The Nottinghill Carnival in West London is one of my all time favourite events – many happy (pre-baby) memories. The best bit by far is The Good Times Bus with DJ Norman Jay playing anything from The Clash to old-school dance classics. It does what it says on the tin and reminds me of the good times – when I was younger, child-free and could go clubbing!

When The Sydney Festival guide came through my letter box – great graphics by the way – I felt sad. I flicked through it thinking my cultural days are over and I can’t go to any of these events with a child.  But…then I saw the CHILD FRIENDLY badge. Brilliant. I can take Gabriella to see Norman Jay. We have to leave by 5pm but I don’t mind as she will be hungry by then anyway and I will have had my fix.

The Good Times Bus is part of the FESTIVAL FIRST NIGHT – Saturday January 7, 2012. DJ Norman Jay will park his iconic double-decker bus in Hyde Park, from 3pm for marathon eight hour set. Children must leave by 5pm.

Babies and Toddlers recommends looking at the guide and double checking times and age suitability but the Ferrython – where the ferries are decorated and race in the harbour on Australia Day – would be enjoyed any age group; there is a special family performance of Animagica in The Famous Spiegeltent – suitable for over 5s; The Art Gallery of NSW has various child-friendly activities as part of its major Picasso exhibition and there are lots of family events worth a visit.

The 2012 Sydney Festival runs from January 7-29, 2012
Check out Sydney Festival 2012 for the full program and bookings.