The National Gallery of Victoria is inviting families to come down and share some fun in the sun when its 2023 Kids Summer Festival kicks off on January 14.

The nine-day event runs until January22 filled with free activities, artist-led workshops, and performances.

The first three days of the festival will revolve around the NGV’s blockbuster summer exhibition Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse; while its last three days will draw inspiration from the gallery’s Collection of Asian Art in the lead up to the Lunar New Year.

But from 17 to 19 January it’ll showcase an array of Greek themed activities in celebration of the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission: Temple of Boom.

Temple of Boom, whose launch Neos Kosmos covered in November, is a contemporary reimagining of the Parthenon housed in the gallery’s Grollo Equiset Garden and brought to life by architects Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang.

A symbol of unity, freedom and perseverance, the pair found in their recreation of the Parthenon a salve to the hardship and uncertainty of pandemic lockdowns.

As part of the festival’s Greek scene, the goings-on will shift their focus to four Hellenic-inspired free events each day between Tuesday 17 and Thursday 19, from dance and drama workshops to live storytelling and art tutorials.

The activities will run between 10am and 2:30pm on all three days, at ground level in the gallery’s Great Hall.

In collaboration with the Hellenic Museum, the NGV will run workshops teaching visitors about the unique history of Ancient Greek pottery, in a hands-on course where participants will create their own 3D vase out of paper.

Melbourne-based director, writer and performer Alkisti Pitsaki, born in Athens, will take listeners on a journey through Hellenic myth and legend with her storytelling performance educating all comers on the tall tales of antiquity.

Drama initiative ShineNow, a group supporting children and young adults living with disability, will descend on the gallery for an interactive theatre sports workshop open to all, encouraging spectators to join in the theatrics as active participants, as was often the case in Ancient Greek society.

And the Manasis School of Greek Dance and Culture will be hosting their own workshop introducing onlookers to Hellenic history and culture while children take part in traditional dances instructed by experienced performers.

While the kids are busy getting their hands involved with paper crafts or twirling to the rhythm of Greek tunes, parents might want to make a trip to the second level to take in the NGV’s Hellenic vase collection, one of the most expertly curated in the country.


NV Dance Studio performers prepare for their performances at NGV Kids Summer Festival 2023 running from 14 – 22 January. Photo: Tobias Titz