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 September 18th 2018
Where are you taking the family this school holiday?
I love the spring school holidays the most. The weather is warmer and yet evenings are still cool enough for campfires. Events also start popping up in earnest, so there's no shortage of what you could do with kids with practically no cost - just a bit of time and effort. Below are five of them, some require more efforts than others, but definitely worth looking into.
Free new movies at the cinema, this is definitely a very good event to do with your kids. Movies on offer are Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, Christopher Robin, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Smallfoot, and Johnny English Strikes Again. If you work full time, it is unfortunately not possible for you as it's a weekday only event. But if you don't, then go for it. Tickets for week 1 are already released at the time of writing and going fast. If you're too late for that, go for week 2 then. Secure your tickets here.
I can not get tired of promoting this event. It's a great day out for a warm spring day. There are extra events if you come in September, but they don't really pluck out all the beautiful flowers on 1st October, so you could still go for a picnic or enjoy the view on the 2nd week of holiday, just without the extra activities. Some of the free activities are (use link above to see the full program):
Guided walks: There are three 1.5hours walks every day, guided by volunteers: 10-11.30am is "Botanic Garden Treasures" walk; 12-1.30pm and 2-3.30pm are "Bushland and Wildflowers" walks. You don't need to register, just rock up ready for the walk at the starting point outside Aspects of Kings Park Shop, Fraser Avenue (unless you're a group of 10 or more, in which case you need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 9480 3634).
Botanic Base: The lawn outside Aspects of Kings Park Shop becomes a picnic zone on weekends in September. There will be lawn games and acoustic musicians to serenade us (at 10.30-11.15 am, 11.30 am-12.15 pm, and 1-1.45 pm).
Adorables Florables: If you have kids young enough to appreciate a good costume, then make time to meet the Adorables Florables. They walk around the Botanic Garden on Sunday 23 Sep 10:30am-1:30pm.
Awesome Festival has been quite faithful in entertaining us during spring school holidays of the past few years. Similar to last year, the opening weekends 28-29 Sep will be held at UWA Campus, Crawley; whereas the bulk of the festival will be at Perth Cultural Centre. Some of their offerings are free and some are not. Some samples of the free ones:
Awesome Pop Up Activities (Fri 28 Sep, Sat 29 Sep; 10am-3pm; UWA Campus): Various pop-up activities such as writing a postcard to someone, building a city in the imagination playground, or learning to write a poem.
Cause and Effect Tinkerspace (Mon 1-Sun 7 Oct; 10am-3pm; Perth Cultural Centre): Jens Altheimea r will set up tent in front of the WA museum to build a chain-reaction machine in which the cause and effect principles are explored. There are some ticketed workshops and performances associated with this but the Tinker Space is free with registration on the day.
Game Theory (Fri 28-Sat 29 Sept at UWA Campus; Tue 2-Sun 7 Oct at Perth Cultural Centre; 10:00am, 12:00pm & 1:30pm): This is a dance performance with two male dancers dancing in unison, which begins with a game of hopscotch, and full of repeating sequences with precision.
There are more of course, see their full program here.
A family gathering does not have to be elaborate and expensive. It could be as simple as a picnic in the park or a play in the playground, although the question is: which park or playground would be best at any given time. And at this time, do consider Kings Square or Cathedral Square. They do not have a huge rolling lawn like Kings Park, but currently until 14 Oct they have something special: a set of swings or flowers which light up and glow when it's dark. The flowers are available for viewing between 9am-11pm daily at Cathedral Square although naturally they would look best at night; whereas the swings are available for use at Kings Square between noon and 8pm and what's more, a DJ will be playing music at Kings Square each Saturday night between 5-8pm while these events are on. So why not plan your next family gathering in the city, you would be rewarded with a glowing family photo :)
Lots of kids nowadays would be more familiar with digital rather than real world, online tool rather than real tools. This is your chance to make them a bit more familiar with various tools that are actually used in the real world, from art as well as practical use point of view, either in the past or present time. The event itself actually runs until November, including some exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and performances; but some of the activities are only on for a day or a few hours, so you have to choose one that suits you best. Some of the free events you could go to during the school holiday (use link above for full program):
Midland Open Day (Sun, 7 Oct; 11am-2pm; Midland Junction Arts Centre, 276 Great Eastern Hwy, Midland)