Want to get the kids off their devices but missed the Melbourne Show because it was just too expensive? Head to the Kyneton Show an experience a traditional country show with hours of free activities to wear out the kids – at old-fashioned prices. It might be the most affordable show in the state with a family pass just $30 for two adults and four children – just $50 for a 2 day pass. We’ve got rides and showbags but you don’t have to spend a cent once you’re in the gate if you’re on a budget.

Friday night carnival

At the Friday night carnival, try your hand at the art of whip cracking, with free lessons in how to wield a whip plus cracking demonstrations. Check out all the different kinds of utes on show on the oval and bring your mates for lasertag in the haybales and the Meltdown wipeout challenge – all FREE. Who’ll win the trophy for staying on the bucking bull the longest? Be the first to see who’s best in show when the winners in the pavilion competition are revealed at 6pm. The pavilion is open till 8.30pm – then head over to grab a spot in the grandstand or around the oval for the best view of our famous fireworks at 9pm.]

Show Day

Saturday is the traditional Show Day. The big pavilion is open all day, perfumed by the competition for champion rose. Come and see all sorts of clever craft and amazing art then keep exploring to see all the animals on show: alpacas, stud sheep and pure-bred poultry; calves, cows and bulls on parade and all kinds of horses, big and small, strutting their stuff on the oval, plus the biggest dog show outside the Royal Melbourne. Or bring your own creature and enter the super cute pet parade – all free. Find out all about farming, and ask a farmer anything you want to know about agriculture, with This Farm Needs A Farmer’s mini-field day. This year you can also get up close and personal with magnificent birds of prey with displays of these powerful raptors in flight if the weather’s right.Saturday is also the best for younger children with hours of free activities in the craft tent and The Farm Shed where they can learn while they make all sorts of things to take home for free! Watch sheep shearing demonstrations, guess “Whose Poo?” or make a milk bottle into a planter to take home to watch your free seeds grow. Make your own truck, or your own invention, in The Farm Shed and watch the Sunbury Woodworkers’ Club demonstrate the art of woodturning as they craft wooden whistles – to give away! Cuddle a chick, a lamb and more in the animal nursery with our favourite farmer – Farmer Darryl. Our crazy bike man Paddy O’Sullivan is back too and this year he’s created an amazing agricultural cycling contraption, just for us! If you’re looking for a gentler ride, there are free pony rides or wear out the adventurers in your family with our farm-inspired parkour and a separate obstacle course for the little ones to clamber over. All of this and more, free once you’re in the gate!

Anyone can enter the pavilion competition for Best in Show

There are categories for absolutely everyone, young and old, the whole family, from home-made salami to best selfie or decorated pet rock, with categories for art and craft, all sorts of cooking and photography, flowers, fleeces and home grown produce, creative writing or your chook’s eggs, with free entry for children under 16.

It really is a strange thrill to discover you’ve won but don’t avoid entering because you don’t think your specialty is show quality. It’s all about participating – and no-one knows if you don’t win: Only winners’ work is identified. It’s also a chance to ask the knowledgeable stewards for tips and insights into what the judges are looking for. What makes a champion rose? How can I bake a fluffier sponge or grow champion vegies next year? In the new home brew competition, judges will provide notes on each entry so don’t miss out on the chance to get expert feedback on your beer.

The show office is open every day from Thursday November right through to the cut off for entries at 6.30pm on Tuesday November 12 so there’s plenty of time to drop off your entries and avoid that last minute rush. Make sure you check the website for important entry details for each section.

How to get here

Find out what’s happening in the Macedon Ranges this month