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Published August 26th 2019
Fun school holiday experiences not to be missed
School holidays can be a restful time for children yet a stressful time for parents considering how to keep the kiddies occupied. Here is a list of ideas to manage the school holidays, some activities are free, others are ticketed. There are some places which have discounts if buying for two or more events which are detailed below.
Image: Open Academy at The Con facebook
1. Play World Australia has a two day event for kids as they play, touch, laugh, explore and have fun at this interactive experience at the ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour. This event is from 5 – 6 October, tickets from $19.95. Click here for more details.
2. Junior Adventure Tour is a fascinating one hour tour that explores the mysteries of the Sydney Opera House. Children 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Children $22, adults $32, children under 5 are free. See website for details.
The Sydney Opera House has a multipack discount for the Kids & Families program, buy three events and save 15%, buy four events and save 20%. See their website for further details.
3. Madame Tussauds is a place to go if you are looking to rub shoulders and have selfies with celebrities. These waxed lookalikes of celebs and historical figures are out in force at Darling Harbour. Tickets from $27.90 child, $40.00 adult (over 16 years), under 3's are free. Save up to 20% when booking online.
4. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium has an interactive experience called 'Day & Night on the Reef', which is the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the world. Book online through their website and you can save up to 20% off your ticket in off-peak times or 10% in peak times.
5. The Sydney Big Ticket is a multi-attraction pass which gives great savings during the school holidays. Choose between two, three or four attractions which include Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Wild Life Sydney Zoo or the Sydney Tower Eye. See website for further details.
6. Erth's Dinosaur Zoo. Journey to the prehistoric era and be entertained by friendly dinosaurs while learning about this unique period of history. At the Sydney Opera House, for ages 6 and older, tickets from $29. Click here for details.
7. Spot On Children's Festival is returning to Riverside Theatre for its eighth year. This five day festival from 1 – 5 October will feature the best of children's entertainment. There will be theatre, films and some free activities, check website for full details. Some of the high 'spots' include Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts, Lullaby Sonic Cradle and Troll.
8. Comic and zines workshop run by Louie Joyce, an illustrator and comic creator. Your teen will learn about story-telling and the language of comics and will do a series of drawing and creative exercises in this fun workshop on Wednesday 9 October, 1.30pm – 4.30pm at the Five Dock Library. This is a free event but bookings are essential.
9. Harbourside has a selection of fun school holiday activities. Kids will enjoy bowling or laser tag at Kingpin Bowling. Their Holiday Pass starts at $30 for three activities. Over at 9D Action Cinemas and Games, a moving simulator ride in luxury seats that has dramatic effects of snow, wind, rain, fog and lots more adventures, get the Ultimate Fun Pass. Racecentre provide exciting racing experiences to race against each other in their racing simulation centre. Drivers have the choice of car and track including F1, V8, Rally, Lamborghini, Ferrari and more, racing at Oran Park, Bathurst, Monaco plus hundreds of more circuits available to the racer. Tickets from $30.
As well as these exciting activities, Harbourside has fireworks every Saturday night which can be viewed from eateries around Darling Harbour, or just sit on the water's edge and enjoy the sky lit up for free.
10. Wild Life Sydney Zoo has a hot buffet breakfast amongst a company of adorable koalas. Cost includes entry to the Zoo, an informative koala keeper talk and a photo taken with the koalas as a memento to take home. Varied prices so go to their website.
11. The Powerhouse Museum has a number of exhibitions including an Apollo 11 display commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, as well as the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 which has a collection of spectacular photos. General entry ticket includes your visit to these displays. Open 10.00am – 5.00pm, adults $15, children 16 years and under are free. See website for more details.
12. National Maritime Museum has several exhibits including an immersive virtual reality experience called The Antarctica VR Experience. View this vast land from a helicopter, land on glaciers, discover the resident penguin colony and experience a day in the life of the Antarctic scientists. Tickets from $15 for the VR Experience only, or from $23 which also includes access to all vessels, exhibitions and 3D cinema.
At the Museum's Kids on Deck space there are a variety of activities with interactive games, art making and dress ups. Make a mini sea monster fossil or a diorama. Explore scientific objects and creature specimens related to prehistoric oceans and ancient reptiles. Daily 10.30am – 4.00pm, free entry to this space with any paid ticket.
13. Sydney Olympic Park, get outdoors, hire a bike, have a bbq, have fun at the playground, climb to the top of the Treillage Tower for stunning views over the wetlands and towards the city skyline. Click here for more details.
14. Archery School Holiday program at Sydney Olympic Park. Cost for one hour session is $19.25, or $31 combo sessions (plus laser tag). Check their website for details.
15. Kids At The Con workshops let your children explore music with activities such as playing instruments, singing, movement, story-telling and musical games. These workshops for 3 - 10 year olds can be taken on either Tuesday 1 October or Wednesday 2 October at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. A one hour workshop for 3 – 4 year olds and 4 – 5 year olds is $40.00; half-day workshops for 6 – 10 year olds is $80.00. Click here for further details.
16. Macquarie University has school holiday programs for junior scientists with two events – Junior Science Academy and Robotics and Robocamps. Cost is $126.50 a day, see website for further information.
17. Taronga Zoo is a favourite with the young and not-so-young, open all year including Christmas Day. Tickets are $80.80 for 1 adult and 2 children (under 4's are free). If you attend the Zoo on your birthday, the ticket is a mere $1.
Taronga Zoo also has a high ropes course, one for adults, another for over 8 year olds, and a children's course for the 3 - 8 year olds. From $37 adults, $32 juniors, $22 children, click here for more information.
18. Go to the beach and build sandcastles, splash the water, throw a frisbee or ball, smell the fresh salty air and have lots of fun. Many beaches have barbecues and playgrounds as well as cafes. Be sure to keep an eye on your children near water.
19. Orienteering is a great sport where participants learn to navigate a course through parks and streets. There are beginners sections as well as other sections for those who want a more challenging experience. Green space and fresh air is very calming for children and you may find they have a restful sleep that night – a definite bonus. For more information, see their website.
20. Create toys at home and let your child lead you in play, whether it's a teddy tea party, creating a tent from a sheet thrown over a table, drawing or painting, children can be very imaginative particularly when allowed to become bored.