There’s nothing sleepy about the gently rolling hills and dales of Perth!
Distances are short, so the kids won’t have to sit still for long before the next attraction appears. Use this guide to plan your trip around an event for a full day out or weekend away. These events include heaps of fun things to do in the Avon Valley with kids, and some fascinating attractions for adults too.
The Avon Descent
When: Avon River Festival 3 August 4.00-9.00pm; Avon Descent 4 August - 5 August, 7.30am - 5.00pm; Avon Descent Festival 5 August 10.00am - 3.00pm
Where: Northam is the location for the Avon River Festival and the launch of the Avon Descent; the Avon Descent Festival is in Caversham
The thrilling Avon Descent whitewater race is one of the most popular and energising annual events in the Avon Valley. Spectators flock to vantage points along the picturesque Avon River, especially around Northam where the competitors launch off on their two-day adventure through the rapids to Perth. Just watching this extraordinary race gets the heart racing.
Kickstarting the weekend of festivities is the Avon River Festival on the Friday in Bernard Park, Northam. This family friendly event will get you in the mood with heaps of fun entertainment, live music, food vans, rides and fireworks over the river.
On the Sunday, don’t miss the Avon Descent Festival at Lilac Hill Park, Caversham, from 10.00am to 3.00pm. There’ll be a massive programme of live family entertainment, vintage markets, fair rides and workshops - so if you’re looking for fun things to do in the Avon Valley with the kids this August, look no further!
Bilya Koort Boodja
When: 11 August 4.00-9.00pm
Where: Minson Avenue, Northam
If you’re exploring what’s on in Perth that honours and showcases our Aboriginal culture, this is one to put in your diary.
The cultural celebration marks the opening of the Bilya Koort Boodja: Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge, where you can find out about the Ballardong Nyoongar culture.
The opening celebration will take on a street party vibe with a live stage show, displays, stalls and activities.
Hot Air Ballooning
Why not go hot air ballooning? Windward Balloon Adventures run daily ballooning flights from April to November - one of the most exciting and fun things to do in the Avon Valley with kids, and a wonderful romantic way to enjoy a champagne breakfast.
To find out more about attractions and events in Northam, drop into the Northam Visitor Centre.
The York Festival
When: 8 September - 7 October
Where: Various venues around York
Cost: Some events are free; check the website for ticketing information yorkfestival.com.au
Events in the Avon Valley this spring include the ever popular York Festival, which reflects the Wheatbelt agricultural and gold panning heritage of this lovely old town, alongside art, theatre, comedy and musical entertainment.
This festival is one of the most popular fun things to do in the Avon Valley with kids. A big favourite is the Running of the Lambs - an obstacle course that requires participants to wear a lamb costume; mums and dads will be racing too!
There are lots of creative and challenging activities too, such as umbrella painting, kite making, skateboarding and giant scrabble. An exciting feature this year is the intriguing opportunity to watch or help Japanese artist Akira Moriya create three giant straw sculptures.
York Motor Show
When: 26 August, 9.00am - 4.00pm
Where: Avon Terrace, York
For anyone who loves cars - or anything that has an engine and wheels - the York Motor Show, hosted by the Veteran Car Club, is a little paradise. Enthusiasts bring their beautifully cared for vehicles, and there are vintage bus rides, live music and prizes.
While you’re there, drop into the York Motor Museum, which houses vehicles that take you back 100 years.
To find out more about things to see and do in York, visit York Information Services in the lovely old town hall on Avon Terrace.
Toodyay International Food Festival and Family Fun Day
When: 4 August 10.00am - 4.00pm
Where: Stirling and Duidgee Parks, Toodyay
Your list of what’s on in Perth that will please the whole family has to include this fabulous day out in the quaint town of Toodyay. Not only will you experience a range of delicious international cuisine complemented by boutique beer, wine and cider, but there will be live performances, endless entertainment for the kids and a great view of the Avon Descent into the bargain!
When: 19 August 9.00am - 1.00pm
Where: Stirling Park, Toodyay
The Toodyay Farmers Market is held regularly through the year, the August event falling on Sunday 19th. This family friendly market has a host of stalls selling fresh local produce, home made preserves, arts and crafts, and there’s entertainment to keep the kids amused while you browse.
The drive to Toodyay from Perth takes you through the Avon Valley National Park area, and it isn’t far from there to York and Northam if you want to explore further. To find out more about Toodyay, drop into the Toodyay Visitor Centre on Piesse Street.
Keep Track of Upcoming Events
For a whole range of things to do in and around Perth, go to our events listing, what's on in Perth.