The Victorian school holidays officially begin on the 21st of December, just four days before Christmas. While the kids are sure to be pre-occupied with the imminent arrival of everyone’s favourite jolly man, post-Christmas is another story.
Once the presents are played with and the tinsel is packed away, how are you going to keep the kids entertained for the remaining month of their school break? Well, the good news is that Melbourne has plenty of options on offer for bored children – and parents in need of a reprieve!
Here are some of our favourite suggestions:
Go star gazing.
View the spectacular Australian night sky from the Melbourne Observatory, located within the Royal Botanic Gardens. Using powerful heritage telescopes, experts from the Astronomical Society of Victoria will help you explore the southern sky.
Tours should be booked in advance and go ahead regardless of weather conditions.
Hit the ice.
Want to go ice skating in summer? Well, thanks to O’Brien Group Arena you can! Throughout the duration of the school holidays, there are numerous programs to choose from, suited to children of all ages. For children, 12 years of age and up, ‘Bumperballs on Ice’ is a sure-fire hit. Skaters are strapped into an inflatable bubble suit, allowing them to bounce and roll their way through a game of soccer with a difference!
Located in Docklands, the arena offers public skating every day from 9 am until late – and entry includes a variety of free lessons, which are held throughout the day.
Become reacquainted with Mr Toad.
Kenneth Grahame’s famous tale, The Wind in the Willows, returns yet again to the Royal Botanic Gardens this summer. Critically acclaimed, this interactive outdoor theatre production is full of music and laughs – and it’s popular with children and adults alike.
If you’re yet to ride the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, there’s never been a better time to take in the views. Just in time for summer, Water Wars has landed at The Star – allowing children to partake in the ultimate water game.
Complete with opposing battle stations and water balloon launchers, there’s no better place to be as the mercury soars! No bookings are required, and the activity is open from 11 am to 5 pm each day.
Leap from a seven-storey building – face first!
Perfect for kids with a love of adventure, Rap Jumping (often called rappelling) is a form of forward-facing abseiling. The team at Rap Jumping run sessions Wednesdays and Saturdays in Southbank, and offer courses to suit both nervous beginners and those with a penchant for adrenaline.
Beginners’ courses allow children to complete a ‘less scary’ backwards abseil descent, while the Ultimate Experience course teaches participants the forward-facing ‘Aussie Rappel’ technique. All lessons are run by experienced, qualified instructors, and Rap Jumpinghas a 100% safety record.
One of the more extreme sports on offer these school holidays, the kids will love to re-watch GoPro footage of their jump. Suitable for kids aged 7 years and up – and adults are more than welcome to jump as well if they dare!
The Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, located on King Street, offers endless entertainment these school holidays. From the aquarium’s friendly underwater residents, through to the new Mermaid Garden, there really is something for everyone. Get up close and personal with colourful fish, watch frolicking penguins, or dive with the facility’s fearsome sharks!
Kids love to climb; with Trees Adventure, they can do it safely! With a park located close to the Melbourne CBD, children can navigate a challenging obstacle course that winds its way through the canopies.
Complete with safety harnesses and experienced instructors, this activity allows thrill seekers to climb the tallest trees, fly through the air via zip-lines, and even tackle an airborne skateboard.
Located just north of Melbourne Airport, Peppercorn Park Equestrian Centre offers riding lessons to children of all ages and abilities and is a sure-fire hit these school holidays. Choose between private lessons or the ever-popular school holiday program – where kids not only learn to ride but also gain an understanding of general horse care.
With quiet, well-school horses and experienced instructors, there’s no better place for the avid pony lover these holidays! Bookings are a must.
So there you have it – eight exciting school holiday activities that are sure to keep both children and adults entertained until the start of February!