School holiday activities for kids in Melbourne

Last school holidays I got organised (my husband said “totally OTT”) and made a holiday list of dates and activities. I pinned it on the fridge so that my kids could see what was on – it was a stroke of genius (if I do say so myself!). There was no nagging  of “what are we doing today?” as everyone knew what fun was ahead. Based on that success, I have started the Summer Holiday List and thought I’d share some of the awesome holiday activities I’ve come across for kids living in Melbourne.

Bubble Dome workshops

Bubble Dome Education run a range of workshops to make tech-minded kids’ heads spin. It’s all about creativity in the digital world – 3D animation, app building, ‘claymation’ and movie making, fashion design, architecture and photography. The emphasis is on learning about a particular area of interest from start to finish. For example, in the Computer Animation & Games Design Course, kids will learn the secrets to creating a great game, use software to create 3D models and learn how to create simple animations. Workshops run for three days and start at $269 each. A number of the workshops are suitable for children aged six years and over however most are targeted at kids aged eight and over. Bubble Dome Education also run classes in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Sewing at Thread Den

Get crafty at Fitzroy’s uber-cool ‘sewing-lounge’, Thread Den. Running all sorts of sewing and craft classes for children aged six years and over, Thread Den knows what kids like from ‘Fun and Funky Brooches’ and ‘Make Your Own Softie’ to sew your own A-line skirt, shorts or sling bag. Thread Den also offers beginners sewing classes for kids who want to get the basics down pat. Classes run at various times between January 23 and 31 and begin at $45.

Behind the scenes at the zoo

Zoos Victoria have awesome ‘Zookeeper for a Day’ experiences for children aged between five and fourteen years old. Held at the Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, a day ‘behind-the-scenes’ includes opportunities to meet the animals up close, see areas of the Zoo not normally open to the public and take part in real zoo tasks such as food preparation for the animals, animal health checks and enclosure maintenance. The age suitability, program costs and dates vary between each zoo however the Melbourne Zoo Kids Go Wild program (for children aged between five and twelve) is $66 and runs every weekday of the school holidays.

Get in a Tangle at the Arts Centre

Kids at the Arts Centre have a huge range of activities suitable for all age groups but my favourites are Tangle and Instant Rockstar. Suitable for kids aged three to ten years, Tangle is an enormous, fun, messy experiment where kids and their families create a giant abstract tangled artwork by weaving coloured elastic through tall poles, accompanied by live music. Tangle is free and runs three times a day from January 18 to 22.

Older kids call the shots in their own music video with the Instant Rockstar workshop. Kids get the opportunity to create a song using lots of cool music samples and then use the track to make a music video. The best bit? They go home with a DVD of their work. Instant Rockstar is $22 a session and runs on various days between January 18 and June 16. It’s aimed at kids aged from eight to twelve.

ACMI in Space

You don’t have to be a big to make a movie! Kids from as young as four can enjoying free movie-making sessions at Kids in the Studio, part of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image holiday program. There are four sessions per day and Kids in the Studio runs from January 9 to January 27. This summer, the theme is Space Explorers so kids will be putting on space suits and firing up rockets for their space movie adventure.

Learn to surf

Lastly, enjoy a dose of  summer fun away from the city. For kids desperate to hit the beach, check out Go Ride A Wave surf lessons – I can strongly recommend Go Ride a Wave on the basis that they got me standing up on a board on day one of my surf lessons! Their SurfGroms classes are suitable for kids aged five to twelve years. Dates and times vary between locations but as an example, a four-day intensive course at Ocean Grove is $225.

Happy holidays to everyone and please let us know of other interesting things for kids that are happening during the summer!

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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