Tiny Towns & fun for kids on the weekend

The Open House Melbourne Weekend will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July with a range of talks, walks and workshops aimed to encourage Melbournians to explore the diversity and design of the city’s built environment.

In 2018, the Weekend will once again include a Kids’ Program, designed for children up to 16 years, with a series of fun and educational activities. The Kids’ Program will be included in a lift-out within The Age on Saturday 7th of July. Be sure to grab your copy!

Tiny Town – Tents to Mansions

A highlight of the Open House Melbourne Kids’ Program will be held at the Immigration Museum. ‘Tiny Town – Tents to Mansions’ will be open both days of the Weekend: Can you imagine life in early Melbourne? Or as a squatter on a Victorian sheep station in the 1800s? Or as an Indigenous Australian in colonial times? In this workshop you will look at the depictions of settlements and buildings in the Immigration Museum’s Collection, then use them as inspiration to create your own miniature wooden models of colonial housing; from camping grounds to grand manors and soaring skyscrapers.

There will be a ‘tiny town’ set situated on a blackboard, with block buildings that can be relocated by aspiring town planners. Families can explore maps of Melbourne to locate significant sites, making connections to the buildings and sites in the Open House Weekend. The participants will also have a significant tiny building (approximately 15cm2), which they can design themselves – using evidence from photographs and artworks to recreate the features of buildings utilising a variety of materials.

Other Kids’ activities happening over the weekend include:

Run Away with the Circus at the Drill Hall
395 Barkly Street, Footscray 3011
Sunday 29 July, 10am – 4pm

Take your shoes off, jump on the training mat, and learn what it takes to run away with the circus. Join circus trainer, performer and director Franca Stadler, who will share the history of Women’s Circus in the Drill Hall and guide people through circus activities. Explore what goes on behind the scenes of the Drill Hall which was transformed in 2006 to host 30 large- scale circus productions and trains hundreds of women in circus and physical theatre programs.

A giant kid’s trail and films on the big screen at Bunjil Place 
2 Patrick Northeast Drive, Narre Warren 3805
Saturday 28 + Sunday 29 July, 10am – 5pm

With a budget of $125 million, Bunjil Place is the City of Casey’s newly renovated cultural and entertainment precinct inspired by Casey’s First Nations people. Multi-award winning architectural studio Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) wanted to create an inviting central heart for the community that celebrates participation, belonging and pride. The entire precinct will be open to the public with a children’s trail that follows all ten spaces, including a café, library, theatre, gallery and more. There will also be films on the outdoor big screen in the plaza and design talks for families.

Kids Weaving activity at the Australian Tapestry Workshop 
262-266 Park St, South Melbourne 3205
Saturday 28 July, 10am–4pm

Occupying a National Trust and heritage-listed building constructed in 1885, The Australian Tapestry Workshop (ATW) is the only tapestry studio of its kind in the country and is one of only a few worldwide productions dedicated to hand-woven contemporary tapestries. Kids can come along to try their hand at tapestry weaving and take home their work! Everyone is welcome to explore the ATW, including the galleries, studio floor and viewing balcony that looks out to the ATW Colour Laboratory.

Ping Pong WoW! At Art Play, Birrarung Marr
Birarrung Marr, behind Federation Square
Saturday 28th – Sunday 29th July, 10am – 4pm

The Ball Room artists stay true to their slogan ‘in play we make art’ with this year’s Open House Melbourne. Ping Pong WoW is the Ball Room artist’s signature body of work revealing endless manifestations of play. This event has been designed to captivate children and adults. In 1999, part of the City of Melbourne’s development plan for Birrarung Marr was to repurpose the hall as an art facility for kids. By 2004, Artplay opened its bright orange doors to the public.

More fun activities include…

All Saints Church
Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 July, 10am – 4pm
Take in the generous dimensions, extensive detail and colourful mosaics of the All Saints church with a self-directed treasure hunt for kids.

Woodlands Historic Homestead
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th July, 10am – 4pm
Come and see wild Kangaroos while you rub noses with these legends of the racing turf.

Hawthorn Tram Depot
Saturday 28h & Sunday 29th July, 11am – 4pm
Visit Melbourne’s heritage Tramcar Fleet and former driver training facility and explore the main display room.

The RACV Tiny Home
Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 July, 10am – 4pm
Join Award-winning architect and host of Grand Designs Australia, Peter Maddison, as he debuts his Tiny home in partnership with RACV. Seedling planting for kids will give them hands-on exposure into small-footprint living.

Dancehouse, Former Carlton Community Hall
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th July, 10.30am – 4:30pm
Dance your heart out with classes for the whole family.

Triple R – 3RRR 102.7FM
Saturday 28th July, 10am – 4pm
Go behind the scenes at a working radio station. Have a go at being a presenter!

Gipson Commons
Sunday 29th July, 10am-4pm
Get creative at the Gipson Commons Balinese-inspired building with face painting for kids and smooth jazz.

More on the Kids’ Program here: https://www.openhousemelbourne.org/kids-program/



Open House Melbourne is an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in the future of our cities. Increasingly, we are tackling big city topics through major public talks, tours, and de- bates – we produce over 50+ special events that are designed to build a groundswell of interest in critical issues for the city. By empowering people with knowledge around the impact of good de- sign decisions in our built environment, we aim to ensure Victoria – and its capital city – remains a liveable and vibrant place now and in the future.