Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe to my articles. I'll update you with lots of fun and often free adventures in your home town.
I have run it over two parts because there are just so many terrific free activities out there.
By the Sea
If you plan to be somewhere near the seaside this summer, and let's face it half of Melbourne vacates the city, then you should look into the Summer by the Sea activities run by Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
They host hundreds of free activities between 2-26 January at over 80 locations. If you do happen to be around Melbourne then the Bayside City Council offers guided coastal walks and bike rides, treasure hunts and stand up paddle boarding sessions. You can access the program here. Other bayside areas and the Mornington Peninsula offer all kinds of sea shell safaris, rock pool rambles, twilight beach walks and snorkelling events. You can access that program here. For the rest of Victoria's varied program you can access the information here.
In my experience these sessions are always sociable, great family fun and lead by knowledgeable guides or instructors. But do note that many of the events require registration so do go online and put your name down.
From 18-26 of January families can take advantage of all the free activities offered by the inaugural Melbourne Now Children's Festival at the NGV. There are so many options it is almost daunting trying to decide what to attend. There will be dancing, icing sugar art, an urban community garden (BYO picnic) workshops making art out of recycled materials, films and even a ping pong tournament. Art suddenly go a whole lot more interesting for everybody. A couple of activities that caught my eye were the sessions where kids get to make their own hats with Vicki Car, Head of Millinery at The Australian Ballet plus a session where kids can strut on a cat walk with the yellow and black costumes they have designed themselves. For full details of the program click here.
Come and test your ball skills at Nick Selenitsch's #MelbourneNow installation at NGV Australia, Fed Square. Facebook Melbourne Now
Box Hill Community Art Centre, possibly one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Melbourne, have a free screening of Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium on Monday 13th January. It probably fulfils most childrens' fantasy of visiting the most fantastical, magical toy store in the whole world. Free screening on the big screen in the gorgeous Arbour Hall. Bookings Essential 9895 8888 Bring your own cushions.
Go Library Gadgets at the City Library
Image Melbourne Library Services
Melbourne Library Service's have a great school holiday program, 'Magic and Mayhem' with lots on offer including a traditional magic show and other children's entertainment. One activity I thought particularly novel was the chance to make some spy gadgets. (Best for children four and over.) This is on the 14th of January between 2-3.30 pm. City Library is at 253 Flinders Lane Melbourne. Bookings for the various programs click here. But other libraries including South Bank and Bunde Street North Melbourne are offering the same program with events held on different dates. To book click here.
Junior Rangers – Puzzling Parasites
Junior Rangers have lots of great activities all over the state. Click here. But one for Melbourne is their Zombie insects. Discover caterpillars that act like cows and birds that sing to their hatching eggs and heaps of other unusual stuff you can find in Royal Park. The day includes lots of games and activities that explore the weird world of parasites. For more information click here
Melbourne Museum and Lego
The Melbourne Museum is free for children under 16 and for concession holders. Specialist Ryan McNaught (nicknamed the Brickman) is in town and with his help you can help build a LEGO® mural of an iconic James Bond movie scene. Each Mystery Mosaic consists of 170,000 LEGO® bricks. Daily, 26 Dec 2013 - 27 Jan 2014 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM in the main foyer.
Free Children's Fun Day at Rippleside Park
A particularly child focussed Australia Day is on at Geelong with five hours of jam-packed activities with kids in mind. There is entertainment, free amusement rides, a jumping castle, a petting zoo, horse rides and free Australia Day themed face-painting. There is even free parking. Lots of food stalls to tantalise the tastebuds or take your own picnic. The entertainment starts at 11:00am and continues on until 4:00pm. Rippleside Park is at Bell Pde, Druncondra and well worth the trip for all the great free activities on offer.
But whatever you do on Australia Day don't forget the grand finale when fireworks explode in the night sky at Docklands. For details click here.
If you are looking for other free holiday activities, as mentioned,
you can access Part 1 of this article here. Happy holidays!