Winter school holiday planner

Rug up for some winter fun.
Rug up for some winter fun. 

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 winter camps to performing arts classes and sporting days - there is something to suit every child and every budget.


YMCA vacation care program:

Leave it to the YMCA and their ‘Holiday Adventures’ program to entertain your children during the upcoming school holidays. For an affordable price, your kids will have fun while learning new skills and most importantly make new friends. Activities range from day camps to cooking and art classes. Available in 30 locations across NSW. For more information and to download an enrolment form visit their website.

Kids in the park:

The London Olympics are just around the corner and with more than 50 activities, ranging from badminton for beginners to writing workshops, there is something for all your little Olympians to enjoy at Sydney Olympic Park. Check out their website for the extensive list of activities. Some require booking so get in early to reserve your place.

Winter camps:

Whether you want to go on a camp as a family or send your little travelers off on their own, NSW has eleven Sport and Recreation Centres that offer the perfect winter adventure. Visit some of the states most picturesque and historical towns such as Berry, Tamworth and Orange. Take a look at all the camps on offer and head over to the NSW Office of Communities Sport & Recreation website.

Outdoor Adventures:
Brave the cold and head outdoors this winter for a family adventure that your kids can brag about for ‘show and tell’. The Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre is only a three hour drive north of Sydney, surrounded by breathtaking mountain peaks and ranges. Family packages can be made to suit all family budgets, including activities such as white water kayaking, canoeing and downhill mountain biking for all ages, fitness levels and abilities. Click their website to have a look at what they have to offer.

Luna Park:
For an action-packed day to entertain the mini rev heads in your family, Sydney’s Luna Park will be hosting Australia’s most skilled motocross riders these school holidays. Every day from 29 June until 15 July, guests of Luna Park will be wowed by live motocross shows in the ‘Freestyle Action Zone’. Tickets are available online

Eden gardens:
Forget the winter blues, turn your kids green instead. With three interactive and educational programs on offer your kids will learn all about vertical gardens, how to produce their own natural artwork and how to plant their own garden. For venues, prices and further information call Eden Gardens North Ryde on 02 9491 9900 or email

Emily Eyefinger theatre performance:
Give your kids the old fashioned movie experience by taking them to the theatre. The Monkey Baa theatre company is bringing 60 minutes of pure enjoyment to Sydney these school holidays with an adaptation from the classic Australian series, Emily Eyefinger, a story about a gifted young girl learning to accept her differences and find peace within herself. To buy tickets visit their website.

Brave party for Disney fans:
All your little brave heroes and heroines are invited to dress up as their favourite Disney character to celebrate the release of Brave; Disney/Pixar’s new 3D fantasy adventure in cinemas June 21. Toys”R”Us is hosting a nationwide party for all Brave and Disney fans on Saturday, 23 June. There will be activities, prizes and games. Bookings are essential through their website.

Australian Film Television and Radio School:
The AFTRS are offering exciting school holiday courses for creative kids interested in film, acting and television. Work with industry experienced tutors to make your first film, learn film acting skills or create a digital animation. Visit the website or phone: AFTRS OPEN 1300 065 281 for more information or to place a booking.

Hunter Valley Gardens:
This winter the Hunter Valley Gardens will be transformed into a winter wonderland the whole family can enjoy. There will be an ice skating rink for those who love to carve it up on the ice. If balance and coordination is a problem there will also be a snow angel area, snow tubing races and most importantly a snow ball challenge! For further information regarding the Snow garden call 02 4998 4000 or visit their website.


Sydney Tower Buffet:
During the school holidays kids aged 3-12 years can eat for free at the Sydney Tower Buffet. Available for lunch and dinner, from Monday to Thursday. With an abundance of choice from both hot and cold food stations, plus a separate dessert bar which features a DIY ice cream station - children can discover the buffet at their own leisure. For more information visit their website. 

Zoo Keeper for a day:
Taronga Zoo’s zoo keeper for a day events guarantee to keep your kids busy these holidays. With behind the scenes activities including feeding and ‘poo-raking’. An amazing opportunity for any child that, one day, wants to work with animals. For information on prices and booking visit the Taronga Zoo website.

Kids on the case:

Test your child’s detective skills by visiting the Justice and Police Museum this July. Suitable for kids aged 6-12years, any child fascinated by the world of spies and crime fighting will love having their mug shot taken, exploring the old cells and court house and unravelling profiles of criminal suspects. For dates and times visit their website.

Narnia – The exhibition:
We waved our wands goodbye to the Harry Potter exhibition to make way for the Narnia exhibition. Step inside the wardrobe and enter Narnia. Learn about the creatures, artifacts and costumes from the movies. For more information and to book tickets visit the website.

Sydney Observatory:
Little astronomers are in luck, the Sydney Observatory has some great school holiday programs on offer involving telescope tours and archaeology workshops. Bookings are essential and can be made via their website or by calling 02 9921 348.



Barbie’s dream closet launch:
For all those Barbie girls out there, from the 28th June until the 1st July Barbie is launching her dream closet by giving you the opportunity to try on her most iconic outfits from the last 50 years. Head over to Westfield Doncaster in Melbourne and get your photo taken in your favourite outfit as a special keepsake!

Medibank Icehouse:
Enjoy all the perks of a white winter at the Medibank ice house, situated right in the heart of Melbourne. There are skating sessions every Saturday and Sunday, different themed nights, free beginner lessons during the week and most importantly, the school holiday performance, Ice Age @ Icehouse. Performing three shows daily, starring characters from Ice Age 4. Kids can meet the stars and get their photos taken. For more information visit their website.

March of the penguins:
Philip island is known for many things but most importantly for its parade of penguins. As the sun goes down you and your kids can watch the penguins waddle home after a long day at the office to the safety of their sand dune homes. Other attractions include seal tours and the A Maze N Things illusion room puzzles, anti-gravity room, maze and mini golf. Check out their website for ticketing options and events.

The magic of your imagination:
The Melbourne Magic Festival returns for another season of awe and inspiration as Alex and Luke turn your child’s wildest ideas into magic! From July 2 to 14 the Northcote Town Hall will be transformed into a Palace of Prestidigitation as Australia’s best magicians appear right before your very eyes and present over 100 shows and magic classes casting their spells over kids, families and adults. Suitable for children aged 6-12 years, tickets can be purchased from their website.

Fun4Kids Festival:
Held during the first week of the Victorian school holidays, 1st - 8th July, the Fun4kids festival will be putting on a variety of events to keep your kids entertained. Including arts, live performances, hands on activities and inventive workshops. For more information check out their website.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Live Show:
Alvin, Simon and Theodore will be performing at Eastland shopping centre, from Monday 2nd July until Friday 6th July, daily at 11am and 1pm. For an added treat the chipmunks will be meeting and greeting their fans in between shows at 12 noon.  Checkout their website for more information and other school holiday fun!

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. Free guided tours are available for all ticket holders, go their website for dates and ticket information.

Ants in Federation Square:
Giant ants will be relocating their colony to Federation Square this July holidays and are recruiting children as their helpers. The Polyglot theatre will see human sized ants take over the city on a large scale treasure hunt. Children will work together to collect big paper parcels and bring them back to the nest. Helpers will be required from the 3rd – 8th July daily at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4 pm. For more information visit Polyglot theatre website.

Circus Oz:
The Ground Up premiers in Melbourne at Birrarung Marr from June 20, 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. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

Disney on ice:
Disney on ice is hosting a party with all your favourite Disney characters, from Minnie and Mickey, to Lilo & Stitch and Alice in Wonderland and celebrating any and every occasion they can think of. For session times and ticket information head over to 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! Go to their website for more information.

Dinosaur Invasion:
Test your strength against the jaw of a T- Rex, uncover fossils and examine insects under a microscope. With 16 interactive displays, this Scitech exhibition will teach young palaeontologists how dinosaurs lived, survived and ate. For more information check out their website.

Birds of prey:
From the 9th – 13th July, Ocean Keys shopping centre will have a selection of birds, ranging from owls to eagles, to gawk at. Talks and shows will be held daily at 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm. If these times don’t suit you can visit the birds any time between 11am and 3pm outside K-mart. Go to their website for more information.

Dinosaur petting zoo:
The Western Australian Museum will be host to 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. For ticket prices and more information go to their website or call 08 9427 2877.

Carillon City activities:
Perth’s premier CBD shopping centre is offering free school holidays activities from the 7th – 15th July. Events include a gingerbread bake house, window clings and mug mania. Activities cater for up to 60 kids per day so be sure to turn up early. Check out their website for time and locations.


Adelaide zoo:
Home to the only giant Panda’s in the Southern Hemisphere, the Adelaide zoo offers special presentations every day during the school holidays. There are even Zooventures and Zoofari holiday programs, allowing your kids to talk to the zoo keepers, clean an otter or even brush a hippos teeth! For more information and presentation timetables visit their website.

Montarto zoo:
A 1,000 hectare open range zoo, offering memorable safari experiences where kids can see lions, cheetahs, elephants and rare animals like the black rhinoceros. Let’s not forget the meerkats, who doesn’t love a meerkat? Go to their website to check out the feeding timetable.

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. For opening times head over to their website.

National Motor Museum:
The exhibition showcases the toy and car collections of three people, while providing an outline of the history of the toy car. The best part is the special kids space, packed with toy and model cars for kids to play with. Go to their website for more information.

Whale watching:
Every winter southern right whales head into South Australian waters on their annual migration path. The mothers give birth to their calves, while they gain strength, the bulls turn up and slap their tails to try and attract a female. For updates on sightseeing locations and school holidays programs visit the South Australian Whale Centre.


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. 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 you attention, there are also monkeys, lions, leopards and more to see. Check out their website for information about visiting the park.


Canberra is packed full of child-friendly places to visit during the winter months including Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre with its hands-on exhibits and earthquake experience. To check out all they have to offer visit their website.

Australian Institute of Sports’ Sportex centre:
Taking virtual reality to the next level, your budding sports star can kick a goal in a Rugby or AFL simulation, challenge a friend to a simulated mountain bike race or have a go at wheelchair basketball.  Tours run four times a day at 10.00am, 11.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm for 90 minutes per session. For more information, go to their website.

Kids Pantry:
Rather than always wanting take away, get your kids excited about a delicious home cooked meal by attending Canberra’s only cooking school and kitchen garden designed just for kids. Kids Pantry aims to teach children the joy of growing and cooking their own food, with a range of classes there is something for everyone. To check out the school holiday program visit their website.

Skate in the city:
From the 28th June to the 29th July, Garema Place & City Walk will come to life providing loads of family entertainment for the school holidays. Learn to skate, watch the pirate ice show or join in the fun at one of the movie nights. For more information go to their website.


 Warner Bros. Movie World:
Grab your autograph books and head to Movie World to meet all your kids' favourite movie characters. While you are there, the thrill seekers can experience a range of themed attraction rides like the Green Lantern roller coaster and the Batwing Space Shot. Go to their website to check out the daily events and the many more attractions on offer.

Eden Gardens:
Forget the winter blues, turn your kids green instead. With three interactive and educational programs on offer your kids will learn all about vertical gardens, how to produce their own natural artwork and how to plant their own garden. For venues, prices and further information call Eden Gardens North Ryde on 02 9491 9900 or email

Whatever your kid is interested in, from yoga to kayaking and animation, Chillout will have an activity for them. Bookings are essential, so head over to the Brisbane City Council website.

Build it:
The Ipswitch Workshop Rail Museum is offering heaps of hands on activities for any budding builders out there. Your little buddy can participate in workshops involving construction, wagon building, simulated welding and more. For information on all of their workshops visit their website.

Mummy museum:
Explore the history of mummies at the Queensland Museum, South Bank. The exhibition reveals the life and death of an Egyptian priest and tells his story through an extraordinary 3D film and an exhibition showcasing more than 100 ancient objects. For ticket information visit their website.


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. 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. Find out more by visiting 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. For more information on mazes visit their website.

Keep checking this page for more fun school holiday activities as we continue to update with new events throughout the holiday period.