Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published July 2nd 2019
Keep the winter blues away with these boredom busters
The school holidays will soon be here again, Canberra parents/carers! If you're wracking your brains trying to figure out what to do with the kids these winter holidays, don't despair. We've got you covered. Here are twenty things to do to help keep those school holiday winter blues away.
1. Enjoy a day in the snow at Corin Forest. It's winter, so get out there with the kids and have fun in Canberra's very own winter wonderland! Corin Forest Mountain Resort is only a short drive from Tuggeranong. Learn how to ski, go tobogganing, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, then head on over to the warm comfy lodge afterwards for hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Bookings are essential for all snow-related activities. For more information, go here.
Enjoy a day at the movies and watch the latest children's flicks such as Toy Story 4, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Aladdin and The Lion King. Children's tickets are only $10 at Limelight Cinema in Tuggeranong and Event Cinema in Manuka.
3. Learn some fun circus skills and have a magical time with Lucy Sparkles and Friends at Coolemon Court. From July 10-12 you can learn some cool circus skills and tricks at a circus skills workshop. And from July 13-15, Lucy Sparkles and Friends will lead you on a magical adventure with fairies, pirates and superheroes. Magic awaits you at Coolemon Court these school holidays! For more information, go here.
Set off on a prehistoric adventure through the Australian National Botanic Gardens! From July 6-July 28, you'll come across dinosaur herds, living fossil plants, ancient petrified wood and flying winged creatures on display throughout the Gardens as part of the exciting Dinosaur Adventure Trail. For more information, go here.
5. Ride a tram. If you haven't had the chance to ride in one of Canberra's brand spanking new red trams yet, then the school holidays are the perfect time to do it. Why not ride the tram from the city to Marketplace Gungahlin on the weekend of July 6/7 to join in a free Minions Dance Party?
6. Burn off all that winter energy and soak in some sunshine at a playground. Canberra has some fabulous playgrounds so get out there with the kids these school holidays and enjoy them! Some of my favourite playgrounds include the ones at Fadden Pines, Black Mountain Peninsula, Moncrieff Recreation Park, Kambah District Park, the Pod Playground at the National Arboretum, Boundless Playground, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, and the brand spanking new one at the new suburb of Denman Prospect. Go here to find a playground near you.
7. Go to your local library. Head over to your local library and get the kids to find books for their winter holiday reading. Or join in one of Libraries ACT's many school holiday activities here.
8. Visit the National Gallery of Australia and enjoy a day of art.
See the Monet: Impression Sunrise exhibition and the Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia exhibition, sit down and draw/sketch, play in the NGA children's area, and explore the fabulous Sculpture Garden. There's so much to do at the National Gallery of Australia! For further details, go here.
9. Warm up with dragon dancing, Kung Fu, and art and craft activities at the National Museum of Australia. There'll be plenty to keep the kids engaged with all of the Museum's winter school holiday activities inspired by their current Historical Expression of Chinese Art exhibition. Join in a kung fu or dragon/lion dance workshop, create your own scrolls and dragon craft, and take part in the Museum's free Chinese Festival Day on July 21 from 10am-1pm. For more details, please go here.
10. Go on a Wintervention. Wintervention is Canberra's biggest celebration of winter, and there'll be plenty of wintery fun to get you out there, embrace the cold and celebrate our city during the frosty season such as open-air ice skating, a Food and Makers' market plus ice shows, a life-size snow globe, live entertainment for all ages to enjoy, and so much more. Go here to find out more.
11. Celebrate Christmas in July!
If you love Christmas as much as I do, why wait until December to celebrate it? You can celebrate a true white Christmas in July in Canberra these school holidays! So pull out your Christmas tree again and get the kids to decorate it. Believe me, all your wintery decorations of snowmen and sleighs and Santa Claus and reindeer will make so much more sense in July than in December! You can also go to the Queanbeyan Christmas in July markets at the Queanbeyan Showground on 7 July from 10-4pm. There'll be market stalls, an artificial snow area for the kids, outdoor obstacle course, games, a Christmas cake and gingerbread house competition (get your entries in soon!), and Santa Paws will also be making his appearance, so make sure you bring along your furry friends too!
For even more ideas on how to celebrate Christmas in July, go here.
12. Celebrate Dutch Kings Day for Kids at the National Arboretum.
Have fun playing giant games such as giant Jenga and giant Kerplunk as well as some traditional Dutch games and crafts at the Dutch Kings Day for kids at the National Arboretum. Taking place on July 10 from 10am-11am for children aged 5 and their parents and carers. This is a free event. Meet at the Terrace Room in the Village Centre.
13. Hug the Warm Trees at the National Arboretum.
While you're at the Arboretum, why not also visit the Himalayan Cedar Forest where the cedar trees are once again wrapped in warm colourful scarves? The trees will be wrapped in their scarves every day throughout the month of July.
14. Visit the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 moon landing, so why not visit the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla and celebrate all things space? You'll find a piece of the moon here that's over 3.8 billion years old plus many other fascinating exhibits and models. Go here to find out more.
15. Have a picnic.
Enjoy the winter sunshine and the great outdoors with a picnic or two with the family these school holidays. Go here to find your favourite picnic spot.
16. Explore Quizzic Alley.
If your kids love Harry Potter, then make sure you take them to Quizzic Alley, Canberra's purveyor extraordinaire of all things Harry Potter. With its impressive collection of official Harry Potter merchandise (and the largest in all of NSW and the ACT), Quizzic Alley will, like Professor Severus Snape's potions, bewitch their minds and ensnare their senses. Your kids will love trying on the Sorting Hat, 'flying' in the Ford Anglia, and tasting delicious QBrew, the best brew since Butterbeer! For more information on Quizzic Alley, read my article here.
17. Hop aboard a mini train.
The Canberra Miniature Railway will be holding their next family fun day during the school holidays, on Sunday July 14 from 10am-2.30pm. Come along and have an awesome day riding the mini trains! Canberra Miniature Railway is on Jerrabomberra Avenue, Symonston south from the Hindmarsh Drive traffic lights. Rides are $3.00 each or $15.00 for an all-day unlimited ride ticket. Free parking and canteen facilities are available.
18. Enjoy a Midwinter Night at Questacon.
Mid-Winter Nights at Questacon is the ultimate family-friendly winter activity these July school holidays. All eight galleries will be open and the centre will be bursting with glowing moon and space-themed activities. Bring your coat to make the most of the outdoor activities, including circus performers, stargazing and the glowing food court. Taking place on July 10, 11, 12 and 13 from 5.30pm-9pm. Book tickets online here to avoid missing out.