Figuring out what to do in the school holidays is hard enough, but it’s even worse when the beach stops being an option. Keeping the screens away and embracing outdoor play feels almost impossible, but the great news is – we’ve done the hard work for you.
There are some pretty cool things for your kids happening across the nation, and here’s a state-by-state guide to prove it.
Pull out your calendar (or open the app) and get planning.
New South Wales
Right as the icy chill has struck, the Hunter Valley Gardens have opened a winter wonderland for any Christmas in July enthusiasts. There’s a mega snow play zone for snowman building, a giant ice toboggan slide and ice-skating rink. Tickle your adventure bone with amusement rides, like a Ferris wheel overlooking the snow-dipped garden. You can even bundle up with some warm bites from a range of food marquees.
Activities are open from 9:30-4:30pm everyday from the 24th of June to the 23rd of July, but you’ll need to grab a ticket online to secure your spot.
Ages: All ages
Dates: 24th of June
Location: Hunter Valley Gardens
LEGO is going “under the sea” at the Australian Maritime Museum with their new kid-friendly exhibition. It’s a combination of LEGO models of famous shipwrecks and real-world objects found underwater on these sunken ships. You’ll find hands-on interactives and audio-visual experiences that bring life to the shipwreck stories, plus get the chance to build your own LEGO models.
Ages: All ages, plus kids under four get to go free!
Dates: 22nd of June to 17th of September
Location: Australian Maritime Museum
Everyone’s favourite Dinosaur is stomping to Sydney these holidays with a handclapping and toe-tapping musical extravaganza. There are a bunch of different locations being visited but tickets are being snapped up like it’s nobody’s business, so make sure to lock in your spot!
Ages: All ages
Dates: 3rd of July to 11th of July
Location: Multiple locations including Hurtsville, Penrith, Mt Pritchard, Cremorne, Campbelltown and Liverpool.
When you’re strolling the National Botanic Gardens this July, you might notice something different. Unique (and huge) plants and animals made by visual theatre masterminds Dead Puppet Society have popped up in the gardens. Go exploring during the day, or come by at night for a damper roll with pumpkin soup and watch how the space lights up. It’s on from 8:30am to 8:30pm through the first week of July, and 8:30-5:00 in the second.
Ages: all ages
Dates: 1st – 30th July
Location: Australian National Botanic Gardens
If you’ve got a theatre-loving preteen, Come From Away has hit Canberra and it’s a must-see. It’s a global phenomenon that tells the true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Canada that welcomed them all. This one does have slight mature themes, so we recommend it for kids aged 10 and older.
Ages: 10 +
Dates: 8th of June – 9th of July
Location: Canberra Theatre.
Got a competitive streak in the family? Albany Creek Village is letting you put your way to glory with their Glow in the Dark Mini Golf Adventure. Wind your way through the enchanting course and see who comes out on top. Not that it’s about winning, of course.
It runs daily from 10am-2pm and there’s no need to book, it’s free!
Dates: 4th-8th of July
Location: Albany Creek Village, opposite the Hairologists
Get those green thumbs out these holidays for some wholesome family fun with Kids Collective. From the 28th of June to the 7th of July, there’s a rotating program of activities to make sure there’s something for everyone. Make your own tiny tomato plant at Nature Play to take home in a biodegradable pot, or build a bee hotel at Interactive Art and Craft. You can let your kids harness their dramatics with drama workshops or scoot around the park for soccer and rugby classes.
Dates: 28th of June to the 7th of July
Location: Roma Street Parklands
Does your little one have some artistic flair? Give your walls and furniture a break and take that ambition to the canvas as they make their own Monet-inspired art. This is an add on for the Monet in Paris exhibition, so start by enjoying a stroll through the dazzling space lit up by artwork from 19th century Paris. Make sure to pop the package on in addition to your entry tickets.
Dates: 3rd of July -7th of July
Location: Northshore Hamilton, at the Monet in Paris Exhibition
Dr Splat is hiring! It’s not everyday a mad scientist is looking for interns, but Chaos Lab is inviting curious and creative minds to an immersive, interactive experience. You can stretch out some glowing slime, wind through a mirror maze and bounce around in the ball pit. There are even live science experiments that’ll be sure to wow.
Ages: 4-10 years old
Dates: 27th of June to 9th of July
Location: 8 Wharf St, Docklands
The Wizarding World has flown all the way to Melbourne Museum with a collection where magical creatures meet remarkable animals from London’s Natural History Museum collection. Alongside real specimens and artefacts, see custom made models from the Wizarding World and props from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series.
Dates: 29th of June to October 8th
Location: Melbourne Museum
For the kids who can’t sit still but can do an “ollie”, Skate, Park and Play is returning the District for free skate sessions and pro-skater coached hour lessons. Hang around for Firelight weekend where food stalls, DJs and entertainment will light up the night.
Dates: 29th of June to the 9th of July
Location: The District Docklands
Take it back some million years for a 45-minute Dinosaur Encounter with moving dinosaurs, a Dinosaur trail with a life-size T-Rex and some hands-on digging fun. Plus, get your hands on some real dinosaur bones! There are also quiet sessions for neurodivergent guests with smaller groups and less noise, making it a great accessible option.
Ages: 8 and under
Dates: 29th of June until the 16th of July
Location: Kings Park
Embrace the cold, pop on some gumboots and join in on some outdoor winter activities. There will be tractor rides through the orchard, silent discos, fairy garden crafts and a bath bomb making workshop. The activities go from 11-2pm on Wednesdays to Fridays over the school holidays, with no need to book.
Dates: 5-7th of July and 12-14th of July
Location: 35 Merrivale Rd, Pickering Brook
Celebrate this year’s NAIDOC Week theme For Our Elders with a friendship-bracelet making class that explores Islander culture through weaving practices. You can learn about the Nyoongar seasons in the Indigenous calendar and their different colours. This one isn’t a drop-off activity, so carers will need to tag along as well.
Dates: 2nd of July to 9th of July
Location: WA Museum Boola Bardip
Get lost in a labyrinth of light at Illuminate Adelaide with the Australian premier of Architects of Air. Guests can glide through illuminated, inflatable structures that bring a sensory-driven experience with a calming soundtrack from ecosystms across the world. There are places to explore and places to rest, creating both a feeling of expansiveness and cosyness.
Ages: All ages
Dates: 1-23 July
Location: Illuminate Adelaide
Westfield Marion is launching a Disney Princess Zone (yep, that’s right) which features craft activities, face-painting, and princess-inspired hairstyling to perfect for a tiara. Not to mention, there will be special photo moments to show off these princess makeovers!
Dates: 8-14th of July
Location: Westfield Marion
The Mapiya Lumi exhibit (meaning ‘around here’ in palawa kani) is a long-term exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery that is designed for children 0-7 years old. It follows the idea of Tasmania as a ‘little big home’, and is intentionally developed to be visually stimulating, playful and interactive. There’s also a dedicated space for 0-3, so everyone’s welcome.
Ages: All ages
Dates: All year around
Location: Tasmanian Museum and Gallery
There’s a sky full of lights at Bicheno Beams this winter, with a spectacular light show free for the whole family. Rug up with blankets and hot choccies whilst you listen to synchronised soundtrack and watch night beam into colour. It starts at 5:30 every night through the holidays, so you won’t have to miss out.
Ages: All ages
Dates: 1st of July – 22nd of July
Location: Lions Park Bicheno, via the Burgess entrance
Keen for your kid to get a bit of everything? Gasworks has a whole load of activities for both fun and skill-learning. Classes go from posy-making, to LEGO building and even lightsaber fencing for the Star Wars fanatics. It runs from the 3rd of July to the 7th with limited capacity, so make sure to get in quick.
Dates: 3rd to the 7th of July
Location: Gasworks Arts Park
Much loved phenomenon Pixar Putt is finally coming to the Northern Territory for some Pixar themed fun. It’s a pop up event with interactive wholes inspired from some of their biggest hits like Toy Story, Cars, Monsters InC, Turning Red, Luca and more. It’s a feast for the eyes and heaps of fun to explore. Even better news? It’s on the whole week from 11-12pm.
Dates: 30th of June – 7th of July
Location: Palm Grove