Features/Kids/What to SEE/Multi-arts

Keep the kids happy this holidays

26 June 2023

Feeling the cold? There’s plenty to warm young hearts (and the young at heart) this July school holidays. Enter a winter wonderland of creative pursuits. 

Whether your kids love monsters or mayhem, making music or creating crafts, you are bound to find something to keep them – and you – amused. Julie Hosking delves into some holiday goodies.

Cool times

The Snow 
4-16 July @ Studio Underground 

Grimms fairytale meets Monty Python? That’s one of the ways Barking Gecko artistic director Luke Kerridge describes The Snow, a whimsical adventure that will delight children but also has plenty of meaning for adults. Australia’s first professional adaptation of Finegan Kruckemeyer’s play, it tells the story of young Thea who is (quite literally) catapulted out of her village in search of a solution after a snowfall traps everyone. Recommended for ages 8-plus. 

Dog Man the Musical is packed with laughs for kids, big and small. Photo: Jeremy Daniel (2019 US cast, TheaterWorks USA)

Dog Man the Musical 
12-16 July @ Octagon Theatre 

Dav Pilkey’s The Dumb Bunnies and Captain Underpants were staples when my kids were young. Dog Man, yet another of the prolific graphic novelist’s series, has been adapted into a musical that will undoubtedly be as silly and entertaining as the books. Join this crime-biting canine “with the head of a dog and the body of a policeman” as he sniffs out the villains – Petey the evil cat and Flippy the cyborg fish – to a merry tune or three. 

Culture club 

Learn the lingo with Yirra Yaakin’s Lingo Lah Lah. Photo supplied

Lingo Lah Lah 
4 July @ WA Maritime Museum 

Do you know your dwert (dog) from your koolungar (child)? Join Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company for a multilingual romp through Boodja (Country) and even up to Meeka (the moon) as our heroes try to regain their language. Written by Adam Edwards and Peter Docker, Lingo Lah Lah is a fun way to learn more about the Noongar language, with audience participation encouraged. It’s all part of the NAIDOC Family Fun Day in Fremantle (Walyalup), which also includes a craft workshop and games. 

Make a friendship bracelet. Photo supplied

Weaving with Sharyn Egan 
3-7 July @ WA Museum Boola Bardip 

This year’s NAIDOC theme is For Our Elders, and what better way to say you care than by making something.  Whadjuk Noongar artist Sharyn Egan will teach you about NAIDOC Week and then show you how to bind and weave so you can create an animal totem for someone special. There’s a range of creative activities throughout this important week, including Deadly Weaving, where you can learn how to make your own friendship bracelet using the colours of the six Noongar seasons. 

Seaside stories 

Abel is the heart of Blueback. Photo: Ashley de Prazer

1-15 July @ Ellie Eaton Theatre, Claremont Showground  

First staged in 2005, Peta Murray’s adaptation of Tim Winton’s beloved book takes you to the West Australian coast where young Abel is struggling to deal with the absence of his dad, who is missing at sea. The boy’s mother is trying to keep development of their ocean haven at bay and Abel has his own reasons for defending its natural beauty, not the least of which is Blueback, the enormous groper he befriends. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre recreates this glorious underwater world in a story that reminds us of our place on this fragile planet. 

See the sea monsters after dark. Photo supplied

Sea Monsters After Dark 
14 July @ WA Maritime Museum 

Enjoy a night at the museum with some prehistoric predators and a family movie. Start the evening with an interactive tour of the exhibition Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators and meet the 13-metre long Elasmosaurus, among other beasts from oceans past. Then settle in for Luca, the heartwarming Pixar film about a boy and the big secret he and his new friend are trying to hide. Could it be something to do with the sea? WA Maritime Museum is also running special torchlight tours of the Sea Monsters exhibition during the holidays – wander around with a flashlight, if you dare! See the website for session times. 

High notes 

Thea Rossen leads a musical adventure. Photo supplied

Milli’s Marvellous Musical Adventure 
15 July @ Perth Town Hall 

Join percussionist and educator Thea Rossen and the WASO Chamber Ensemble for a musical reading of Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat, Stephen Michael King’s award-winning picture book. Listen to the story of a shy girl who finds the strength to be true to herself with the help of a wandering minstrel and his energetic feline and feel your feet start to move as the music of The Nutcracker (and more classics) takes hold. The 10am show has sold out so be quick to snap up tickets to the recently added 11.30am show. For children aged 4-11. 

Rupert Guenther is helping overcome nerves. Photo: Peter Le Schelle

Master classes with Rupert Guenther 
7 July, 14 July @ School of Creative Arts, Wangara 
Do you love playing music but suffer from crippling stage fright? Perhaps you want to learn more about improvising or composing music? Celebrated violinist and composer Rupert Guenther is running classes for teens this school holidays designed to help you overcome negative feelings and teach you how to unlock the secrets to improvisation. (And we’re not talking about studying endless pages of chords.) Discover the healing power of music and awaken your imagination with two special sessions (adults, there are separate ones available for you). 

Looking for something for grown-ups? Check out our July gig guide.

Pictured top: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre brings the magic of ‘Blueback’ to life for kids young and old. Photo: Simon Pynt

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Author —
Julie Hosking

A journalist with more words to her name than she can count, Julie Hosking has worked for newspapers, magazines and online publications in Melbourne and Perth. She has been a news editor, travel editor, features editor, arts editor and, for one terrifying year, business editor, before sanity prevailed and she landed in her happy place - magazines. If pushed (literally), she favours the swing.

Past Articles

  • Spring into the school holidays

    From Awesome activities to magical nannies, there are so many marvellous ways to have a jolly holiday, writes Julie Hosking.

  • In the eye of the storm

    Breaksea’s poignant story of the search for light in the darkest hours ignites the senses. Julie Hosking rides the waves of emotion.

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