Published on June 8th, 2023 | by Adrian Gunning

Endless school holiday fun at Arts Centre Melbourne this winter

The whole family can have fun exploring a world of wonder these winter school holidays, as Arts Centre Melbourne presents its mega Winter Families and Children Program – with a variety of family-friendly experiences running right through the holidays from 24 June through to 9 July.

From wonderful and wacky, to immersive and sensory, kids can choose their own adventure and bring their parents along for the ride. The program will span multiple venues, with the Playhouse, Hamer Hall and The Channel becoming home to dancing, opera, artistic workshops, trickery and more – a treat for all to share!

For those kids ready to be delighted and disgusted, Roald Dahl’s tale of gruesome twosome The Twits will be brought to life at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse from 27 June – 1 July. Packed with Dahlicious mischief and hilarious mayhem, this adored classic will not only provide ‘lols through the school hols’ but encourage everyone to treat others with love and care.

For family-friendly opera, Parrwang Lifts the Sky will finally have its world premiere to a live audience after the 2021 Victorian Opera performances were cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Created by acclaimed Yorta Yorta/Yuin soprano, composer and artistic director Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO, this long-awaited and joyful opera is based on an original story from Wadawurrung Country told to the children of the Wathaurong by community Elder, the late Uncle David Tournier. Featuring some of Australia’s finest operatic talent including First Nations Artists Shauntai Sherree, Jessica Hitchcock with Cheetham Fraillon herself and members of the Dhungala Children’s Choir, Parrwang Lifts the Sky runs at the Playhouse from 7– 8 July.

Discover an imaginary world of giants, hairy creatures and flying things in the return season of The Grumpiest Boy In The World – presented by Victorian Opera, this is a family-favourite opera for children featuring a score from Joseph Twist, known for his stellar musical direction on hit children’s TV show, Bluey, alongside Sidney Myer Fellowship librettist and much-loved children’s author, Finegan Kruckemeyer. This enriching tale can be enjoyed by children and parents alike, from 23 – 24 June.

Why not double down on the fun and get wiggling, with a double line up of everyone’s favourite act, Hello! We’re The Wiggles” Live in Concert! Hot on the heels of their ARIA win for ‘Best Live Act’, The Wiggles are bringing their all-singing, all-dancing hit show to Hamer Hall. Joining Anthony, Tsehay, Simon, Lachy, Caterina, Lucia, Evie and John on stage are favourite characters, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus, Shirley Shawn the Unicorn and Bok the Hand Puppet. With three performances on Monday 26 June, it’s hard to miss.

Safe to say, kids and parents will be keeping busy and curious this June and July with Academy at Arts Centre Melbourne. Budding creatives can participate in workshops at Arts Centre Melbourne’s learning lab, The Channel. These hands-on learning experiences are completely FREE and offer high achieving students from years 4-12 access to industry professionals and to discover how to bring their own identity to their artistic practice. Students will have the opportunity to take workshops in theatre making, improvisation, character development, song writing, dance, choreography and more, ensuring they have the inspiration and tools to take back to school and beyond!

Families can explore their love for music even further at the Australian Music Vault, a FREE exhibition open to all from 10am – 5pm daily. Developed by Arts Centre Melbourne in consultation with the music industry, the immersive exhibition celebrates Australian contemporary music and showcases iconic objects from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection. Take the family and be in awe of the stories, costumes and instruments from legendary music figures and current icons like Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, Nick Cave, John Farnham, Molly Meldrum, Missy Higgins and many many more.

The holiday program doesn’t stop there, with the theatre offering extending to all ages, in an immersive, sensory theatre performance for babies ages 0-12 months and their carers. Running 28 June – 2 July, An Uncertain Time uses elements of song, sound, physical theatre and object puppetry to create a narrative journey. Exploring ideas of love, loss, hope and uncertainty through a tactile and visual experience, award-winning theatre maker and researcher, Sarah Austin, brings her expertise in collaborating with children and young people to create contemporary performance work that will captivate the youngest audience members. Please note, this season has sold out.

With such an incredible mix on offer, there are endless possibilities this holiday period for families to come together and share remarkable experiences at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Launched in August 2009, Arts Centre Melbourne’s Winter Families and Children Program has grown in reputation to become a highly respected program nationally and internationally. Featuring intimate and large-scale theatre from some of the world’s most respected companies and a diverse range of interactive workshops, the program is robust and growing in size, scale and scope.

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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