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Budget School Holiday Activities in Melbourne: Spring 2013

Home > Melbourne > School Holiday Activities | Parks | Outdoor | Kids | Free
by Olga R. (subscribe)
I am a writer in the making with a passion for imagery, globetrotting and exquisite designs.
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Minimize the spending and maximize the fun
Budgeting for School Holidays

As Melbourne nears the end of the first month of spring, the whole of nature is waking from her long winter dream, fully rested and ready to kick up a storm. Remind you of anyone you know? As the pretty little blossoms they are, your kids will be no different. Make sure you keep watering them and give them plenty of sunlight, and check out these great budget-happy options for the school holidays.

Full Budget Joy

The following activities are absolutely free of cost. Not as in 'included with entry' or 'if you buy something else' - just plain free.

Electric Puppet

Where? The Atrium at Federation Square.

What? Fed Square's Creative Program is featuring a double puppet program these school holidays. Electric Puppet is a hands-on workshop where your kids can learn to make animated puppets and then watch them live on the screens of Federation Square.

When? 23, 24, 29, 30 September, 1 October 2013, 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4pm.

Snuff Puppets - Wedhus Gembel

Where? Flinders Street Amphitheatre.

What? Australian and Indonesian artists come together to create a vibrant, colourful 45-minute puppet theatre performance.

When? 2 October to 5 October 2013, 2pm and 6pm.

The Wedhus Gembel, from

Scarecrow Making

Where? The Pop up Patch on the roof of the car park at Federation Square.

What? A half-hour, hands-on session where your kinds can learn how to make a proper scarecrow. While all the necessary scarecrow-building material is provided, hat and sunscreen are not, so be sure to take those along. Also note that spots are limited so hurry up and secure yours.

When? Every Saturday and Sunday, 12pm to 12.30pm.

Dinosaur Adventures Exhibition

Where? The Water Gardens Town Center in Taylors Lakes. Find detailed information on how to get there by car or public transport here.

What? Think Jurassic Park meets your local mall. This exhibition features life-size, animated prehistoric creatures as well as other dinosaur-related fun.

Also, be sure to pick up a flier at the Watergardens centre to get some school holiday specials, which include deals like free kids under 12 meals every Monday and Tuesday at Hogs Breath Café. See the Water Gardens website for more details as well as terms and conditions.

When? 23 September to 13 October 2013.

Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing Exhibition

Where? The ACMI in Federation Square.

What? The exhibition features the original drawings from Shaun Tan's popular book The Lost Thing, as well as footage showing how the illustrations were transformed into the moving picture that won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2010.

When? Ongoing until Sunday 19 January 2014. Open every day from 10am to 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day and closes at 4pm on Wednesday 25 September 2013.

Junior Rangers Program

Where? Various locations.

What? The Junior Ranger program is Parks Victoria's very own initiative aimed at bringing primary-aged kids closer to nature through activities in its various parks and reserves. Browse through the list to see how many free activities are on offer, but please note that many require a reservation and spots are running out fast.

When? 23 September to 04 October 2013.

Kids activities at Bunnings, from

Kids D.I.Y. Workshops

Where? Your local Bunnings.

What? Bunnings offers a workshop with various home and garden themes where kids can learn, explore and make things like wall art and planter boxes. Contact your nearest store for more details and booking.

When? Every weekend.

Budget Friendly

The following options come with a price - but a small one. As you will see, many are also included in entry fees to museums or other attractions.

Lizard Rocks

Where? The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.

What? Decorating a rock for lizards to bake in the sun on that children can then take home and put in their garden.

When? Tuesday 1 October, 11.30am - 12.30pm.

Costs? $3.50 per child.

Wildflower Secret Garden

Where? The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.

What? Children aged 3-5 are invited to take part in this 20 min activity in which they can make their very own wildflower secret garden.

When? 24 September and 26 September 2013, 11.30am - 12.30pm.

Costs? $3.50 per child.

Children's Week

Where SkyHigh Mount Dandenong.

What? A week packed with outdoor fun and games like face painting, pony rides, mini golf and treasure hunts.

When? 23 September to 03 October 2013.

Costs? Admission is $2 for children under 12 and pensioners, $3 for adults, and $5 per vehicle. The activities themselves are free, except for the maze. Please note that the activities require registration.

Wildflower Secret Garden activity, from

School Holiday Program at Scienceworks

Where? Spotswood, Victoria. See map & directions here.

What? A range of activities that spell out educational science fun. See the list of options and pricing below.

When? 21 September to 6 October 2013.

Costs? Admission to Scienceworks is $10 for adults and free for children aged 3-16 and accepted concession cards.

Mathamasing - Included in museum entry.

Planetarium Shows - $6 for adults, $5 for concessions and $4.50 for children, plus museum entry fee.

Bolt from the Blue in the Lightning Room Show (for children 6 and up) - $6 for adults, $5 for concessions and $4.50 for children, plus museum entry fee.

Collection store Tours - Included in museum entry.

Measure Hunt - Included in museum entry.

School Holiday Program at the Immigration Museum

Where? Flinders Street, Melbourne CBD.

What and When? 3 Activities with a Vietnamese theme.

Vietnamese Mask Making Activity - Children will learn how they make masks for the harvest festival in Vietnam. Every day until 6 October 2013, 10am to 5pm.

Vietnamese Lantern Making Activity - Kids can make Vietnamese style lanterns like those used in the lantern festivals in Vietnam. Every day until 6 October 2013, 10am to 5pm.

Story Telling - Children can listen to tales from Vietnam about traditional festivals and from other countries. 24 September to 27 September, 1 October to 4 October 2013, 11am to 11.30am.

Costs? All the activities are included in the museum entry. Admission to the Immigration Museum is $10 for adults and free for children aged 3-16 and accepted concession cards.

School Holiday Program at the Melbourne Museum

Where? Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre of the Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton.

What and When?

Naghlingah Boorais: Beautiful Children - An exhibition of traditional possum skin cloaks made by Koorie children to proudly celebrate their heritage. Every day until 24 February 2014,10am to 5pm.

Cloaked in Culture - Kids can create their very own possum skin cloak designs for their Koorie paper dolls. Every day until 6 October 2013, 11am to 3pm.

Birrarung Story Time - Story telling on the welcome rug. Every day until 6 October 2013, 11am to 11.30 am, 12pm to 12.30pm, 1pm to 1.30pm.

Costs? All the activities are included in the museum entry. Admission to the Melbourne Museum is $10 for adults and free for children aged 3-16 and accepted concession cards.
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