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Surfing, spaghetti & steam trains – what’s on March 2020

Could this be the month your family watches a baby loggerhead turtle hatch out of its egg? Or wins a tug-o’-war against a steam roller? Or learns the secret to the perfect spaghetti Bolognese at an Italian street party? The next few weeks are packed solid with awesome events around the country. So get your calendars out and check out what’s on in March 2020.

Enjoy an array of festivals and events, including WOMADelaide 2020. Credit: Jonathan van der Knaap/ South Australia Tourism Commission

Enlighten Festival – Canberra – 28th February to 15th March

Weird and wacky music, film festivals and light projections on monuments around our national capital – this is just the beginning at Canberra’s Enlighten Festival.  Lights!Canberra!Action! shows off the best of local film-makers and the Canberra Night Noodle Markets have dinner covered. But the best of the best is surely the Balloon Spectacular, with hot air balloons and balloon animals floating over the city skyline.

Watch the hot air balloons rise over Lake Burley Griffen from 7th to 15th March. Credit: Genus Photo/ Shutterstock

FABalice Festival – Alice Springs, NT – 6th to 8th March

Channel your inner desert queen at this glamourous festival inspired by Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Events on the program include an outdoor cinema showing of the glittery Aussie film, drag races, cabaret and a festival pageant. Be sure to get on board painting the town rainbow, too! Have a closer look on the FABalice website.

WOMADelaide – Adelaide – 6th to 9th March

This long-running music and culture festival in Botanic Park gets bigger and better every year. Kids 12 and under enter for free with a paying adult. There is also a dedicated Kids Zone with a silent disco, story time, climbing trees and an Explorers Tent from the South Australia Museum. Check out the website here.

Get up to all sorts of shenanigans at WOMADelaide! Credit: Grant Hancock/ SATC

Port Fairy Folk Festival – Port Fairy, SA – 6th to 9th March

Get indie at this laidback, community-minded music festival. The festival arena has three dedicated children’s performance and activity zones with circus acts, dance, arts and crafts and more. Some kid-friendly acts to keep an eye on include the Krazy Koala Puppet Show, Connected Circus and Yolanda’s Music Train. Soak up the small town vibes by camping in Port Fairy, or stay 28 kilometres away in Warrnambool. Read more on the festival website.

STEAMFEST Tasmania – Sheffield, Tasmania – 7th to 9th March

Sheffield is famous first and foremost for its murals. But believe it or not, this Tassie town also packs a punch when it comes to historic festivals. Enjoy steam train rides, food stalls, craft markets, working demonstrations of steam machinery and even medieval sword-fighting at SteamFest Tasmania. Naturally, the family-friendly highlight is the famous Tug Of War event between kids and a steam roller!

Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe – Cottesloe Beach, WA – 6th to 23rd March

There’s no better backdrop for large-scale public art than the beach. Spot sculpture and art installations all the way from the Cottesloe sea wall down to North Cottesloe. Make use of the free shuttle bus from Cottesloe train station to the beach. If someone in your family uses a wheelchair, consider visiting on the 17th, 18th or 19th of March for the special beach access days. Check details here.

Art on the sand and sea wall – from Sculptures by the Sea a few years ago. Credit: EA Given/ Shutterstock

Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne – 12th to 15th March

Rev your engines and head to Melbourne for some high-speed F1 racing. Your heart will be pumping on and off the track, with some awesome entertainment scheduled into the program. Check out the motor show and Kids Corner, which is free for anyone aged 14 years and under and includes a trampoline and Porsche track experience. There are limited grand stand tickets, so hardcore fans should jump online as fast as a supercar!

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Melbourne – 19th to 29th March

We can think of nothing better than a street party celebrating the hero dish of every household – the humble spag bol. Join celebrity chef Matt Preston at Big Spaghetti on Saturday 28th March from 11am to 8pm. This event is free and involves markets, live music, cooking demos and lots and lots of pasta. The Sichuan Snack Fair on Sunday 22nd March from 11am to 5pm is another great one for families. Foodie teens should check out the rest of the busy festival program, which also includes a Welcome to the Jungle vegan party. Most events are held in the Queen Victoria Markets and are wheelchair accessible.

Relax and enjoy the community spirit at the family-friendly festival street parties. Credit: D Castano/ Melbourne Food and Wine

Melbourne International Comedy Festival – Melbourne – 25th March to 19th April

You can expect big belly laughs from one of the three biggest comedy festivals in the world. The annual Melbourne Comedy Festival is up there in renown with Edinburgh Fringe. Check out the Kids Comedy section for some family-friendly fun, including the Greatest Magic Show, Comedy Club for Kids and circus and acrobatics performances.

World Science Festival Brisbane – Brisbane, QLD – 25th to 29th March

Geek out and get your hands dirty at this interactive festival of science. For the first time ever, families can enjoy the City of Science, an activity hub which will include hands-on experiment demos, AR experiences and even a megafauna installation. Watch free arts and science shows on the Osmosis stage, including a silent disco and puppet display. And of course head to The Hatchery in the Queensland Museum to watch baby loggerhead turtles hatch. Activities and events can be found online.

Last year, we sent Nat and her mum Sam to check out what it was like at World Science Festival Brisbane

World Surf League Corona Open – Gold Coast, QLD – March 26th to April 5th

Ride the wave of surf events unfolding across the country this March. The Corona Open on the Gold Coast kicks off the World Surf League Championship season with a bang, at Snapper Rocks on Coolangatta Beach. You should also check out the Juniors on March 5th and 6th and the Sydney Surf Pro from March 8th to 14th, both at Manly Beach in Sydney.


Check out more about World Science Festival Brisbane this March 2020

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