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Free Activities for Kids in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Family | Free | Kids | School Holiday Activities | School Holidays | Lists
by Monique Thorpe (subscribe)
Globe-trotting nomad life since April 2015.
Published January 15th 2017
For those sick of hearing "Muuuum I'm bored"

If the school holidays and Christmas have left your bank account looking worse for wear, and you feel like you just can't have the kids in the house for another day, then fear not! Here are some FREE kids activity ideas - they cover every day from today until the kids go back to school. These activities are all based in the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs because I know that inner-city parents do not always have the same accessibility to playgrounds and outdoor play spaces that some suburban parents do.

For those living in the Melbourne burbs, then these are a great way to get your kids into the city and enjoying Melbourne without spending a fortune. So let's dive in and get those kids of yours entertained, educated and having fun new experiences - all for FREE!

15 January
Flip It and Spin It

Do you have fond memories of the humble flip books from your youth? Your kids can have those same memories, but with the advances of today's technology intertwined into the experience. In this interactive exhibition, kids learn how characters are morphed and transformed into a short animation by creating their own flipbooks and thaumatropes.

The magic of a flip book touches everybody. It's considered to be one of the earliest forms of the moving image. A flip book comprises pages featuring a sequence of drawings or photographs. When they're flipped through the fingers, they create the illusion of a moving image – the drawings literally come to life in your hands!

Dates: 4 - 25 January
Times: 11am - 2pm
Place: ACMI
Click here of more info

16 January
Make a hip hop music video!

Become the star of your very own hip hop music video.

In this workshop your kids will learn a dance routine, some acrobatics (freezes) and be filmed, making a fully edited and professional hip hop music video DVD. 

Please note that participants of this incursion must have signed permission slips to be filmed. Should a child not have their permission slip signed they may participate in the full incursion but not the recording.

Time: 10am to 12pm
Place: North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne

Bookings: This event is free however you must register online - click here to register
Ages: 7 years
Click here for more info
school holidays, kids, hip hop, music video, city of melbourne
Source: Make a hip hop music video!

17 January
Once Upon a Tune

Playful and fun, Once Upon a Tune is an interactive, musical adventure for primary school children and the young at heart! Discover your inner magical and musical powers, and help save the forest from the evil giant. Featuring live music by Beethoven, Brahms, and Australian composer, Colin Brumby.
Time: 10.30am – 11.15am

Place: City Library (Upstairs in the gallery), 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Bookings: This event is free however you must register online - click here to register
Ages: 5
free school holiday activities
Source: Once Upon a Tune

18 January
Workshop: Magical Masks with Kitiya Plasmas

Kitiya Palaskas is an Australian craft-based designer focusing primarily on using handmade techniques and traditional craft methods re-imagined in a contemporary way. Expect bold colours and kitsch themes!
Dates: Running 16 - 20 January
Time: 10am - 3pm
Place: National Gallery of Victoria, Great Hall, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Ages: All ages. Parent/Carer supervision is required.
For more info click here

19 January
A Matter of Factory Installation

Soft Stories is the collaborative practice of textile artist Cat Rabbit and animator Isobel Knowels. Together they create mechanically crafted experiences, exhibitions and children's books. Their installation, A Matter of Factory will be on display for all to enjoy at the National Gallery of Victoria. Great for kids, and perfect for combining with a creative event at NGV. Bring a picnic lunch and pop over to the Royal Botanical Gardens for lunch and let the kids run free in a safe place afterwards.

Dates: Running 16 - 26 January
Time: 10am - 3pm
Place: National Gallery of Victoria, Great Hall, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Ages: All ages. Parent/Carer supervision is required.
Click here for more info

Source: A Matter of Factory Installation

20 January
Tutu-Making Workshop

Perfect for little ballerinas, dress-up lovers and your frill-enthusiast children! The kids can make their own tutu to take home, inspired by their favourite journey, colour or fashion. This tutu-making workshop will incorporate ballet, games and an obstacle course to keep their attention and make the day a fun filled adventure for more than just your mini fashionistas.

Time: 10.30am – 11.30am
Place: Library at The Dock, 107-117 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands
Bookings: This is a free event however bookings can be made via this link
Ages: 3 to 7 years

21 January
Les Moutons

All the way from Canada, just to keep our kiddies entertained! Reality meets fantasy in this wordless live installation that recreates a bucolic country scene in a typical urban setting. Travel to a strange and hilarious universe with this carefully-studied, surrealistic overview of sheep behaviour as Julie, Marie-Louise, Bernadette, and César as Les Moutons (The Sheep) take up residence on the Arts Centre Melbourne Lawn for an unforgettable stay this summer! This truly-innovative performance twists reality in surprising ways and takes audience interaction to new heights!

Dates and Times: 19 January, 10:15am, 12pm, 4pm
20 & 22 January, 10:15am, 1:15pm
21 January, 10:15am, 1:15pm, 3pm
Place: Arts Centre Melbourne Lawn
For more info, click here

Source: Les Moutons

22 January
Dance the Pacific

Inject a little bit of the pacific into these school holidays. Join Nuholani on an exciting and breathtaking voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti in this free dance workshop for the whole family. Follow hips that sway and roll like the sands of Waikiki and journey through the Pacific with the sound of the pulsating drums of the islands. This is sure to be great fun for both kids and parents, be sure to bring the camera!

Time: 11am – noon
Place: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr, Batman Avenue, Melbourne
Age: 4 to 12 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Source: Dance the Pacific

23 January
Sparkle Songbirds

This one is for your little little ones, perfect for toddlers and babies, because they shouldn't be forgotten just because their older siblings are on school holidays. Come to North Melbourne Library for a very special, glittery, sparkly songbirds session. It's heaps of fun for the little ones. Older kids can be kept busy with a good book for a little while, so you can play with your youngest for a while.

Time: 10am - 11.30am
Place: North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Ages: Babies and toddlers

24 January
Michael Jackson Tribute Workshop

Does your little one think they can dance?! This workshop is taught by industry professional dancer Chloe Stuart, teaches you those great Michael Jackson signature dance moves to songs such as 'Thriller', 'Smooth Criminal' and 'Black or White'. The King of Pop lives on!
Time:10.30am – 12.30pm
Place: City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Booking: This is a free event however bookings are required - you can book via this link
Ages: Ages 5 - 12

25 January
Squishy Circuits

Come to Library at The Dock for some electronics fun and learn how to Use conductive and non-conductive play-doh to make circuits you can sculpt. If you have a curious minded chilled, or an engineer in the making, this perfect for them!

Time: 3.30pm - 4.30m
Place: Library at The Dock, 107-117 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands
Booking: This is a free event however bookings are required via this link

26 January
The Comedy Kids Magic Show

Fun for the whole family and featuring stunning visual magic and comedy, The Comedy Magic Show stars Luke Hocking who has been performing magic professionally for over 12 years and was in the grand final of Australia's Got Talent in the magic trio Gentlemen of Deceit. 

Time: 11am and 2pm
Place: National Gallery of Victoria, Great Hall, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Ages: All ages. Parent/Carer supervision is required.
For more info, click here

Source: The Comedy Kids Magic Show

27 January
Summer Pirates Playground

At Neverland Adventure the kids can meet the characters of Peter Pan and be a part of this pirate adventure show. As well as this the kids can take a walk through the Treasure Island and explore the giant tall-ship. There is also a Treasure Chest Money Box Decorating station to keep their creative sides happy too.

Dates: Running 16 - 29 January
Time: 11am - 2pm
Place: Harbour Town, Docklands
Ages: All ages
Click here for more info

28 January
Lunar New Year at the Queen Victoria Markets

Delight in traditional performances from local and international acts, marvel at the mythical creatures and receive a message of prosperity from the Hongbao Wishing Wall.

Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Entertainment Schedule
10am Chinese Youth Society Lion Dance
10.25am Lai Zhou Chinese Martial Arts Academy
11.05am Chinese Performing Arts Development
11.45am New Eastern Chinese Instrument Group
12.05pm Time Chinese Dance School
12.20pm Vocal solo
12.30pm Cooking Demonstration with Elizabeth Chong
Place: Queen Victoria Markets, Melbourne
Ages: All ages
Click her for more info

Source: Lunar New Year at the Queen Victoria Markets

29 January
Screen Worlds

Bringing together rare footage, fascinating objects and interactive displays, Screen Worlds takes you through a journey that examines the past, present and future of screen mediums and digital culture.

Come and see how the moving image has evolved from magic lanterns and shadow puppets to 3D animations and reality television shows. To explore elements of the moving image, visit the different sections within Screen Worlds: Emergence, Voices, Sensations, Games Lab and Kids Space with computer, console and ipad games. A great day out for parents and kids. Insider tip! Ask us for a Kids' Trail booklet at the entrance of the exhibition to start your Screen Worlds adventure.

Dates: Everyday
Time: 10am - 5pm with free guided tours at 11am & 2.30pm daily
Place ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne
Ages: All ages
Click here for more info

30 January
Juggling at Fed Square

Learn the skill of juggling with free classes at Fed Square! Improve your coordination, sharpen your concentration and impress your friends with these fun-filled sessions. Designed for all age groups and led by an experienced juggler.

Dates: 9 Jan, 16 Jan, 23 Jan, 30 Jan & 6 Feb 13 Feb
Time: 5pm - 6pm
Place: St Paul's Court, Federation Square, Melbourne
Ages: All ages
For more info, click here

Source: Juggling at Fed Square
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Why? Because we should all be able to enjoy the school holidays without breaking the bank
When: 15 - 30 January 2017
Where: Melbourne and inner suburbs
Cost: FREE
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