REVIEW: Playing with Light at the Ipswich Art Gallery | School Holiday Fun
Throughout the summer school holidays and on until 28 April 2019, the Ipswich Art Gallery have a brand new exhibition on for the whole family!
Playing with Light is a full-body interactive exhibition that explores our big bright, colourful world full of light, lasers and lenses and it is PERFECT for kids!
Playing with Light at the Ipswich Art Gallery
Today we were lucky enough to be invited to see the latest exhibition for children at the Ipswich Art Gallery; Playing with Light!
Like all the exhibitions for children that we have been to at IAG, this exhibition is interactive and full of ‘oh wow’ moments that will delight kids of all ages.
Two floors of ‘Playing with Light’ fun!
From the moment you step in to the gallery, you will see a huge ‘cube like’ display that houses an array of sensors that will light up as the children walk past them and through the structure … complete with sound effects, this first ‘taste’ of the interactive nature of the exhibit will make sure that the kids are enthralled right from the outset!
The Playing with Light exhibition has over 22 interactive displays suitable for children aged 4 to 12 years and with light ‘toys’ for toddlers too! ALL the experiences are interactive, you can move, touch, draw, write, paint, dance, hop, dodge and even ‘freeze your shadow’ using light as you move from station to station.
Trust me… there wasn’t a ‘colouring-in’ area to be found! Just hands on ‘create your own’ light-show fiesta!
What were our favourites?
Dancing Shadows (downstairs)
The kids loved this – of course they had to ‘Floss’ their way through this exhibit!
Freeze your shadow (upstairs)
We literally could NOT get the kids out of this exhibit!! The more they made themselves into silly poses, the more poses they wanted to try. THEN they found the torches that they used to give themselves ‘crowns’ and ‘unicorn horns’ and other things that we probably shouldn’t put on a family friendly review… 😉
Dodge the lasers (upstairs)
This is another exhibit that the kids kept going back to. They had to move through the laser beams without breaking the connection – ala Catherine Zeta Jones style… Once they had mastered getting through without penalty, they wanted to do it faster and with less ‘moves’. They bounced back and forwards between this exhibit and the ‘freeze your shadow’ exhibit!
Video review – Playing with Light
Watch our video review to get a real feel for some of the exhibits and add this to your school holiday bucket list.
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All the useful information
Dates: Sunday 1 Dec 2018 – Sunday 28 Apr 2019 (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day)
Times: 10am – 5pm daily
Cost: $5 per person or $15 for a Family Pass (admits up to 5 people. Must include at least 1 adult). FREE for under 2s
Bookings: No Bookings Required for Families/ Individuals.* Pay at the door. EFTPOS available.
Age suitability: Recommended for ages 4-12 years. WARNING: Children must be supervised by an accompanying adult or carer.
This exhibition was created by SCITECH, Perth, Western Australia.
For more information visit the Ipswich Art Gallery website.
Previous shows and installations at the Ipswich Art Gallery
We were lucky enough to get invited to the preview show so we could tell you about it from our point of view (and from the kids!)
Slapdash Galaxy is a one man show designed to entertain and delight audiences from around age 5+. On our visit there were some younger kids who were not huge fans of the early special effects. My guess is that they were a little scared. Kids aged around 5+ were engaged through the whole show with most sitting still on the cushions at the front or the chairs behind the cushions with their parents.
What is Slapdash Galaxy about?
This entertaining, one man show is about shadow puppets in space! Two brothers embark on an epic quest to find a new home planet…. there are props and lights and clever use of dry ice and bubbles (all the best shows have bubbles!).
It is the tale of Sam and Junior: two brothers, who must flee their barren planet, and embark on an epic quest across the galaxy. Using the contents of your cleaning cupboard, Bunk Puppets’ David Geddes conjures up astonishing lo-fi theatrical wizardry using only old boxes, bubble wrap, drinking straws, tennis balls, ping pong bats and old toys. It’s a crazy shadow puppet universe, made from bits of rubbish.
What happens during the show?
The show opens with David blowing into his hands that then light up with coloured lights… it’s both cool and curious. It makes you wonder how he is doing it and what other magic tricks we would see. The audience was instantly engaged.
David cleaverly weaves his story telling, using different voices and props, to keep the kids entertained with age appropriate jokes and a touch of magic.
Everyone knows that when working with kids a little bit of audience participation goes a long way and my very own Master 11 was asked to come on stage to be the ‘bad guy’ (pic above).
Throughout the show, David flies the rockets into the audience and steps carefully between the kids to involve them. The kids laughed and squeeled with delight when the rocket ship would land on their heads!
He also chose a parent vounteer to briefly hold a torch and other children to be part of the show too!
Families Tip: Let your kids know that when he asks for volunteers to put their hand up HIGH and FAST… he may choose the first hand sees!
He has a cardboard box that blows GIANT smoke(?) rings (might be dry ice), across the heads of the audience to a very audible ‘wow’. All the kids in our audience put their hands up to try to touch them!
The 55 minute show will have everyone enthralled as the story progresses to a satisfactory conclusion (obviously I won’t spoil the ending for you, let’s just say it’s a ‘happy ending’).
What happens after the show?
After the show (and indeed before it if you are early), head back downstairs so the kids can make their very own shadow puppets using the craft material provided.When we attended, there were staff from the gallery to help the kids make their creations!
The Ipswich Art Gallery has also set up lights on tables so the kids can play with their hands in the lights to create their own puppets. Our kids were super keen to try out what they saw in the show!
Families Tip: You might need to plan an exit strategy – the kids love it here, so you may struggle to get them to leave unless you have a reason for them to go!
What the kids thought
Master 11: It was great, I loved that I got to be in the show!
Master 9: I liked the rockets and the sound effects.
Miss 7: I thought it was funny. I liked it when the alien ate the girl’s hair.
Master 8: I liked the special effects – the smoke rings were cool!
We went along with a friend who didn’t know that we were going to a show (she thought it was an exhibit like the ones mentioned below). I invited her for one specific reason… her family are self confessed ‘non-theatre people’, as she and her boys are not fans of sitting still and watching shows! If we were allowed to take photos during the show, I would have had plenty of opportunities to document her very engaged children watching the show (they didn’t budge from their seats) and she didn’t roll her eyes once! LOL
If that is not a glowing recommendation for this show, then I dont know what is!
All the useful information
Dates: Saturday 22 September to Sunday 7 October 2018
Times: Session times vary. Each performance is 55 minutes duration. No intermission. Book & pay online.
Cost: $7 per person (FREE for under 2s not occupying a seat)
Bookings: Bookings essential! NB online bookings close at 9am for sessions that day. Limited walk-in tickets may be available on the day for purchase in person from the info desk (unless the session is fully sold out). Please check ticket time and date as they are unable to refund.
Age group: Recommended for 5 years +. Parental guidance is recommended for under 5’s as some scenes may be scary.
For more information visit the Ipswich Art Gallery website.
Watch our video review for the Ipswich Art Gallery here then scroll down for opening times, prices and further details:
Built for Speed at the Ipswich Art Gallery
Escape the heat at the Ipswich Art Gallery this summer and visit Built for Speed for an awesome hands-on experience the whole family can enjoy. (Like, for real, the dads we saw today were like little kids and some were down-right competitive!)
Be your own engineer and build your dream racer! Design, build and race your LEGO® hot rod, dragster or supercar down rad ramps and slick tracks. Modify your ride for extra speed then re-race your turbocharged wheels for ultimate victory!
Downstairs in the (well air conditioned) Ipswich Art Gallery, is the creative spaces where kids can contruct their very own racing tracks with the materials provided using their imaginations…. there are multiple track options so your child (and you too if you like) can unleash your inner engineer with the return of the popular ‘build your own’ racing tracks. Create your own track using the materials provided including tubes and recycled materials to send your racer speeding on its way. See if you can make the best, longest, loop-the-loop racing track ever!
Families Tip: Take your jumper – their air-conditioning is VERY good!
Racing Track Installation
The racing track fun continues in the next room downstairs with the purpose built racing tracks. Your kids can (ok, yes you and your partner can ‘help’ too!) create their own LEGO® racer to speed down these massive tracks pitting their building skills against their siblings, friends and other visitors.
Ready, Set, Fun at the Ipswich Art Gallery
After you (I mean your kids) have perfected your racing car downstairs, take the new design upstairs to ‘beat the clock’ and have your name recorded in the ‘wall of fame’ for the fastest time. Practice on more ramps and race your family and friends to be the champion of all time…
Families Tip: You may have a difficult time getting your kids to leave – make sure you give them a 10 minute warning, it could get teary!
All the useful information:
Dates: Friday 17 November 2017 to Sunday 18 February 2018 (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day)
Times: 10am-5pm daily
Cost: All Ages All Day Entry $5 per person
$15 for a Family Pass (Admits up to 5 people. Must include at least 1 adult)
Free for babies and toddlers under 2 years.
Bookings: No bookings required – pay at the door
Age Group: All ages. Recommended for ages 4 to 12 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
WARNING: Choking hazard – contains small parts. Children must be supervised by an adult over 18 years