Parramatta has its very own awesome arts festival for kids these spring school holidays – yay! From Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th September 2017, Riverside Theatres will welcome families to the Spot On Children’s Festival, with over 20 live shows, 5 movies, free courtyard parties and stacks of other free activities.
We hope our Spot on Children’s Festival Guide will help you make the most out of this awesome local festival with your family.
What’s On Offer
The Spot On Children’s Festival brings together some of the best children’s entertainment from around the country. The jam-packed, exciting program has something to suit a range of ages, interests and budgets. From puppets, circus and dance to comedy, live music and theatrical performances. Plus free storytime, face painting, balloon twisting, play gym, craft, games and chalkboard art. And for the first time, there will also be two FREE courtyard parties.
Our top four picks are:
- Free Courtyard Party: new to the festival, FREE and with two great bands to entertain the kids and get them dancing.
- Curiosity: a circus show, come play based on a girl diving into another world at the bottom of her toy box.
- Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon: a really awesomely FUN music show that has it all! A great story about the Sun wanting to stay up with the Moon and what might happen (so I bit of learning about the way the world work and what the sun actually does for us). It’s also hilariously funny with great catchy music! And will get kids and PARENTS singing and dancing along and having a GREAT time!
- Grug and the Rainbow: featuring exquisite puppetry and gentle storytelling, this brand new show has been especially created for the littlest theatregoers.
Key Info for Attending the Spot On Children’s Festival
- Single ticket prices range from $0 to $26.
- The festival is best suited to kids 1 to 13 years.
Family Friendly Features
- Most of the lives performances are relaxed performances. During relaxed performances, the theatre lights will be kept on, children can meet the performers before the show, and there are no rules on entering or leaving the theatre throughout the performance.
- Toilets, baby change facilities, pram access and pram parking are available.
- Children under 18 months must be seated on their carer’s laps and are free of charge. Children 18 months and over are required to have a ticket.
Food and Places Nearby
- The Riverside bar sells sandwiches, snacks, drinks, popcorn and lots of other delicious treats.
- Riverside is part of the Responsible Café program. Bring your own reusable cup to receive a $0.50 discount on tea or coffee.
- There are many family-friendly cafes within walking distance. Such as River Cafe Parramatta, Bay Vista, Social Hideout and The Baker and Builder.
- Across the road from Riverside Theatres is Prince Alfred Square. And a short walk along the Parramatta River Foreshore is the Parramatta River Foreshore Reserve. Within the reserve is an adventure playground with a giant slide, sand pit, water pump and lots to climb.
Getting to Riverside Theatres
Located on the banks of the Parramatta River, near the Eat Street precinct, Riverside Theatres is easily accessible by bus, ferry and car. And you can also get there via Parramatta train station.
There are a few car parks to choose from nearby:
- Novotel Parramatta (across the road) – $10.00 per 6 hour period from time of entry
- Secure Parking – Riverbank
- Secure Parking – Eat Street. Riverside patrons can park here at a flat rate of $5 after 6pm on weekdays and all day weekends. To receive the discounted rate, you need to request a discount voucher from the Riverside Theatres Box Office or the Riverside Bar prior to returning to your vehicle.
- Grug and the Rainbow: Featuring exquisite puppetry and gentle storytelling, this new show has been especially created for the littlest theatregoers (ages one to five) and those who just love Grug.
- Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon: What happens when the sun and moon stay up all night together? This production will attempt to find the answer. With a star-spangled theatre rock party to delight audiences, plus original music inspired by everything from folk to funk, disco and pop.
- The Listies: This crowd favourite will return to the Festival with their best-smelling book adapted for the stage, Ickypedia. This seriously silly show answers all of life’s unimportant questions. And mixes clowning, slapstick and improvised chaos with a bucket load of theatrical invention.
- The Descendants of the Dragon: From Parramatta to China, audiences will embark on a magic journey with narrator and musician, Nicholas Ng. This live performance combines stunning puppets, masks, sword dancing and live music from traditional Chinese instruments. And delves into the classic Chinese myth of the dragons that live in the Eastern Ocean.
- Curiosity: A visual spectacular will be on offer when Dislocate perform Curiosity. It is a theatrical collision between the worlds of Circus Oz, Dr Seuss and Alice in Wonderland! With aerial and acrobatic feats including chair balancing, stilts, ladder routines and original song and dance – this is a show not to be missed.
- A Little Bit of Blue: The much-loved Little Wing Puppets returns to Riverside to present the interactive production, exploring the world of the iconic Australian Bowerbird through puppetry and clowning.
- SplashDance Live – Let’s Bop!: The gang from the hit ABC Kids television series will present their energetic and fun new show, featuring songs by the multi award-winning musical maestro, John Field (writer of more than 400 hits for The Wiggles).
We are really looking forward to enjoying all the FREE activities at the Spot On Children’s Festival. They will be on daily from 9:30am to 2pm in the Riverside courtyard.
There will be:
- dance-along radio show – Together Time Live! – presented by Kinderling Kids Radio,
- Courtyard Party with live bands,
- reading tent presented by Parramatta Library,
- balloon twisters,
- craft activities,
- play gym and more.
There will be a fantastic program of children’s films for the bargain ticket price of $10 at the festival. The five films on offer are Beauty and the Beast Sing-A-Long, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, The Lego® Batman Movie, anime Wolf Children and Rumpelstiltskin, captured live on stage.
About Riverside Theatres
Riverside Theatres will celebrate its 30th birthday in 2018 and is now home to 1200 events every year. offers It has three venues under the one roof and is a leading entertainment venue and performing arts centre in Greater Sydney.
Riverside Theatres work to bring children to the arts and the arts to children in the most exciting ways possible. They select from Australia’s best children’s theatre makers to ensure that parents enjoy the experience as much as their kids.
Local Family Friendly Performing Arts Centre
- Lots of booster seats available – just ask an usher at your door
- Space to park prams
- A relaxed courtyard for the kids to run around
- Baby change facilities
Calendar of Spot On Children’s Festival Events
Below is a calendar listing of the 20+ performances, movies and activities of the Spot On Children’s Festival to help with planning your visit.