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Free Family Activities in Perth - August 2016

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by Judith W (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published July 27th 2016
Take the family out this weekend to beat the cold
Term 3 has started with cold weather in Perth and boy, was it cold. But I find that staying at home only makes it feel colder, whereas if I'm out and about, I tend to feel warmer or at least not as cold. So it's an easy decision for me to look for somewhere to take the kids out every weekend instead of just staying at home.

Avon Descent
5-7 Aug
Various locations along the Avon and Swan Rivers

Avon Desent
Image courtesy avondescent.com.au

No, I'm not suggesting Perth families should all attempt the Avon Descent. On the contrary, I suggest you leave it to those who know what they're doing. After all, attempting 124 km downriver over two days through the steep gorges of the Avon Valley before finishing in the Swan River is not a skill you casually pick up through your everyday schooling. But watching it is a different matter altogether and if there are additional fun and entertainment on hand, why not? These are the various locations which combine the excitement of Avon Descent with their local event, in chronological order. Why not indeed.


Perth Science Festival
13-14 August, 10am-4pm
Perth Cultural Center, James St, Perth.

Perth Science Festival

National Science Week is coming soon from 13 to 21 August 2016. As you can probably guess, it's Australia's annual celebration of science and technology. Some exciting events are happening nationally, such as the visit of Steve Wozniak (inventor of the personal computer and Apple co-founder) to share his passion for STEM education. But for us Peth parents who are concerned with providing our kids with the opportunity to discover an interest in science, An Evening with The Woz is not what we're after. My advice: clear your calendar for the weekend of 13-14 August as that's when Perth Science Festival is happening at the Perth Cultural Centre. We can expect the usual suspects to be there to share their scientific know-how with us, including Scitech, various universities, ChemCentre, etc. But there are also new, not seen before stuff, such as the RAC driverless shuttle, biohacker Ellen Jorgensen, and more. So definitely not a festival to miss for any family.

Save the Children Book Sale
19-24 Aug
UWA, Stirling Highway, Crawley (under the clocktower)


My kids discovered the joy of pre-loved books recently when I announced that the fund for buying books would come from their own spending money instead of the bottomless spring of parental credit card. Having limited spending money, it really hurt them to buy Harry Potter or Minecraft books at $15,- a pop (especially since there are series of them and you can't just buy 1 or 2, can you). So I started taking them to Save the Children Book Sales and you can't tear them away from the place. Comic books galore and each to be had for a dollar or less, heavens. If you're lucky, you will also find treasures such as a very nice complete boxed Lord of the Rings series which I found in one of their previous sales. That's why I think UWA is the place to take the family this Aug during these dates. Hours vary, so do check their daily schedule to avoid disappointment.

Vouvou Zazou
Image courtesy of City of Subiaco

sunday@subi
Every Sunday until 21 August, 2-3.30pm
Subiaco Arts Centre, 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco


The City of Subiaco's winter concert series will finish this month so the following are the last chance of the year for us to enjoy these free, indoor concerts. This month's line-up includes a variety of genres to suit different musical tastes. Tickets are available from 1.15pm at the venue on the day of the concert. They are allocated one per person until no more.


And lastly, in light of the National Science Week, to spark our interest in science and technology, here's a question for you: What is the difference between a robot and a 'droid' (sometimes called an 'android')? If you think of Star Wars movies when you hear the word 'droid,' you're not far off. A robot is a computer that has a programmable brain so it can undertake physical work. A droid or android is a type of robot that is built in a human form. So C-3PO, BB-8 and R2-D2 are droids as they have basic human form (head, body, arms). We do have droids in real-life world, such as R2 (Robonaut 2) belonging to NASA but their capabilities are nowhere near as 'human' as their fictional counterpart yet. So there... we learn something new everyday.
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When: In the month of August 2016.
Where: In and around Greater Perth.
Cost: Free.
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