The organiser of the festival has already done a very good job in making the festival program easy to access and understand. So there's really no need for anyone including me to re-invent the wheel and repeat that effort.
What this article would endevour then is to list down all those part of the programs which are free of charge (some require bookings), grouped based on location and then listed in chronological order:
State Library of WA
This Is Where I Am (3-16 Oct 10am-4pm, except Sundays 11am-4pm): Awesome Festival is just one of the activities organised by the Awesome Arts Team. At other times, they have other things going on too, for example visiting remote WA communities to allow regional young people to also engage in arts. Their artworks under the theme "This Is Where I Am" will be showcased in this space. (Age 5 up)
The Lynley Dodd Story Exhibition (Sat 3 Oct 11am-5pm, 4-12 Oct 10am-5pm): Dame Lynley Dodd is most renowned for her Hairy Maclairy books, however she did write other stories too. This is an exhibition of her artworks and other artefacts. (Age 5 up)
Rivertime Book Club With Trace Balla (The Place; Mon 5 Oct & Sat 10 Oct, 10.30-11.15am): Rivertime is a story about a boy and his uncle on a trip down Glenelg River. In this book club event, author Trace Balla will share how she wrote and illustrated the book. (Age 5 up)
Story Time With Josh Earl (The Place; Wed 7 Oct & Fri 9 Oct, 10.30-11.20am): Josh Earl is a comedian who also dabbles in music and literature, so he's the perfect guy to tell a story that makes big and little kids LOL. Booking required online. (Age 4-10)
Story Time With Emily Lim (Mon 12 Oct 10.30-11.30am): Emily Lim is the author of children books with titles including "Prince Bear and Rusty Pear" and "The Tale of Rusty Horse." In this story time, she will read one of her books and we can learn more about how and why she wrote them too. (Age 3-6)
The Urban Orchard
Playgroup is Awesome (3-12 Oct 10am-2pm): This space is hosted by Playgroup WA and they know what they're doing and talking about, so head there to let the little ones have a play while you find out more about playgroups. (Age under 5)
Better Beginnings Books-To-Go (3-12 Oct 10am-4pm): Faithful visitors to the State Library of WA would already be familiar with this form of making a simple book without any glue or staples required. If you're one of them, spread the news and let other families have a go at creating a book for themselves or for others to enjoy. (Age under 5)
Perth Cultural Centre
The Cubbyhouse Project (3-12 Oct 10am-4pm): This is another great collaboration between WA children, this time with DADAA's Be Active program and other artists. The resulting cubbyhouse take its inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, so be prepared for something quirky and imaginative. (Age 5-17)
Inner Worlds Installation (4-12 Oct 10am-4pm): Look out for seemingly common outdoor rubbish bins throughout the festival as each of these are actually an imaginary world waiting to be discovered. (All ages)
Pyjama Day with 720ABC Live (Tue 6 Oct): Tuesday 6 October is designated as PJ Day in Awesome Festival and that means you're requested to turn up in your best pyjamas. 720ABC's Afternoons show will broadcast live from 1-3pm, including artist interviews (in front of the big screen) and interactive fun with the audience. (All ages).
Bella and The Wandering House Book Launch (Seagull Tent; Sun 11 Oct 10.30-11.30pm): Meg McKinlay is a familar name to any book-loving Australian kid and she will be launching her new book right here in Perth Cultural Centre. Very exciting stuff. Booking required online or call 9328 9666 during business hours. If you decide to buy a copy of the book, hang around after the book launch and she'll sign it for you. (All ages)
Other Locations in Perth Cultural Centre
I Love My Museum (WA Museum; 28 Sep-9 Oct 10am-3pm): WA Museum is developing a new museum and they want to know what are the things you love to visit in the current one. Is it the butterflies? The dinosaur? The meteorites? You're invited to draw or write about your favourite WA Museum Object in this space. (All Ages)
A Matter of Factory (Turner Galleries, 470 William St., Northbridge; 6-10 Oct 11am-5pm): This is a visual art exhibition depicting tensions related to industrialisation. Despite its bleak theme, the artworks are children-friendly with cardbroad structures and stop-motion animations being the major parts of it. (All ages)
Treasure Ships (Art Gallery of WA; 10-11 Oct 10am-4pm): This is a family opening weekend for AGWA exhibition titled "Treasure Ships: Art in the Ages of Spices." This special event will allow families to participate in creative and fun activities including painting with spices, map-making, and shadow puppet performance. Activities are free, however there's a fee for exhibition entry. The exhibition itself will continue until 31 January 2016. (Age 5 up)
Having looked at the above great offerings, I would just hasten to add that many other ticketed events as part of the festival are actually not that expensive, for example a story time with Jay Laga'aia (former Playschool presenter) reading a Hairy Maclary story costs $10,- per ticket while Illustration Workshop with James Foley costs $15,- per person. Can you imagine that, getting illustration lesson from the illustrator of The Last Viking for the whole hour, only for $15,-? That's surely worth it for any budding illustrator out there. Many other events or workshops are ticketed at under $25,- per person.
So sure, go to all of the free events, but to support our artists and arts community and at the same time give our kids a treat during the school holiday, why not pick a few of the ticketed events too. So it's a win-win for all involved. Yay.