How to entertain the kids now they're back at school
Welcome to the 21st edition of the Secret List. A list of fun things to do with your kids in Perth 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.
This month we can breathe a sigh of relief as school goes back but there is still plenty to do with kids of all ages this month.
Celebrate School Going Back The kids might be less than thrilled at the thought of returning to school but you can always get them in the mood by throwing them a back to school party. No really.
Click here for some great party ideas plus lunchbox and breakfast recipes, back-to-school crafts such as personalised notebooks and a homework station and printable's including book-covers and a homework calendar.
Of course, you can just wait for them to go back to school and then throw a party with the other parents. Champagne anyone?
When: Monday 3rd February
Paper Cut Central Part of the Summer Arts Festival, Paper Planet is a creative concept where kids and artists make a world made of paper. The space will constantly evolve as kids come in and make a new creation which they can leave as part of the world or take home with them.
Promising to be totally engrossing for kids of all ages, your children will never look at the junk mail or old newspaper the same again. Suitable for 2-12 year olds.
When: Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th February, 10-12 and 2.30-4.30pm Where: Karrinyup Shopping Centre, Library Forecourt, Davenport St, Karrinyup Cost: Free Click for more info.
If you have little ones at home who get lonely when their older siblings are at school, then pop along to Subiaco Library every Tuesday or Friday morning at 10.30am for Storytime (the Tuesday story is repeated on Friday).
Designed for pre-schoolers, the story time sessions run throughout the school term. For even younger kids, they run a baby rhyme time every Monday and Wednesday from 10am (from 2 months to 2 years old).
If you don't live near Subi, then check out your local library to see if they offer similar story sessions for pre-schoolers during the week or look at the State Library website.
When: various days during the week
Where: Subiaco Library, corner Rokeby Road and Bagot Road, Subiaco
Cost: FREE Click for more info.
The Northern (Night)Lights
Back due to popular demand, the City of Wanneroo offers free movies in the Amphitheatre across February with a number of popular kids' classics such as Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins and the Lion King.
Tickets are free but limited to two per address, and they can only be ordered online. Get in early to make sure you don't miss out (tickets are available two weeks before the movie).
Bring a blanket or low chair and a picnic and make a night of it with the family.
When: from Saturday 8th February (Finding Nemo) to Saturday 22nd February (Mary Poppins), movies start 7.30pm
Where: Jacaranda Amphitheatre, Wanneroo Civic Centre Wanneroo
Cost: Free Click for more info.
It's Good To Be Square
It might seem like asking for trouble, having a movie called the Croods: it's as though it invites kids to invoke their worst caveman behaviour. But when there is a free, twilight screening of this fun kids' movie, then it can't be all bad. The City of Fremantle is hosting Movies in the Square, a free family-friendly event where you can bring a picnic and settle in for a night under the stars.
When: Saturday 8th February, 2013, movie starts at 7.40pm
Where: Kings Square, 8 William Street Fremantle.
Cost: FREE Click for more info
Gung How Fat Choy
Happy Chinese New Year. Sunday the 9th marks the start of the Year of the Horse, and if you are a Horse try and not be easily offended this year and get involved in some group activities. Put your best new clothes on and head to the Northbridge Piazza for an all-day celebration including a Chinese snake, food stalls, dancing, martial arts and singing.
Other traditions including visiting family, and giving little red envelopes with money. Have a prosperous year List Readers.
When: Sunday 9th February, 10am-9pm
Where: Northbridge Piazza, corner James and Lake St Click for more info.
The Toddler Explosion
Kids (and parents) love Scitech any time of the year but there are two weeks of the year that this bastion of scientific scholarship puts its size sixes forward as the defender of toddler amusement and education. Welcome to Toddlerfest at Scitech.
Designed especially for 0-5 year olds in addition to the normal exhibits there will be a petting zoo, play-dough, giant bubbles, toddler gym circuit, baby zone, as well as displays for parents and the new exhibition: Ingenious.
When: Monday 10th February to Sunday 23rd February
Open: 9.30am-4pm weekdays, 10am-5pm weekends
Cost: normal admission fees apply
Where: Scitech, Sutherland St West Perth Click for more info.
Do You Love me, Baby?
Valentine's Day. Did you know that St Valentine was actually a Christian martyr who was beheaded on 14th of February? So forget the hot date (if you have kids, it's unlikely to happen anyway) or the red roses and candy hearts, and simply use it as an opportunity to express your gratitude for each other.
Get your kids to make a card for a friend or relative. Have a family picnic with a red theme (tomato bruschetta, sausages in buns with tomato sauce, beetroot and feta salad, watermelon, red velvet cake, red creaming soda).
When: Friday 14th February Click here for some Martha Stewart Valentine's Day Craft for kids.
In it for the Long Haul
With kids come toys. Too many toys and lots of wastage. If you can't find any ways here to donate or recycle your children's excess toys, then come along to the sustainability fair to see how the pros do it.
This free two day fair showcases the very best and most beautiful ways of upcycling your unwanted goods, and on the Sunday (2pm) kids can learn how to make their own upcycled terrarium as well as meet the Eco Faeries.
When : Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February, 2-5pm
Where: Earthwise, 315 Bagot Rd, Subiaco
Cost: Free Click for more info.
Get Wiggly at the Zoo
Ahhh the Wiggles, love 'em or hate 'em they are as Aussie as a meat pie and most kids thinks they're awesome. But the Wiggles aren't actually coming to the zoo, so don't fret.
Instead, join ex-Wiggle Sam Morant and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra at Perth Zoo for a night of music, dance and songs. He plays a mean trumpet, so let's see if Tricia joins in for a duet.
When: Sunday 23rd February, gates open 5.30pm
Where: Perth Zoo, Labouchere Road, South Perth
Cost: tickets $35 Click here for more info.
Let the Kids Muck Up at Uni
If your kid is a bookworm or has aspirations to draw comics then take them along to family day at the Perth Writers Festival. With readings by some great Australian and international authors such as Morris Gleitzman (Extra Time), Catherine Jinks (City of Orphans series), Danny Katz (Mucked Up), Aleesah Darlison (The Unicorn Riders, Ash Rover) and Ursula Dubosarsky (The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno and Alberta) there is something for every kid. Also appearing is master illustrator Terry Whidborne (Word Hunters).
There will also be kids' activities, games, face painting, workshops and talks by other authors and illustrators.
When: Sunday 23rd February
Where: University of Western Australia, Crawley
Cost: Free admission, workshops $12 Click for more info.