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Free stuff to explore

ArtPlay Backyard (artful play)

Artist: ArtPlay staff

Come and play in the ArtPlay Backyard.

We’ll have all sorts of materials on hand for you to create your artwork. Draw in the sand, build sculptures with recycled and natural materials or muck about with water. Make a mandala, wrap up some rope or ribbon and dream up your own mini landscape. Anything is possible!

Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothes and a hat. (Please note the program may be cancelled under extreme heat conditions.)

Age: Family
Dates and times: Wednesday to Friday in January, 9.30am to 11.30am
Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 January, Wednesday 21 to Friday 23 January
Dates and times: Sundays in February, 9.30am to 11.30am
Sundays 1, 8, 15, 22 February
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Super Box Friends Playtime

Artist: Jesse Stevens & Dean Petersen (Cake Industries)

Come and meet some playful little Box Friends roaming free outside (behind ArtPlay). Built by children, these unique little friends will charm and excite as they wobble, bump, and roll around the play area. Get hands on and tend to the little creatures needs as they attempt to make their way in the world!

Special helpers Dean & Jesse (media artists and robot builders) will be on hand to assist with any repairs that these mechanical Box Friends may need in the Box Friend Hospital throughout the afternoon.

Booked workshops also available.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Saturday 10 January and Sunday 11 January, 1pm to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things (interactive installation)

Artist: Drop Bear Theatre, The Seam Collective and Zoe Barry

Come and explore the mysterious collection of The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things.

There is a boy. The boy who loved tiny things. He would like to show you some of his collection…

You will see some tiny things - you may have seen them before, you may not. They may have been here for a very, very long time, they may have only just arrived....but they are all TINY. They are tiny, and every tiny thing has a story…Is anything missing? Did you notice?

The Care-Taker will guide you through: part treasure hunt, part museum. Become a scientist of the imagination as you explore, catalogue and help create a fantastical museum of tiny things.

RULES: there’re really no rules except tiny.

This event is part of the ArtPlay NEW IDEAS LAB program where artists are supported to develop new work for children and families.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Wednesday 21 January to Sunday 1 February, 10am to 4pm
(Wednesday to Sunday)
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult

Caring and Sharing for the Earth (exhibition)

This event is part of the Sustainable Living Festival
Artists: children from the University of Melbourne Early Learning Centre

This exhibition presents children’s artworks and narratives that were created in response to Associazione L’Eta Verde The Green Age Macroproblems 2002-2014.

This unique collection of the voices of children demonstrates their capacity to think deeply about their responsibility to Planet Earth and to communicate their understandings of the importance of environmental care and sustainability.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Wednesday 11 February to Saturday 21 February, 10am to 4pm (Wednesday to Sunday)
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.


Couch Guerillas (installation)

Artist: Adrienne Chisolm and Nerida Weller

The family couch…what does it become at your house?

An animal habitat, a cubby, a vehicle, a stage?

What would the ideal family lounge be like if anything was possible?

See what the artists with the help of families at ArtPlay have created, and add your own family couch story.

Age: 3 to 8 years
Dates and times: Wednesday 25 February to Thursday 2 April, 10am to 4pm (Wednesday to Sunday)

(*NB This installation is closed over Moomba weekend (6 to 9 March 2015) and may be closed during other events, please contact ArtPlay for more info)

Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Image: Artwork by Dot Norbury, 5 years of age


Snack Habitat Van (food)

Artist: Snack Habitat

Buzz on down to ArtPlay and visit The Snack Habitat Van which will serve kid-sized snack foods and activities to get kids tasting, learning and thinking!

There will be talks about "Buzzy-B" foods and honey bees, kids will create some bee-art, taste some honey grown on the rooftops of Melbourne city and take home bee-friendly seeds.

We will have some special food-friends visiting including Alice in Frames (host of Kitchen Whiz, edible adventurer) and Rebecca Sullivan (safe guarder of Granny Skills).

Age: Family
Dates and times: Saturday 28 February and Sunday 1 March, 10am to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tape me a River (Expanded Drawing Installation)

This event is part of Moomba
Artist: Briony Barr

Imagine a drawing that has become bored of paper and wandered off the page in search of new adventure… Now imagine the setting for this creative adventure....a river bank, surrounded by trees and rocks, populated by countless creatures, big and small, real and imaginary.

Come along and contribute to a collaborative, room-size, river scene made completely from lines of colourful electrical tape.

Our river scene will evolve and grow over three days...that is, until the un-drawing stage begins! Sometimes deconstruction is just another stage of creation…. Find out how at ArtPlay over the Moomba weekend.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Saturday March 7, Sunday 8 March and Monday 9 March, 12noon to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tech Play (art apps)

Artist: Daniel Donahoo from Project Synthesis

What art can you make with technology? A WHOLE lot of amazing art stuff!

Play with music, book making and tangrams through to robot race tracks and hair salons. Tech Play will offer children and families new and quirky ways to use technology, with various spaces to explore.

Music Space 3+ Use touchscreens and maker technology to explore sound, and to compose, mix, record and play music.

Creation Space 3+ Use a suite of apps and touchscreens to create books, design and test robot race tracks, design worlds and solve problems creatively.

Toy Space 3+ Screens are more than just for looking at, and here you can interact with a range of physical objects and toys that engage with screens. Play with shapes and tangrams, along with our very own hair salon.

Learning & Explore Space 3+ Pick up a touchscreen or tablet to explore the world around you, as you playfully engage in ways to measure and make sense of networked information. Play with parents and other children to explore the world – both on and off screen.

Back to the Future Space 7+ Engage with robotics, old computers and consoles from the 80s and 90s and a host of interesting technology play things.

Age: 3 to 12 years
Dates and times: Sunday 15 March, 10.30am to 3.30pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.