winter-school-holidays_wide

Beat boredom these school holidays with our guide to holiday fun.

Wondering how you will keep the kids entertained these school holidays? Here is what's on around Australia in your state. From Dr. Suess Science workshops to hilarious musicals - there is something to suit every child and every budget.

NSW      VIC      WA      SA      TAS      NT      ACT

NEW SOUTH WALES

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Warm up with NIDA July 1 - July 14
NIDA is jam-packed full of activities these holidays. Whether you want to setsail on a swashbuckling high sea adventure, get lost in Roald Dahl’s fantastical world of wicked fairy tales, direct an intergalactic Doctor Who episode on Cockatoo Island or perhaps you would like to learn fancy footwork for some of Broadway’s greatest musicals, there’s something for everyone.

More information: full course details are available at www.nida.edu.au or by phoning NIDA Open on (02) 9697 7626.

Kids in the Park June 29 - July 14
Keep the kids active this winter with the biggest range of school holiday activities in one location. With over 50 activities to choose from - including 12 new ones, Kids in the Park has a program to suit all interests and price ranges. New activities include, 'Fizzics' – gross and gory science where kids can make fake snot, vomit bombs and exploding pimples.

More information: See their Activity schedule or visit their website.

Luna Park Sydney: STUNTMANIA
STUNTMANIA will launch at Luna Park Sydney these school holidays. Daily shows include:

  • FMX trials motocross bikes Australia’s best trials motocross riders will shock guests with their fate-tempting tricks including back-flips, wheelies and even riding a motorcycle with only one wheel 
  • Wall trampoline A new concept in extreme sports, the performers jump from great heights onto a trampoline, executing flips and back-flips mid-air, before landing back at the top of the wall
  • Parkour Australia’s best in parkour, Rhys James, will jump, swing and leap around a purpose-built parkour set which includes free-fall jumps across ledges metres apart
  • Extreme Unicycle An off road unicyclist will test his balance as he jumps over obstacles and up on to 44 gallon drums
  • 8 metre high fall Guests will be left gripping the edge of their seats as Australia’s leading stuntman leaps eight metres off the roof of Luna Park Sydney’s iconic Coney Island
  • Fire run See a guy charging across the set on fire, with smoke and flames blazing behind him

More information: Visit their website.

Edens Gardens - North Ryde
Get outside, get dirty and get green with one of Eden Garden’s programs for 5 to 12-year-olds. Workshops include games, craft and garden activities, such as teaching your kids how to grow their own veggie patch.

More information: Visit their website.

Australian Museum June 29 - July 14
Enjoy a range of activities these holidays as the Australian Museum. Learn about conservation, get up and close with live Australian animals or participate in their reptile workshop.

More information: Visit their website.

Kids Camp July 3 - July 12
For a fun, healthy and affordable school holiday activity book a Kids’ Camp at one of 11 Sport and Recreation centres across NSW. The packages are for children aged from seven to 16, choose from one, three, five or seven day camps. Activities include cooking, bush adventures and snow sports.

More information: Visit their website.

Bago Maze
Not only is Port Macquarie home to some beautiful beaches, it can now boast about its very own maze. Bago Maze is the largest hedge maze in NSW, the maze features a series of bridges, boardwalks and musical instruments to lose the kids in for a moment or two.

More information: Visit their website.

Sydney Aquarium
After the unveiling of its $10 million renovation, you can now venture through 14 themed zones including a Shark Walk, a tropical Bay of Rays, Mangrove Swamps and a shipwreck. Encounter some of the world's most incredible animals, including the dugongs which Sydney Aquarium has two of only five on display anywhere in the world. 

More information: Visit their website.

Art Gallery of NSW 15 - 26 April
Nurture your kids creative side at the Art Gallery of NSW. Activities include free performances and holiday workshops for all ages.

More information: Visit their website.

Taronga Zoo
Zoo Adventures is a school holiday program for children between the ages of 5-10. Each day has a theme and children will join in lots of fun activities including arts and crafts. During the first week Taronga Zoo will celebrate NAIDOC week, joining in with animals and themes native to Australia. Week two is also packed full of adventure, kids will encounter animals both native and exotic. Each day includes a Meet a Keeper experience, Seal and/or Bird Show, Sky Safari, animal encounters, a photo to take home and a range of fun and educational activities for all Zoo Adventurers to enjoy!

More information: Visit their website.

Sydney Opera House June 29 - July 14
With three new shows and free creative play activities, the Opera House is the place to visit these holidays.

Random Musical a hilarious show especially for kids and families. Audiences offer ‘random words’ that inspire every twist and turn of the show, propelling the brilliant cast into uncharted storytelling and musical theatre territory. For ages 5+.

Giggle and Hoot and Friends Jimmy Giggle, Hoot the Owl and their best owl pal Hootabelle are heading to Sydney Opera House for their live stage show Giggle and Hoot and Friends for a singing, dancing, Giggle-liscious stage spectacular. For ages 2-5.

Horrible Histories - Awful Egyptians We all want to meet people from history – the trouble is everyone is dead! So it's time to prepare for Horrible Histories live on stage! Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, this astounding show is guaranteed to thrill you as historical figures and events come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips.  For age 6+. 

Creative Play Sydney Opera House presents Polyglot Theatre’s Sound of Drawing - a drawing table that has been wired for sound. As kids are lead through a series of artistic activities by a trained facilitator the sound of their pastels, crayons or textas on the table is picked up by sensitive microphones and amplified to create a soundscape.

More information: Visit their website.
 

NORTHERN TERRITORY

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Pyndan camel tracks
Explore the outback from the hump of a camel. A sunset camel ride against the backdrop of the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs is an experience that shouldn't be missed. See unique Australian animals like kangaroos and other native wildlife as you experience the true beauty of the Red Centre.

More information: Visit their website.

Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Home to the largest reptile display in Central Australia, Alice Springs Reptile Centre has daily shows at 11am, 1pm and 3.30pm where your little lizard lover can get involved in a fun and informative talk followed by a supervised handling session.

More information: Visit their website.

Crocosaurus Cove
Crocosaurus Cove offers a hands on croc experience with saltwater and baby crocodiles. For the brave, bring your swimmers!

More information: Visit their website.

Turtle tracks tour July 8, July 9 & July 24
Jump on a boat with Team Turtle and see sea turtles nesting nesting around the shores of Darwin Harbour.

More information: Visit their website.

Quad safari
For the adventurous family try exploring the expansive outback terrain on quad bikes at Kings Creek Station.

More information: Visit their website.

Bunnings Kids Workshops
DIY projects for kids! During the school holidays Bunnings are offering free workshops your kids will love - from craft ideas to garden and woodworking. 

More information: Visit their website.

City of Darwin Libraries 
How big were dinosaurs? How much did they eat? How fast could they run? Why did they become extinct? The City of Darwin Libraries have all these answers and more for your kids these holidays. Bookings are essential.

More information: Visit their website.

Darwin Waterfront Monday 24 June – Friday 19 July
Keep your kids entertained and head down to Darwin waterfront these holidays for some serious fun. Activities include beach volleyball, art and craft and some science in the sun.

More information: Visit their website.

VICTORIA

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Kids pizza-making workshops July 8 – 12 
Free pizza-making workshops for kids. Head over to Central Box Hill during the school holidays and your little chef can create healthy homemade pizzas from scratch, play a few rounds of pizza bingo or enter a colour competition. 

More information: Visit their website. 

Eden Gardens August 6 & July 9
Venture outdoors with one of Eden Gardens workshops for kids. Participate in some creative garden crafts or kids can discover the wonder of backyard vegies and take home the start of your own garden. Booking are essential.

More information: Visit their website.

Arts Centre Melbourne
With plenty of workshops and performances to encourage shared experiences, the Arts Centre Melbourne is a great place for parents and their children to play these holidays. 

More information: Visit their website.

Gasworks kids holiday program
Creative and entertaining experiences for kids aged four to 14. Gasworks’ Winter Kids Holiday program will kick off with an exciting and innovative workshop program and will finish with the featured musical stage adaptation of Mem Fox’s beloved Possum Magic.

More information: Visit their website.

Collingwood children’s farm
Seven hectares of paddocks, gardens, orchards and shady trees, Collingwood children’s farm is open every day of the year. Kids can milk the cow at 10 am and 4pm, bottle feed lambs and help out with any other chore for the day. 

More information: Visit their website.

Zoos Victoria
Kids who are wild about animals can get up close and personal with them these holidays at Melbourne Zoo’s Kids Go Wild holiday program. Visit secret areas, chat to a zoo keeper and meet other kids who are just as nutty about animals as they are.

More information: Visit their website.

Melbourne Aquarium June 29 – July 14
Melbourne Aquarium has a brand new Rainforest Adventure exhibit. Get ready to be transported from the depths of the ocean to the leafy surrounds of the Australian Rainforest. The new Rainforest Adventure gives visitors a chance to wonder at some of the truly unique animals not found anywhere else in the world including bizarre bugs, aquatic reptiles, river giants, ancient Australians and the world’s largest display of Archerfish.

More information: Visit their website.

DancePlay! 3 - 5 July
A school holiday program designed to introduce both boys and girls, aged 5-8, to movement and dance. Led by members of The Australian Ballet’s Dance Education Ensemble, your child will learn concepts such as the body’s expressive possibilities and how to design their own dances.

More information: Visit their website.

Double Helix Holiday Program 2 - 11 July
CSIRO Education is offering a fun filled program of entertaining and educational science activities in Highett, Kew, Glen Waverley and Yarraville.

More information: Visit their website.

Roola Boola Festival 2 -5 July
A children's art festival that lets their creativity run wild. The festival features engaging performances, inventive workshops and art adventures for children aged four to twelve. 

More information: Visit their website.

QUEENSLAND

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Australia Zoo June 22 - July 7
There is no other zoo like Australia zoo, founded by Steve and Terri Irwin, it is still offering visitors the same extreme wildlife experiences for all ages. Pop in during the winter holidays for a range of free entertainment and shows. Help name their new koalas, visit the baby rhinos or watch Terri, Bindi and Robert feed the crocs daily at noon.

More information: Visit their website.

Edens Gardens Carseldine
Venture outdoors and discover the amazing smells of flowers and herbs in the garden or find out all about Australian native plants and pot up a habitat plant to take home. Bookings are essential.

More information: Visit their website.

Kelly Sports
Despite the cooler weather your kids can still get active and outdoors. Kelly Sports provide a range of fun and stimulating programmes that develop children’s fundamental sporting skills in an environment that encourages them to give sport a go.

More information: Visit their website.

Powerkids 25 June – 5 July
Over 11 fun-filled days, Brisbane Powerhouse will transform into a big house of adventure.Celebrate your favourite superhero or create your own. Families can come in costume or kids can get a hero makeover in the Hero Booth. Powerkids will also feature three family-friendly theatre shows – Argus by Dead Puppet Society,Kaput! by Strut and Fret and The Empty City by The Human Company.

More information: Visit their website.

Playing with light
Queensland Museum Southbank's new Sciencentre exhibition explores lights lasers and lenses. Tackle a smoky maze of lasers or experiment with lenses and mirrors in the Light Lab.

More information: Visit their website.

King George Square Games Night
On the last Thursday of each month King George Square becomes the place to learn some new games and bond over your old favourites. Bring your own board game, or make friends and join in with someone else.  

More information: Visit their website.

Whale watching
Grab some binoculars and take the kids whale watching at Stradbroke Island these holidays, more than 3,000 whales pass by Point Lookout annually.

More information: Visit their website.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

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Questacon
Canberra is packed full of child-friendly places to visit during the cooler months including Questacon. The National Science and Technology Centre has hands-on displays including its Deep Oceans exhibition. This exhibition will take you on a journey through the secrets of the deep, what lives there and how we know what lives there.

More information: Visit their website.

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

More information: Visit their website.

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.

More information: Visit their website.

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

More information: Visit their website.

AfterDARK Firefly Tours July 6 and August 3
Construct your own hand made lantern and on a fascinating after dark discovery of the Australian National Botanical Gardens.

More information: Visit their website.

Kid Technic holiday program
Looking for a challenge? Kid Technic's program teaches kids how to design, build and program robots! 

More information: Visit their website.

Slava's SnowShow
Following his sensational performance as part of Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria, Slava has created create his own show. The show brilliantly creates a world of wonderment and fantasy that transports the audience to a joyous dream-like place.

More information: Visit their website.

Cross country skiing July 6
SnowSports ACT is holding a Come and Try Cross Country Skiing Day at the Perisher Cross Country Trails. The best part is it's open to everyone! The day involves a two hour lesson followed by a barbecue lunch. 

More information: Visit their website.

NAIDOC on the Peninsula Festival July 7
NAIDOC is a chance for all Australians to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The festival features local and national music and dance performances, community stalls and delicious food. Plus craft activities and tours inside the Museum.  

More information: Visit their website.

TASMANIA

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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 six 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.

Bush adventures program
This season delve into the lives of local shore birds, get up to date on the situation of the Tassie Devils, find out more about fabulous fungi indoors and get back to botanical drawing. These exciting nature based activities are designed for kids aged two and up. Bookings are essential for all bush programs.

More information: Visit their website.

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

More 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.

More information: Phone 1800 627 367 or visit their website.

Tasmazia
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.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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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.

More information: Visit their website.

Adelaide Children's Zoo
Adelaide Children's Zoo is a great place for children to get up close with over 120 different animals, including sheep, chickens and even rats. There is also a selection of tours to choose from that your kids are bound to get excited about.

More information: Visit their website.

Montaro Zoo
Take a full day tour through the Adelaide Hills to the Monarto Zoo, one of the largest open range zoos in the world. The keepers will introduce you to Rhinos, Cheetahs, African Wild Dogs, Lions and Chimpanzees. Plus, you will see Giraffe, Antelope, Ostrich and more including our Australian Wildlife such as Emus and Kangaroos that roam free throughout the 1500 hectares of Monarto.

More information: Visit their website.

Kids, camera, action workshop July 8-12
Kids Camera Action! is a unique film making school, aimed at kids between the ages of 8 and 16. The Holiday workshops involve games, character development, story building exercises and film production, a great starting point for kids interested in the magic of movies.

More information: Visit their website.

Port River Dolphin Trail
Did you know about 30 bottlenose dolphins live in the Port River waters? A trail has been developed to provide you with a rare opportunity to unobtrusively watch the dolphins from the shore. 

More information: Visit their website.

The beachhouse
The Beachouse is a family entertainment centre packed with Australian-first and world-class attractions! From face painting to mini golf and even dodgem cars, this is a fun day out for the whole family.

More information: Visit their website.

Space Encounters June 9 - 22
Space Encounters is a 50 minute interactive children’s opera for ages 5-12. It tells the story of two astronauts, Harris and Jefferson, and their robot Roland who venture into space to find the source of a strange signal.

More information: Visit their website.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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Whiteman Park
Whiteman Park have a fantastic lineup of school holiday activities this July. Meet some marsupials and reptiles with their Auzzimals activity or join in on a special tree planting session. Bookings can be made on 9209 6000.

More information: Visit 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: Visit their website.

Bushland nature trail
See Western Australia's famous wildflowers, trees and birdlife living in the wild. This nature trail is an easy 25 minute loop and a perfect activity for the whole family.

More information: visit their website.

Museum of Western Australia
The museum is packed full of exhibitions to see these holidays. Highlights include Diamonds to Dinosaurs and their discovery centre.

More information: Visit their website

The science of Dr Seuss in the CSIRO Lab at Scitech
Combining books with science, Scitech's workshops involve reading a classic Dr. Seuss story followed by a related hands on science activity. 

More information: Visit their website.

Kids Cushion Concerts
Introduce kids to the fun of classical music and instruments through 50 minutes of storytelling, song and dance. 

More information: Visit their website.

School Holiday Fun at Perth Museums July 6 - 21
When it's time to get the kids out of the house Perth's museums have loads of activities for the kids these holidays.

Perth Museum - Phantastic Pharoahs

Albany Museum - Idols, Intrigue and Immortality: Unearthing Ancient Egypt

Kalgoorlie Museum - Antarctic Adventures

Shipwreck Museum - Shipwrecked

Maritime Museum - Puppet Pirates

The Essential Kids school holiday guide is compiled by Livia Gamble. Send contributions to lgamble@fairfaxmedia.com.au.