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.
Welcome spring with these family-friendly events
I love September in Perth. One big reason is the Kings Park Festival, that's self-explanatory. But other than that, September is also the end of winter, time to put away the thick duvet, bulky slippers, and layers of underclothes. We are ready now to venture forth into the outdoor weekends, wearing our long-lost friends: t-shirts and thongs. Welcome to spring, everyone.
Kings Park Festival When: Month of Sep Where: Kings Park
September has always meant Kings Park Festival for my family. We religiously show up at the Botanic Garden and its vicinity to enjoy the rare and wondrous display of wildflowers coaxed into bloom by the redoubtable Kings Park gardeners. On top of that, the festival also brings us live music, children entertainment, and even a fun day just for kids with a dreamy name of Fantastic Faraway Festival.
Bunnings Free Father's Day Family Night When: Wed, 3 Sep, 6-8pm Where: Homebase Bunnings, 55 Salvado Rd, Subiaco More info here.
Bunnings kids events are usually scheduled on a week night, and despite homework, after school sports, and Willie Winkie's exhortation to be in bed by 8 o'clock, they're always well-attended as parents indulgently think, "Well, just for this one night..." And I don't blame them as these events are always serious fun, with arts & crafts, games, food, and something free to take home. I expect this one to be the same too, so be prepared to have fun if you attend this one.
Local & General Markets at Guildford Town Hall When: Sat, 6 Sep, 10am-2pm Where: Guildford Town Hall, Lot 188 James St, Guildford
Markets can be a very pleasant way to spend a relaxing day on the weekend. You stroll around aimlessly, look at the various interesting and unique items on display, and purchase crafts, products, food, etc as your whim dictates. For the first Saturday in September, you can aim your whim at the Guildford Town Hall as they host the Local & General Markets. And if your kids get restless, point them to their own entertainment, including interactive crafts, face-painting, games, and bubbles.
Father's Day at the Bell Tower When: Sun, 7 Sep, 10am-4pm Where: Bell Tower, Barrack Street Jetty, Perth.
Fathers can visit the Bell Tower for free this Father's Day
Like it or not, Bell Tower is one of the most conspicuous landmarks in our beloved City of Perth. It's currently surrounded by ugly earth scars that is to be named Elizabeth Quay sometime in the future. This Father's Day, fathers can enter the Bell Tower free. Once inside, they can see how the big (and small) bells work to make the cacophony of music we hear regularly in the city, learn the history of the bells, and record a free video postcard to share with their families.
When: Sun, 14 Sep, 10am-4pm Where: Minnawarra Park, cnr Armadale Rd & Orchard Ave, Armadale
More info here.
Highland Gathering is an annual event brought by the City of Armadale. Although decidedly with a Scottish flavour, you don't have to wear a kilt or have a surname starting with Mc to attend. Everyone is welcome to enjoy its offerings of activities and entertainments, such as live music, dancing, a Medieval Fair (the highlight of the day), pony rides, story telling, mock battles, Clan Village, a strong man competition, arts and crafts, market as well as food and drink stalls, and more.
Spirit of the Masai
When: 2-21 Sep, 11am-5pm Where: The Hive: Creative Arts Space, 192 William St, Northbridge
More info here.
Spirit of the Masai by Jarrad Seng (Image: visitperthcity.com)
Spirit of the Masai is a solo exhibition by Perth-based photographer Jarrad Seng. This photography exhibition are related to children in three ways. One is the objects of photography, the portraits feature children living in Maasai villages in remote Tanzania. Two is the beneficiaries of the proceeds of any print sales from the exhibition. They will go towards Ujamaa Children's Home Orphanage and Boma Africa, a humanitarian organisation committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education and access to clean water. And lastly, this exhibition is a vehicle we can use to give our children a glimpse of what other children in other parts of the world look like and live like. They will perhaps ask uncomfortable questions about these skinny children in funny outfits and dusty surroundings; and likely as not we don't know how to answer them. But we can only try. We can be honest and talk to them about culture and poverty and how lucky we're all to call Australia home.
When: Everyday except Tuesdays, 10am-5pm. Where: Art Gallery of WA, Perth Cultural Centre
More info here.
This is the ultimate backup plan. For those days when it's too cold or too hot to venture outside. Or for when there's nothing interesting going on and yet the kids are too restless to stay at home. Those days are the perfect days to (re)visit the "Animal Ark" exhibition, which explores the use of animal motifs in art, history and myth through artwork like paintings, sculpture and decorative art. It's running every day except Tuesdays until mid October.