These school holidays, give the busy Brisbane CBD a miss. Parking is expensive and rare, the roads are congested and there are just too many people around. Take a drive out to Ipswich and sample these amazing activities, which are all under $10.
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Ipswich Nature Centre
Located inside the grounds of Queens Park, Ipswich Nature Centre offers the experience of the zoo without the hassle or the price tag. Ample parking is available either in Queens Park or the dedicated Nature Centre car park. The animal enclosures are surrounded by a pram and wheelchair friendly boardwalk making this experience accessible to everyone.
The exhibits have been designed with local flora in mind, and are set within a beautiful leafy garden. The list of animals on display is impressive--wallabies, snakes, bilbies and wombats to name a few. There is also a walk through bird aviary and the Australian Barn, where you can see some farmyard favourites. Feeding time at the barn area is held at 11.30am daily.
Admission to the centre is free, though you are encouraged to drop a gold coin in the box on your way out. Money raised goes to the care and maintenance of the animals and will help to ensure the centre remains a free attraction. Ipswich Nature Centre is open from 9.30am til 4pm everyday of the school holidays, except Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Is your house covered in little plastic Lego bricks, waiting to attack unsuspecting feet in the middle of the night? Lego has been a favourite of children for decades. The fun of Lego is brought to life at Switch Bricks. This pop-up shop is run every school holidays from Sacred Heart Primary School, Booval.
There are personal Lego collections on display for you and your kids to be inspired by, as well as creative stations to turn those imaginings into actualities. Little ones will love the Duplo Dreaming area, with the larger blocks easier for small hands to manage. Switch Bricks also runs competitions with exciting Lego themed prizes to be won.
Switch Bricks will be open these school holidays from 6-13 April. Two sessions are held each day, from 9am til 12pm and 1pm til 4pm. Tickets are $2 for the under threes, and $8 for ages four to fourteen. Bookings are recommended and can be made by texting 0403 770 688.
Pop down to your local Ipswich library branch and take advantage of their school holiday program. There are several different activities scheduled across the holidays to cater for all age groups and interests. Sessions on offer include Egg Innovations Workshop, a karaoke session and a screening of the DreamWorks movie Turbo. Children can also get creative in the Makerspace, doing drawings and making things. Many sessions are free to library card holders. The library encourages bookings to avoid disappointment, but will accommodate drop ins if their is space available.
While you're at the library, borrow some books, cds or dvds to take home for the kids to enjoy over the holidays. If you're not already a member, applying is quick and easy. Your library card will be ready within minutes. Ipswich library branches are located in Ipswich Central, Redbank, Springfield and Redbank Plains. For full details of activities on offer or to make a booking, visit the libraries website.
Everyone's favourite underwater adventurers are coming to Ipswich. Captain Barnacles has brought the Octopod to Redbank Plaza where he will be appearing in a live show, from Monday 7 April til Saturday 12 April. There will be two shows daily at 11am and 1pm, with a meet and greet at 12 midday.
This is a free event, but Mr Toys will have lots of Octonauts goodies for sale beside the performance area, so you may have to part with some cash to keep the kids happy. Performances will take place on level one outside Aldi, and will be approximately thirty minutes long.
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Ipswich Art Gallery
Ipswich Art Gallery was the first gallery in Australia to have a permanent gallery space dedicated to children. Until Sunday 27 April, kids can have a go at The Ball Run. Use recycled materials to build a path for your ball in the ultimate design challenge. Learn how using different items can create different paths, and make your ball go slower or faster. See who can make the longest, fastest run and record your times on the leader board.
These school holidays Ipswich Art Gallery is also running performances of Squaring the Wheel. This is a theatre-circus show using puppets, magic and many other weird and wonderful things which the whole family will enjoy. Performances are on at various times over the school holidays, with admission $5 for all tickets. For full details on performance times, visit the Ipswich Art Gallery website.