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.
Winter is officially starting but it's no excuse to stay in bed all day. Even if you disagree with me and find that indeed the cold weather is enough excuse not to stir from the warmth of your electric blanket, your young ones would beg to differ and they may start jumping up and down your bed to encourage you to get up.
What can we do but try to be good parents and allow them their prescribed hours of educational or outdoor activities (sigh). Where to go, though? If your criterion is to have something fun to occupy the family without breaking the budget, check out the following options. And if you have any other events in mind, please leave a comment as we would love to hear about them.
This is one activity guaranteed to spend those excess energy the kids always seem to possess. Volunteer guides would take you on a 90 minute bushwalk and don't be fooled by the location of the park. Although City Beach is associated more with "affluent" than "rugged," Bold Park has a large undeveloped coastal bushland and during the walk you would be able to see some native plants and wildlife. No booking is required for this free guided walk. Don't forget to wear a hat, sturdy shoes, and sunscreen, and bring some drinking water as well. Please note that there is no toilet facilities available, if you wish you could make a detour prior to the walk to use the toilet in Perry Lakes Reserve' playground (across the road from Bold Park).
Once in a while, it feels good to be driving out of town for a day trip. There is something soothing about the constant 100kph speed you do along the Kwinana Freeway. For that feeling alone, it might be worth checking out the Pinjarra Festival. And on top of that, you would be able to immerse yourself in the type of community events which has dried up in Perth with the wane of summer. You know the drill: stalls showcasing local produce as well as arts and crafts, live entertainment on stage (including Junkadelic, pictured), pony rides, balloon twisting and other kids entertainment. Can't go wrong with this one.
Photo courtesy of State Library of WA's website
3. Write On! An Exhibition When: Everyday until Sun, 24 Jun: Mon-Thurs: 9am-8pm/ Fri: 9am-5.30pm/ Sat & Sun: 10am-5.30pm. Where: State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Perth. Websitewww.slwa.wa.gov.au/whats_on/exhibitions
For those rainy winter days when you cannot bring yourself to venture outdoors, bring yourself instead (and your family along) to the State Library and discover this exhibition on the ground floor. It celebrates talented living writers (including Perth-bred Oscar winner, Shaun Tan) and displays original manuscripts and illustrations. When the kids are done with it, bring them upstairs to "The Place" at mezzanine level, where there is always something for little people - it's a toys, games, and books galore.
4. Saturday Story Time When: 10.30-11am Every Saturday. Where: City of Joondalup libraries: 2 June: Joondalup Library, 102 Boas Avenue, Joondalup 9 June: Duncraig Library, Corner Marmion Ave & Warwick Road, Duncraig. 16 June: Woodvale Library, 5 Trappers Drive, Woodvale 23 June: Whitford Library, Corner Banks and Marmion Avenue, Hillarys Websitewww.joondalup.wa.gov.au/Explore/artsandevents/eventscalendar.aspx?
Storytime sessions are aplenty in and around Perth. Every week, most public library would have one. However, it is rare to find one on weekends as most of them are conducted on weekdays. As a result, working mothers and fathers are a rare breed in these sessions. So these Saturday sessions are special as it allows working moms and dads to join in the rhymes, songs, and stories. Sessions are for children 2-4 years old. For dads with children younger than 2, there is a special Baby Rhyme Time for Fathers conducted on 16 June 10.30-11am at Duncraig Library.
5. The Tree on Spinnaker Lane
When: Two performances on Sat, 9 Jun: 2pm and 7pm . Where: Two venues, both on Ormsby Terrace, Mandurah: 2pm: Moreton Bay Fig Tree, Stingray Point (outdoor, no tickets required) 7pm: Fishtrap Theatre (indoor theatre, free tickets required to secure seating). Websitewww.manpac.com.au/show_inside.php?
It's a rare thing to have a free theatre event because after all, theatre performers have to eat too. But this is exactly what we get here as the Riptide Youth Theatre Company presents the Tree on Spinnaker Lane. It promises to be "an amusing tale of love and intrigue unfolds in the heart of Mandurah." So, go there, be amused, and at the end of the performance, give an extra loud round of applause for the free entertainment it provides us.
Lastly, if you have a green thumb and would love nothing better than digging around (while lamenting the minuscule size of your garden), check out the Community Planting Days, all happening in the month of June 2012.