Features/Kids/What to SEE/Multi-arts

What to SEE: gig guide for kids this April school holidays

30 March 2022

Even the pandemic can’t keep West Australian kids from enjoying a smorgasbord of the arts. Lydia Edwards offers a taste of where to find the fun in the school holidays.

WA is currently in the grip of COVID-19 restrictions but there are still plenty of options for families to explore the arts this April school holidays. From large venues to hidden gems, here is a gig guide for kids that gives just a taste of what to expect.


This school holidays, children in years 3-8 can embrace some cosmic curiosity in The Great Unwondering of Wilbur Whittaker, a new play from Barking Gecko Theatre Company and award-winning director Luke Kerridge. Complex and worldly tropes are delivered in an accessible and adventurous spirit, with plenty of scope for adults to also enjoy the poignant coming-of-age themes.

Adults are also sure to reminisce at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s production of The Velveteen Rabbit, a nearly century-old story that has been tugging at heartstrings for generations. This production from 2005 is perfect for audiences pre-primary aged and up, and brings the tale to life through skilled puppetry in an intimate venue.

Three stuffed toys sit on a miniature stage with the face of someone wearing a cap off to the left with a wide smile
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ runs during the school holidays. Photo: Ashley de Prazer

Children in year 1 and up can take their parents and guardians to Potted Potter, the Unauthorised Harry Experience, a parody of the universally-loved Harry Potter novels. This show has toured worldwide to great acclaim and is playing to WA audiences at the State Theatre from 20-24 April.


The lovely Subiaco Library is inviting children to meet acclaimed WA illustrator Kylie Howarth, author of Fish Jam; 1, 2, Pirate Stew and the Chip series about a greedy seagull. This is a rare opportunity to not only watch Kylie at work, but to get hands-on and messy yourself as she runs a step-by-step workshop. This free event is on April 12, and bookings are essential.

If you don’t fancy wielding charcoal or a paintbrush, step back and take in the exhibitions running as part of the Art Gallery of WA’s school holiday program. From 18 March to 18 April, children and carers can learn about First Nations art and culture during “BlakLight”. Within this month-long program, the session especially suited to littler ones is “Boorongur”, which offers reflection and/or hands-on engagement with Noongar culture through the crafting of raffia and wool creatures. Elsewhere in the gallery, older children will be fascinated by the surreal abstraction of Noongar and Torres Strait Islander artist Tyrown Waigana, whose multi-media work explores ideas around growth, connection and regeneration.

From there wander across to The State Library of WA, which has long held engaging, thoughtful exhibitions to promote children’s art and literature. In April their light, bright mezzanine floor is hosting Perfectly Posh! Illustrations by Gabriel Evans. Visitors can see original illustrations from Evans’s A Perfectly Posh Pink Afternoon Tea and re-enact the story with props and dress-ups. Those unfamiliar with the work also have the chance to curl up and read it together in a calm, inspiring environment.


The WA Museum Boola Bardip, already a supremely all-ages-friendly venue, is offering up some extra special treats during the April school holidays. Riding on the tails of last year’s 25th anniversary for Pokémon, young enthusiasts can attend “Pokerama!” from 13-20 April. These drop and leave workshops are best suited to 8-12 year olds, and provide the tools to create Pokerama Domes, origami, and Pokémon cards amongst others. Fans can also fire up their creativity beforehand at Nostalgia Box on Aberdeen Street, which is offering a Pokemon and Pizza day on April 9. Themes of animation and gaming continue at Boola Bardip with sessions exploring stop motion animation, Minecraft, and a special two day workshop for young adults (recommended 10-14 years), in which participants will create their very own game to take home.

Video games are transformed in the WA Museum’s immersive exhibition “Virtual Reality’. Photo supplied

It’s not all gaming and anime though; the museum’s vibrant program also offers experiences in archaeology and codebreaking, and “Art vs Science: Creating Curios” invites 8-12 year olds to enter the surprisingly ancient world of bio-art. Participants will use concepts from taxidermy and illustration to create a resin dome, in this rare opportunity to see art and science in symbiosis.

Fremantle is in full school holiday swing too: over at the WA Maritime Museum children can explore the wonder of whales through art, craft and games, or learn how to create marbled paintings in connection with the museum’s “Walking with Colour” exhibit. This presents the breathtaking work of cinematographer Michael Haluwana and, along with the holiday workshops, is free (museum entry fees apply).


Wild Freo street art festival (16-18 April) offers a COVID safe choose-your-own-adventure during the April school holidays. The festival invites audiences to reflect on protecting our endangered animals and there are both free and ticketed events designed to be interactive, reflective and playful. The must see for families is the multi-sensory, puppetry-based experience Boodjar, presented by internationally renowned Erth Visual & Physical Inc. And there is plenty more to explore in the spaces and sanctuaries around Fremantle from parklands to heritage buildings where you will discover theatre, puppetry, dance, design, animation, sound and sculpture.

For those who would prefer a largely digital experience, the KickstART Festival is back with a difference, offering online and hybrid formats for Youth Week WA (8-16 April) with the timely theme of “Courage to Change”.

Phew. There’s no holding Perth back! Even the pandemic can’t keep WA’s youngsters from enjoying a smorgasbord of arts.

Pictured top: Puppets are part of the multi-sensory fun in ‘Boodjar‘, presented by Erth Visual & Physical Inc at Wild Freo festival. Photo supplied

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Author —
Lydia Edwards

Lydia Edwards is a fashion historian and author. Her first book How to Read a Dress was published in 2017 and its follow up, How to Read a Suit, will be out in February 2020. She lectures at ECU and WAAPA, and her favourite piece of playground equipment is the expression swing!

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    Awesome Festival continues, with a beautifully constructed, personal perspective of life on the autism spectrum that leaves Lydia Edwards and junior reviewer Bethany Stopher with a rare feeling of connection to the protagonist.

  • Summer fun has a dark side

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