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Features/Kids

Summer Gig Guide for Kids

12 December 2018

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Wondering what to do with the kids this summer? Seesaw co-editor and mum-at-large Rosalind Appleby has compiled a gig guide that will kindle creativity!

The summer holidays are here with long weeks of sunshine, rest and play for children. How will you fill your child’s summer? I’m reluctant to schedule events into the wonderful hours of unstructured play that my children relish, but I also know that things deteriorate when we stay home for too long.

My favourite thing to do is head out to art events.  The American writer Dorothea Brande said “A child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled.”

I find that going to arts events as a family stimulates so much creativity when we return home. And there is plenty to choose from this summer with a host of family-friendly events plus the Fringe World starting in January.

Opening this week at the State Theatre Centre is the 91-Storey Treehouse. The team behind the 13-, 26-, 52- and 78-Storey Treehouses are back with another trip into this weird and fantastical world. The play by Richard Tulloch is adapted from the books by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton and aimed at children aged 6-12.

Also on this weekend is Symphony in the City. On Saturday night the West Australian Symphony Orchestra is joining forces with Lotterywest, the City of Perth and Variety for what will be Perth’s largest outdoor Christmas concert. Sing-along to Jingle Bells and Silent Night while also enjoying the sparkling Overture to Bernstein’s Candide, Jupiter from Holst’s The Planets and Tchaikovsky’s popular 1812 Overture, featuring a spectacular fireworks-filled finale.

In the lead up to Christmas there are some lovely themed events for children. The immersive theatre show Santa’s Enchanted Wardrobe runs from 14-25th December at Claremont Showgrounds. This imaginative mix of the Narnia and Santa stories involves the Wardrobe, Enchanted Forests, Ice Caves and wonderful creatures waiting to help or hinder you on your epic adventure to meet a real Santa! Perfect for ages 2-16.

The City of Perth has curated a Christmas Lights Trail.  Select from two mapped out journeys or go your own way as you marvel at the stunning animated lights, street decorations and projections across the CBD.

A new children’s show Maisie will be premiering at the Subiaco Arts Centre on Jan 18-19. Maisie is a princess who doesn’t want to be a princess. She’d much prefer to play video games or go exploring! The production features professional and emerging young artists, and is also part of the Fringe Perth program. For more Fringe events stay tuned for Seesaw’s Fringe Kids Guide.

Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic Alice in Wonderland comes to life at the State Theatre Centre from 22-23 January. A cast of actors and puppeteers fresh from performances in Victoria will bring to life this madcap story.

Another classic book has been adapted to the stage by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. They are reprising their 2015 production Moominpappa at Sea based on the series of Moomin books by Tove Jansson. The season runs from Jan 14 to Feb 2 for children aged 5+. Spare Parts will also be running a pop up puppet making station on Saturdays in the park directly in front of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Experienced tutors will help children make their own hand puppets.

If your children like to get involved in the action you could also enrol them in NIDA’s Screen Acting Boot Camp for kids which runs 7-13th Jan. The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts also offers a range of theatre, musical theatre and music courses for young people ages 9-18 at WAAPA’s Summer School. These courses run on various dates throughout the summer holidays, starting Monday 19 December.

For kids who love to dance, Co3 Australia is running contemporary dance workshops January 14-18 (7-12 years), focusing on developing creativity, imagination and team work through dance. For teens, the senior workshop runs January 29 – February 1 (13-18 years) and includes daily contemporary technique classes, workshops in improvisation and choreography, and a taste of the Co3 repertoire.

An absolute must-see is the Fremantle Art Centre’s first curated exhibition for children running throughout the holidays. Animaze: Amazing Animals for Kids is a visual and sensory delight. You can read the Seesaw review here. FAC also run a plethora of art classes for all age ranges during the holidays including pottery, 3D animation, digital game development, craft, film-making, stencil, clowning, mosaic, drawing and tie dying.

Speaking of art classes, there are plenty on offer over summer. In Fremantle Inkling (a studio next to Paper Bird) will be running Christmas art classes from the 17-21st December plus holiday classes in January. Themes include clay, watercolour, selfies, rock art and Christmas! Other options are Quirky Cactus in Subiaco, the Children’s School of Contemporary Art in Applecross, Galleria Art Studio in Morley, Creative Kids Art Club at various locations and Jackie Peach in Queens Park runs paint pouring classes for children 10+.

Dive in and kindle your child’s creativity this summer!

Pictured Top: Alice in Wonderland by Boyd Productions

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

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