Saturday, 24 September 2011

School Holiday Fun at the Sydney Children's Festival

With the September school holidays coming up in Australia, many parents are pondering what to do for entertainment for their children. For families living in or near Sydney, NSW, Australia, part of the answer may be the Sydney Children’s Festival produced by CarriageWorks in association with The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The Children’s Festival will run from 26 September to 8 October 2011 and will include art, books, circus, craft, film, music, mayhem, performances, workshops, free play and loads more.

Most of the activities are based at the CarriageWorks Monday 26 September to Saturday 8 October from 10am-4pm. However, the Children’s Festival is also at:
- the Seymour Centre, Chippendale Tuesday 27 September to Saturday 1 October from 10am to 4pm;
- Riverside Theatres Parramatta Tuesday 27 September to Saturday 1 October from 10am to 4pm;
- Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith Friday 7th and Saturday 8 October 10am to 4pm
- Newcastle Museum Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 September from 8.30am to 5.30pm

Featured Free Activities
- Circus Drop Zone with Circus Monoxide’s Half High Circus
The circus is in town and it’s time to take a slice of the spotlight! The Circus Drop Zone has got all the gear and gadgets you need to become a (ground based) circus aficionado - hula hoops, spinning plates, juggling balls, unicycles, flower sticks and rola bola.   In this free come-and-go space you can pop in anytime to work with experts from Circus Monoxide’s Half High Circus and surprise yourself by learning a new skill! It's festival fun for children and grown-ups - everyone is welcome to have a go in the Circus Drop Zone.

- Good Morning Emma Magenta
Emma Magenta is an author and illustrator. If you have ever been to Berkelow Books in Paddington you will have seen her wonderful, whimsical drawings. Emma will welcome everyone to the SCF Literature Festival, a day-long special event that celebrates books, stories and pictures for children. You’ll have the chance to hear how Emma makes her drawings, and join in a little drawing workshop where you'll make a drawing on a paper bag just like Emma does.

- Zilla Villa
Put on your builder’s hat and help build the Creation Nation town! Using a variety of recycled materials you’ll create a community made entirely from your imagination. From the plants and flowers to the trains and houses right through to crazy oversized monsters and magical wizards! Take on the challenge and ask the question: What will be in your town?

What Makes the Sydney Children’s Festival so Special?
The Sydney Children’s Festival emphasizes participation, focusing on the Child as the Artist. The program is a mixture of performance, workshops, exhibitions, tangible experiences and special events led by experienced professional practitioners, artists and companies.

The focus at Sydney Children’s Festival is on encouraging community participation, and inspiring creativity and imagination in children (and the child in all of us!). The Festival nurtures a love for the arts amongst Australia’s youngest generation of artists, patrons and cultural contributors.

It is designed for all kids up to the age of 12 to participate in with their families.  Everyone can take part in theatre, circus, visual arts, storytelling, music, film, creative sustainability and dance activities.

Over 75% of the entire program is FREE, all tickets are classed as low cost. The aim is to grow the Sydney Children’s Festival to become an iconic event, a permanent fixture on every Sydney family’s social calendar, and it will be an event that Sydney kids love, and look forward to all year around.

Tory London, the Creative Producer of the Sydney Children's Festival said "We wanted to make the Festival as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. You can come down and try things for free, you can spend a whole day without spending a cent. But then if you want a more hands-on experience you can book a workshop or then you might be inspired to see a performance. Every days there's something different; its designed so that you can come back multiple times."  This is more than a Children's Festival, it is more like a Family Festival. Tory said "One of the nicest things about the Festival is seeing adults have as much fun as children".

History of the Sydney Children’ Festival
In 2008, CarriageWorks launched the first ever Sydney Children’s Festival and it was a huge success! Over 10,000 people came and enjoyed our inaugural Festival. In 2009 Sydney Children’s Festival returned with a range of programs across various art forms. More than 17,000 people visited the festival over 2 weeks. In 2010 the Sydney Children’s Festival expanded across the city, from Mosman all the way out to Wollongong, reaching over 40, 000 people.

In 2011 the festival is establishing a series of festival hubs across the city with performances, events, workshops and free activities for families to explore.

About CarriageWorks
Opened in January 2007, CarriageWorks is the new home for contemporary arts and culture in Sydney. Built on a vision of a vibrant cultural life for our people and artists, it’s a place for creativity and innovation, where artists are given the opportunity to conceive, develop and present their work in an inspiring and creative atmosphere.

CarriageWorks has become an established and exciting destination of the Sydney arts and culture scene. Audiences at CarriageWorks have grown year on year, in 2009 alone 112,000 people attended events at CarriageWorks.  In the three years since opening in January 2007, over 261,000 people have come through the doors and engaged with CarriageWorks’ programs and events

Adding to the rich cultural atmosphere at CarriageWorks are a number of Resident Organisations, all working within the contemporary arts sector: Erth, Force Majeure, Performance Space, PlayWriting Australia, Reeldance, Stalker and Version 1.0. CarriageWorks and the Residents work together to diversify and broaden the arts events on offer. To find out more about CarriageWorks, and what we do, visit

For more detailed information see the web site

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