Spring School Holiday Planner

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Wondering how you will keep the kids entertained these school holidays? Here is what's on around Australia in your state. From heart-pounding adventure rides and surf camps to close encounters with animals - there is something to suit every child and every budget.


The Gruffalo’s child
Here comes the Gruffalo! Or should I say the Gruffalo’s child. CDP with Tall stories’ magical musical adaptation are back with a sequel, The Gruffalo’s Child. The team brings together music, puppetry and laughter for children aged four and up and their parents too!

When:  24 September – 6th October
Where: Sydney Opera House
Cost: Tickets start at $29
More information: Check out their website for more information

Eden Gardens
These spring holidays get outside, get dirty and get green with one of Eden Garden’s programs for 5 to 12-year-olds. Your children can learn about the lifecycles of creepy crawlies, how to properly grow seeds and other fun games and craft activities.
When: Dates vary depending on the activity
Where: Eden Gardens North Ryde
Cost: from $16
More information: Call Eden Gardens North Ryde on 02 9491 9900 or email info@edengardens.com.au

Dangerously Fit
Pull your kids out from under that rock they have been hibernating under all winter and throw them into one of Dangerously Fit's kids’ boot camps. For children 4 to 10-years-old, the boot camp will work on your childs fitness through strength, endurance and cardiovascular workouts that are put together by qualified and creative trainers, who work games and fun into the boot camp to keep kids active and interested.

When: September 24 – October 4
Where: Bondi Beach & Olds Park in Mortdale
Cost: $30 or $99 for two weeks unlimited training
More information: Visit their website

MasterChef Live 2012
Head over to the Hordon Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries to experience Masterchef live. Over three days fans will experience demonstrations, cooking shows, and MasterClasses, featuring an all-star line-up of top chefs including George Calombaris, Matt Moran, Maggie Beer, Adriano Zumbo, Darren Robertson, Miguel Maestre, Vincent Gadan, Kylie Kwong and many more.

When: 5-7 October
Where: Horton Pavilion & Royal Hall of Industries
Cost: Ticket prices start at $15
More information: Visit their website

The Biennale of Sydney
These school holidays pack a picnic and pick up a free Biennale Kids Trail Booklet designed specifically for kids and families to explore the exhibition on Cockatoo Island. This tour highlights key works providing kid-friendly descriptions of artworks as well as audio activities.

Where: Cockatoo Island
Cost: Free
More information: Visit their website

Sydney Aquarium
Discover over 1700 marine animals from 16 unique species as Sydney Aquarium unveils its $10 million renovation. There will be 14 newly-themed zones housing the largest variety of sharks and rays in the world.

Where: Darling Harbour
Cost: Walk up tickets for children start at $20
More information: Visit their website

Australian Museum
Find out about weird and wonderful creatures at the Mysteries of the Deep Workshop. Or take a peek at the museums newest Deep Ocean exhibition and discover what it’s like to live on the bottom of the ocean.

Where: Corner of College Street and William Street in central Sydney
Cost: Family tickets start at $18
More information: visit their website

Art Gallery of NSW
Introduce young kids to the art world in new guided tours specifically designed for them at the Art Gallery of NSW. Continue on the creative path and sign up for one galleries workshops for kids.

When: various Saturdays
Where: The Domain, Sydney
Cost: Prices start around the $30 mark
More information: Visit their website

Sydney Children’s Festival
The Sydney Children’s Festival is jam packed full of theatre and workshops for you and your children to get involved in these holidays. From Dinosaurs to smartphone photography to superhero school for all ages!

When: 24th September – 5th October
Where: Around Sydney
Cost: Prices vary depending on the event
More information: Visit their website

Taronga Zoo
In October, keep a look out for a baby T-Rex dinosaur who will be taking in the sites around Sydney before making his way to Taronga Zoo on the 1st November. Their new exhibition, Dinosaurs in the Wild, will feature 16 life-sized dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus Rex and Australia’s very own dinosaur the Muttaburrasaurus.

When: November 2nd - February 3rd
Where: 12 minutes from the city by ferry
Cost: Children (4-15) $22, Adults $44
More information: click here

Jamberoo Recreation Park
Jamberoo Recreation Park is reopening just in time for some warm weather and the school holidays! Slip and slop around on the beach, down water slides or for the adventure types out there, in the river rapids and under waterfalls.

When: 24th September – 5th October
Where:1215 jamberoo Road, Jamberoo
Cost: Children (4-12) $33, Adults $41
More information: Click here

This is Not Art Festival
An annual experimental and emerging arts festival. Featuring gallery exhibitions, performances and writing programs, including the younger young writers workshop.  

When: 27th September – 1st October
Where: Newcastle
More information: Click here

Zoo Groves
A fun filled family day out with live entertainment, animal encounters and free activities for the kids.

When: 29th September
Where: Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo
Cost: Child (11-15) $15, Adult $35
More information: click here

Sydney Olympic Park Holiday Fun
Stimulate the kids this spring with the biggest range of school holiday activities in one location. Sydney Olympic Park have designed a program to suit all interests and price ranges. Highlights include, AFL clinics, Splash Festival, Amazing chase free kids bike race and free bird walks on Saturdays.

When: 22nd September – 7th October
Where: Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Many are free or under $20
More information: click here


Cinderella Children’s Tiffin
To celebrate the release of Cinderella on Bluray and DVD on October 3rd, the Langham is hosting a Cinderella Tiffin Morning Tea during the September school holidays. The tea will include magical delights such as Kiss the Frog in Jelly, tiara cookies and fairy bread!

When: 24th September to 5th October
Where: ARIA Bar & Lounge, Podium Level of The Langham, Melbourne
Cost: $29 per child 3-12 years or $45 with a take home gift
More information: Phone Langham restaurant reservations on 1800 641 107 or click here  

Arts Centre Melbourne
Dance along to the Arts Centre in Melbourne these school holidays for a variety of events. From African-style dance workshops to being part of an 80 – piece Indonesian orchestra, their kids and families program has something for every little performer.

When: 26 – 30 September
Where: Arts Centre Melbourne
Cost: Activity prices vary starting at $12
More information: click here

Alice in Wonderland
As part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, kids section, comes this new adaptation of the much loved children's classic, Alice in Wonderland.

When: 24th September – 14th October
Where: The Theatre Husk
Cost: $14
More information: click here

Avenel Maze
The Avenel Maze is the perfect place to lose yourself and the kids for a few hours of fun in the Strathbogie Ranges. Themed around the most notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly, the Avenel Maze pays tribute to the iconic legend while educating your children on his life.

Where: 471 Upton Road, Avenel
Cost: Child $6, Adult $9.50
More information: visit their website

Ancient Rome Exhibition
Did you know that unlike many other months, February was not named after one of the Roman gods or Emperors. The history books say that the Emperor Augustus stole a day from February to add extra days to his month (August), which is why February is so short. Take your kids on a history lesson they won’t forget in a hurry. The Ancient Rome exhibition has 50 interactive exhibits on display transporting you back to a time of heroes, emperors and gladiators.

When: Running until 7th October
Where: Waterfront City Piazza
Cost: Child $12, Adult $22
More information: click here

Wallace and Gromit’s World of Invention
Join this classic duo as they guide you and your children through their home, a world of cracking interactive contraptions, hands-on activities, games and more.

When: Running until 11th November
Where: Scienceworks
Cost: Child $6, Adult $19
More information: visit the Scienceworks website

Geelong Adventure Park
Victoria's first water theme park featuring 22 rides and attractions to entertain adults and children of all ages.

When: Open from 6th October
Where: 1251 Bellarine Highway
Cost: $75
More information: click here

Alvin & The Chipmunks
Grab the family and head over to the Glen Shopping Centre these school holidays to join everyone’s favourite Chipmunks – Alvin, Simon and Theodore - in their new singing and dancing show, Chipwrecked.

When: 1 - 5 October
Where: The Glen Shopping Centre
Cost: Free
More information: click here

Australian Treasure Walks
Explore Melbourne in an exciting new way. Australian Treasure Walks are fun, self-guided walks that are part treasure hunt, part puzzle. Follow the directions and map looking for answers to clues and then solve a final puzzle!

Cost: Walks start at $12
More information: click here

Royal Melbourne Show
Rides, food, show bags, animals and for the first time My Kitchen Rules will be making an appearance, the Royal Melbourne Show is a great family day out.

When: 22nd September - 2nd October
Cost: General Admission Child $16 Adult $32
More information: Click here

Bike Riding at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Take your kids for a spin around the new 4km bicycle track at the Royal Botanical Gardens. As well as stretching your legs, you might be lucky enough to see some koalas, wallabies, echidnas and bandicoots.

Where: Cranbourne
More information: Click here


Eden Gardens Carseldine
These spring holidays get outside, get dirty and get green with one of Eden Garden’s programs for 5 to 12-year-olds. Your children can learn how to pot succulents or take part in a garden safari and learn about the bush creatures that live in these green habitats.  

When: 25 – 26 September & 2 – 3 October
Where: Eden Gardens Carseldine
Cost: $16
More information: all Eden Gardens Carseldine on 07 3863 9500 or email info@edengardens.com.au.

Treasure Island
Arrr me hearties, Jim Hawkins and his party from the Queensland Theatre Company and Matrix Theatre sail into Gasworks to present an action-packed adaptation of the magical classic, Treasure Island! Expect pirates, buried treasure, sword fights, treasure maps and muskets in this heart-warming coming of age story based on the original pirate story.

When:  Mon 24 to Tue 25 September
Where: Gasworks Theatre
Cost: $18
More information: click here

Barbies Dream Closet
Barbie is giving all the Barbie girls out there the opportunity to try on her most iconic outfits from the last 50 years. Literally get dolled up in the style queen’s most iconic, playful and glamorous outfits and walk away with a photo of your favourite outfit.

When:  27 – 30 September
Where: Westfield Chermside
Cost: Free
More information: Enquiries on: 1300 135 312 or visit their website

Mad Surf Camp
From 9-30am – 3pm your kids can surf, body board, fish and jetty jump to their hearts desire with East Coast Surf School Camp.

When:  24 September - 8 October
Where: Yatch Club in the Coffs Harbour Jetty Area
Cost: $200 whole camp, 5 consecutive days, $150 for 3 days or $60 per day rate
More information: For all enquires, call Helene on 02 66 515 515

Lego Brickworks
LEGO Brickworks has hit the road again, this time setting up in the Queensland city of Ipswich.

When:  11th September – 7th October
Where: Ipswich Art Gallery
Cost: Free Entry
More information: click here


Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre
The spring holidays are the perfect time to send your children off to be one with nature. Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre are offering three kids camps, providing activities such as rock climbing, ropes courses and archery.  

When:  24th – 28th September & 1st – 5th October
Where: Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre
Cost: Prices start at $165.50, depending on the camp
More information: visit their website

Canberra is packed full of child-friendly places to visit during the warmer months including Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre with its hands-on exhibits and earthquake experience.

Where: King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Child $15, Adult $20
More information: click here

Keep the kids' boredom at bay these school holidays with your choice of events around Australia.
Keep the kids' boredom at bay these school holidays with your choice of events around Australia. 

Circus OZ
The Ground Up premieres in Canberra, bringing you a diverse pack of quick witted stunt jumpers, aerialists, jugglers and live wire musicians, all acrobatically suspended and ready to entertain you and your kids.

When: 3rd October – 7th October
Where: Canberra Theatre
Cost: Child $39.50 Adult $58
More information: click here

Canberra Reptile Sanctuary
Feel like bathing in the sun but can’t remember how it’s done. Head over to the Canberra Reptile Sanctuary and watch some lizards soak it up. Every animal on display has its own research, conservation, or education story to tell.

Where: O'Hanlon Pl, Gold Creek Village
Cost: Child (4-12) $8 Adult $11

More information: click here

Brora-Farm are offering a program designed for young children, teens and young adults, including those at risk or with disabilities, to learn positive skills for life through horsemanship and horse riding.

When: 1 -5 October
Where: Brora-Farm
More information: click here

Canberra National Zoo & Aquarium
Trying to decide on land or sea adventures this school holidays doesn’t need to be an issue. With the Canberra National Zoo & Aquarium you can have both! At Australia’s only combined zoo and aquarium your kids can learn about sharks and lions all on the same day.

Where: Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla
Cost: Child $35.50 Adult $20

More information: click here

Canberra Walk in Aviary
The name says it all, this privately owned walk in aviary allows you and your children to observe, photograph and feed a flock of friendly birds.

Cost: Child (4-16) $8 Adult $11
More information: click here

Grand Prix Carting
Settle any arguments these school holidays with some healthy competition and hire some go-karts. Your kids will love it!

Where: 39 Collie St Fyshwick,
Cost: 10 minutes 
$22 per session,
 20 minutes 
$38 per session, 
30 minutes 
$51 per session 

More information: click here

Kids Pantry
Kids Pantry are growing the next generation of cooks! As Canberra’s only cooking school and kitchen garden designed just for kids they aim to teach children how to grow and cook their own food.

When: 1st - 12th October.
Where: Environment Centre at Sts Peter & Paul's Primary School
Cost: Prices vary depending on ingredients
More information: click here

CSIRO Discovery Centre
CSIRO Discovery Centre and DanceKids present an exciting 60-minute school holiday program for children aged 4 to 6 and 7 to 10.

When: 2 – 11 October
Where: Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Cost: Sessions $12 per child if a Friend of Discovery, $20 per child if you are a Non-Friend
More information: click here


Kakadu National Park
Take a walk and check out the Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr in Kakadu National Park, and then climb the summit to watch the sun set over the floodplains below.

Where: Kakadu National Park
Cost: $25
More information: click here

Alice Desert Festival
Every September the Alice Desert Festival transforms Alice Springs into a cultural celebration. The program hosts around 40 performances and over 60 events performed by over 1,000 artists in at least 20 venues each year, including street art, a ghost circus and cinema by the river.

When: September - October
More information: click here

Gayngaru Wetlands interpretive walk

You and your children can experience the world of East Arnhem Land on the The Gayngaru Wetlands Interpretive Walk. The walk circles a lagoon that is packed with over 200 species of birds. There are two separate viewing platforms, a bird hide and the opportunity to learn about the bush foods of the area.

More information: click here

A fish sanctuary that provides you with the opportunity to feed the fish from a far or even hop right in and feel them tickle your feet as they swarm you for food. Due to large tidal movements the fish can only visit for a few hours each day.

More information:  To find out times go to their website

Crocodylus Park
There are over 1,000 crocodiles at Crocodylus park for you and your kids to smile at, witness their feeding and even feel their soft skin. But don’t let the crocs steal all of your attention, there are also monkeys, lions, leopards and more to see.

More information: Check out their website


Monkey Mia
Monkey Mia has the perfect blend of onshore and offshore activities to keep the whole family happy including daily cruises or sailing the crystal clear water and of course dolphins! Located in the heart of Western Australia’s Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Monkey Mia is one of the world’s premier natural dolphin sighting areas. Your kids can even ride a camel!

More information: go to their website

Perth Royal Show
Enjoy a great family day out and get up close with animals, art & craft, food and of course show bags! Just head over the Perth Royal Show. With 10,000 animals expected at the Show there will be endless displays and competitions to enjoy.

Where: Royal Agricultural Society of WA
When:  29th September - 6th October
Cost: Child $13 Adult $26
More information: click here

Circus Camp
Instead of encouraging your kids to stop clowning around, take to the skies and send them to circus camp these school holidays.

When:  11th – 14th October
Where: WA Circus School
Cost: Child $39.50 Adult $58
More information: click here

Dinosaur Petting Zoo
Back by popular demand, The Western Australian Museum will be again hosting an array of prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinosaurs to the giant meat-eaters. The dinosaur puppets come to life providing kids with the opportunity to feed, pet and interact with them.

When:  1 – 14th October
Where: Western Australian Museum – Maritime
Cost: Child $14 Adult $20
More information: visit their website

Bunbury Kidsfest
The Bunbury Kidsfest is the perfect place to shake off the term and have some family fun. Highlights include film, photo booths, storytelling, snakes, fairies and much more.

When: 29th September – 1st October
Cost: $17
More information: click here

The RSPCA school holiday program is packed full of fun activities for your kids. From behind the scenes to pet photography, it's a great way to entertain your little animal lovers.

When: 2-15 October
Cost: $15 - $25
More information: Click here

Adventure World
The name says it all. Whether you want to dive in headfirst or just dangle your feet in the water, you can do it all at Adventure World.

Cost: Child $41 Adult $59
More information: Click here


South Australia Museum
The South Australia Museum have come up with some ways to fill in your school holidays with plenty of workshops with activities such as photography, puppet making and insect pinning.

Where: North Terrace, Adelaide
When:  24th September – 7th October
Cost: Most activities are free but booking is essential
More information: go to their website

Adelaide Zoo
Visit the Adelaide zoo these holidays and see their baby langur in its birthday suit! Other school holiday events include cheetah cub viewing and a free interactive zoomobile presentation.

Where: Frome Road, Adelaide
Cost: Child $18 Adult $31.50
More information: click here

The Old Timers Mine
Explore a 1916 underground opal mine and museum. The Old Timers Mine has free opal mining machine demonstrations daily at 9:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. After the tour, try your luck noodling the pit for opals.

Where: Coober Pedy
Cost: Child $4.50 Adult $10
More information: click here

Australian Irish Dancing Championships
For something a little different, take your kids along to the Australian Irish Dancing Championships.

When: 25th- 30th September
Cost: 1 day child $5 Adult $35
More information: Click here

Pop Star Performing Arts Program
There is always something fun and different to do at the Pop Star Performing Arts Program, including dancing, singing and drama.

When: 3 - 4 October
Cost: $60
More information: click here



Zoodoo Wildlife Park:
Zoodoo is an exciting hands-on wildlife park in Richmond, Tasmania with a large range of native, agricultural & exotic animals including Bengal tigers and rare white African lions. Kids will love the interaction with the animals.

Where: Richmond 
More information: visit their website

Bush Kids programs:
The 'Bush Kids' programs are designed for specific age groups from 2-10 years and include a variety of exciting nature based activities for kids attending with a parent or guardian. The kids will have fun dancing, playing games, enjoying art and craft activities and even going on bushwalks and fishing for tadpoles. All programs cost $5 per child.

Cost: Child $5
More information: For bookings visit their website 

Education at Rosny Farm:
During each school holiday period the site hosts a range of popular and affordable arts based workshops. Activities in the past have included, drawing, acting, clay, silk painting, drumming and circus skills.

More information: Contact the Community Arts Officer - Phone (03) 6245 8740 or email schoolhouse@ccc.tas.gov.au.

Cadbury factory:
Show your kids exactly how the delicious Caramello Koala and other Cadbury delights are made. The best part is you can sample the raw materials along the way.

More information: For opening hours and admission prices call 1800 627 367 or visit their website

Little Agrarian cooking classes:
For an educational cooking experience that teaches your kids exactly where their food comes from, the Agrarian Kitchen is now offering ‘The Little Agrarian’ cooking classes for children aged 6 to 11 years. The class includes tasting of fruit and vegetables while harvesting them from the garden, collecting chicken eggs, feeding the piglets, milking the goats, and after all that they get to return to the kitchen to cook a delicious lunch.

More information: Visit their website.

Mazes don’t always have the best reputation, Alice in Wonderland finds herself trying to exit the Queen’s maze of hedges and things didn’t work out so well for Harry Potter in the Tri Wizard tournament but these are different. See for yourself and explore the eight mazes that Tasmazia has to offer. Located near Cradle Mountain National park, featuring the great maze - the world’s largest maze - where your goal is to seek out the three bear’s cottage.

More information: Visit their website.

If you know of any other amazing holiday events happening in your area be sure to leave your comment below for everyone to enjoy or email us at editor@essentialkids.com.au.