We’ve gone all out, giving you 100 awesome ideas for ways to spend the final weeks of the summer holidays – and we’ve enlisted the help of a few friends, too…
1. Celebrate summer by making some nature-inspired crafts.
2. Hit Cudgen Creek for a dip, then Cubby House for a sweet treat.
3. Go to the movies to catch the new release family flicks…
4. Or, enjoy a marathon at home – popcorn and pyjamas included.
5. Kick it old school at the Yatala Drive-in.
6. Take a hike – we are spoilt for choice when it comes to bushwalks, so visit Natural Arch, Springbrook or Mt Tamborine. They have trails to suit most ages, and there is usually a cafe nearby to refuel with a scone, jam and coffee.
7. Have a hit of tennis! Borrow racquets or pick up cheap ones at Kmart if you’re new to the sport, and do a quick Google to find the free courts on offer near you.
8. No access to tennis courts? Make your own with chalk on the driveway, and play hopscotch, handball and Twister while you’re at it!
9. Ride bikes, everywhere.
10. Play putt putt, or make a DIY course in your backyard.
11. Take a day trip – whether it’s to Byron, Brunswick or Brisbane! Check out the ‘Day Trippin’ category on our website for endless inspiration.
12. Pretend you’re on Great Aussie Bake-Off and get in the kitchen…
13. Then, host a bake sale!
14. Make your own ping pong competition.
15. Put a bucket in the shower and use the excess water for water balloon fights the next day…
16. Or, use the water to fill a blow-up pool! Add beach chairs, fancy drinks and an umbrella to really set the scene.
17. Turn your #vanlife envy into a fun day out – pack the camp stove in the back of the car and cook up some sausage sandwiches somewhere with a view!
18. Host LEGO competitions to see who has the best build…
19. Or, cull your toy collection and sell the best bits for extra holiday cash. For example, did you know there are businesses who buy preloved LEGO?
20. Set up workshop play dates with friends – your local shopping centre no doubt offers heaps of free and affordable fun.
21. Hang out riverside at South Bank or Hamilton Northshore – just pack a picnic and some games and your arvo is sorted.
22. Or, enjoy marina views at Sanctuary Cove or the coastal suburbs of the Redlands.
23. Go fishing, whether it’s in the ocean or with bread and water bottles in the creek.
24. Enjoy more picnic dinners (or breakfasts… or lunches!).
25. Snap more family photos…
26. Then write letters to friends and family and post them off with the happy snaps.
27. Find a penpal.
28. Go shopping for Back to School.
29. Enjoy mornings at the beach, even if it’s too rainy to swim.
30. Host your own boogie board competitions, with points for tricks and the longest waves ridden.
31. Have a sandcastle competition.
32. Go skating (rollerblading, ice skating or otherwise!).
33. Try a science experiment using items found in your pantry.
34. Attend a free kids’ program, hosted by your local library or council.
35. Play in the park until the sun goes down…
36. Then have a nighttime barbecue picnic.
37. Make your own scavenger hunt, either around your house or local park.
38. See a show!
39. Explore local history with a tour – you can embark on it yourself, or enlist the help of a local historian to show you around.
40. Visit a farmers’ market and cook a meal with the fresh produce you buy.
41. Go to an op-shop with a budget to see who can get the best pieces.
42. Try rock climbing.
43. Do an escape room.
44. Hit the arcade – there are so many to choose from!
45. Pat and play with sharks and stingrays at The Shark and Ray Gardens, Loganholme.
46. Plant a brand new herb, veggie or flower garden (window gardens totally count).
47. Host a dinner party.
48. Host a games night.
49. Learn something new, whether it’s knitting, Piglatin or how to play Mah-Jong. The possibilities are endless.
50. Make an ‘I’m Bored’ jar. Sick of hearing those two dreaded words? Write down every idea on this page, cut them into strips of paper and pop them in a mason jar. How many can you do before school goes back?
Drop them and run…
Okay, maybe not ‘run’ – just walk away smugly knowing they’re out of your hair for a good few hours. Both you and your kids will be equally happy with these school holiday programs.
51. Adventure activities at PGL Kindilan www.pgladventurecamps.com.au
52. Horse-riding at Gold Coast Equestrian www.goldcoastequestrian.com.au
53. Wild adventures at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, www.currumbinsanctuary.com.au
54. Holiday care at St Hilda’s School www.sthildas.qld.edu.au
55. Get active at Sports Camps Australia www.sportscampsaustralia.com.au
56. Or sports fun at Rise Yeronga www.rise.com.au
57. Music workshops at QMusic www.qmusic.com.au
58. Personal development at Tamblyn’s The Academy www.tamblynmodelling.com.au
59. Learn more at Code Camp www.codecamp.com.au
60. Get crafty with Raw Art www.rawartworkshops.com.au
What you said…
We asked our haven readers to tell us how they like to spend their holidays – here’s what they said…
61. “Our goal these school holidays is to visit every playground around our 20km radius, play to our heart’s content, snap some lovely memory shots and ask the kids to give a review out of five stars.” – Ying Ying T
62. “We love to get outdoors and explore our local area, whether it’s a bushwalk or exploring the rock pools at the beach. Fresh air and free family fun!” – Gemma W
63. “We’ve just started kindy this year so we will have a mix of vacation care days together. We will choose activities out of a hat that we’ve picked as a family, which will keep us active and still be lots of fun. Looking forward to camping together for the first time.” – ‘Grug’ and Terissa C
64. “Camping, skiing/snowboarding, biking, theme parks, swimming, mini two-night breaks to Brisbane, movies, sleepovers at grandparents.” – Julia W
65. “Depending on the time of year, we love swimming, camping, fishing, going to the movies and to the park.” – Kelly C
66. “We go to the beach and the park and the kids have sleepovers. We also do arts and crafts and go to the lake to feed the ducks.” – Debrah B
67. “Doing lots of craft, sewing, painting… all the things we have no time for with after-school activities.” – Robyn W
68. “Camping, beach, pool and theme parks with kids. On rainy days we do arts and movies.” – Miki N
69. “Parks and picnics, cooking lessons and making fairy gardens. There’s never enough time for fun.” – Pamela S
70. “We love to try to get away for a night or two. Last school holidays we went to a farm stay.” – Amanda O
71. “We love to go to parks and let the kids play on the scooters to keep them happy. They also love to play with their cousins.” – Kim T
72. “Love the beach.” – Janine M
73. “Spot kangaroos at grandma’s house.” – Jody S
74. “We tend to stay home, catch up, chill out, get outdoors and just unwind and reset for the coming term.” – Kylie H
75. “We know we’re supposed to get out and about, but the best school holiday days are the ones where we stay at home all day in our pyjamas.” – Kate W
Word about town…
Sarah, one half of ‘those two girls’ on HIT105 and mum of two girls (8 & 6)…
86. Glow worm caves.
87. Seaworld – the illuminated jellyfish display is a mesmerising joy.
88. QPAC performances.
89. The Craft Parlour.
90. Crazy Cat Café.
91. Paddock Bakery – we live for the dippy eggs!
92. Lilliputt – mini golf with a delightful difference.
93. In A Pickle cooking classes.
94. Wildlings Forest School – raft building, cubby workshops, etc.
95. Pool party and movie play dates at home.
Karen Baildon, Co-founder at Superfish Swim Schools…
96. Swimming lessons! It wears the kids out and most swim schools have intensive programs available!
97. Obviously, a day on our beautiful Queensland beaches.
98. A boat trip and a day visit to Couran Cove, Gold Coast.
99. Walking Mt Warning in Northern New South Wales with a trip to Mavis’s Kitchen for lunch.
100. A car ride to explore Byron Bay, Bangalow and the Northern Rivers of NSW.