Families are in for a treat again this year as the Spot On Children’s Festival returns to Riverside Theatres. From Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th October, there will be a great line up of 15 live shows, five films, two drama workshops, a free concert and other fun free activities for families to enjoy.
We hope our Spot On Children’s Festival Guide will help you hit the spot with attending this wonderful local festival.
Thanks to Riverside Theatre, you have the chance to WIN one of eight double passes to a wonderful Spot On Children’s Festival live show!! We will be running four competitions in the lead up to the Festival on our Facebook page so make sure to follow our page. Further details about each competition and how to enter will be available on the competition page, linked below, when they’re live.
- Competition 1 [FINISHED]: Win 1 of 2 double passes to Dr Hubbles Bubbles (Tuesday 1st October at 10am) from Tuesday 17th September at 7pm to Friday 20th September at 7pm.
- Competition 2 [FINISHED]: Your chance to win 1 of 2 double passes to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes (Wednesday 2nd Oct at 10:30am) starts on Friday 20th September 7pm. And finishes on Monday 23rd September at 7pm.
- Competition 3 [FINISHED]: You can win 1 of 2 double passes to The Conductor and the Clown (Saturday 5th Oct at 10:30am) from Monday 23rd September at 7pm to Thursday 26th September at 7pm.
- Competition 4 [FINISHING SOON]: Win 1 of 2 double passes to Trash Test Dummies on Saturday 5th Oct at 12:30pm. This competition runs from Friday 27th September at 7pm to Sunday 29th September at 7pm.
Here are our top five picks from this years exciting Spot On Children’s Festival program.
Avocado Smash return to Riverside in a very special free courtyard concert. Come along to this bonanza of musical variety with catchy original tunes, dance moves and languages from around the world!
- Wednesday 2nd October at 12:30pm
- Best suited to 2 to 7yrs
Come on a journey into the unbelievabubble world of bubbles. Jam-packed full of incredibubble jokes and puns and a variety of bubbles from the biggest bubbles you have ever seen, to bubbles inside bubbles, smoke bubbles, a square bubble and the new explodabubble, this awesome show will amaze, entertain and leave you in awe of the world around you. At the end of the performance one lucky young audience member will even get to experience what it is like to be inside a bubble.
- Tuesday 1 October at 10am, 11:30am and 1pm
- Best suited to 3-12yrs
- Single tickets $22/25; family pass $82/$88
Enjoy this unique musical experience and be transported into a magical, relaxed setting with soothing sounds and meditative light projections. Inspired by traditional Indian lullabies, this wondrous show captures timeless night-time sounds from around the world; chirping cicadas; the call of the night jar; the soft fall of rain; and locates them within the rhythmic pattern and soothing cadence of a lullaby. Bring your own pillow or cushion and cuddly soft toy!
- Tuesday 3rd October at 11:30am and Friday 4th October at 10am (relaxed performance)
- Best suited to 0yrs+
- Single tickets $19/22; family pass $70/80; Multi-pack price $15/18
Get ready as the dexterous Dummies take you on a journey into their playful imaginations and invite you to take a fresh look at the household wheelie bin. This award-winning, slapstick comedy, circus routine delivers a dump-truck full of hilarity for the whole family!
- Saturday 5 October 2019 at 12:30pm
- Best suited to 5yrs+
- Single tickets $26/29; family pass $98/104; Multi-pack price $20/23
Award-winning New Zealand company Trick of the Light Theatre (The Bookbinder) returns to Riverside with this darkly comic one-man show in the vein of TV show Stranger Things (Netflix). Featuring storytelling, music and puppetry, Troll is an uncanny lo-fi wi-fi tale of the digital age that will enchant and captivate.
- Thursday 3rd October at 1pm; and Friday 4th October at 10:30am and 1pm
- Best suited to 8yrs+
- Single tickets $22/25; family pass $82/88; Multi-pack price $17/20
Key Info for Attending the Spot On Children’s Festival
- Single ticket prices range from $0 to $29.
- New in 2019, there’s a multi-pack price available when you book 2 or more shows.
- The festival is best suited to kids 2 to 12 years, though there are some activities that bubs and teenagers will enjoy.
Family Friendly Features
- A number 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 other treats.
- Riverside is part of the Responsible Café program. Bring your own reusable cup to receive a $0.50 discount on tea and coffee.
- There are many family-friendly cafes within walking distance. Such as River Cafe Parramatta, Bay Vista, Social Hideout and Bondi Pizza.
- 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 this reserve, there’s is an adventure playground with a giant slide, sand pit, water pump and lots to climb.
Spot On Festival Program
Here is a handy day by day listing of the different performances, workshops, films and activities on.
Below is a description and key details for each.
Dr Hubbles Bubbles: Come on a journey into the unbelievabubble world of bubbles. Jam-packed full of bubbles, plus incredibubble jokes and puns, this awesome show will amaze, entertain and leave you in awe of the world around you.
| 3-12yrs | $17-$25 single ticket | Tuesday 1 October at 10am, 11:30am and 1pm |
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts: This live show takes the world’s best-loved fairy tales and rearranging them with some surprising and hilarious twists. Dahl-ightfully funny and seriously silly, unmissable entertainment.
| 5yrs+ | $20-$29 single ticket | Tuesday 1 October at 12pm and 6:30pm; Wednesday 2 October at 10:30am
Avocado Smash Concert: Come along to this bonanza of musical variety with catchy original tunes, dance moves and languages from around the world!
| 2-7yrs | FREE | Wednesday 2nd October at 12:30pm |
Lullaby Sonic Cradle: Inspired by traditional Indian lullabies, this wondrous show captures timeless night-time sounds from around the world and locates them within the rhythmic pattern and soothing cadence of a lullaby.
| 0yrs+ | $15-$22 single ticket | Tuesday 3rd October at 11:30am and Friday 4th October at 10am |
Troll: Direct from New Zealand, don’t miss this darkly comic one-man show in the vein of popular TV show Stranger Things (Netflix). Featuring storytelling, music and puppetry this uncanny lo-fi wi-fi tale of the digital age will enchant and captivate.
| 8yrs+ | $17-$25 single ticket | Thursday 3rd October at 1pm; and Friday 4th October at 10:30am and 1pm |
The Conductor and The Clown: A mini symphony show especially for kids, combining laugh-out-loud physical comedy with works by Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and other great composers. This magical concert featuring a 13-piece orchestra introduces children to the joys of classical music.
| 4-12yrs | $17-$25 | Saturday 5 October at 10:30am and 12pm |
Trash Test Dummies: This award-winning, slapstick comedy, circus routine takes the household wheelie bin to new heights, delivering a dump-truck full of hilarity!
| 5yrs+ | $20-$29 single ticket | Saturday 5 October 2019 at 12:30pm |
We’re once again looking forward to enjoying the FREE activities at the Spot On Children’s Festival. Kids can burn off some energy in the active play area, get creative doing a craft activity (until 2pm daily) and drawing on the giant chalkboards or enjoy some quiet time relaxing with a good book at the library tent. Plus, get your face painted (until 2pm daily) and take a fun photo in the photo booth to take home as a keepsake!
The FREE activities will be on daily from 9:30am to 3:30pm in the Riverside courtyard.
There will be five children’s films at the Spot On Festival – The Lion King, Mia and The White Lion, A Dog’s Journey, Goosebumps and Ghostbusters. And you can watch them for the bargain ticket price of $10 per person, or $35 for a family of four. You can also add a popcorn and drink for just $5.
- The Lion King (PG film) – 4:30pm on Tuesday 1st and Thursday 3rd October
- Mia and The White Lion (PG film) – 4:30pm on Wednesday 2nd October
- A Dog’s Journey (PG film) – 4:30pm on Friday 4th October
- Goosebumps (PG film) – 11am on Saturday 5th October
- Ghostbusters (PG film) – 2pm on Saturday 5th October
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts Workshop: Kids can watch the live show and then sink their teeth into the workshop led by the actors of the show! Kids will have a chance to perform their very own version of Roald Dahl’s delightfully disgusting poems.
| 6-10yrs | $21 ($16 when watching the show) | 2:30pm on 2nd October | St Patrick’s Cathedral |
Haunted House Workshop: Dive deep in to the scary movie genre with Bloodfest Festival Director Natalie Woods. In this free one day workshop, kids will learn the basics on how to make their own mini movie – including acting, shooting, editing and all the foundations of film logistics.
| 9-18yrs | FREE – Bookings Essential | 9:30am-3:30pm on 4th October |
About Riverside Theatres
Riverside Theatres celebrates its 31st birthday in 2019 and is now home to 1,200 events every year. 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
Riverside Theatres provide a number of facilities and services that help make it a more enjoyable experience for families, including:
- 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
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 per 6 hour period from time of entry
- Secure Parking – Riverbank
- Secure Parking – Eat Street: Riverside patrons can get a discount to park here when you come to the theatre and park for longer than 3 hours. 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.