School holiday activities for kids and families

From the 21st of September to the 4th of October 2015, children across Victoria take a well-deserved break from school and kinder to enjoy the freedom and fun of the Spring school holidays.

However, little minds and active bodies rarely take a break, so here is a list of some exciting (and some free!) school holiday activities on offer around town.

Science and technology

Scienceworks is a popular school holiday destination, especially with its current exhibit Tyrannosaurs, with a full program of school holiday activities. Jump down the rabbit hole into a magical, bizarre and fascinating world of illusion and mystery with Alice in Wonderland or explore the future with the exhibit Think Ahead.

Arts and culture

At ACMI, Kids’ Flicks has a fun-filled program of captivating movies for children and adults alike for $7 each. Entry to ACMI’s Australian Mediatheque  is free and it has tons of hands-on activities to keep little fingers busy.

Discover fun ways to explore the exhibitions and gardens at the Heide Museum of Modern Art kids activities, including free printable school holiday activities designed especially for kids.

NGV presents a range of specially developed artist projects, programs and publications for children and families these school holidays. Discover the creativity behind stop-motion animation and Australian car design, or learn to craft unique accessories with the makers from Melbourne’s Thread Den sewing lounge. Contemporary art collective Tromarama presents Open House, where familiar domestic scenes from the kitchen to the courtyard are embellished with spectacular displays of furnishings and interactive experiences to delight and surprise children as they venture from one room to the next.

The Arts Centre Melbourne features performances of a range of amazing shows, including Carnival of the Animals and The Teensy Top, with tickets from $12. Paper Planet by Polygot Theatre provides a world to go wild in with creatures, vines and flowers… all made of paper, and free of charge!

The Melbourne Fringe Festival offers a bunch of kid friendly shows, including Battlefield Blues, a roving, interactive, outdoor, comedy adventure show about chess pieces for children over eight at the Abbotsford Convent.

Nature and animals

If it’s nature you crave, join the City of Melbourne Park Rangers for summer fun and adventure in the CBD’s beautiful and historic parks and gardens. Suitable for children aged 5 to 12 years, this environmental program incorporates arts and craft, guided walks and story telling. It’s free but bookings are essential.

Visit the miniature Tudor village and fairy tree at Fitzroy Gardens then stop by Cooks’ Cottage for the ‘How Does YOUR Garden Grow?’ holiday program, which includes a fun workshop session where kids make their very own grass buddy.

Royal Botanic Gardens’ Children’s Garden is a delightful way to spend some time with nature.

Enjoy a slice of country life in the city at Bundoora Park or the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

The Seeing Eye Dogs Australia’s Paw-some School Holiday Program is a unique school holiday program. Children can view Seeing Eye Puppies playing in their very own Puppy Play Centre, interact with dogs in training and tour the home of these very special dogs teaching them about the important role that these Seeing Eye Dogs will play in the community.

General entertainment

Federation Square‘s School Holiday Program is jam-packed program with activities throughout the holidays, including giant board games, a book caravan with music and stories, outdoor cinema, meditation, illustration and dance workshops. Many of these are free.

There are all kinds of worlds to explore at the annual Royal Melbourne Show from September 19 to 29.

The popular Gasworks‘ Kids Holiday Program offers creative and entertaining experiences for children aged 4 to 14 with a range of energetic artists and performers.


Most local libraries across Victoria are offering free school holiday programs, so visit your local council website to find out more.

In the city, the State Library of Victoria’s free play pod for children under eight is packed with school holiday activities to read, create and play while older kids can experience the heritage and magnificent architecture of this Melbourne treasure.

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