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 March 26th 2013
Is there anything fun now that Easter long weekend is over?
Free Perth Family Activities in April 2013
With Easter long weekend still in recent memory, April needs a big bang to wow the crowd and it certainly delivers. There are plenty of one-day festivals to cater for every need, and on Sunday 7 April alone I counted at least half a dozen free events all vying for our attention. Attending all would mean a day spent in finding parking spots, so I limit myself to a maximum of three family-friendly events per day in this article.
The special event for the month is the ANZAC Day which falls on Thursday, 25 April. The main event for the day will be the Dawn Service at Kings Park, commencing at 6am, to be followed by the Gunfire Breakfast at Stirling Gardens from 7-9am for Veterans, their families and the community. The annual ANZAC Day march will pass through the city of Perth albeit with a different route due to the building of Elizabeth Quay. There will also be services in other locations in Perth.
One of the highlights for the month of April would be the Innovation Month. It is a series of events throughout April that celebrate the talents of innovative people from WA and showcase new and different ways of thinking in various aspects of our lives. Although the word "innovation" smells strongly of science, it is not always so as other aspects such as arts and sports are also well-represented in this series of events. Check out the family friendly selection below and please note that all events are at Northbridge Piazza (corner James and Lake Streets, Northbridge).
Piazzarama Northbridge When: Sun, 7 Apr, 12-6pm
For Innovation Month, the monthly Piazzarama theme will be science. Kids plus science equals Scitech; and this formula works here with Scitech presenting two shows on stage and a range of interactive exhibits besides. Kids can participate in the Mad Scientist Workshop where they will receive a mad scientist wig, moustache and eye brows to wear and keep while they make their own sherbet along with other activities. A couple of family films will be presented, namely Meet the Robinsons (2007 G) to open at 12pm and Treasure Planet (2002 PG) to close the event at 4pm.
Kids lining up for balloons at a previous Piazzarama
Kids Can Dance 2013 is a series of hip-hop dance workshops for kids between the ages of 9-18 hosted by local hip-hop dance instructor and performer Rami Barz. The workshops are scheduled for the first three Saturdays in April and culminate in a live performance on-stage at the Northbridge Piazza on Sunday, 28 April. Registration is free, but there are limited places. To register contact Rami Barz from Rubba Band Music Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hollywood Canteen When: Thu, 25 Apr, 12-3pm
This is a family-friendly community event created by the Perth Swing Dance Society (PSDS). As a tribute to ANZAC Day, the atmosphere will be that of a war-time entertainment and it will feature the vocal of The Cottontail Trio, an Andrews and Boswell Sisters tribute acts who will belt out tunes of the 30's and 40's. Be entertained or be active and dance, take your pick.
Angove Street Festival
When: Sun, 7 Apr 10am-5pm Where: Angove Street (between Fitzgerald and Daphne Streets), North Perth Website:www.vincent.wa.gov.au
Not wanting to be beaten by their neighbour Beaufort Street, the Angove Street Festival is planning to be bigger and bolder this year. The community newspaper reported that a push had been made to allow for 50,000 visitors, 100 stallholders, and a beer garden. Not a beer guzzling type? No worries, other entertainments would be at hand, including a cove of adventure for kids, a ready to eat sector, and a fresh food market. If you need to travel through North Perth, please be aware that the festival are will be closed to traffic from 5am to 6pm on that day, so expect traffic diversions and delays.
City of Belmont's Autumn River Festival
When: Sun, 7 Apr 11am-3pm Where: Garvey Park, Fauntleroy Ave, Ascot Website: www.belmont.wa.gov.au
City of Belmont invites us to enjoy a day by the river with them providing entertainments and fun for the whole family. Among others, there will be water ski shows, stage entertainment, free rides, face painting, have-a-go kayaking, arts and crafts stall, and wine tasting. Food and beverages will be available for purchase including Kailis Brothers Fish and Chips.
When: Sun, 14 Apr 10am-3pm Where: Whiteman Park Village West, Lord St, Whiteman Website:www.whitemanpark.com.au
Whiteman Park and Men of the Trees are teaming up to hold the annual environmental event, EnviroFEST. The theme for 2013 is 'Conservation in Action and Healthy Living'. On the event day, there will be native fauna displays, organic products, native seedlings for sale, and free children's activities include face-painting, craft activities, storytelling and a treasure hunt through the Children's Forest. And family events at Whiteman Park have the added benefit of having the vast park itself as Plan B when you feel like you've had enough of the event or you're not yet ready to go home after the event is finished.
Canning Arts Group is a not-for-profit organisation that serves the community by providing art classes to adults and children in Perth area. For something a bit arty for the whole family, why not set aside Sun, 14 Apr to visit the Canning Arts Centre on their Gala Day. Other than the art exhibition itself, the day will also include creative activities for children and adults, demonstrations, entertainment, and food and craft stalls.
When: Sun, 21 Apr 10am-5pm Where: Perth Cultural Centre and surrounding area. Website: www.onwilliam.com.au/oday
Northbridge is Open for the third annual O-Day and the list of activities you could do is just mind-boggling. This is a sample of what I think a family might enjoy at Perth Cultural Centre on the day:
Things to Do:
- Kids inflatable Mega Slide (All day)
- State Theatre Centre of WA Open Day (11am-4pm)
- Vintage Carousel (All day)
- WA Circus School - Pick up and Play Workshop (11:30am - 3:30pm)
Things to Watch:
- Flip Tease Circus Spectacular (11am, 12:15pm and 2pm)
- James Sleight Magic Show (10:30am, 11:45am, 1pm, 2:45pm, 3:30pm, 4pm)
Things to Collect:
- O-Day Book Bag (All day)
- OnWilliam Collectable Magnet Set (All day)
Munda Biddi is the Albany to Mundaring off-road cycling trail, which was only recently completed into its entirety (previously sections of it were available but not linked the whole way through). If this opening sentence scares you off, please be brave and read on as this festival of cycling is meant to encourage everyone to participate, even if you have never done off-road cycling before. The Munda Biddi Foundation's experienced guides will be on hand to answer questions, help adjust your bike on the day, and even take visitors on free guided rides. Families or beginners could choose the shorter 6km route, whereas more experienced riders could opt for the 13km or 25km trip. After the ride you will be able to enjoy a relaxing massage and re-energise with a sausage sizzle, while the kids are entertained meeting some cute and cuddly animals and taking part in the other activities on offer.
Free Flicks for Kids for the month of April picks up the theme of the Innovation Month and therefore feature a selection of films exploring technological and environment themes and alternative views of the future. I list down here the offerings which are rated PG or G:
Sat, 6 Apr, 5pm Astro Boy (2009) PG
Sat, 6 Apr, 7:30pm Field of Dreams (1989) PG
Sat, 13 Apr, 4:30pm Wall-E (2008) G
Sat, 20 Apr, 5pm Brave (2012) PG
Sat, 27 Apr, 5pm Hotel Transylvania - PG
Hot Shore Shuffle
When: Sun, 14 & 21 Apr 2-3:30pm Where: Foyer of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Ormsby Tce, Mandurah Website: www.manpac.com.au
Hot Shore Shuffle is a live music with dance and creative workshops conducted every Sunday by the Mandurah Performing Arts in association with Kulcha Mutlicultural Arts of WA. You can choose either to join in the workshop each week or just relax and enjoy the music and being a part of a community event. The schedule for April is as follows:
14 April: Hip-hop and breakdancing with the Urban Youth Crew
21 April: Salsa with Latin Fusion