School Holiday Activities Melbourne December & January (2010/11)

This list of fabulous kids’ activities is for December 2010 and January 2011. I usually only preview 10 activities, but as it covers two months I have included more than that – there is just too much low cost or free fun to be had in Melbourne this summer!

Spirit of the Square

School Holiday Activities Melbourne
Fed Square is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. This Christmas they have a host of kids’ activities celebrating Christmas ranging community choirs and an ever-changing light display on the Christmas tree to quirky stencil animals peeking out from around the Square. You can see full details of these activities at the Fed Square website.

For something a little different try taking along your deckchairs, picnic blankers and watching a Christmas Film with the kids on the big screen.
Location: Big Screen, Federation Square
Cost: Free
Dates and times: Gremlins: Friday 17 December, 7pm
The Christmas Toy: Saturday 18 December, 3pm
The Grinch: Thursday 23 December, 6pm
Website: Federations Square

New Year Eve Melbourne

Kids Activities New Years Eve Melbourne
In 2010, the City of Melbourne will again be hosting the Family Festival. Kicking off at 6pm, Peter Rowsthorn will MC the event and will be joined on stage by Guy Sebastian, Ben 10, The Fabulous Fat Brothers, Yo Gabba Gabba!, the Bongo Brothers and the Rhythm Runners.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, Cricket Victoria and Melbourne Heart FC (my football team, but our boys are Victory fans!) will be on hand to keep the kids busy, while roving entertainment, carnival rides and face painting are sure to please children of all ages before the early fireworks display at 9.15pm.

Public transport will be free on New Year’s Eve from 6pm and families are encouraged to leave their cars at home and travel to the Family Festival via the Richmond or Jolimont train stations, or the tram routes that service the MCG.

Date and Time: New Years Eve, Dec 31 from 6pm
Location: Yarra Park, surrounding the MCG
Cost: FREE!
Ages: All ages entertainment
Website: New Year’s Eve Melbourne

The Balinese Princess and The Funky Monkey

School Holiday Activities Melbourne The Balinese Princess

Deep in the heart of the tropical Balinese forest, lives the little Princess Ayu and her best-friend, Kren – the cheekiest monkey on the island. When Ayu’s mother passes away, she and Kren must save the magical kingdom and the lovable forest monkeys from the terrible fiery mountain before its too late!

Session Date and Times:
Tuesday 11 Jan 2011 – 1pm, 3.15pm, 6pm
Wednesday 12 Jan 2011 – 1pm, 3.15pm, 6pm
Thursday 13th Jan 2011 – 1pm, 3.15pm, 6pm
Friday 14th Jan 2011 – 1pm, 3.15pm, 6pm
Saturday 15th Jan 2011 = 1pm, 3.15pm, 6pm
Location: Melbourne City Conference Centre (MCCC) Cnr Swanston St. and Little Lonsdale St. Melbourne
A Reserve – Single Ticket $30 Family Deluxe (4 tickets) $100
B Reserve – Single Ticket $25 Family Deluxe (4 tickets) $88

Group Bookings – over 10 tickets ($20 per ticket).
Please call Booking Office on (03) 9531 4215 or through TRYBOOKING

Note: Babes in arms that are under the age of 12 months do not require a ticket. A sound proof viewing parents room is available if your child becomes restless and also to respect the viewing enjoyment of other patrons. Please also note there is no room for strollers or prams at the venue to comply with OHS (Occupational, Health & Safety) regulations.
Ages: Family
Website: The Balinese Princess and the Funky Monkey

The Very Bad Book

Adapted from The Very Bad Book, written by award-winning Australian author Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton, The Very Bad Show is an extravaganza of side-splitting stories, filled with the irreverent humour that children love.

Kids of all ages (grown ups have been known to indulge in sneaky laughs too) will delight in this fast paced show, which features puppets, dolls, projections, film, jokes, riddles, and scary bits, not to mention bad singing, bad acting, bad dancing and bad stories, all told by very bad characters.

Author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton have tapped into the brains of children the world over, and delivered a feast of rude, funny, silly and imaginative characters, jokes and scenarios, out of which theatre director Lynne Ellis, with help from creative extraordinaire Paul Blackman, have concocted a hilarious, unforgettable stage show.

I am keen to take my older boys to this as they have both read and love The Bad Book. We saw the adaption of Andy Griffith’s Just Macbeth a couple of years ago and that was great entertainment for the kids.

Dates: Tuesday 4 to Friday 21 January 2011
Times: Two shows daily at 10.30am, 1pm
Venue: RMIT Kaleide Theatre, Building 8, Level 2, 360 Swanston St
Price: $15
Website: RMIT Union Arts

Polly Woodside

There are a range of activities aboard the Polly Woodside this school holidays. I haven’t taken my kids to see the famous Polly Woodside yet, so hope to do so these holidays. Highlights from the 2010/11 program include:

Peter Pan on Polly Woodside

Come and join Peter Pan and Tinkerbell as they travel aboard Polly Woodside to Neverland! Witness all their adventures in this interactive production of the much loved classic.

Date: 3rd -28th January 2011
Time: Show times are 10am Monday-Wednesday and 10am and 6pm Thursday-Friday.
Location: South Wharf, aboard Polly Woodside
Ages: Family
Cost: $18 per person.
Bookings: To buy tickets online please click here.
More details: Phone 03 9656 9861.
Website: Polly Woodside

Fun and interactive storytelling with a wide variety of stories, songs and activities for little ones aged 2 – 7 years. Stories are read aboard the Polly Woodside or, in inclement weather, down below deck!
Date: Every Tuesday from 11 January
Time: 11am
Location: South Wharf, aboard Polly Woodside
Ages: Suitable for ages two to seven years.
Cost: Adult $15, child $8, family $42, conc. $12.
More details: Phone 03 9656 9861.
Website: Polly Woodside

LEGO Education Centre

LEGO Educational Centre (Moore Educational) are running their LEGO school holiday programs again this summer. The details of which you can see above. You can check out their website for further information on exactly what each session entails.

The sessions are 45 minutes and book your child for a full morning or afternoon session (3 workshops) and your child receives free morning/afternoon tea and a free LEGO name badge.

Date and Time: Mon 3rd Jan – Friday 21st Jan. From 10am
Location: LEGO Educational Centre, 37 Hall Street, Moonee Ponds, VIC
Cost: $12
Bookings: Phone bookings required
Ages: From 4 – 12 years old
Website: LEGO Educational Centre

Experiment Zone – Create a Colour

School Holiday Activities Melbourne Scienceworks
To celebrate the International Year of Chemistry at Scienceworks these summer holidays, they have some fantastic new exhibitions, including the Experiment Zone. Everything around us is made of chemicals. Become a scientist and conduct chemistry experiments to test mystery mixtures. Learn about chemicals found around your home and discover the difference between an ‘acid’ and a ‘base’.

Date: 26 December to 6 February 2011
Time: 10am – 4:30pm.
Location: 2 Booker St, Spotswood
Cost: Adult $8, Concession* and Child (3–16 years) free entry. (Additional charges may apply for temporary exhibitions.) To ensure free-flowing access for all our visitors, prams and strollers are not permitted within the Planetarium and Lightning Room. A pram parking area is provided.
Bookings: Not required, but to avoid queues you can book online here for shows at Scienceworks.
Ages: Scienceworks caters for all ages, but the Experiment Zone is recommended for ages 6 and above.
Website: Scienceworks

Family Art Activities

School Holiday Activities Melbourne
Box Hill Community Arts Centre has a number of family art activities that you can try this school holidays. Families can make a birdbath or paint a giant canvas. We have participated in both activities over the last 18 months and have enjoyed both. The canvas was slightly easier for me to manage with the younger kids, but we did manage to successfully make our family of ducks in the clay session. It just required the toddler having some time in his stroller!

One class has already booked out, so I recommend booking ASAP if you are interested. Sessions left are:

  • Family Clay – Birdbath: Mon 17th Jan @ 9.30am or 11.30am
  • Family Canvas: Fri 28th Jan @ 1.00pm or 3.00pm

Location: 470 Station Street, Box Hill, Melway Reference: 47 D11
Cost: $32. Prices include one adult and one child. Extra child $13.
Ages: Family
Website: Box Hill Community Arts Centre

Children’s Carnivale Tiffin

This event is a little more expensive than what I ordinarily include in my wrap ups, but it sounds so cute! It would make such special treat for some one on one time with one of your kids. Held in the Stylish Aria Bar of The Langham Hotel at Southbank, the Children’s Carnivale Tiffin includes:

  • Fairy floss
  • Popcorn
  • Clown cupcake
  • Three-ring circus punch
  • Balloon Cookie
  • Ham & cheese sandwich
  • Scones

High tea for little ones!

Dates: Monday to Friday from 17th December 2010 to 28th January 2011. Excludes Public Holiday
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Cost: $25.00 per child
Ages: 3 – 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult for Traditional tiffin or Chocolate indulgence Tiffin at $39.00.
Bookings: please call Restaurant Reservations on 1800 641 107 or email

NGV Kids Corner

School Holiday Activities -  NGV Kids Corner Small Worlds
We visited the NGV Kids Corner for the first time back in July and the little kids had a fantastic time. You can see a video review here NGV Kids Corner – Review. They have a new installation now called Small Worlds.

Small Worlds presents different perspectives of a child’s world. The exhibition will take visitors on a shared learning experience and an adventure for adults and children together, exploring tiny objects from the NGV Collection. These fascinating and fun mini-worlds include teapots in the guise of houses, a selection of wheeled toys, colourful games, figurines and a ceramic ute by Tiwi islands artists.

Children and their families can participate in self-led activities provided to guide them through the exhibition
and dynamic interactive multi-media displays, where animated teapots chime and virtual snowflakes fall. The details for NGV Kids Corner Small Worlds installation are:
Dates: 30 Nov 2010 – 31 Jul 2011
Time: 10am-5pm (Closed Mondays)
Cost: Free
Ages: 0 – 8 years
Bookings: Not required
Website: NGV Kids Corner Small Worlds

NGV Kids Corner also have Morning stories sessions through the summer. On Sundays listen to stories by Theatre Attack, look at art, share your experience and have fun:
Dates: Sun 5 Dec – Sun 27 Feb,
Time: 10.30am – 12pm (excludes 26 Dec and 2 Jan)
Cost: Free. Parent/carer supervision required.

ACMI Kids’ Classics

School Holiday Activities Melbourne ACMI
Each school holidays ACMI has an eclectic schedule of free kids’ flicks. This summer holidays they are showing some fab fairy tales:

Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales 1 (Rated G)
This collection of four of Hans Christian Anderson’s most popular and acclaimed works includes film adaptations of The Snow Queen and The Ugly Ducking. These screen with the Little Match Girl and Norwegian animator Ivo Caprino unique interpretation of The Steadfast Tin Soldier, one of Anderson’s original stories. Total running time: 65 mins.

Little Match Girl Bill Walker, 17 mins, 1978, USA
The Steadfast Tin Soldier Ivo Caprino, 13 mins, 1955, Denmark
The Ugly Duckling Gene Deitch, 15 mins, 1975
The Snow Queen Kazuhiko Watanabe, 20 mins, 1975

Mon 27 Dec 2010 11am, Tue 28 Dec 2010 11am, Wed 29 Dec 2010 11am, Thu 30 Dec 2010 11am, Fri 31 Dec 2010 11am, Sat 1 Jan 2011 11.15am, Mon 3 Jan 2011 11am, Tue 4 Jan 2011 11am.
Location: ACMI Cinemas, Federation Square
Cost: Free, but you need to pick tickets up on the day from the Tickets & Information Desk

Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales 2 (Rated G)
In the second and final collection of Hans Christian Anderson stories, three are considered to be written by Anderson himself, whilst Thumbelina draws on some the story of Tom Thumb.

Less-known works such as The Swineherd will screen with those known the world over, including The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Ugly Duckling.

The Ugly Duckling Kazuhiko Watanabe 18 mins, Japan, 1970
Thumbelina 17 mins, Japan, 1981
The Emperor’s New Clothes Carole F. Schwartz, 15 mins, USA, 1966
The Swineherd Gene Deitch, 13 mins, USA, 1974

Wed 19 Jan 2011 11am, Thu 20 Jan 2011 11am, Fri 21 Jan 2011 11am, Sat 22 Jan 2011 11.15am, Mon 24 Jan 2011 11am, Tue 25 Jan 2011 11am, Wed 26 Jan 2011 11am, Thu 27 Jan 2011 11am,
Location: ACMI Cinemas, Federation Square
Cost: Free, but you need to pick tickets up on the day from the Tickets & Information Desk

National Sports Museum – Runs, Rallies and Rebounds

School Holidays Activities Melbourne - National Sports Museum
We also went to the National Sports Museum in the middle of the year and had a fantastic time. It is an attraction that blends passive activities – looking at the memorabilia and watching the holograms, with full on physical activity in the Game On area. For more tips on getting the best out of your visit to the NSM, please see my post Review: National Sports Museum. This holidays the theme is Runs, Rallies and Rebounds:

Celebrate Melbourne’s blockbuster summer events – The Ashes and The Australian Open – with a visit to the National Sports Museum at the MCG. Runs, Rallies and Rebounds features cricket and tennis themed activities for the kids, as well as the opportunity to take part in the National Sports Museum’s Great Netball shootout competition. There are daily shows, readings, tours, appearances, mosaic workshops and many prizes to be won, so start planning your visit today!

Date and Time: 3 January to 28 January. From 10.00am-5.00pm on all days.
Location:The National Sports Museum is located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Brunton Avenue in Richmond within the confines of Yarra Park. (You need to enter near Gate 3.)
Cost: Adults $15, Children (5 – 15) $8, Children under 5 free. Family (2 adults and 4 children) $50. These are for admission only. If you wish do the tour, there is an additional cost.
Bookings: Not required.
Ages: While the preschooler did enjoy looking around, his participation was limited in the Game On area. I would recommend it for school age children.

Parks Victoria – Ranger Roo Program

School Holiday Activities Ranger Roo
Ranger Roo is Parks Victoria Junior Ranger Program. It provides excellent park based kids’ activities through out the school holidays and some week ends. You can check out their website for the full program for Dec and Jan. It covers areas from Jells Park to Apollo Bay. The Rockpool Rambles look like lots of fun and will be held on various dates and locations. This one is for Mornington Peninsula National Park:

Date: Mon 10th Jan
Time: 10am – 11am
Location: Mornington Peninsula National Park, London Bridge Beach, Portsea

Join a ranger to explore a hidden underwater world and discover the creatures that live on the rocky shore. Meet our sea critters and learn some of the secrets lurking beneath the blue.

Remember to bring your sun protection and sturdy footwear is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Website: Ranger Roo

Chinese New Year Celebrations

There are many celebrations in Melbourne for Chinese New Year. Check you local council website for details of an event near you. Each year the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse in conjunction with Council hosts one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne. Held in the Box Hill mall precinct, the celebrations include activities, entertainment and more than 100 merchandise and food stalls.

Location: The area of Whitehorse Rd between Station St and Nelson Rd in Box Hill
Date: 29th January 2011 – 30th January 2011
Time: 3.00 pm – 3.00 am
Cost: Entry is free.
Ages: Family
Website: Asian Business Association of Whitehorse