GET READY TO RUMBLE?
Did you ever go rollerskating as a kid and imagine pushing over that show-off who was zipping round the rink? Then Roller Derby might be for you – it’s the bad-ass version of old-school skating, and a serious team sport. The Morley Rollerdrome holds Derby classes for all skill and interest levels – from the shaky beginner wanting to give it a whirl, to the confident skater looking to join a league. Men and women are welcome, and even under 18s are catered for, through the Perth Junior Roller Derby. Sources tell us it’s a highly addictive adrenalin rush – whether that’s due to getting a fast-paced workout or the opportunity to thump the opposition, well that depends on the person. The state’s two leagues – Perth Roller Derby and WA Roller Derby – accept ‘fresh meat’ tryouts throughout the year.
Need to know
• Roller Derby is a contact sport, so safety is important. Kneepads, elbow pads, mouth guards, wrist guards and a helmet are required when competing.
• While classes are open to beginners, it might be an idea to brush up on the basics beforehand. The Rollerdrome has you covered, with starter lessons on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
• Head along to a bout and get swept up in the chaos as teams like the Apocalipstiks, the Bloody Sundaes and Sonic Doom hit the dome. Go for
the fun, stay for the puns.
• Visit morleyrollerdrome.com.au, perthrollerderby.com.au and warollerderby.com.au for more information.
THINK YOUR WAY OUT OF A ROOM?
This may be the IKEA of novelty entertainment – if you leave without killing each other, you’ve done alright. The Escape Hunt Experience is a cool concept that brings online ‘escape the room’ games to life. Players are locked in a room for 60 minutes and have to solve a crime in order to escape. Game masters provide clues and puzzles to help your team along. Players can stick together in a private game, or split into two identical rooms and create some competition. But it’s all about working together, so know-it-alls need not apply. Afterwards, rest your tired brains in the communal lounge, or pose for pics in period costume. There are three adventures to choose from at any given time, so rally the troops and get cracking!
Need to know
• Escape Hunt has centres all across the world, with more than 100 games on rotation.
• The Fremantle centre is open seven days a week, with eight 90-minute slots available between 9.30am and 9.30pm.
• Games are available to groups of between two and five players in a private room.
Public games can have groups of up to ten at a time. Prices vary by group size.
• Players must be at least seven years old, and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
• Visit perth.escapehunt.com for more information.
GET A CRASH COURSE IN CULTURE?
Spend a day feasting on art in the city. Head to the Perth Cultural Centre, home to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Art Gallery of WA, and the WA Museum, and wander through the visiting exhibitions and permanent collections. Next, head across the bridge and into King Street, where you’ll find King Street Arts Centre, FORM Gallery and Artsource. Don’t forget to soak up the street
art in the nearby laneways. Start with Howard Lane, with its murals by Stormie Mills and the Yok, before strolling a few blocks north to Grand Lane, home to a giant artwork by Bonsai and Twoone. Finish with a wander under Wolf Lane’s towering murals before heading to 140 Perth, where you’ll find a huge amount of public artwork, along with a handful of great restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, Ribs & Burgers and Koko Black. Trust us, soaking up all that culture will give you an appetite.
Need to know
• Take a day off work and go midweek, to dodge
the weekend crowds.
• Galleries and museums don’t have a monopoly
on Perth art. Visit facebook.com/streetsofperth to locate some of the city’s best street art.
LEARN TO IMPROV LIKE A PRO?
Taking a class to improvise may seem like an oxymoron, but there’s some serious skill involved in thinking on your feet. Even the yellow banners outside Just Improvise point out how hard it seems: “I couldn’t do that,” they proclaim, taking the words out of the mouths of us knock-kneed newbies. But fear not: instructor Glenn Hall is sensitive to your nerves. When we went along to his class, the effervescent WAAPA theatre lecturer started gently, asking our names and reasons for attending, before embarking on a fast-paced memory game of handshakes and introductions. It broke the ice and got our brains in gear. During a tricky solo storytelling game, self-confessed amateur psychologist Glenn gave us a nugget of life advice: “You don’t get to use this art form to feel bad about yourself.” It’s a liberating thought that made the rest of the evening fly by. By the end of our two-session intro course we were performing wacky stories without a shred of embarrassment. Remember the yellow banners at the entrance? They say something else, too: “Yes, you can.” And, y’know what? They’re right.
Need to know
• Don’t worry about nerves – we guarantee every other participant is scared witless too!
• Expect to get pretty physical in some of the games, so you’ll want to wear comfy clothes and enclosed shoes.
• Courses fill fast, so book a couple of months in advance (though there is a wait list, so you may get in earlier).
• Still not sure? Check out one of Just Improvise’s performances for inspiration.
• Visit justimprovise.com.au for more information about classes and shows.
HUNT GHOSTS IN A HAUNTED TOWN HALL?
If you’re scared of your own shadow, you should probably give this a miss. But if you’re a true believer or curious sceptic seeking a supernatural experience, the Midland Town Hall Ghost Tour may be your best bet. The building has been dubbed one of the top five most haunted in WA, which means spirits are ripe for the sighting – 69 of them, to be precise. Well, that’s how many have been identified during the tours to date. Many of the ghosts are children, including a six-year-old girl named Mary who is often heard singing during tours. Shudder. Shanks Pony Tours owner Patty Williams reports personally seeing “three full figured ghosts and many shadows” in the town hall. Guests will get to check out equipment used by real paranormal investigators. It’s a fun night out and will give you plenty of material to spook your mates. Scaredy cats, beware.
Need to know
• The Midland Town Hall Ghost Tour runs every Friday night throughout the year.
The early session goes from 8pm to 10pm, the late tour runs from 10.30pm to
12.30am. Arrive 10 minutes early to get set up.
• The tour is recommended for 16 years and over.
• Serious ghostbusters can take things up a notch by attending a Paranormal
Investigation Workshop, held every two months on Saturdays from 8pm to
midnight. Includes light refreshments.
• Feeling really brave? Stay overnight after the workshop, from 8pm to 5am.
• Visit shanksponytours.com.au or the Facebook page for tickets and details.
CHANNEL YOUR INNER TOP GUN?
So you may not look like Tom Cruise circa 1986, but piloting a Boeing 737 will make you feel pretty damn fly (BYO Ray-Bans). Flight Experience’s range of simulator packages allows budding aviators of all levels to make believe for
30 to 90 minutes. Present your boarding pass at the check-in counter on arrival and get a pre-flight briefing from your ‘first officer’. Choose your flight destination from one of 24,000 airports and head into the cockpit for further instruction. There you’ll sit in the hot seat and get the rundown on primary controls (aka those fancy switches and levers). Big screens mimic a view from the top, adding to the authenticity – don’t be surprised if you forget it’s pretend. Following permission from Air Traffic Control, you’ll hurtle down the runway. Get ready for take-off, Captain. It’s all yours!
Need to know
• All instructors are experienced pilots and will adapt the flight to your skill level.
Flight Experience is a pilot training centre so it can accommodate beginners
through to professionals.
• Each flight runs one-on-one with an instructor. Up to two passengers can join
you for no extra charge.
• The recommended minimum age is 10. No maximum age applies.
• The simulator is a fixed-base device so it doesn’t move during the flight.
• Visit perth.flightexperience.com.au for more information.
PARTY AT A VODKA DISTILLERY?
When it opened in West Perth earlier this year, Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery brought a new dimension to the urban drinking scene. Its homegrown organic vodka is filtered on site – with the help of a German-made copper still, affectionately known as Kylie – and distributed to some of Perth’s best bars. Now the owners are throwing open the doors and letting us peek behind the curtain, with site tours available to see how the smooth spirit is made. Liquor buffs will love this behind-the-scenes glimpse, but if you want serious novelty factor, the converted warehouse is also open for functions until 9pm on Sundays to Thursdays. Not a bad way to pass an evening.
Need to know
• Hippocampus tours are offered by appointment, with flexible hours available.
• Take-home bottles can be purchased on site. Huzzah!
• Functions can be catered with finger food, a variety of spirits and cocktails. Talk to the team about your party’s needs – they’re an obliging bunch.
• The site can accommodate up to 50 people for a function.
• Visit hippocampusmd.com.au for more details.