Monday, June 17, 2024
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Fun family ideas for the school holidays

Marilyn Rodrigues
Marilyn Rodrigues
Marilyn Rodrigues is a journalist for The Catholic Weekly. She also writes at Email her at [email protected]


Ice-skating at Cathedral Square
Glide on Australia’s biggest open-air ice-skating rink against the backdrop of St Mary’s Cathedral.
June 29-July 22
Ages: 2+
Where:  St Mary’s Cathedral Forecourt
Cost: $10 kids under 5, $21 kids 5-13, $28 adults, $89 family skate (discounts for online booking)

Sydney Astrofest 2018
The stars have aligned once again, allowing the Faculty of Science to present the annual stellar festival, Sydney Astrofest at the University of Sydney.
Date: Saturday 7 July 4pm – 9pm
Ages: 5+
Where: Sydney University Charles Perkins Centre and Veterinary Science Conference Centre, Johns Hopkins Drive, Camperdown
Cost: Free, but a $2 donation is requested for the planetarium show for under 12s. Bookings are required.
Website: Astrofest Website

Kinderling House Party
The Kinderling House Party transforms City Recital Hall into a family funhouse for the day, with amazing music and  activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Date: Saturday 7 July from 9.30am
Ages: Up to age 12
Where: City Recital Hall
Cost:  All-day standard ticket $35; all-day group ticket (4+) $30; children under two free (must sit on lap of accompanying adult) ticket collection at venue box office
Website: Kinderling House Party

Kids in the Park
More than 50 activities, including writing workshops, sports camps, Lego robotics, digital filmmaking and origami.
Date: July 9–20
Ages: 4+
Where: Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Free and ticketed

Winter holidays at the Sydney Dance Company
The best teachers in the industry will run dance workshops designed to develop technique in a range of styles and teach new choreography to aspiring young dancers.
Date: July 9 to 20
Ages: 5-18
Where: Sydney Dance Company’s Wharf Studios in Sydney, Studio 404 in Parramatta and Bondi Pavilion.
Cost: $30-$250

NAIDOC in the City
This is a free celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Taste special treats from the earth oven, join in the dance circle, watch cooking demonstrations and enjoy live music and performances. Children can join in weaving and painting or join the sporting action in the sports clinics.
Date: Saturday 14 July from 10am to 2pm
 Hyde Park, Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Cost: Free
Website: City of Sydney

Gross & Gory Science
Make fake snot, vile vomit bombs, exploding pimples, fake wounds and more – and learn about the human body. Pro tip: Wear old clothes!
Dates: 18 July at 9am–12pm
Ages: 7-12
Where: Museums Discovery Centre
Cost: $45
Website: Gross and Gory Science Website


Incredibles 2 (PG)
The likeable family of superheroes is back – but this time Helen is in the spotlight, leaving Bob at home with Violet and Dash to navigate the day-to-day heroics of ‘normal’ life.
Note: several scenes may be frightening for younger children, and some with flashing lights may affect epilepsy sufferers.

Hotel Transylvania (PG)
Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel.

Ant-man and the Wasp (PG)
Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym, Lang must once again don the Ant-Man suit and fight alongside the Wasp.

Not sure about the suitability or content of a movie for your kid? Check out or


Bake-off: Do a big grocery shop and get the children in the kitchen. Watch Kids in the Kitchen with Jamie Oliver videos for inspiration.

$2 Dollar shop: Give the kids $5-$10 each, and let them pick out what they want from a cheap discount shop to play with for the day.

Teach me to play: Get the kids to teach you their favourite video or computer game. Then you teach them an old-school favourite from when you were young.

Get crafty: check out popular craft websites such as Childhood 101Be a Fun MumNo Time for FlashcardsPicklebums, Planning with Kids.

Paint: Cover a tiled floor inside, or on a verandah or balcony outside, in a couple of layers of plain paper, get out the kids’ paints and let them go for it.

Bedsheet cubby house: Set up an indoor obstacle course or use sheets to make a cubby house or tent under a table.

Battery day: Put fresh batteries in all the kids’ toys, torches, activity trackers, games and other gadgets. We guarantee they’ll be occupied for the rest of the day!

Recycle: Find cardboard boxes, cartons, tubs, give the kids glue, glitter, textas, crayons, paint, dry pasta, pipe cleaners, and foil and give them free reign.

Movie time: Make popcorn, get out rugs, throws, or blankets and snuggle up with a big stack of story books or a family movie.

Build: Pull out the train sets, Lego, building blocks and jigsaw puzzles that have been forgotten about.

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