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 December 27th 2013
Weekends and school holidays all covered
Free Activities in Perth - January 2014
Image source: Summerset Arts Festival's website
Happy New Year, everyone! It's good to be here in 2014. With the time just right to make resolutions, what about a resolution to spend more time with families and friends. It doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, there doesn't need to be any cost at all (except for transportation), as Perth and its surrounding suburbs are quite generous in providing free activities and events to the communities.
We don't have to go far to find examples or evidences. This article lists down free activities for the whole month of January. They're summarised in the calendar so you can easily find the ones that suit your free time. Read their short descriptions, click the link provided to find out more if you're interested, and go out there and enjoy.
PS: Australia Day of course is the biggest community celebration in January. However there are so many events in this one day that they can't fit into this article. Look out for another article dedicated to Australia Day.
When: Sat, 18 Jan, 6.45-9.30pm Where: Caledonia Park, Currambine More info here
On Sat 18 Jan evening, we can expect The Audreys, Nathan Gaunt and Dilip n' the Davs to entertain us. Prior to the live music, there will be children's entertainment starting 6pm.
This section is for events or activities that are on everyday for the duration of its life. It's usually, but not always, an exhibition of some sort. Exhibitions in this day and age though, do not mean that you can only observe and watch. In all of the events below, there are opportunities for people of different ages to interact with the surroundings.
Picture a Story
When: Everyday in January except New Year's Day Where: State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre.
More info here
A page from the 'Picture a Story' Activity Booklet
A picture paints a thousand words, and it's especially true in a children book. As young children can't read, the pictures are the ones evoking all the emotions that accompany the reading by Mom or Dad. And we're lucky that someone has been collecting a lot of original illustrations from various children books and very generously donated them to the State Library of WA (SLWA). SLWA has since added to their collections and in this exhibition we could see what the real pictures actually look like before they're committed to book pages. It might surprise you to find out that some of them are much bigger than the books they're in. And SLWA has also printed full-colour activity booklets for children to take with them.
When: Now until 27 Jan
Where: Museum of WA, Perth Cultural Centre.
More info here.
Mimicking some real fashion shows, the "Frock Stars" exhibition travelled all the way from Sydney to make a visiting stop at Perth until 27 January. However unlike real fashion shows, in this exhibition visitors are allowed to go behind the catwalk, for example see what it's like in the design workshops and what might drive fashion buyers. Opportunities to interact come in the form of creative role play. You can pretend you're the fashion designer and create your own garment to dress a paper model.
Life's a Beach
When: Now until 19 Jan Where: James St Amphitheatre, Perth Cultural Centre.
More info here
Perth is not short on beaches, but another one is always welcomed, albeit an artificial one. This one looks like a giant sand pit, but accompanied by beach paraphernalia such as beach toys, deck chairs, and umbrellas. And if you're not into sun bathing, you could always sit under the shade and read as there is a shelf of books and magazines for anyone to borrow (on site only). On Fridays to Sundays there are free activities in the cool hours of the evenings too.
Summerset Arts Festival
When: 24 Jan to 8 Feb Where: Various locations in City of Stirling
More info here
Beach Storytime (Source: Summerset Arts Festival's website)
This annual event starts in the last week of January, providing some free activities for the community:
Australia Day at Scarborough Beach: Sun 26 Jan, 9am-12noon; at Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre
Beach Storytime: Tue 28 Jan, 9.30-10.30am; at Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre
Street & Beach Rhythms Workshops (Workshops for youth 12 years or over in hip hop): Fri 24 Jan (at Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre) & Tue 28 Jan (at Mirrabooka Civic Place) from 5.30-7pm.
Urban Art Workshops (Workshops for youth 12 years or over in graffitti): Wed 29 Jan (at Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre) & Thu 30 Jan (at Mirrabooka Civic Place) from 4-6pm.
Children's Illustration Workshops: Four sessions between 28-30 Jan; at City of Stirling Libraries. Registration required here.
Live in the Amphitheatre Outdoor Cinema
When: Fri, 31 Jan; 7.30pm. Where: The Jacaranda Amphitheatre, 23 Dundebar Rd, Wanneroo
More info here
Other than outdoor music, outdoor cinema is another summer staple for us and this is a fine example of it. City of Wanneroo uses its outdoor amphitheatre for this purpose and you're welcomed to rock up from 6.30pm onwards, with movie expected to be starting when it's properly dark (around 7.30pm). The movie scheduled for 31 January is an Australian classic "The Castle." Nothing beats a satisfyingly feel-good movie about an underdog beating the powers that be.