Start typing to search

You can also hit “Enter” on your keyboard to submit your query.

What's on

Everything Else


Family guide to Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2023

Visit Ballarat

14 Aug 2023

Filed underFamily Friendly

From 26 August – 22 October, Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) will present a packed 60-day program showcasing more than 2000 works across the city.

If that feels a bit much for your little ones’ attention span, fear not.

From sun-printing to kids’ street photography, there’s drop-in activities, workshops and interactive exhibitions designed with budding photographers in mind.

Festivalgoers also benefit from special discounted rates at selected family-friendly resorts and hotels. It’s a great excuse to relive your childhood memories for a weekend and combine the spectacle of the biennale with some of Ballarat’s enduring attractions.

While we all love reruns of Bluey, a giant inflatable monkey certainly tops another Saturday in front of the iPad!

Top Works for Families

Lisa Roet’s Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey
Daily 26 August – 22 October, Ballarat Central (outdoors)
Lisa Roet’s radiant Golden Monkey sculpture takes the form of the endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey with its distinct upturned face and long tail. This cheeky primate will be clinging to a building in Central Ballarat at a location yet to be revealed. Sure to provoke a smile for young and old alike! Don’t forget to pick up a choc-banana icecream from nearby Il Piccolo Gelato.

Please note: Golden Monkey will temporarily be deflated if the Ballarat wind forecast exceeds 50km/ph. We don’t want a monkey on the loose across the countryside.

Telly Tuita, Diaspora’s Children – Yellow Mask Dancing 2022

Tongpop Fiasco Interactive Studio
Daily 26 August – 22 October (10am–4pm), The Mining Exchange
Entry included with Festival Pass.
Tongpop Fiasco Interactive Studio delves into the vibrant hues of artist and educator Telly Tuita’s ancestral home in Tonga. Suitable for children aged 8+.

Erik Johansson, Full Moon Service

How to Fly – Erik Johansson
Daily 26 August – 22 October, The Mining Exchange and RACV Goldfields Resort Creswick
Entry included with Festival Pass

An exhibition of surreal landscapes and imaginary worlds that seem almost real but are a composite of many images. Influenced by his childhood memories of the Swedish countryside, Johansson’s work incorporates Nordic nature, wide open landscapes, and small red houses. With a keen eye for detail and mastery of production, his optical illusions present inner worlds that defy reality. Header image on this page: Self-Supporting by Erik Johansson (2019).

BIFB Kids’ Hub

Open during festival hours, the BIFB Kids’ Hub at the Mining Exchange will feature both free drop-in sessions and bookable family-friendly workshops.

Don’t forget to share your creations at #bifbkids and tag @ballaratfoto for your chance to showcase your creativity on BIFB channels.


Daily Drop-In Photography Activities
26 August — 22 October | Monday to Friday (10am—4pm), Saturday & Sunday (10am–2pm)
Suitable for: All ages

Kinder Kids Photography Activities
Tuesdays from 26 August — 22 October (10-11am)
Suitable for: Children under 5 years

School Holiday Program: Telly Tuita’s Tongpop Fiasco
16 September — 1 October (10am–5pm)
Suitable for: All ages

Kids’ Workshops

Workshop numbers are capped so be sure to book ahead. Parents and carers are welcome to stay for the duration of workshops. Children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

BIFB Kids’ Hub
Youth Photobook Workshop with Chris Bowes from Kindred Cameras

Two-part workshop held on two consecutive Thursdays, 21 September and 28 September (10am–1pm)
$150 (Full 2-day Session Pass)
In this two-part workshop, participants will work with artist and educator Chris Bowes to create a series of engaging photographs and bind them into a handmade photobook. Suitable for those aged 8+.

Workshops with Kate Golding

Join artist and mother Kate Golding for a creative session at the BIFB Kids’ Hub.
Cost: $22 per session | Bookings essential

Family Activities at RACV Goldfields Resort (Creswick)

In Disguise: Mask Making

Tues 19 September (9–10:30am), Thurs 21 September (9–10:30am), Sat 23 September (3:30-5pm)
Cost: $10 / FREE if staying at RACV Goldfields Resort
Make your own face mask disguise at RACV Goldfields Resort. Get crafty and use the shapes and colours you love to create your mask. Have your picture taken at the end of the session before you take your mask home.

Make Paper Planes Like Erik Johansson

19 August – 3 December, daily drop-in activity available from 10am–5pm
Drop into RACV Goldfields Resort’s ArtHouse Exhibition Program and make paper planes like the ones that feature in Erik Johansson’s artwork Office Escape (2019).

Erik Johansson, Office Escape, 2019

Save on your stay

Quest Ballarat Station
Located 5min walk from the festival hub, opposite Ballarat Railway Station.
Perfect for families and groups, Quest Ballarat Station offers 77 modern and spacious studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, and accessible apartments. For a discounted stay during the festival, use promo code FOTO2023 to save 12%. Conditions apply.

RACV Goldfields Resort
A countryside retreat in Creswick perfectly situated to soak up the region’s history, arts, culture and outdoor activities. Stay overnight at RACV Goldfields Resort during the festival and use promo code FOTO2023 to save 15%. Terms and conditions apply.

RACV Goldfields Resort (Creswick)

Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.