Things To Do With Kids At NGV These School Holidays 2021: NGV Triennial

Melbourne Dec 21, 2020

With eased Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria, enjoy these school holidays with a fun and educational visit to the NGV. The whole family is sure to have an amazing time!

Here is all you need to know about visiting the NGV during the Christmas and summer holidays 2020 and 2021.

NGV Triennial 2020

NGV Triennial 2020, things to do during summer holidays 2021 and school holidays with kids Melbourne, school holidays activities Melbourne
NGV Triennial Facebook poster

What is the NGV Triennial?

The NGV Triennial is a unique exhibition which brings together contemporary art, design and architecture from over 100 established and emerging artists worldwide. The exhibition offers a refreshing perspective of today’s world, and provokes interesting conversations about our future.

The Triennial explores four key themes: illumination, reflection, conservation and speculation. Many works center around important issues, such as climate change, animal extinction, the displacement of Indigenous communities, the benefits and dangers of technology, artificial intelligence and more. Through mediums of photography, sculpture and installations, the NGV Triennial is sure to fascinate you with a unique visual experience.

Where is the NGV Triennial?

Visit the Triennial at NGV International on St Kilda Road.

NGV Triennial 2020 Dates

The NGV Triennial is exhibiting until 18 April 2021. Book your visit now.

NGV Triennial Events

The NGV Triennial offers a range of events, both at NGV International and online, as part of the exhibition. Triennial Conversations is an ongoing series where local and international artists, curators, experts and academics discuss the artworks of the Triennial and their themes, messages and inspirations. These events are live streamed and can be found on the NGV website.

NGV Highlights

Quantum Memories 2020 by Refik Anadol

Two girls sitting on the floor and pointing to Refik Anadol's Quantum Memories installation at the NGV Triennial 2020, things to do with kids school holidays 2021 and summer holidays 2021 Melbourne
@enviro_mon on Instagram

Refik Anadol’s Quantum Memories is a unique and exciting digital installation in the central foyer of the NGV International. Computer-generated waves of different colours swirl and splash around to create gorgeous, mystifying patterns.

The work was created using artificial intelligence, which sourced around 2 million images of natural landscapes to create ever-changing compositions using quantum mechanics and quantum physics to speculate an alternative reality of nature.

Watch Refik Anadol describe the process of creating Quantum Memories:

Plastocene – Marine Mutants from a disposable world by Porky Hefer

Porky Hefer's Plastocene

Plastocene is an imaginary dystopian world where large, colourful and peculiar marine creatures live. Today, fossil fuels and plastic waste pollute our oceans, endangering many animals in the ocean.

If we don’t change our habits and stop polluting our oceans, Hefer speculates that in the future, instead of extinction, some marine species may mutate and adapt to the abundance of plastic and pollutants.

Hefer’s inspiration behind each of the creatures were the five biggest pollutants of our oceans: coffee cups (‘Flat White’), plastic straws (‘Strawfish’), cigarette butts (‘Buttpus’), Q-tips (‘Q-tip’) and nets (‘Sabre-toothed Netfeesh’).

Find out more about Porky Hefer’s process of creating Plastocene:

Kids running around Misaki Kawai's Children's Gallery exhibit called Moja Moja Life at the NGV Triennial 2020, fun things to do with kids school holidays Melbourne and summer holidays 2021
NGV Triennial 2020 installation view of Misaki Kawai’s Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids 2020 © Misaki Kawai. Photo: Tom Ross

An exciting exhibit for kids, Misaki Kawai’s Moja Moja Life is an indoor playground featuring colourful furry dog sculptures and a puppet making and recording studio. Misaki Kawai’s art is all about having fun and taking a playful approach to making her creations, and her work will inspire kids to get creative.

Tomoaki Suzuki Sculptures

A little girl sits next to a Tomoaki Suzuki sculpture at the NGV Triennial 2020, little boy stands near sculpture in the background, activities for kids school holidays 2021 Melbourne
NGV Triennial 2020 installation view of Tomoaki Suzuki sculptures 2020. Photo: Tom Ross. © Courtesy of the artist and Corvi-Mora, London

The NGV Triennial features 9 sculptures by Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki. Through his sculptures, Suzuki aims to capture the authenticity of contemporary fashion and style, and his installations encourage viewers to get close and interact with the artwork.

Suzuki’s process involves handpicking a model who stands out for their unique sense of style, and taking hundreds of photos and videos of the person. Those are then used to hand carve and paint a wooden sculpture, one third of the size of the real model.

Natural History by Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit exhibit Natural History at NGV Triennial 2020, things to do Melbourne 2021, summer holidays 2021, school holidays 2021
NGV Triennial 2020 installation view of Fallen Fruit (artist collective); David Allen Burns (artist); Austin Young (artist) Naturalised plants (Royal Botanic Gardens) 2020 from the Natural History series 2020, Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, featuring works from the NGV's Collection © Fallen Fruit. Photo: Sean Fennessey

This beautiful installation has transformed the 16th and 17th Century Gallery with bright, colourful wallpaper adorned by photographs of native Australian flora and fauna. The photos were taken by the artists during their visit to the Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Gardens and the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

But the exhibit isn’t just a pretty sight. The composition of the plants, animals and flowers native to Australia, and artworks and sculptures from the time of Australian colonisation, challenge contemporary views on race, class and gender, and examine the integration of foreign flora and fauna into the Indigenous landscape.

Salon et Lumière

Salon Gallery at NGV International, things to do in summer holidays 2021 Melbourne
Salon Gallery at the NGV

This incredible light and sound show in the Salon Gallery is a must-see at NGV International. The performance seeks to impress the 21st century audience by recreating the thrill of 19th century life and experiences depicted in 140 beautiful paintings and sculptures. Sit back and watch in awe as the whole room gets transformed with stunning lighting and sound effects.

Salon Gallery NGV light show called Salon et Lumiere, at NGV International, things to do in summer holidays 2021 Melbourne
Salon Gallery is transformed

Picasso’s Weeping Woman

Weeping Woman by Picasso painting, NGV International, things to see Melbourne with kids
Weeping Woman, Picasso (1937) at the NGV

One of the most impressive works in the NGV International collection is Picasso’s Weeping Woman, created on 18 October 1937. This artwork was one of a series of works in response to the tragic bombing of the city of Guernica in 1937, and it illustrates the grief felt by many Spanish civilians who experienced the event.

Did you know? In 1986, the Weeping Woman painting was mysteriously stolen and returned two days later to a locker on Spencer Street station. The case was never solved and it is still unknown who stole the painting.

Salvador Dali’s Trilogy of the desert: Mirage

Trilogy of the desert: Mirage by Salvador Dali painting, things to see Melbourne with family
Trilogy of the desert: Mirage, Salvador Dali (1946)

Another impressive artwork in the NGV International collection is Salvador Dali's Trilogy of the desert: Mirage. Dali is well known for his surrealism paintings with intricate details and use of perspective. Trilogy of the desert: Mirage is a fascinating work to observe during your next visit to the NGV.

NGV Kids

Kids have fun at NGV KAWS during the school holidays 2020 and summer holidays Melbourne
Young visitors at KAWS: PLAYTIME, NGV International. Photo: NGV website

The NGV offers awesome programs and activities for kids of all ages and abilities.

The NGV Triennial has some awesome exhibits for kids, including Misaki Kawai’s Moja Moja Life. Older kids would enjoy exploring and learning more about the artworks in the gallery.

NGV Kids Online

You can also find a range of fun art activities, ebooks and family games on the NGV website. There is something for everyone to learn and try, from fashion design and origami to landscape painting and surrealism.

Share your kids’ creations on social media with the hashtag #NGVEveryDay and tag @ngvmelbourne to be featured.

The NGV offers virtual tours of the gallery’s exhibitions, including the current NGV Triennial, and Top Arts 2020.

You can also explore past exhibitions of the NGV: KAWS: Companionship In The Age Of Loneliness, Collecting Comme and more.  

Explore the full list of NGV virtual tours here.

Looking for more kids activities in Melbourne?

Check out what's on in Melbourne for kids and families at Click on the link below to find a complete list of various activities and attractions for kids of different ages and abilities.

Kids and family activities in Melbourne

Check out what's on in Melbourne for families with kids. Discover the best school holiday programs, adventure, nature and wildlife parks for your kids and the whole family.

Kids and family activities in Melbourne

Frequently Asked Questions about the NGV

Is NGV open?

Yes, both NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia are open. To visit you need to book a time slot here.

Is NGV free?

Yes, NGV general admission is completely free. Some NGV exhibitions and events, such as the NGV Triennial (on until 18 April 2021) are also free. See what’s on at NGV and book your visit here.

What are the NGV opening hours?

NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia are open from 10am to 5pm daily.

How much is NGV membership?

There are several NGV membership options available:

  • Premium membership: $840 / year
  • Individual membership: $110 / year
  • Duo membership: $155
  • Family membership: $165 / year
  • Concession membership: $77

Find out more here.

Where is NGV Melbourne?

NGV International is located at 180 St Kilda Rd. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is located on the corner of Flinders St &, Russell St, Federation Square.

Is there parking near NGV?

Yes. Limited free parking spots, with appropriate permits, can be found outside the Arts Center Melbourne, St Kilda Road. Paid accessible parking is available at the Arts Centre Melbourne and Australian Ballet Centre Car Park for NGV International, and at Fed Square for The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the NGV these school holidays and feel free to share your experience with and @ngvmelbourne!


Content creator and editor at I love to travel, read and write!