Girl with lollypops (image supplied)
School holidays. Two words that can strike fear and dread into the hearts of parents far and wide. But fear not mums, dads, grandies et al, you’re reading this which means you’ve got this (fist pump emoji… and a wine glass emoji for good measure. Maybe two).
Now the two weeks don’t need to be totally heckers – just filled with a good balance of physical, mental, and creative activities to bust boredom and preserve sanity (yours that is). And with the majority of suggestions on this list not costing anything more than the fuel to get there, just shut up and (don’t) take my money!
So, pull up your calendar app, hatch some srsly cool plans, and make some memories with your mini-me’s.
DIG It, Australia’s first mini excavator park (image supplied)
Kiddos, it’s time to graduate from the sandpit to the driver’s seat at Dig It, Australia’s first mini excavator park for kids. The latest adventure drawcard at Thunderbird Park, prep your little peeps (and yourself) for real excavator machinery and construction-inspired activities where they are IN the driver’s seat! #Gulp. The two-hour (approximately) sessions start at $45 per child (accompanying parent is free), and there is no age limit. Bookings are required.
Where: Corner Tamborine Mountain Road & Cedar Creek Falls Road, Tamborine Mountain.
Calling all adventurers! At Pac Fair, explore The Adventure Camp where kids can navigate an obstacle course, conquer a rock-climbing wall, hit a bullseye with archery, and even make s’mores! All activities will take place from 24th June until 9th July between 10am to 12pm at various locations around the centre. It’s all free and no bookings are required, except for the s’mores making workshops which require pre-registration.
Where: 2 Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach Waters
Adventure Camp, Pacific Fair (image supplied)
Stockland Burleigh Heads
Do your kids fancy themselves as miniature foodies and LBH, you can’t fight genetics #IGotItFromMyMama. Let them have a crack at Stockland’s Food Workshops, where your small folk can learn a new recipe each day. Happening daily from Tuesday 27th June until Saturday 1st July from 10am until 1pm, you may even get a night or two off chef duty! Entry is free* however bookings are essential. *Conditions apply
Where: 149 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads
Our gnarly friends at the new you-beaut Paradise Centre are putting on four action-packed days of skateboarding thrillz with Skate Paradise from Thursday 29 June to Sunday 2 July. We’re talking a 7m x 5m skate ramp, semi pro skate shows, breakdancing performances, awesome workshops for kids aged 4 to 12 (no experience necessary), plenty of giveaways, and so much more radness. Mum, you can stock up on some srsly cool threadz and dine up a storm at the beachfront precinct. Everybody wins! Skate Paradise is free. Skateboarding workshops are currently fully booked but head to Paradise Centre’s website and get yourself (or your little sk8r) on the waitlist.
Where: 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Skate Paradise, Paradise Centre (image supplied)
Robina Town Centre
Pack your creativity and prepare for take-off these school holidays at Robina Town Centre with Jnr Jetsetters! Little explorers can design their own UV postcard to be printed and developed with a UV light station. Perhaps your young travellers would prefer to get creative and design their own personalised luggage tag, or maybe they’d thrive doing either (or both!) but in a sensitive session offering a low-stress, sensory-friendly environment? All workshops are $5 per person, running at various days/times over the holidays, and bookings are required.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Ground floor (outside Myer & Kookai), Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
NaturallyGC holiday programs are specifically designed to connect kids with nature and encourage outdoor play and learning. The workshops cover a range of nature-based activities and are suitable for everyone. Events include Little Ecologists, Totally Turtles, Fabulous Frogs, Discover Dolphins, Creatures of the Dark, Bugs Gone Wild, Nature’s Art and Craft, Indigenous Experience – Arts and Culture, and many more. Workshops are free, scheduled on various days, and registration is required.
Where: Various Gold Coast locations
NaturallyGC holiday programs (image supplied)
It’s all happening these school holidays at The Oasis with a range of promotions and activities for winter.
Madison’s Café & Patisserie always delivers the (sweet) goods and these holidays are no exception. Kids and families are invited to decorate a cupcake with a winter theme these school holidays. Cupcake decorating classes at 2pm on Thursday 29th June and 3rd July. Bookings are essential.
Madison’s, The Oasis (image supplied)
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Full-day Wild Adventure programs at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary ALWAYS book out fast, and this is year is no exception. Choose from the likes of Zoo Scientist for a Day, Animal Trainer for a Day, Vet for a Day, and Wildlife Keeper for a Day. Perfect for children from 6 to 12 years of age, all Wild Adventure programs include a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and cultural immersion opportunities. Programs are $69 per person and bookings are essential (most booked out already!).
Where: 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
The Strand Coolangatta
The Strand is inviting us (well our kids, but by default that means us) to indulge our sweet tooth and yeah, you had us at sweet. Step into 12 days of crafts, games, and non-stop fun with The Chocolate Factory from Monday 26th June – Friday 7th July from 11am – 2pm. Whip up crafts inspired by your favourite chocolatey treats where your imagination is the only limit and enjoy laughter-inducing games. It’s free and bookings are not required.
Where: 72 – 80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
If a drop-in workshop floats your boat, set sail for HOTA. Firstly, kiddos can get creative with 2D and 3D form to produce a unique hanging cloud mobile inspired by Samuel Leighton-Dore’s artwork with ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Craft Supplies’. Maybe creating a dual collage of themselves inspired by artist Maria Kozic’s ‘Manster ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ and ‘Dracula’ is more their vibe with Face Jam Portraits, or even Paper Bead Pets where they learn how to make small pet sculptures, keyrings, bracelets and other sculptural objects. Dates and times vary but it’s all FREE! Registration is required.
Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Winterfest, Dreamworld (image supplied)
It’s Winterfest time again from Saturday 24th June till Sunday 16th July and we’re chilled thrilled! Think glistening snow, the srsly slippery fun of ice-skating in a full-size ice rink, tobogganing and sliding down the giant ice slide, and finish it all off with some toasty European food like waffles, pretzels, fudge, German snags, mulled wine, and more! BRRRing it on! Also, newsflash incoming; The Giant Drop will be back up and running for the school holidays! Winterfest access is included in the Dreamworld entry ticket price.
Where: Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera
Wrner Bros. Movie World
DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains returns to Warner Bros. Movie World as a limited time only special event! Be a part of the villainous fun with action-packed shows, entertainment, and an epic daily parade at 5pm. Access is included in the Movie World entry ticket price. From 24 June – 16 July.
Where: Pacific Mwy, Oxenford
Daily Parade at Movie World (image spullied)
Nature Play Passport
Adventure is calling with Destination Gold Coast’s Nature Play Passport! You don’t need to travel far to have fun when you can explore your own backyard! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take off on a Gold Coast themed adventure with your mini-me. Grab a copy of the Nature Play Passport and complete the missions and outdoor learning activities in the great outdoors.
Where: Get your passports here
Yatala Drive In
Kick it back old-school and pile into the family car for a night out at the drive-in. Screening hotly anticipated new releases including Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse, The Flash, Elemental, and The Little Mermaid, there’s a flick for everyone. And bonus – pyjamas, Spidey or Arial costumes are totally acceptable attire! Tickets are $40 per carload (up to 6 people) for one film and must be pre-booked.
Where: 100 Stapylton Jacobs Well Road, Stapylton
Words by Bianca Trathen.