Have a case of cabin fever as the school holidays near an end? Or perhaps you’ve run of out ideas for keeping the kids occupied? Take a deep breath, pop the kettle on and relax; we’ve got a few school holiday ideas that you can squeeze into this break, or pencil in for future school holidays. And best of all, every idea is 100 per cent kid-approved.
From animal encounters to underground caves and swinging jazz sessions, you’ll never be stuck wondering what to do in the school holidays ever again.
Keeper For A Day at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, NSW
What child hasn’t dreamed of growing up and becoming a zoo keeper? We’re guessing not many, which is why Taronga Zoo’s Keeper for a Day program is one of the coolest school holiday activities in Sydney. From learning about the responsibilities of a keeper, to meeting and feeding the animals, and understanding the important role zoos play in wildlife conservation, this is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s both educational and fun. And it sure beats another trip to the movies!
Scienceworks in Melbourne, VIC
With a rotating roster of exhibitions that are innovative and challenging, it’s hard to top Melbourne’s Scienceworks when it comes to an awesome school holiday program. And the latest line-up of activities is no different, with a focus on engineering. Kids will be able to get their hands dirty as they design, test and build machines, and learn how pistons work. On top of that there’s the Lightning Room, Planetarium and Sportsworks (with the Cathy Freeman race simulation), which are always a hit with the young and even young at heart.
South Bank Parklands in Brisbane, QLD
If you’re looking for some school holiday fun that’s guaranteed to tire out the kids, head straight to South Bank Parklands, located on the edge of the Brisbane River. 17 acres of green space await, as do three different water play areas, two playgrounds, a rainforest garden, bike paths and barbecues. This school holidays there are free Easter-inspired arts and crafts event, and the Xpress Fun Train will be picking up passengers for a scenic loop around the parklands. All aboard for a fun time!
Adelaide Gaol in Adelaide, SA
The historic Adelaide Gaol has long been a popular choice when it comes to entertaining the kids, and the thrilling activity running these school holidays look set to continue the trend. Offering children the opportunity to solve mysteries and crack codes in order to escape imprisonment, the Adelaide Gaol Escape Trail is a completely immersive and interactive prison experience. Mugshots are taken, there’s a bunch of clues hidden around the gaol, and it’s up to the kids to figure out the escape route – if they’re lucky that is.
Questacon in Canberra, ACT
It’s a rite of passage for any kid growing up in Canberra, and a must-visit for first-time visitors to the nation’s capital. Questacon, also known as The National Science and Technology Centre, is the ultimate educational playground – a place of experimenting, learning, inventing and having fun. Highlights include the six-metre-high Free Fall, Earthquake Lab and the Rototron. Questacon also run a range of hands-on holiday workshops that involve everything from building submarines to coding robots. Set aside a whole day for Questacon, the kids are going to need it.
Hastings Cave and Thermal Springs near Hobart, TAS
In Tassie and stuck for things to do in the school holidays? Why not hit the road and check out Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs. About a 90-minute drive out of Hobart, the Hastings Caves State Reserve is an incredible labyrinth of underground dolomite caves that formed millions of years ago. Guided tours offer the chance to explore this super cool subterranean landscape, and if you pack your bathers you can take a dip in the toasty 28-degree thermal springs afterwards. After all, who said the school holidays can’t be relaxing?
Aquascene in Darwin, NT
These school holidays, let the kids get up close and personal with some slippery new friends at one of Darwin’s most unique experiences, Aquascene. Every day at high tide, on the shoreline of Doctors Gully, hundreds of fish appear in search of a free meal. This feeding frenzy first began in the 1950s, and it now lures milkfish, mullet, bream and cod – plus a large crowd of humans – into the shallows. Trays of bread are provided, and the fish will happily allow themselves to be hand-fed.
Jazz For Juniors at West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra in Perth, WA
Got a mini Mozart on your hands? Then why not send them off to the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra’s incredible school holiday program: Jazz for Juniors. This two-day event, which often sells out weeks in advance (so bookmark this one for future school holidays), is aimed at kids aged between four and seven. In a concert-style forum they’ll be introduced to jazz music, meet musicians and try a range of instruments that have been specially designed for small hands. Just don’t be surprised if it inspires them to form their very own jazz band.