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Top Things to Do with Your Kids in January: The Secret List

Home > Perth > Family | Free | Lists | School Holiday Activities | School Holidays
by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Storyteller. Find out more at or join me at
Published December 15th 2015
Get Organised NOW If You Want To Survive the School Holidays
Happy New Year Secret Listers. Can you believe this is the 44th edition of the Secret List and it is now in its 5th year?

As usual, the Secret List brings you a compilation of fun and unusual events and activities to do with your kids in Perth every month. There is something for every family, no matter how much you have to spend, where you live and how old your kids are.

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.

It's the start of a new year

Happy New Year
The ancient Babylonians have been celebrating New Year's Day for thousands years, and one of their customs is that all borrowed farm equipment should be returned. What's the relevance, you ask? Not much, but maybe you should look around the kids rooms and get them to dig out all the toys they 'borrowed' over the past year, and return them to their owners.

Perhaps you can gather up all the toys they no longer play with and have a toy-swap with your mothers' groups or friends, or better yet, donate them to one of Perth's great charities. Click here for ideas on what to do with all the soft toys you no longer need.

When: Friday January 1st, 2016
Where: everywhere
Cost: nothing

Xscape at the City
The enormous water slides at Xscape at the Ciity

Get Wet
This year Perth is hosting an awesome pop-up water park in Ascot, with massive inflatable slides, a dedicated toddler zone, play pools, trampolines, obstacle courses and so much more. The biggest slides can be seen from space (*not actually true, but they can be seen from Great Eastern Highway) and even though there are no age restrictions, there are height restrictions on some of the rides. Get your tickets early

When: all summer
Where: Belmont Racecourse, Burswood
Cost: all access, full day ticket $32.50, spectators from $4
Click for more information.

Find your name
If you have never actually made it to the Perth Bell Tower or been to see the new Elizabeth Quay, then this may be the opportunity you are looking for. If you or your children were students in Perth in 2000 then you probably had your name inscribed on thousands of tiles around the Bell Tower as part of the Sign In 2000 Project.

The tiles were ripped up again when work began on Elizabeth Quay, but they were recently relaid in a new memorial. All 200,000 names have been reworked and feature in a new public installation.

When: every day in January
Where: Barrack Square, Riverside Drive, Perth
Cost: free
Click for more info.

Beach Party
Celebrate the New Year in family-friendly style by heading along to the Shelley Community Concert. With plenty of family friendly activities, music and bands this will be a great way to welcome 2016.

If you found staying up to midnight to watch the fireworks too difficult on New Year's Eve, console yourself with the much more sleep-friendly firework display that closes the Party at 8pm. Between 3pm-6pm there will be a bouncy castle, jeep driving and water slide for the kids. BYO picnic or get dinner from the market stalls.

When: Friday January 1st, 2015, 3pm-8pm
Where: Shelley Beach foreshore, Riverton Drive
Cost: Free
Click for more information.

It's a glow sensation at daytime discos

Dancing Kings and Queens
Disco party in the middle of the day? Brilliant. Every Tuesday to Friday during the school holidays, Decadance in Joondalup is offering two hour dance sessions (from 12.45pm) so your little groovers can dance themselves into a frenzy. Kids can request songs and watch them on the big screen. Bookings are required.

When: Tuesdays to Fridays in January 12.45pm for two hours
Where: Decadance, 15 Royce Court, Joondalup
Cost: $10
Click for more info.

Mini Masterchefs
They might be on school holidays but that's no reason for kids to stop learning. Consider sending the kids to cooking classes designed especially for different age groups, teaching them about all sorts of essential kitchen skills and dishes.

Whats2Eat in Wanneroo has a massive school holiday program, offering great classes for different age groups every day of the holidays. Tastebudds in Highgate also offers dedicated kids cooking classes covering a range of cuisines and cooking styles.
Bookings are essential.

When: throughout January
Where: Whats2Eat: 10 Scenic Drive Wanneroo
Tastebudds: 305 Lord St, Highgate
Cost: varies

Outdoor Movie Magic
Why watch a movie at home on the small screen when you can lounge around in public and watch it on the supersized massive Northbridge Piazza Screen. Throughout January, Free Flicks for Kids will be showing movies on Saturday afternoons starting at 5.30pm. Perfect for a casual picnic or grab some takeaway from one of the nearby restaurants.

When: every Saturday in January
Where: Northbridge Piazza
Cost: Free
Click for more info.

Fremantle Arts Centre
Make your own fuzzy felted pet

Get Your Art On
No one can deny that the summer school holidays are verrrrry long. So if you (and the kids) need a bit of space, then consider some of the great art programs on offer. Also check out your local council and libraries and see if they have a school holiday program: many of the events are often free or very cheap for locals.

My tip: BOOK NOW if you like the sound of something. Forgot wrapping the Christmas presents, this is more important.

Fremantle Arts Centre: (bookings are open)
There are separate programs for 5-8 years, 9-12 years, 13-18 years and include a massive range of creative classes like mosaics, animation, music and dance, book making, toy making, jewellery making and much more. Times and prices vary, but they are all run by professional artists, usually last a few hours and range upwards from $50 for the younger groups to $60 for 9-12 year olds, and now they also offer a teen art class as well for the older kids. Check website for more info.

Where: 1 Finnerty St, Fremantle

If your child would prefer something more unstructured, then consider the pottery painting workshops at Pottery Playroom or Fired! both in Joondalup.

Circus Skills Workshops
Catering for kids aged between five and 17, these circus skills workshops will teach a range of fun tricks including trapeze, diablo, hula-hoop, acrobatics, juggling, plate-spinning and tumbling. Each workshop is 90 minutes and costs $29. Classes are broken into age groups so your children will be with similar aged kids. Book now.

When: Monday 11th to Friday 22nd January, 2016
Where: Circus WA, 8 Phillimore St, Fremantle
Cost: $29pp
Click for more info.

Big Busselton Party
Over 50 years old, the Festival of Busselton is a series of activities and events designed to celebrate this great area and make people feel welcome. With a range of things to be involved in such as the Battle of the Bands, the Festival Queens and sandcastle competition if you are planning on being down south, make sure you check out the Facebook page to see what's on. There will be fireworks, markets, a street float parade, deckchair theatre and competitions.

When: 1st-31st January, 2016
Where: Around Busselton and Dunsborough
Cost: mostly free
Click for more info.

Eco Faeries
The Eco Faeries, image courtesy Summerset Arts Festival

Eco Faeries Beachside
Head along to the Scarborough Beach Reserve for some free craft activities with the Eco Faeries. Kids will love these colourful fairies as they learn how to make sea shell pendants or a Nature wand. Stay on to watch the special Eco Faeirie show for $6 in the Big Top.

When: Monday 25th January, craft 9.15am, show 10.30am
Where: Scarborough Beach Reserve, The Esplanade, Scarborough
Cost: Craft: Free, Show $6 pp
Click for more info.

Because kids apparently can't get enough of dinosaurs, Erth's Dinosaur Zoo the fantastic theatre show with life-like and large scale puppets will amaze and possibly eat your children. Aimed at kids 5-12 years, there will be three shows daily and even if you have seen the show before, this year there are new dinosaurs including a T-rex and Triceratops.

When: From January 4th 31st, 2016
Where: West Australian Museum
Cost: tickets from $15
Click for more info.

Everything went bang
Orrrrstrayla Day. It means something different to everyone, but at the end of the day (literally) all of Perth look towards the sky. Most local councils hold Australia Day celebrations and the best place to check is your local paper. If there's a party, it'll be advertised in there.

Alternatively, you can stay home, sit under a sprinkler, have a barbie, drink some beer (or cordial) and play some cricket.

There are also more fireworks than you can poke a flaming stick at, including events in Bassendean, Armadale and Bunbury, the 'Indian Ocean Skyshow' in Fremantle; and the biggie the City of Perth fireworks.

When: Tuesday 26th January, start times vary
Cost: Free
Where: look up in the sky
For more info check your local papers.


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Why? Big month of school holidays
When: January 2016
Where: Across Perth
Cost: varies
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