10 Children’s Activities For October 2009 In Melbourne

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Lots of festival fun this month in Melbourne assuring that there is plenty to do with the kids during October.

1. Diwali Festival

The Diwali in the west Festival will be celebrated in grand style this year in the City of Maribyrnong with Whitten Oval acting as the backdrop for a colourful ‘Festival of Lights’ on. The celebration will be free to attend and will feature a cricket match with some of Australia’s greatest cricketers, a Bollywood dance performance and group lesson, henna painting and other Indian cultural activities, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at 8pm. Miss India Australia Bollywood will be hosting a fashion parade, and the crowning of Miss Bollywood Talent 2009 will take place on the day.
Details: Saturday 3rd October @ 9:00am (Local community market stalls & cultural activities around Barkly St. West Footscray), then from12 Noon till Fireworks! At Whitten Oval, (W. Bulldogs Football Grounds), 417 Barkly Street, Footscray; for more information contact Karen Trevorrow on 0421 871 181 or diwaliwest@gmail.com

2. The Melbourne Arts Festival

The Melbourne Arts Festival kicks of on the 9th October. Opening night has a free spectacular event planned. It is an evening event so for someone like me with little ones, would prove tricky to attend, so I am going to try leaving the young ones home with dad!

At 7.30pm at Birrarung Marr Strange Fruit a Melbourne performance group, will present Ringing the Changes. It is a free event and will also be running 10th, 11th and 12th October at 7.30pm.

Ringing the Changes is performed at dusk, using natural light and acoustic sound, with the elevated figures silhouetted against the glowing skyline of Melbourne. Part ritual, part spectacle, part soundscape, the effect is mesmeric, moving and intoxicating.

Then at 9pm over at Alexandra Gardens, France’s Transe Express “takes Melburnians on a magical journey, 130 feet in the air as an orchestra of bell ringers is lifted skywards: a celestial carillon above the city.” It is also free but please note that In the event of bad weather, Transe Express will be unable to perform. The Transe Express show be running 10th, 11th and 12th October.

3. Refugee Camp In Your City

REFUGEE CAMP IN YOUR CITY is made up of the actual materials used by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), including refugee housing tents, a food distribution tent, water bladder and pump, health clinic, vaccination tent, nutrition tent, cholera treatment centre, and a landmines education area.

Tours run every 15 minutes from 9am to 5pm*. Each lasts 45~60 minutes.

Visitors can arrive at any time, to then be gathered in small groups and taken through the CAMP by MSF field workers who have first-hand experience caring for people displaced in countries such as Sudan, including the Darfur region, Thailand, Bangladesh and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pre-bookable slots are available and recommended for large groups or schools.

*Weekday lunchtime (noon – 2pm) is more loosely structured to welcome visitors on tight schedules.

The Refugee Camp In Your City will run from Saturday 3 October to Sunday 11 October at Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens.

4. NGV Kids Film: Fantasia

The National Gallery Of Victoria (International) is showing the animated Disney film Fantasia (1940, 115 mins, G) on Friday 2 Oct, 10.30am. Cost Free. NGV International is located at 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne.

5. Children’s Week Celebrations

Children’s Week runs from Saturday 24 October to 1 November 2009 to coincide with Universal Children’s Day on Wednesday 28 October 2009. This year the activities are based around the theme of A Caring World Shares.

Highlights of Children’s Week will include:
Children’s Week Launch – come and see the Wonderful World of Mr Men™ and Little Miss™ and Sing-A-Long with Blinky Bill™ at a family fun day out at the Melbourne Zoo, Sunday 25 October 2009, with free entry for children 15 years and under. A full range of activities will be available shortly.
Calendar of Events – a variety of activities are being planned across the state by kindergartens, schools and family and children’s services. A complete list of activities will be available shortly.

At the time of writing, the Dept Of Education and Early Childhood Development website did not have a listing of events, so it would be worthwhile to check it out again closer to the date.

6. Waterwatch Family Festival

Waterwatch Family Festival is on Saturday 24 October as part of the 2009 National Water Week celebrations at Lollypop Creek off Ridge Drive, Wyndham Vale. Melways Reference: 205 A5. (Wyndham Vale is 36 km south-west from Melbourne’s central business district.)
I have not attended this festival before, so would love to hear about your experience if you attend. They list the following activities for the day:

  • Discover local platypus
  • Create a Waterbug Critter
  • Learn about flora & fauna
  • Listen to frog callings
  • Relax with a creek-side lunch
  • Explore the amazing creek
  • Meet the Wild Action Zoo
  • Hear from local experts
  • Enjoy free giveaways
  • Admire watery-art

7. Thomas & Friends Live On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town

With a train obsessed 3 year old, I could not pass over this listing of Thomas & Friends Live On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town. However we won’t be able to make it due to a prior commitment – thankfully he can’t read my blog to know he is missing out! The Friday show has sold out but at the time of writing tickets were still available for the Saturday 3 October, 4pm show at Hisense Arena

8. Muckheap

Polyglot Puppets present Muckheap:

Muckheap is a colourful show full of delightful puppetry. Funny, fast and fantastically messy, Muckheap is a tale of two people trying to clean out their shed for hard rubbish day. In the process they find everything that they thought was junk is too interesting, useful or too full of memories to throw away. When memories and characters take over, the audience is swept up with the junk into a fabulous storytelling frenzy. While the ‘keep’ pile gets bigger and bigger, they find themselves telling the story of Jack and the Beanstalk – with a twist. In the end, all good intentions are joyfully discarded in favour of a rich and exciting life. Junk will never look the same.

Date: Sunday 11 October
Time: 11am
Location: Cromwell Road Theatre, 27A Cromwell Road, South Yarra, 3141
Tickets: available via Easytix
Early bird prices $7.50/ $15 until 7am Monday 28 September
Tickets after 28 September $11/ $20

9. Frogs on Wheels

Grab your bike and come along on this easy (10km round trip) bike ride along the Darebin Creek. Learn about the animals living there, the environmental issues and maybe catch a glimpse of the Growling Grass Frog. This is a free event organised by Waterwatch and Darebin Creek Management Committee and hosted by North East Melbourne Councils and Waterwatch. Suitable for the whole family. Bookings essential.

Frogs on Wheels
is on Sunday 4 October, 9.30am-12.00pm at Norris Banks Reserve, Bundoora. Melways Reference: 9 G11. Bookings can be made through the North East Melbourne Waterwatch Coordinator.NEmelbourne@waterwatchmelbourne.org.au

10. In the Frame – SoundHouse Workshop

In the Frame – SoundHouse Workshops are run a number of times through out the year at the Arts Centre. The next one is on Saturday 17th Oct.

Bring your digital photos to this workshop and be guided through creating a ‘photostory’ on DVD. Learn how to place your photos on a timeline, pan and crop images, transition between shots, record a narration, add text and titles and arrange and add your own original music.

No experience necessary (but some basic computer skills would be handy!).

What to bring:
– 10 to 15 digital photos on a CD or memory stick. Please
don’t bring cameras as photos may not transfer easily.
– Choose good quality photographs – those taken with mobile
phones may not be a high enough resolution.
– Choose photos that go together e.g. your Grandma’s birthday
party, a recent holiday or a sleepover.

Time: 9.30am – 1pm (including a 30 minute break)
Pricing:$25 (Accompanying adult free)
Ages: 8 – 12
Booking: By phone: 1300 182 183 or online