Free fun for the kids these school holidays
Keeping the kids entertained these school holidays doesn’t have to hurt your hip pocket. We’ve come up with 10 ideas for a free fun day out the whole family will enjoy.
1. Go to the garden centre
Have you been to a garden centre recently? Not only are they great places to teach your kids all about plants, but the larger ones often have a playground bordered by a cute café where you can have a coffee while the kids play the day away. Many will hold free events for kids during school holidays, so check out your local garden centre website to see what’s on this month.
2. Pick a playground
Adventuring to a new playground is well worth the trip. A quick Google search – simply type in ‘best playgrounds in [your city]’ – will reveal some true treasures. Your kids will love going somewhere new for the day. Invite some friends and make a picnic to make a day of it.
3. Live local
School holiday time is when local councils and libraries shine, so look up their website to get a calendar of free events and activities for kids. Whether it’s a free film night in the park, an author visiting the library, a craft day or a free council-run event – it’s a great opportunity to treat the kids to something new and different.
4. Get back to nature
We Aussies love exploring and our natural parks and wildlife make for a great adventure. Don your sneakers and head to the coast to enjoy a scenic view of the ocean (you might see some whales, if it’s the right season for migration). Or, explore your closest national park – look out for free fauna and flora tours, too.
5. Go bike riding
Pop the bikes in the car and head to a local bike track. Most councils have some bike riding path that’s suitably safe for kids – don’t forget your helmets!
6. Just look up
It’s school holidays, staying up late is allowed! Introduce your kids to a world of wonder by opening up their eyes to the beauty of the cosmos. Local universities and observatories provide free stargazing sessions during school holidays, or simply download the Google Sky Map app and start exploring the skies in your own backyard.
7. Plan a potluck
Get together with a group of families and plan to hold a potluck. Choose a theme and assign dishes based on snacks, main meals, side dishes and dessert. Get the kids involved with decorating for the occasion and create some games to play. Dress up if you like!
8. Enjoy exhibitions
If you’re a parent, you know museums and art galleries can get expensive, but every institution from local council-run exhibitions to state and national galleries have free exhibitions and activities all year round. During school holidays, these places also schedule additional events and activities just for kids, but be sure to book in early, as they’re in hot demand.
9. Plan an alphabet adventure
You and your kids may know your hometown inside out, but what about neighbouring suburbs. Pick a letter of the alphabet and choose a suburb that begins with that letter. Research how to get there and what’s on offer (playgrounds, walking track, beaches). Then set a plan in place! Involve the kids – from planning the driving route to what’s on the agenda when you arrive.
10. Hit the skate park
If your neighbourhood doesn’t have its own skate park, do a search to find out where there’s one nearby. Skate parks are a great place for kids to have fun on their scooters and skateboards, as well as hone their skills. Sometimes just watching the other skaters is entertaining enough! Just be sure to take all the safety accessories needed from helmets to knee pads and wrist guards.
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