Here’s what’s happening across Australia for kids over the school holidays

Community, Disability September 26, 2019

If you’re a parent, you’re probably looking for things to do. The weather is turning, so there are plenty of opportunities for inclusive outdoor fun for the kids. If you need some extra support over the break, now’s the time to check the availability of independent support workers in your area.

Spring has sprung and time outside in the park is sometimes the best solution for kids who are climbing the walls. If you haven’t seen it already, check out our blog on some of the best inclusive playgrounds around the country.

Or, for those in warmer climates, a trip to the beach for a dip, a dig in the sand or just a bit of fresh air is a great option. Here’s a list of accessible beaches and facilities available at each.

With branches all over the country, voluntary organisation the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia gives everyone an opportunity to give surfing a try.  Click here to see the national event calendar and find out what’s happening at a beach near you.

BRICKS 4 KIDZ® workshops build on the universal popularity of LEGO® to deliver high quality educational play. There are a number of workshops available for kids 5-12 over the holidays in various locations around the country.

New South Wales

These holidays, the Opera House will host Dinosaur Zoo, an acclaimed show that will take audiences aged 6 and older back in time to meet prehistoric creatures. An AUSLAN-interpreted Performance will take place on Wednesday 9 October.

Kids can take part in a series of tinkering challenges to help start new habitats in space at Space Odyssey Tinkertoreum. Build a moon buggy to race down the moonscape terrain at the Powerhouse Museum from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 13 October. 

Makerspace will be hosting a series of free creative workshops for kids aged 5 to 12 years. Workshops hosted from 1-8 October in inner-city libraries will invite kids to get creative and have fun with recycled materials. Places are limited so bookings are recommended.

Check out the Sea Monsters exhibition at the National Maritime Museum to discover the huge ocean predators that swam the depths in prehistoric times. The museum also hosts sensory-friendly Sundays with trained staff and volunteers on hand to facilitate creative activities.

Victoria

As always, ArtPlay will host a number of events that kids – from babies to 12 year olds – can explore their creativity and share unique artistic experiences with professional artists. These holidays, The Future of Toys, Mixing Lab and
Wearable Art will encourage kids to get their hands dirty and work with recycled materials.

Melbourne Gardens will host inclusive activities in the Children’s Garden and out in the Gardens’ wider landscapes, where you can soak up the Spring sunshine with nature play activities like weaving your own flower crown. There’s also a designated quiet place away from the noise but not the fun. 

If you want to head out of town, you can experience almost one million tulips on display at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival. There’s also live entertainment and market stalls daily, tractor rides, performances, souvenirs and games. 

ACT

Andy Day from Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures will be down under and performing at Canberra Theatre Centre in early October.

Floriade returns with a World in Bloom theme in Commonwealth Park (14 September – 13 October). The free event is full of family friendly activities, live entertainment, market stalls and KidzKlub.

If your kids are into vehicles of all shapes and sizes, the Australian War Memorial’s Big Things in Store annual open day at its warehouse on the 5th October is one not to miss. From aircraft to rockets and tanks, this is an exclusive opportunity to see inside the Memorial’s storage annexe that’s not normally open to the public.

For more ideas, see this article from Visit Canberra on 15 reasons to bring the family to the capital these school holidays.

QLD

The Brisbane Powerhouse will also host Andy of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures in early October for an exciting show filled with prehistoric creatures – or you can catch Spot live on stage at QUT Gardens Theatre.

ImagiNation Children’s Festival returns to the City of Logan these school holidays with more than 270 free or low-cost activities for kids, from September 21 to October 6. There’s something for everyone with activities across sport, adventure, art, culture, music, dance, animals, nature, technology, robotics, stories, poetry and cooking.

Libraries are the place to be these school holidays as pop-up maker spaces are taking place in library venues across Brisbane for kids who like to get a little crafty. And the State Library of Queensland will be transformed into a Fun Palace on October 5, where kids can take part in free games, science experiments and activities.

Brisbane Kids features a range of holiday programs on their website – from STEM programs to creative workshops and opportunities for the kids to get active.

SA

The Living Arts Program (part of Life Without Barriers in South Australia) have an inclusive school holiday program for young people aged 0-17 who have

complex needs. TThey’re also offering back to back workshops for kids, tweens and teens in their new Living Arts Studios in Unley. 


These school holidays will also see the launch of Adelaide Zoo’s brand new Variety Children’s Zoo. By joining the Zoo’s wild family you can get unlimited access to the new play space over the holidays.

For a little culture while you enjoy the Spring weather, visit the Adelaide Botanic Garden from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 13 October and enjoy Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice In Wonderland, presented by Shakespeare Australia.

Adelaide’s Hahndorf Farm Barn is a unique blend of a children’s farmyard and wildlife park where kids can hold, touch and feed most of the animals in complete safety. Keep the kids entertained and teach them about how animals are born, grow and live on a farm.

WA

The Western Australia Disabled Sports Association will be hosting a  genuine outback Gold Rush experience, based at the old Station homestead from 29 September – 4 October. 
It’s festival season in WA with a variety of family-friendly events on offer. Now in its 56th year, the Kings Park Festival will celebrate the remarkable wildflowers, plant life and culture of Western Australia throughout September. The 2019 Perth Royal Show is set to explode into full carnival atmosphere from 28 September to 5 October. WA Parks Foundation will celebrate the state;s beautiful green spaces in September with Spring into Parks. Check out the Spring into Parks calendar to find an event or activity near you. And finally, the York Festival attracts thousands of people over September and October to WA’s oldest inland town.

WA Maritime Museum will host Planet Shark: Predator or Prey, where you can dive into the world of the underwater predator without getting your feet wet. Or for dog-lovers, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre will be bursting with activities, performance and fun stuff, celebrating the love we have for our playful friends.

NT

When the weather heats up, Palmerston Water Park is the place to be for families, featuring a play pad for children 10 years and under as well as a splash pad for children six years and above with more active water cannons, buckets and high intensity interactive play.

The Alice Springs Reptile Centre features the largest reptile display in Central Australia. If you’d like to get up and close, there’s a daily supervised handling show. Nature lovers can also join traditional owners, Parks Australia, scientists, local experts and BirdLife Australia to celebrate the Top End’s diverse birdlife during Kakadu Bird Week from 28 September to 5 October 2019.

Throughout October, The City of Darwin will host Fun in the Parks school holiday program with free events for primary school-aged kids.

TAS

Discover crafts and games from the 19th Century over the holidays at a fun and educational day out at Port Arthur Historic Site. For lovers of music, Keep the Beat provides high energy drumming workshops for kids during school holidays and are based in locations across Tassie.

If you’d like to get the kids outdoors, take them to meet the famous Tasmanian Devil, cuddle a kangaroo, feed a lion and more at ZooDoo Zoo in Richmond.

The Museum of Old and New Art is a veritable playground for curious kids and most areas of Mona are accessible, with the exception of Unseen Seen, Weight of Darkness, the Pausiris gallery, and the Round House. Art guides (known as The O) supports VoiceOver and screen reader functionality for people who are blind, have low vision, or are dyslexic. Better yet, entry is free for all Tasmanians.

If you need some extra support over the school holidays, search the profiles of support workers in your area to see who’s available! Or post a job on the Mable platform to get the support you need quickly if you’re attending an event.