Fun family events for all agesBack to
While there’s plenty on offer for the adults-only crowd at Sydney Festival, the program also boasts a feast of options for family fun. As school holidays kick into high gear, you’ll find all sorts of extracurricular entertainment around town, from giant art installations to all-inclusive theatre shows.
As well as ticketed shows, there’s a host of free events out and about that the whole family can get behind. So whether you’re looking to please a little one or a discerning teen, these handpicked events will fit the bill.
Physical comedy and circus antics
Throughout January at the Seymour Centre, Cambodian troupe Phare Circus bring you White Gold, an all-out acrobatic marvel celebrating healing, joy and life-giving rice (aka, white gold). The show draws on circus arts – think juggling, tumbling and teeterboard – dating back 1,2000 years.
For breathless excitement and some belly laughs, look no further than the ‘let’s get physical’ portion of the Festival line-up.
For a dose of royally funny physical theatre, check out Thom Monckton’s inventive one-man show, The King of Taking, about a childish and petulant king who can only tread upon red carpet and only move to the sound of fanfare. Naturally, hijinks ensue.
Camp Culture is a join-in-the-fun circus show full of games and activities for any age, led by ‘Faboriginal’ circus performer Dale Woodbridge-Brown (aka, the Kamilaroi Cowboy).
Two shows stand out for young connoisseurs of world-class puppetry and storytelling.
Devised and performed by Indonesia’s renowned Papermoon Puppet Theatre, A Bucket of Beetles is a work grounded in Indonesia’s centuries-old traditions of puppetry. Making its Australian debut at the Festival, the show is based on a story told by a four-year-old boy (whose drawings also informed the animal puppet designs), so kids will find plenty to get lost in.
Meanwhile, Sugung-ga: The Other Side of the World is a charming turtle and hare fable from South Korea that’s perfect for the over-fives in your family. Combining Czech puppetry, traditional Korean pansori storytelling, live cello music and a wicked sense of humour, it’s a heady brew unlike anything else in the line-up.
Free fun (and deep feelings) in the open air
This summer the Festival will once again celebrate Sydney’s natural beauty with a selection of outdoor happenings that won’t cost you a cent.
The budding Zoolanders in your family will want to make a beeline for the House of Fast Fashun at Tumbalong Park, a workshop-performance hybrid in which you’re invited to create the unique fashion statement of your dreams from old clothes and textile waste.
Finally, for the aquatically-inclined, there’s the majestic floating sculpture Te Wheke-a-Muturangi by acclaimed Māori artist Lisa Reihana, which is spreading its arms across Watermans Cove all Festival long.