Welcome to the July issue of the Secret List: a list of fun things to do with your kids each month. July is the month of winter school holidays.
There is something for every family, no matter how old your kids are, where you live, and how much you have to spend. Why is it a secret? Because if you kids find out about all the things on this list: they will beg you to do everything on it.
Get rugged up for some cool activities including the FREE City Snowland
If you can imagine it, it must be true' begins the introduction to the new puppet show 'The Little Prince'. A story of adventure and friendship, this 50 minute show is suitable for all ages but specially designed with children aged four to twelve in mind.
For the older kids, the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre also offers a two day puppet making class (Wednesday 9th and Wednesday 16th July) which includes a visit to The Little Prince, as well as learning how to use their new puppet to put on a show for parents on the second day. Priced at $150 these workshops are suitable for 7-12 year olds.
When: Saturday 5th July 5th to Friday 19th July, 10am and 1pm Where: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, 1 Short Street, Fremantle Cost: $23 per person Click for more info.
Hi 5 are coming to town (image courtesy)
Five reasons to say Hi There is something addictive about those bouncy, perky, rainbow coloured girls and guys from Hi-5, at least for kids under 5 anyway. Maybe it's like visual food colourings which make kids jump around and be slightly crazy. Whatever it is, kids love them, and we love our kids, so consider taking them to one of three Hi-5 concerts at the beginning of the school holidays.
Where: Perth Concert Hall When: Sunday 6th July, 11am, 1.30pm, 4pm (new show) Cost: tickets start at $32.50 Click for more info.
Sick of the same old school holiday activities? How about learning to ride a unicycle? Or the flying trapeze? Or how to tumble like an acrobat? Welcome to circus school, and with a range of classes across the school holidays, both for younger (5-8 years) and older (9-12 years) kids, they will be circus ready quicker than you can say 'roll up roll up'.
When: Monday 7th July to Thursday 17th July
Where: 8 Phillimore St, Fremantle
Cost: $26 per class (book now before classes fill up) Click for more info.
School Holidays at Scitech
Kids never stop learning, so why waste the school holidays in front of the TV when they can be having a blast (and learning heaps – but don't tell the kids) with the school holiday program at Scitech. For the littlies (ages 4-6 years) there is the world of bugs, the chemistry of colour and the science of sound (warning, they will bring home loud things).
For the older kids there are longer sessions in the CSIRO lab covering some awesome topics such as space travel, the science of submarines, robots plus some amazing new technology that turns fruit into keyboards.
Book now so your kids don't miss out.
When: various times and days during the July school holidays
Where: Scitech, CityWest Leederville
Cost: classes vary, between $12 and $22, cheaper if you are a Scitrekker Click for more info.
Dinosaurs – dig it man!
I remember being totally amazed when Jurassic Park came out. I wanted to see the dinosaurs up close, although I could do without the running and getting eaten part. Luckily for your kids, the dinosaurs on display at the Perth Museum as part of their Dinosaur Discovery: Lost Creatures of the Cretaceous exhibit are both life size and realistic, but they probably won't eat you. Sessions run twice daily throughout July.
When: all of July, (finishes August 3) Morning 9.30am-12.30pm, afternoon 12.30pm-5pm
Where: Level 1, Perth Museum, Northbridge
Cost: $12.50 kids, $20 adults Click for more info.
Things to do for the Budget Conscious
Not everyone wants to spend a bucket load of money entertaining kids, so it is lucky there are some great places in Perth for kids which are either free or really cheap. Brilliant parks such as the Synergy Playground in Kings Park or Volcano Park in Belmont are fabulous for kids of all ages, and for rainy days you can't beat the free and very child-friendly exhibits at the Museum.
The City of Perth always has free entertainment during school holidays. This year they have a free City Snowland which includes a snow slide, snowman building and snowball throwing, and the Northbridge Piazza has regular (and free) family-friendly movies and music events.
When: July school holidays
Where: across Perth
Cost: Free or very cheap
For the Little Performers
For Pre-Primary kids all the way to year 8, the a3 'Australian Arts Alive' program is designed to teach kids a whole range of fun performing arts skills as well as build confidence and make friends. The littlies get to experience singing, dancing, drama and craft and while the older kids are taught about singing, dancing, drama and circus. This is a two day program.
When: Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th July
Where: Perth Modern School, Roberts Rd, Subiaco
Cost: $170 per child. Click for more info.
Rainy Day activities
Chances are it's going to rain at some point during the school holidays. Even if your kids are still little, school holidays inevitably affects you because all the great kid-friendly places like Scitech will be chockers every time it rains.
Click here for a number of really easy and fun science experiments that your kids can do at home during the holidays. Just because they're not at school doesn't mean they should stop learning.
If you are stuck indoors due to the weather, sick kids or budget constraints, here is a great list of fun activities your kids can do at home. Many are even more fun (for parents) because they can amuse the kids over a few days.
If you prefer to let your kids amuse themselves or perhaps you work from home and need some quiet time, try these activities for kids which require minimal parental involvement
When: wet, rainy days
Where: your place
Every term my daughter comes home from school with a brochure for Cartoon Camp which run over the school holidays. It looks awesome. While it would definitely be better suited to older kids (and probably those with a modicum of talent), cartoon camp has a really flexible approach to organised school holiday activities. You can choose from short days, long days and on certain days they even offer 'night camps' until 9pm. Each day has a different cartooning topic so kids can never claim to be bored.
When: Monday 14th to Friday 18th July
Where: The Centre, 61 Woodrow Avenue, Yokine
Cost: short days $30 (9.30am-3.30pm), long days $40 (8am-6pm) Click for more info.
I know, it seems a bit silly taking kids to the pool in the middle of winter, but kids don't really seem to feel the cold and it's guaranteed to be quieter than in the middle of January. There are a number of great indoor pools across Perth, they often have slides and other kid-friendly equipment, they are relatively cheap to visit and you can stay as long as you like.
Beatty Park has a brand new indoor pool and play area for kids, a slide, café, fountains and very shallow areas for the smallest of swimmers.
While it is a bit more simple, Craigie Leisure Centre also has a number of indoor pool areas that are suitable for kids including what might be the warmest indoor pool in Perth at 32 degrees (although it also has a great outdoor water playground if you're particularly brave).
Riverton Leisureplex has an indoor pool area with a spa and rapids, plus a huge 50m waterslide that sticks out of the side of the building, and looks totally awesome. Water slide times are limited so check the website, and they also cost extra on top of pool entry.
The South Lake Leisure Centre has a heated indoor play pool which includes the intriguing sounding water cave and the Belmont Aquatic Centre has an enormous indoor pool for kids with a huge variety of things to keep them wet and amused.
If you're worried that your child thinks OneDirection is the height of musical talent, then perhaps you can bring them along to the Beethoven Lives Upstairs family concert by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. While WASO plays some of Beethoven's most well-loved pieces, an award winning drama company will dazzle kids with a theatrical and entertaining story on stage. Suitable for 5-12 year olds plus anyone aged 30 .
When: Sunday 27th July, 1pm and 3pm
Where: Perth Concert Hall
Cost: $25 per person Click for more info.
Christmas in July
There is a lot to be said for celebrating Christmas when it's cold outside. It certainly makes a hot roast more welcome. Sure, it might not snow in Perth in July so building a snowman might be out of the question (unless of course you're at the City Snowland), but if you have trouble convincing kids to eat turkey then tell them it's Christmas in July and make a celebration out of it. Sing some carols, bake some gingerbread and make snowflakes out of doilies.
When: any time in July
Where: your place
Cost: as much or as little as you want Click for Christmas craft information
National Tree Day
Get your wellies on and roll up your sleeves for some good muddy fun: it's National Tree Day, and an opportunity to take part in helping thousands of other Australians plant over a million native trees, shrubs and grasses. You can sign up for one of the many hundreds of official events, or you can just be a part of it at home. Get the kids outside and involved in the environment. At the very least, make them weed the garden.
When: Sunday 27th July
Where: your place
Cost: free Click for more information
This One is for Us
Ok kids, listen up. The 4th Sunday in July is National Parents Day, so this means we want a sleep in. We're not making you breakfast, we're not sweeping up crumbs. Change your own nappy. We don't know where your Lego man is and we don't want to nag you about making your bed. Close the door so we can't see the mess.
If there is a good day to behave, it's today. Today is about us: the parents. Ask us about our childhoods. Let us get the photo albums out and bore you silly. Don't get embarrassed when we want to kiss and hug you in front of your friends. Let us choose the bedtime story. Give us back the TV remote.
Mums, dads: give yourself a pat on the back. Call your own parents and tell them what a good job they did. Let's celebrate the best job in the world.