Winter school holiday guide

Plenty of fun to be had inside and outside during the winter school holidays.
Plenty of fun to be had inside and outside during the winter school holidays. Photo: Getty Images

Your guide to entertaining the kids these holidays. 

New South Wales

David Attenborough Exhibition

For all of you after a little adventure with the world's favourite sonorous naturalist, be among the first to travel back through time and deep into the ocean when viewing the fully immersive Virtual Reality David Attenborough's First Life, and Great Barrier Reef. This experience puts you side-by-side with the natural world in brilliant, 360-degree cinematic life. Exclusively at the Australian Museum daily until the July 18.        

More information: Single adult session from $15 Book: ticketek.com.au Ages: 13+

Starry night

Discover the wonders of the night sky with your family and enjoy immersive astronomy experiences alongside expert Observatory guides. Family Night Tours start at 6pm* and last 1.5 hours. Bookings, including group bookings, can be made up to three months in advance online or by calling Sydney Observatory (02) 9217 0111, Until 1 October 2016 Address: Watson Rd, Millers Point NSW 2000

More information: visit the website

Let's Play YouTube Video Crash Course: 12th-13th July 

Create a Let's Play video to share with fellow Minecraft and Terraria fans on You Tube. Learn how to produce professional videos with Adobe Premiere and promote them to other Let's Play gamers.             

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More information: visit the website

Virtual Reality Game Design: 14th July                                          

Design your own VR spaceship simulator using game design elements such as 3D pixel art artwork, music, story development and professional game production engine Unity 5.                    

More information: visit the website     

Surfsquad with Barney Quinlan

It's a culture that starts young. But whether you want to surf or swim on our beautiful beaches, knowing what you are doing is vital. Many begin with lessons from much loved-Bondi local coach, Barney Quinlan, a quiet and understated chap who runs a popular Surf Squad at Sydney's busiest urban beaches. Despite the name this is not a surf lesson, it's about swimming in the surf and much more. It's learning the humility needed for ocean swimming and surfing and teaches kids (and adults) life-saving inside knowledge on how to survive in rips and understand the ocean environment. So worthwhile and could save your life. Cost: $50 to $120.

More information: visit the website

Discover your inner Willy Wonka

There's nothing better to do on a weekend than go out and explore the city, meet new people, and sample everyone's favourite treat along the way. On this award winning chocolate tour you can tell yourself you're walking off the calories on your 2.5 hour stroll around the city's best chocolatey alleys and corner stops. 

More information: visit the website

Lego robotics: Mon 11 July

This interactive, hands-on workshop in the park's specially designed learning centre will have kids constructing lego robots and teaching them to move and behave using sensors, motors and more. For ages 7 + years. Costs $45.

More information: visit the website

Kids vs Wild 5: Jul & 12 July

Kids engage with nature in this program which teaches priorities of survival. The highlight, learning the art of lighting a fire from a spark without using a lighter or matches! For ages 5 - 12 years. Costs $29.

More information: visit the website

Bat Chat: Fri 8 Jul 2016 & Fri 15 Jul 2016

Come down to Centennial Park's very own grey-headed flying fox camp to meet our flying friends and talk with our special team of young conservationists! All ages welcome. Free.

More information: visit the website

Other school holiday highlights at Centennial Park include:

Kids in the Park (Olympic Park)

Kids in the Park offers more than 60 school holiday activities in NSW say organisers,  with activities from circus skills to writing workshops. Kids in the Park makes Sydney Olympic Park the official home of the biggest range of school holiday activities of any location in NSW. 

More information: visit the website 

The Wow Factor: 13th - 16th July 2016.

Dedicated to children and families, Way Out West (WoW) Festival for Children, will return for its sixth year to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre for four days of free creative sessions with Australia's leading artists. This year's theme: Are we there yet? Journeys to Discovery, will reflect on the feelings associated with life's journeys and the memorable components of discovery. Young audiences will have the opportunity to experience a plethora of activities, with 65 artists participating in the Festival, offering over 27 different sessions and workshops, across a huge four days

More information: visit the website 

Explore your creativity with NIDA's holiday classes: 7–8 July

Designed specifically for children and young people, they offer a fun and supportive learning environment that unlocks creative potential and builds confidence. Riddle, fly and rhyme your way through Roald Dahl's most famous stories adapted for the stage, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Be introduced to acting and voice technique for live performance, rehearse scenes from your favourite Roald Dahl stage plays, and then present your rehearsed scenes to family and friends at the end of the two-day course. For grades 3–6. Costs $320.

More information: visit the website

Musical Theatre Boot Camp: 2nd - 3rd  July

Work with a NIDA music theatre expert to create a short song and story presentation for stage! This is a great way to introduce yourself to the magic of music theatre and find out just what it takes to become a music theatre star. You also have the chance to perform your song and story presentation for family and friends at the end of the two-day course. For grades 3–6 and 7–10. Costs $ 320.

More information: visit the website

In the Picture: 4th - 6th July

Fight dragons, hide treasure or be the princess at the ball in this exciting introduction to acting for stage and screen. Become your favourite movie or TV character then collaborate with your NIDA friends to create new adventures, stories and scenes to share with an audience. Practise presenting these scenes both live and in front of a camera and then share your adventures with family and friends at the end of the three-day course. For grades 3–6 and 7–10. Costs $355.

More information: visit the website

Aboriginal Performance – MUGGERA: July 2nd & 3rd and 9th & 10th 

Join this entertaining and engaging Aboriginal dance troupe to learn about Australia's Aboriginal culture. MUGGERA means lightning in the Yugambeh dialect. The dance troupe is comprised of highly knowledgeable and professional dancers from both the Yuin and Mununjali/Yugambeh clan groups, including Darren Compton from the Popular NITV seriesMove It Mob Style.

Time: 10.30am & 12.30pm, Duration: 40 minutes. 

Location: Australian Museum, entry via William St

Tiny Tots - Mess Makers June 3 -  July1

Enjoy some messy fun exploring different textures and colours, bubbles, songs and action rhymes. The Australian Museum. Time: 10:30am - 11:30am Fridays.

More information: (02) 9320 6163.

Aboriginal Bush foods and Medicine Workshop: 6th - 14th July

Where could you get something to cure your headache before we had chemists? How do you get food without a supermarket? Learn how Aboriginal Australian's survived for thousands of years before modern conveniences. See how traditional knowledge compares to what we know from Western science and learn about the nutritional and medicinal values of bush food and how they are being used in modern cuisine.

More information: Time: 11am – 12noon & 2 – 3pm  Ages: 5-12 yrs Cost: $10 Non-members & $8 Members

Tanabata: Sydney Observatory July 17                                                                            

Star Village, Free, immersive art experience that will build over the course of the holidays through the collective contributions of visitors of all ages. Weave, fold, write, listen, play, imagine and create a colourful paper world.

More information: visit the website 

Mini Explorers - Eora Explorer: 7th & 14th July

Explore Indigenous culture through music, art and Dreaming stories! Learn about native Australian animals, touch Indigenous artefacts and create your own animal mask to take home. Times: 10:30-11:30am & 12-1pm Ages: 3-5 yrs Cost: $10 Non-members & $8 Members; adult Non-member $15 

More information: visit the websit

Boomerang Painting: 4th July - 8th July & 11th - 17th July.

Be inspired by traditional styles and symbols of Indigenous art around Australia, and create your own design on a wooden boomerang. Time:10am to 3pm Ages: 5+ Cost: $5 per child after general admission.

More information: visit the website

Creepy, Crawly Science: 6th July - 7th July

Encounter spiders and insects as they wriggle out of the undergrowth. How do scientists collect these bizarre and beautiful specimens? Find out as we head behind the scenes and delve into the fascinating. 

More information: visit the website                                                                    

Victoria

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Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka: 27th June to 8th July

Experience the museum in a fun and kid-friendly way with a winter treasure hunt. Kids can then become curators by learning to make snowflakes and adding to the exhibition space in M.A.D.E's Kid Curated Corner.

More information: visit the website

Westside Circus: 27th June to 16th July 

Individual sessions in general circus classes and specialist classes in acro, aerials, tumbling and equilibristics/unicycle/stilts for both primary, pre-teen and teen age levels.

More information: visit the website

Melbourne Magic Show: 27th June to 9th July

The Melbourne Magic Festival is the largest event of it's kind in the Southern hemisphere with over 250 Magic Shows and free events at the Northcote Town Hall.

More information: visit the website

The Tiny Chef: 28th June to 8th July

Sweet and savoury recipes to suit all ages.

More information: visit the website

Melbourne Zoo: 25th June to 16th September

Step into the new giraffe exhibit viewing platform and get up close to the zoo's tallest residents.

More information: visit the website

Circus Oz Twenty Sixteen: 15th june to 10th july

High-voltage acrobatics and explosive aerial antics all accompanied by the sensational Circus Oz band in a two-hour show for all ages.

More information: view the website

Disney Beauty and the Beast Jr: 6th july to 9th July

A fun-filled stage adaption of the classic fairytale,presented by the Young Australian Broadway Chorus.

More information: view the website

Australian Capital Territory

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Questacon

A compulsory Canberra experience! There's so much for kids to enjoy with the school holiday program as well as the permanent exhibits. Be sure to try the 6m gravity freefall.

More information: visit the website

Canberra National Zoo and Aquarium

This is Australia's only combined zoo and aquarium, where you can see all the coolest animals from the land and the sea.

More information: visit the website

National Dinosaur Museum

If your kids don't already love dinosaurs, they will after a visit here. Find out everything there is to know about fossilised flora and fauna.

More information: visit the website

AIS school holiday program

Keep fit and active during the school holidays. There's swimming, tennis, soccer and a sports vacation program.

More information: visit the website

South Australia

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Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival

The show includes all your favourite magical moments from across the Disney kingdom.

More information: visit the website.

MegaAdventure Aerial Park

Play tennis in the sky or slide down a zip line on this 26m-high playground. There's aerial obstacles like beams, swings, log steps and freefalls.

More information: visit the website.

Bonython Park

Have you been to Adelaide's largest park yet? It's got a double flying fox, slides, a sand pit and a spider web climbing frame. There's also a special playground for toddlers, next to the lake where you can feed ducks.

More information: visit the website.

Bike riding

Laid-back South Australia has so many great options for family bike rides. In Adelaide you can hire bikes for free from 14 locations.

More information: visit the website.

South Australia museum

The South Australian museum has a free school holidays program for kids who love science and history. They're also hosting the 'Shields' exhibition about indigenous history and culture in Australia.

More information: visit the website.

Big duck boat tours SA Victor Harbour and school holidays

The exploration craft can get you close to seals, dolphins, seabirds and whales in a big inflatable boat.

More information: visit the website.

Whale watching

Whale watching season runs between June and early October. South Australia has a few whale watching facilities to choose from.

More information: visit the website

Adelaide Botanic Garden school holiday program

Suitable for children aged 5-12, all activities have been designed to promote fun, hands-on learning about plants, people and the environment.

More information: visit the website

- With Madeleine Wedesweiler

Tasmania

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Bricks 4 Kidz school holiday workshop

Workshops are designed for kids aged five to 12. Kids will spend the day playing with different types of Lego with the help of trained instructors.

More information: visit the website.

Seahorse World

Seahorse World at Beauty Point, Northern Tasmania, is a large sea horse farm and aquarium, species include: weedy sea dragons, sharks, giant cuttlefish, a Tasmanian giant crab and a touch pool for the kids.

More information: visit the website.

Zoodoo Wildlife Park

Just outside of Hobart is the amazing Zoodoo Wildlife Park; 90 hectares to be exact. It's a very hands on experience with safari bus tours, animal presentations and opportunities to pet the animals.

More information: visit the website.

Museum of Old and New Art

If you've always wanted to take the kids to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the school holidays is the perfect time to do it. A variety of exhibitions, workshops, school holiday activities as well as tours and tastings will feature at the Museum.

More information: visit the website.

Bushkids

Bush Kids is a school holiday program that takes kids on a variety of exciting nature-based activities. So this school break, strap on some gum-boots, put on some warm clothes for an adventure.

More information: visit the website.

Tahune Airwalk

See the breathtaking views of the Tahune forest as you walk above it on the Airwalk.

More information: see here

Queensland

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Image: Getty 

Winter Festival in Brisbane - 17 June to 10 July

Winter Festival is a national winter event to be held over 3 weeks during June and July this year. Each Winter Festival will host a wide range of snow and ice related activities suitable for families. This year, the festival will be supporting national charity Youngcare.

More information: visit the website.

Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha

The botanic gardens have plenty of activities for kids these holidays. Activities include yoga, drawing and more.

For more information: visit the website.

Out of the Box festival

Australia's only dedicated arts festival for children aged 8 years and under, and held at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. This year, according the website, the festival support the "concept that every child is a valuable, thoughtful, and insightful member of society who make meaningful contributions to civic life." Events include wellness workshops , abubble show and lots more.

More information: visit the website.

Colour My Pot

The old-fashioned art of ceramic painting is back, with this bayside studio offering daily school holiday sessions for children and their parents/carers to select and paint their own piece of pottery.

More information: visit the website.

- with Must Do Brisbane.

Northern Territory

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Katherine museum

This museum in Katherine used to be an aerodrome and the building is filled with rich history. You can also take the family on a tour of historic sites around the town.

More information: visit the website.

Crocosaurus cove

Climbing into the 'cage of death' to get right up close to huge freshwater crocodiles. Watch the feeding shows, or dangle a line above the enclosure and watch the baby crocs leap out of the water.

More information: visit the website.

Territory wildlife park

The Wildlife Park gives visitors authentic and up-close encounters with the animals and plants. The Park is a mix of zoo-type exhibits and natural bush, with attractions spread out around a 4km loop road linked with free shuttle trains and natural walking paths, meaning you can see the wonder of the top end of Australia in a matter of hours.

More information: visit the website.

Western Australia

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Splat! 

A play containing a high-energy fusion of circus, puppetry, dance, digital animation and paper-play. Kids will be left in stitches of laugher. 

More information: visit the website

Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival

The show includes all your favourite magical moments from across the Disney kingdom.

More information: visit the website.

Winter festival Freemantle

Winter Festival is a national winter event to be held over 3 weeks during June and July this year. Each Winter Festival will host a wide range of snow and ice related activities suitable for families. This year, the festival will be supporting national charity Youngcare.

More information: visit the website.

Escape Hunt Experience

Perth's best live escape the room & exit game is the perfect indoor entertainment for teens these holidays.

More information: visit the website.

Sports camp

Get active this school holidays by signing up to Sports Camps Australia. There is a BMX Camp in Wanneroo, Hockey Camp in Bussleton and Tennis Camp in South Perth.

More information: visit the website.

Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park

Visit the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park at feeding time and watch your children's amazed faces as they come face to face (but not too close!) to these ancient beasts.

More information: visit the website.

The Urban Roller Club

We're thrilled to announce that roller blading is cool again. Take the kids down to the new outdoor roller rink at Elizabeth Quay and lace up those roller blades. Make sure you bring socks!

More information: visit the website.

- with Madeleine Wedesweiler