2012 March: The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

As part of the Taiwan Internationa Festival of the Arts, Australian puppeteer Tim Watts is bringing his award-winning, one-man puppet show to Taipei and Kaohsiung. 

Tickets are $600 each in Taipei and $400 each in Kaoshiung.  The show will be in English with Chinese subtitles.

You can buy tickets online through this English page.

March 22-24 7:30pm; March 24&25 2:30pm; March 25 11am

March 28-30 7:30pm

You can see some lovely clips of the show on the official website.


Has Anyone Been to the Zhishan Cultural and Ecological Park?

I saw some information about this place in a magazine.  It looks quite interesting and reasonably-priced, with quite a few activities going on.  Activities this holiday include plant education and an introduction to fossils.  Has anyone been there and want to share their experience?


2012 Jan 23-Feb 5: 2012 Chung Hwa Flower Festival

Flower, performances, DIY activities, and the 99999 (長長久久 Chang Chang Jiu Jiu) flower giveaway... it's all happening in Chang Hwa County this holiday period!

Here is a link to the Chinese site.  This is the map page.  The main area is at Xi Jou Park (溪州公園), with other neighboring companies participating, too.

Performances run from 9:30am until 4:30pm.

The flower give away is happening at 10am-noon and again at 1pm-3pm.

2012 Now-Feb 12: Nantou Sand Sculpture Festival

It might not seem like beach weather up North, but check the weather and then head down to Nantou's Sand Sculpture festival.  Entrance is free, and there are snacks for sale.

Address: Under "Lu Mei Bridge" in Nantou.  (綠美橋,南投市)

2012 Feb 28: Qishan Drum Up Music Day (Kaoshiung)

This might be a nice way to end your Chinese New Year holiday.  Nine groups will perform, farmers will be selling produce, and others will be serving up local food and drink along Qishan Districts's Chungshan Old Street (高雄市旗山區中山老街).

Time: 12 noon - 9pm
Entrance: Free

More information: Chinese site.

Taipei Zoo Education Center -Highly Recommend

I'm not sure how long this has been open, but we visited the building within the zoo for the first time, last week.  My children are aged seven and five, and I think they are almost the perfect age for this center.  There are models of animals, and real stuffed ones, showing animals of China, Formosa, and Tibet, as well as a really cool dinosaur/prehistoric animal room.  Learn about the history of the zoo (during the war, all the zoo animals were shot to prevent any risk of them running away after bombings), and about Lin Wang, the much-loved Asian elephant.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm
Entrance: TWD20 (children under 120cm accompanied by adult free, 65yrs and over TWD10)
Within the zoo, pretty much in front of you when you enter the zoo
Website: http://www.zoo.gov.tw


Get Fit and Fabulous with Colleen at Parentsplace (Family community center, Neihu)

My dear, fit and fabulous friend Colleen is back in town and ready to help mums and mums-to-be stay fit and healthy in body and mind.  Colleen is a really fun person to be around and I promise just being in the class will make you happy, even before you start moving!  Here is the class description below.  Please go to the website for me details and to register. 

Moms Fit and Fabulous prenatal and "baby and me" exercise class registrations open now. Available to start after the new Chinese year, these classes are specifically tailored to suit your needs.

Moms to be that want to stay healthy both for themselves and their baby, can join other moms to be in either a first/second trimester class or a more gentle and muscle releasing third trimester class.

New mums have the chance to increase the beautiful bond with their baby and begin the process of reshaping that overworked body by incorporating moves that involve both mum and bub.

All this in English too so let's get started!


Please help share the clearance sale on my baby product site - leggings, diapers, and diaper bags

The past few weeks, I have been busy preparing to clear out all the stock at my www.littlewonders.com.tw website.  I now have all leggings on sale at TWD150/pr, and some organic and Mommystouch onesize diapers and bags going very cheaply, too.

Here are a few images of what is available:

Items can be shipped anywhere in Taiwan for TWD90/pkg, which includes handling of payment of delivery.  These products are all top-quality, brand new.  I am just trying to move on to new pastures so I need to move the stock on, first!  Thanks for sharing this sale with people you know.


Ju Percussion Group Super Concert 2012 (Taipei Arena)

Set for March 24th at the Taipei Arena, this should be an amazing concert.  Tickets went on sale January 1st.  You can get them through http://www.ticket.com.tw/dm.asp?P1=0000012685.  Call (02)2891-9900 ext 888 for more information.

**A couple of important things.
1. The concert is 135 mins long.
2. Children under 110cm cannot use the 3rd floor seating area, which means you would have to buy the $2,800 and up tickets.  So, I would class this show as one for older kids and adults, not a total family-friendly event.

2012 Nationwide Students' Picture Book Creation Award

This year's picture book creation contest is open to children from Elementary School to University.  Contestants need to create a picture book suitable for three to twelve year olds to read.  Creators are free to choose any subject they wish.

The English version of the National Taiwan Arts Education Center is here.  However, there is no English information about this contest.  You can read a bit more (in Chinese) here. You need to download the entry forms here.

*Entries will be received between March 1st and April 15.

Our Family Trip to Kenting

In an attempt to get out of the never-ending rain, we recently took three weekdays to travel to the Southern beach town of Kenting.  This was a pretty quick trip, as two half-days were used traveling, but we still managed to spend a whole day swimming at the beach. I want to give a summary of our trip to help you plan your very own trip down South!

How to get there:
We drove down from Taipei.  We should have traveled Highway 3 the whole way, really.  You can also take Highway 1 to Jiayi and then switch.  It had been many years since my husband had been down South, so he didn't realise Highway 3 now extends to Pingdong.  It would have taken us about 4 1/2 hours had we driven the right way.  We also had our dog with us, so we stopped at a few rest areas along the way, taking more time.

Some things along the way:
Rest areas have come a long way since I last visited. They are like shopping malls now!

View from rest area

Not much traffic on Highway 3.
When we got there:

It was already dark when we arrived.  We had our rather large dog with us, so our accomodation options were limited by that, but we still had quite a few options.  It is low season right now, and midweek you can get some fantastic deals on rooms.  We got a room with three double-beds and a balcony for the dog for $1,600 overlooking the ocean.

The second day:
We found a place at Banana Bay that was just wonderful, for under $3,000.  That included four full cooked breakfasts, and a beautiful suite with two double beds.  Then, we went for a day at the beach. 

"Sea View B&B" at Banana Bay (海景民宿)
(08)885-15600/0928-957-600 Ruby; facebook/海景民宿

Day Three:
On our third morning, we merely enjoyed our breakfast, and then headed back North around noon.  We took Highway 3 back most of the way.  There is less traffic and it is a more scenic drive.

This trip, my husband drove down. I had been hestitant because of the distance and highway traffic, but actually it is now really easy! And don't worry about accomodation during the low season.   There are so many places to choose from! 

If you can read some Chinese, you will find this site helpful in selecting accomodation before you go.

Winter Break 2012: See What's On Offer At Parent's Place

If you are on Facebook, sign up to "Parent's Place" (in Neihu), and wait expectantly for announcements regarding activities coming up after the official Chinese New Year break. All going well, there will be the following workshops for school-age children:
*Animal Care
... and more.

These promise to be very affordable, and fun, too!