Once again, school holidays is just around the corner. So it’s time to get the kids off the couch – and off their iPad's – and into some seriously fun activities.
Western Sydney Parklands’ newly developed Bungarribee Park will be transformed into the west’s biggest outdoor art gallery, powered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The event will help to highlight STEM capabilities in Western Sydney such as the Sydney Science Park, the largest science city in Australia being constructed at Luddenham in western Sydney.
Entertaining and innovative art installations, created by artists and science professionals, will delight young children, teenagers and adults alike.
Featured artworks include:
Bear-Ometer of Positivity — Edison Chen
Control a four metre high inflatable bear with your smart phone Twitter account. Combines pop-art sensibility with technology and reflects the control we have on emotions through social media use. The more positive messages Bear-Ometer detects, the larger it will inflate.
Botanicus Musica — Jonathan Bolitho
Step into an interactive sound garden that comes to life by touching plants. Set in a six metre tall geodesic dome, Botanicus Musica combines interactive art with botany, biology, horticulture and anthropology. Advanced touch sensing technology allows you to trigger a plant to produce sounds of waves lapping at the shore, or a voice snippet regarding its cultural significance.
Rhythmotron — MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour & Development at Western Sydney University
Play an algorithmic robotic percussion ensemble via a re-purposed piano (no musical knowledge required!). Software housed inside the piano produces a variety of rhythmic sonics. Rhythmotron will also feature two live events with the new Western Sydney Youth Orchestra performing specially developed pieces in tandem.
RAPP LAB Robots, Art, People and Performance — Damith Herath, Dr. Elizabeth Jochum, Marian Abboud, Vicki Van Hout
A collaboration between the co-founder of Robological Sydney, the University of Alborg, Marian Aboud and Vicki Van Hout. Beat the robot at its game! Play noughts and crosses with an advanced life-size manufacturing robot. Ushering in the promise of the future, this mix-media installation also acknowledges the past and present through a robot that plays tic-tac-toe with humans, framed by a digital backdrop that is both immersive and challenging.
Curious Chromoscope — Didier Balez, Rachelle Balez
Journey into the hidden world of your chromosomes via a giant kaleidoscope with this interactive sculptural installation. Created by a father and daughter team, Curious Chromoscope consists of 23 steel plate chromosomes up to 2.5 meters, and a life size microscope-shaped kaleidoscope. Moving in a 360° motion, you’ll explore the central role chromosomes play in our existence.
Umbilical Arrangements — Mehwish Iqbal
Western Sydney artist Mehwish Iqbal celebrates the area’s cultural diversity in her large sculptural work, sponsored by WestConnex. Resembling the cellular structure found in nature, the work will be created in metal frame with brass skin.
Project Bread — Clayton Thompson
Explore an enormous pyramid constructed from 1700 bread crates. Project Bread is an 8 metre pyramid, representing the global wealth pyramid (One per cent of the world’s population owns 50 per cent of the wealth). The structure is essentially a series of mathematical equations.
Free drop in science workshops and activities for kids, food trucks, coffee and drinks on site.
- September 29 to October 8, 10am to 6pm daily in Bungarribee Park, corner of Holbeche and Doonside Roads, Bungarribee. Tickets: $5. Bookings: colabs.org.au.
Dot’s Drive In Pop Up Cinema
A great selection of all-time classics and modern hits will be screened over two nights at Castle Hill Showground.
Drive in, sit back, relax and enjoy hours of entertainment from the comfort of your own car. There’ll be a mix of food trucks available selling American style food such as burgers, hot dogs and nachos as well as popcorn and candy from the candy bar.
- September 23 until September 24 at various times. Castle Hill Showground, Doran Dr, Castle Hill. Tickets: $11. Bookings: dotsdrivein.com.
Free fun at Parklea Markets
For two weekends only, Parklea Markets are hosting free school holiday activities for the whole family. Activities include roving entertainment, a jumping castle, arts and craft workshops, inflatable hoops and an inflatable rock climbing wall.
- September 23-24, September 30-October 1, 11am-2pm. Parklea Markets, 601 Sunnyholt Rd, Parklea. Call: 9629 3311.
Make music at Maxx Music
Mini Music Makers
A fun musical experience, helping to develop your child’s linguistic, coordination and social skills. The session will include singing, movement and playing with simple percussion instruments. For 0-5 year olds and their grown-ups.
- September 25, 9.30am-10.30am. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $10. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
Family Ukulele Workshop
The ukulele is a great introduction to music for both children and adults. They are fun, easy to get to grips with and won’t break the bank if you want to continue. For children aged 7 years and over and their parent or guardian.
- September 25, 11.30am-12.30pm. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $5. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
Musical Theatre Workshops
A day of singing, dancing and acting for children aged 6-12-years-old (school year 1-6).
- September 26, 10am-3pm. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $69/day or $110 for this and the Pop Vocal Workshop. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
Pop Vocal Workshop
A day of funky, contemporary, harmony singing for girls. Expect Little Mix and more. Suitable for 8-12-year-olds (school years 3-6).
- September 27, 10am-3pm. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $69/day or $110 for this and the Musical Theatre Workshop. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
Make & Shake Percussion Workshop
An exhilarating percussion workshop where your child can make their own instruments using upcycled materials and then create a percussive performance using them. Suitable for 5-8-year-olds (school years K-2).
- October 3, 10am-noon. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $30. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
An energetic and action-packed percussion workshop for experienced drummers and novices alike. There won’t be a drumkit in sight, but that won’t stop everyone from creating awesome beats! Suitable for 8-12-year-olds (school years 3-6).
- October 5, 10am-noon. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $30. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
How to: Beginners Audio Production
Do you want to be able to make your own recordings? This is a great way to develop basic music production skills, learning from acclaimed musician, producer and songwriter, Dave Bleus (Studio Bleus). For young people aged 13-18-years-old (school years 7-12). You will need a laptop and, ideally, an interface to take part in this workshop.
- October 4-5, 9.30am-12.30pm. Maxx Music, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill. Tickets: $110 for 2 x half day workshops. Bookings: maxxmusic.com.au/holiday-activities.
Mosaic Art with the Bower
Create a piece of amazing mosaic art using upcycled ceramic tiles, pebbles, buttons and shells. Taught by experienced mosaic creators this workshop will explore colours and shapes as you make your own design. Suitable for children in school years 2-6.
This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
- September 26 at Vinegar Hill Memorial Library, 10am-noon and Castle Hill Library, 2pm-4pm. Tickets: $15. Bookings: eventbrite.com.au/e/mosaic-art-with-the-bower-castle-hill-tickets-36598757870
Learn the science behind bubbles. Make your own bubble mixture to use as we experiment making different shaped bubbles including a bubble snake! Suitable for children in school years K-2.
- September 28, 10am-11am and 11.30am-12.30pm. Castle Hill Library, Pennant and Castle Streets, Castle Hill. Tickets: 15.50. Bookings: thehills.nsw.gov.au.
Learn how robots are programmed as you complete fun activities to get these mini robots on wheels moving. Suitable for children in school years 3-6.
- September 28, 3.30pm-4.30pm. Dural Library, Pellitt Lane, Dural. Tickets: $20. Bookings: thehills.nsw.gov.au.
Looking After Your Pets Storytime with the RSPCA
Do you have a pet or just love animals? Join us for stories about pets and learn tips on how to look after your special friend. Suitable for children in school years K-2.
- September 29, 10.30am-11.30am. Vinegar Hill Memorial Library, Rouse Hill Town Centre, 29 Main St, Rouse Hill. Free. Bookings essential: eventbrite.com.au/e/looking-after-your-pets-storytime-with-the-rspca-tickets-36601708696.
Writing Workshops with Oliver Phommavanh
Join comedian, teacher and author Oliver Phommavanh to learn how to turn your wacky ideas into funny stories. Create crazy characters to take on weird adventures that will have everyone laughing out loud. Suitable for children in school years 3-6.
- October 4, 10am-11am or 11.15am-12.15pm. Castle Hill Library, Pennant and Castle Streets, Castle Hill. Tickets: $14. Bookings: thehills.nsw.gov.au.
Woodcroft Lake Festival
Celebrate with a wide variety of entertainment and activities for the family. There will be market stalls, activities and plenty of food to enjoy.
- September 23, 10am-4pm. Woodcroft Lake, Woodcroft Drive, Woodcroft. Free. Details: blacktown.nsw.gov.au.
Mount Druitt Festival
It is time to splash out and enjoy a free day out with the family. There is so much on offer at this year’s festival including meet and greet with your favourite princesses and superheroes, free rides, family games, kids in the garden, craft making workshops, pool inflatables, live performances, market stalls and blacksmith demonstrations.
- September 30, 9am-6pm. Mount Druitt Swimming Centre, Ayres Grove, Mount Druitt. Free. Details: blacktown.nsw.gov.au.
Head to Blacktown Showground for an exciting day out for all members of the family including the furry kind. Activities include Kelly Gill and the Wonderdogs, a pet fashion parade, Paw Patrol jumping castle, free pony rides, Australian wildlife display, free vet checks, free microchipping, free face painting, free live caricatures, animal farm, duckling display and pet stalls and displays.
- October 8, 10am-2pm. Blacktown Showground, Richmond Road, Blacktown. Free. Details: blacktown.nsw.gov.au.
Become a water warrior
Waterways are important habitats for many living species, and they need your help to protect them. Bring your kids these holidays and equip yourself with the knowledge on how to protect our waterways with some fun outdoor activities. Attendees will receive a gift at the end for their achievements.
- October 7, 9.30am-11am. Plumpton Park, Hyatts Road, Plumpton. Free. Places are limited, bookings essential: bit.ly/waterwarriorsplumpton.
OzTag Gala Day
Head to the Emerton Youth Recreation Centre to enjoy the last day of school holidays by participating in a 5v5 OzTag Gala day. There will be prizes for the winning team, and a free barbecue.
- October 6, noon-4pm. Emerton Youth Recreation Centre, 56 Copeland Road, Emerton. Free. Details: 9628 9292 or 0434 600 683.