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Kids/What to SEE/Multi-arts

What to SEE: Winter holidays kids’ gig guide 

22 June 2022

There’s no excuse for boredom in the July school holidays with a wealth of entertainment and activities around town for the young ones in your life. Check out the winter edition of our kids’ gig guide.

As a parent, I mostly love school holidays. The lack of nagging about homework, constant laundry and making lunches every morning. It’s a great time to join the kids at home being silly, messy – and bored. But as critical as boredom is in inspiring creative play, we all have our limits.  Luckily, there is a range of activities and events to enjoy. Here’s our anti-boredom kids’ gig guide for the July holidays.

Theatre

Those bastions of quality child-centric theatre, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, have a gorgeous offering these holidays. Hachiko: The Loyal Dog is a tale based on a true story from Japan. Set around a beautifully crafted cityscape, the Spare Parts team bring the story of one loyal hound to glorious life. It’s suitable for ages 5 and up and runs three times a day from July 2-16. The company is also offering some fantastic free resources springing from their earlier beloved production of The Velveteen Rabbit.

Another children’s theatre stalwart, Barking Gecko also brings a super inventive production in the form of Cicada, an adaptation of Shaun Tan’s award-winning picture book. Quirkily told with ingenious staging, Cicada is a story of resilience and the beauty of difference. It runs from 9-16 July at the State Theatre Centre.

Unless you’ve been in hiding for the past decade, you will be familiar with the The 13-Storey Treehouse phenomenon. A Sydney-based production brings Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s hugely popular stories to the stage in all their giggling glory. The sure-fire crowd pleaser runs from 6-10 July at the State Theatre Centre. And if you have younger ones in tow, the State Theatre Centre also showcases The Very Hungry Caterpillar from 11-17 July as well as The Gruffalo from 14-17 July, both from the same production company, CDP Theatre Producers. Devoted grandparents may want to check with parents about whether these shows have already been seen by their young companions as these are frequently rebooted … but then again, most kids love a second viewing of a favourite.

Toddlers in bright costumes, their arms blurred as they move, and in the background a teacher kneels at their height, smiling at them
Children join in the movement and storytelling at WA Ballet’s ‘Storytime Adventures’. Photo Amelia Blanko

Dance

West Australian Ballet has some story-based compressed classics aimed at wee ones between the ages of 3 and 7. Billed as “Storytime Adventures“, these short works expand literacy and encourage dance through familiar tales such as The Ugly Duckling, The Two-Hearted Numbat and Possum Magic. The season runs 4-6 July at the Ballet Centre in Maylands.

Visual arts

Visual arts gets in on the action too.  The kids will be amazed by the sheer scope of “Van Gogh Alive” currently on in Supreme Court Gardens, while artsy teens will find PICA’s annual graduate exhibition “Hatched” intriguing and potentially inspiring.

Kids' Gig Guide. A group of people are seen in silhouette gathered around brightly lit panels on walls and the floor showing images taken from paintings of flowers mainly in vibrant yellow tones
‘Van Gogh Alive’ is a visual spectacular to please art lovers of all ages. Photo supplied

Workshops

Holidays aren’t just about watching … how about some doing? Fremantle Arts Centre offers a marvellous array of arts workshops and classes and while you’re down in Freo, how about popping the kids into the big top courtesy of some circus arts with Circus WA?  But if the budget is a little tight, many local councils now offer a good variety of art-based activities in the school hols so be sure to check out your local council website for free and fun diversions.     

Museums

Last but not least, can I interest you in a dinosaur disco? The WA Museum Boola Bardip has a packed program of school holiday activities, many of them dinosaur themed and most of them free of charge. The disco takes place at night by torchlight on 15 July and there’s also a scavenger hunt/escape room family adventure that sounds perfect for enquiring minds.

In between all the fun on offer in the kids’ gig guide, remember the wisdom of philosopher Walter Benjamin: “Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of the experience.”  Feel free to perplex your small people with this nugget when they inevitably cry out, “I’m so bored!”

Pictured top: ‘Hachiko: The Loyal Dog’ is another treat for young people from Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Photo by Jarrad Seng

Find more winter entertainment options for people of all ages in our July Gig Guide!

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Author —
Varnya Bromilow

Varnya Bromilow is a happy dilettante who has worked as a journalist, advocate, oral historian, teacher and train driver. She spent 15 years with the ABC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The West Australian and enjoys writing fiction. She loves guinea pigs and the thrill of a good slide.

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