Visitors enjoy a dance party at the 2019 Kids Summer Festival at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (Photo: Eugene Hyland)

Encouraging kids to bring out their natural artistic tendencies, the 2020 NGV Kids Summer Festival was inspired by the gallery’s summer exhibitions, Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and KAWS: PLAYTIME. The festival will run from 11 – 19 January 2020. Offering nine days of activities to encourage creativity and engagement with art, the free festival focuses on the theme of Make Art, Make Friends and will feature hip-hop workshops, dance parties, hands-on art-inspired sessions, relaxed mornings, free film screenings and programs for teenagers.

The NGV Kids on Tour returns in January 2020 with the largest ever free program of art-driven activities and workshops for children and families across over 80 regional and metropolitan Victorian venues. From Lorne to Swan Hill, Bendigo to Mornington, the 2020 program is the Gallery’s most comprehensive outreach to Victorian communities since NGV Kids on Tour began seven years ago.

Highlights from the Festival include:

Portrait Mode

Melbourne designer, illustrator and author Beci Orpin shares her passion for geometric designs and ways to make colour pop in her paper portrait-making activity ‘Portrait Mode’. Drawing on emotive characters featured in KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness and KAWS: PLAYTIME, Beci will inspire kids to create colourful portraits of themselves and their friends.

Melbourne designer, illustrator and author Beci Orpin prepares for the Portrait Mode (Photo: Tim Carrafa)

Wander, Draw, Explore

Melbourne-based artist Ghostpatrol, will take over the NGV Great Hall with his interactive installation Wander, Draw, Explore. Inspired by Keith Haring’s use of chalk on the streets of New York City and Leonard French’s colourful stained-glass ceiling in the Great Hall, kids can add to Ghostpatrol’s geometric character creations with their own chalk drawings.


Relaxed Mornings

Relaxed Mornings are an opportunity for visitors with autism, sensory sensitivities or disability to have a quieter Gallery experience, with fewer people and reduced noise. Starring KAWS’s character BFF, children’s exhibition KAWS: PLAYTIME opens early to welcome families to enjoy a relaxed session each weekday of the NGV Kids Summer Festival. Young visitors can nestle into cosy nooks, explore and play at their own pace. 

Little Gems

Melbourne contemporary jeweller Annemieke Ytsma from Underground Sundae will help kids to create their own jewellery in a ‘Little Gems’ workshop. Kids will find the art in everyday objects as they are transformed into delicate jewellery with an edge.

Melbourne contemporary jeweller Annemieke Ytsma from Underground Sundae prepares for the Little Gems paper jewellery activity (Photo: Tim Carrafa)

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects is a creative team of dancers who work with Indigenous communities across Australia, inspiring the next generation through music, theatre and performance. Feel the power of the beat and dance to the rhythm of this energetic crew of hip-hop dancers.

Brunswick-based dancers Indigenous Hip Hop Projects rehearse for their dance workshop (Tim Carrafa)

Print It

Melbourne-based textile and screen-printing designers Home-Work will lead a hands-on printing workshop especially for teens at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Teens are invited to discover printing techniques and play with vibrant colours and bold patterns to create their own designs.


Be sure you participate in this one of a kind summer festival by NGV International and Australia, this January, with the whole family for these school holidays!


Dates: Sat 11 - Sun 19 January 2020

Location: NGV International and NGV Australia The Ian Potter Centre

Cost: Free

NGV Melbourne Kids Website