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Free stuff to explore


Couch Guerillas (exhibition)

Artist: Couch Guerrillas team

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

A cubby, a cushion kingdom, a vehicle, a stage?

Follow the story of making Couch Guerrillas and have some creative fun in our lounge world.

Inspired by children's movement and imaginative play, Couch Guerrillas is a new dance theatre work that was presented at ArtPlay on 22 February.

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

Age: 3 to 7 years
Dates and times: Wednesday 25 February to Saturday 14 March, 10am to 4pm (Wednesday to Sunday)

Please note: This exhibition 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).

Booked workshops also available for 6 to 12 years 

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.

Crosshatched (Pottery Demonstration)

Artist: Manohar Lal, Sandra Bowkett and Ann Ferguson

Find out all about the traditional potters of Kumhaargram, India.

Manohar Lal is a visiting Rajasthani potter from India. He lives on the outskirts of New Delhi in a village of over 700 potting families called Kumhaargram that means “potter’s village”.

At ArtPlay, see Manohar demonstrate how he makes large pots on his traditional pottery wheel. If you have time, wait your turn to make your own small pot on the same wheels and watch other children make theirs.

You will also be able to see a short film about Kumhaargram and there will be pots available to purchase.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Sunday 29 March, 2pm to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Super Box Friends Playtime

Artist: Jesse Stevens and 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

Robot Story Time show also available 

Age: Family
Dates and times: Wednesday 1 April and Thursday 2 April, 3pm to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

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 clothing - the program will run whatever the weather.

Age: Family

Wednesday to Friday in the April school holidays (except Good Friday 3 April)

Dates and times: Wednesday 1 April to Friday 10 April, 10am to 12noon

Sundays in May

Dates and times: Sundays 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 May, 10am to 12noon
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Wayside Rocks (artful play)

Artist: Sarah crowEST

Come and decorate the rocks around ArtPlay. Experiment with colours, shiny foils, stick-on eyes and natural materials.

Basic forms and shapes such as special rocks and trees have been admired, respected and sometimes worshipped in many cultures via traditions stretching back to antiquity. Use creative expression to bring these rocks to life and honour their natural beauty and mystery.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Wednesday 8 April, Friday 10 April, Sunday 12 April, 2pm to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Earth Art (artful play)

Artist: Kathy Holowko

Spend some time learning and making with artist Kathy Holowko in an art adventure in the outdoors surrounding ArtPlay.

‘Earth Art’ is a wonderful art form that is created in nature with natural materials. Be inspired by famous Earth artists who transform natural materials into beautiful sculptures which then disappear back into the landscape from which they emerged. You can create your own beautiful work of art out of sticks, leaves, bark, stones and flowers.

Your artwork will be left for others to discover and enjoy, before they decompose or get washed away and return back to the earth.

Optional: Bring along any natural materials from home.

Age: Family
Dates and times: Thursday 9 April and Saturday 11 April, 2pm to 4pm and Sunday 26 April, 10am to 12noon
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Shadows and Wind (puppetry)

Artists: Sandra Long and collaborators

Explore the sensory world of the wind in shadows and projection. Start by making your own wind toy… then put your creation in a shadow performance. Everyone will have a chance to use their wind toy in action, interacting with lighting, fans and special windy scenarios.

Part making workshop, part performance, you can choose to be the audience or the performer, or both!

(The wind toy is yours to take home at the end of the session)

The winds of grace blow all the time, let us set our sails

Created by Sandra Fiona Long, Bronwyn Pringle, Emily Barrie, Jo Mott and Jodee Mundy stemming from an initial commission for the 24 Hour Experience 2014.

Age: 6 to 12 years
Dates and times: Sunday 3 May, 12noon to 4pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Big Family Sing (group singing & show)

This event is part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Artist: All Day Fritz

Everyone’s invited to join All Day Fritz for the Big Family Sing!

Explore the basics of group and harmony singing in a playful and inclusive atmosphere where you will learn some easy songs. Then (if you choose) perform one or two songs live with the band, as part of the Fritz Family Sing Choir.

All Day Fritz’s eclectic repertoire includes extremely groovy music (for humans of all ages) that is swingy, jazzy, rocky and funky!

All Day Fritz are Karen Davitt (Madcows), John Fleming (Scared Weird Little Guys), Boris Conley (Spaghetti Western Orchestra/Play Me I'm Yours), Jane Bayly (Crying in Public Places) and Donald Stewart (flap! The peanuts).

Age: Family
Dates and times: Sunday 7 June, Workshop 2pm to 2.45pm; Show 3pm to 3.30pm
Free, no bookings required

All children must be accompanied by an adult.