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Free thing to do in school holidays
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#1 .Ally.

Posted 02 October 2009 - 02:31 PM

All this with the school holidays and an overseas visitor coming to stay for three weeks – how does one entertain children and visitors on a restricted budget?

Where to start? As the kids get older, experience tells me that (a) it pays to be prepared with lots of ideas (b) I need to get my kids on board and enthusiastic about said ideas and © I enjoy the holidays so much more and find them vastly more relaxing if I am flexible about not ticking everything on my list off or pinning my hopes on doing certain things.

Read the full article "21 things to do in the school holidays"

Here are the 21 ideas (some are Sydney-based but there may be similar activities in your region)

1. Plant some veggies or herbs together.  Cost $10 approx.

2.  Visit Bundeena and the Aboriginal rock drawings. Cost $0

3. Day at the beach. Cost $0

4. Bushwalk in one of the many other National Parks. Cost $0-11 for park entry

5. Rollerblading/biking in Olympic Park. Cost $0

6. Visit Kangaroo Valley and Bendeela Campsite where wombats can be seen at dusk. Cost $0

7.Camp-out in garden or living room depending on weather. Cost $0

8.  Park and picnic visiting Darling Harbour followed by ferry to Manly Beach. Cost parking & ferry

9. Kids Bedroom Make-over. $0-you decide.

10. The No Particular Reason Party – invite as many people as you like to bring a plate of finger food & a bottle. Cost $0

11.  Invite a playdate around.  Cost $0

12. Lego Space Police at the Sydney Observatory or one of their many other free programmes.  The Observatory also have exciting sounding tours for kids and families, not least the 3D Space Theatre and night visits with a cost attached.  www.sydneyobservatory.com.au Cost $0 -$45 per family.

13. Explore the Australian National Maritime Museum, making sure to check out the screening of a special episode of Round The Twist (1.30pm daily, 4-18 Oct).  Cost $0

14. Art Gallery. Cost $0-$30  

15. Get to know your city: visit Elizabeth Farm, Rouse Hill Farm or Vaucluse House.  Cost $17 per family.

16. Write an adventure story together. Cost $0

17. Get the kids to put on a fashion show & join in.  Make sure  you film it or take photos for posterity, it’ll make great memories for the future. Cost $0

18. Make Christmas cards together – Cost $0

19. Breakfast at the beach. Cost $0-you decide.

20.  Picnic in your local Botanic Gardens. Cost $0

21. Fairs & markets.

#2 dogmac

Posted 02 October 2009 - 02:48 PM

You realise you are putting yourself up for being "NSW biased" now, don't you Ally?  Most of the rest of the states have started already (on in the case of Victoria, are about to finish)

However, there is the Sydney Childrens Festival on. It has a lot of free events in it.

#3 .Ally.

Posted 02 October 2009 - 03:14 PM

Guilty as charged - but in my defense the article was supplied to me by a Sydney contributor.

Having said that, it would be great to get the list up to 50 and use it for the Christmas holidays as it's not specifically for spring hols... although that may rule out the Children's Festival.

#4 Nitecat

Posted 02 October 2009 - 11:06 PM

Another free or inexpensive thing kids can do: visit the local library - there always activities arranged by the library staff for the holiday period, unless it's booked out.

Here is a website www.ourkidz.com.au, they always have an updated list of holiday programs and activities of almost all libraries in metropolitan Sydney, plus major galleries and museums: http://ourkidz.com.au/content/view/196/156/lang,en/.

If a child is under 12, vacation care is a good option, too. You can get the vacation centre's program and choose the activities or excursions your child is interested to attend. It can be as many days as you like, or as few days as you like. The activities and excursions are all supervised. Parents can save their own costs of transport and entry fee, if the budget is tight, and have a day off. It also gives the child the opportunity to meet new friends and socialise with other kids.

#5 hm6

Posted 14 October 2009 - 09:02 PM

It's always good to get ideas for school hols - but I think occasionally letting them be bored is OK too. You don't have to fill every minute of every day with activities. The odd days at home doing nothing much are fine and parents shouldn't feel guilty or bad that a couple of the school hols are literally spent doing nothing. Yes they might complain about being bored but really that's OK - it really is OK - they will survive it. They'll also appreciate the days when you do go out -I think it's best to have a mix of days. ( Also days where they can watch TV or play computer games without you feeling the need to nag about homework etc is ok too - as long as its not days on end.)

#6 benandem

Posted 09 January 2011 - 02:31 PM

Similar to making Christmas cards, I think most of the Christmas decorations can be hand made -- paper or popcord garlands, a wreath for the door (found a good "blank" wreath at Ikea), paper snowflakes hanging from door frames or handles etc. We started these on the first day of the hols, and have saved up most of the other activities for the more boring last couple of weeks before school goes back.

#7 dippinsniffer

Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:27 PM

Camellia Gardens is free. So is the Botanical Gardens. Sydney Park.

#8 Guest_keylimepie~_*

Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:35 PM

Sydney-centric response.
3. Day at the beach. Cost $0
RUBBISH! If you're an out-of-towner (not form the local council area) prepare to pay big $$$ for parking!  rant.gif  Or be prepared to lug all your gear with you from a few streets away. If you're lucky.
That goes for a few others on the list as well.

What truly is free these days?

#9 Kristina13

Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:39 PM

A visit to your local public library -and hopefully the school holiday programs are free (like the council where I work).... I'm taking Joel to my workplace (in my 5 week holiday break -what dedication!!! lol ) for him to see a free Bugs n Slugs presentation which he should enjoy!

#10 Heffalump

Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:43 PM

Fagan Park in Dural, NSW.  It has the absolute best flying fox, a great playground, massive park areas and gardens, duck ponds and lakes galore, bbq facilities etc etc etc - costs $5 to park.

Treasure hunt at the local park - takes a bit of prep, but the kids love them - free

Rainy day activity - decluttering - pick 10 things of yours that you haven't used in the last 6 months and pack them away / give them away / sell them on Ebay...reward yourselves for all the hard work at the end of the day with an ice cream / puddle jumping expedition / pizza / whatever takes your fancy. original.gif

#11 Empress NG

Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:02 PM

Not free but mine like riding around on trains and ferries.  Works well when I have a weekly/monthly ticket for work and only have to pay for one child's fare (2nd child is free).  

My other suggestion for upper north shore is St Ives Wildflower Garden.  I think it is fox protected so if you go at a quiet time, you are very likely to see lots of wildlife.  Once ds and I saw a wallaby, an echidna and two lace monitors in the space of about 10 mins!  

Also I think the Nan Tien Temple near Wollongong is free (we stayed overnight there so don't knwo about day entry).  Kids were fascinated.  

I am also keen to go to the Auburn Mosque some time.  I think they have set open days though.

#12 Jo-B

Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:40 PM

You can download a free booklet of school holiday activities  (SA bias but some will apply to anyone) at www.talkingmatters.com.au  This also includes ideas on helping your children to learn as they play.


#13 Party of 5

Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:46 PM

Also check out the Let's Go Kids website they have lot's of ideas and voucher book yyes.gif


#14 mateosau

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:56 PM

Why not try Strawberry Picking in YOUNG, NSW. we had a great time!  smile1.gif  Gleann Mohr Farm was the place

#15 Frockme

Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:53 PM

This is over 2 years old!

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