What's on for kids?
This Sunday, the streets and laneways of Crows Nest will be taken over by 70,000 revellers enjoying the street music, rides, market stalls and pop-up restaurants of Crows Nest Festival. There will be more than 200 stalls manned by local craftspeople and chefs, where festival-goers can pick up stocking fillers before enjoying a hearty lunch at the special Italian feasting tables at the Birra Moretti Piazza. This year’s event will also feature three stages for live music and dance, as well as cooking demonstrations and free tastings of fresh Italian dishes. There’s plenty to keep the kids in high spirits too, including pony rides, a petting zoo and inflatable rides.
Pedal along to a day of family fun at Sydney Park, where you’ll be able to try your hand at cycling, running, dancing and yoga as part of this year’s Sydney Rides Festival. Kicking off at 9am, the Big Adventure will feature loads of outdoor action across seven zones, which you can explore by foot or on two wheels. Fuel up with snacks from food trucks or a pedal-powered smoothie, before heading out on a self-guided ecology bike tour. It's not just about two wheels either – you can also catch skating and scooter displays on the half-pipe, and there will be a one-wheelin' performance of the Great Unicycle Ballet. The Soul of Sydney crew will host dance workshops, or you can head along to one of the AFL, tennis or soccer clinics. Scale walls and have a go at rock climbing or parkour, or slow things down at putt putt golf or a yoga class. Pint-sized adventurers can also check out the animal petting zoo or try kite flying workshops. Find out more about the Big Adventure.
It might be quite a trek to Emu Plains if you live in central Sydney, but the return of the Westies Markets for 2018 could be a sign that the West knows best when it comes to fresh produce and even fresher style. The non-for-profit collective behind the market, the Westies, is all about showcasing the Penrith region while giving local growers and makers the opportunity to sell their products through an accessible event. They’re aiming to create a lazy Sunday atmosphere, where you get to know the community rather than fight over the bargain bin. Visitors can expect homemade one-of-a-kind fashion items, live performances and all manner of edible treats on the third Sunday of every month at the Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School in Emu Plains.
Luna Park’s wild rides offer Sydneysiders and adrenaline junkie visitors thrills and chills on the regular, but for Halloween they ramp it up a gear. Halloscream will transform the fun park for a sixth year into a ghoulish scare-fair with additional hair-raising adventures, roving park demons and horror-themed snacks. If the infamous Wild Mouse roller coaster instills enough fear in you already, you can simply steer clear of the alien maze and Toyshop of Terrors. But a visit to Luna Park wouldn’t be complete without at least one sprint through the Mysterious Manor haunted house. And, you know, ‘tis the season. All the scares begin after dark, so show up at moonrise in your Halloween best, or pop into the Parlour of the Perished for a grizzly makeover. They’re extending the scares over five nights, so there’s plenty of time to explore all the new attractions.
They’ve won the hearts of Aussie kids and children around the world with their bizarre literary adventures, and in October the two-man author and illustrator team will share stories and create cartoon characters in real time at the Sydney Opera House. Andy Griffiths has been inspiring kids with hilarious tales like the Day My Bum Went Psycho and the gruesome adventures in the Just! book series for more than 20 years. Terry Denton has been his long standing companion and illustrator, while also writing and creating visual for his own kids' stories in his 30 years in the industry. At this live event, the pair will explore the latest installment of their internationally renowned Treehouse series, which is now into its eighth edition and being sold in more than 30 countries. Maybe you’ll visit the level with the submarine sandwich shop selling life-size subs, or the one with the human pinball machine or the stilly hat level. Griffiths will be spinning hilarious yarns while Denton illustrations the stories for a massive projection. The audience will be part of the creative process, as the storytellers brianstorm ideas with help from the crowd. As a wacky aside, the Sydney Opera House will also be attempting to break the World Guinness Record for the largest group of people dressed as trees. So come in tree-like attire – brown pants, green tops and a leafy hat. A ghillie suit is probably overdoing it. Arrive with extra time up your sleeve, because Griffiths and Denton will be
Free family-friendly events
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to their community, families, and our nation. In this free exhibition, visitors can see the work of leading female practitioners in their fields of weaving and shell stringing. The innovative works highlight the unbroken practices of First Nations women who have carried their knowledge through the generations for at least 65,000 years. The exhibition includes intricate body wear, which has been skilfully crafted by harvesting and processing organic and contemporary feathers, fibres and shells. It also features domestic fishing implements made from organic material.Artists featured in the exhibition include Lena Yarinkura, Dulcie Greeno, Maryann Sebasio, Muriel Maynard, Ais Bero, Lola Greeno, Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr and Rosemary Gamajun Mamuniny.
Budding horticulturalists who like plants with attitude should head to the Royal Botanical Gardens from October 1 for a free exhibition of carnivorous greenery. The Calyx will be filled with 25,000 of the world’s hungriest, most clever plants. Watch as the venus fly trap lures unsuspecting insects with nectar and snaps them up in its jaws, where they’ll spend their final days being slowly digested. Or meet the drosera, who use their sticky tentacles to attract and snatch their prey before devouring them. Then marvel at the simplicity of the pitcher plant’s hunting technique, which is to lure hapless bugs with honey and let them fall into the pool of digestive enzymes in their pitfall trap. The Plants with Bite display does sound a little like a horror film, but it’s really all bark and no bite (for humans, anyway) and families can expect a very kid-friendly experience. Plus, there will be a range of themed education programs, workshops and a regular feeding display that will intrigue little greenthumbs and their grown-ups.