ACO Families

Our offering of events and performances at Pier 2/3, tailored to you and your whole family.


We are passionate about opening our ACO Pier 2/3 home up for everybody, regardless of age and access needs. Discover our offering of ACO Families Shows, ACO Relaxed Performances and ACO Music & Movement classes for children aged 2.5-5. 


The ACO Families Shows we've produced

We have produced three family shows ACO Family Shows to date, and in 2023 were thrilled to announce two brand new shows: The Princess, The Pea (and The Brave Escapee) and The Nutcracker, both being produced and premiered at ACO Pier 2/3.

Our award-winning show, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge will also show at ACO Pier 2/3 for the first time in 2023. Weaving together theatre and live performances from ACO musicians, these shows offer an inspirational introduction to classical music. They feature newly commissioned music by some of Australia’s most acclaimed composers, performed by some of Australia’s finest musicians, and are experiences will be sure to ignite a lifelong love of music and the performing arts. Created for children aged 2-8, the performances are approximately 25-30 minutes, followed by an interactive ‘meet the musicians’ session.

The Princess, the Pea (and the Brave Escapee)

The Princess, The Pea (and The Brave Escapee)

An enchanting reimagining of the much-loved fairytale featuring live classical music performed by ACO musicians.
The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Join Clara and her Nutcracker on a magical journey in this stunning adaptation featuring live classical music and ballet. Created in collaboration with David McAllister.
Wilfred Gordon

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

This award-winning production, based on the poignant picture book by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, weaves theatre and music together in an immersive and intimate performance. Featuring music by Paul Stanhope performed by a string quartet from the ACO.

How To Catch A Star

Based on the book byOliver Jeffers, How to Catch a Star is a new ACO production which will take you on a journey from awe and wonder, through to perseverance and triumph. Adapted by Sandra Eldridge, featuring music by Elena Kats-Chernin.

Theres a Sea in my BedroomHero image

There's a Sea in my Bedroom

Based on the children’s book by Margaret Wild, and adapted for the stage by Tim McGarry, There’s a Sea in my Bedroom is an immersive introduction to live music, capturing the magic of a child’s fantasy world. Music by Paul Stanhope.

Dear Santa

Actor Rachael Beck stars as Santa’s Helper, as she helps get presents ready for children around the world, with the assistance of an ACO string quartet and percussionist. Featuring popular Christmas songs for singalong family fun.

Relaxed Performances

At ACO Pier 2/3, we regularly present accessible, 50-minute-long ACO Relaxed Performances which welcome children, families and people on the autism spectrum, people with disability and additional access needs, parents and carers with babies. We invite you to come along, respond to the music, make noise, be yourself and have fun!

Discover more


Music & Movement classes

We have also launched ACO Music & Movement, eight-week terms of music classes aimed at children aged 2.5-5. Led by our highly experienced early years music educator, classes will use a combination of Dalcroze, Kodaly and Orff teaching methods and activities, tailored specifically for the age and developmental stage of the children. Class sizes are kept intentionally small, and children will progress at their own pace.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Neilson, and our foyers filled with families and little music fans.