10 cool art experiences for kids and families

Fancy code-breaking in a museum or delving into an exhibition that you can build?

School holiday season is upon us and ArtsHub has rounded up some of the most eccentric and exciting activities for all-round family fun.

5 hands on and participatory activities

Ceramics for all ages at SAM (Shepparton, Regional VIC)

The Shepparton Art Museum has a range of autumn school holiday programs on offer, including Building Ceramics workshops for SAM Kids (6 – 12 years) on 12 April and SAM Teens (13+ years) 13 April. No experience is necessary with material and equipment provided. SAM Toddlers is dedicated to little ones aged 2 – 4 years with hands-on art making activities on 20 April. Bookings required.

Solve the mystery at a gallery (Perth, WA)

A family fun tour for little detectives aged 8 and over, Codebreakers at WA Museum Boola Bardip is part scavenger hunt and part escape room. Equipped with a Codebreakers kit, a series of challenging puzzles, codes and clues will lead you across galleries and through the Museum. Your mission is to identify an agent from the mysterious Shadow Society who is intent on raiding the museum’s collection!

Be inspired by the 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus at MCA (Sydney, NSW)

From 21 – 23 April, pop into the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) to join Friends of the River for a welcoming family adventure through the Biennale of Sydney and into a creative making session. The workshops involve a tour through the gallery to dive into ideas of rivers and ecosystems, followed by a trip to the makers’ studio to experiment with watercolour paints. Recommended for ages 5 – 12 years, including a sensory-friendly session on 22 April; bookings required.

Become a superhero at AGSA (Adelaide, SA)

Open on weekends and throughout the holidays, The Studio: Dennis Golding invites visitors big and small to make their own cape to bring out your creative superpower. The AGSA Studio also features works of art made for The Future is Here, a collaboration between artist Dennis Golding and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Alexandria Park Community School. Free.

Workshop for young dramatists at the Opera House (Sydney, NSW)

Join Monkey Baa Theatre for an engaging workshop session taking 5 – 8 year-olds on a journey of identity, self-belief and belonging – all through the eyes of an emu! Presented in the Sydney Opera House’s Centre for Creativity, the event runs 20 and 22 April alongside a breadth of other creative events; bookings required.

5 shows and exhibitions to visit

The Listies: Make Some Noise! (Melbourne, VIC)

Part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Rich and Matt from The Listies are back with a brand-new musical comedy for ‘kidults’ aged 4-400. The show guarantees to deliver music, dance, and plenty of laughs for kids and adults alike. Running from 9 – 24 April at Arts Centre Melbourne; ticketed.

Read: Comedy review: The Listies, Make Some Noise!

Kaleidoscope: Playing with Colour (Adelaide, SA)

The inaugural exhibition at Adelaide Festival Centre’s new Children’s Artspace invites young art-loving visitors to delve into the world of artist Ruby Chew and her primary school collaborators. This big, bright, and bold exhibition encourages children to learn through creativity, fun, and expression. Open until 23 April.

Read: Kids-centred activities are the perfect creative outlet

The Velveteen Rabbit (Fremantle, WA)

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre presents an enchanting and uplifting childhood classic The Velveteen Rabbit from 4 – 23 April with a centenary production brimming with hope, love and adventure. The original production written in 1992 explores the special imaginary relationship between a child and a toy rabbit, celebrating the power of belief, love and loyalty in coping with challenges and adversity. Perfect for children aged 5 and above; ticketed.

Bricktionary: The Interative LEGO® brick Exhibition (Gold Coast, QLD)

Landing in the Gold Coast this week is the Interactive LEGO® brick Exhibition, a 30 – 90min LEGO® brick experience designed as a fun-filled journey for families, kids and adults to show you how to turn your LEGO brick® dreams into amazing creations. Opening 9 April; ticketed.

Nigel Sense: Visitor Centre (Darwin, NT)

The Northern Centre for Contemporary Art presents Darwin based artist Nigel Sense as he transforms NCCA into his vibrant and family-friendly interpretation of a visitor centre. Sense’s works saturate large canvases as well as unusual materials such as eskies, plates and a family-sized camping tent. Runs until 16 April with an artist talk on 9 April 11am.

Celina Lei is an Arts Writer at ArtsHub. She acquired her masters in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Prior to joining ArtsHub, she was an editorial assistant at the Hong Kong based ArtAsiaPacific magazine and is an art host on independent Instagram platform Club Ambroise. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne, Victoria. Instagram: @lleizy_