be on the side you want to be before 1pm on People’s Day. Image RNA.

    Come back later – get a pass out to the Ekka with kids

    For those that drove or want to leave and return later for the fireworks at the Ekka with kids, you can obtain a pass-out to be used on the same day from any Ekka Information Booth.

    Come back for more Ekka fun
    Come back for more Ekka fun

    Where to stay for the Ekka with kids?

    Rydges Fortitude Valley

    Address: Rydges Fortitude Valley, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills.  Website: Rydges Fortitude Valley

    Looking for a place to stay at the Ekka with kids this year? Families can’t get any closer than the sophisticated Rydges Fortitude Valley newly opened in April this year just in time for the Ekka. Located right in the heart of the Ekka, overlooking the Brisbane Showgrounds, so close you can stroll to the Ekka with kids.

    Chic reception area at the new Rydges Fortitude Valley
    Chic reception area at the new Rydges Fortitude Valley. Image: Event Hospitality & Entertainment.

    Better still parents needing a well-earned break can pop back over to the hotel for a relax and kids will be more than willing with a dip in the pool (it’s heated). With Arena Rooms overlooking the Show ring you can choose to catch the fireworks in the Main Arena or watch it from the comforts of your room where free WIFI and a 50″ flat screen TV awaits, which works particularly well after a big Ekka family day.

    We love the Ekka themed rooms with bed cushions of paddock animals and walls adorned with Ekka prints. It’s one of those hotels that understand families offering a Double Family Room that allows a maximum occupancy of 5 people, up to 3 kids. Interconnecting rooms are available these are Standard King rooms with a maximum occupancy of 6.

    Ekka themed Double Family Room. Rydges Fortitude Valley. Ekka with kids.
    Ekka themed Double Family Room. Image: Event Hospitality & Entertainment.

    Double Family Rooms during the Ekka period from $245 per night, 10% off for Priority Guest Rewards members (membership free). For Brissy folks it’s tempting to make a Ekka Public Holiday staycation out of it. Note that not all Double Family Rooms enjoy Arena Views

    Find the best rate at Rydges Fortitude Valley here*.

    *This is an affiliate link, if you making a booking via Trip Advisor, we receive a small commission from the sale, which you are not out of pocket for. You are free to use your own preferred hotel supplier. 

    Family fun at the Ekka 2016. Getting harder to take a photo with these two, they can't stand it!
    Family fun at the Ekka 2016. Getting harder to take a photo with these two, they can’t stand it!

    What’s your favourite thing about the Ekka with kids? Is there anything that didn’t make the cut that should have this Ekka 2016? Have you got any handy tips for The Ekka with Kids? hank you for reading. Please leave a reply below:

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