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.
Christmas Lights, Carnival (free rides), Pageant, and more
If you think November is a bit early to start thinking about Christmas, I'm sorry to say that the likes of you are getting to be endangered species these days. As soon as Halloween is done and dusted, Christmas decorations spring up everywhere and City of Perth is not to be left behind in this race.
Christmas decorations springing up everywhere in November
Festival of Christmas is a 6 weeks-long festivities in several locations in the City of Perth and surely would tempt any family to visit the city center at this festive season.
The whole thing starts with the Turning on the Christmas Lights (Fri, 13 Nov 6.30-8.15pm; Forrest Place). Turning on a switch may sound like a simple activity but not this switch, oh no. This event will be dressed to the nines with pre-show entertainment starting at 6.30pm and main show starting at 7.30pm. Don't hope to come at 7.30 and get a seat though. Based on experience with any of the Festival of Christmas shows, you simply have to come early, grab your seat, and sit waiting. One idea to while away the waiting time is to have your dinner in situ. After all, the Twilight Hawkers Market will be on at the same place every Friday evening while the weather stays warm (6 Nov-29 Apr 4.30-9pm; Forrest Place).
For kids hankering for free rides, take note of this event: Perth City Christmas Carnival (28-29 Nov 10am-4pm; Forrest Place). It's held over two days of weekend, so hopefully we'll spread ourselves a bit and have less queueing time in each ride. Remember to bring your bottle of water as the days are definitely getting warmer.
Free rides at Christmas Carnival
Something new this year is the Perth City Christmas Place (5-6 Dec 10am-4pm; Forrest Place). It's another weekend of free activities for kids, but instead of rides, kids can join workshops and do arts and crafts, perfect preparation for the big day in three weeks time.
Reindeers aplenty at Christmas Place
Also on at the same weekend is the annual Christmas Pageant (Sat, 5 Dec 7.30-10.30pm; Perth City streets). So if you're already in the City for the Christmas Place, you only need to stay on and make sure you grab the best vantage points to see the parade.
If you're tired of all the running around and doing stuff, for a more passive entertainment visit the Festive Flicks (5-23 Dec; Northbridge Piazza). The films chosen are mostly old favourite family Christmas movies, so they're easy to watch, not so demanding of your brain power, perfect cuddle time for families. The schedule is as follows:
Sat 5 Dec 5:30-7PM: Home Alone (1990, PG)
Sun 6 Dec 12PM-1:30PM: Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, G)
Sun 6 Dec 2:30-4PM: Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, PG)
Sat 12 Dec 5:30-7PM: Elf (2003, PG)
Sat 19 Dec 5:30-7PM: The Grinch (2000, PG)
Also throughout December, the GPO will become part of the decorations, with Christmas Projections on the GPO (3-23 Dec 7-11pm; GPO). So glance that way when you're buying food from the Twilight Hawkers, or after watching the Christmas Pageant, or at any other time you happen to spend an evening in the city. The effect truly is quite spectacular.
Christmas Projections on the GPO
And last but not least in anyway, is the Symphony in the City (Sat, 12 Dec 7.30-9.30pm; Langley Park). The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) will once again make the effort to entertain us with their repertoire of classical as well as more modern tunes. As always, the performance will finish with a fireworks display.
At the end of all the above, we'd surely be thoroughly ready for Christmas proper to start (dare I say 'and get it over with'?). Yes, it's going to be horribly busy and impossibly hectic and dramatically noisy. But since we have no choice (due to lack of time machine) and actually must go through all the hustle and bustle, might as well find something to enjoy in it. Pick a couple of events to attend or a couple of movies to watch together with your kids. Make memories with your families and in that way, we fulfill the spirit of Christmas.