We firstly met some ladies & their kids from the Simple Savings website at Jesmond Park for a picnic lunch. I'd never met any of them before so it was good to meet some like-minded people in real-life! We all took something along to share for lunch, we chatted and the kids played on the playground. (Except for mine who sat on my lap for most of it, but to be fair, he did run a temperature that night so obviously wasn't feeling the best).
We left about 1:15pm and went over to the Mattara Festival at Newcastle Foreshore. Mattara is a festival held annually in Newcastle since 1961 - I haven't been for years but the highlight for us used to be the market day where they blocked one of the major streets off and it was filled with craft stalls etc. Since we were in Newcastle anyway, I decided the take Billy to Mattara to see what it was like now. Can you say money-making event??! I was expecting a reasonable amount of free activities, but other than the Rural Fire Service display, everything else had a charge - even the face-painting! There were a few market stalls mainly selling beads & jewellery, a kid's activity table where they could do pirate or princess activities (for a cost!), food stalls and the rest were all showground rides. Obviously not what I was expecting, but hey, it was a day out!
I let Billy pick 2 rides to go on - he picked the giant slide (2 coupons / $2 for ONE go - I was a bit flabbergasted at that!) and a really cool jumping castle which had an inflatable "rock wall" in it (5 coupons / $5 for about 10 mins). He also wanted to take part in the treasure hunt for $2 - the money was going to Camp Quality for that so I didn't mind that one. He had to go and find a coloured paddle-pop stick around the park which he got to trade in for the "treasure" - a sticker & "gold coin" lol.
I just could not believe the prices of the rides - I must hang out at the wrong places! The slide was the cheapest at 2 coupons, a couple of rides at 4 coupons, the jumping castle at 5, and then the majority of them at 6! It was $1 / coupon, or the "bargain" of 30 coupons for $27. Or you could get the wristband for unlimited rides for $35!! The lady in front of me bought 3 x wristbands - $105 for rides!!! Not exactly a cheap day out - and this was the start of the school holidays!
Oh, we then stopped at McDonalds on the way home for a 50c ice-cream and a play on the free playground :)