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 26th 2018
Where are you taking the family this weekend?
It's the last month of winter, finally. I for one will be looking forward to the warmer weather which means uncancelled weekend picnics, sun-kissed bedsheets straight off the lines, and no constantly damp towels. Now, on to the more important things: weekend free events for the family. Yay.
Rebels, Radicals, and Pathfinders are three free exhibitions in the Arr Gallery of WA for the second semester of 2018. I used to think that this place is for seriously arty people or those rich enough to fork out a large amount of money for artwork, but have since found out that I was wrong. The Art Gallery of WA is a family friendly place with activities designed for the little ones and free guided tours (who don't mind little people joining too). For example, in the month of August they have free guided tour focusing on these three exhibitions every Wednesday 11am and Fridays & Saturdays 1pm. If you're already there for the tour, don't forget to stop by the Imagination Room (during opening hours) where you or your young charge can create a mask as they put it "to reveal your wildest, bravest, most radical self." Hmm...
Avon Descent is a tough competition for those people who have trained for it, so if you are not one of them, don't even think about doing it. But as spectators, anyone can join in. In fact, we are positively invited to join in. There are multiple Family Fun Days across the weekend as follow:
Fri, 3 Aug: Avon River Festival – Shire of Northam; 4pm onwards; Bernard Park, Minson Ave, Northam
Sat, 4 Aug: Toodyay International Food Festival – Shire of Toodyay; 10am-4pm; Stirling Park & Duidgee Park, Toodyay
Sun, 5 Aug: Avon Descent Festival – City of Swan; 10am-3pm; Lilac Hill, Caversham
Sun, 5 Aug: Avon Descent Family Fun Day – City of Belmont; 11.30am-3pm; Garvey Park, Fauntleroy Ave; Ascot
Sun, 5 Aug: Avon Descent Finish Line Family Day – City of Bayswater; 11am-6pm; Riverside Gardens, Bayswater
Each of the above would have a direct view to the river, race commentaries, food trucks, family entertainment, and more. So why not pick one (or more) and join in the fun.
Sat, 11 Aug; 10am-3pm Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Burvill Court, Kensington
National Science Week is from 11-19 August this year. Unfortunately, the Perth Science Festival is no longer a free event like last year and there's a fee of $10,- to enter Claremont Showground on the 18th and 19th of August (pre-purchased online tickets only). There are however still free science-related events out there, including this one. The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre Open Day will be having an Open Day on Saturday 11 August . This is your chance to find out what on earth a supercomputer really is. But, there will be family fun for those less scientifically inclined too, including the usual food available for purchase and face painting. There's a free tour to enter the supercomputer area, for which you must pre-book online here.
University Open Days
Sun, 12 Aug
Various locations, see below
University Open Days are more than just a recruitment drive for new students. It's also an opportunity to take a peek behind doors that are generally closed on other days of the year, to find out more about what they do, what new discoveries and science is out there, and to have some family fun for free. Curtin and Murdoch Universities are doing their open days in July this year, but we still have two big unis doing it in August as following:
I have taken a closer look at the ECU Open Day program and just for example, some of the activities the whole family would be able to enjoy include: Motion Capture Animation Demonstrations (12-2pm; Building 10, Level 2, Room 10.2310), Glass Design Demonstrations (All Day; Building 5, Level 1, Room 5.108), Film and Video Presentation (All Day; Building 6, Level 1, Room 6.113), and Be a Radio Presenter (All Day; Building 13, Level 1). There are more of course, so check out the programs in each website (links above) and pick your favourite activities.
Children Book Week is a wonderful event reminding us of the importance of books in children's lives. Schools generally have their own things, such as a day where kids can wear their favourite character's costume. But for preschool kids and for the weekends, there are always the libraries. Just as examples, the following are some library events happening for Children's Book Week. But the easiest way to go would be to head to your nearest library and ask.
Find your treasure (1-31 Aug; City of Perth Library, 573 Hay Street, Perth): Write a review of a book during August to go in the draw to win a Children's Book Week shortlisted book. To enter, see the staff on Level 4.
Find Your Treasure with Captain Boots (18 Aug; 10.30-11.30am; Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre, 3 Rocco Way, Wanneroo): An interactive story adventure. Booking online here
Pyjama Storytime: 23 Aug; 6-7 pm; Osborne Library, 9 Royal St, Osborne Park): Event for children aged 0-6 years. Bring your favourite teddy and wear your pyjamas. Pizza will be provided. Booking online here
As a final reminder, if your local library is not open on the weekends, head out to the State Library of WA. They have a wonderful children area as well as area for older kids and adults to hang out.