Brisbane writer and busy mum of two boys. See my parenting articles at www.brisbaneschild.com.au and www.kidsonthecoast.com.au.
The Art with Altitude festival will hit Brisbane's Airport Village from 24 August to 2 September, featuring giant art installations and plenty of theatre, circus and art workshops -- all for free.
If you're not quite sure where Airport Village is, it's the shopping precinct on the way to the airport, probably best-known as the location of the DFO (Direct Factory Outlets). For the 10 days of the festival, the village will also become home to an exciting contemporary art festival that promises to be fun for all ages.
Public artworks at the festival will include giant inflatable portals, canopies of colour, and even a series of turfed platforms where you can lie back and watch the planes fly by.
There'll also be totem-style Aboriginal artworks from North Queensland's Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre, and an interactive work by Brisbane Design Studio, Inkahoots.
The Inkahoots project invites visitors to use their mobile phones to complete the iconic phrase, "I still call Australia..."
If you're visiting on the weekend, you can enjoy a range of live performances. Grin and Tonic Theatre Company will present Stradbroke Dreamtime, blending Indigenous songs, dances and stories from Stradbroke Island. They'll also perform Warning: Small Parts, featuring bugs, a talking armadillo, green sausages, and lots of natural artefacts for children to touch and examine.
Roving performances will come from Brisbane's much-loved Flipside Circus, and you might also be lucky enough to catch a set from local bands The Bandito Folk, Panda and the Bear, or Avaberée.
And, if your kids want to get hands on, there'll be free children's art workshops running all day on Saturday and Sunday. Kids of all ages (and probably some keen grown-ups) can use recycled materials to create their own funky airplane.
You don't need to book for anything, and it's all free, thanks to Brisbane Airport Corporation. If (like me), you've never been to Airport Village, the festival might be the incentive you need to try the new Airport Link road. Or you could catch the Air Train to the International Airport and then get a free courtesy bus to Airport Village.
However you get there, the festival promises some high-energy, arty fun -- even if you never leave the ground.