40 fun ideas for the school holidays

Reading Time: 9 minutes
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is one of the movies showing at the Moonlight Cinema these holidays.

School’s out for the summer and we have got your back with a bumper list of 40 school holiday ideas in and around Sydney.

Moonlight Cinema
Christmas films such as The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and other family-friendly flicks will be showing at the famous outdoor theatre.
Until March 31
Ages: All
Where: Centennial Park
Cost: $15-$35
Website: moonlight.com.au

Junior Clay School Holiday School
A two-day clay workshop for ages 6-9. Clay School will give kids the chance to experience this amazing material, learn new skills and apply their imagination to its addictive diversity.
Dates: Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 January, 11.30-3.30pm
Ages: 6-9
Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Cost: $50 for 2 days (all materials included)
Website: casulapowerhouse.com

Drama Camp

A comprehensive course for young drama geeks. Students develop their performance skills and learn about the art of performing. At the end of the program, students will perform to family and friends. This is a two-day workshop
Dates: Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 January, 11.30-3.30pm
Ages: 10-12
Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Cost: $50 for 2 days (all materials included)
Website: casulapowerhouse.com

Drawing on a Younger Mind
A two-day workshop to introduce kids to new perspectives on drawing, they will create innovative artworks to take home.
Dates: 15 and 16 January 2019, 11.30am-3.30pm
Ages: 10-14
Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Cost: $50 for 2 days (all materials included)
Website: casulapowerhouse.com

Dance Camp
A two-day energetic and fun dance workshop for students to explore the foundations of dance, while working on their rhythm and co-ordination to develop their skills.
Dates:15 and 16 January 2019, 12-4pm
Ages: 6-9
Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Cost: $50 for 2 days (all materials included)
Website: casulapowerhouse.com

Star Attraction
Star Wars lovers will enjoy this series of fun 1-day workshops for various ages which are part of its Star Wars Identities exhibition. From special effects, to design, to stop motion using Star Wars Lego.
Dates: Various dates from December 17 to January 24, 10am-4pm
Ages: 11-13
Where: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo
Cost: From $100 per child
Website: maas.museum

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas
Elfis and Elvin the Elves have been sent to Australia to make preparations for Santa’s visit but things don’t go to plan….These two cheeky elves will have you laughing and singing as they battle the harsh Aussie environment to make sure Christmas happens!
Dates:  20th and 21st December 2018, 10.30am-11.30am
Ages: 6-12 and their families
Where: Lion Gate Lodge Garden, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Cost: $14 per person. All children must be accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.
Website: rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

Future Vet Kids Camp
Fill the long summer holidays with learning at this five-day workshop that gives kids a behind-the-scenes look into the world of veterinary science and animal care.
Monday 7 January-Friday 18 January
Waverley College, 131 Birrell St, Waverley 

Storytime Ballet: Coppèlia
Experience ballet’s most playful comedy live on stage in an interactive production created especially for children aged three and up.
Dates: Wednesday 19 December–Saturday 29 December 2018
Ages: 3+
 In the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Cost: from $44.00
Website: sydneyoperahouse.com

Kids’ Kanga Kitchen – Aboriginal Holiday Program
Jump into action with our Aboriginal educators for an exciting hands-on cooking and learning experience. Create your own Kangaroo burger and native plant-infused cupcakes!
Dates: Tue 15 and Thu 17 Jan 2019, 10am – 12pm
Ages: 5-12
Cost: $20 per child
Where: The Bowden Centre, Australian Botanic Garden
Website: australianbotanicgarden.com.au

Apollo 11 at Barangaroo
As part of a city-wide commemoration of Apollo 11, the 1969 space flight that first landed people on the moon, 11 artworks and participatory experiences have been commissioned to celebrate the work of 11 heroes of space exploration as part of Sydney Festival.
Dates: 9-27 January 2019
Ages: All
Barangaroo’s commercial, retail and dining precinct

Youtube Crash Course
Take inspiration from YouTubers to develop and design videos and artwork for your YouTube channel!
Dates: 8-9 January, 21-22 January
Ages: 10-13
Cost: $180-$200
Powerhouse Museum
Website: maas.museum

Extreme Engineering
Explore the world of engineering and construct some awesome contraptions.
24 January
Years K-6
Where: The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan

Gross and Gory Workshop
Explore all things creepy and gooey in the name of studying the human body. Make fake snot, vile vomit bombs, exploding pimples, fake wounds and more. Not for the faint hearted…but so much fun! Wear old clothes in this one!
Dates: Thu 24 Jan 2019, 1pm – 4pm
 The Australian Plant Bank , the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
Cost:  $45 per child
Website: australianbotanicgarden.com.au

Ned Kelly and Co.
Join the Ned Kelly and Co. drama company and learn about the lives of Australia’s most notorious and dangerous bushrangers in this engaging and action-packed theatre production.
Friday 18 Jan 2019, 10am-10.45am, 11.15am – 12pm
$16 per child (children must be accompanied by their carer)
The Bowden Centre, Mount Annan Australian Botanic Gardens
Website: australianbotanicgarden.com.au

Wild about Whales Activity Room
Whales and other sea creatures need our help to raise awareness of ocean pollution and how to reduce plastic use. Join Bundjalung Elder and artist, Aunty Karleen Green, and weave gawura-niya (whales) and other sea creatures using recycled materials.
The museum recommends allowing at least 15-30 minutes participate in this activity room.
January 2019 to 25 January 2019, drop in any time 10.30am–2pm
 The Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney
$10 general admission; adults free after general admission
Website: australianmuseum.net.au

Code a bot: Sustainable Superpowers!
Plastics are polluting the oceans and we need you in charge of programming LEGO WeDo Robots to collect and sort rubbish before it enters our waterways. Kids will construct their own models and use code to bring their bots to life!
Dates: Two sessions: 10am–12.30pm and 2–4.30pm, 15, 16 & 24 January
Ages: 7-10
Where: Culture Space, Level 2 (behind Search & Discover) | The Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney NSW 2010
Cost: $42 Member | $47 General Admission
Website: australianmuseum.net.au

Scientist for a Day : Marine Biologist
Dive into the underwater world of whales in this full day program for mini-marine biologists.
Dates: 9am-4pm,17 & 21 January
Address: Meeting point: Crystal Hall (Museum entrance), corner William and College Streets, The Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney
Cost: $105 Member, $125 General Admission
Website: australianmuseum.net.au

Jump Into: littleBits
Use the power of electronics to build, prototype and invent! littleBits is a system of components that snap together to easily create hardware. Construct circuits and create prototypes of models and dioramas with lights, switches and buzzers.
14 January 2019 from 9.30-11.30am
Where: Museums Discovery Centre, 172 Showground Rd Castle Hill
 From $20.00

Jump Into: Coding Minecraft
Come and experience minecraft with a twist! Step into an alternate reality in an all new stand-alone Minecraft experience: Minecraft Education Edition. Using Minecraft Education and Microsoft MakeCode, code your own Secret Agent to do your bidding; build a new house, destroy blocks and create giant floating cubes.
Dates: 16 & 24 January 2019, 9.30-11.30am
Ages: 8-12
Cost: from $20.00
Where: Museums Discovery Centre

For Families: Minecraft EDU
Ever wanted to share in the Minecraft experience your children have? Learn the secrets of the world of Minecraft EDU! This class is designed to give parents an understanding of Minecraft EDU and how it can be utilised as a learning experience. Each child attending must have an accompanying adult.
Dates: 14 January 2019, 1-3pm
Ages: 7-Adult
Address: Museums Discovery Centre
Cost: from $20.00
Website: maas.museum

Kids vs Wild
Make a water filter, avoid the spray of the spitting cobra and explore pods with dip netting.
Dates: 14 and 24 January
Ages: 5-12
Where: Centennial Parklands
Cost: $29
Website: centennialparklands.com.au

Bush Pizza
Kids will learn all about native Australian plants, and how they were used by the Aboriginal people. Bring all the ingredients together to make your very own yummy pizza, from materials in Centennial Park.
Dates: 15 and 21 January
Ages: 5-12
Cost: $29.00 per ticket
Where: The WILD PLAY Discovery Centre, Centennial Park
Website: centennialparklands.com.au

Wet and Wonderful Science
Jam-packed workshop with experiments with water and bubbles kids learn about surface tension, experiment with air pressure, make giant bubbles, launch rockets into the sky and much more.
Dates: Thursday 24 January
Ages: Grades 1-6
 The WILD PLAY Discovery Centre, Centennial Parklands Grand Drive, Sydney
Cost: $45.00
Website: www.centennialparklands.com.au

Little Kids 2 Keeper
Experience the day of a zoo keeper. Enter an animal’s enclosure and visit the ‘off display’ reptile room.
Dates: 2-25 January
Ages: 7-12
 Australian Reptile Park
Cost: $80
Website: reptilepark.com.au

Steve Backshall is back, this time to share Australia’s deadliest wildlife with his brand new stage show, Deadly 60 Down Under.
Dates: Friday 11 January-Saturday 12 January
Ages: 5+
Where: Sydney Opera House
Cost: Tickets from $39 +$8.50 booking fee per transaction
Website: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus
Tumble and fly through the magical world of Wolfgang on stage and experience Mozart’s irrepressible spirit and vibrant compositions through physical comedy and mischievous antics
Dates: Friday 11 January – Saturday 12 January 2019
Ages:  4+
  In the playhouse, Sydney Opera House
Cost: from $25.00
Website: sydneyoperahouse.com

The 91-Storey Treehouse

Explore the nutty world of Andy and Terry’s 91-Storey Treehouse live on stage.
Dates: Thursday 3 January-Sunday 20 January
Ages: 6+
Where: Sydney Opera House
Cost: Tickets from $39 +$8.50 booking fee per transaction
Website: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

Scavenger Hunt
Use the map to find and take a photo with all the items on the list to claim a prize!
Dates: 14-17 January and 21-25 January
Ages: 5-12
Where: Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Free
Website: sydneyolympicpark.com.au

Diving Clinic
Learn diving techniques using the springboard and 3m platforms under expert supervision.
Dates: 7-11 January, 14-18, 21-25
Ages: 5-16
Where: Aquatic Centre, Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: $24-$30
Website: sydneyolympicpark.com.au

Creative Play
Fashion a fort, build a pyramid or create your own mini Opera House to play and explore in.
3-25 January
Ages: All
Where: Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Free
Website: sydneyolympicpark.com.au

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
See songs from the original film about Roald Dahl’s delicious tale alongside a new Broadway score.
5 January-19 May
Ages: 6+
Where: Capitol Theatre
Cost: From $59.90
Website: capitoltheatre.com.au

Ickypedia 2019
The Listies bring their book Ickypedia: A Dictionary of Disgusting New Words to the stage.
10-23 January
Ages: 4+
Where: Monkey Baa Theatre, Darling Harbour
Cost: $24-$29
Website: monkeybaa.com.au

Night Owls Festival
This outdoor cinema returns with free family-friendly move screenings from 6.45pm.
Dates: 4-20 January
Ages: All
Where: Darling Quarter
Cost: Free
Website: darlingquarter.com

Arts and Craft
Kids can let their creativity run wild at Event Cinema’s movie-themed colouring-in tables and craft stations.
Dates: 22 December-27 January
Ages: 3-13
Where: Select Event Cinemas
Cost: Free
Website: eventcinemas.com.au

New Year’s Eve in Parramatta Park
Watch in wonder as Parramatta’s skyline sparkles with light and colour this New Year’s Eve in the stunning grounds of the World Heritage-listed Parramatta Park.
There will be a host of entertainment and family-friendly activities, followed by a huge fireworks finale!
Dates: Monday 31 December, 4pm-9pm
Ages: All
  Parramatta Park, Parramatta
Cost: Free
Website: discoverparramatta.com/nye

Meet and Roar
Dinosaur Valley rangers will take visitors on a journey through time to explore the fascinating world of dinosaurs among a towering Jurassic rainforest.
Dates: Now up to 28 January
Where: Scenic World Violet Street & Cliff Drive, Katoomba
 Family passes are $99 and include entry to Scenic World
Website: dinosaurvalley.com.au

Keep Calm and BMX
This riding clinic is organised in conjunction with Sydney BMX Club. There will be professional coaches and riders to guide you and help you navigate the BMX track.
Date: Tuesday 15 January, three 1-hour sessions available from 9am-12.30pm
Ages: 8-14
Where: Sydney BMX Track, Hill Road, Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Free

Fit Fantastic Kids
Energetic and experienced Master Trainer and Kids Coach, Ali from Fit Fantastic, delivers a fun variety of outdoor or indoor games, activities and races to keep kids laughing, cheering, engaged and active!
Date: 25 January, 10am-11.30am
Ages: 5-12
Where: West Epping Park, Mountain Street, Epping
Cost: Free
Website: eventbrite

Catch a Movie

Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG)
Six years after Wreck-it-Ralph Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz discover a Wi-Fi router in their arcade, leading them to a new adventure.

Mary Poppins Returns (G)
The mysterious Mary Poppins returns to Depression-era London to visit Jane and her brother Michael, now a father of three, and helps them rediscover the joy they knew as children.

Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)
This movie introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

Not sure about the suitability or content of a movie for your kid? Check out commonsensemedia.org or kids-in-mind.com