HOT: The Little Art Yurt, Yarraville

little art yurt

The Little Art Yurt is a gorgeous American-built yurt (Mongolian style bell tent) art studio tucked away in the sunny Yarraville backyard of Melbourne artist Dawn Tan.

little art yurt

After an laborious flat-pack building process by Dawn and her husband (Dawn described it as Extreme IKEA),  The Little Art Yurt is now open for school holiday art classes for kids, after school classes during term time, adult art workshops and soon, private art party bookings.

The Little Art Yurt is like a dream come true for any budding artist.

little art yurt

There’s rows of neat art supplies in rainbow hues….

…inspiring picture books to read…

 Little Art Yurt

…and even the denim art smocks are stylish.

little art yurt

There’s a purpose built toilet in the backyard too so you don’t have to troop inside Dawn’s house.

little art yurt

When it’s not in use for teaching The Little Art Yurt doubles as Dawn’s studio where she works on her renowned watercolour images and makes perfumed soap.

dawn tanThe Little Art Yurt, Yarraville

Dawn is a bubbly personality and a trained art teacher. It’s evident that she loves working with kids and she generally teaches children from 4-12 years. The yurt is cosy and fits about 8 children comfortably, meaning all the children’s workshops are drop-off sessions. It’s heated in winter and ventilated in summer – the top of the roof opens up so you can look at the stars!

little art yurt

Note that as the Little Art Yurt is located in Dawn’s home the exact address is only emailed to you when you sign up for a class. Bookings are now open for Winter School holiday workshops and Term 3 art classes.


Little Art Yurt, Yarraville ( Off Gamon Street )

Winter School holiday workshops

Term 3 art classes 

 

HOT: Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne

wallace and gromit melbourne

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: the Magic of Aardman is a fantastic special exhibition that marks 40 years of one of the most successful world studios, Aardman.

The exhibition is exclusive to ACMI Melbourne in Australia after being first displayed at the Art Ludique Museum in Paris.

I get a sneak peek and I’m telling you – set aside a couple of hours because animation fans are in for a treat!

British animation studio Aardman are the brains behind popular films and television shows Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run.

Their characters are immediately recognisable and all their work is done via clay stop motion animation.

It’s laborious, detailed work and the exhibition really highlights the creative and technical abilities of the studio.

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: the Magic of Aardman displays more than 350 objects, including sketchbooks, storyboards and Aardman’s distinctive handmade puppets and claymation figures.

There are also more than 50 original sets including Gromit’s vegetable garden…

….city streets from Shaun the Sheep the Movie…

…the flying machine from Chicken Run…

…and the spectacular five-metre tall ship from The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Each set is logically located near a short the relevant film, so take the time to watch everything then appreciate the detail close up.

The large exhibition is split up into various themes and not in chronological order, so there’s no need to start at the beginning.

Sections cover topics such as light, movement, sculpture, houses and architecture, machines and inventions (my favourite!).

There’s also a sneak peek of their upcoming feature ‘Early Man’ which is being released in 2018.

At the end of the exhibition you can get hands-on with creating your own claymation characters and developing a stop motion animation.

wallace and gromit melbourne

Here’s my rudimentary effort – Space Slug!

You can also manipulate the giant robot and watch as the camera takes photos to create an animation on loop.

When you leave check out the cool animation toys in the gift shop. I’m enamoured of the wooden Shaun the Sheep build toys, which teach scientific concepts and look like great fun!

During the period of the exhibition, ACMI will also host related film screenings, talks, interactive workshops and education programs. Make sure you take a ‘cheese-y’ selfie at the end!

Click here for more winter school holiday events happening in Melbourne.


HOT Tips:

  • The exhibition is down a set of steps so you will need assistance getting a pram down;
  • Free cloakroom;
  • Photography allowed, no flash;
  • Kids under 5 will enjoy the claymation studio at the end of the exhibition best;
  • Kids over 5 will enjoy watching the shorts and seeing some of the stunning sets close-up;
  • Toilets are at the end of the exhibition;
  • If your kids love their creature comforts, you might like to become a Wallace & Gromit family member;
  • Discover the joy of animation and the opening of the exhibition with free activities on ACMI Family Sundays 2 July;
  • After the exhibition check out the free Screen Worlds exhibition or head to ACMI Bar & Cafe for a break.

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne +613 8663 2200

Thursday 29 June – 29 October 2017

Open daily 10am–5pm
Cinemas until late

Full $24 Family $65 Concession $20 Child $15 Member $19

 

HOT: Bayview Park, Alamanda Boulevard, Point Cook

Bayview Park

Argh me hearties! The Bayview Park pirate ship playground in Point Cook has risen from the ashes after an arson attack in 2014.

Bayview Park

The playground has been rebuilt as it was, meaning that one of Melbourne’s most-thrill seeking slides has been reinstalled along with extensive climbing equipment both on top of the hill and at ground level.

Bayview Park

The slide is steep but modified with ridges so it’s a bit bouncy for little bottoms – but does stop the breakneck drop.

Bayview Park

The hill provides a great view of all the ant-like activity below!

Bayview Park

Little kids don’t miss out though, as there’s a mini slide right next to the big one…

Bayview Park

…a sandpit with digger and sand play structure…

Bayview Park

Bayview Park

…and a large nest swing.

Bayview Park

There is a little bit of shade under the sandpit, some of the large established trees and at picnic tables and barbecues.

The only thing missing is a public toilet, which is problematic for a playground which is otherwise built to cater for all-day play. The closest toilet is probably at the Alamanda cafe which is a long walk or short drive away.


HOT Tips:

  • Suitable for toddlers;         
  • Suitable for older kids;
  • Picnic tables and BBQ areas;
  • Water tap; and
  • Free parking.

Bayview Park, Alamanda Boulevard, Point Cook

The HOT List: Best 11 Museums in Melbourne for Kids

If you’re stuck indoors with kids then you might as well make the experience enjoyable and educational at the same time!

Head of one of Melbourne’s best museums for kids for a great day out. Note if you can often get free or discounted entry if you join as a museum member or with Entertainment Book or Small Ideas vouchers.

1. Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum Children's Gallery

Melbourne Museum is Melbourne’s biggest museum and a great destination for kids and adults.

The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery is always our first stop and the kids can happily spend hours there. Inside it features a train tunnel, huge rope climbing structure, cubby houses and nooks, books, interactive touchscreens and more. Outside there’s foam building blocks, water play, sandpits and fossil digging.

Make sure you don’t miss the rest of the museum too! The dinosaur walk, Mind and Body Gallery, Melbourne (and Phar Lap) historical exhibits and Forest walk are some of our favourites.

Next door to Melbourne Museum is the world’s second-largest IMAX screen, where you can watch 3D films and latest releases.

Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton 03 83 417 777

 

2. Scienceworks

Another museum in the Museums Victoria stable is Scienceworks, which is dedicated to science and technology.

Younger kids will love all the interactive stations inside the fenced Nitty Gritty Super City which is miniature play city geared towards kids under 8 years. Downstairs the focus is on Sportsworks, Think Ahead and temporary exhibits. You can enter a space ship, ride a motorbike, make a futuristic car and race Cathy Freeman.

For a further fee you can visit the lightning room and planetarium.

Scienceworks regularly holds special sessions for under 5s called ‘Little Kids Day In’ with special activities and no school groups are allowed as well as Little Sparks STEM workshops for 3-5 year olds.

Scienceworks2 Booker St, Spotswood (03) 9392 4800

 

  1. Immigration Museum

immigration museum

The third museum within Museums Victoria is the CBD’s Immigration Museum . Here you can learn about Australia, and Victoria’s, immigration history and explore what helps themes such as what shapes identity.

This museum is more suitable for older kids who are able to read independently, as it is less interactive compared to Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks. During school holidays they often run drop-in workshops for kids.

I’m actually an exhibit within the Immigration Museum! See if you can find my picture inside the ‘Identity’ gallery next time you visit :)

Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders St, Melbourne

 

4. National Gallery of Victoria

fiona hall ngv

NGV is the world’s 19th most visited art museum and it has a dedicated children’s gallery which hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

The current exhibition is Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons which sees two wooden tree houses installed inside the gallery inviting kids to explore natural habitats and the changing seasons.

Every month NGV also holds special art and making classes for 2-4 years olds called ‘NGV Under 4s’.

NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Ph: 8620 2222

 

5. Heide Museum of Modern Art

heide art bubs

Heide Museum of Modern Art hosts a regular calendar of temporary exhibitions as well as boasting fifteen acres of gardens with a sculpture park and the popular kid-friendly cafe Cafe Vue.

There is a steady program of kids and families activities, including school holiday programs, monthly Sunday Art Club and Heide Art Babies for 0-18 months and Heide Art Kinder for 3-5 years. Every day kids can grab a sheet and go on a free detective trail.

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen. Ph: 9850 1500

 

  1. Fire Services Museum

Fire Services Museum, 39 Gisborne St, East Melbourne

A private museum which is all about fire fighting and fire engines! The museum has one of the largest collections of fire-fighting memorabilia in Australia, with items sourced from Victoria, Australia and overseas.

If you visit on Fridays you can also go to the adjacent to the Eastern Hill Fire Station as they present fire safety demonstrations weekly at 10:30am. They show kids how they cut people out of a car using the Jaws of Life, basic fire safety and the chance to meet firefights and fire engines up close. The demonstrations are free but bookings are recommended as numbers are limited. Weekly fire safety displays happen at various times in various locations around Melbourne.

Fire Services Museum, 39 Gisborne St, East Melbourne

 

 

7. Melbourne Tram Museum

Melbourne Tram Museum at Hawthorn Depot, 8 Wallen Rd, Hawthorn

The Melbourne Tram Museum in Hawthorn depot is open every second and fourth Saturday of the month for a gold coin donation. Inside you have the opportunity to see, touch and climb inside 21 fully restored trams. You can even pretend to be a tram driver!

Note the museum isn’t really suitable for prams or people with limited mobility as you have to climb in and out of the trams.

Melbourne Tram Museum at Hawthorn Depot, 8 Wallen Rd, Hawthorn

 

8. Polly Woodside

Caribbean Pirates by The Australian Shakespeare Company, Polly Woodside, 21 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf

Melbourne has a very pirate-like looking ship docked in the CBD that you can visit!

Take a guided tour of the ship, including below the decks and view artefacts in the interactive gallery. Every first Sunday of the month they host Pirate Sundays with family-friendly programming.

Polly Woodside, 21 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf

 

9. ACMI

Screen Worlds ACMI

ACMI is the Australian Centre for Moving Images and their free Screen Worlds exhibition is excellent.

There’s a small area just for younger kids (mainly with iPad games and short animations) while the rest of the museum includes interactive stations where you can create a flip book, meet Dexter the Perfect Match Robot and see the car from Mad Max.

There is a free ‘Kids Trail’ self-guided activity booklet to help younger visitors navigate the exhibition

ACMI, Federation Square Melbourne

 

10. National Sports Museum

A more traditional museum located within the grounds of the MCG. It is Home to a wide range of sporting memorabilia, with displays such as Bradman’s baggy green cap. Bart Cummings’ collection of Melbourne Cups and Cathy Freeman’s swift suit from the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

During school holidays they run free programming.

National Sports Museum, Jolimont Terrace, East Melbourne 03 9657 8879

 

11. Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol is a somewhat spooky destination that’s recommended for kids 10+ years. You can take a self-guided tour around the gaol museum and watch house or take guided candelight tour.

Old Melbourne Gaol, 377 Russell St, Melbourne (03) 8663 7228


Where is your favourite museum in Melbourne to take kids?

The Wind in the Willows at Gasworks Arts Park – Giveaway!

the wind in the willows

Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale ‘The Wind in the Willows‘ has been transformed into a new interactive one-man theatrical adaptation for families. It’s playing at Gasworks Arts Park, a vibrant arts precinct in Albert Park, for one date only – Tuesday 11 July.

Written by award-winning writer, Maxine Mellor, the adaptation follows Shaka Cook (from Jasper Jones) as he plays all four of the woodland creatures – Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr. Toad. We follow their journeys, trials and misadventures around the river, the Wild Woods and beyond. With a magical backdrop, the four woodland creatures explore the value of friendship, kindness and understanding.

Gasworks Arts Park is also offering a full kids holiday program, with creative and entertaining experiences for children aged 4 to 14.


The Wind in the WillowsGasworks Arts Park, Graham St, Albert Park

Tuesday 11 July 10.00am and 12.30pm

1 hour
4 to 12 years

All tickets: $22
Group (4+): $20


Giveaway!

Thanks to Gasworks Arts Park I have 1 x family pass (4 tickets) each to the 10am show and the 12:30pm show on Tuesday 11 July.

To win just following the instructions below. Remember to nominate which show you’d like to attend! The competition closes midnight Monday 3 July and the winners contacted via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: Circus Oz Model Citizens, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

Circus Oz Model Citizens

This winter Circus Oz are presenting Model Citizens under the Circus Oz Big Top at Birrarung Marr from 20 June – 16 July 2017. I was invited to review the show and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to see a Circus Oz show!

Circus Oz Model Citizens

Model Citizens uses clever set design and circus tricks to challenge your perceptions of what it means to be a ‘model’ citizen in modern Australia and what a ‘model-kit’ Australia might look like. 

It is the first show directed by new artistic director Rob Tannion. He brings out Circus Oz’s distinctive brand of Australian humour with some edgy, fun and exciting circus displays.

Circus Oz Model Citizens

Everyday objects – an iron, clothes peg, safety pin, credit cards and huge undies and socks – transform into circus equipment. Combine that with live music and traditional circus arts and you have an entertaining and thought-provoking 2 hour show (with 20 minute interval).

Circus Oz Model Citizens

Lady AB loves the aerialist and watches mouth agape as knives are thrown blindfolded and fire shoots down a man’s throat. I can barely watch the delicate balancing of giant credit cards (before the mountain of debt tumbles down) and am stunned by the rapid spinning of the slack ropes.

Circus Oz Model Citizens

Model Citizens is not only spectacular in its set design, physical skills and choreography; it also makes some pointed political messages. The cast reflects the ethnic diversity of Australia and is a metaphor for how many different people, with many different backgrounds and skills (and sizes and body shapes) can work together to make a coherent, beautiful, exuberant whole. This may go over most kids heads but it makes the show particularly relevant to Australian audiences.

Go and see it while you can!

Have a look behind the scenes here.


HOT Tips:

  • the Big Top is accessible via Exhibition Street bridge and Birrarung Marr;
  • toilets are outside the Big Top;
  • at the entrance of the Big Top you’ll find a few food stands (pierogi, churros) and a souvenir/merchandise stall;
  • The main arena of the Big Top is very warm so wear layers you can strip off;
  • Show runs for 2 hours with a 20-minute interval;
  • I think the show is suitable for 6+ years. I took Lady AB and not Baby 2.0 and I noticed smaller kids had to be ushered back to their seats regularly; and
  • the show features flashing lights, smoke machines and live music and is animal-free.

Model CitizensCircus Oz Big Top, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

20 June – 16 July 2017
Tickets $30 – $95 (plus booking fees) via ticketek.com.au

 

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