While kids look forward to flinging off the school uniform at the start of school holidays, it can often be a scary time for parents. Just how can you entertain them all day for two weeks? We’ve compiled a handy list of the best school holiday activities in your capital city that will have you prepared long before you hear the dreaded, but inevitable, whinging.
Although some kids may be too young to even recall the Olympics, kids of all ages will be able to join in the fun at Sydney Olympic Park, where a special Sydney 2000 Olympic Games 15th anniversary Kids in the Park program will operate from September 19 to October 5.
At the historic Newington Armory, budding triathletes can attend the Junior Triathlon Skills Camp. The camp, from September 22-23, will include games to entertain as well as teach triathlon skills. Peppa Pig will make a splash at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre for the Splash Festival on Sunday, September 27. Nature-lovers can meet the feathered residents of Sydney Olympic Park at the free Walk and Squawk tour of the BirdLife Discovery Centre and creative kids aged 10-15 will be able to let their imaginations run wild at the Media Literacy and Digital Filmmaking Workshop at Newington Armory. The Nickelodeon Slimefest is on September 25 with performances from The Veronicas, Samantha Jade and Timmy Trumpet – and lots of slime!
The book An Awesome Alliterated Alphabet will come to life inside The Nylon Zoo’s inflatable story theatre. Children and parents will enter a magical, alphabetic realm, where author Aunty Catie and The Nylon Zoo-keepers will immerse and enchant young readers and lovers of stories. Sessions last 45 minutes with shows on September 24-27 at the Northcote Town Hall, part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Enter the big top at O’Brien Group Arena at the Docklands when the ice rink transforms into a spectacular circus-themed skate-a-rama. Magicians and clowns will stop by between 11am-3pm every day of the school holidays. There will be face painting and the chance to try juggling, hula hoops and circus games on ice with free 15 minute lessons included with general admission.
Bricktober is a yearly family-friendly event that displays Lego models made by Lego fans in Western Australia. This year the event has moved to a bigger venue at the Cannington Exhibition Centre and Showgrounds and will be on for the end of the WA school holidays, October 10-11. There will be a ‘brickpit’ of Lego bricks to play with and Lego films shown on the big screen. Hosted by Ascot Rotary, tickets must be pre-purchased.
Steer and balance on a PonyCycle ride-on toy at the Westfield Carousel, Innaloo or Whitford City shopping centres. From September 28 to October 11, your child can hop on a horse, unicorn, zebra or tiger for 15 minutes for $6.
Adelaide City Council’s Super Little Heroes Sunday is at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre on September 27, 12-5pm. Part proceeds from entries on the day will be donated to the Little Heroes Foundation and activities include an inflatable fun run, volleyball and a best dressed competition.
The Botanic Gardens of South Australia will run holiday activities suitable for 5-12 year olds at the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Our pick is the nature dream catchers class, where you’ll make a dream catcher using leaves and berries found in the garden.
The Brisbane Festival has a load of family activities happening around the city, including a backyard cinema screening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at River Quay on September 20. There’s also the live show The Luck Child featuring David Collins from the Umbilical Brothers on at The Spiegeltent, September 22-15. It’s for ages 4-12.
Bring a little picnic and play like a penguin on Nutgrove Beach, Wednesday, September 23, 10-11.30am. Suited for children 2-5 years, they can have their face painted, listen to a penguin story and make a little penguin to play with at home. Meet at the Nutgrove Beach carpark, Sandy Bay.
For more school holiday ideas, make sure you check out all of our top 10 guides around Australia including Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Bendigo, Newcastle, Tasmania, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.