July 27th and 28th 2013, Melbourne will unlock many of its famous doors for the public to enjoy and experience Melbourne and appreciate its architecture. I am of course talking about the Open house weekend.
The event started in 2008 with only 8 open buildings and 30,000 visitors. With its success growing each year, in 2013 they are opening up 111 of Melbourne's most famous buildings. Open House Melbourne is a not for profit organization that is dedicated to educating people and offering them a chance to discover our city and learn about its culture. Enjoying Open day is easy, all you have to do is have a look at the building list, decide which of them you want to see and simply turn up at the opening times for that specific building.
Apart from being able to explore the many buildings that are opening their doors there are several other events going on this weekend as well. If you feel that your children may get a little antsy with looking at buildings there are some events specially catered for young ones.
At Art play in Birrarung Marr both Saturday and Sunday from 12noon -4pm, children can design and build their own mini masterpiece from playing cards. Those tiny aspiring fire fighters can see an original Leyland turntable ladder fire truck at the Former No.3 Fire Station, Swanston Street. For the creative, patient children a hand at weaving may be just right at the Australian Tapestry Workshop both Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. There will also be a kids fun trail at the Old treasury building to go on an adventure in the original gold vaults (complete with a gold license), horse riding and training demonstrations at the Victoria Police mounted branch and head to Docklands Drive, Docklands for fun for the entire family as you put your creative skills to the test with LEGO. Families will be given a baseplate to build their own city and in the end all these will be put together to display one giant green city.
For those aspiring architects and designers, 'Think like an Architect!' is a good programme. Government architect Jill Garner will be telling all about what it means to design and will take children through the design process from meeting brief requirements to finding a design solution. This activity is suitable for children aged 10-16 and is happening at the old treasury building both Saturday and Sunday for an hour from 12 noon. You can register for it here.
There are also several tours taking place. Coffee tours, urban tours and laneway tours will help you get a real taste of Melbourne.
There is something for everyone in the tours list so you can pick your favourite.
For those with a competitive streak and a sweet tooth for prizes, like all great events Open House has a few competitions. There is the film competition closing on the 22nd July and all you need to do is have a 15 second clip of why you love Melbourne. Also for those Instagram addicts start snapping away those heritage Blue plaques and the one with the most snaps will win. Also happening is the focus photography competition where you can capture the essence of Open House and win prizes.
So head down to Open House 2013 weekend this year. It's happening bigger than ever.