Don't despair, if Christmas has left you wondering how you can make it to the end of the school holidays, with the same enthusiasm you had at the beginning, then this article is for you. Kids living on the Gold Coast have a great range of free and low cost activities on their doorstep. There are a number of different activities on the dates listed below. I've selected a couple for each day, as a sample of what's on offer. You can view the full program here.
Mon 7 Jan Palm Beach Parklands Stand Up Paddle Boarding and water fun, with a wet obstacle course is on at 8.30 10.30am . It's free and no bookings are required so just turn up. For more info call Leaps & Bunds Children's Fitness Centre on 5534 4030.
Mon 7 Jan 9/5 Traders Way, Currumbin. Family Yoga with Dee is a fun, relaxing introduction to yoga. After a few stretches, the music and the yoga moves will relax and energize your family. You need to book, so call Dee on 0404 668109/ E: email@example.com She also offers sessions at Palm Beach Parklands (near the Dune Café) which we found good fun. There is a charge for this one, of $15 per family.
Tues 8 Jan Nerang Scout Hall, 3 Hope Street Special FX Film Making. Learn how the filmmakers make movies and be the star of a special FX scene. 1 hour sessions are at: 8am, 9.15 & 10.30 for 4 12 years. This one costs $10 and you can book by calling 5549 2479/ E: australianfilmacademy.com.au
Tues 8 Jan Shed 1, Rabbit & Cocoon, 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami (the Miami Marketta buildings)
School holiday art class with author and illustrator Susy Boyer. I can personally recommend this activity too, as I bought my girls gift vouchers for a class with Susy for their Christmas. They came home glowing, said they loved it and brought back some gorgeous frangipani pictures. You will need to book, so call Susy on: 0413 134426/ E: firstname.lastname@example.org The 2 hour session costs $20.
Tues 8 Jan Burleigh Heads The Spotlight Adventure gets you to turn on your night vision as you experience the bushland reserve by night, on a guided spotlight tour. My daughters really enjoyed the Spotlight in Mudgeeraba earlier in the holidays. In addition to the animals discovered, the ranger brought a number with her to show the group. This one is free but bookings are essential, as they have a max group size. Call GCCC on 5581 1521.
Wed 9 Jan Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat, 97 Aylesham Drive, Bonogin
Horse Aerobics, to build core strength and balance on ground and horseback, is one of today's offerings. This one's for age 8 and above and costs $15 for the hour (7 8am). Bookings are essential email Debbie on email@example.com
Wed 9 Jan Southport Croquet Club, 1 Queen Street, Southport
Golf Croquet is on at 1- 3pm at Southport Croquet Club. The members are friendly, helpful and welcoming to children. To make a booking phone Barbara on 5531 4720/ E: firstname.lastname@example.org. They also offer Gateball which is a mental challenge as much as a game of skill. Today's session is for 8 18 year olds, so get some friends together and go along for a game.
Thurs 10 Jan Varsity Lakes, Franscott Park, 34A Franscott Ave
Feel like joining the circus? Learn juggling, poi, flower sticks, hula hoops, spinning plates and clowning around, in this session from 9.30 11.30am. It's free, no bookings are needed. For more info call: Louise on: 0417 830 040.
Thurs 10 Jan Broadwater Parklands, Southport
6 8pm Get your party gear on for a Kids disco in the park. Described as: "non-stop family fun, including fantastic games and the latest music hits that the kids love, with a DJ that will make sure they have an amazing time". For kids aged 5 to 13 years. The cost is $3 per child or $5 per family. Bookings are required so contact Kelly on: 0413 116 609/ E: email@example.com . Sounds like a fun evening. Round up some friends and head to Southport.
Fri 11 Jan - Rabbit & Cocoon Mrs Red's Art Room 1/23 Hillcrest Parade
Join Mrs Red's kombi wall art class from 9am 12 noon. For kids aged over 8, make a canvas for your wall- students aged 8 plus will make a mixed media collage on canvas. All materials supplied (including canvas). The end result is a fabulous, fun piece of art work (I've seen the one Mrs Red made for her son's room). The Session is $40 book by calling 0412 026 207 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Fri 11 Jan - Paradise Point Parklands, The Esplanade, Paradise Point
It's movie time. The Movie in the park for tonight is Hugo. Pack up the family for a free movie in the park. A night out has never been this cheap. For more Movies Under the Stars screenings, click here. The contact for uncertain weather is: 5581 7016, so you can give them a call to check if it's still on.
Sat 12 Jan - Main Beach, Kirra & Upper Coomera
Are the venues for the Sat morning weekly free timed 5km run or walk. Register online first, then just turn up. It's a good way of monitoring your fitness, especially if you are trying to get fit. Start time is 7am.
Sat 12 Jan Ormeau, Brien Harris Park, 1 Peachey Road
A half hour class on a Sat morning for kids aged 2 5 years which teaches "the skills and movement patterns necessary to participate within organised sport" sounds like a good way to start a Saturday. The session includes: soccer, football, basketball, striking sports and team building games. It's free but you do need to book E: email@example.com.
Sat 13 Jan Burleigh Heads
Take the family on a guided photo walk from 4.30 6.30pm and snap up the beautiful panorama at Burleigh headlands. It's designed to improve your photography and teach tips and tricks, for all ages. Email Callan Lewis of Random Act Photography to book on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon 14 Jan Broadwater Parklands, Southport
Super Performance Centre will provide "new air track, balancing globe, tight wire, juggling implements, mini trampoline and basic gymnastics equipment" in their 30 min sessions ($5 a session) this morning, at 9.30, 10.15 & 11am. Kids are advised to wear non restrictive clothing (no dresses and jeans) and to tie back long hair. For kids aged 5 to 13 years. Sounds like fun. Bookings are required, so call 5532 8429 or E: info@SuperPerformanceCentre.com .au.
Mon 14 Jan Kirra Hill Community Centre, Art & Activity Room,1 Garrick Street, Kirra
If you have a child under 4 years of age this one is for you. Music with Monica is a fun and stimulating music group for parents and children. It offers live music, instrument play, dancing and more. I watched Monica at the Robina Mummy Tree Market and wouldn't hesitate to recommend her class. It costs $6 per family. Book online.
Tues 15 Jan Justin's Park, Burleigh
Go along to the park at Burleigh at 9.30am for Craft in the park. I took my little pre school friends to one of these craft sessions before Christmas. It was a low key, fun, craft time outdoors with little ones. Well organized, it was a fun session and costs a mere $2. You can call the Creative Craft Centre on 5520 3376/ E: email@example.com for info but there's no need to book.
Tues 15 Jan Firth Park, Mudgeeraba
This one is called "Healthy food and fun" and invites you to "burn off some energy with fun and frantic games with Leaps & Bounds, then learn how to create some healthy and delicious snacks with Mona Hecke". Sounds a good post Christmas activity and is for ages up to 18 years. It's free and you don't need to book but can contact 5534 4030/E: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Wed 16 Jan Varsity Lakes, Frascott Park
Rockwall and giant games challenge test yourself on the rock wall and race your mates in a giant games challenge. From 10.30am to 11.30am - action packed challenges and games, tug-o-war, frisbee, ball games and more. If you are up for the challenge, no bookings are required and it's free. Focus Fitness on 55251110 is your contact.
Wed 16 Jan Helensvale Aquatic Centre, Helensvale
If it's a hot day, I'd recommend getting along to Helensvale Aquatic Centre for their inflatable water fun. It costs $3 per child (that includes your pool entry) and no bookings are required. Call Helensvale Aquatic Centre on 5573 5797 for info.
Thurs 17 Jan Firth Park, Mudgeeraba
This Rugby league skills session is advertised as: "an awesome hour of rugby league skills and drills for 8 years plus". Kids are invited to "Score some try's, smash the tackle bags and see who is the most agile with the agility poles. Come and show us how skilful you are." If rugby league is your thing or you want to try it out, book with Focus Fitness on 5525 1110. The session costs $2.
Thurs 17 Jan - Wongawallan - Ella Springs Farm 47 Kriedeman Road (next to Upper Coomera)
2 programs in the morning and afternoon (9am 12 or 1 4pm) teach Horse Care with communication, fun games, riding skills and equestrian vaulting on a horse after assessment to ride. For 5 to 14 years, these sessions help to "develop initiative, self-confidence and creativity" and are suited for disabilities. You will need to book with Darani on: 0409 969 113. The cost is $20 $5 one off joining fee.
Fri 18 Jan Benowa, Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens 258 Ashmore Road
Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens (0449 561 674) have a Botanica quest for you. Follow the map, interact with nature, explore the Botanic Gardens, solve the quests, collect your treasure! For ages 4 to 12 years, bring a drink bottle, hat, sunscreen and wear closed shoes. Bookings are essential and the session costs $5.
Image courtesy of Afro Groove
Fri 18 Jan Robina, Robina Common, Ron Penhaligon Way
African drumming and dancing - tap into your inner rhythm. "You'll be playing African rhythms in minutes, creating tribal rhythms with body percussion and giving your whole body a workout with African dance". For 6 years and above. No need to book and the session is free. Call Afro Groove on 0431 726 300/ E: email@example.com for info.
Sat 19 Jan - Surfers Paradise, Surfers Foreshore The Esplanade
Get along to Surfers at 9am and see the GC Suns players in an open beach training session, followed by an autograph session. Not to be missed for Suns fans. It's also free and no bookings are needed.
Sat 19 Jan - Upper Coomera, Adventure Park Reserve Road
Here's something different if you are into bmx a Dirt jump workshop. Join Tim Wood for a hands on 1 ½ hour dirt jump construction tutorial, followed by a dirt jump jam session with lots of giveaways and encouragement awards. Sessions are open to all ages of bmx riders who are prepared to learn how to look after and maintain bmx jumps, then enjoy the results of their hard work. It's free and there's no need to book. Any queries E: rampconstruction.com.au .
Well, there's one week left to go, before school starting again is in sight. What's left for that final week to keeps kids busy and active?
Mon 21 Jan - Runaway Bay, 2 Marina Crescent
7 to 12 year olds are invited to a "Make em laugh comedy acting workshop" with "drama games, role plays, improvisation activities, drama and presentations". Call to book on 0416 280 557. The cost is $10 and the time is 9am 12 noon.
Mon 21 Jan - Palm Beach, Tallebudgera Creek, Murlong Crescent boat ramp
This one sounds great fun. There's Kayaking, sailing and beach activities at Tallebudgera where you can learn kayaking and sailing skills and enjoy beach activities. For 4 to 12 years, suitable for disabilities. Cost is $10 and bookings are required phone: 0420 811 080 or 0405 468 344. 10am 1pm is the time slot.
Tues 22 Jan Ashmore, Tranquility Park, Kawana Crescent
Australian Defensive Tactics are offering a Self defence super session and invite all ages to join in this fun come and try program. Discover the secrets of martial arts training and learn how to improve your fitness. It's free but you do need to book. Call 0430 695 550/ E: firstname.lastname@example.org The time is 9 10am.
Kids love to fly a kite
Tues 22 Jan Southport, Broadwater Parklands Marine Parade
You are invited to join in a Kite workshop - designing, decorating and assembling your own unique kite. When kites are finished they will be flown. The time is 10.30am to 12 noon, the session costs $10 per item and bookings are required. Call the Creative Craft Centre on: 5520 3376/ E: email@example.com.
Wed 23 Jan Mudgeeraba, Firth Park
KidsFit Kung Fu is one of the sessions available today, offering fun fitness and games to keep 7 to 14 year olds interested "We will also impart why we need etiquette, ethics, and morals in life". Session cost is $5 and bookings are required, call 0416 229 376. The time is 4.45 5.45pm.
Wed 23 Jan - Santa Barbara, Charles Holm Park, Pinnaroo Crescent
This Yoga session is for 4 years to adults to "play yoga games, stretch out, have a giggle". Mums, Dads or Grandparents are welcome. Wear loose clothing, bring mat, towel and water bottle. The time is 9 10am and the cost is $12 adult & child. Bookings are required via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thurs 24 Jan Tugun Hill
The Blackbutt Forest of Tugun Hill is the Spotlight adventure venue for this evening. Turn on your night vision and search out its nocturnal inhabitants. It's free but bookings are essential. Call GCCC on 5581 1521. You are asked to bring a torch and wear comfortable shoes.
Thurs 24 Jan Southport, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade
Back to school craft in the park invites you to get organised for the 2013 school year, with some fabulous bag tags, pencil holders, homework scribble pads as well as iPod- and mobile phone holders. Cost is $2 to $8 per item. No bookings are required. Call Creative Craft Centre 5520 3376 / E: email@example.com for more info. The time is 10.30am 12 noon.
Fri 25 Jan Mudgeeraba
Mudgeeraba hosts a Wildlife presentation and invites you to learn amazing wildlife facts and experience close encounters with Australian native wildlife. It's free but bookings are essential so contact GCCC on 5581 1521. You are asked to bring a hat, sunscreen, water and wear comfortable walking shoes. The time is 9 10am.
Fri 25 Jan Reedy Creek, The Observatory Park, Southern Skies Avenue
Finish off the holidays with a night at the movies. Catch The Lorax at Reedy Creek. The kids get to see a fun movie and you get to sit with your feet up for a bit, having earned it as you have made it to the end of the holiday.
Sat 26 Jan Coomera, Viney Park, Yaun Street
Another movie night, this time with a showing of Red Dog. Take your tissues, as it is a tear jerker, despite it's rugged outback setting. As above, it's free - ring 5581 7016 if you are in doubt about the weather.
Sat 26 Jan - Main Beach, Kirra, Upper Coomera venues
End the holidays with the same park run you started with and compare your times. It's free, no bookings are required but you do need to have registered first at: parkrun.com.
Australia Day is your last chance to get out with the family and enjoy some fun time together before school goes back. Check out what's on offer at Evandale Parklands on Sat 26 Jan, here. It's billed as the best free day out of the year, with something for everyone in the family.