It’s tempting to stay huddled up inside during the winter school holidays, but we say it’s a perfect opportunity to get outside and make the most of all the Gold Coast has to offer. 

The days are dry and sunny (if a little nippy) and the longer nights offer more opportunity for cosy get-togethers with your nearest and dearest. 

Here are 65 ways you could spend them.

  1. Rug up fireside at one of these local venues with fireplaces.
  2. Hit the beach (yes, even though it’s cold) – we’ve got plenty of ideas for winter fun on the beach right here.
  3. Make the most of the cooler weather and take a hike – from Natural Arch in Springbrook to Mt Tamborine, we’re spoilt for choice.
  4. While you’re there, pay a visit to the glow worm caves.
  5. Embrace the cold with an ice skating session.
  6. Or by making your own snow for a snowball fight at home – here’s a guide.
  7. Head to Dreamworld for Winterfest, the ultimate celebration of all things winter here on the Gold Coast.
  8. Go camping, either at a national park, local campground or in your own backyard!
  9. Nothing turns up the heat like some friendly competition, so head to Putt Putt Golf Mermaid Beach or Holey Moley for some mini golfing fun.
  10. Or, why not make a DIY putt putt course in your own home? Here’s a comprehensive guide.
  11. While you’re feeling crafty, try making your own corn hole! It’s so much fun.
  12. Or head to Crafty’s at Harbour Town and play corn hole there (they’ve also got some hot winter deals on right now).
  13. Since you’re already there, shop for the kids’ winter wardrobe (and maybe pick up a few things for yourself, too).
  14. Explore the rural towns of Northern New South Wales – add Murwillumbah, Uki and Bangalow to your list!
  15. Make your own scavenger hunt, either around your house or local park.
  16. Learn something new, whether it’s knitting, Piglatin or how to play Mah-Jong. The possibilities are endless.
  17. Embrace the cold and take a day trip out to the hinterland (and beyond). Our ‘Day Trippin’ category has endless inspiration.
  18. Outsource your kids’ entertainment and head to The Craft Parlour – they’ve got sooo many fun craft workshops this winter.
  19. Go to the movies to catch the new release family flicks… Keep an eye on our ‘Movies’ tab for ticket giveaways!
  20. Or, enjoy a marathon at home – popcorn, pyjamas and fluffy socks are essential.
  21. Kick it old school at the Yatala Drive-in.
  22. Join Cold Nips for a refreshing dip in the ocean, followed by coffee and chats with new friends every Wednesday morning.
  23. Have fun waterside (without having to jump in) and head to South Bank or Hamilton Northshore in Brisbane with a picnic basket and some games in tow.
  24. Hit the arcade – we have so many to choose from on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.
  25. Turn your #vanlife envy into an early sunset dinner – pack a camp stove into the back of the car and cook up some sausage sandwiches somewhere with a view!
  26. Go ziplining at Thunderbird Park, then fossick for dinosaur eggs.
  27. While you’re at it, cull your wardrobe and other unwanted items and sell them online.
  28. Don’t forget that there are great rack sales around town, too – check out our favourite places to shop pre-loved right here.
  29. Let’s go fly a kite! There are so many cool ones to be found at local stores, and plenty of wide open parks and beaches to fly them.
  30. Check out your local shopping centre’s school holiday offerings! There are workshops and events aplenty.
  31. Why not link up with your friends and organise a shopping centre play date? The kids will be entertained (possibly for free) and you can shop to your heart’s content.
  32. You could also attend a free kids’ program, hosted by your local library or council.
  33. Host a games night complete with scoreboards and trophies. Check out our tips here.
  34. Remember: during your games night, warm drinks like hot chocolate are a must.
  35. Build a cubby, inside or outside!
  36. Snap more family photos…
  37. Then write letters to friends and family and include your happy snaps.
  38. Find a pen pal for your children.
  39. The Gold Coast is Australia’s theme park capital – why not make the most of it? Nothing beats the winter chill like pumping up your adrenaline.
  40. Challenge yourself on the Mt Tamborine Treetop Challenge.
  41. See how many science experiments you can do using items found in your pantry.
  42. Play in the park until the sun goes down…
  43. Then have a nighttime barbecue picnic. Pack glow sticks for a bit of fun!
  44. Speaking of parks, why not try out a family Parkrun? It’s a great way to beat the chill – and you might just find a new love for running.
  45. Try rock climbing for some fun fitness.
  46. Host LEGO competitions to see who has the best winter-inspired build…
  47. Or, cull your toy collection and sell the best bits for extra holiday cash. Did you know there are businesses that buy preloved LEGO?
  48. Go on an overnight motorbike adventure at Gap Creek Moto park.
  49. See a show! There are so many musicals and theatre performances to see.
  50. Explore local history with a tour – you can embark on it yourself, or enlist the help of a local historian to show you around.
  51. Visit a farmers’ market (with a warm drink in hand) then cook a meal with the seasonal produce you buy…
  52. Nothing warms you up during winter like a piping hot meal. Channel your inner MasterChef and try one of these winter recipes.
  53. Go to an op-shop with a budget to see who can get the best winter pieces.
  54. While you’re there, challenge your kids to find the strangest or ugliest item they can.
  55. Or get the blood pumping with an escape room instead.
  56. Make an ant farm for endless entertainment…
  57. Or a worm farm if you’re a green thumb! 
  58. Plant a brand new herb, veggie or flower garden with seasonal winter produce (window gardens totally count).
  59. Host a dinner party.
  60. Put on themed family dinner nights and let your tastebuds ‘travel’ to Vietnam, Morocco, Mexico or Italy…
  61. Let your kids play dress ups in your wardrobe.
  62. Then, have them put on a play or fashion show.
  63. Get your feline fix with a visit to the Crazy Cat Café.
  64. Ditch the car and ride bikes, roller skates or scooters wherever you can (weather permitting).
  65. 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?


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.