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.
Free Perth Family Activities in July 2012
July is that time of the year when parents are busy looking for family activities, to combat the blues associated with our freezing dwellings and also to fill the school holiday with wholesome recreation.
For this purpose, there are indeed too many events to mention in one article but what this article is going to concentrate on are free children-friendly activities in Perth during the month of July. So if that's what you're looking for, read on.
Image courtesy of City of Stirling's website
The list starts with events that run during the two weeks of school holiday, then NAIDOC Week family events, and finish with events further afield -- which you may want to consider if you plan a family holiday out of town this month.
School Holiday Events
1. The Big Top Oympics When: 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm daily on 9-21 July. Where: Forrest Place, Murray Street, Perth. Free tickets available for collection from 9am in Murray Street Mall (near the Forrest Place entrance) on the day of the performance. Website:www.showmeperth.com.au/event/big-top-olympics
Image courtesy of Show Me Perth website
The London Olympics fever is already on and ahead of the real deal, we can bring the kids down to Forrest Place to watch "athletes" compete in various events like egg and spoon race, superlight straw javelin and the three-legged race. The energetic fast paced acrobatic "races" are guaranteed to elicit laughter as well as shouts of amazement. No pre-bookings available, so you must arrive ahead of time to queue for your free tickets.
2. Mirror - An Exhibition by Jeannie Baker When: Everyday from 5 July onwards: Mon-Thurs: 9am-8pm/ Fri: 9am-5.30pm/ Sat & Sun: 10am-5.30pm. Where: Ground Floor, State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Perth. Website:www.slwa.wa.gov.au/whats_on/exhibitions
This is another great event from our beloved State Library. This exhibition features collages from the children's book "Mirror" by the Australian author/illustrator Jeannie Baker. The collages tell the stories of two boys: one in Australia and one in Morocco. Various materials are used to build the three dimensional collages illustrating how the boys' lives mirror each other. There will be platforms so that children could step up close and enjoy the beautiful creation by Ms. Baker, who has been making collages since 1972. Delightful for young and old alike.
3. School Holiday Activities at Carillon City When: 11am-2pm on 7-20 July Where: Shop H8, Carillon City, Hay Street Mal, Perth. Website:www.carilloncity.com.au
Image courtesy of Carrilon City's website
Carrilon City is luring us into the city this coming school holiday with various children activities scheduled during the two week period as follow: Monday 9 July – Friday 13 July: Window Clings Monday 16 July – Friday 20 July: Mug Mania
Saturdays & Sundays (7, 8, 14 & 15 July): Gingerbread BakeHouse There is a limit of 60 participants per day, therefore you need to arrive early to avoid missing out.
4. Acting Out When: Various times on 9-20 July. Where: City of Stirling libraries (Scarborough, Dianella, Inglewood, Osborne, Karrinyup, and Mirrabooka). Website:www.stirling.wa.gov.au
City of Stirling is one city council that is quite consistent with their school holiday offerings and this time around, the theme is "Acting Out," consisting of three events, namely:
1. Drama - Tall Tales for Small Kids
2. Mime with Darian Le Page
3. Giant Games
Each of the above would be conducted six times (each time at a different library) during the school holiday. Their website has the details on which event on which date at which library. Bookings are required for "Drama" and "Mime," so check their schedule, pick a suitable time and location and call 9205 7300 to book your kids in.
5. Bold Park Guided Walks When: 9-10.30am on Saturday, 7 July/ Thursday, 12 July/ Sunday, 15 July. Where: Bold Park (Tuart Carpark), Perry Lakes Drive, City Beach. Website:www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/bold-park/walks/free-guided-walks
If you read the article Free Perth Family Activities in June 2012, you would already know about this family activity. To summarise, it's a free guided walk in the coastal bushland that is Bold Park to see some native plants and wildlife. Just what the doctor orders for bored, restless kids who need to spend their energy outdoors. This activity continues with 3 dates in the month of July being offered and they fall nicely with the start of the school holiday.
One Day Events
1. NAIDOC Opening Ceremony
When: 12-4pm on Sunday, 1 July. Where: Wellington Square, East Perth. Website:www.naidocperth.org
Image courtesy of NAIDOC's website
This event is the official start to NAIDOC Week which falls on 1-8 July this year. NAIDOC Week celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities in Australia. The phrase "official ceremony" conjure up an image of speeches by important (as well as less important) people, but this particular event is more like a concert cum community fair with music as well as dance stages, rides and activities for the children, and food/ community stalls.
2. NAIDOC Week at the State Library
When: 10am-12pm on Tuesday, 3 July. Where: The Place, Mezzanine Level at State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Perth. Website:www.slwa.wa.gov.au/whats_on/naidoc_week
Two children's activities are scheduled back-to-back to celebrate NAIDOC Week at the State Library of WA. It starts with an art session from 10-11.30am and is followed by storytime from 11.30am-12pm.
Events Further Afield
1. Rottnest Island Open House Heritage Program
When: 11am - 3pm on Thursday, 26 July to Sunday, 29 July. Where: Various Heritage-listed Cottages on Rottnest Island. Website:www.rottnestisland.com/events/heritage-events
This event is free insomuch that it does not require you to pay any fee to enter the heritage cottages on the event dates. However, I am very much aware that it is not cheap to travel to Rottnest Island in the first place, so a grain of salt... Having said that, I don't intend to belittle the event, and in fact it means a great deal to be able to enter and explore these heritage cottages. Children could try and imagine what live was like when those dwellings were lived in all those years ago, and there would be guides at hand to answer their questions. So if you plan to head across the strait anyway, you might want to make it coincide with this event.
2. Bridgetown in the Winter Festival When: Whole month of July. Where:Bridgetown (250km south of Perth on South Western Highway). Website:bridgetowninthewinter.com
Bridgetown claims itself as the Winter Capital of WA and they even create a website to prove that. I'm not going to argue with it as long as they deliver great family activities for us to enjoy. Not everything on offer is free (e.g. there is a small fee for the concerts), but some are free, for example:
- Alpaca Farm Fun Day (10am - 3pm on Saturday, 7 July at Levanda Grove, Tweed Road): Free entry to the Alpaca Farm where you can get close and interact with the alpacas.
- Sunday Markets (7.30am - 12pm on Sundays, 8 and 22 July at River Park, next to the Bowling Club): Check out the goodies and fresh produce on offer while enjoying the small town atmosphere.