As luxurious as it is, the Queen’s Birthday long weekend does mean there’s an extra day of activities to fill. By the time Monday comes around, everyone’s ready to get out of the house and enjoy some family time out and about. It is a good thing a bunch of fun festivals and events have cropped up on the national calendar. Check out what’s on around Australia across the June long weekend.
On the afternoon of Saturday the 9th, the weird and wacky Adelaide Cabaret Festival presents a show specifically for families at Dunstan Playhouse. A program full of comedy, music, dance and everything in between is led by Ali McGregor, kicking off at 2.30pm and running for a nice, family-sized hour. The Family Gala is suitable for anyone older than 2 years. Family entry for two adults and two children is $80.
From the 8th to 11th of June, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf is transformed into a celebration of health and wellbeing. There are seminars, free meditation sessions, psychic readings, soul food cooking demonstrations and heaps of stalls. Children are welcomed, but festival organisers stipulate that kids younger than 14 need to be accompanied by an adult. It might be one for curious teens.
Rock up at Federation Square and you’ll end up rocking out to some amazing choirs and musicians. On Saturday and Sunday nights at 7.30pm and 7pm respectively, there are two festival showcase concerts. Or tag along to the climactic finale at 2.30pm on Monday 11th.
Things get even louder in Melbourne with the brass, drums and keys crooning for the Jazz Festival. The long weekend is the epic final act in this week-long event running from the 1st to the 10th of June. Check out their online program for a variety of ticketed events perfect for mini-musos. The Melbourne Gospel Choir will sing your socks off on Sunday 10th of June at a free event at Southern Cross Lane.
From the 25th of May to the 16th of June, Sydney is lit up with glowing installations, live music and large-scale projections. Join in this family-friendly festival of light at any one of its precincts – Chatswood, Taronga Zoo, The Rocks and more. Prepare for big crowds as this is a hugely popular event – check out our comprehensive guide to Vivid Here!
This annual program of films covers every genre and topic under the sun – from political pieces for interested teens, to short animations for the littlies. Even if you miss out on the long weekend, the schedule continues until June 17th so book tickets quickly. At Hoyts Entertainment Quarter on Saturday 9th, we recommend the showings of Maya the Bee: The Honey Games, about one plucky little bee who must save her hive’s harvest.
Hear engines purr and witness high-octane thrills as the racing kicks off at Sydney Motorsport Park this long weekend. Kids 15 and under go free at the Muscle Car Masters, and General Admission includes parking and open access to the paddock and the grandstand. This event is a great introduction to the adrenaline-fueled world of car racing, as you can get up close to your favourite vehicles and meet your favourite race drivers in the flesh. There are also tribute displays, merchandise stalls, a huge Cars and Coffee Concourse – and of course, muscle cars racing all weekend long.
Budding artists will fall head over heels at the sight of this festival of all things paint, sculpture, drawing, dance and music on the long weekend. Peruse the Arts Market, check out the Youth Prize with entries from artists younger than 18, and follow the Arts Trail through the studios and gardens of local creators. Tane Richardson’s Open Studio 5 in Scamander invites you into a world of cartoon and caricatures, and at Open Studio 3, Helen Munro invites everyone to try out her pastels. Children and adults can join in two sustainable artmaking workshops, ‘Recycle, Renew, Create’ and ‘Aboriginal Weaving and Kelp Art,’ held on the Saturday and Sunday respectively in Portland Hall. Don’t miss Offbeat at 5pm on Saturday in St Helens District School, with street performers, craft markets, live music and family-friendly food trucks.