Clever tips for capturing kids by Lauren Whiteman

 This image was taken with ISO200 f5 shutter speed 1/300s, producing a slightly blurred arm. If I’d used a shutter speed over 1/400, the picture would have been sharper.

This image was taken with ISO200 f5 shutter speed 1/300s, producing a slightly blurred arm. If I’d used a shutter speed over 1/400, the picture would have been sharper.

You’ve bought a DSLR camera, you’ve got the lens on, you’ve switched it to Auto and got some great pictures — and some not-so-great ones. You’ve chased the kids around the yard and they’re all blurry. You’re probably frustrated right now, so this is what you can do to get good clear pictures of your children worthy of the walls.

While Auto will work in most situations, it can’t always detect what you’re trying to do. Some cameras come with a Sports Mode or Scene Selection, which typically will have a sports setting. This can help in most situations. However, if you’re still having problems there is more you can do before admitting defeat.

For the more experienced user, Manual mode can certainly solve most situations. You control everything. That said, even as an avid photographer I usually rely on the shutter speed mode for pictures of my children. Depending on your camera model, it can appear as an ‘S’ or ‘Tv’. In this mode, you can change the shutter speed (how fast the camera takes a photo) and the ISO (how sensitive your camera is to light).

To take a step backwards, your camera needs light to produce an image. The faster you want to take a picture to prevent blurring, the less light you let into the camera. So you need to get your light from other sources. This can be from your ISO (too high an ISO can lead to grainy pictures) or from your aperture, which narrows your depth of field — that is, how much of the picture is in focus. This is the balancing act of a photographer. Of course, if you have good sunlight or a flash, this can help to get more light in the camera for sharper pictures. 

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Kids are fast, so your camera needs to be faster. Try turning the switch to ‘Tv’ or ‘S’ and start at 1/400s for kids playing casually. In comparison, for birds in flight it’s usually recommended to use 1/1250s. So if your kids bounce around as much as mine do, you might want to aim for a faster setting. On overcast days or inside, you will notice your pictures will become quite grainy with Auto-ISO. Sometimes it is just the trade-off you need to make for sharper pictures. However, if you are able to keep your ISO setting at 800 or less, you won’t have that grainy, pixeled look.

Your focus setting is also important. Make sure you change your focus to Auto-Servo so it tracks your kids as they move. Otherwise they will be out of focus before you get a chance to take the photo. 

So to get those little mischief-makers in focus, try the Sports setting, or ‘Tv’/’S’ mode, and experiment between 1/400-1/1000s with Auto-ISO to start with. If you find your pictures are too grainy, then try to keep your ISO under 800. You may need to turn on some lights, use a flash or get out in the sunshine.  

You can follow me on Facebook @laurenicolephotographs and Instagram @thephotographymum


Both then and now, he’s the guy By Kate Sears

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Angels brought Guy Sebastian to the Frankston Arts Centre on Saturday, June 18. An energetic crowd enjoyed reminiscing to his past hits and were delighted by new releases from his current album, Conscious, at the Guy Sebastian Then & Now 2018 Tour.

This was the first time in two and a half years that Guy had hit the road, and we had an amazing time basking in his strong vocals and embracing the energetic atmosphere. There was euphoria and goosebumps when he shared a slide show of his kids on the big screen while belting out a new song that they had inspired. We were also treated to a sneak peek of his highly anticipated new material which is set to be released later this year. He was more than happy to engage with his audience — in particular some young fans in the front row, which without a doubt would have made their year!

As the audience cheered and screamed for an encore, we got the chance to step back and truly appreciate the sheer size of the audience and the infatuation everyone held for the first Australian Idol winner from the 2003 season. It was clear that the Frankston Arts Centre auditorium was an ideal location for such a local icon and strong voice.  

His opening act and back-up singer was none other than the lovely Aussie-born, Chicago-based singer Fatai, who Frankly Frankston spoke to for our August issue last year. Guy noted that he is a mentor for Fatai and made it known that she is unbelievably talented and an up-and-coming performer to look out for.

Overall it was an outstanding performance, and we enjoyed having a journey down memory lane with the songs that have shaped his illustrious career for the past 15 years and made him one of Australia’s most enduring artists.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

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2015’s Sicario was always going to be a hard act to follow, especially without director Denis Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins, actress Emily Blunt and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (deceased). 

For the most part, returning screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water) weaves a compelling tale. When an Islamic terrorist blows himself up at the US-Mexican border, followed by the suicide bombing of a Kansas City grocery store, the Secretary of Defence (Matthew Modine) calls on Matt Graver (Josh Brolin reprising his role), a US Government agent who specialises in Black Operations and has a particular palate for torture. 
We quickly learn that the recent suicide bombers were trafficked across the border by the cartels, and the unseen American President wants to reclassify these cartels as terrorist organisations in order to open up more brutal forms of recourse.
Graver’s mission is double-edged: incite a fully-fledged war between the cartels in order to disrupt the human trafficking racket which is allowing jihadists to slip across the border into the United States. Re-teaming with Benicio Del Toro’s elusive hitman Alejandro, an operation is set in place to kidnap the 16-year-old daughter of a cartel kingpin and implicate a rival gang.
Best known for his work on Italian television’s excellent Gomorrah, director Stefano Sollima proves himself worthy of helming this standalone anthology film. While atmospherically Sicario: Day of the Soldado lacks the relentless dread of its predecessor, it does deliver a mature mid-budget thriller let down only by an implausible Hollywood ending delivered to further extend the franchise.
SCOTT JACKSON Three and a half (3.5) stars


You’ll be dancing in the aisles

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Swing Man is a new show from multi-award-winning comedian Damian Callinan. Damian turns his unique brand of witty writing, physicality and observational humour to his personal version of a mid-life crisis.

Callinan, a renowned character and stand-up comedian, confirms what many had already suspected — he suffers from OTTDS (Over-The-Top Dance Syndrome). After years of abstaining from partner dancing and cutting up dance floors on his own, he discovers that the only cure is to learn how to swing dance!

Free with the performance ticket is a swing dance workshop. You’ll not only learn to swing dance in this fun workshop but you also have the option of joining the performers on stage at the finale of the show. The workshop will be led by swing dance champion Genevieve Wallis, who is also Damian's dance partner in the show. No experience necessary.

Swing Man is on Sunday, August 12, at 7.30pm at Frankston Arts Centre. Tickets: $30-$44; bookings: 9784 1060 or


A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston

T: 9784 1060


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Derinya exhibition attracts artists from near and far

The Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition is an annual pop-up gallery event showcasing the talents of emerging and established national and local artists at the Derinya Primary School in Frankston South. This celebrated and well-supported exhibition, now in its 39th year, is very highly regarded both by artists and the general public, and its popularity among artists has led to it becoming a firmly established and significant event on the Peninsula’s art calendar.
The Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition had its beginnings when the school’s PTA was looking for new fundraising ideas and undertook the extremely brave and innovative move to stage an exhibition — not one showcasing students’ work but one featuring mainly local artists including painters, craftspeople, sculptors and jewellery-makers.
From its humble beginnings in the hallways, library and some classrooms stripped bare of all signs of regular school activities, the exhibition now sees the Derinya Basketball Stadium transformed into a pop-up art gallery, complete with its very own cafe.
Since its inception, the Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition has featured the work of well-known, highly acclaimed and successful local, interstate and overseas artists. As a result of the dedication and commitment to excellence of the hardworking committee members, the Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition has displayed huge growth and has become highly regarded among artists and the public alike for its professional display of quality art pieces.

This year the Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition will hold its opening night on Friday, July 20, at 7pm, and the exhibition will continue on Saturday, July 21, from 10am-5pm and Sunday, July 22, from 10am-4pm. For more details, go to




Escape the winter chill at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery By Kate Sears


Anthony Christie, the head chef at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, and Derek Lyall, the dining and functions manager, have designed a new warming winter menu. There is lightly fried calamari, gnocchi, super salad, soup and sharing plates, and classic winter desserts such as pear and ginger crumble and sticky date pudding. And young art-lovers can enjoy Junior Artisan meal packs, stone-baked pizzas and cheesy nachos as well as Real Milk Shake Co. milkshakes.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am until late afternoon, McClelland’s cafe is the perfect space for friends, family, community and social groups to gather, and a popular central meeting spot between Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Guests can enjoy a scrumptious morning or afternoon tea, lunch, or a contemplative coffee overlooking sculptures and beautiful native gardens.  Larger groups (over 10) and private functions can easily be accommodated with special set menus. McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery is a bespoke venue for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, product and book launches, corporate events and Christmas functions. With the Sarah & Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion set to open at the end of the year, there will be even more space to enjoy.

School holiday programs at McClelland are another great way for children to explore art, ideas and express themselves creatively. The mid-year holidays were packed with children enjoying print-making, weaving with natural materials, geometric painting and collage. Programs respond to current exhibitions and the natural bushland in a friendly and interactive setting — and they do fill up quickly, so book your place early and keep an eye on McClelland’s website for future events!

A: 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin
FB: McClellandSculpturePark+Gallery
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Sharp comedy with a touch of sweetness


For its second production of 2018, Frankston Theatre Group returns to what was once its permanent home before the renovations made theatrical productions problematic.  Albert Nobbs, described as a Blithe Spirit for the working classes, is at once hilariously funny and sweetly touching.

Albert Nobbs, by Gordon Steel, tells the story of Albert, a grumpy, dissatisfied recent retiree who finds retirement is simply something more to grumble about. His long-suffering wife, Connie, tries unsuccessfully to enthuse him. When Connie is killed in an accident, Albert's life closes in on him. His wacky neighbour, Alice, embraces life and all its colour with a completely crass but enviable enthusiasm. Then, when Albert seems at his lowest, Connie comes back as a ghost to get him “sorted out”.

There are laughs aplenty in Albert Nobbs; the comedy is sharp; the characters delicious. But there is also a sweetness in the script. Connie and Albert's relationship is real; his grief at not telling her how much he cared when he had that chance is something we can all recognise.

FTG life member Roy Thompson plays curmudgeonly Albert, with Mary Bedford as Connie, FTG newcomer Debra Drape as her best friend, Rose, and Susy Jones taking the role of Alice.

Robert Lister, who directed FTG’s hugely successful ‘Allo! ‘Allo! in 2016, assumes the director’s chair again for Albert Nobbs. “It has been a thrill to flex my creative muscles and have a chance to work with this small hand-picked team and work on this show,” Robert said. “I am extremely proud of my cast and can't thank them enough for the amount of enthusiasm that they have each brought to this play. I hope you all enjoy Albert Nobbs and I look forward to seeing you at FTG's next exciting production.”


Hey kids, are you ready to read? By Kate Sears

 Angus gets comfortable as he prepares for the Mayor’s Reading Challenge next month.

Angus gets comfortable as he prepares for the Mayor’s Reading Challenge next month.

The Mayor’s Reading Challenge returns to Frankston City Libraries this August, and what better excuse is there this winter for curling up with a good book?

Children up to the age of five and their families are invited to get involved. In its eighth year, the challenge supports early literacy development by challenging parents and care-givers to regularly read with their children. It’s not just a fun challenge that encourages bonding time, it also creates a positive outcome for early literacy.

Research completed in Australia has found that children who are read to six or more times a week have a literacy level almost a year ahead of children who are not read to at home and are likely to learn more when they begin school. And it doesn’t stop at books — parents are encouraged to point out road signs, sing nursery rhymes, and read snippets from magazines.

Everyone’s welcome to attend the launch on Tuesday, July 31, at 10.30am. Participants must register at Frankston City Libraries’ branches. For more information, go to or phone 9784 1020.

Circus like you’ve never seen before

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Circa's reputation for fearless, boundary-pushing new circus is borne out in every one of its shows, which combine physical virtuosity with an expressive humanism, and its latest show Humans is no different.

Ten acrobats take us on a stirring journey of what it means to be human, and of how our bodies, our connections and our aspirations all form part of who we are. Exploring the physical limits of their bodies as they are pushed to the extreme, they question how much we can take as humans. They lead us to reflect on our lives, our loved ones, the burdens we carry and the physical and emotional strength it takes to overcome them.

Created by Yaron Lifschitz, the stage is stripped bare as the vulnerability of a team of highly skilled acrobats is exposed. With incredible strength and integrity they connect each moment seamlessly with the next in a thrilling and heart-stopping performance. Glimpse their humanity as they find redemptive power in strength and celebrate what it means to be fiercely human.

Humans is on Wednesday, August 22, at 8pm at Frankston Arts Centre. Tickets: $27-$50; bookings: 9784 1060 or


A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston

T: 9784 1060


FB: FrankstonArtsCentre

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Ferlazzos fight for our friends by Kate Sears


Raising much-needed money for animal conservation by creating works of art using nib and indian ink on paper is keeping artist Nathan Ferlazzo rushed off his feet. Nathan’s intricate designs are stunning from afar, and on closer examination you’re delighted to discover leaves, flowers and other animals embedded into the design.

We spoke to Chelsea-based Nathan before he jetted off to New York to exhibit Marini Ferlazzo at the National Stationery Show. Marini Ferlazzo is a family business, with sister Simone responsible for accounts and orders while their mother and co-founder Clare handles the business development. Having worked as a graphic designer for eight years, Nathan decided in 2014 to pursue his passion for drawing, a talent he’d nurtured since he was four.

“After being inspired by a Eugene von Guerard exhibition, I purchased my first pen and ink set,” the 33-year-old said. “I experimented drawing plants, then decided to draw a cockatiel made out of flora — I liked the way it looked so I drew more and more animals in the same style. It progressed rapidly from there.”

Nathan’s passion for drawing animals led him to pursue in-depth research into conservation. After reading about various organisations, he decided his artistic flair could help raise awareness and money for them. Since Nathan founded the business in 2014, Marini Ferlazzo has donated an impressive $25,000 to various organisations around the world. These include World Animal Protection, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Edgar’s Mission, and Painted Dog Conservation Inc.


Nathan’s Nonno came to Australia in the 1950s from a small town in northern Italy and is credited as the inspiration behind the idea to start the business. “His perseverance and good intentions towards others has always inspired our family,” Nathan said. “It was important to us that we created a business that had a positive impact on the world. We are a family of animal lovers, so it was an obvious choice to support wildlife conservation.”

Farrell’s Bookshop in Mornington stocks Marini Ferlazzo greeting cards, or if you’re in the market for a new tea cup, we beg you to check out the range with Maxwell & Williams, which all started after Nathan emailed its team with visuals of what he thought the collection could look like. “This led to a meeting and it progressed quite quickly from there. Before we knew it, we were looking at the first mug samples. The range is expanding later this year and will include an Australian wildlife collection.”

To find local stockists and check out more of the company’s range, including prints, colouring books, calendars, stickers and magnets, visit Remember, your purchase supports a more sustainable future for our planet.


Tully Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

Tully is the third collaboration between director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody and their second film to star Charlize Theron, who previously appeared in 2011’s Young Adult.

An intelligent, dark comedy, Tully tells the story of Marlo (Theron), an expectant mother to her third child. Her husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), is a non-presence, sometimes literally (travelling for business), often emotionally, and always sexually absent. Her son, Jonah, has unnamed behavioural problems and the film continues that disposition by avoiding verbalising that Marlo herself is suffering a severely underdiagnosed postpartum condition.


Enter Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a vibrant, charismatic 20-something night nurse, paid to take care of Marlo’s newborn through the night, which enables Marlo to get much-needed sleep to restore her emotional and physical reserves. Tully offers Marlo a way out of the daily grind and takes us on a surprising journey. The relationship between Marlo and Tully is captivating, and while we don’t always know where it’s taking us, we’re curious at every turn to see what lies around the corner.

On many occasions Marlo makes us laugh with her cynical analogies, reminding us that your 30s “come around the bend like a garbage truck at 5am”.

In spite of its deep and complex themes, the film empowers women through empathy shining a bright light on the silent, unspoken, insidious – and often invisible – dark side of motherhood. Tully is a film for both men and women, addressing the responsibilities and hardships of parenthood more broadly and the tolls these take on relationships which, while grounded in reality, will leave audiences optimistic.

SCOTT JACKSON Four (4) stars

Let’s get our skates on By Kate Sears

It’s Sk8House’s busiest time of the year, and everyone’s ready to party.

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“Skating is a great choice for indoor family fun,” says one of Sk8House’s owners, Bernadine. “Our parties are great value for money. We also encourage parents to hire skates and have a go while their kids join the parties.”

A two-hour kids’ party costs $16 per person if you’re doing the catering or $20 for the catered option, which includes invitations, decorated table, party pies, sausage rolls and hot dogs, and if your group has more than 10 people you can choose between an ice cream cake or icy poles. It’s even cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays — $12pp DIY and $16 catered — and you can also take advantage of a 30-minute coaching session for $30 so everyone can hit the rink with confidence.

Of course, kids’ skate hire is included in all options

“We play games in every session,” Bernadine says. “The kids go wild with the dance competitions; they’re very enthusiastic!”

Bookings can range from eight people to 200-plus, and you can even hire out Sk8House for a private function with liquor licences available on request. Teen parties on Friday and Saturday nights cost $22pp for catered packages and include pizza, chips and slushies.

So come on, get your skates on!

A: Unit 3/2 Amayla Cres, Carrum Downs
T: 9773 6799

Eye-catching Iconoclast enlivens the Link by Kate Sears

By now we’re sure you’ve seen and had lively discussions about Iconoclast 2017. It’s the sculpture by Michael Riddle at the Skye Rd exit of Peninsula Link near McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery. Installed in 2017, Michael’s work is part of the $250,000 Southern Way McClelland Commission, which will see a new sculpture chosen every two years until 2037 and alternating between sites at the Skye and Cranbourne road exits.

Iconoclast 2017 is intended as a visual shock. The structure explores the idea of loss and collapse. Sustainability and climate change are issues it could relate to. Steve Brown’s photograph (above) stunningly captures the busy freeway that complements the sculpture’s message, with the light trails hinting at the invisible emissions from the millions of cars that travel on Peninsula Link every year.

Michael is a Brisbane-based contemporary artist whose attraction to materials, processes and form act as inspiration in an art practice that unearths such areas as metaphysics and the human condition where chance, slippages and accidents are all encouraged.

As Frankly Frankston Magazine’s June issue hits the streets, submissions are closing for the 2019 commission, which invites Australian and international artists to design the new sculpture for the Cranbourne Rd exit. Until then, Gregor Kregar’s sculpture Reflective Lullaby — more commonly known as The Gnome — will continue to stand tall at the Cranbourne Rd site before being moved as part of McClelland’s permanent collection next year.

Park+Gallery Director Lisa Byrne said: “The fifth commission of this 25-year partnership between Southern Way and McClelland is a unique opportunity for artists to create ambitious works of public sculpture. On display for four years, these monumental works invariably become local icons and encourage lively debate about contemporary art and spatial practice.”

What do you think Iconoclast 2017 represents?

 Credit: Steve Brown

Credit: Steve Brown

Guests turn out for McClelland’s new addition By Kate Sears

McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery was buzzing on Friday, May 25, at the official turning of the sod for the new Sarah and Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion and Graham Terrace.

 Baillieu Myer AC, Sarah Myer and students from Rowellyn Park Primary School in Carrum Downs were among those at the turning of the sod for the new pavilion and terrace at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.

Baillieu Myer AC, Sarah Myer and students from Rowellyn Park Primary School in Carrum Downs were among those at the turning of the sod for the new pavilion and terrace at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.

The pavilion and terrace was designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects and will be situated at the rear of the gallery, where it will be complemented by native bushland and will lead out to the natural amphitheatre. It will be a very peaceful and contemplative space near the outdoor sculptures. McClelland’s core focus is on art, nature and environment so it’s an ideal addition to the art gallery, and staff are ecstatic at the prospect of making full use of the space for education and public programs, community events, forums, day conferences, workshops, seminars, and other relevant creative activities.

It was perfectly timed to occur during Education Week, even more so considering the theme for the week was Celebrating the Arts. Construction will begin this month and work is expected to be completed by Christmas ahead of an opening early next year.

This exciting new addition will deliver much-needed extra space for McClelland’s current education program, which welcomes about 2500 students each year from schools across the Peninsula and throughout Melbourne. More than 40 children from Rowellyn Park Primary School in Carrum Downs attended the event, along with much valued education officer Imogen Good, volunteers, trustees, Guides, sponsors and former and current staff. Sunshine increased the cheery atmosphere as guests enjoyed fresh scones with jam and cream and a side of bubbles for the adults. Key donors Sarah and Baillieu Myer spoke of their belief that it is necessary to learn about art your entire life, which is why the pavilion is targeted at intergenerational lifelong learning.


McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery membership brings art within reach

With 16ha of native bushland dotted with more than 120 permanent outdoor sculptures, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery is an ever-changing wonderland full of art, nature, sculpture and surprises.  And now thanks to its new Radius10 membership initiative, access to great art has never been so affordable.


As its name suggests, the Radius10 membership is available to anyone living, working or studying within a 10km radius of McClelland’s 3910 postcode. This includes Frankston, Mount Eliza, Patterson Lakes, Botanic Ridge, Carrum Downs, Cranbourne, Langwarrin, Seaford, Devon Meadows, Baxter and Moorooduc. The $35 Radius10 annual membership represents a $20 saving for adults, which makes it terrific value. 

McClelland’s new membership offer will focus on engaging the residents of the wider Frankston region and showcase McClelland, ‘The Home of Australian Sculpture’, as a unique community asset that is within reach of everyone financially as well as physically.

Of course, it doesn’t matter where you live — you’re always welcome to become a member of McClelland Gallery Sculpture+Park and take advantage of its fully licensed café and the three indoor gallery spaces that accommodate changing exhibitions. The Radius10 membership initiative is simply a means to encourage the neighbouring community to visit frequently, explore McClelland with awe, bring along their visitors and friends, and support their local treasure.

Visit to join McClelland’s Radius10 membership and be part of something extraordinary. 


A: 390 McClelland Rd, Langwarrin

Share your migration story and win  

Our beautiful city is home to people from all over the world. Local Tales from a Suitcase is an exhibition celebrating the cultural diversity of our community, and you can be a part of this exhibition at Frankston Arts Centre by sharing your migration story.

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It can be a photo, a letter, memorabilia or anything else, accompanied by a personal statement no longer than 200 words about why you left, what you left and why you stayed. Share your story and be a part of Frankston's history for ever.

Submissions are due by Friday, July 6, at 5pm. To submit your entry, email a scanned copy or photos of your memorabilia to or phone 9784 1896 for any inquiries. Each submission will go into the draw to win tickets to see Jurassica, a play about what it is like to migrate, to be displaced and to spend the rest of your life searching for home. The winner will be drawn on Monday, August 6.

The Local Tales from a Suitcase exhibition will run from Thursday, August 9, to Saturday, September 29, and can be viewed in the Mezzanine Gallery at Frankston Arts Centre. 


School holidays at FAC  

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School holidays are just around the corner and Frankston Arts Centre has fun and exciting indoor activities to keep your youngsters engaged.

Hot Arts for Cool Kids is back again and this time the popular arts and craft program is going completely green. Let your children’s imagination run wild to create their own masterpiece using recycled materials. This program is suitable for four to 12-year-olds and tickets are $15 per child with accompanying adult free. Hot Arts for Cool Kids will be running on Monday, July 2, Tuesday, July 3, Thursday, July 5, and Friday, July 6, from 10am to 12.30pm.

Josephine Wants to Dance, based on the children’s book of the same name, is a story about dreams, believing in yourself … and a dancing kangaroo. This delightful performance will enthral and inspire kids aged four and over. Jump, skip and hop your way to Frankston Arts Centre on Thursday, July 5, at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are $25 each or $95 for a family of four and can be booked on, in person at the centre or by calling 9784 1060. 

A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston
T: 9784 1060