Welcome to the third edition of the Secret List. A list of fun, different and unusual things to do with your kids each month. It may not be exhaustive, but there should be 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.
Traditionally the first day of August is the day all horses have their birthday (in the Northern hemisphere, they celebrate on January 1st). Even if your equine friend is actually born on July 31st, the following day they would technically be classed as a yearling! Interesting? Perhaps. Relevant? Not really. What can you do with your kids to celebrate? Go on a Farm Stay? Go on the merry-go-round at the zoo? Ride the stuffed ponies at Toys R Us.
Celebrate the big kids being back at school Sure I know the kids may not agree, but for all those parents with pre-schoolers at home, suddenly you can breathe a sigh of relief as the older kids head back for Term 3.
What can you do with five and half hours in the middle of the day (when the little ones aren't napping)… well, not much. But if you head out, you will find that all your favourites – the Zoo, Scitech, Stickybeaks – are considerably quieter.
When: all month
Don't freak out, I'm not actually breastfeeding in this picture
Get Your Girls Out Oh don't look so shocked - it's National Breastfeeding Week. Sure, it's probably an activity you can only do with kids under a certain age, but if you're lucky enough to be a new mum, with a bub on the boob, this is the week to be proud about your ability to nourish your children without the aid of artificial flavours and colours.
When: Wednesday August 1st to 7th Click for more information
Blue Light Disco
If your kids are into dancing, smoke machines and strobe lights, then they'll love the Blue Light Disco. Alternatively, if you want to scare them a bit, having all the uniformed cops walking around might be just the thing they need. There's an early session for the little kids, and then a later one for the teenagers. And unlike discos back in my day, these are full on events with inflatable slides and face painters!
When: Friday August 3rd
Where: Wembley Community Centre
Cost: $7 entry Click for more info
Avon Descent - Family Fun Days
Grab the kids and watch the world's only white water race where power craft compete with paddle craft. Doesn't really sound fair, does it? Held over two days, and over 130 kilometres on two rivers, the Avon Descent is now in its 39th year. And there is plenty to celebrate with Family Fun days being held in various locations over the weekend, with helicopter rides, traditional dance, cuddly animal farm, kids craft, performers and face painters and a bouncy castle or two.
When: Friday August 3rd to Sunday 5th
Where: various locations in Belmont, Guildford, Northam, Toodyay and Bayswater Click for more information
Ok, so taking the kids to London might be a bit of a stretch, but there is no reason you can't celebrate the games at home. Split the kids into teams (boys versus girls is always good for a bit of competition), make up your own country, design a flag, build a mascot, and write your own national anthem. Oh, and design an awesome national costume. Or you could just support an actual country.
Ride your bike, swim in the tub, chuck balls at each other, run down the street, jump over things. Then award yourselves medals and sing very loudly with your arms around each other.
When: July 27th to Sunday August 12th
Where: duh, London Click for more info
National Science Week
Ok, so you're not actually breastfeeding anyone anymore, you are scared of horses and your kids are more intellectuals than Olympians. No worries, get your nerd on and celebrate science in a week of Bunsen burners and pipettes. There are a number of events across Perth including astronomy, forensic science, explosions, Antarctic exploration and nudity (no really, check it out).
When: Saturday August 11th to Saturday 19th Click for more info
These are cupcakes. I made them! RSPCA Cupcake Day
National Cupcake Day
Now this is more like it! A day dedicated to cupcakes. Not really, but there is a lot of cake involved in the RSPCA Cupcake Day [ironically, it is held two days before the 40 Hour Famine]. Dedicated to 'fighting animal cruelty with cupcakes', you can join in an organised event, or arrange one of your own. C'mon – fluffy puppies, cute kitties and cake. What more do you want?
National Book Week
Wow, there are a lot of 'weeks' in August. Must be the cold, wet weather keeping everyone indoors. And what better indoor activity than reading books? Book Week is the longest running kids festival in Australia. It's as old as your Grandma! Now in its 67th year, most schools and public libraries will be holding activities and events for kids of all ages. Be a champion. Read a book.
When: Saturday August 18th to August 24th Click for more info
Bring your grandparent to Playgroup Week
No really, I haven't made this up just to get some babysitting, it's a real event. Of course I can't prove this, and the Playgroup WA website doesn't mention it. But it sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? All that lovely intergenerational camaraderie. Don't forget to bring a cake, Grandma.