10 Children’s Activities For June / July School Holidays In Melbourne

Anyone else counting down the days until school holidays???? In Victoria the last day of school for term 2 is Friday 25th June, about three weeks away and I for one am very much looking forward to it. As always there is so much on offer in Melbourne that you can do with the kids that is low cost or free.

(All images are from their respective sources.)

1. Serendip Sanctuary School Holiday Program

Serendip Sanctuary School Holiday Program
Serendip Sanctuary is located at 100 Windermere Road in Lara, off the Princes Highway, 60 km from Melbourne. It is signposted from the major roads in the vicinity (Melways ref: 423 D2).

Specially designed bird hides enable you to see some of the 150 species of birds which breed at or visit Serendip Sanctuary. The 227 hectare sanctuary, an excellent example of the open grassy woodlands and wetlands of the volcanic Western Plains, is the perfect place to learn about and experience birdlife and wetlands ecology.

It is free to visit the sanctuary and there is fabulous resources available for self guided tours – Serendip Sanctuary Visitors Guide – PDF. They also have an impressive collection of activities listed that align to the Victorian Education Learning Standards (VELS) which can be found on the Parks Victoria Education Page.

Serendip Sanctuary also offers a school holiday program for children as well:
Behind the Scenes: Join us on an exclusive behind the scenes tour of feeding Serendip’s animals.
Bookings: Essential. Please phone Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963
Cost: Individual activities cost $5.50 per child or get all four activities for the price of three ($16.50).
Date: Every day.
Time: Various from 10am – 4pm

2. Trick or Treat Magic School

The Melbourne Magic Festival is on again this school holidays from June 28 to July 10 at Northcote Town Hall. There is a huge range of shows and activites for both children and adults, so check out the website for full details. My pick of the bunch is the Trick or Treat Magic School:

This interactive workshop brings kids into the world of magic, and teaches them how to perform some dazzling magic tricks.

Kids love the wonders of a magic show and in the workshop some easy but effective magic tricks will be taught to the children.

Plenty of helpful tips and coaching are given to the children as they practice and learn magic.

Time: 12.30pm (50 minute class)
Dates: Monday June 28 to Friday July 2 and Monday July 5 to Friday July 9
Cost: Adults $5, Kids $14, Family (2+2) $30. Special prices for groups of ten or more and can be made by calling (03) 9499 4706.
Bookings: Can be made online here.

3. Federation Square School Holiday Program

There is a number of free activities at Federation Square during the June/July school holidays:
Puppets at Fed Square
Federation Square is set to come alive with a children’s puppet playground during the winter school holidays, with a week long program of puppet shows, roving performances, workshops, films and parades.
Date: 5 – 11 July 2010
Cost: Free

NGV Kids Corner
The NGV Kids Corner is a free space for children and their families to enjoy creative installations and activities designed just for them. Note that the Kids Corner is closed Mondays.

The Light In Winter
I took the kids along last year to the and they loved it. Last year there was an interactive installation that the kids could walk around and explore the light and sounds. This year’s program features:

From large-scale light installations, projections and torch-led tours to Indigenous storytelling and Sudanese hip-hop, The Light in Winter celebrates the warmth of our community and shared cultural experiences.

Date: Runs from 4th June – 4th July.
Cost: Free

4. Holiday Heroes – The Round Ball Game

The National Sports Museum is located at the MCG which means it is easily accessible by public transport. Trains to either Richmond or Jolimont stations will get you within a very short walk of the museum. With the World Cup on during these holidays they have the beautiful game as its focus for the school holiday program. Lots of activities including:

10am–3pm: Make and Take: colour-in and making your own foosball man
12.30pm: A 15 minute show by FREESTYLERS trick star Soccer skills
1.00pm: Repeat of Freestylers Show
1.00pm: AFL/NRL or A-League stars appear in Game On
1.30pm: A 20 minute show with guest footballer called “It’s a…It’s a….GOAL”
2.00pm: Challenge a Champ – take on the sports stars in a game of table foosball.

Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Date: Monday June 28 – Friday July 2 and Monday July 5 – Friday July 9
Cost: $7.50 for adults, $4.00 for kids aged 5 -15 and under 5’s are free.

5. ACMI free films and green screen workshops

To coincide with Tim Burton: The Exhibition, the school holiday program at ACMI this winter is also Tim Burton inspired.

Kids Flicks – Tim Burton’s Slightly Spooky Stories
Frankenweenie (30 mins, USA, 1984) is Burton’s re-interpretation of the tale of Frankenstein and his first live action short film (and the basis for his next feature film).

Screens with Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (44 mins, USA, 1984). Both works feature the unique talent of actress Shelly Duvall.

Total running time: 74 mins
Dates and Times:Mon 28 Jun 2010 – Fri 2 Jul 2010, 11am, Sat 3 Jul 2010, 11.15am, Mon 5 Jul 2010 – Fri 9 Jul 2010, 11am and Sat 10 Jul 2010, 11.15am
Cost: Free

Kids in the Studio

Using the magic of green screen technology and our state-of-the-art studio, you’ll have a rare opportunity to journey down the rabbit hole to a magical and mysterious world and immerse yourself in the actual sets from Alice in Wonderland!

Sessions run for 45 minutes and start at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Please register for your preferred session on the day.

It recommended for children between the ages of 5 to12. As the children create a group performance there is waiting involved. Older children will be better able to wait and appreciate watching the activity going on – my littlest one found this quite difficult when we did this last year! Also we actually couldn’t wait to come back and see our film as it was too much for the little ones. The older children loved the experience of working with the green screen and have asked to do it again these holidays.

Dates: Mon 28 Jun – Fri 2 Jul 2010, 11am-3pm and Mon 5 Jul – Fri 9 Jul 2010, 11am-3pm
Location: Studio 1
Admission: Free
Bookings: Can only be made in person on the day.

6. Potato People and Pumpkin Soup!

The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens has two activities for this winter’s school holidays.

Potato People
It’s time to plant potatoes! Come and hear the Potato People story, get into some potato gardening and make your own potato friend to take home.

Ages: Suitable for children aged 5 – 8 years, adult participation is required.
When: 10am – 11am 30 June, 2 and 8 July
Where: The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden Meet at the Visitor Centre, Observatory Gate
Cost: $12 per child
Bookings/enquiries: Tel: (03) 9252 2429 Bookings required.

Pumpkin Soup
What happens when a cat, a squirrel and a duck make soup? Find out in the enchanting story of Pumpkin Soup. Follow the trail where Duck might have gone, then help plant a winter vegetable soup garden and plant your own vegetable to take home. Finally, warm up with a delicious cup of hot pumpkin soup and a bread roll.

Ages: Suitable for children aged 3 – 5 years; adult participation is required.
When: 11am – 12.15pm , 29 June, 1 and 6 July
Where: The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden. Meet at the Visitor Centre, Observatory Gate
Cost: $15 per child and $5 per adult
Bookings/enquiries: Tel: (03) 9252 2429. Bookings required

This year the Children’s Garden will close on Monday 12 July and re-open on Wednesday 8 September so it is your last chance to visit for a few months.

7. Gasworks Winter School Holiday Program

Each school holidays Gasworks has a fantastic school holiday program with a diverse range of activities and a range of costs, so families can easily find something that suits their needs. My boys loved the swordfighting workshop they attended a couple of years ago and earlier this year they did a writing workshop and photography workshop which they both enjoyed.

Some highlights from this winter’s program are:

8. Cool Cars and Amazing Meccano

Our Cool Cars and Amazing Meccano display will rev up your 2010 Winter School Holidays. Try your hand at being a mechanic by putting a miniature panel car together as well as looking over some amazing Meccano models. Or check out up to 50 cool cars like the Enzo Ferrari. To see the fantastic displays and demonstrations of the Melbourne Meccano Club or use our activity sheets as you walk through the car collection you just arrive – no bookings necessary. If you want to build a mini panel car then you must make a booking.

The website advises that a small amount of walking is required to view the exhibited vehicles. The cars are housed in a 2-storey building. Therefore visitors will be required to negotiate stairs (24 steps) to view the remainder of the vehicles on the first floor. And also that due to the ongoing maintenance program of vehicles there may be times when some cars of particular interest are not exhibited.

Dates: Monday 28 June – Wednesday 30 June and Monday 5 July – Wednesday 7 July
Times: 10am to 2pm. Allow an hour and more for your visit
Location: Fox Classic Car Collection 749 – 755 Collins Street. (cnr Batman’s Hill Drive & Collins Street) Docklands Vic 3008 Ph: 9620 4086
Melways: Map 2E, reference H7
Cost: Adult: $10, Child:$5 holiday special, accompanied by an adult, 14 years and under, Concession: $8, Family: $25 (2x adults, 2x children). No extra cost for the panel car building activity.

Other than the cool cars for the kids to look at there are the following activities:
To build a mini panel car
Car building sessions are at 10.30am and 12.30pm each day we are open for the winter school holidays – see above dates
Duration: It takes about 30 – 40 minutes to build a mini car
Ages: Suitable for 10 to 13 year olds.
Children must have adult supervision for the car build activity
Bookings: Limited vacancies Ph: 03 9620 4086/ 5 to make a booking or email admin@foxcollection.org.au. Supply your contact details so they can confirm a car build time with you.
Notes: Arrive 5 minutes before the car building activity time. Booking times will be forfeited for those who do not arrive at their pre booked time.

Meccano exhibition
The Melbourne Meccano Club will be exhibiting some of their fantastic creations. Owners of the exhibits will demonstrate their amazing models.
Bookings: No bookings required.
Notes: Entrance for children only with adult supervision.

9. School Holidays the Old Fashioned Way

For a day, kids can step back in time and live the life of a 19th century child as they get involved with our detectives workshop, guided garden tour and old fashioned games. Children begin the session by learning about the modern everyday utensils of the Victorian age. The little detectives decipher these strange looking objects and understand their importance and vital necessity in a time long ago.

After learning about the 19th century technologies, children will be given the opportunity to explore the garden with a Como gardener, then let off some steam on the croquet lawn, experiencing the games that children played in the olden days. A variety of games are offered and may include quoits, skittles, croquet, egg & spoon races, badmitton and skipping rope.

Dates: Olden Days- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 29th June, 1st July, 6th July and 8th July (10:00-1:00 or 1:00-4:00)
Costs: $10 per child per session.
Bookings: Advance booking is required. 9827 2500 or como@nattrust.com.au como@nattrust.com.au
Venue: Como Historic House and Garden, Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra

10. Wombat Stew

Based on the book by Marcia K. Vaughan & Pamela Lofts Stage adaption and lyrics by Gary Young
Original Score by Paul Keelan, Wombat Stew is being presented by Garry Ginivan Attractions this school holidays at Whitehorse Centre in Nunawading.

A brand new Aussie musical for kids! First published in 1984, Wombat Stew is a modern day phenomenon in children’s literature, which has sold more than 350,000 copies Australia-wide. The simple story of a dingo who catches a wombat and decides to make wombat stew, has been cleverly developed into a ‘true-blue-dinky-di-big-aussie-musical’ complete with blobs of mud, very fine feathers, creepy crawlies, gum-nuts and a big bubbling billy can!

Date and Time: Satruday 26 JUNE @ 10AM & 12PM
Cost: Single $15 Family Ticker (4 or more) $13 EACH
Age: Suitable for children aged 2 – 8 years
Bookings: Can be made online here