Summer is in full swing, and it's the perfect time to get out and about with the kids!
If you're planning a special day out, and want it to be fascinating, entertaining and educational all at the same time, you’re in luck. Our brand-new WA Museum Boola Bardip has opened to much fanfare, and it’s a must-do for all ages! But that's far from all our fave city has to offer in terms of cultural experiences that will keep the younger set learning, growing and having a great time.
WA Museum School Holiday Programs
We're heading to the tail end of the school holidays now, but there's still plenty to experience at Perth's world-class museums this week. WA Museum Boola Bardip, WA Shipwrecks Museum and the WA Maritime Museum are all running awesome school holiday programs.
So, what to expect? At the WA Museum Boola Bardip School Holiday Program, where you can code your very own piece of wearable hardware, create an interactive digital adventure trail, make robotic beasts as boundless as your imagination, and try your hand at stop-motion. Next up, head to Fremantle for a visit to the WA Maritime Museum School Holiday Program and the WA Shipwrecks Museum School Holiday Program. At the Shipwrecks Museum, you'll find a sunken treasure quest; a pirate adventure with Captain Boots and Captain Redbeard; a fascinating 3D shipwreck film Deep Light: Illuminating the Wrecks of Sydney and Kormoran; at the Maritime Museum, they've gone full-Viking these school holidays, as part of their Vikings: Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea exhibit, with a quirky and cool celebration of all things Viking and how their sailing shaped the northern Medieval world, including a historical re-enactment of live action Viking combat, and a myth-busting interactive Vikings game show.
Pioneer Challenge Game
The Rotary Club of Matilda Bay designed the Pioneer Challenge - an exciting family-friendly online pioneer adventure game to be played in our real-life Western Australia backyard. The game is a hybrid of a clue finding treasure hunt and a car rally that encourages people to explore our regional country towns. Challenge accepted? What you'll need to do is find and photograph nine heritage graves, answer a quiz and submit a short account of what you've learned about the deceased pioneer. You'll learn about the pioneers - the ordinary men and women who built WA as we know it today. It’s fun for all the family, so join as a team and get the kids involved.
Fremantle's Time Travel Adventure Trail
Travel back in time this January with your very own Time Travel Adventure Trail, running until 20 January in WA's favourite old port town of Fremantle, or Walyalup to the Whadjuk people. The area has a history dating back over 45,000 years, so get your trail map ready and get ready for some time warping adventure! Travel through stories of the Whadjuk people and Manjaree, the Round House (WA's oldest public building), tales of longships and Vikings at the WA Maritime Museum and Fremantle's very own UNESCO World Heritage listed site, the Fremantle Prison. At each location along the trail, complete the activity, answer the questions on your map and enter the draw to win great prizes including a whopping $500 Toyworld voucher.
More fascinating Freo history for inquisitive kids: Fremantle Prison is running its iconic kid-friendly Escape (ages 5-12) and Locked Up! Tours (ages 8-12) until 20 January. They're an eye-opening and age-appropriate glimpse into life in the old prison. There's also a very interesting Making a Mark: Art Workshop for 8-12 year olds on 21 January, showcasing the art and graffiti in cells and letting kids create their own artwork from their exploration of the sights and textures of Fremantle Prison.
Every year, the Woodside Pleasure Garden turns into a magical kid-friendly wonderland for FRINGE WORLD Festival over two weeks. This year, FRINGE Kids! at Woodside Pleasure Garden is running until 2 February. You'll find side-splitting comedy, along with thrilling circus and performing arts, plus free outdoor activities and mermaids! And of course, there's plenty of FRINGE Festival shows for the whole family to enjoy: check out the children's events section of our fave fringe picks.
Indigenous Cultural Experiences
Perth boasts many kid-friendly indigenous cultural experiences, with beautiful art, songlines and stories to share with the younger set as they grow their knowledge of the local Indigenous peoples. Djurandi Dreaming and Go Cultural both offer fascinating and family-friendly cultural experiences in Perth City, Rockingham, Kings Park and Rottnest Island. You'll learn about the world's oldest living culture with authentic, personal experience of Indigenous cultures, learning about the natural world, the spiritual connection of the Noongar people to this land, its seasons and elements. Enjoy dreamtime stories, learn language and lore, and much more!
The Bell Tower
The beautiful and heritage-laden towering glass spire of The Bell Tower is a touchstone for Aussie and international tourists alike. Located in vibrant Barrack Square at the point where Perth meets the Swan River, The Bell Tower is not only of architectural interest but also classed as one of the largest musical instruments on earth. It was custom built to house the historically significant bells of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church, the parish church of Buckingham Palace in Trafalgar Square, London. These bells date back to before the 14th century! It's also the only place in the world where you can view tower bell ringing in action, or where you can even have a go at bell ringing yourself in one of their interactive Bell Tower Chiming Experience tours.
Summer at Scitech
Visit Scitech these summer holidays for a fun, family day out that offers curious science experiences for all ages! Rethink the future in Earth Matters, a curated series of immersive exhibits that dive deep into the science behind our changing planet. Step into a banksia woodland, create and share renewable energy, design an insect hotel and discover how lifestyle choices impact the environment around us. Get sky high in the Planetarium as you explore life beyond Earth, check out illuminating (and at times, explosive) science theatre shows and celebrate Gumby's 200th birthday with a puppet show on the big stage! Plus, explore the curious world of science in all your favourite and interactive galleries. Big kids can work together to build a sustainable city in the Tinkering Space, while the little ones learn through play in Discoverland.
The Perth Mint
Family-friendly, educational fun! The Perth Mint's world-class Gold Exhibition brings the history of Western Australian gold to life, from the heady gold rush days into today. Kids will love watching molten gold being poured to form a solid bar in the original 1899 melting house, and checking out the amazing golden treasures galore in the shop.
Perth City Art Trails
Perth has an impressive 200+ public artworks that stimulate thinking, deepen sense of place and transform how we engage with our city. You've no doubt seen some beautiful examples of our public art as you stroll around Perth City and South Perth with the kids, but you can experience these artworks in a whole new way thanks to the Perth City Art Trails - a series of self-guided art trails that share the deeper meanings of these pieces and their context in Perth's past, present and future.
DFES Education and Heritage Centre at the Old Perth Fire Station
Located in the Old Perth Fire Station in Perth City, the DFES Education and Heritage Centre is a free-entry museum that has plenty of fun for the kids! It's dedicated to emergency services past and present, with displays about the history of Western Australian fire services and a natural hazards and disasters education gallery. There's also dress-up fun for children, plus a real modern fire engine to explore.
Museum of Perth
The fascinating and surprisingly little-known (and free-entry!) Museum of Perth is a wonderful tribute to the passage of time of our favourite city. Located just across the road from Elizabeth Quay, this small museum is jam-packed with Perth insights, acting as an exhibition space and cultural & research hub chronicling the city's social, cultural, political and architectural history. Follow up your visit by exploring their amazing website, full of stories of interesting people who've been part of the Perth story.
Looking for more Perth fun, culture and urban exploration for the kids? Don't miss our articles on 10 Fun Things To Do With Kids Under 5, our School Holidays In Perth feature and Kids Activities & Events In Perth for more great ideas. And if you want to make the most of your summer fun with a local escape, don't miss our great Stay and Play in Perth offers, with plenty of deals to level up your Perth staycation game!