School Holidays Melbourne – Kids Activities Dec / Jan

Home stretch now until school finishes up and the summer school holidays are upon us. Of course that is if Melbourne decides to actually deliver summer this year!

If you are still in the midst of your Christmas shopping, some of these activities would make great Christmas gifts for kids.

Here is some of my favourite things to do in Melbourne this school holidays:

Learn To Skateboard

We also went to Junction Skate and BMX Park last school holidays and the kids took part in the free session. I wasn’t sure how our five year old would go, he can get frustrated if he can’t do things, but he had a ball! {If you are reading via email, click through to see a short video of my kids at the learn to skate session.}

The extra fab thing is you don’t have to have any of your own gear, they provide everything – skateboard, helmet and padding! And as you can see in the video the guys teaching are very patient with the kids.

Sessions in December are:

  • Sat 3rd December – free BMX workshop 12:30
  • Sat 10th December – free Skate workshop 12:30
  • Sat 17th December – free Skate workshop 12:30

Bookings: are essential
Where: Riversdale Rd, Camberwell Melways Ref: 59 H1
Cost: Free
Bookings: essential for programs and you can rsvp on 0459 988 125 or
More info: Junction Skate & BMX Park

Explore-a-sauraus at Scienceworks

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If you haven’t seen Explore-a-sauraus yet, this school holidays it would be a great time to do it. We went to the opening night and it is a brilliant hands on exhibition that kids across most ages will love. Heaps of things for kids to touch, push, pull etc – all the things they love to do!

Dates: Daily, Until 15 Apr 2012
Time: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Cost: Adults $18, Concession $6 and Children (3 – 16 years) $5. Prices include general entry to Scienceworks. (MV Members receive discounted entry.)
Bookings: Tickets can be bought online or phone 13 11 02. It is recommended to pre-purchase during school holidays.

During the school holidays, Scienceworks has a number of special dinosaur activities that are included with Scienceworks admission:

Dinosaur Detectives
Dig up clues from the past found in the present and discover the world of dinosaurs in this 20-minute live show! All ages.
Time: Daily 1pm

Experiment Zone – From Bone to Stone
Explore what it’s like to be a palaeontologist and get your hands dirty with our experiments in this 30-minute hands-on workshop. Ages 6 – 12.
Time: Daily 11am, 12pm and 2.30pm

Make your very own dinosaur shadow puppet and watch it become larger than life before your eyes in our forest theatre! All ages.
Time: All day

Screening – Dinosaur Walk
Sit back, relax and find out about fossils and dinosaurs from our very own Museum Victoria palaeontologists! All ages.
Time: All day

Frozen Moments
Step back in time and get your hands on a piece of the prehistoric past with the fossilised remains of dinosaurs, animals, insects and plants on our interactive touch trolley. All ages.
Time: 10.30am & 3.30pm

See my full review: Explore-a-sauraus


Last school holidays we went to IMAX for the first time to see Born To Be Wild. I took all 5 kids and each one of them loved it. It is currently still screening at IMAX.

Although you can also see the bigger blockbuster movies like Puss in Boots, Mission Impossible etc, they screen films that you are unlikely to be seen anywhere else and are less commercial like Born to be wild. Besides offering educational potential, a huge plus with these films is that they are much shorter than your standard movei – brilliant if you have very little ones with you.

From the preview trailers seen last time, my boys really want to see Tornado Alley:

When: Check website for screening times
Where: IMAX Melbourne Museum, Carlton Gardens
Tickets: $18.00 Adult, $14.50 Concession, $13.50 Child, $55.00 Family (2 adults & 2
Enquiries: 03 9663 5454
Bookings and more info: IMAX

Little Creatures

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Little Creatures is a indoor play centre that focuses on imaginary play, located in Balwyn. It is an absolute favourite place of our toddler and is best suited to those 4 and under. This month Little Creatures has a number of special activities:

  • First and third Monday of each month we are having Grandma’s story time at 10:30.
  • Wednesday 7th of December 10:30-11:30 Mini Picasso’s will host CHRISTMAS ART & CRAFT WORKSHOPS Ages 3 + Limited places are available, for bookings or further details please email
  • Tuesday 20th of December Little Creatures is having an Open Day 10:00-2:00 pm with free activities for children:
    – 10:30 Grandma’s story time
    – 11:30-12:30 Mini Picasso’s workshop
    – 10-2pm face painting run by Bella’s Face Creations

Wave Pool

SplashOUT days run over the school holidays and on most weekends at MSAC. They are great fun and my kids love going but keep in mind:

Please note that whilst the waves are running, all children under the age of 10 must be accompanied, in the water, by a parent or guardian over the age of 16. While the waves are not running, all children must be actively supervised by a parent or guardian.

MSAC take this point very seriously. At our time their one day one wave session was stopped early as there were too many children without supervising adults. Another session started late because again there weren’t enough adults in the water with children.

Other activities on offer are:

  • Dive from a platform
  • Climb the monster inflatable
  • Line up for their turn on the water slide
  • Test their skills on the aqua climbing wall.

Opening Hours: For session times during school holidays check their website.

Cost: Child Single Visit (3-15 years) $5.10, Family: 1 Adult, 2 Children $15.40, Family: 2 Adults, 2 Children $19.00, Additional Child $2.90

Age: Family. But if you intend to use the wave pool, the more children under 10 you have, the more adults you will need.
Full review: MSAC Wave Pool

Parks Victoria Junior Rangers Program

School Holiday Activities - Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria Junior Rangers program provides free and low cost school holiday activities for kids around a number of locations in Melbourne. You can see the full list here, but activities range from Bush Craft, to Bust Detectives to Snorkelling!

Junior Rangers also has great activity sheets that you can print and complete at your local park and puzzles kids can do at home.

You can sign up to the Junior Rangers Newsletter which is emailed to you 2 weeks before school holidays. As well as information and interesting stories for the whole family, it also gives you a friendly reminder to see what activities are happening in a park near you.

Bookings: All activities require a booking and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all sessions. Call 13 1963 to make a booking or for more information.

Kids In The Studio Green Screen

Be the star of your very own space adventure movie in this green screen school holiday workshop.

This is part of the school holiday program from ACMI. It is recommended for children between the ages of 4 to 12. When we have previously attended one of these sessions, the kids created a group performance and there was waiting involved. The older children were better able to wait and appreciate watching the activity which was going on – my littlest one found this quite difficult when we did it. (Also we actually couldn’t wait to come back and see our film as it was too much for the toddler – you don’t get to see it straight away).

Mon 9 Jan – Fri 13 Jan 2012, 11am-3pm
Mon 16 Jan – Fri 20 Jan 2012, 11am-3pm
Mon 23 Jan – Fri 27 Jan 2012, 11am-3pm
Sessions run for 45 minutes.

Location: Studio 1
Admission: Free
Bookings: Can only be made in person on the day.
More info: ACMI

National Sports Museum

The school aged kids had a fantastic time at the National Sports Museum, as you can see in the video. {Again, if you are reading via email, click through to see a short video of my kids at the National Sports Museum.} Each school holidays they have a different program for kids to enjoy. Full details are not up as yet but it has this to say about the upcoming program:

Join the fun of the all new Summer Sports Show and maybe meet one of our stars of cricket, tennis and soccer.
Make and take your own HECSI, a Hand-Eye Coordination Skill Improver, and prepare to join in the fun of our tennis activities and test all your skills in Game On where sport becomes full on.

Opening Hours: Opening hours can vary due to activities on at the MCG, but are generally 10am – 5pm through out the school holidays, with last admission at 4.00pm. (They recommend you allocate at least 90 minutes to fully experience the National Sports Museum and I would say that would be the absolute minimum time you needed). Be sure to check out their website for more info before you head in.
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 from Gate 3 in the Olympic Stand.)
Parking: We parked closer in Jolimont Tce. Parking there is only for 2 hours and is twice as much as the parking only a short distance further in Wellington Pde, South. This parking is also for 4 hours which is a much better length of time for your visit.
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.
Age: While the preschooler did enjoy looking around, his participation was limited in the Game On area. I would highly recommend it for school age children.

On The Move – Makedo Heide

Taking inspiration from the assemblage work of the Annandale Imitation Realists on display in Heide II as part of Forever Young, parents and children will use makedo connectors to join everyday materials in a fun and quirky manner. With the help of a makedo designer, families will be encouraged to decorate their structures and make plants and animals to inhabit their new “Heide home”.

When: Sunday 22 January, 2012 10am-12pm
Cost: Free, but if you wish to enter the museum afterwards you will have to pay. Children under 12 get free entry. Adults $14.
Includes: materials & makedo connectors.
BYO: Sun screen & water
Venue: Tony & Cathie Hancy Sculpture Plaza at Heide
More info: Heide website

What are you planning to do this school holidays?