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.
Spring is in the air-Let's celebrate it for free
Free Perth Family Activities in September 2012
Image courtesy of bgpa.wa.gov.au
Spring is starting, and boy, how I have been looking forward to it. If the last weekend of August is any indication, we are in for glorious days. Days of perfect blue sky, warm sun, and cool wind. Days which are too good to be wasted doing nothing at home.
Kings Park Festival is of course an obvious choice in Perth at this time of year. However, there is more to spring than just Kings Park. So take note of the family friendly (and don't forget free) ways we could spend our days in this month of September, listed in the next three pages. Whether our interests are nature-related, arts, music, sports, or others, the list would have something for you.
Kings Park Festival is an annual event not to be missed by tourists and locals alike. The family friendly free events include among others: Adorable Florables (a theatre show with wildflower characters), Boodja Gnarning Family Fun Day, and Wildflower Wonder Guided Walks. But even if you cannot make it to any of the scheduled events, just stop by whenever you have an hour to spare and stroll pass the wildflower displays. It really is a spectacular floral show not to be missed.
2. Celebrate National Wattle Day When: Saturday, 1 September. Where: Everywhere in Australia. Website:www.wattleday.asn.au/ If you are wondering what on earth Wattle Day is, wonder no more. The Australian native flower called Wattle is our national floral emblem and we celebrate it annually on the first day of September to symbolise Wattle welcoming in the spring. There is a rather big do on that day in Canberra, but for us here in WA, we could do our own celebration. Wear a sprig of wattle or Australia's colours of green and gold, greet each other with 'Happy Wattle Day,' and if you wish you could organize a picnic, lunch, or dinner for your family and friends. Any excuse to fire up the barbie, right?
3. The Spring Fling When: Friday, 7 September to Sunday, 9 September; 10am - 4pm. Where: Henderson Environmental Centre, End of Groat Street, North Beach. Website:www.friendsofstarswamp.org/ Spring looks to be the perfect time to visit Star Swamp Reserve for wildflower-spotting. It would not be as showy as Kings Park, but it would be natural and less touristy. And for these three days only, you also get a bonus of visiting the Spring Fling at Henderson Environmental Centre. There will be plant sales, touch tables, microscopes, native animal display, native garden advice, guided walks, and more. At least one weekend at Kings Park and another weekend at Star Swamp Reserve sounds like a good plan to me.
Arts and Music
1. SunDrum Community Drum Circle When: Sunday, 2 September; 10.30am-1pm. Where: Baldivis Childrens Forest, 1399 Mandurah Road, Baldivis. Website:www.inmycommunity.com.au/going-out/activities-and-events/detail/SunDrum-Community-Drum-Circle/1259/
"Bang a drum for the dying, bang a drum for the truth, bang a drum for the innocence, lost in our youth," Bon Jovi once sang. We need not be so dramatic, but it is hard to deny that there is something cathartic about banging a drum. The SunDrum is a family-friendly drum circle which meets the first Sunday of every month (except in winter). Some drums and percussion would be available to use, but you are most welcomed to BYO drum or any musical instrument. If you are so inclined, you could make a gold coin donation which would go towards the maintenance of the Baldivis Childrens Forest. The Drum Circle goes on for about 1-1.5 hours, followed by BBQ lunch. So, go on there and "bang a drum, bang it loudly, or as soft as you need; bang a drum for yourself son, and a drum for me."
2. Sunday Piazza Live When: Sundays, 9, 16, and 23 September; 1-3pm. Where: Northbridge Piazza, corner James and Lake Streets, Northbridge. Website: Links below.
Image courtesy of showmeperth.com.au
Sunday Piazza Live is back. This weekly live music at the Northbridge Piazza has gone into hibernation for the winter but the coming of spring revives it. So bring out the sunnies, the floppy hats, and the picnic rug, and sit back, relax and enjoy a variety of live music performance at the Piazza every Sunday afternoon. Performances scheduled are:
- 9 September: James Flynn Quintet and The Overflow Trio
- 16 September: Howie Morgan Band and Russell Holmes Trio
- 23 September: Los Chasquis and Riki Malet Trio
3. Journey of Food
When & Where:
- Sunday, 9 September, 2-4pm: Westfield Innaloo.
- Sunday, 16 September, 8.30-10.30am: Stirling Farmer's Market.
- Saturday, 22 September, 10am-12pm: Mirrabooka Shopping Centre Website:www.stirling.wa.gov.au/Resident/Sustainability-and-environment/Sustainability/Pages/Generation-Green.aspx
Journey of Food is a workshop for creating artwork using plastic shopping bags. Sheryl Chant is the creative driver of the project who will teach us how to fuse this common waste product and create an artwork that celebrates our diverse food culture. Registrations are not required, and don't forget to bring your plastic shopping bags. This workshop is part of the "Generation Green" series of events which is intended to invite the community and families to 'rethink' food, water, waste and energy. See the webpage above for other events in the series.
When: Saturday, 15 to Sunday, 23 September; 10am-2pm. Where: Smart Space, 464 William Street, Northbridge. Website:www.weekendnotes.com/anthropomoflora-smart-space/
This exhibition is a showcase of recent works by artist Jessica McCallum and photographer Kim Evans. It features flowers and carnivorous plants depicted in inks and watercolours, macro photography, and large mixed media pieces. If you cannot make it to the gallery during opening time, you could make an appointment with the artist directly (see contact details in webpage above).
Image courtesy of waso.com.au
5. The Big Sing
When: Sunday, 23 September; Start 1.30pm. Where: Perth Concert Hall, 5 St. Georges Terrace, Perth. Website:www.weekendnotes.com/the-big-sing/
The Big Sing is promoted as "a fun way to spend an afternoon singing with the WASO Chorus." And seriously, this does sound fun. You do not have to be an accomplished singer to join in, but if you would like to make the most of the afternoon, then you had better come prepared. Download the music score from the webpage above, learn it as best as you can (midi files provided to assist), and the Chorus Director Marilyn Phillips will lead you and your fellow singers to raise the roof of Perth Concert Hall.
Misc: Father's Day, Sports, Etc
Image courtesy of showmeperth.com.au
1. Father's Day at Northbridge Piazza
When: Sunday, 2 September; 12-6pm. Where: Northbridge Piazza, corner James and Lake Streets, Northbridge. Website:www.showmeperth.com.au/event/piazzarama-northbridge-fathers-day-0
Lost for ideas on how to celebrate Father's Day? Here's an idea: Spend an afternoon at Northbridge Piazza with family entertainments such as movies, roving performances, and bouncy castles. It's really too easy, all you have to bring is your Dad, the rest such as balloons and bean bags are provided.
2. Canning Bridge Arts Markets
When: Sunday, 2 September; 9am - 2pm. Where: Kishorn Road between Moreau Mews and First Avenue in Applecross. Website:www.canningbridgemarkets.org.au/
The monthly Canning Bridge Arts Markets celebrate Father's Day by showcasing a special woodworking and handcrafted toy exhibit featuring pieces by the Bicton Men's Shed. Johnny Crash will be entertaining the crowds with classic country songs and kids can make a Father's Day card for free.
The Town of Claremont celebrate Lake Claremont Day by hosting a community event which has something for everyone. There would be stalls, scheduled bird walks around the lake, interactive activities from Scitech, a live reptile display, craft activities, and the good old face painting and bouncy castle. A sausage sizzle, ice cream and coffee would be available for purchase, but you are also most welcomed to bring your own picnic with your family and friends.
4. Bibra Lake Fun Run
When: Sunday, 16 September; 9.40am Race Briefing with 10am Start. Where: Bibra Lake (Start/Finish on Progress Drive, Parking is south of Gwillam Drive in
Adventure World Carpark). Website:www.weekendnotes.com/bibra-lake-fun-run/
Do you think you can run, walk, or waddle for 6km? Yes? Maybe? Easy peasy? Then prove your prowess and participate in the 2012 Bibra Lake Fun Run. Come as a family, push your stroller, or bring your dog (on a leash). It's free to enter and there are even cash prizes for the winners. How cool is that. And as we would be circling a lake, we would be finishing where we start and there would be no worries about going back from finish to start to pick up our car. Please note that if you would like to be timed and in the running for cash prizes, you must register before midnight Sunday, 9th September.
4. Movie screening: Ramchand Pakistani
When: Saturday, 29 September; 8.30-10.15pm. Where: Northbridge Piazza, corner James and Lake Streets, Northbridge. Website:www.inmycommunity.com.au/going-out/activities-and-events/detail/Movie-screening-Ramchand-Pakistani-with-English-s/1266/
The school holiday are starting in the last weekend of September and we have to start stocking up on possible activities to fill up the days (and nights). Watching a Pakistani movie may not sound like an obvious option, but when the movie is an award-winning one with great reviews, why not indeed--especially if you deem your kids big enough to learn more about life struggles and unfairness. Ramchand Pakistani is a film that tells a true story about an 8-year old Pakistani boy who accidentally crosses the border between Pakistan and India and the following ordeal that his family has to go through. Sure you could rent it and watch it at home but why not enjoy it on the big screen of Northbridge Piazza with English subtitle. There will be security and bean bags for the audience.