For most of us, being five weeks deep into the school holidays with another week and a half to go means boredom central. You’ve probably exhausted all the obvious activities, the DVD collection, the board game collection AND the kids are even bored by the idea of another trip on their scooters to the local park.
Well, here at haven we like to think outside the box and so we’ve come up with our Top 7 boredom-busting school holiday activities that’ll have your sanity reinstated and might even spice up your life for the countdown to D-Day (“D” as in “deliver” them at the school gate and breathe a big sigh of relief as you head straight to the nearest drive-through coffee stop!).
While some kids might think the local library is totally uncool, you’d be surprised by the wide variety of interesting and free activities they have on offer over the school holidays. Think of it as your rates at work! You might be able to meet the author of your favourite children’s book or join in an organised craft activity? Even learn how to build and code a robot or design and print something on a 3D printer (Redlands City Council libraries). The State Library of Queensland’s summer holiday program sees thousands of families join its exciting array of fun and affordable activities including puppet workshops, interactive performances and art-making activities, for example. Library activities like these are a great way for parents to spend quality time with our children in a chilled-out setting. Visit your local council website for what’s on in your neighbourhood library.
- Arts Centre Gold Coast
Arts Centre Gold Coast is another place where school holiday boredom can easily be busted. This complex is a thriving centre of all things arts related and, before the holidays are out, you’ll be able to have the kids involved in various music/instrument classes, performance art, poetry, art and more. Some school holiday sessions incur a fee but there are many interesting things to do and concerts and performances to see all for free! Click here for the Arts Centre Gold Coast’s events brochure.
- Sciencentre Brisbane
For Brisbanites, when was the last time you took the kids into the Sciencentre at South Brisbane? The Sciencentre offers hours of interactive, science-based fun for kids of all ages (including the ‘big kids’!). Holiday Science Theatre Shows, the Medieval Manor Holiday Program and the It’s Atomic hands-on workshops provide a brilliant fun, full day out for bored kids. The Sciencentre ticket prices are below, with some activities free after admission:
Adults $14.50 // concession or full-time students $12.50 // child (3-15 years, must be accompanied by an adult 18+) $11.50 // family including two adults/concessions and up to four children $44.50. Visit www.sciencentre.qm.qld.gov.au
- Putt putt
When I asked my kids what they wanted to do these holidays, one of the things that popped up was mini golf. There are a variety of putt putt courses across South-East Queensland so simply let your fingers do the Googling for a course near you. The 18-hole course at Victoria Park Golf club (Herston Rd, Herston) is described as “challenging and exciting” and we believe is even ‘fun-ner’ at night (it’s open until 10pm weekdays and 11pm weekends). Adults are at children’s prices when accompanying your kids these holidays. Bargain! Visit www.victoriapark.com.au
A bit like mini golf, skating is somewhat of a school holiday tradition in our family. Whether it’s chilling out at the ice skating rink on a hot Summer holiday day, or kicking it retro in a pair of old-school roller skates, you’ll be laughing along with the kids at how much fun you’re having. We like the helpful staff at Digi Roller Skating Rink (www.digiskating.com.au). Friday nights at Digi are Top 40/Teen Skate nights, Saturday mornings offer Learn to Skate classes and Saturday night is Family Skate Night. Entry is $10 + $4 skate hire.
- Scavenger hunt
If you’re looking for a way to kill time at home and save money on the entry fees, transport costs and food costs associated with a day out, why not organise a scavenger hunt? For the patient and interested kids, you can have them ‘scavenging’ for hours. Simply set a list of things for them to find and the first child to complete the list wins a prize (the ‘prize’ is up to you). As well as searching for things in the house and around the yard, your list could require the kids to create/craft something, draw something or (for sneaky parents) even clean something along the way! The fun is only limited to your imagination.
Who doesn’t love visiting animals? For my young girls, a trip to our local produce/pet shop to see all the cute farmyard animals and their babies (think hens and their chicks roaming around the carpark!) is an outing in itself. There are loads of places to see animals up close – Australia Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Dreamworld, Seaworld. For those familiar with the old Alma Park Zoo in Brisbane, a trip to see those same zoo animals (and more) in their new surroundings at Wildlife HQ is a bit like walking down memory lane. Wildlife HQ, at 76 Nambour Connection Road, Woombye, is just $28 adults/$15 kids for the day, so it’s a cheaper alternative than the theme parks’ animal enclosures. Visit www.qldzoo.com
Ah, this is an oldie AND a goodie! I remember my mum taking my brother and I to the local jetty on our school holidays, armed with hand lines, basic tackle and some bait and we’d fish the hours away. It became something quite traditional in our family as a school holiday outing. While I can’t remember ever landing a massive catch, I do remember those trips fondly. Is there somewhere close by to you where you can wet a line and teach your kids patience and a love of the great outdoors at the same time? Pack a picnic basket and you’re done. Your local bait and tackle shop owner should be a brilliant source of insider info on where to take your beginner fisherpeople.