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Features/Kids/Multi-arts

Winter gig guide for kids

25 June 2021

Stay active during the winter holidays with this list of family-friendly arts experiences that will warm the body and the heart.

We are so fortunate to have our cultural sector back in full swing, with a host of events coming up over the holidays. Be inspired by this line-up of exhibitions, art, music, theatre and cultural events for all the family.

Exhibitions

Most of us have already been to the new WA Museum Boola Bardip, but here’s a very good reason to head back there. A new exhibition has opened and it looks incredible. “Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes” is bringing us 178 artefacts of Greek sculpture, armour, jewellery, vases and ancient sporting artefacts from the British Museum. There are plenty of school holiday activities linked to this exhibition (including a Greek Minecraft session!) that will hook in all members of the family.

There’s also a new exhibition at the WA Maritime Museum which will no doubt fuel endless hours of Lego creativity (for adults too!). “Brickwrecks: Sunken ships in LEGO® bricks!” plunges into the stories behind eight of the world’s most fascinating shipwrecks. The legendary Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught and his team spent over 1600 hours and used over 153,000 LEGO® bricks to bring these models to life with lots of minifig details, hidden Easter eggs and historical facts. The ships include the Batavia, a Dutch trading vessel that sank in 1629 off Western Australia and infamous HMS Titanic. The exhibit includes large-scale models, multi-media exhibits, and real objects.

Art

There’s a gorgeous hands-on art workshop coming up at the  Perth Institute of Contemporary Art inspired by popular culture and the natural world. Children (recommended ages 5-12) are encouraged to get creative and make flowers with Hama beads. They are also invited (and this is very cool!) to exhibit their bead designs on the Field of Flowers wall, in the Hatched National Graduate exhibition. The workshops run 11 am – 12pm in the first week of the school holidays.

Music

The Perth cast of ‘The Addams Family’, opening at The Regal Theatre 15 July. Photo supplied

There are a couple of musicals coming to town, including the The Addams Family at the Regal Theatre 15-18 July and the WA premiere of Jungle Book the Musical at the Don Russell Performing Arts Centre 2-10 July. 

Mem Fox and Julie Vivas’ delightful book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge has been adapted into a comic opera by Emma Jayakumar (the composer behind WA Ballet’s Snugglepot and Cuddlepie). This story of a small boy who helps his 96-year-old friend Miss Nancy find her memory will unfold with music and song from July 13-16.

Perth’s hot new music ensemble Australian Baroque have reputation for doing interesting things, and this month they have partnered with an astrophysicist for a concert called Space, which takes the audience on a multi-sensory trip through space and time with stunning NASA images, accompanied by a full baroque orchestra! The family show is on 3rd July.

Theatre

Speaking of multi-sensory, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s immersive show Rules of Summer is running for the entire school holidays. It is adapted from the book by Shaun Tan and follows the journey of two children experiencing the emotional journey of life. It offers the audience an immersive experience full of mysterious rules… What rule will you break? Will you accept or reject a tasty treat? And what consequences will await?

NAIDOC Week

A group of children gather around a woman holding a baby, all are painted with white paint and wearing headbands in red, black and yellow braid
Maali Festival runs 9-10 July at the State Theatre Centre. Photo supplied

The school holidays are also rich with NAIDOC Week events celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme this year is Heal Country and here are three ways you can join in:

  1. The Art Gallery of WA is hosting a series of hands-on workshops, celebrating NAIDOC week with Noongar storytelling, basket weaving and story poles. The workshops are free but bookings are essential.
  2. Black Swan State Theatre’s Maali Festival, runs 9-10 July at the State Theatre Centre with free music, theatre and film events plus opportunities to have high tea with the elders, and participate in a community dinner.
  3. Djinda Boodja (formerly known as Abmusic) is celebrating the grand opening of their new art centre with free performances and workshops where participants can try an instrument, learn Noongar language and paint a drum skin.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the richness of #YourArtsPlayground.

Since writing this, some shows have been cancelled or postponed due to lockdown. For the most current show details please check with the relevant arts organisation.

Pictured top: The Batavia is one of the Lego models on display as part of the WA Maritime Museum’s exhibition ‘Brickwrecks: Sunken ships in LEGO® bricks!‘. Photo supplied

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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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