20 fun family ideas for the school holidays

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Pack the kids’ favourite snacks and make a day trip to Bowral which is in full bloom this spring. PHOTO: Facebook

Spring has definitely sprung and we’ve dug around for 20 great things in and around Sydney that the whole family will enjoy.

Tulip Time Festival

Tiptoe through the tulips with Mary Poppins at the spectactular floral festival in Bowral.
There are 90,000 mass planted tulips in the historic Corbett Gardens less than two hours south of Sydney.
The theme this year is Mary Poppins and includes live music and dancers, plaster painting, chalk art and rides.

Dates: 24 September – 7 October; 9am-4pm daily (Saturdays open till 5pm)
Ages: 5-12 years
Where: Corbett Gardens, Bendooley Street, Bowral
Cost: Adults $12, Concession/Pensioner $7, Children 13-17yrs $7 and children under 12 are free
Website: www.southern-highlands.com.au

Apollo 11

It’s 50 years since Neil Armstrong took that giant leap for mankind, and to commemorate the half century since the Moon landing, the Powerhouse Museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the event. Take the kids here to explore the cosmos with interactive, family-friendly displays.

Dates: Open every day during the holidays
Ages: All
Where: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street Ultimo 2007
Cost: Adult $15, concession $8, student card holders $8, children 16 and under free
Website: maas.museum/

Australian Reptile Park is full of surprises. PHOTO: Facebook

Adventure Zone

The Australian Reptile Park promises non-stop adrenaline with its Adventure Zone. Run like a dingo through an inflatable obstacle course, fly like a lorikeet on the bungee trampolines and jump like a kangaroo on the jumping castle. Plus, spring has sprung and there are baby animals everywhere.

Dates: Every day
Ages: All
Where: Australian Reptile Park 69 Pacific Hwy, Somersby
Cost: $39 adults, $21 child 3-15, $105 family (2 adults, 2 kids), $15 per extra child with family ticket
Website: reptilepark.com.au

Ice Skating and Trapeze School for Young Carers

Little Dreamers is running an exciting and action-packed day for children affected by chronic illness, disability or addiction beginning with ice-skating at Ice Zoo in Alexandria. After lunch kids will travel by bus to Sydney Trapeze School in St Peters to learn cool circus tricks like plate spinning, juggling, and swinging on the high trapeze.

Dates: 8 October
Ages: 6-13
Where: Drop off at Ice Zoo 689 Gardeners Rd, Alexandria
Cost: $10
Website: littledreamersonline.com

Ninja Warrior vacation care

Children will learn a combination of gymnastics and fitness skills to take on challenging obstacle courses. Bookings required.

Dates: 2 October, 8am – 12pm
Ages: Primary aged
Where: Camperdown Tennis, 33 Mallett St, Camperdown
Cost: $50
Website: www.camperdowntennis.com.au

Keep the kids active during the school holidays with one of the dozens of sports clinics on offer throughout Sydney.

Soccer Clinic at Mac Uni

Soccer-mad kids will love the exclusive signing session with the Sydney FC HAL Squad as part of this training clinic at their home base.

Dates: 30 September-2 October
Ages: 5-13
Where: Macquarie University Sports Field, corner of Talavera Road and Culloden Road, Macquarie Park
Cost: $295 (3 days), member and sibling discounts apply
Website: my.sydneyfc.com

Paint a live python

Kids have the opportunity to get up close and personal with Bassi an albino carpet python and have a go at painting a portrait of it to take home. Children will be guided step by step by a professional artist with all art materials supplied.

Dates: 11 October 10-12.30pm
Ages: 6+
Where: That Art Place, 425 Forest Road, Bexley
Cost: $60
Website: www.thatartplace.com.au

Take recycling to a whole new level with steampunk-inspired creativity.

Steampunk Art Camp

Join this steampunk art camp to learn how to turn ordinary objects into steampunk creations. Explore the features of steampunk design and use a myriad of small loose parts to create unique art works that are super-cool!

Dates: 4 and 11 October
Ages: 5-10
Where: WonderLab Art Studio, 674 Pacific Hwy, Killara
Cost: $130 per class
Website: www.wonderlabkids.net

Learn to skate

This free school holiday skateboarding clinic for local youth is sure to please. Beginner and intermediate workshops are available.

Dates: 9 October 10am to 1pm
Ages: 5+
Where: Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre (outside)
Cost: Free
Website: www.eventbrite.com.au

Kids at the Con

Engage your child in the wonderful world of music. Presented by the Open Academy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, these holiday workshops are based on the Orff-Schulwerk approach, Dalcroze and Kodaly educational methods. Participants will explore the musical concepts of pitch, beat and tempo through fun activities and creative play while older students aged 6 to 10 will engage in pitch and rhythm work. They’ll use tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments, active listening activities and have the opportunity to make their own instruments! No prior musical experience is required.

Dates: Half-day workshops 1 and 2 October
Ages: 6-10 year olds:
Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Cost: $80
Website: openacademy.sydney.edu.au

Sydney’s Maritime Museum is a tried-and-tested provider of holiday fun.

Dive into the Maritime Museum

Make a splash at the Maritime Museum these school holidays with exhibitions, vessels, hands-on workshops, themed creative activities, 3D films and more inspired by the new Sea Monsters exhibition.

Dates: 29 September to 13 October
Ages: All
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Sydney
Cost: Family: $79
Adult: $32
Child (4-15): $20
Concession: $20
Child under 4: Free
Website: whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Spot On Festival

This five-day festival at Parramatta Riverside includes family shows, films, workshops and free activities. Highlights include Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts, Tröll (direct from New Zealand) and Lullaby: Sonic Cradle (traditional Indian lullabies and meditative projections).

Dates: 1-5 October
Ages: All
Where: Riverside Theatres, Corner Church & Market Streets, Parramatta
Cost: Check website for details
Website: riversideparramatta.com.au

Makerspace workshops

The theme for the City of Sydney these hols is exploring motion, electronics and robotics. Kids just need to BYO imagination and get constructing in these free creative workshops. Make flying machines, Lego armour, a marble run, a wind tube or electrical circuits. Bookings required.

Dates: Various between 1-8 October
Ages: 5-12 years
Where: Kings Cross, Surry Hills, Waterloo, Ultimo, Glebe libraries
Cost: Free
Website: whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Sneak some learning into their holidays with a forensic science workshop, held in various locations including Concord Library.

CSI Forensic Science workshop
Kids who enjoy science mixed with a little bit of drama can join in at this engaging one-hour forensic science workshop. Find clues via fingerprinting and blood typing, facial reconstruction, hair and fibre analysis, DNA work, shoe impression casting and more.

Dates: 1 October
Ages: Secondary students
Where: Concord Library, 60 Flavelle Street, Concord
Cost: Free
Website: www.eventbrite.com.au

Foodie workshops

Workshops at the Paper Mill Food at Liverpool will get the kids making pizza or brownies or decorating cupcakes and more.

Dates: 1-13 October
Ages: 5+
Where: The Paper Mill Food, 20 Shepherd Street, Liverpool
Cost: Free
Website: www.eventbrite.com.au

Crafty kids will find it’s easy to get hooked on crochet.

Crafty Crochet fun

Sydney Crochet 4 Kids is a three-hour school holiday class which will see kids create a cute crochet bookmark, complete with googly eyes and coloured hair. Kids will learn the basics of crochet and tension and be encouraged to personalise their bookmark. Includes a drink, chocolate treat and all materials.

Dates: 1 and 8 October
Ages: 7-12 years
Where: Guylian Cafe at Darling Harbour
Cost: $79
Website: sydneycrochetclub.com.au

Laser Tag Battle

An outdoor battlefield with laser tag weapons, props and sound effects. Kids will hide behind blockade bunkers and walls, plotting with their team mates in a bid to defeat the opposing team in thrilling battles. Fully supervised, these one-hour sessions have different challenges and games to keep the kids entertained.

Dates: 1 & 8 October and 3 & 10 October
Ages: 7+
Where: Archery Centre, Bennelong Parkway Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: $19.25pp or $31 combo session (plus Archery)
Website: www.archerycentre.com.au

Go for a Walk

Located at the southern end of Bradfield Park in Kirribilli, the Broughton Street Lookout is a great lookout point in Sydney to see the city skyline, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Broughton St Lookout
Sunny day? Grab a hat, sunscreen, water and Opal card and enjoy our beautiful city!

Walk across the bridge from Circular Quay to get there, catch a ferry to Milsons Point, or a train at Wynyard station. End the walk with an icecream or lunch at one of the restaurants at Circular Quay or The Rocks.

Dates: Any sunny day
Ages: All
Where: Broughton St, Kirribilli
Cost: Your choice – pack a picnic and it could be free
Website: Best Sydney Walks

Stage X

Consider nurturing your child’s talents with a intensive course.

Young performers will have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the industries leading professionals.
This four day, full-time program will allow the participants to explore workshops in–acting, singing (solo and choral), musical theatre, hip hop and physical theatre.
We’ll wrap up our fun-filled week with the #StageX Showcase for their families and friends.

Dates: Oct 8-11
Ages: 10-18
Where: Pioneer Theatre, Pennant St & Castle St, Castle Hill
Cost: $399
Website: www.bloomcreativeproductions.com

Para-sports School Holiday Camp

Wheelchair Sports NSW invites all school-aged members, siblings and families to the 2019 October Para-sport School Holiday Camp. Kids can expect two days of action-packed fun. All participants will receive morning tea, lunch and expert coaching! To be eligible to attend the camp, attendees must be current members of Wheelchair Sports NSW. If you’re not a current member, you can join here.

Dates: Sep 30 and Oct 1
Ages: 5+
Where: Netball Central, 1 Olympic Boulevarde, Homebush
Cost: $30 for 1 day, $50 for 2 days
Website: wsnsw.org.au