10 Children’s Activities For March / April School Holidays In Melbourne 2011

Click here for April school holidays 2012.

1. Melbourne International Comedy Festival – Children’s Shows

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 24th March to 18th April. There are a number of family shows during the school holidays including:

Melbourne Comedy Festival Children's Show

John Johnson and Rodney the Elephant are an incredible duo. Together they travel the world, delighting audiences with their colourful stage show.

One problem. Rodney’s gone missing.

A one man spectacular using little words, a little mayhem and a little help from the audience. John Johnson’s search for Rodney is both touching and hilarious. Can you help him find Rodney?

An interactive performance for all ages, RODNEY. MISSING. runs from Tues to Sun at 2pm from 27 March – 11 April. Performances are at the Melbourne Town Hall (Lower Town Hall) and the show goes fro 45 minutes. Tickets are $15 full, $12 concession and $12 for groups 6 or more. Online bookings can be made here.

The Big Laugh Out
The Big Laugh Out starts Easter Weekend and is on every Friday night from 5.30pm and Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2.30pm. Located at Federation Square and completely free there is a blend of international and local performers with a leaning towards the acrobatic.

Stars of the stage include French Canadian performance group Les Vitaminés, the utterly hilarious pair of acrobats, Sébastien Tardif and Vincent Dubé who have made it their mission to dazzle people of all ages with their extraordinary technical abilities and unique circus feats.

2. Stop-Motion Animation

ACMI are running their Kid’s In The Studio school holiday program again these holidays. The theme is creating your own “wild thing” to coincide with the screening of Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are. The movie is being shown Sun 4 Apr 2010, 10.30am, 1pm and Sun 11 Apr 2010, 10.30am, 1pm – all tickets $5.

At these studio sessions kids can make their own animation, like the one you can see made by our children a while ago. My kids loved the experience of creating a character, developing their story line and then being responsible for moving the characters to create the animation. The Kids In The Studio sessions run from Mon 29 Mar – Thu 1 Apr 2010, 12pm-4pm and Tue 6 Apr – Fri 9 Apr 2010, 12pm-4pm. These sessions are free and no booking fee is required.

3. The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden – Garden Treasure Keepers

RBG Children's Garden

Explore some of the treasures of the garden, like seeds, flowers, bark and leaves. Collect your own garden treasure and then decorate a treasure collection box. Sow a collection of seeds to take home and grow.

The Garden Treasure Keepers program is on Tues 30 March, Wed 31 March, Wed 7 April and Thu 8 April from 10 – 11.30am.

These sessions are suitable for children aged 4 – 8 years and adults are required to remain in the garden and participate. The cost is $12 per child. Bookings are required and can be made by ringing (03) 9252 2429.

4. The Gruffalo

I love the story of The Gruffalo! Last year our preschooler received both The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child as a birthday present from a dear friend. If you haven’t read the book, be sure to check out when you are at the library next.

Tall Stories’ Production of The Gruffalo
has been described as:

“funny, charming and smart…brings the house down” Sydney Morning Herald

This whimsical, imaginative show is pitched at just the right level for three to seven-year-olds, as well as the big ones they have brought along with them. clever storytelling… enchanting characterisation… a rare treat that really is for all the family. The Scotsman

Tickets are $22.00 standard, $20.00 for groups 6 or more and children under 2 (Babes in Arms) admitted free when held on the lap of a parent or guardian. The show has a running time of approx 50 mins (no interval). At the time of writing there were still tickets available for the 12pm and 2pm shows on Mon 29th March and 10am and 12pm on Thu 1st Apr. Tickets can be purchased on line here.

5. National Sports Museum

The National Sports Museum is located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Brunton Avenue in Richmond, within the confines of Yarra Park. You can access the Museum via Gate 3. I haven’t been to the Sports Musuem yet, so would love to hear from you if you have been and what you thought of it.

The Autumn School Holiday program is called Fast Lane and will be open Mon to Fri from March 29 – April 9. Cost of the program is included in the entry fee to the museum. Admission prices are $15 adult, $11 concession, $8 children 5 – 15, under 5’s free and $50 family (2 adults and 4 children).

The Fast Lane will provide heaps of entertainment for all ages, including the car driving qualifier, make your own car badges, photo opportunities, trivia treasure rally, performers and performance and the NEW “Who am I” game show – Helmet Heads.

The exhibition gallery will also be displaying a brand new exhibition that celebrates the very essence of Motor Racing.

6. The Arts Centre – Picture Us

School Hoidays Melbourne Arts Centre Picture Us

The Arts Centre is presenting Picture Us from 30 Mar – 3 Apr 2010 at BlackBox. (Located right next to EQ Cafe Bar opposite the Yarra river.) The sessions run from 10am – 11am & 12pm – 1pm and are free. Recommended ages are from 3 – 12 years old.

Have your headshots taken in our specially designed photobooth and build your family portrait with our wacky collection of body parts to become part of a marvellous mural of diverse and wonderful families. When you’re done, we’ll take a photograph of your family portrait so you can take it home!

7. Card Making and Scrapbooking Classes

An introduction to card making and scrap booking for the younger crafter. Plenty of examples and new ideas to try out, all materials are provided.

The card making session is on Wed 31 March from 10am – 11.30am or 1pm – 2.30pm and the scrapbooking sessions are on Wed 7 April from 10am – 11.30am or 1pm – 2.30pm. Cost $20. The venue for the sessions is 16 Hewitts Road, Carnegie and for further details you can contact Paula on 9569 4561 or 0420 217 740.

8. Painting A Family Canvas

Family Canvas

Last year I took all five kids, to the Box Hill Community Arts Centre and we painted the above family canvas. We had a fabulous time at our session (even if the lead up was a little rough). Here is a snippet from my post:

Although definitely no masterpiece, I adore this canvas. To me it represents our family at this moment in time and how we operate together. Of course we didn’t need to book into a centre to paint a family canvas, but I think that if we had tried this in the home environment we would have had such a different result. I think I may have contrived the situation more, would have made them paint one at a time as opposed to altogether and there would have been more distractions for the kids.

BHAC have a range of fun activities for kids over this holidays, which is includes sessions for families to paint a canvas together or make a clay bird bath.

9. Immigration Museum – Customs Detective

Spot clues, solve puzzles and choose your own adventure in the Old Customs House.

Take inspiration from the story of John Christie and become a Customs Detective.

This activity offers the opportunity to follow a special printed trail through the museum. By answering questions and spotting clues children can discover the story of the Old Customs House. Try the Senior Customs Detective hunt and find objects hidden in each of the galleries.

This is a self-guided activity – children must be accompanied by an adult.

Museum’s Victoria offer excellent value for money. Adults are $8, Concessions and Children free entry. (Additional charges may apply for temporary exhibitions.) The Customs Detective school holiday program runs from 27 Mar – 11 Apr 2010 (closed Good Friday) between 10am to 5pm.

10. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Jams – Federation Square

MSO Jams are a free jam session suitable for all ages. They will be held at BMW Edge at Federation Square on Tuesday, 30 March 2.00pm, Wednesday 31 March, 11.00am and 2.00pm and Thursday 1 April, 11.00am and 2.00pm.

Beat school holiday boredom and enjoy a free jam session with members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra!

Over the course of an hour, participants will develop an original piece of music, using whatever instruments and ‘sound-makers’ are to hand. Voices, instruments, hands and feet, newspapers, chopsticks and other paraphernalia will be put to musical use in this afternoon workshop for families. The workshop culminates in a performance by participants, which is open to the general public.

I for one am very much looking forward to the school holidays and will be aiming for some fun, some play and some rest! Enjoy yourself, what ever you do.