Wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained these school holidays? Thinking it sure would be handy if someone came up with a massive list of ideas to keep you inspired?! We’ve got you.

  1. Go whale watching – whale season begins in April, and ends in November, and the Gold Coast is one of the best places to see them migrating north.
  2. Get out into the sunshine and explore the city from the back of your bike (we’ve even found the Gold Coast’s best bike tracks: www.scoutmagazine.com.au)
  3. Go to the beach while there are still warm, sunny days ahead!
  4. Head to the pantry or laundry and try out an at-home science experiment – there are loads to be found on YouTube…
  5. Get a culture fix and hit the theatre! There are so many great shows on at the likes of Gold Coast’s HOTA and Brisbane’s QPAC, so check out our culture listing.
  6. Make a scavenger hunt at home or your local park. There are plenty of instructions to be found online, but you could also get the kids involved making your own.
  7. Hit the cinemas, because there’s no better time to check out the latest screenings than the school holidays.
  8. Baking is one of our favourite school holiday activities; it keeps the kids occupied AND promises a yummy treat at the end. If they’re adamant to do it on their own, try one of these no-bake recipes.
  9. If you’re not much of a DIY baker, enrol yourself and/or your kids in a school holiday cooking class! We love At Jane’s Table in Brisbane or Icon the Cookery School in Robina.
  10. If the skies are clear, why not try for a spot of stargazing? Stellarium is a great tool for any novice stargazer.
  11. Shoot for the stars at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium – it offers heaps of informative, exciting activities, shows and exhibits to make sure your school holidays are out-of-this-world!
  12. The mozzies are retreating so it’s time for a backyard barbecue! Grab some snags and your closest friends for an at-home barbie
  13. … Or, head to your local public BBQ area for some fun in the sun. Here are the Gold Coast’s best spots.
  14. From pottery to painting, tie-dye and drawing, get in on the fun of a kid-friendly art class at a local art studio! We love The Craft Parlour at Burleigh Heads.
  15. Use these school holidays to get crafty at home. Whether it’s painting on a canvas or page, drawing with chalk on an outdoor surface or trying a new craft activity like macramé or making beaded bracelets, there are so many ways to help your kids explore their creativity when they’re not at school.
  16. Nothing beats a weekend trip to the markets, right?! The school holidays are your perfect opportunity to try out a few farther from home. Check out our round up of the best autumn markets.
  17. Let the market fun continue into the night with a night market! There’s Eat Street Northshore in Brisbane to Mt Gravatt Marketta, and right down to Night Quarter, Helensvale or Miami Marketta on the Gold Coast, there is no shortage of fun food markets to satisfy your cravings.
  18. There’s nothing better than a park hang! Let the kids run wild while you enjoy a coffee (or, in reality, chase them around the playground for 45 minutes straight…)
  19. Have a read-a-thon! You can set a goal to read a certain number of books (either together as a family or in a competition) then let the reading fun begin – plus, it’s a fool-proof rainy day activity, too.
  20. A jigsaw puzzle is a great way to keep the kids entertained and their little minds stimulated. It also means you can take some time out to sit and chat with them, which sure beats chasing them around all day – win, win!
  21. Embrace the cooler weather and hit the ice skating rink! Paradise Resort’s Planet Chill and Brisbane’s Ice World are our picks for ice skating.
  22. Or, swap your blades for wheels and go roller skating. We love Epic Skate at Tweed Heads South.
  23. Have a picnic, either inside or outdoors. Bonus: it’s a good way to use up everything in the fridge!
  24. Try one of the many free kids’ programs on offer, because everyone knows school holidays really break the bank! The Little Days Out program at Brisbane’s South Bank and Active & Healthy Gold Coast are two examples, but there are always loads of free things going on at local shopping centres, museums and parks!
  25. Brisbane’s Sciencentre has undergone a transformation, and is now SparkLab – it includes over 40 interactive exhibits based on science, technology, engineering and maths, and is designed for your family to unleash your imagination.
  26. Explore local history with a climb to the top of the iconic Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower or a stroll through Logan’s Forest of Memories!
  27. A game of laser tag is always fun, and there are plenty of great spots to hit up here on the Gold Coast. We love Laser Skirmish at Surfers and Game Over at Helensvale.
  28. We’re here on the Gold Coast, so why not hit up one of our iconic theme parks? There are some great family deals and packages to make it more affordable, too.
  29. Go rock climbing at an indoor centre like Rocksports Indoor Climbing in Fortitude Valley or Paramount Adventure Centre in Burleigh Heads, or outdoor climb at the iconic Kangaroo Point cliffs.
  30. If it’s raining these holidays (which it probably will be!) have some good old fashioned fun in the rain making leaf boats to send down the gutters. It’s what childhood memories are made of.
  31. The Wheel of Brisbane is the River City’s answer to the London Eye, offering an unbeatable view of the north and south banks of the Brisbane River. A must for visiting tourists who want to see their city from a different perspective.
  32. You might just score a lucky strike with a ten-pin bowling session! Strike Wintergarden and Surfers Paradise are some of our favourites.
  33. Speaking of Strike, both the Wintergarden and Surfers Paradise locations have ‘escape rooms’ for you to put your detective skills to the test. You could also hit up Escape Hunt at Southport for some brain-boggling fun!
  34. Whether you’re trying your hand at a claw machine or dominating a game of air hockey, there’s unlimited fun to be had at the arcade. Check Google to find one in your area.
  35. Knitting or crochet are two timeless, super-useful skills that a lot of kids might never pick up. With the growing trend of knitted clothes and crochet keepsakes, now is a great time to learn!
  36. It doesn’t get much more thrilling than ducking and diving to avoid shots from your enemy, so give paintball a go these holidays.
  37. We’ve got some serious sporting talent here on the Gold Coast (and up in Brisbane) – the AFL and rugby seasons are just getting started, so be sure to catch a game these holidays.
  38. Choose your favourite streaming platform or go old school with a stack of DVDs (LOL) and have a home movie marathon, complete with popcorn. We recommend the Shrek series, Harry Potter or something more classic like Star Wars.
  39. Cull your children’s wardrobes, toy supplies and bookshelves, then have a garage sale selling their unwanted items. Tell them you’ll use the money for a fun family activity to make letting go easier!
  40. Or, do something charitable and raise money for people less fortunate – there are so many important causes right now. Here’s how to do it.
  41. Lock in dinosaur-sized school holiday fun with a visit to the Queensland Museum in Brisbane! You could also check out the Surf Museum on the Gold Coast, or even Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Surfers Paradise.
  42. The last of the warm weather is upon us, so reach for your swimmers and check out the many waterparks and swim spots around town – we’ve listed our faves right here.
  43. Think classic putt putt is fun? Take things up a notch at Holey Moley, now at Surfers Paradise as well as in Fortitude Valley, or practice your long shot at Top Golf.
  44. Trampoline parks and school holidays are a match made in heaven, which is why Bounce Inc. (in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast) is one of our all-time faves!
  45. Cuddle a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane.
  46. While you’re at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, don’t miss the chance to feed the hundreds of lorikeets by the front gates (it’s free!).
  47. Our nearby beaches offer more than fun in the surf – they’re also good spots to cast a line, so try your hand at fishing these holidays.
  48. There are so many great walks in and around town, so lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails for a school holiday activity that will certainly tucker the kids out.
  49. The cooler days mean it’s even more enjoyable to get into the garden – whether it’s a small flowerbox or a larger veggie patch, creating your own garden is a school holiday activity you’ll be benefiting from well beyond the first day back at school.
  50. Going out for dinner during the school holidays doesn’t have to be expensive! There are so many great family-friendly meal deals – check out our top picks here.
  51. Keep it casual or go all out with a dinner party! Invite your nearest and dearest over for some great food, with loads of activities (board games, movies, etc.) for your little guests to enjoy with your own kids – here’s how to nail your gathering.
  52. Get out those spare blankets and replenish the peg supply – building an indoor cubby house is one way to keep the kids entertained for hours! All they’ll need are some well-positioned chairs, a bit of floor space and a lot of creativity. Plus, once the cubby’s built, they’ll have somewhere they can chill out.
  53. Hit your local library and help foster your children’s love of reading! Whether you’re borrowing some new books or getting involved with the activities on offer, your nearest library is a great place to spend the day these holidays.
  54. Board games are a tried and true way to keep children entertained, but have you thought about showing your kids how to make their own? Noughts and Crosses, Guess Who and Tic Tac Toe are a few examples of games they can recreate, but they could also make up their own if they’re feeling inspired!
  55. If you’re sick of hearing those two dreaded words, ‘I’m booorrredddd!’ why not write down all of the ideas on this list, pop them in a jar and leave it in an easily-accessible spot for your kids to draw out when they need it? You can also click here for more ideas


haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.