Thursday, 3 April 2014

CLOSED Giveaway: The Incredible Book Eating Boy

I bought the book The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers for my children when they were younger - it turned into one of our favourites.  We eat books in our house! - we are all big readers.

It was wonderful to see that this book the celebrates the joy of reading has been transformed from page to stage. The kids love seeing their favourite books come alive on stage.

We have a family pass to give away to The Incredible Book Eating Boy for the 12 April. (2 adults, 2 children).

For your chance  to win tell me your child's favourite book to read at
Entries close 9 April and the winner will be notified by email. CLOSED.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy 
Sydney Opera House
12 - 27 April

Monday, 31 March 2014

Youth Block Party

From the team that changed how Sydneysiders interacted with The Australian Museum with Jurassic Lounge  are back with a youth event for the celebrations of Youth Week - Block Party. There's a great buzz already surrounding the event that will be held at the Hyde Park Barracks.
Expect a interactive extravaganza!

For more information and to book tickets visit

Monday, 17 February 2014

Art Month Sydney 2014

Art Month Sydney is always an exciting time for families to get around and explore art around the city with exhibitions, talks, tours and experiences. Gallery doors are thrown open with over 200 exhibitions and events in March allowing for many adventures to be had.

Here's a few to get you started:

Art Play at the MCA - Hang out with Hiromi Tango's beautiful interactive artwork Dance (2012)
For teens - Skate Deck Painting Workshop with artist Phil James
Your mind is exactly at that line -  Bright and bold Sol Lewitt
Express Yourself - Selected artworks by 2013 HSC Visual Arts students
Discover Sydney's art neighbourhoods by bike

Art Month Sydney 2014

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Cai Guo-Qiang | Falling Back to Earth

Over the last weekend of the school holidays my youngest son (10) and I went to Brisbane to spend time with family. One of the highlights was our time at the Gallery of Modern Art to visit their exhibition of artist, Cai Guo - Qiang.

We were very lucky to be the first in to see the exhibition that morning and walking into the room of Heritage 2013 featuring 99 animals from around the world drinking from a single watering hole was exhilarating.

A large Eucalptyus tree which was earmarked for clearing for an urban development (Eucalyptus 2013) sits patiently as visitors explore its colours, shapes and textures.  Children (and adults) are invited to sit and draw. 

'By placing a tree in a gallery space, Cai references the Chinese literati tradition in which artists and poets would commune with nature to gain their moral and spirtual bearings, and represent the landscape as a reflection of their experiences and values.'

Head On 2006 (inspired by Berlin's turbulent history) allowed the children to walk amongst the pack of 99 wolves throwing themselves towards a large glass panel. 

My son and his cousins (8 and 11) spent over an hour within Cai Guo - Qiang's children's project Lets Create an exhibition with a boy named Cai. They created explosion events, gunpowder drawings, and built tress, boats and animals.

If you live in Brisbane do not miss this exciting exhibition and if you are interstate do whatever you can to visit.

Another must see when visiting the gallery is the  exhibition Everyday Magic which 'focuses on how the everyday - both material and situations - can be transformed into art'.

Gallery of Modern Art - Brisbane
until 11 May 2014
* Free admission for children 12 years and under

Monday, 6 January 2014

Sydney Festival 2014 | Family

image: Joshua Morris

Ok - we have been busy so this is my first chance to go through the Sydney Festival 2014 program in detail.  The festival starts this week and is a great way to fill in the last few weeks of the school holidays.

There is a lot to choose from this year -  a wonderful selection of performances and activities for families - and if you still want more, it is also fun to beyond the family strand (especially if you have older children) to discover some interesting finds.

If you are a family of four - the festival also has family packages for some performances. For families on a budget these holidays but still want their children to be involved in the festival -  check out the free performances and activities on offer.

We love everything in the program but we are looking into these performances:

Othello - The remix: My eldest son (15) would love it if this is how Shakespeare is taught in school.
Band of Magicians: Magic is extremely popular in our house at the moment with my youngest son (9) and this performance is number one on his list!
Ockham's Razor: Looks absolutely amazing - Circus meets storytelling.
The Piper: Limited tickets to be involved and on stage of this intriguing retelling of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.  The Piper incorporates multimedia, puppetry and stagecraft.
Tom Thum: Beating the Habit: I caught Tom at Tedx Sydney in 2013. Kids of all ages will love Tom Thum.
Jazzamatazz!: Cabaret singer Ali McGregor does jazzy beats for kids.
Lao Qiang: Expand the music your children are listening to with ancient Rock'n'Roll from the East.

To  browse the full family program visit:

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Kids at the House 2014 - Sydney Opera House

The Kids at the House have announced their 2014 program. I was delighted to see some old favourites and performances I have been waiting patiently to arrive in Australia. My kids are getting older now (15, 12 and 9) and we have outgrown the Babies Proms but the 2014 season looks after everyone.

These are our picks:

Illusionists 2.0 - My youngest son is obsessed with magic - as most nine year olds are. We have already secured our tickets for his upcoming birthday.

The Magic Flute - This kid friendly performance of The Magic Flute is a wonderful introduction to opera and worth saving up for. My daughter and I went to this in 2012 and we both loved it.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy  - Everyone in our house eats books and this is also a favourite book when the kids were younger.

Leo  - This looks like fun and physical theatre is wonderful for all ages.

The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly  -  Finnegan Kruckenmeyer  is one of our favourite playwrights - he knows kids theatre!  

Hans Christian, You Must Be an Angel - My eldest son and I have seen Gruppe 38's performance of Hansel and Gretel in 2010 and a reworking of Little Red Riding Hood - A Sonatina and The Little Match Girl in 2007. When I saw that their latest production was featuring  in the Dublin Theatre Festival - I urged our family in Dublin to go.  I am booking our tickets now!

Of course, there is more to explore - but I will leave that up to you.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Alphabetical Sydney

I am always on the lookout for books that I can send to our family that reside interstate or overseas. Books I love the best are ones that portray our life in Sydney and Australia to be shared as bedtime stories - stories that keep far away cousins connected.

Alphabetical Sydney is a beautiful book to share with your own children, with Sydney visitors or family that live afar. The book is a collaboration architect/illustrator Antonia Pesenti and award-winning playwright Hilary Bell.

Jump on the local bus and travel to the many everyday wonders of Sydney with delightful verse and exquisite images.

This Christmas, copies of Alphabetical Sydney will be travelling to our family in Brisbane, Ireland and Canada.

Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell
NewSouth Books

Images by Antonia Pesenti -  courtesy of NewSouth Books

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

re:make project

I am working on a new project with Vanessa Berry. We have been rescuing discarded art works from the streets in our neighbourhoods. We will matching 12 found art pieces with 12 emerging and established Sydney artists to give them a new life. The new artworks will be sold at an exhibition in early 2014 with funds raised to be used to develop an art workshop program at East Sydney High School.

You can find more about our project here: re:make and follow us on twitter and facebook.
You can also sign up to receive re:make updates and exhibition details

We will revealing our found artworks and artists very soon!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Arts Rocket Friday Finds

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Devdas - The Musical

Over last weekend my youngest son (9) and I were very lucky to experience Devdas. A musical based on a story portrayed in Bollywood for over the last 50 years. Set in India in the early 1900s the story tells of love lost between three people and is brought to life with an ensemble of 15 instrumentalists, percussionists and vocalists and 50 dancers.

The ensemble were fantastic and the dancers and their extravagant costumes were a highlight. Even through the production runs for two hours with an interval, the children in the audience were not restless, although there were moments where we felt a bit lost in what was happening within the story.

This is a wonderful production to let your children experience a different culture and a traditional story.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Selkirk, The Real Robinson Crusoe

I love film festivals that incorporate kids/youth screenings within their programming. The Sydney Latin American Film Festival are screening the stop-motion animated adventure Selkirk, The Real Robinson Crusoe on Sunday 8 September with activities planned for pirate loving families. The film tells the story of Alexander Selkirk, the pirate who inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe.

Before the screening there will be an interactive kids' area with treasure hunts, treats and pirate games.

*The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

GIVEAWAY - This is now closed
We have one double pass to giveaway to this screening to an Arts Rocket reader.
Email: with the name of your families favourite pirate before Sunday 25 August for your chance to win.

The winner will be notified by email on Monday 26 August.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Arts Rocket Friday Finds

Visiting from Tokyo to play dress up - Photograph copyright Louise Hawson

Some fun finds this week -  Enjoy!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Way Way Back

This weekend we went to The Way, Way Back, a beautiful coming of age story -  that captures the awkwardness of trying to fit in, dealing with your parent/stepparent and finding your own way.

*This film is rated M -  view the IMDb parent guide to see if it suits your family.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Arts Rocket Friday Finds

image via Underbelly Arts - Tableau Vivant

School holidays are over - but there is still fun to be had if you look a little closer:

Friday, 21 June 2013

Arts Rocket Friday Finds

  • Way Out Festival for children hits the Casula Powerhouse in July. Look out for  the giant Termite city made out of milk crates.
  • Olafur Eliasson is back at The Sherman Gallery for lego mad kids
  • Our holiday movie is going to be Satellite Boy
  • Talking about movies - did you know that Palace Cinemas has a youth movie club - Scope - membership includes 1 free ticket on joining, $10 tickets and a free choc top on your birthday
  • What my kids are reading at the moment - Once upon a slime, Chew on this - everything you don't want to know about fast food and My sister Jodie

Driving into Walls

This week my eldest son (15) and I went to Driving into Walls presented by Barking Gecko.  Based on 500 interviews with teens in Western Australia, Driving into Walls is a stark reminder on how tough it is being a teen.  The performance incorporated dance and multi media to tell the stories of todays youth.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Arts Rocket Friday Finds

image via

  • This installation looks unreal!!!!!!! Japanese audio-visual artist Ryoji Ikeda  at Carriageworks from the 7 June until 1 July.  Very excited about this one.
  • Under 13, got big ideas - this your chance to take over Time Out Sydney and become Australia's youngest editor. 
  • Love the $20 tickets at  Sydney Theatre Company - Suncorp Twenties. Family/youth performances coming up - Storm Boy, Romeo and Juliet and Laser Beak Man.
  • Instagram fun.
  • My Story - My Content - film competition open to students - "Why do I love movies" 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

(A little early) Arts Rocket Friday Finds

Posting our Friday Finds an evening earlier  to share some exciting events happening over the school holidays and beyond.

Monday, 11 March 2013

My Monster Art - Artist: Jet

Over the weekend my son was invited to an art exhibition of a friend from school.  Jet is only nine years old but already  has an extremely distinctive style.  The exhibition was held in his home and friends and family gathered to support Jets new adventure in the art world.  When Jet is not too busy playing sport or downloading music you will find him home with a pen in his hand.

To view Jets gallery of work visit
Any enquiries contact