Summer has arrived and there are endless weeks of sunshine and school holiday fun ahead. If you think your kids will be bored after the first week however, why not book them into a school holiday program so they can meet new friends, learn something new or get better at a hobby or sport they already love. Canberra has a wide range of options that are unique to our city - such as sailing lessons on Lake Burley Griffin, making toys for the animals at the National Zoo and Aquarium and playing sports at the AIS.
The following are just 10 ideas to get you started these school holidays - hopefully at least one of them will make your kids as happy as these kids, below!
Enjoy a week of sailing on Lake Burley Griffin. Image: Canberra Yacht Club Facebook
1/ Sailing on Lake Burley Griffin is a popular program each school holidays, particularly over the summer period. The program is run by The Canberra Yacht Club and they have a full day of activities between 8:45am - 4pm, over 4 or 5 days. For kids who love the outdoors, this is the perfect way to spend a week in summer, where they can meet other like-minded children between the ages of 7 - 17. The cost is $350 for 4 days, or $390 for 5 days. See here for details.
2/ Zoocation at the National Zoo and Aquarium is the ultimate day out for any child that loves animals - and who doesn't love animals? For $80 a day, between 9am - 4pm, kids of primary-school age will have fun going to areas "behind the scenes", making toys for the animals and getting up close and personal with the wide variety of international animals. This program books out fast, so get in early to secure your place. See here for details.
Think of fun toys for the animals to play with! Image: National Zoo and Aquarium Facebook. Photo credit: Deb and Rod Ralph
3/ The AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) is another popular way to spend the school holidays, starting with the Pre-school Holiday Program for the under 5's. For children aged between 5 - 13, there are programs in seasonal sports (such as tennis, AFL and triathlon), soccer camp, swimming and a general sports vacation program. Prices start from $65 for a full day. See here for details.
4/ Lavender Art Studios in Phillip is a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon drawing, painting, sculpting or print-making, with 3 hour workshops costing $70 (inclusive of all materials and morning or afternoon tea). The workshops are designed for children aged 5 - 13 and are run by teacher Greg Devenny-Mackay and his art assistants, with live harp music playing in the background. See here for details.
Enjoy creating and painting at Lavender Art Studios. Image: Lavender Art Studios Facebook
5/ Bricks 4 Kids is a school holiday workshop for kids aged 5 - 11 who have a love for LEGO. These 2 day workshops cost $180 for both days at three locations - Palmerston, Ainslie and Garran. These workshops inspire children to be inventive and creative, with a ratio of 8 children to 1 staff member so they receive personalised help in their projects. See here for details.
6/ The Ian Potter Foundation is located in Deakin, next to the Royal Australian Mint. Each school holidays they run programs with Questacon science museum to encourage children to invent, create, design and think outside the box. These school holidays they will be having 6 workshops over 3 days between 23rd - 25th January. Kids can choose between Gamecraft (designing a computer game), Simple Subs (making your own underwater craft), Floating Cranes (designing a crane to work in water), Crash Test (designing a vehicle which protects its passengers), Enginuity (designing a domino-effect machine) and Rockets (designing your own robot). Workshops cost $55 for a 3 hour session. See here for details.
For all budding inventors. Image: Ian Potter Foundation/ Questacon website
7/ Gumnut Dance in Mitchell has a wide range of dance workshops for kids aged between 3.5 - 12. Kids will enjoy making new friends and learning dances, such as the Mad Hatters Tea Party (for Kindergarten to Year 1's). Prices range between $40 - $170, depending on the age. See here for details.
8/ Gooromon Horse Riding is located in Hall and offers school holiday classes for children with no experience at all with horses, up to advanced riders. Choose between a 1 day program for $160, or 4 days for $460. Although there is a lot to learn, the focus of these lessons is also to have fun. See here for details.
9/ Warehouse Circus in Chifley and Kaleen is ideal for any child who loves to learn circus tricks, perfect a skill and learn new ones. Prices start from $160 a week. See here for details.
10/ Kids Pantry in Deakin run cooking classes each school holidays, as well as special classes before Christmas to make Christmas treats. Prices start from $50 for a 1.5 hour class. See here for details.
Ensure you book early to avoid disappointment and enjoy the summer school holidays in Canberra! You may even get something as delicious as this (below), brought home to you at the end of the day...