It’s not easy finding school holiday activities to keep the kids entertained, especially during the last few weeks. 12WBT have put together a state-by-state list filled with ideas for the whole family, from educational outings to fun in the sun, wherever you are in Australia this summer.
Let Off Steam
Adults enter at children’s prices at the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich. Until February 2, kids can enjoy hands-on activities with Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller, or they can get active with circus fun and play in the indoor adventure playground.
Experience contemporary cultures through interactive exhibitions designed especially for kids at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art Children’s Art Centre. It’s a leader in developing interactive projects and activities for families.
Just an hour and 20 minutes away from Brisbane, the Gold Coast is the school holiday activities capital this summer. Surfers Paradise is perfect for beach days, and head to Sea World or Warner Bros Movie World for some serious fun!
New South Wales
The Ultimate Sleepover
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, stay at Taronga Zoo’s campsite and enjoy views of Sydney Harbour on one side and lions, snow leopards and meerkats on the other. Wake up to the roar of a lion or an elephant trumpeting and go behind the scenes on zoo tours.
Roar & Snore runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night throughout the year, as well as every night during NSW school holidays.
The Perfect Picnic
Pack the esky with healthy food and drink and bring a rug to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain. There are plenty of shady spots to relax and play in, surrounded by Sydney Harbour’s million-dollar view. Bring the kids’ bicycles and rollerblades too – they can use them in the Domain (but not in the Royal Botanic Gardens).
Wet’n’Wild Sydney is the world’s biggest water park, featuring world-first attractions and interactive ride technology. With more than 40 slides and attractions, including adrenalin-pumping action and a whole zone dedicated to little water adventurers, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.
The Collingwood Children’s Farm is just 5km from Melbourne, on the bend of the Yarra. It’s open every day, and children can feed the animals, milk a cow or help with farm chores. Entry for a family of up to six people costs just $16.
The farm runs a great school holiday program for kids between 10 and 16 years old.
Under the Sea
Melbourne’s Sea Life Aquarium lets you get up close to everything from crocs to sharks and stingrays. Check out the Seahorse Nursery, watch the penguins slip’n’slide at Penguin Playground and don’t miss fish feeding time.
The Enchanted Maze Garden is an award-winning attraction nestled in the beautiful hinterland of Arthurs Seat, on the Mornington Peninsula. Play in the park, enjoy a picnic, go tree surfing or tube sliding or get lost in the famous outdoor and indoor 3D maze. And it’s all less than a one-hour drive from Melbourne.
Pick a Pod
Let the kids go crazy exploring the magical Pod Playground at the National Arboretum, where they’ll discover acorn-shaped cubby houses connected by rope tunnels and tube slides. There are climbing nets for the littlies, as well as music-making activities. With 94 forests of rare and symbolic trees, join a free, guided walk and learn about the Arboretum.
At Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, you can freefall down a six-metre slide, go head over heels on a 360 Swing and star in a Spectacular Science Show. With more than 200 hands-on exhibits, the whole family can have fun and learn something new.
Salamanca Market (which takes place on Saturdays) is the famous home to some of the finest produce in Tasmania. If your kids are budding mini-chefs, this is a great way to sample local food, as well as arts and crafts.
Into the Caves
Visiting Hastings Caves is a unique experience for the whole family. Take a dip in the thermal springs or explore Newdegate Cave, which formed tens of millions of years ago.
Adelaide Zoo is home to the only pandas in the southern hemisphere. Visit Wang Wang and Funi, take a free walkabout tour around the zoo or go behind the scenes to get within a whisker of the big cats.
Looking for something to keep your teens amused? Take them kite surfing at Largs Bay, where the whole family can learn safely from accredited instructors. The water is shallow, making this the perfect spot for beginners.
Get Your Skates On!
Keep cool this summer at Cockburn Ice Arena – Perth’s largest ice sports venue with a full Olympic-sized rink. During school holidays enjoy ‘Snow Days’ and free learn-to-skate demonstrations.
Lake Alexander is one of Darwin’s most popular relaxation spots for locals and visitors. It has plenty of picnic and BBQ areas, a playground for the kids and a sandy beach that’s safe to swim in all year round.
There’s a multitude of incredible walking and bike paths around Darwin. Take in the costal area or the mangrove forests, where you might spot a croc or two.
Your Say: Where have your kids enjoyed going this summer holidays? Share your tips below in the comment box.