Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published September 18th 2016
Anyone who has children will be familiar with the anxiety that rears its head each term; what will I do with the kids for school holidays? For some, this question is easy if the parents in question have banked enough time off from the office and are heading away on holiday, or have friends and family nearby to act as caretakers over the period. But for others – a few days of booked 'forced fun' may be necessary to buy either a few moments of peace and supervision, or a few days more if needed.
Here are some ideas of what your cherubs could be getting up to, with a focus on learning new skills and hobbies;
Pony lovers rejoice...
Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre, 114-120 Lang Road, Centennial Park
Who wouldn't love to learn to ride, and that being said – ride well! If the idea of a child's horse riding camp doesn't send you cantering in the other direction, then head to Sydney's Centennial Park where Sydney Horse offers holiday programmes from 10am-4pm daily, and with variable pricing so that you can choose to do any variation of 1-5 days. In small, supervised groups; children learn how to groom and care for horses, including feeding, mucking out, tacking up, untacking. They also learn about horse behavior and anatomy. Each day includes a group horse riding lesson plus Centennial Park horse riding.
Camps are $200 per day; $500 for 3 days; $650 for 4 days; $800 for 5 days.
Sydney Trapeze School, Building 2K, 1-7 Unwins Bridge Rd, St Peters, NSW 2044
Ever watched Cirque du Soleil and fancied your child up on the trapeze? Get them started early by enrolling them in a children's Flying Trapeze & Circus Camp over the school holiday period! The Sydney Trapeze School hosts 4-day children's camps every school holidays for 4-12 year old's which introduces them to flying trapeze (a 2 Hour Flying Trapeze class each day), Aerial Arts (Static Trapeze, Silks & Lyra), Ground Based Circus Skills (Juggling, Plate Spinning, Hula Hooping, Rola Bola, Tight Wire) and Acrobatics & Acrobalance Activities (Mini Trampoline, Floor Activities, Rolls, Cart Wheels etc).
The 4 day workshop (from 10am – 4pm daily) is a bargain at only $360, and is sure to introduce not only a host of new skills to your child, but a new level of self-confidence and fitness coupled with an adrenalin high they are not likely to get from many other sports.
If you're looking for single day programmes that will appeal to your child's curiosity about the world and engage them in creation; the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney hosts various 1-2 day programmes, generally 10am – 4pm ranging from 'Make an Arcade Controller' ($180) to 'Marvellous Minecraft' ($100) to 'Make an Ipad music video' ($100).
Prices vary based on the topic, presumably those that require additional equipment, and two-day workshops (such as 'Augmented Reality Game Development', $180r) are priced higher.
The workshops are not cheap, however the topics are diverse and are likely to introduce your child to a wide world of possibility and present opportunities not available in most schools.
If your child is slightly older and doesn't need to be in a programme (or if you're around to accompany smaller children) then it is worth noting that the Powerhouse Museum is open daily 10am – 5pm and has free entry for kids 16 years and under, with general admission for adults only costing $15.
Make and Learn: 243 Botany Street, Kingsford NSW 2032, Australia
Running out of chores for the kids to earn their pocket-money? Why not enroll them in a sewing workshop over the school holidays and turn them into your own personal tailor! Make and Learn is a small business that specializes in teaching introductory workshops on sewing and other craft activities. Their 1 Day Sewing School Holiday Courses run throughout the school holidays for children 9 and over (multiple dates available), where your child will learn all the basics (such as the parts and features of a sewing machine, how to set it up, use different stitches and fix common sewing machine problems) and get lots of sewing practice. Machines are provided, or you can bring your own. At the end of the class, they will walk away with a tote bag they have made themselves, and no excuses as to why they can't take up their own hem lengths! If they elect to do several 1 day classes, they can create multiple projects appropriate to their increasing capabilities.
Having taken the 'Introduction to Sewing' course myself, I can endorse the intimate and engaging nature of the classes, and the great skill that the teacher Natascha has in breaking down a daunting prospect for a beginner into digestible steps that you can apply at home.
For more information click here.
Image credit: weteachme.com/makeandlearn
Budding filmmakers unleash
If your child is creative and loves to get behind your iphone camera – why not upgrade them to the 'reel' deal and enroll them in a 3-day film-making workshop. The Newington Armory hosts the 'Digital Film-making Workshop' regularly as part of their Kids in the Park programme, which takes place over three consecutive days from 10am - 3pm. During the workshop, kids will have opportunities to develop their own scripts, plan production (including locations, hair, makeup etc), film and finally, engage in the editing process including cutting and designing an accompanying soundtrack. The cost of the three day workshop is $295.
For more information, and upcoming dates, click here, and for information on the other 'Kids in the Park' holiday activities, click here.