Sydney & beyond
Kids in the Park
Sydney Olympic Park will be holding Kids in the Park every day of the school holidays. There will be a range of sports to participate in from footy to floorball, golf, badminton, soccer and everything else in between. With more than 50 activities, including 16 free and 12 good-value options there is no excuse for boredom. Free AFL clinics with the Sydney Swans will be running on selective days at Cathy Freeman Park. Other activities will cater to the interests of nature-lovers, creative kids, budding chefs and mini detectives. A free film festival will run on September 28.
When: September 24 to October 9 (certain activities on select days)
Where: Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: A wide range of FREE activities some select activities are $20 and under.
More information: visit their website kidsinthepark.com.au
The Australian Museum
The Australian Museum is running a range of performances, activities and workshops for kids during the holidays. From face painting to drawing and butterfly dances most activities are free after entry cost, workshops range in price.
When: Throughout September and October
Where: The Australian Museum
Cost: Some activities are FREE after museum admission which is $12 for adults and $6 for kids.
More information: visit the website www.australianmuseum.net.au
Newcastle’s newest attraction, the Newcastle Museum, invites kids to enjoy a series of free and fun activities during the school holidays, including a hula hoop extravaganza, an arts and craft workshop and storytelling underneath its giant, inflated rotating Earth Ball globe. Taking place within the museum’s Link Gallery and Boiler Shop, the activities will see kids exploring Newcastle’s historic steam train, the Buck, and discovering their inner Einstein in the scientific Supernova exhibition. The museum is located in Newcastle’s new Honeysuckle precinct, overlooking the harbour.
When: Open daily during the school holidays from 10am to 5pm
Where: Newcastle Museum, Honeysuckle
Cost: Entry is FREE
More information: visit the website www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au
Bathers Way Coastal Walk
Embrace spring and get the family outdoors to scoot, walk or ride along Newcastle’s coastal walk, Bathers Way. Linking some of Newcastle’s most picturesque beaches, this 5km path, beginning at the popular Nobbys Beach and finishing at Merewether Beach, is dotted with shady picnic spots, rock pools and sea baths. Along the way, stop off at Bar Beach and let the kids explore Australia’s newest skate bowl at Empire Park.
When: Any time
Where: From Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach
More information: For a map of the walk, visit www.visitnewcastle.com.au.
The largest, longest-running annual event in Newcastle, the Mattara Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a huge fireworks display, grand street parade and a giant birthday cake. Taking place over nine days during the spring school holidays, the festival brings together an eclectic program of free activities and events along Newcastle’s Foreshore, overlooking Nobbys Beach. Included in this year’s Mattara Festival are street markets, carnival rides, wildlife encounters and art displays as well as a large-scale BBQ lunch, cheerleading performances and a chance to meet local sports celebrities.
When: Saturday October 1- Sunday October 9
Where: Newcastle’s foreshore, Nobbys Beach
Cost: FREE (there is a cost involved for rides)
More information: visit the website www.mattarafestival.org.au/
The Circus at Hunter Valley Gardens
Circus Avalon will bring the complete circus experience to the Hunter Valley Gardens these holidays. From circus skill workshops, where you can learn to juggle, hula hoop or even use the aerial apparatus, to face painting, craft activities, amusement rides, pony rides and jumping castles. There is something to entertain kids of all ages.
When: September 24 to October 9
Where: Hunter Valley Gardens
Cost: Entry into the Gardens : Adults - $24, Seniors - $20, Kids 4-15 yrs - $12, kids under 3 yrs FREE.
More information: phone 02 4998 4000 or visit www.hvg.com.au
Melbourne & beyond:
The Art of the Brick Lego Exhibition
Don’t miss out on this amazing exhibition from New York artist, Nathan Sawaya at Federation Square. It features large-scale 3D sculptures created solely out of LEGO bricks and will be moving to Sydney in October. There are Play and Build sessions for kids from four years and over, involving a Tower Build challenge, a car racing game and plenty more creative activities. Tickets sell out quick so get in early.
When: September 24 to October 9, 10am to 7pm daily
Where: Federation Square
Cost: Exhibition prices: Adults $15, Children - $10, Concession - $12.50, Family - $45. Play & Learn sessions: $10 and must be pre-booked (03) 9299 9030.
More information: phone (03) 9299 9030 or visit Ticketek
Dirt Girl visits Knox Shopping Centre
There will be exciting seed planting activities with the ABC’s Dirt Girl where kids can create their own eco pot plant for home, as well as an Eco Bag Activity Centre for them to decorate their own eco bag.
When: Dirt Girl seed planting from September 26-30, Eco Bag Activity Centre from October 3-7.
Where: Knox Shopping Centre
More Information: visit the website www.knoxshoppingcentre.com.au
Brisbane & beyond:
Chocolate making workshops
For a delicious treat for the kids these school holidays book them in to the Nutworks Chocolate Making Workshop. While it may be a little bit pricy they do get to learn the art of making hand-made chocolates. Hopefully they will put those new skills to good use and make you something yummy for the next special occasion.
When: By demand throughout the school holidays
Where: Nutworks and the Chocolate Factory
Cost: Generally $19.95 for each participant.
More information: to register your interest visit their website www.nutworks.com.au
Lego games tournaments
Westfield Garden City is holding a Lego games tournament from the 21 September until Sunday 25 September. There will be a mixture of Lego games tables and a main stage challenge table to keep kids of all ages happy. With a new game starting every 15 minutes everyone will get the opportunity to have a go. Not only is the event free but there will also be plenty of giveaways and prizes to be won.
When: September 21-25
Where: Westfield Garden City
More information: visit the website www.westfield.com.au
Emulator Kids Gaming Day
If you have always dreamt of sharing your love of Donkey Kong, Pac-man and Galaga with your kids this is your chance! The Bleeding Heart Gallery is holding a family fun day of retro gaming with a selection of playable arcade machines from 1978-1986. There will be great prizes and trophies to be won. The event is aiming to raise $6000 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
When: Saturday 24 September.
Where: The Bleeding Heart Gallery, 166 Ann St, Brisbane
Cost: Admission is FREE and registration is $5 for single player competitions and $10 for family teams. Register now as places are limited.
More information: visit the website www.emulatorart.com.au
Adelaide & beyond:
If the kids are looking for an experience that is out of this world these school holidays they have to check out The Planetarium at the University of South Australia. There is a 30-minute planetarium night-sky presentation followed by the full dome 20-minute feature film Astronaut with Ewan McGregor. They will get to experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut and explore the perils and adventures that await him in space.
When: October 3-15
Where: The University of South Australia at the Planetarium
Cost: $8 Adults, $6 Children and Concession
More information: Bookings are essential visit the website to book www.unisa.edu.au
The Monarto Zoo is holding its popular Monarto Survivor these school holidays. Meet at Adelaide Zoo for a bus to take your kids on an adventure to Monarto that will see them initiated into a wild African Tribe. The Red Carnivores will compete against the Blue Carnivores in the ultimate contest as they race to uncover hidden clues and trails around the Zoo in the fight against extinction.
When: October 4-6
Where: Meet at Adelaide Zoo for a bus to Monarto Zoo
Cost: $65 a day (including bus trip) or $57 for zoo members (Must be 8-13 years old)
More information: visit the website www.zoossa.com.au
Perth & beyond:
The Art Gallery of Western Australia
The Art Gallery of Western Australia is putting on a great range of kids programs over the school holidays. Your kids will be creating works of art inspired by European masterpieces using mixed media and collage at the Princely Treasures Courtly Characters for primary school-aged children. Or they can create their own fantasy palace out of white Lego at the Lego Art Event suitable for children between the ages of 4-16 years. Kids can spend a fun day with the grandparents following the children’s trail or in the activity space on Grandparent’s Day. For a few dollars per child it is a great way to entertain your child for a couple of hours.
When: Dates vary from October 3-14, confirm times on their website.
Where: Art Gallery of Western Australia
Cost: Most activities are $3 per child but adults have to pay for entry into the exhibition.
More information: visit the website www.artgallery.wa.gov.au
Spaceship Earth 2 Film Season
The Northbridge Piazza is screening a new series of films and documentaries for the second season of the Spaceship Earth Films. There are a series of sustainability-focused films from around the globe mixed in with some feature films, such as Astro Boy, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and Rango for the kids. Bring along your family picnic rug or make use of the comfy beanbags provided but get there early or you might miss out.
When: First screenings start Saturday 24 September and run on different nights throughout the school holidays up until October 23.
Where: Northbridge Piazza
More information: visit the website www.showmeperth.com.au
See what EK mums in WA are suggesting these school holidays on the Forums.