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Free Family Activities in Perth - January 2016

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by Judith W (subscribe)
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 26th 2015
Beat January blues with these free events
If you're not going away this holiday, January is certainly going to be a hard and slow month. It's the heat, it's having the kids 24/7, it's the new year resolution you're still trying to keep. Well, this little article cannot help you with the resolution-keeping, but it will certainly help with entertaining the kids at least some of the time. So if you have friends and relatives to help out, certainly farm the kids out once in a while so you have the all-important "me-time." When you don't have anyone available, take them to these events so someone else can entertain them while you relax on your picnic chair with a cool drink in hand.

NY Day
New Years Day Concert and Fireworks
Fri, 1 Jan; 3-8pm
Where: Shelley Foreshore

City of Canning's annual New Year Day celebration has always attracted plenty of visitors. What it means is that you need to come early, secure your picnic space (close to the stage to enjoy the concert or close to the riverfront to enjoy the fireworks without hindrance), and relax. The schedule for the evening is as follow:
  • 3-6pm: kids activities (bouncy castle, water slide and jeep driving run)

  • 5-8pm: live performances on stage by Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys (5-6.15pm) and Chain Reaction (6.30-8pm)

  • 8pm: fireworks

Piazzarama Northbridge
Sun, 3 Jan; 12-4pm
Where: Northbridge Piazza, cnr Lake & James Sts, Northbridge

The theme for January's Piazzarama is "Pirates and Fairies" so needless to say, all kids and adults are encouraged to come dressed up as your favourite pirate or fairy. No further details are available at the time of writing, however following the usual pattern of previous Piazzaramas, there will be a movie at noon, followed by kids entertainment and games, and followed by another movie at 2.30pm, which should finish at 4pm or thereabout.

Adam Hall and The Velvet Playboys (Image:
Every Sunday 5-7pm
Where: Various parks in City of Subiaco (see below)

Summer evenings and free outdoor concerts often go hand in hand, so it's with pleasure I include this series which run until end of summer. The schedule for January:
  • 3 Jan: Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys at JH Abrahams Reserve, The Avenue, Crawley Foreshore

  • 10 Jan: Dilip n The Davs at Cliff Sadlier Reserve, Cunningham Terrace, Daglish

  • 17 Jan: The Isolites and Alex Brittan at Cliff Sadlier Reserve, Cunningham Terrace, Daglish

  • 24 Jan: Blue Shaddy and Riley Pearce at Market Square, Roberts Road, Subiaco

  • 31 Jan: Beans Buma's Boys of Rhythm and King's Justice at Market Square, Roberts Road, Subiaco

Cookie Creation Workshop at Muffin Break
Tue, 19 Jan; 10am-12pm
Where: Various Muffin Break outlets

This is one rare opporunity for kids to see a real commercial kitchen. Depending on the age of your kids, they may not realise how much effort and money has gone into that kitchen they're looking at. For them, what's important is being able to roll their own dough, decorate the cookie, and actually eat it when it's finished baking. Not all Muffin Break outlets are participating, so approach the one closest to you and ask them directly--it's the only way to know for sure if they're participating and to book your kids in. More info here.

Fringe World Festival
From Fri 22 Jan
Where: The Pleasure Garden, James St, Northbridge unless mentioned otherwise.

Following is a short list of a few free performances within the Fringe World Festival:
  • Aaron Jessup's Circus, Comedy & Danger Show: Aaron Jessup is a 2nd generation street performer from San Fransisco. He's travelled the world and won international busking competitions, so it's a priviledge to host him this time around in Perth. He performs almost nightly at the Pleasure Garden from Fri 22 Jan onwards, generally at 8pm, 9pm, and sometimes with an additional show at 8.30pm or 10pm. For a complete schedule day by day, see this page.

  • Image:

  • Fringe World Mermaids: A giant water tank in the Pleasure Garden will be graced by the mermaids every evening of the festival. It's a different start time each day, so to avoid disappointment, check the correct start time prior to heading there.

  • Pirates: Two friendly pirates will be visiting the Sensory Garden (in front of WA Museum, Perth Cultural Center) every afternoon from 22-24 and 27-31 Jan. They will ask the kids to go on adventure to fight monsters and find treasures. Three sessions each day at 3, 4, and 5pm.

City of Perth's Skyworks and Laser Show
Tue, 26 Jan; 3-8.30pm
Where: Langley Park, South Perth Foreshore, and Ozone Court

Similar to last year, there are three areas to choose from when it comes to whiling the day away prior to the H-hour of Skyworks. From 3pm, Langley Park and South Perth foreshore will be entertainment zone for all, while Ozone Court will be home to Survival Perth, a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities. All three events are family-friendly and free to attend. Come 8pm, turn your head towards the Swan River where the fireworks and laser show will be staged. More info here.

Opening of Elizabeth Quay
Fri, 29 Jan from 6pm
Where: Elizabeth Quay

After all the brouhaha about the development, naming, artwork, and everything else connected to Elizabeth Quay, finally the public will get the get in the door and see for the themselves what the result of all these fuss is like. This event is a combined effort of MRA (Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority with the Fringe World Festival), so you'll see some of the Fringe World components, including the Fringe World Mermaids. But there will also be something special that can only be done in Elizabeth Quay, including a spectacular laser, light, and fountain show. There are three shows scheduled: 8, 9 and 10pm. Not a night to be missed.
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When: In the month of January 2016
Where: Various locations in Greater Perth
Cost: Free.
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