Night Owls Kids Film Fest

The newly opened Darling Quarter at Darling Harbour is hosting two weeks of free outdoor cinema from 10 – 23 January screening 14 classic and contemporary family favourites. The fun starts at 6pm with films commencing at 6:45pm nightly.

Owl and I watched Tangled (2010) tonight after having $12 steak at Stacks (Mon-Wed). It comes with either salad or chips and is about 300g.

Steak & Salad

The steaks were a little chewy (akin to most cheap steaks) but had a nice smoky flavour to it. I recommend ordering the steaks one level below what you like e.g. medium-rare for a medium steak. Dinner only starts at 6pm but they do offer a tapas menu beforehand. Since we only had about 15 mins to go we just ordered some beautifully crisp Pumpkin Arancini, which came with a tomato salsa and fronds of baby basil. I swooped in before we took pictures. Sorry, my bad  :p

 The showground isn’t a large space but sufficient for the number of people that show up (since kids usually take only half the space one needs hehe). There are also benches and random ledges to sit on near the restaurants if grass isn’t your thing. Sound quality was very good and managed to rise above some of the rowdier bar patrons behind. Picture quality was also good. I would recommend bringing a jumper and a rug. It got pretty cold towards the evening despite the 27°C day!

Park Bench

I had been looking forward to trying the Lemon Meringue gelato and the Salted Caramel Popcorn gelato from Meno Diciotto ever since they opened so this was the perfect opportunity. The Lemon was a beautiful blend of creamy tartness; not quite sorbet but more like chilled lemon curd. Soft and slightly chewy bits of candied lemon surfaced every so often to add a nice texture to the gelato, as did the more rarely found meringue. The Popcorn tasted like Macadamia but left kernelly bits in your mouth after the gelato dissolved which I very much disliked. They also sell little bags of popcorn if you want some for the movies! Service was efficient and genuine. Again, scarfed the gelato before any pictures were taken. Oops  ><

Stacks Tavern More Seating

Steak & Chips

Here is the rest of the schedule from the Precinct website:

Wednesday 18 | Ratatouille (2007)
Thursday 19 | Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Friday 20 | Wizard of Oz (1939)
Saturday 21 | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Sunday 22 | Happy Feet (2006)
Monday 23 | Doctor Do Little (1965)


Hoopla Festival, Darling Harbour (22-26th April 2011)

A quick  mention of the Hoopla Festival at Darling Harbour currently being run this Easter long weekend. Ant and I decided last minute to go and visit after seeing advertisements around Darling Harbour in the last few weeks. To our delight the Hoopla Festival is actually a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out, especially with the children if you’re around the area. There are lots of things going on and being Darling Harbour there are also the usual things to do – Harbourside, Cafes, Restaurants and IMAX etc. So couple the usual with the festival and you’ve got a good day’s worth of activities to keep you pretty busy!

They’ve set up a Big Top and although it looked pretty small and limited on the outside, upon entering it is quite surprising how much space there actually is inside. The Big Top can actually fit up to 450 people inside with reasonable comfort – though the seats are quite low and may not be appropriate or comfortable for elderly or persons with disability (though I’m sure they would have measures for this). The events are split up into Hoopla Day and Hoopla Night and best of all most of the events are free, but if you’re really enjoying it all and keen there are some shows that play from 6pm onwards at night and are paid ticket events (approx. $5-10).

The event has been run by the Darling Harbour Foreshore Authority for the last few years and the night is topped off at night with fireworks. The whole area is pretty packed and buzzing with life and things to do. Even though the weather is always iffy around the Easter break if you’re looking for something cheap and fun to do with the family this would be a pretty good option!


A couple of pictures of Ringside where we saw Ruby Ray and other trapeze acts and also the ZimboyZ in the Big Top (30 min show) – really good stuff and worth the lining up and wait. The things they do are pretty fun and amazing and even being a little cynical about it all I was quickly won over with the atmosphere and fun.

Natalie Harris
Ringside Stage

For more information visit Hoopla Festival Darling Harbour