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 May 26th 2015
Take the family out to have fun in winter weekends
June started with our own state's WA Day public holiday. Despite the cold, this holiday is always lots of fun for families, with free events that's irresistable (check out list below).
After that, the month calms down a bit, but end of the month is just a couple of days away from school holiday, so it's report time for the first semester of the year and enrolment time for kids moving on to pre-primary or high school next year. But that's another story. For now, just read on to find what you can do to keep the family entertained through the weekends of June.
When: Mon, 1 Jun, 10am-4pm. Where: Perth Cultural Centre. More info here.
WA Day is celebrated each year (formerly under a different name of Foundation Day) to commemorate the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829. Life has changed considerably since then, and we are grateful that we can now live a safer, cleaner, and more comfortable lives compared to our predecessors back then. Several venues in Perth Cultural Centre have ganged together to provide a hopefully meaningful entertainment for the family to celebrate this event. I pick here just one event per venue as a sample to whet our appetite:
Say Hello to the Gruffalo (State Theater Centre of WA, 11am-1pm): I doubt there's any child in Australia who has never heard of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's imaginative creations: The Gruffalo and his daughter, who to our amazement confirm their fear of the mythical "big bad mouse." For this event, The Gruffalo (from the production of The Gruffalo's Child which will open in the State Theater Centre of WA on 30 June) will come alive to say hello to everyone who believe that even the littlest mouse can prevail.
Interactive Dance Workshops (Art Gallery of WA, 12 and 2.30pm): Ochre Contemporary Dance Company will interpret selected art works from the Art Gallery and collections of the WA Museum through dance movement and music. Following the dancers' performance children will be invited to experiment with their interpretation of the art works (suitable for ages 6 ).
Monster Zoo Digital Filmmaking Adventure (WA Museum, 30 May-1Jun: 10.30am, 12, 1.30 & 3pm): Online booking required for this digital film making project using an iPad and augmented reality clues at the WA Museum. These workshops run for one hour each and are suitable for children aged 8 – 14 years.
Paper Planes (MRA Big Screen Screen, 2-3.40pm): Take your seat on the steps in front of the State Library of WA to watch Paper Planes, an 2014 Australian movie (filmed mostly in WA) about a boy's passion for paper planes and his desire to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships.
Paper Plane Throwing Contest (Urban Orchard, 1.30-1.45pm): Half an hour before the movie starts (presumably so you can't cheat by copying the paper plane design in the movie), children aged 5 and up can participate in this contest. Scitech will provide the prizes for different age-categories.
Other than the above, there are also many other activities such as face-painting, free workshops, performances, and market stalls. For a complete list, check out the event's website.
WA Day 2013 - Forrest Place
Perth City WA Day Celebrations When: Mon 1 May, 10am-4pm Where: Forrest Place, Murray St Mal, Perth. More info here.
A stone's throw away from the WA Day event above, Perth City Council will be holding their own party at Forrest Place with kids activities such as free rides, mini-golf, petting zoo, and bouncy castle. Depending on the age and personality of your children, you can choose either one. My verdict based on past experience and also from what I've read so far: Perth Cultural Centre for slightly older kids who like active participation whereas Forrest Place for young ones who are more into teacup-style rides. Or alternatively, if you have both types of kids and a high tolerance for waiting around while your kids do their things, why not go to both. Afterall, the two locations are only separated by a pedestrian bridge and a train station.
Winter Harvest Festival When: Sat 6 Jun, 10am-4pm Where: Churchill Park, Rockingham Beach Rd, Rockingham. More info here.
Winter is no time to be cold and lonely at home, it's time to jump up and warm ourselves with a little music, dance, or community; all of which could be gotten here at this Winter Harvest Festival. On stage, the Mucky Duck Bush Band would ask you to stand up and do a round (or two) of bush dance. And others such as Littlest Fox, Nate Lansdell, and Rockingham Music Academy Concert Band would also entertain you with their musical prowess. Spread out around the stage in the locality of Churchill Park, there will be market stalls, rides, food to purchase, and even if you don't want to fork our the money for ride tickets, you can still entertain the kids by taking them to the free craft workshops.
When: Every Sunday in June 1-3pm Where: Northbridge Piazza, cnr Lake & James Sts, Northbridge.
More info here.
Some of us may not think that winter is the best time to have an outdoor music program, but thankfully the City of Perth disagrees and so they bravely organise Sundays Sounds to continue until the end of June. Each Sunday, there will be two different acts, they are:
7Jun: Elk Bell and Kyle Bonser Band
14Jun: Lauren Kent and The Wildflowers
21Jun: Johnny Cash & Co and Morgan Bain
28Jun: Riley Pearce and The Julius Lutero Band
As with many outdoor events in winter, of course there is a risk of being rained out, but hey, what's life without a bit of risk?
Al Kazam the Magic Man
When: Sat 20 Jun, 10-11am Where: Kenwick Public Library, 80 Kenwick Rd, Kenwick.
More info here.
For this day only, Al Kazam the Magic Man will visit the Kenwick Library and creates interactive fun for children. As spaces are limited, bookings are essential and can be done by calling Kenwick Library on 9397 3099.
Bush Skills for the Hills: Creekline and Bushland Critters
When: Sat 27 Jun, 9am-12.30pm Where: Poison Gully Creek, Opposite 32 Littlefield Rd,
More info here.
Bush Skills for the Hills is a series of free workshops for the community. For the month of June, the topic of the workshop is: Creekline and Bushland Critters. If it sounds too creepy crawly for you, rest assured it won't be for your inquisitive kids. Unless you have the extremely fastidious type, most children would enjoy looking for and at the little critters that toil away in the water or under the bush. Unfortunately, no matter how much you hate bugs, you can't drop your kids off and leave, as adult supervision is required. And don't forget to bring suitable weather gear, and a magnifying glass if you have one. I hope this last advise would convince you that those creatures are in fact smaller than you.