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.
Family-friendly free events on every weekend
Winter is officially here but despite the cold dawns, we still have plenty of sunshine during the days. So make use of them by taking your family out on weekends and join these free activities. The calendar gives you an overview of the month while the details are listed below.
As a tradition that started just last year (on the first WA Day ever), Perth Racing will open its gates to the public for free as part of WA Day celebration. This year, there will be family friendly entertainment including jazz bands, face painting, bouncy castles and rides. If you're into the races, you can check this website for the horse race schedule for the day.
Diamond Jubilee Festival Service When: Sun, 2 Jun, 5pm Where: St. George's Cathedral, Perth. Website:www.perthcathedral.org
On 2 June 1953 Queen Elizabeth II was anointed and crowned "of Australia…and of all her other realms and dominions, Queen". On this Diamond Jubilee, St George's Cathedral Consort, directed by Joseph Nolan, will perform music from her coronation service that many years ago at the Westminster Abbey, London. The repertoire includes Handel's Zadok the Priest, Parry's I was Glad, Vaughan William's O Taste and See, and Walton's Crown Imperial. After the free service, there will be a three course dinner with Sir William Heseltine (former Private Secretary to the Queen) as a guest speaker. Tickets for dinner are $60 per person (BYO wine) and could be purchased from the Cathedral Office at 38 St George's Terrace, Perth.
City of Perth WA Day Celebrations When: Mon, 3 Jun Where: Forrest Place (11am-3pm) and Perth Cultural Centre (10am-5pm) Website:www.celebratewa.com.au
Families are spoiled for choice this WA Day with two great celebrations happening on the day. The celebration of WA Day in Perth City focuses in Forrest Place with family entertainment and activities such as kids carnival rides, bouncy castle, mini-golf, an animal farm, a climbing wall, face painters, live entertainers, and balloon art (I have a feeling this is the same guy that did the monthly Piazzarama, so take note that the wait will be long but the result will be so much better than your average carnival balloon guy). Over the horse shoe bridge at Perth Cultural Centre, the theme for the day is "Come Out and Play" and activities will include origami wishing boats, yarn artworks, roving 'Aqua Sapiens', face painting (with Endangered Animals theme) and a bouncy castle. Free activities are also to be had in the neighbouring Art Gallery of WA and WA Museum. Choices, choices.
City of Gosnells' library is inviting Scitech to come and demonstrate the science of temperature. If you think the weather outside is cold, then be prepared as this event will make you even colder. Suitable for kids 7-12 years and booking required at 9391 6000 or 9251 8761.
Ferrara Park Family Fun Day When: Sun, 9 Jun, 10.30am-12.30pm Where: Ferrara Park, Girrawheen Website:www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au
Family Fun Day at the park is a bit thin on the ground in winter, so I'm very happy to note the existence of this one. The City of Wanneroo is celebrating the revitalisation of Ferrara Park with this event and the activities will include baby farm animals, face painting, sports, art and craft, community planting, environmental workshops, and a free sausage sizzle.
This is a friendly competition between three brass bands (the Royal Agricultural Society of WA, the Salvation Army and the City of Canning Brass Bands) and the audience will be the overall winner with 3 hours of free entertainment by more than 100 musicians. There will be food and drink available, seating for the audience, and the venue is wheel chair accessible.
From War to Remembrance's Family Day When: Sun, 16 Jun, 10am-3.30pm Where: State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre. Website:www.slwa.wa.gov.au
From War to Remembrance is an exhibition that focuses on the history of the RSL in Western Australia. It includes art installations, interactive displays and a selection of objects and photographs. On this special Family Day event, kids will be able to participate in building memorials out of Lego bricks and poppies out of paper. The WA Brick Society give us an excellent example by building their Lego replica of the State War Memorial. You could also try to make your own poppy at home by looking at this instruction.
When: Sun, 23 Jun, 10am-4pm. Where: Winthrop Hall, University of WA, Crawley. Website:www.perthupmarket.com.au
Perth Upmarket is a quarterly market for original and handcrafted wares that has over 150 vendors. There is a dedicated Junior Upmarket and also a gourmet section. It's held at the beautifully located UWA Crawley campus, so you could kill two birds with one stone if you wish; do your exercise by walking along the Swan River and visit this market at the same time.
This is a rare opportunity indeed: a free hands-on workshop where all the materials and tools are supplied, not to mention the expertise. The reason for this generosity? The WA Bead Guild would like to promote their craft of bead work and so you can make use of this event not only to learn new skills directly from their expert members, but also to make beautiful jewellery to take home and wear. Bookings are essential at 9397 3099.
National Tree Day
When: Sun, 30 Jun, 9am-12pm Where: Janis Street Reserve, Cnr Clipper Way & McLarty Rd, Halls Head. Website:www.mandurah.wa.gov.au
Winter is the traditional time for community planting and on this National Tree Day event, there will predictably be community tree planting. But more than that, there will also be children's activities, native garden advice and plant give-aways, free sausage sizzle, and raffle prize draw.