The Osborne Park Show is two fun nights for the whole family. Like a mini Royal Show you will find everything from rides and show bags to animal and produce displays. There will be fireworks displays at 9pm on both nights and so many entertainers, displays and demos I can't fit it all in. Prices have changed a bit this year – curiously, it is actually cheaper to attend the full day on Saturday than the opening night on Friday.
When: Friday 2nd December (from 5pm) and Saturday 3rd December (from 10am) Where: Robinson Reserve, Tuart Hill Cost: Friday night (5pm-10pm) $15 adults, $5 kids (5-15 years), $35 family Saturday (10am-10pm) $10 adults, $5 kids, $25 family Click for more info.
RAC Christmas Pageant
RAC Christmas Pageant The RAC/Channel Seven Christmas Pageant is a highlight of the Perth Christmas calendar and a must-do event for families. (As long as the weather is good.) With a starting time of 7.30pm it will last for about an hour. Check the website for the full route. Wear comfy shoes and be prepared to wear kids on your shoulders as the night progresses. They are after all, the ultimate accessory.
This year there will be free entertainment beforehand with An Outback Christmas in Forrest Place, plus new custom-designed Christmas projections on the GPO and special late-night shopping.
When: Saturday 3rd December 7.30pm Where: Perth CBD
Ellenbrook Christmas Festival
Head north (not that far north) to Elfenbrook (also known as Ellenbrook) for their special Christmas Festival with market stalls, games and rides, Youth Zone, special guests and lots of free entertainment including the X-Factor finalists The Fisher Boys, displays, cooking demonstrations, cultural presentations and more. Be there at 4pm to watch the special Christmas Pageant, with more than 40 different groups and floats.
Kicking off the festive season in Leederville is a free family friendly festival which will bring together market stalls, entertainment galore, kids activities and a host of other activities. With the main street closed to traffic, it's an easy ride on the train and this massive all-day event will culminate in turning on the Leederville Christmas lights at 7.45pm. Everyone is encouraged to dress in bright and colourful clothes and to bring a light to help make things glow.
Cruise to see the Lights
Some adults love 'em, some think they're over the top but kids tend to agree that spotting a house decked out in flashing Christmas lights is almost as good as checking out what's under the tree on Christmas morning. There are hundreds of houses and sometimes entire streets across Perth who get into the spirit and decorate their houses to within an inch of their lives.
Over the month of December Santa will be roving the streets of Perth, spreading cheer and probably feeling a little heat-flushed. Try your luck at hunting him down or guarantee yourself an exclusive visit by booking a time to see the man himself in the air-conditioned comfort of Myer. Book online and avoid the queues.
When: all of December until 24th
Where: in the streets of Perth, or in Santaland, Myer, Perth City
Cost: free Click for more info.
Xmas in Claremont
Ice-skating in Claremont
December in Perth isn't known for its frosty conditions, which makes the fact there will be free ice skating in Claremont even more exciting. The two-day Christmas in Claremont event will have all day ice skating on the Saturday (10am to 4pm) while on Sunday evening (5pm to 8.30pm) there will be Christmas carols, ice skating, free children's activities, workshops, market stalls, food stalls and more.
Perth Makers Christmas Markets
If you haven't quite finished your Christmas shopping, then head to Elizabeth Quay for the Perth Makers Market Christmas event whichnwill be held over two days, and showcase more than 120 of Perth's most creative and boutique craftspeople, designers, artisan and producers. Kids will be entertained as you shop with all-day entertainment and craft activities, as well as free sand art, face painting and even a visit from Santa himself in the afternoon.
When: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December from 10am-6pm
Where: Elizabeth Quay, Perth
Cost: free entry Click for more info.
Mindarie Christmas Market
Naturally, there will be a big Christmas market at this event, but I have really included it because of the free Kids Zone which will include slides, jumping castles, petting zoo, face painting, balloon twisting, sand cards and Christmas craft. Sounds like fun! You will also find lots of yummy food stalls, live entertainment, Santa's Elves and more.
Hills Christmas Celebrations
There will be a few family-friendly events in Kalamunda this month. On the 11th there will be traditional Carols by Candlelight, which is free to attend (but a small fee for candles and programs). Bring a rug and enjoy the twilight singing (7pm-9.30pm).
The Kiwi Christmas in the Park is on the 18th (11am to 6pm) – bring your family and enjoy live entertainment, craft, food and market stalls, and free kids rides. Everyone is also asked to bring a gift or non- perishable food item to place under the wishing tree for homeless whanau and family. There will be a talent competition, cultural groups and a youth stage.
When: Saturday 11th and 18th December
Where: Stirk Park, 18 Kalamunda Road , Kalamunda
Swan Family Twilight Festival
Kids will love a night of festivities with Christmas carols, markets stalls, sausage sizzle, free bouncy castle, face painting and bumper balls for the kids, plus a visit from Santa, craft activities and lots more.
When: Sunday 11th December, 4pm to 8.30pm with carols at 7pm
Where: Baskerville Oval, Memorial Ave
Cost: Free Click for more info.
Lake Monger Celebrations
Gather the family and bring them along to a free Christmas festival at Lake Monger. At the family friendly time of 4-8pm, it's early enough to get the kids to bed, and late enough so that it actually gets dark to enjoy the lights. With market stalls, hawker food stalls, live music (jazz and carols) and plenty of the kids' favourites (face painting, rides and free activities) it will be a great night out for all. Feel free to bring a picnic and blanket.
When: Thursday 15th December, 4-8pm
Where: Lake Monger Reserve, Wembley
Cost: Free Click for more info.
The special kids' service at Perth's Anglican Cathedral might be a fun way to show them about the real story of Christmas. Children are encouraged to come dressed as a shepherd, king, angel or animal so they can all take part in the nativity story.
Mayhem is practically guaranteed, and kids will enjoy being a part of something special, complete with carols and simple prayers.
When: Saturday 17th December
Where: St George's Cathedral, 38 St George's Terrace, 3pm
Cost: free Click for more info.
IGA Carols by Candlelight
December is the month for festive singing and it wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't sing at least one carol. There are plenty of free local Carol events throughout Perth but the big one has always been the IGA Carols by Candlelight. This year – for the first time in its 72 year history – the event is free (although you will still be asked for a small donation for song books and candles).
Happy New Year
Finally we see the end of 2016. Christmas is done, the tree is away, the toys are being played with and everyone is making resolutions. It's New Year's Eve, now what?
If you have small children who like to be in bed early you can celebrate NYE on Eastern Standard Time and have your kisses at 9pm and then go to bed.
Family-friendly alternatives include the Happy Zoo Year concert at Perth Zoo which includes special guests such as the Lorax and Tinkerbell. This concert always sells out so get your tickets now (they start at $14.25 for under 4s up to $47 for adults).
If that's a bit much, why not head to the Northbridge Piazza for the totally free Frozen sing-a-long, which starts at 4pm and then stay on for the free Family Night with world famous Strange Fruit with their unique aerial show and performances, plus two stages with live music, a children's zone and more.
Alternatively, if you are in either Rottnest or Mandurah, there will be big family-friendly celebrations at both, with fireworks at 9pm plus a range of activities and entertainment.
That concludes the last Secret List of 2016. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas and I will see you in the New Year with a big list of things to do with your kids during the summer school holidays.