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Boredom Busting Budget Proof Holiday Hits

Home > Melbourne > Family | Free | Kids | Outdoor | School Holiday Activities | Lists
by Bianca N V (subscribe)
Bianca N V is a freelance writer, PR guru, lover of shoes and all things girly, Mum of four and life-long explorer of Melbourne's south east and more. 'Like' and subscribe for updates to keep you and your kids entertained for a little or even less.
Published January 20th 2015
An idea a day no matter what weather Melbourne has in store
The count down is on. It's the final week of the school holidays. You can almost hear the bell ringing in term one. But you're not just short of ideas; your wallet is probably also a lot lighter. Don't despair! Here's some boredom busting and budget conscious ideas to help keep the kids entertained, no matter what weather Melbourne throws at us this week.

Beat the heat on hot days:

1. If you're not up for a hot day out, how about a good old-fashioned backyard water fight? Dig out the water guns and water balloons and keep everyone cool. The plants won't mind it at all either!

2. Make jelly; give kids the option of making a colour each to layer gradually as one sets at a time. Add chocolate Freddos for a Frog in the Pond finish.

3. Make homemade ice-cream – here's some recipes from Taste.com

4. Or, get out early and head to the Children's Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, where the water fountains will be in full force, and the ankle deep stream and fully enclosed gardens offer safe and shaded play areas.

Ian Potter Children's Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens
My kids monkeying around in the shade at the Children's Garden.


5. Visit one of the many indoor or outdoor pools around for an afternoon. Some of our favourites are:

• Waves in Chesterville Road, Highett, which of course boasts the popular indoor wave pool, is far less crowded these days and has good lunch and snack options that don't cost the earth.

Waves Wave Pool Swimming Summer Hot Days Toddler Pool Water Play
My littlest enjoying the toddler pool while waves break behind her from the wave pool.


• Carnegie Swim Centre, located in Koornang Park on Moira Avenue, which has four outdoor heated pools, including a covered toddler pool with a frog slide, as well as a dive tower and pool for the brave and daring, electric BBQs and a kiosk. This Sunday 24th and the next, you can also enjoy live music poolside.

• Ashburton Pool, tucked away in Warner Avenue, which has a great indoor water play area.

• GESAC (the Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre) in East Boundary Road, East Bentleigh, with its amazing water play area and two water slides, which snake between indoors and out.

What's your favourite local public pool? Please share in the comments.


Wave bye-bye to boredom on milder days:

1. If you'd rather stay in, how about baking and decorating some cupcakes with the kids? Pull out your left-over party lolly stash, sprinkles and icing mix and let their creativity lead the way.

2. If you're a bit of a green thumb or just feeling earthy, why not plant that veggie garden or flower bed you've been thinking about and get the kids involved? Get them to first draw some pictures showing how the patch should look, and think about the kinds of plants they will need, then head off to your local nursery for supplies. This project is certain to keep the kids occupied and enjoying some fresh air for hours, and you'll get a nice garden bed at the end of it. Also check out your local Bunnings for free gardening workshops in-store and advice.

growing strawberries gardening vegie patch
If you're not up for a whole garden bed, these herb/strawberry pots are a great alternative.


3. If you're keen to get out, what about getting on your bike and going for a family ride? Perhaps meet up with some friends at a nearby park and have a picnic and play, or drop in on the grandparents if they're close by.

4. Take a drive into the beautiful Dandenong Ranges – it's a beautiful and magical part of the world with so much on offer for families.

5. While it's not so scorching hot, why not head to the beach, build some sand castles, have a splash and enjoy some fish and chips? Some of our family-friendly favourites are:

• Mentone Beach, which is patrolled by Mentone Lifesaving Club and given a 3/10 rating (least hazardous) by Beachsafe. The Lifesaving Club runs a kiosk all year round, serving tea, coffee and snacks.

• Parkdale, which is also rated 3/10 by Beachsafe and patrolled by the Parkdale Lifesaving Club. It is also home to the cosy Parkdale Beach Café & Kiosk, which offers a beautiful view of the beach over lunch or coffee.

• Mordialloc, with its terrific park and play area in nearby Peter Scullin Reserve, wide areas of clean sand and shallow waters, not to mention shops, cafes and restaurants very close-by.

• Mornington's Schnapper Point stretch of beach, with ankle to knee deep water, rock pools for exploring, The Rocks Mornington and the nearby Schnapper Point Playground with a fantastic and recently upgraded play area.

Schnapper Point Mornington Beach Yachts Fishing Summer Hot Days
Looking out across Schnapper Point, Mornington.


schnapper point mornington beach sand castles summer hot days
Building sandcastles never gets old - at Schnapper Point Beach in Mornington.


Schnapper Point Park Mornington Playgrounds Beach Summer Hot Days
The popular pirate ship at Schnapper Point Park, Mornington.


Where are your favourite Melbourne beaches? Please share in the comments.


Keep dry, and your cool, on rainy days:

1. Close the curtains, turn off the lights, heat up some popcorn and have your own movie marathon – think about the movies you grew up loving that your kids haven't seen, you may be surprised how much they enjoy some old classics like the original Star Wars Trilogy (1977 PG), The NeverEnding Story (1984 PG) and Labyrinth (1986 PG).

2. Defy the weather and head to any number of indoor pools for the afternoon.

3. Hit up your local play centre.

4. Pay a visit to the Museum, ScienceWorks and/or the Planetarium.

5. Check out Kidz Flicks at Village Cinemas for a cheaper day out at the movies.

What are your favourite rainy day activities? Please share in the comments.


Enjoy the last week of the summer school holidays and have a great time with your kids, whatever the weather in Melbourne may have in store.
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Why? Five all weather, low cost ideas for the last week of the summer school holidays.
When: The last week of the summer school holidays and any time you're struggling for fun ideas on a budget.
Where: Various places of interest in Melbourne's South East.
Cost: Free and low cost activities.
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