At the start of the school year I always feel like I am just hemorrhaging cash, term fees for dance, kinder gym, new school clothes etc etc. So for March’s Children’s Activities my focus is on free or cheap kids activities, that will be more helpful to those of us on a budget.
Note: This post doesn’t include any specific school holiday activities as I will have a separate post to cover those children’s activities in the coming weeks. (Term 1 ends in Victoria on Fri March 26.)
1. Hawthorn Velodrome
Hawthorn Velodrome is located at Reserve Road, Hawthorn and is freely accessible to the public. I took the children here a few weeks ago and we had a great time.
Apparently most velodromes have banking of between 30 degrees and 45 degrees, where as this one in Hawthorn has only about 5 degrees banking. My boys didn’t mind though and they thought it was great to be able to do laps around it.
2. My Place: In the classroom
Nadia Wheately is the author of the classic children’s book My Place and she will be appearing at the State Library of Victoria on Monday 1st March.
The children’s book and TV series My Place tells the stories of 13 children who have lived in the very same spot in Australia, from 2008 back to 1888. Hear author Nadia Wheatley read from the book, view clips from the series and discover the My Place for Teachers website . Developed by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in partnership with Curriculum Corporation, the site uses the TV series and book as a starting point for exploring Australia’s history in the classroom, featuring activities for Years 3 to 6 with links to English and Australian History.
Time: Mon 1 March, 6–7.15pm
Bookings: 03 8664 7099 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. St Kilda Busking Festival
The first St Kilda Busking Festival began in March 2009 and was a huge success amongst families, the local community & buskers.
In 2010 the festival is back bigger and better. It is a journey of fun and frivolity that discovers some of Melbourne’s hidden artists, playing live on the street for your free (donations always accepted) enjoyment. St Kilda has long been regarded as the artistic centre for performers, exhibitionists and general entertainers. The St Kilda Busking Festival turns Fitzroy Street, St Kilda Sea Baths and Acland Street into a live stage that delivers entertainment for children and adults alike.
Come down between 1pm and 4pm and catch a glimpse of St Kilda’s finest street performers including the king of rock himself -Elvis.
Fitzroy Street: 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 7th March, 14th March
St Kilda Sea Baths: 21st March, 28th March, 4th April, 11th April, 18th April
Acland Street: 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May, 16th May, 23rd May
4. Brendan and the Book of Kells (The Secret of Kells)
ACMI have fantastic kids flicks on each Sunday through out March. At $5 a ticket, it a fabulous bargain! Brendan and The Book of Kells is the pick of the bunch for me and is on:
- Sun 7 Mar 2010, 10.30am, 1pm
- Sun 14 Mar 2010, 10.30am, 1pm
And if like us you haven’t seen Where The Wild Things Are, you can see it for $5 a ticket in April.
Now you are probably thinking there is no way that Moomba is cheap or free, but there is actually a lot more to Moomba that the rides and the clowns. There are a number of great free activities for the kids including:
- Rock up to scouting – free family activity open to girls and boys aged four years and older. 06/03/2010 to 08/03/2010 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Children’s Garden presented by Ranger Roo – There is so much on offer here, so check the program for full details. But here is a quick summary:
You and your kids will be thoroughly entertained with some great live shows on the garden main stage. See circus performers, hilarious children’s theatre, enchanting puppet shows and, of course, appearances by Parks Victoria’s Ranger Roo.
Relax with storytelling, make fabulous badges or transform yourself into a butterfly or a tiger with fun face painting.
Make some farm yard friends when you visit the garden – say hello to lambs, piglets, goats, guinea pigs and more.
6. School Fair
Disclosure: This is my kids school fair! So if you do come along, please stop by the craft stall and say hello to me. I will be working there for most of the day!
The Our Holy Redeemer School Fair is on Saturday 20th March from 12pm – 8pm at 311 Mont Albert Rd, Surrey Hills.
- For the kids there will be: Chair-o-plane, Big Slide, Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Crazy Hair, Nails and Tatoos, Mini Golf, Handball and Skittles and more.
- For the adults: Bar!, Silent Auction, Amazing Preserves, Fabulous Craft!!, Second Hand Stall and more.
7. Ride2School Day
Ride2School Day is part of the Ride2School Program which is a behaviour change program aimed to increase the number of students walking and riding to school. Run by Bicycle Victoria and being held on Wednesday 17th March, you can register your school to receive a free National Ride2School Day Kit.
Sporstsworks is a permanent exhibition at Scienceworks and is a favourite with primary aged kids.
Take the sporting challenge at Sportsworks and learn all about the science behind moving your body.
Race Cathy Freeman. Test your skill as an extreme snowboarder or a soccer goalkeeper. Measure your fitness and discover your personal sporting profile.
9. National Rhododendron Gardens – Free Family Fun Day
The National Rhododendron Gardens is having a Family Fun Day on Tues 30th March from open 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Gardens in The Georgian Road, Olinda, are just an hour’s drive from the heart of Melbourne (Melway ref: 66 K6).
Interact with animals and learn about nature at this Free Family Fun Day.
The event promises to be a fun-packed day out for the family with games, activities and giveaways.
Ranger Roo will be there to greet visitors as well as Melbourne’s famous Possum Lady.
There will be gardening demonstrations, a guided walk and creatures from the wild.
Set amongst the gorgeous Rhododendron Gardens the Free Family Fun Day is a fun day out for kids… and adults!
For entry to the gardens on other days:
Spring (including Garden Explorer)
Adult $11.20 Concession $9.00
Child (under 15 free) $5.60
Family (2A + 3C) $28.00
10. Earth Hour
I realise that this is now a controversial event, with many environmental activists questioning its effectiveness. Last year there was much “discussion” on Twitter about this. This year Earth Hour is from 8.30 – 9.30pm on Saturday, 27 March 2010. I still like to participate in this event as a family and like to use it as a way to discuss our footprint on the earth with the kids.