Welcome back to the Secret List. A list of fun and unusual things to do with your kids each month. 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.
The weather is fine, we are halfway through the term. Why not take advantage of Perth's glorious spring temperatures and take the kids along to the Piazzarama.
Held monthly on the first Sunday of every month, this month's theme is Carnival Macabre (well, Halloween was the night before). Put the kids to bed in their Halloween outfits and they will be ready to go! Free activities, roving entertainers plus screenings of Box Trolls and The Curse of the Were Rabbit.
Freo Family Fun Day To celebrate the end of the Fremantle festival, the Freo Leisure Centre will have an open day full of all things fun and wet. $2 gets your entry to the pool plus a day of free activities. Don't forget a picnic and rug.
When: Sunday 1st November, 11am-3pm
Where: Fremantle leisure Centre, 20 Shuffrey St, Fremantle
Cost: $2 entry Click for more information
Belmont, the Place to Be
Belmont is having a festival so big it needs an entire month. From a jazz evening in the park (Sun 8th), a free kids movie [Casper] (Fri 13th), and a huge free closing festival (Sat 28th) with free carnival rides, entertainment, and international food stalls.
Performances by Zap Circus, plus an huge range of popular and award winning acts. Finish the night with a free fireworks display.
When: Various dates across November
Where: Various locations in Belmont
Cost: Free Click for more info.
Take Heed Young Writers
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) may be known as a creative writing event for adults, but there is also a dedicated Young Writers Program for participants under 17 years. Grown-ups are encouraged to write 50,000 words of a novel over the course of the month, but kids get to set their own individual goals based on their age. Tens of thousands of young novelists take part ever year. Who knows, maybe the key to your early retirement is playing in your back yard right now.
The Melbourne Cups is not traditionally associated with kids, what with all the gambling and drinking and dangerously high heels. Four olds also look quite silly in fascinators. So avoid the event and do something else with your kids that day. Here are some alternatives to watching the race. If you like horses, then maybe you can stage your own race in your local park and combine it with a picnic (don't forget the carrots). Here are some horses to colour in.
When: Tuesday 3rd November
Where: everywhere (but especially Melbourne where they get a day off!)
Cost: Free Click for more information
Walk This Way
The John Hughes Big Walk may not be for kids as such, but it is certainly *for* kids. Every year, thousands of walkers raise money for Princess Margaret Hospital and for the first time you ca choose exactly where your money is directed. Every year they raise over $25,000!
With a range of distances from 6km to 15km you can choose one that little legs can keep up with (or that you can manage with a pram). There are all sorts of prizes and activities during the day, not to mention the warm fuzzies from participating in a good cause.
When: Sunday 8th November, 8am
Where: Burswood Park
Cost: $25 adults, under 15 years $10, under 5 years free Click for more information
Head down to the Rosalie Fete
November is festival and fete month and many of the schools are running their big annual celebrations. In the case of Rosalie Primary School they only have a fete every few years it's a bit like the Olympics – massive and heaps of fun.
You will find a huge side show with rides and activities, a wealth of stalls selling everything from Christmas craft to second-hand books, a feast of food stalls plus all the fun and games you come to expect from a huge school fete including bungee jousting and a nerf gun firing range.
Or Some More
I said it was fete month, and while I can't list every Festival in November, here is a list of some of the biggest fetes until the end of the year covering suburbs as diverse as Baldivis and Scarborough, Rockingham to Mt Lawley. Click for more information
Or perhaps a family, food and fun night at Burswood for those who enjoy an evening market with hawker food chilling to live music. Click for more information
A Minute of Silence
Usually when the kids are quiet they're up to no good, but not today. At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, Aussies stop for a minute to remember all those who have given their lives in the defence of our country.
If you're planning on being at the shops (or anywhere public) around this time, take your littlies something to occupy their mouths (like a lovely sugary lollypop) so they don't choose that exact time to announce they've loaded their nappy or ask why boogers taste so weird.
When: Wednesday 11th November
A Day at the Farm
If you have had enough of screen time, take the kids out to the Avondale Discovery Farm, in the beautiful Avon Valley for a wonderful learning about history, animals and farming. Click here for more information about this great day out.
Love of My (Kids) Life
One year I suggested sending a thank you card to our favourite invention (the TV) on World Television Day, and the next I suggested going old-school and turning it off. Scandalous, I know, but it's amazing how much living can be done when the box is off.
Grab one of those big boxes your last flat screen came in, draw on the screen and some dials (I know, modern TVs don't have dials) and cut out a large square in the middle. Prop it up between two chairs, and presto! Your kids can be on TV.
The UN does point out that this day of recognition isn't so much of the technology itself, but rather the way the TV has become a symbol of globalisation and communication. In our house, the TV is a symbol of harmony and silence and I love it. Thank you TV.
Since Aussies seem to have adopted Halloween and various other American traditions, it will only be a matter of time before we start doing Thanksgiving here as well. It's best just to think about the most basic idea of being grateful and giving thanks. We shouldn't have to limit this to a single day every November though.
Leave the frozen turkey at the supermarket and instead make a picnic or a good Aussie BBQ, sit the kids down and get everyone to say what they are most thankful for or try these gratitude crafts.