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 October 29th 2014
In case of good weather
The weather is a bit funny this October. It's been snowing and hailing and storming in quite unlikely proportion in different parts of Australia. However that shouldn't be any deterrents for families to have fun. After all, other than outdoor there's also indoor fun.
Being the optimistic bunch of people that we are, we should still arm ourselves with this list of weekend family friendly activities that we could do, you know, in case the weather's good.
Halloween is officially at the end of October. However the first weekend of November this year we can still be scared silly by attending the following events:
Mexican Day of the Dead (Sat, 1 Nov; 3-7pm): Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition of praying and remembering for family members or friends who have died. For Perth's version of this gathering, there will be a display of the traditional altars for the Dead, where the beloved departed can come back for one night to share food and drink with friends and family in a celebration of life. There will also be vintage hearses and other unique vehicles on display. At 5.30pm, Free Flicks for Kids will play the thematically consistent Corpse Bride on the super screen.
Piazzarama Northbridge (Sun, 2 Nov; 12-4pm): As usual, the Piazzarama will kick off with a movie at noon. And the choice of movie this Sunday is Monster, Inc. Although the word monster is supposed to give us a shiver down our spine; however for me, Sully and Mike are just too cute to be categorised as macabre. Anyway, after the movie, there will be kids entertainment including face painting, baloons (both the floating type and the twisted type), roving entertaintment, and a games or two.
Fremantle Festival When: until 9 Nov Where: Various locations in Fremantle More info here.
Fremantle Festival escalates from its more sedate opening in October to a more boisterous ending in November. The choicest events within this festival in November are:
Children's Fiesta & Jazz in the Park (Sun, 2 Nov; 10am-7pm; Samson Park, McKenzie St, Sellenger Ave & McCombe Ave): Children's Fiesta is a popular annual event targeting pre-school and primary school children, with live performances, dancing, storytelling, climbing wall, water slide, and more. After a two hours break from 3-5pm, the venue will continue to blaze with Jazz in the Park, featuring Australian jazz artist Shameem.
Wardarnji (Sat, 8 Nov; 12-5pm; Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty St): This is one corroboree where you and your family are invited to join in. Experience the Nyoongar culture through their music, dance, art, and entertainment.
Street Parade (Sun, 9 Nov; 3-6pm; South Tce): Fremantle Festival will end with this finale, where floats and people take over the street. If you come on time at 3pm, you'll have a chance to join in the mass art event of decorating the street with chalk.
Diwali Street Dance Party (Sun, 9 Nov; 6-9.30pm; Maya Indian Restaurant, 75 Market St): Well, there is one last thing after the finale: the after-party. This alcohol-free family-friendly event is a Bollywood themed dance party. Don't know how to dance Bollywood-style? Not to worry. There will be performances to show you how it's supposed to be done, plus workshops for you to hone your skills.
Let's Celebrate Belmont Festival When: 1-30 Nov Where: Various locations in the City of Belmont More info here.
It doesn't take much to fill up the month of November. This festival alone generates enough fun for thousands of families for the whole month. Let's check out their best offerings:
Jazz in the Park (Sun, 9 Nov; 4-6pm; Tomato Lake, Kewdale): Have a picnic in the park while being entertained by Jen de Ness (pictured above).
Movie Under the Stars (Fri, 14 Nov; 6-8pm; Garvey Park, Ascot): Start the weekend with a fun family outing to the park. Bring picnic food, blankets, and lots of pillows to guarantee a comfortable stay. Movie on show would be Muppets Most Wanted.
Belmont Family Day Out (Sun, 16 Nov; 2-5pm; Faulkner Park, Cloverdale): This family day out will feature traditional games, vintage photo booth, kite making, 'Kolour the Kilns' (in the museum), and antique valuing and restoring demonstration (in the library).
Festival Finale (Sat, 29 Nov; 5-10pm; Faulkner Park, Cloverdale): This has got to be the best event in the whole festival. There will be activities and entertainment including live music (including a Kylie tribute and two Voice Kids contestants), performances (including an exciting acrobatic circus act), and free rides. And as usual, it will be finished with a grand fireworks display.
Fremantle Port Maritime Day
When: Sat, 8 Nov; 10am-4pm Where: Victoria Quay, Fremantle
More info here.
Approaching Fremantle Port
Boys of old always want to run away from home to be a sailor. Nowadays perhaps they don't, as they think sailors are uncomfortable jobs. Well, take them to this event and they might change their mind. Floating vehicle-wise, there will be ships and boats at Victoria Quay, displays from the Royal Australian Navy and the maritime industry, and a yacht race in the harbour. If you don't want to be just spectators, you can also go aboard a Svitzer tug and join a Fremantle Harbour boat ride. Other than that, there will also be kids activities, an historic photo display of the port during wartime, live music, and other entertainment.
Music in the Park
When: Saturday 15th Nov; 6-9pm Where: Mawson Park, Hillarys
More info here.
Summer is approaching and that means the season of evenings in the park with live music is starting. It might still be a bit chilly on a November evening, so make sure you pack the little ones' jumpers with your picnic. This series brought by the City of Joondalup has three events, one for each month of November, December, and January. For this month, the artists are:
Thelma Plum: Thelma Plum is a 19 years old gal from Brisbane who currently lives in inner west Sydney. Despite her relatively young age, she already has Triple J Unearthed, NIMA and DEADLY awards under her belt for her indie music, and is no stranger to sold out shows around the country.
Stillwater Giants: Another Triple J Unearthed artist, Stillwater Giants are four boys that hail from Margaret River. With surfer culture in the background, they present music in the combined genre of rock/ indie/ pop/ alternative.
Helen Shanahan: Yet another Triple J Unearthed artist, this time a pop/ folk artist from Fremantle who studied voice at WAAPA. She was awarded Telstra Road to Discovery Songwriter of the Year award in 2013 and her latest album 'Driftwood' is out now.
When: Sun 23 Nov, 3-7pm Where: Sandy Beach Reserve, Bassendean
More info here.
In the summer, it seems that every city council is out to outdo each other in presenting community concerts and we Perth families are the winner. The Town of Bassendean (which will be abolished if the amalgamation goes ahead as planned) gives us Summer's Edge, which they say is about "good friends, great entertainment and tasty eats by the riverside." Sounds good. The line up include:
Gina WIlliams & Guy Ghouse, who recently released a Noongar language album titled 'Kalyakoorl' (meaning forever) that was described in the West Australian as "Dripping with honeyed beauty and glowing with heartfelt warmth ... lovely musical gem."
Bassonovas, the local Bassendean-based Brazilian Samba drumming band.
Kinetica, another local Bassendean-based group, this time a circus/ dancing/ theatre act.
Vintage Photo Booth, not an artist, but a VW Kombi that has been modified to be a photo booth, complete with instant prints. PS: Be prepared and practice your silly faces in front of the mirror prior to event.