It's a brand new year and the west coast is steaming!
Find out what's on in Perth this January, and get stuck into summer's iconic events and cooling activities.
Sundowners are on, the beaches are beckoning, and there's yet another holiday to come - Australia Day! January is also festival time, cricket season and, of course, school holidays, so there are heaps of things to do in Perth for all ages throughout the month.
Keep an eye on Destination Perth special offers for some great prices on accommodation and attractions. The summer deals listed here will not only save you money but alert you to what's on in Perth this January.
Binge on the Fringe
The Fringe World Festival launches on 18 January in Perth. Now the largest annual event in WA and the third largest fringe festival on earth, Fringe World has every kind of performance and artistic event covered. Local and international artists and performers with gather to present cabaret, comedy, theatre, visual arts, film, music, circus and dance, plus workshops, activities and lots of free community events across 164 venues.
This year, there will be plenty of things to do in Perth's Yagan Square, opened in 2018 and a new hub for Fringe World, with performances in the Edith Spiegeltent and Black Flamingo circus tent. Fringe Sundays will be centred in the amphitheatre, giving a free taste of festival events before you book, and Yagan Square Market Hall is open for refreshments.
On Forrest Place Stage at the Twilight Hawkers Market, Fringe Fridays will present a round-up of some of the best buskers from the Festival. Be ready to drop a donation in the hat after each performance and grab a feed from the Market.
Other free things to do around Perth during the Festival include an R&B Party every Saturday night at The Blue Flamingo in Leederville, and Under the Sky Sessions - live music on the Sunset Verandah, Scarborough, on weekends.
The list of musical events is long. If you want to dance the night away, don't miss the following January gigs around Perth: The Cuban Young Guns, all the way from Havana, performing authentic Cuban sounds with The Buena Vista Social Club and Adam Hall; Best of British with Cathrine Summers, featuring covers of popular music from Britain; and the Milford St Shakers Soul Slap dance party.
Instachoir lets everyone join in to form a massive three-part harmony singing group, learning one song per session - good for the soul!
18+ / mature performances to watch for include Burlesque Beats hip hop cabaret blend; Steampunk Cabaret, a music hall performance with a dark side; the smash hit cabaret Little Death Club; and comedy round-ups at The Best of Fringe Late Show, which hand-picks comedians from across the festival for late night stand-ups on Fridays and Saturdays, and Best of the Fest Comedy Lounge, gathering the best of the best into one show.
For all the family, Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale's Feelgood Factory is a must, plus mesmerising magician Matt Tarrant; Fantastico fantasy magic; the colourful and energetic Cirque Africa; and Le Aerial's astonishing acrobatics. Other family highlights are the Best of Edinburgh Kids Comedy, featuring award-winning acts from the Edinburgh Festival; and Did You Hear What I Saw? - the story of two friends, one blind and the other deaf, told with humour and music.
To find out more about what's on in Perth this January at Fringe World, go to the festival website: fringeworld.com.au
January in Perth is a fabulous time to enjoy our outdoor cinemas.
Fringe World will once again be presenting Rooftop Movies six floors up above the Roe Street carpark in Northbridge. Way more comfortable than it sounds, you'll be relaxing into big comfy beanbag chairs and enjoying the fresh night air while your movie carries you to another world.
There are lots of things to do in Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge, where you'll find a giant screen plus another just along the road in Northbridge Piazza. If you enjoyed the Festive Films in December, head down here again for a completely different experience, when Fringe World takes over. The screens will be showing artworks in a film show called Lightbox from 7.00pm throughout the Festival.
The Lotterywest Film Festival runs right through summer, with the best international films being screened at the Somerville Auditorium and Joondalup Pines Picture Garden. Both these venues are BYO and serve snacks, and Somerville has a bar too. Many patrons bring a picnic and spread out on the grass before the sun goes down.
Other outdoor cinemas you have to visit are the Moonlight in Kings Park, the fabulous art deco Camelot Outdoor Cinema in Mosman Park, and the Luna Outdoor Cinema in Leederville. For a full list, go to Outdoor Cinemas in Perth.
Australia Day Fireworks & Foam
Australia Day is inextricably associated with fireworks, but foam? Not so much... until 2019 when, on 26 January, Perth will see the 5K Foam Fest fun run take place at the State Equestrian Centre.
Up to 5,000 runners and walkers will raise funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, to support children with critical illness, by simply having fun! This isn't a competitive race, and all obstacles are optional - it's a case of doing it your way and having a blast.
As the name suggests, at various points along the course, you'll be running through foam - at the Foamy Start, through the Chamber of Foam and the Foam Zone, to the Foamy Finish - more than 70,000 cubic metres of foam in all! In between are a string of hilarious challenges, such as mud pits, water slides, walls, hurdles, a rope climb and floating walkways.
This all adds up to one of the most hilarious things to do in Perth with the family, promising to get you wet, muddy, and clean again as you scramble around the course. As well as food, water, showers, a free beach towel and temporary tattoo, there will be a food village, kids' play zone and DJ entertainment. This event is filling up, so secure your place now and Make-a-Wish come true!
After the event, get ready to nab your favourite vantage point for the Australia Day Skyworks display, scheduled for 8.00pm on 26 January on Perth's Swan River foreshore.
Apart from Kings Park and the curve of the Swan River through Matilda Bay and South Perth foreshore, the most popular spots are likely to be along Elizabeth Quay and the free entertainment zone in Langley Park.
Entertainment for all includes music, a spectacular air show and the Birak Concert celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in the Supreme Court Gardens. Birak is the Nyoongar name for the summer months of December and January, when the Perth bush sees the Moodjar tree bloom (known colloquially as the Christmas tree), displaying beautiful orange flowers. The Birak celebration will be a medley of music, dance, art and food for the whole family to enjoy.
Other fantastic spots to settle into on 26 January are Perth riverside restaurants, such as BWG Steakhouse and The Point Bar and Grill. These fabulous venues are all offering Australia Day food and drinks packages, with doors opening at 11.00am at BWG (tickets $100.00) and 5.00pm at The Point ($50.00 excluding food).
A Night at the Cricket
There's a huge range of the fun family activities you can enjoy in Perth this January. One you're sure to have on your list is the Big Bash League (BBL).
A far cry from lazy hazy summer days beside the cricket oval, the KFC BBL presents evenings packed with fast-paced professional cricket, music, fireworks and live entertainment. The three-hour matches are nail-biting, and a great opportunity for those with short attention spans to get excited about the sport!
This January, the Perth Scorchers go head to head against the Brisbane Heat, Sydney Sixers, Hobart Hurricanes, Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Renegades, with the Melbourne Stars match on 3 February. The Scorchers have won the title more than once, but were obliterated by the Hurricanes in the 2018 semi-final. So get down there and add your voice to the roar!
Most of the BBL events in Perth are in January at the fantastic Optus Stadium. The organisers work to ensure these events are family friendly and safe, and family tickets start at just $42.50, making this one of the top things to do in Perth these school holidays.
Sundowners by the Sea
In between festivities, you'll no doubt be looking to relax, and what better way than sundowners on a warm Perth January evening?
Along Perth's Beaches are cafe and restaurant strips with several total oceanfront venues, such as Odyssea and Hamptons City Beach, the Blue Duck, Barchetta and Indiana Cottesloe Beach, and Coast Port Beach.
One where you can take your sundowners right down onto the sand is Bather's Beach House, the first in WA to establish a licensed area on the beach. Curling your toes into the sand while you sip on a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean is surely one of the most memorable things to do in Perth.
Those with a family in tow will want to visit the Perth Zoo in January for a Friday night Zoorassic Summer Sundowner.
Between 5.00 and 7.00pm on 4, 11 and 18 January, you can chill after a day at the Zoo by flopping onto the main lawn with a drink from the pop-up bar. Live music will probably be accompanied by animal sounds, as they liven up after a hot sleepy day.
Other family friendly sundowner events are the South Beach and Scarborough Sunset Markets. Every Thursday night, the Scarborough Sunset Markets will serve up international cuisine, stage live music and host pop-up stores selling stunning items created by local artisans, right on the beachfront. Enjoy a cold beer, Pimms or sparkling wine from Sandbar's Market Bar as you celebrate the day and mark the moment the sun dips below the horizon.
South Beach Sunset Market also has a pop-up bar and international hawker food, with live music, as well as children's entertainment, animal farm and face painting. Bring a blanket or chairs, spread out and totally relax until the evening air cools, sending you home for a good night's sleep.