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:
Main MenuExpand menu below
- 1. Enjoy a Ekka Strawberry Sundae
- 2. Grab some of Ekka's best showbags 2016
- The best Ekka 2016 showbags
- 3. Admire the Ekka 2016 District Exhibits at the Agricultural Hall
- 4. Check out how clever local Queenslanders are - cakes, jams and fine arts
- 5. Dig it up at the Little Farmers Patch
- 6. See the Ekka 2016 best animals in show
- 7. Pat-a-pig and cradle-a-chick at the Animal Nursery
- 8. Milk a cow at the Ekka with kids
- 9. Sheer a sheep at the Ekka with kids
- 10. Snack on a Woolies Pavilion Cheese Toastie, Mac n Cheese and other show treats
- 11. Get your foodie on at the Gourmet Plaza
- 12. Go on the rides at the Ekka with kids - Sideshow Alley
- The best rides at the Ekka with kids
- 13. Ride a pony at the Ekka with kids
- 14. Watch the PAW Patrol live show
- 15. Be the Channel 7 Ekka Reporter
- 16. Get Kids Cooking & learning at the Agricultural Hall
- 17. Down a dagwood dog at the Ekka with kids
- 18. Check out the iconic Woodchoppers
- 19. Check out the new 'Old Museum Precinct'
- 20. See the sheep dog trials at the Ekka with kids
- 21. Indulge in a scone with jam at the Ekka with kids
- 22. Catch the EkkaNites free nightly show
- 23. Stay for the fireworks finale at the Ekka with kids
- Buy your showbags first & hire a locker
- Ask for tips from the staff at the Information Booth
- Plan your day at the Ekka with kids
- Avoid peak times in main pavilions at the Ekka with kids
- Bring a stroller to the Ekka with kids
- Things to pack for the Ekka with kids
- Kids under 5 are free at the 2016 Ekka with kids
- Managing the crowds at the Ekka with kids
- Tips for managing crowds at the Ekka with kids:
- Ekka 2016 Congestion on People's Day (Wed 10th August 2016)
- Come back later - get a pass out to the Ekka with kids
Why goto the Ekka 2016 – Ekka with kids?
CONS of 2016 Ekka with kids:
PROS of 2016 Ekka with kids:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Pre-purchase 2016 Ekka 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then again, what’s a Show without a bag full 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 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 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
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.
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
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
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 ShowbagsClick below to expand
3. Angry Birds new – $26
New to Ekka 2016 is the Angry Birds showbag. Highlights include a Angry Birds backpack and inflatable boxing gloves.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- × 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Catch the horses at the stables near Gate 4 and the competitions held near Gate 3 at The Horse Pavilion, Map Ref: O-8.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. Pat-a-pig and cradle-a-chick at the Animal Nursery
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.
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.
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 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.
Don’t miss the teeny tiny piglets in pens around the Animal Nursery.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
9. Sheer a sheep at the Ekka with kids
Watch both traditional and modern styles of sheep shearing at the Animal Nursery Map Ref: N-8.
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!?”.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2. Double Decker Carousel
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.
The best Ekka 2016 ridesClick below to expand - best rides list
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
Cooking classes at the Ekka with kids are held daily: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm. Agricultural Hall Map Ref: H-10.
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.
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.
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.
17. Down a dagwood dog at the Ekka with kids
Another Ekka staple is the humble dagwood dog which costs $6.
It’s one of the more affordable, instantaneous and satisfying foods at the Ekka with kids.
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:
- 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
There are dagwood dogs sold throughout the showgrounds that look just as good. Expect to pay between $6-10.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sideshow Alley small Ekka Lockers – $2 per use
There are lockers just outside the showbag pavilion at a bargain cost of $2 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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
Lost Children’s Stand Locations at the Ekka with kids:
- Police Station on Gregory Terrace Map Ref: K-8.
- One within the RACQ Animal Nursery Pavilion. Map Ref: N-8.
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.
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.
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.
Where to stay for the Ekka with kids?
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.
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.
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
*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.
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: