The Oakleigh Christmas Gift Guide 2017
Happy festive season!
While you wrap up your end of 2017 with festive cheer and break-up parties, don’t let the stress of last-minute gift buying take away your joy.
If you’re struggling for Christmas gift ideas for your loved ones, we’ve got some great ideas for all those special people in your life.
Stay close to home with our pick of gifts you can pick up locally in Oakleigh.
Does mum have a green thumb? Oakleigh Flowers offers free delivery in the Oakleigh area and they’ve got a great selection of native flowers, roses, pot plants and bouquets.
If she’d rather be spoilt in the gourmet way, you could book a table at Richmond Oysters and sample the seafood selection.
Why not treat dad to a delicious feast of Greek foods at Cypriot Street Grill, which serves home-made Cypriot dishes in a warm and authentic setting?
Another gift option for dad could be a custom-made piece of jewellery or watch band from Takis Jewellery.
For the dad who likes an experience as a gift, treat him to an adult karate lesson at Deshi-do Martial Arts.
For your (grown up) siblings
If your brother plays soccer or footy, Football Galaxy has a great selection of gear for players and supporters. If his 2018 resolution is to get fit, maybe he’d like a personal training or kickboxing session from Challenge Fitness?
Nobody is going to turn down a mani-pedi treat from Fantastic Paris Nails, and for an even more decadent gift for your sister, why not give her a gift certificate to Koh Feel Wellbeing for a traditional Thai or relaxing Swedish massage, followed by a plate of fresh fruit and tea in the reception area. If your sister is a little adventurous, you could buy her a voucher for an acrobatic class at Cirque Fit – how fun!
For the kids
For active kids, perhaps a ticket to Oakleigh’s EscapeXperience could be a fun gift option. Children under 16 need to be supervised by adults so if you’re buying the gift for a youngster, be sure to include a ticket for a parent or talk to the EscapeXperience team about their options for a facilitator and bookings for children under the age of 10.
Games Workshop has some great board games to choose from to keep the kids entertained over the holiday season.
For friends or co-workers
W & Ying Gifts is great for those last-minute Kris Kringle ideas and inexpensive gifts for co-workers or friends.
For those craft-loving friends, they’re sure to enjoy something from Craftee Cottage. The shop sells everything from yarn to crochet hook sets to embroidery kits.
Oakleigh community groups encouraged to apply for grants
Community groups in Oakleigh that promote community wellbeing and social inclusion can now apply for the 2018-19 Monash Community Grants Program.
The program provides $2.5 million in cash and in-kind support for local projects that foster health and community wellbeing in Oakleigh and surrounds.
The grants program was formed to provide funding to local organisations to deliver community-based services, programs, projects and events.
Whether it’s access to a sporting facility that encourages Oakleigh residents to get active and social or a smaller project that focuses on a certain demographic of the Oakleigh community, funding is available across a range of categories.
The six categories for grants funding are:
- Community strengthening
- Community partnerships (specialist services and Neighbourhood Houses)
- Positive ageing
- Arts and cultural projects
- Community events
- Major festivals.
Perhaps you’re working with Oakleigh school children who speak English as a second language or maybe you want to start a local cooking group that makes meals for elderly residents.
You could also have an idea for an annual community-based event that strengthens Oakleigh’s social networks, such as a sporting day or group event.
The grants also provide in-kind support such as the use of facilities including hire of community halls, fields and other council-owned spaces.
Council’s community grants team will host free information sessions throughout October to provide first-time applicants with details of the program.
Past recipients have received funding and in-kind support for a number of community engagement initiatives.
Submissions for this funding round open on Monday, October 30 and close Friday, December 8. For further details visit the Monash Council website or phone (03) 9518 3649.
Guide to desserts and sweet treats in Oakleigh
Sometimes a meal just isn’t complete without a dessert.
Luckily, for those with a sweet tooth, Oakleigh has some of the best cake and sweet treat shops in Melbourne.
Whether its donuts, a special occasion cake or nibble of baklava you’re after, we’ve done the leg-work and put together some of our top picks for your next sweet craving.
Here’s where you can find desserts and sweet treats in Oakleigh:
The Oakleigh Doughnut Co
Brothers Nic and Yani started this homemade doughnut shop based on their grandmother’s recipe.
Think delicious donuts made in small batches, served with great coffee and deluxe hot chocolates and milkshakes. What’s not to like?
The Oakleigh Doughnut Co is the place to go for a sweet treat – choose from a selection of twenty flavours, including the popular Oreo Crème, classics like salted caramel or the more unusual Halva Nice Day.
For a super-sweet spin on gooey, delicious, old-school desserts, try St. Gerry’s.
You’ll have your deep fried sweet treat (they make a mean doughnut) served up with a generous dollop of sweet sauce or cream.
Got a late-night hankering? Their dessert bar is open until 11pm daily.
If it’s crepes you’re after, head down to Me Gousto. The restaurant offers 18 different types of crepes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
From Nutella to peanut butter, crème bougatsa and chocolate banana, their desserts are the bomb. The venue is licensed and open til late.
Oakleigh has such a thriving Greek community that you can take your pick for sweet treats and stylish Hellenic interiors that make you feel like you’re on holiday in the Aegean Sea.
For a slightly thicker version of the French variety of crepe, head to Mykonos Taverna.
The beautifully decorated venue means you’ll momentarily feel like you’re enjoying a sweet treat in the Greek isles.
Nikos Quality Cakes
As one of Melbourne’s leading cake suppliers, Oakleigh residents are lucky to have this sweet treat stalwart on their doorstep.
Open 7 days a week, Nikos Quality Cakes is perfect for an afternoon coffee and cake.
They also offer cake catering and cater to weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.
We’ve raved about this local, family-run business before, and Vanilla Lounge is top of the list for Greek sweet specialties such as baklava, bougatsa and assorted pastries and cakes.
The restaurant also has a lounge serving meals, coffee and snacks until late, and they cater to the classic cake crowd with New York baked cheesecake, cupcakes, Ferrero sweet treats and much more.
Oakleigh’s Scammell Reserve to get pavilion upgrade
Oakleigh’s sporting community is set to enjoy a complete rebuild of the Scammell Reserve pavilion, with Monash Council supporting a multi-million-dollar upgrade to the facility.
The 30-year-old pavilion is currently home to six sporting clubs, with more than 1000 members combined.
People from Oakleigh and surrounding neighborhoods regularly use its facilities, and on busy days, junior members regularly spill out of the bustling rooms.
The upgrades to the pavilion mean that female members of the local sporting clubs will get their own change rooms and toilets.
Monash Council has been working on securing funding for the project for many years, with a recent State Government contribution of $500,000 supporting a more expansive refurbishment.
Confirmed upgrades to the busy sporting hub include repositioning the pavilion to ensure safer movement to the sporting field for spectators and junior players, and a walking track around the reserve.
More storage and upgraded grounds will mean more members of the Oakleigh community can enjoy the green space.
“One of the many projects we’ve been working on is the long-awaited pavilion upgrade at Scammell Reserve in Oakleigh” said Monash mayor Rebecca Paterson.
“This $2.84 million project will be a fantastic addition to the reserve and council is happy to be providing this excellent facility to the local community,” she said.
The upgrade will also include more modern rooms, improved spectator views, and a large multi-purpose community meeting space.
Scammell Reserve is one of the more popular sporting and community hubs in Monash, and the local community has been calling for the changes since 2014.
Works on the pavilion and surrounding Scammell Reserve are expected to be completed by mid-2018.
Image thanks to Monash Council.
Discover winter 2017 school holiday activities in Oakleigh
The winter school holidays are here, and cold (and wet!) weather often poses a challenge to finding ways to keep the kids entertained.
But there’s no need to venture too far – Oakleigh has got you covered.
Here are some fun options for school holiday activities that will keep the kids entertained and won’t take you too far from home.
Take on a challenge at EscapeXperience
For a physically and mentally challenging experience, the perfect rainy-day activity for a group of kids is on offer at escapeXperience in Oakleigh.
Each ‘themed room’ gives real-life scenarios and puzzles that players need to solve under time pressure in order to find their way out.
This highly interactive and adventurous experience is ideal for who want to try something new and fun.
Get creative at Oakleigh Central
The kids can channel their creativity at a free painting workshop at Oakleigh Central these school holidays. The sessions will run daily from 11am – 2pm from Monday, July 10 to Friday, July 14. The craft station will be located near Woolworths within the centre.
Try go karting and laser tag
Sidetracked in Oakleigh has an activity to please even the most picky of kids – choose from go karting, laser tag, ten-pin bowling, dodgem cars, video games and mini golf.
The other great thing is it’s an enclosed complex, so it’s a great option for school holidays in winter when the weather can be wet.
Get your skates on
As the cold weather sets in, it seems fitting to turn our attention to winter sports, including the ice rink.
Cue the Olympic Ice Skating Centre in Oakleigh – the perfect winter school holiday activity to use up some energy.
While the rink is open for public skating sessions during selected week days, disco skating on Saturday nights are particularly fun, with music and lights from 8.30pm.
Learn about local history on the Oakleigh Historical Walk
For all those history buffs, this 3.5 kilometre walk will teach you about the early beginnings of Oakleigh and take you through key local landmarks.
Ideal for dry days, the Oakleigh Historical Walk will take you to Oakleigh Memorial Park, the stone commemorating the settlement of Oakleigh, the Egyptian Church established in 1928 and much more.
Go to a park or reserve
Perhaps one of the simplest (and cheapest) school holiday activities in Oakleigh is to visit one of the numerous parks or reserves to kick the footy or enjoy a picnic.
Try Warrawee Park if you have young children – a flash new playground was recently upgraded courtesy of Monash council. Or try the Oakleigh Cricket club for a spot of cricket.
For more ideas on how you can spend the school holidays outdoors, take a look at our guide to parks, playgrounds and reserves in Oakleigh.