Christmas is over, you're home alone with the kids, and you're looking for a children's activity that's free, fun and easy.
Well, here it is. The State Library of Queensland is holding another of its free family film festivals this year, running from Saturday 5 January to Friday 25 January. Eight different children's films will screen over these three weeks, ranging from recent releases to well-known classics.
I took my boys along to the festival last year (that's them in the photo up the top) and I couldn't believe what a great activity it was and how few people seemed to know about it. The films are screened in the library's ground floor 'studio' area, just past and behind the Library Cafe.
The studio is air-conditioned, big, and comfortable, with beanbags scattered about for kids and couches for parents. The films are screened using a digital projector, so neither the image nor sound are cinema quality, but they were good enough for us. The room was cool, the movie was funny, and there were only about 12 of us there all up.
This year, the films in the festival have been chosen to tie in with the library's Untangled Tales holiday program, which focuses on fairytales, myths and legends.
You can catch classics like The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, or be entertained by recent releases such as Mirror, Mirror (a fresh take on the Snow White story, starring Julia Roberts, released in 2012).
The lovely Amy Adams stars in Enchanted (2007), while The Princess and the Frog is a Disney animation from 2009.
I'm not sure if any of these princessy tales will particularly appeal to my sons, but I do know that they will like another offering, Shrek Forever After (2010).
I also think that they might enjoy Spirited Away, a renowned Japanese animation from director Hayao Miyazaki. Released in 2011, this fantasy cartoon tells the story of a young girl's encounters with spirits and monsters and her efforts to escape back to the human world. The most successful Japanese film of all time, it's been called 'dazzling' and 'enchanting' by critics.
Also from Miyazaki, My Neighbour Totoro is an award-winning animation feature released in 1988. It tells the story of two little girls who encounter nature spirits in rural Japan. Featuring beautiful animation and gentle comedy, it's perfect for younger children.
All eight movies are rated G or PG and will screen in rotation over the three weeks, so you have plenty of chances to see them. Check the festival website for session details.
PS If you're looking for somewhere to eat when you visit the festival, you might like to check out my reviews of The Library Cafe and the Queensland Museum's Collectors Cafe.