Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published January 11th 2017
Keep the Kids Entertained Without Opening Your Wallet
Keeping the kids engaged throughout the school holidays can be a challenge but it doesn't have to be expensive. Melbourne serves up a smorgasbord of free summer activities. No matter what your child's interest; nature, arts, dance, craft, animals, stories, creative writing or sport, there is something for everyone.
1. Junior Rangers Programs The Parks Victoria Junior Ranges School Holiday Program is on again. These free and engaging activities run throughout Victoria's parks. The activities which are too numerous to mention here include Wildlife Detective, Bush Supermarket, Minibeast Discovery, Nature Treasure Hunt, Flora Explorer and Rock Pool Ramble. Click here to search for programs in and around Melbourne.
Junior Ranges in the park (Photo from Parks Victoria Facebook Page)
2. Australian Animals of Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Children can spot wonderful Australian Animals at the Sanctuary and learn how these have adapted themselves to the environment. The program runs from 10am to 12pm on 25th January at Blackburn Lakes Sanctuary, Central Road, Blackburn.
3. Junk Craft Your 3 to 12 year olds can join the recycling revolution by making crafty objects from recycled junk. The program runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm on 23rd January at Carrum Downs Library, 203 lyrebird Drive, Carrum Downs.
Crafty Recycling at Carrum Downs Library (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
4. Candle Making Children can make, mix and scent their own candles in this fun activity from the City of Casey. The program runs from 2pm to 4pm on 18th at the Narre Warren Youth Information Centre, 52 Webb Street, Narre Warren and on and 23rd Januaryhttps://www.casey.vic.gov.au/arts-leisure/calendar-of-events/tshp-candle-making-cran at the Cranbourne Youth Information Centre at Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre, High Street, Cranbourne.
5.Summer Session Free Workshop Day Card Making There's nothing like a handmade gift and in this workshop your 5 to 12 year-olds can make a greeting card for a special occasion. The workshop runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm on 21st January at Keon Park Children's Hub, 7 Dole Avenue, Reservoir.
Children can make their own greeting cards (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
6. Virtual Reality Games Your 12 to 17 year olds can play new games and explore new worlds with Play Station Virtual Reality. This City of Casey free activity runs between 2pm and 4pm on 19th January at the Cranbourne Youth Information Centre at Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre, High Street, Cranbourne.
7. Sounds of Nature Introduce your pre-schoolers to the sounds of nature where they will learn what makes the sounds, how the sounds are made and will use bush objects to make sound and music. The program runs between 10am and 10.45am on 21st February at Yarran Dheran Nature Reserve, Ashburton Drive, Mitchum.
Children will be captivated by the sounds of nature (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
8. National Gallery Collage on Tour Art and Design Activities Children enjoy art and design activities including paper accessories and collaborative drawing courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria and the City of Casey. Activities run between 2pm and 4pm from 16th to 27th January at the Narre Warren, Hampton Park and Cranbourne Youth Information Centres.
9. Chalk Street Art Children can enjoy a BBQ lunch while they make their own chalk art at this free workshop. The program runs 2pm to 4pm on 25th January at the Hampton Park Youth Information Centre, 22-26 Stuart Avenue, Hampton Park.
A free BBQ lunch primes children to create their own street chalk art (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
10.Chocolate Making What child doesn't like chocolate? Inn this free City of Casey workshop children can create their own treats. The program runs from 2pm to 4pm on 24th January at the Narre Warren Youth Information Centre, 52 Webb Street, Narre Warren.
11.Summer by the Sea Coast Care Victoria is hosting a wide variety of free activities across the state from 2nd to 26th January. Choose from Rock Pool Rambling, Snorkelling, Wildlife Displays, Geocaching, Wetland Discovery, Wildlife Discovery, Come and Try Fishing, and more. Varied locations include Williamstown, Beaumauris, Altona, Bayside, Sandringham, Seaford, St Kilda West Beach, Werribee, and more.
Go on a Rock Pool Ramble to see what lives on our shores. (Photo from Summer by the Sea Facebook Page)
12.Australia Day Hastings Foreshore Festival This free family fun day includes a community breakfast, Thomas the Tank Engine trackless train, Zorb inflatable soccer, face painting, games, Aussie crafts, live music, a vintage car and caravan show and a flag raising ceremony. There will be market stalls and food trucks in addition to the free activities. Festivities run from 9am to 2pm on 26th January on the Hastings Foreshore.
13.Magical Masks with Kitiya Palaskas Your children can join this free mask making workshop in the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Kids Summer Festival. Workshops run from 10am to 3pm from 16th to 20th January at the NGV Great Hall, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
Children enjoying the NGV Summer Festival (Photo from the National Gallery of Victoria Facebook Page)
14.The Comedy Kids Magic Show Magician, Luke Hocking, will present a free comedic magic show. Shows are at 11am and 2pm on 26th January at National Gallery of Victoria Great Hall, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
15.Dance in the Garden with the Yellow Dance Spot Guided by Inbar Niv of the Yellow Dance Spot your children will use simple props and their bodies to create interesting moves. Workshops run from 10am to 3pm from 16th to 20th January at the National Gallery of Victoria Grollo Equiset Garden, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
Children learn some interesting moves (Photo from Yellow Dance Spot - Kew and Eltham Facebook Page)
16.Magical Stories with Min Pin Guided by a template children will create and illustrate an adventure story. Workshops run from 10am to 3pm weekdays and 11am to 3pm on Sundays from 21st to 25th January at the National Gallery of Victoria Great Hall, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
17.Yoga for Kids Mobile yoga studio, Yoga Sparks, is guiding this free workshop. Classes are designed for children will both excite and calm them. Workshops run from 10am to 3pm from 21st to 25th January at the National Gallery of Victoria Grollo Equiset Garden, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
Kids can join a yoga workshop (Photo from Yoga Sparks Facebook Page)
18.Youth Boot Camp Can your kids conquer the challenges at this boot camp which runs from 2pm to 4pm on 23rd January at the Hampton Park Youth Information Centre, 22-26 Stuart Avenue, Hampton Park.
19.Frankston Junior Holiday Big Bash Competition Children from 8 to 14 are invited to play cricket in the Holiday Big Bash and compete for prizes and giveaways. Registration is at 9am with games starting at 9.30 on 18th January at Pines Cricket Club, Forest Drive, Frankston North.
Children can compete for prizes and giveaways in the Holiday Big Bash (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
20.Young Writers Workshop Encourage your child's creativity in this writing workshop for 11 to 18 year olds. The workshop runs at 4pm on 19th January at the Mount Waverley Public Library, 41 Miller Crescent, Mount Waverley.
21.Yoga for Children at Fed Square The experienced teachers from Yoga Bean will be holding free, 30 minute, children's yoga classes. The classes will be held at 11.30am and 12.00pm (noon) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10th to 26th January at The Atrium, Federation Square, Swanston Street, Melbourne.