Are you scratching your head and wondering what fun school holiday activities Melbourne has to offer your kids this December/January? Or what to do these school holidays. Perhaps things to do during school holidays? What’s on school holidays Melbourne, VIC?
Fret none, we’ve done OUR homework and compiled a huge list of Melbourne school holidays ideas for you. This list will take the hard work out of thinking about the best ideas of things to do in Melbourne with kids these Summer 2023 school holidays. Our comprehensive guide of the best school holiday activities over the Summer school holidays will help make your life so much easier!
No matter kids, teens or adults, this article has something for you.
We’ve listed what to do in Melbourne, where to go and what’s on for Melbourne school holidays this Summer !
School holidays Melbourne Summer 2023 school holiday dates: 21 December 2023 – 29 January 2024
Not the best weather? Check out our list of the best rainy day activities in Melbourne
- Kids activities Melbourne – free, cheap or GO BIG!
- What's on school holiday fun activities Melbourne
- Things to do in the Melbourne kids school holidays
- Fun things to do in the school holidays Melbourne:
- 20 free school holiday activities Melbourne
- Cheap school holiday activities in Melbourne school holiday activities
- Big days out in Melbourne
- Kids shows Melbourne
- Melbourne kids holiday ideas
- Looking for more things to do in Melbourne with kids?
Kids activities Melbourne – free, cheap or GO BIG!
Whether you are looking for free school holiday activities Melbourne or cheap school holiday activities in Melbourne we’ve got ALL the school holiday ideas for you in our guide.
Read our list of school holiday activities in Melbourne to find all the things that are going on locally for your kids.
We know that sometimes it is hard to think of fun activities for kids during the school holidays so we have researched and put together this detailed list. We’ve got school holiday ideas Melbourne style for you in our fun school holidays guide. Add this page to your bookmark bar right now (or share it on Facebook so you can find it later).
This article is an ‘at-a-glance’, go-to resource for parents listing the best things to do school holidays Melbourne style!
What’s on school holiday fun activities Melbourne
Give spelling, punctuation and grammar a miss for a while with these fun school holiday ideas. From the Melbourne CBD to the suburbs, our comprehensive guide has listed a bunch of school holiday ideas. These will ensure the kids are kept happy and you will be stress-free over the school break.
Things to do in the Melbourne kids school holidays
If you are looking for fun things to do in the Melbourne school holidays check out our huge updated list of fun ideas.
Fun things to do in the school holidays Melbourne:
We’ve broken our article into sections to help you find the best activities.
20 free school holiday activities Melbourne
As the old saying goes – the best things in life are free. School holidays don’t have to break the bank (or your wallet). These ideas are the best free school holiday activities for the Summer school holidays that Melbourne has on offer.
1. Ride the City Circle Tram
The City Circle Tram service provides a free and convenient way to get around central Melbourne. The City Circle Tram makes its way around the city and links with other tram, train and light rail services in and around Melbourne. There’s no limit to use – you are welcome to spend all day on a City Circle Tram. On board each City Circle Tram you’ll find Information leaflets, including an ‘easy to understand’ map of the city to help you get around to all the key destinations. Click here
2. See St Kilda’s Little Penguins
The harbour is protected by the St. Kilda Breakwater, where a colony of approximately 1200 Little Penguins resides. It’s surprising, isn’t it? If you visit St. Kilda Pier right before dusk, you’ll witness the Fairy penguins as they swim in at the end of the day and ascend the breakwater rocks to reach their nests. Typically, there are 10 to 20 penguins visible. Volunteers are present to address your inquiries. As you approach the breakwater, stroll along the gravel path, and then descend the wooden stairs.
3. Discover sailing
Discover Sailing Days are offered at over 30 yacht clubs around Victoria. Check your local one to see when they are offering free Discover Sailing Days. There is no need to bring anything (except perhaps a hat!) as they provide everything you need. Find out more here
4. Storytime at your local library
From sessions for babies and toddlers, to story times for preschoolers, school holiday programs, homework and after school clubs, there’s plenty for children of all ages at Melbourne Library Service. See all the details here
5. RAAF Museum
The history of the Air Force is commemorated by the RAAF Museum, showcasing an extensive collection of memorabilia and narratives from Australia’s military aviation missions. This free museum located in Point Cook features a captivating exhibit that encompasses air missiles, a mirage jet, a helicopter, and even a boat plane. Get all the information here
6. Fitzroy Gardens
Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most historic and beautiful gardens. The magnificent tree-lined avenues and extensive lawns provide ample opportunity for running. The English-style garden contains a few attractions which are good for kids – a small playground, a model Tudor village, the Fairies tree, Cook’s Cottage and conservatory. Get more info here
7. Queen Victoria Market
Also known affectionately as ‘Vic Market’ or ‘Queen Vic’, the Queen Victoria Market has been the heart and soul of Melbourne for more than a century. An historic landmark spread over two city blocks, it’s a vibrant and bustling inner-city market where you can shop at over 600 small businesses for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, local and imported gourmet foods, clothing and souvenirs. More details can be found here
8. Become a Junior Ranger
The Junior Ranger program inspires children to venture into Victoria’s astounding parks alongside an actual park ranger. Participating Junior Rangers can engage in exciting activities such as exploring rock pools, joining historic tours, and embarking on spotlight night walks. Furthermore, they possess the opportunity to independently explore various engaging Junior Ranger activities available for download on the website. These activities can be completed with their family and friends at their convenience. Check out the school holiday activities here.
9. NGV Ian Potter Centre
The National Gallery of Victoria extends a warm welcome to all, including children, teenagers, and families. NGV Kids exhibitions and programs mirror the Gallery’s dedication to offering creative encounters for young individuals and their families. Find out about their school holiday exhibits here.
These school holidays you can see:
- Up Down & All Around (May 18 – Oct 8)
- Bonnard (9 Jun – 8 Oct)
- Rembrandt (2 Jun – 10 Sept)
10. Picnic in The Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Gardens is a great place for picnics. With its meandering walkways, diverse plant life and stunning views, plus a unique space designed specifically for kids, add the gardens to your must-see itinerary for families. Find out more here
11. Serendip Sanctuary
Described as a wildlife oasis within the Western Volcanic Plain, Serendip Sanctuary boasts a diverse array of native birds and mammals. The sanctuary provides an ideal setting for families, offering interactive activities for children and excellent amenities. These include smooth tracks suitable for prams, spacious areas for play, complimentary barbecue facilities, sheltered picnic tables, and accommodations for baby changing. We have got more details here.
12. McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park
The gallery and grounds at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery are a wonderful environment for families to explore at all times of the year. Look for birds and insects and if you are really lucky you might spot turtles and echidnas! Make a day of it and enjoy a picnic in the grounds. Click here
13. Edendale Farm in Eltham
Edendale demonstrates farm production to the community with animals such as sheep, dairy goats and chickens, as well as vegetable gardens and orchards of heritage fruit trees. You can participate in self-guided walks around the farm, children’s clipboard activities, explore the native plant nursery, plus you can bring a picnic. Click here
14. Old Treasury Building
Take a journey through history by exploring the ‘Growing Up in Old Treasury’ exhibition, which showcases the life of the Maynard family, who served as caretakers of the building in the 1920s. As part of the Old Treasury Building experience, the Fun Trail invites children to engage with Melbourne’s history. By answering a questionnaire, they can earn a Gold License! To learn more, click here. Click here
These school holidays you can see:
- Lost Jobs: The Changing World of Work
- Protest Melbourne
- Yarra: Stories of Melbourne’s River
15. Melbourne Town Hall
Free tours of Melbourne’s historic Town Hall give visitors the chance to learn about the architectural, social and political significance of this impressive 19th century building. Experience the grandeur of the wood-panelled Council Chamber, stand on the portico where the Beatles waved, sit in the Lord Mayor’s chair and view the richly carved Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, the largest grand romantic organ in the southern hemisphere. Click here
16. St Kilda Adventure Playground
Fantastic space for the entire family with lots of stuff for the little ones with the rope slide, swings mini flying fox and sand pit and plenty of lawn. Bigger kids will also have a ball with huge slides, flying fox and the ability to run from one place to another. There is a big ship and plenty more to do. Pack a picnic and spend the day! Click here
17. Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Southbank)
The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) stands as a prominent hub for contemporary art in Australia, serving as a flagship venue. It holds a significant role in fostering a culture of critically engaged contemporary art, encouraging both the artistic and broader communities to actively partake in a journey of curiosity and transformation. Click here
These school holidays you can see:
- James Nguyen: Open Glossary (16 Sep – 19 Nov)
18. Cranbourne Gardens
Within Cranbourne Gardens lies a treasured expanse of native bushland, representing one of Victoria’s most valuable natural areas. Anchoring this space is the breathtaking Australian Garden, a showcase of the rich diversity of Australian flora. The Rockpool Waterway offers a delightful opportunity for free water play (when water levels permit), featuring a lively stream bordered by a striking steel Escarpment Wall Sculpture. Click here
19. State Library of Victoria
If you want to get the kids excited about visiting a library, remind them that the State Library of Victoria houses Ned Kelly’s armour! The library also has a range of talks, workshops and children’s story time on offer all year round. The Children’s Quarter is our favourite place in the Melbourne CBD.
These school holidays you can see:
- Ned Kelly’s Armour (1 Jan – 31 Dec)
- World of the Book (Present – 12 May 2024)
20. Walk the dog
May not be the most exciting thing you’ll do these school holidays – but dog walking is a great way to get out of the house!
RELATED: Make sure you also read our places where kids eat free in Melbourne guide!
Cheap school holiday activities in Melbourne school holiday activities
Want to take the kids out, but you are on a budget? That’s OK – we’ve got a list of low cost options for the school holidays. These are cheap school holiday activities in Melbourne and suburbs that the kids will LOVE! From cat cafes to magic school, this list has something for everyone.
21. Magic Camp – Learn Magic!
Awarded top kids program 2 years in a row!
Get ready to take an amazing adventure into the exciting world of magic.
The Magic Academy’s School Holiday Program “Magic Camp” is for kids aged 4-12 who want to learn incredible magic tricks, play awesome games, and make great friends!
The Melbourne Magic Academy exists to create more happiness, empathy and confidence in our kids, while adding a little magic to the world.
21. Code Camp
Let Code Camp inspire your children to get creative with technology these holidays, learn some valuable new skills, have fun and make new friends. With a wide range of in-person camps and online programs available, there really is something for everyone. Choose from beginner to advanced coding camps, robotics, stop-motion animation, DJing, video production and so much more!
What’s New? Code Camp is launching brand new camps this summer!
Kids can learn to code with DreamWorks Trolls! At Little Coders: Trolls Edition, 5-7 year olds will take their first steps on their coding journey banding together with their favourite characters. At Spark and Ignite, kids 7-12 years can code and create an adventure game with Poppy, Viva, and Branch.
Plus, AI Camp where kids embark on an exciting journey into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most important technology of a generation. Young minds discover the wonders of AI and its fun and practical applications in our everyday lives and create their own comic book using AI!
Your favourites are also back this season including Minecraft Engineers (for kids 7-12), Minecraft Minis (for kids 5-7), and Roblox Legends (for kids 7-10). Robotics Camp and Drone Camp are also running this summer, offering the coolest few days of STEM learning and fun.
22. Collingwood Children’s Farm
By bridging the rural-urban gap, the Collingwood Children’s Farm offers city-dwelling kids an opportunity to immerse themselves in the farming lifestyle. Activities such as milking cows, feeding chickens, pony rides, and interactions with baby lambs allow them to experience farm life firsthand. Every second Saturday of the month, a farmer’s market is held, providing access to fresh produce. The Farm Café complements this experience by serving wholesome meals rooted in a paddock-to-plate approach, crafting everything from scratch using locally-sourced ingredients.
23. Australian National Aviation Museum
The Australian National Aviation Museum is located at Moorabbin Airport. With one of the most important collections of aircraft and engines in Australia this is a fantastic place for those interested in aviation history and technology, and a great place for kids and adults alike to wander around and even look inside a number of aircraft. There are a number of cockpits open for public access to sit in and interact with the aircraft.
24. Polly Woodside
Climb aboard and roam the decks of the historic Polly Woodside, one of Australia’s last surviving 19th century tall ships. Experience the turbulent trials of history at sea and steer your way through blustering tales from the ship’s 17 world voyages, above and below deck. Polly Woodside offers a range of activities for visitors including an award-winning interactive gallery on its history, children’s Crew Calls and Pirate Days. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s South Wharf, discover life on the seas with one of Melbourne most iconic and enchanting attractions.
25. Railway Museum at Newport
Rail enthusiasts of all ages must not miss the Newport Railway Museum, a favorite choice for families seeking an engaging, delightful, and budget-friendly weekend excursion. The museum’s exhibit boasts an extensive array of steam locomotives from the former Victorian Railways, with a significant number crafted just a stone’s throw away at the Newport Railway Workshops. Click here
26. Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery
The Children’s Gallery is a wondrous place for babies to 5-year-olds to explore, play and learn. During school holidays, budding paleontologists excavate fossils in the dinosaur dig; aspiring botanists traverse the discovery garden, exploring plants and stories; young curators gaze at the specially selected museum objects, and for everyone who loves to dance, there is a ‘camouflage disco’ where children will turn into spotty and stripy disco dancing animals.
27. Immigration Museum
This thought-provoking museum on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD documents the history of immigration in Australia including the different policies that have been in place at different times, the different groups who have immigrated and how and why they would have immigrated. Click here
These school holidays you can see:
- The stories of us (1 Jan – 31 Dec)
28. Bundoora Park Farm
The Farm provides a diverse range of activities suitable for people of all ages. Encounter amiable farm animals, embark on a journey to spot kangaroos and emus, or delve into the lifestyle of early 20th Century Australia at the Heritage Village. It promises a fantastic day for the entire family. You can bring along a picnic or visit Bundoora Park Café for a snack or a satisfying lunch. Click here
29. Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm
A day to remember – fishing by the Stevensons river with your friends & family. Be excited & rewarded by catching your own fresh fish to eat here for lunch or have cleaned & packed on ice to take home. Fishing is the perfect way to get out in nature & experience the sights, smells & sounds of the Victorian countryside. Click here
30. Fire Services Museum
The Fire Services Museum of Victoria holds a steadfast commitment to preserving and displaying fire-fighting memorabilia from Victoria, Australia, and around the world. It houses one of Australia’s most extensive collections of fire-fighting memorabilia, prominently situated within one of its cherished displays: the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB).
Bounce’s giant aerial playground is the number one choice for thrill seekers of all ages. More than an indoor trampoline park, they offer rock climbing, obstacle courses, dodgeball courts, basketball lanes and 100s of trampolines all under one roof.
Learn more about Bounce here
32. Head over to Manly on a ferry
Getting the ferry to Manly offers a delightful adventure with breathtaking harbor views. Explore the palm-lined promenade, relax on the golden beaches, and indulge in local treats along the lively Corso. Manly’s coastal beauty creates an unforgettable experience.
33. Go to the cinema
Watching a film captures the imagination, transporting viewers to diverse realms, eliciting feelings, and fostering a collective bond within the movie theater. The enchantment stems from its capacity to provide an outlet, stimulate contemplation, and expand perspectives.
34. Find a Melbourne market
During the school holidays in Melbourne, kids are in for a delightful treat as they embark on a vibrant and engaging activity – visiting a local market. With bustling stalls and a myriad of enticing products, the market becomes a playground of exploration for these young adventurers. As they wander through the lively aisles, their eyes light up with wonder at the array of colorful crafts, fresh produce, and delicious treats on display. Interacting with the passionate vendors, the children eagerly absorb new knowledge about different cultures, ingredients, and handmade creations.
This hands-on experience not only enhances their understanding of the world but also fosters a sense of community as they connect with local artisans and traders. The school holiday trip to the local market becomes an unforgettable journey of discovery, sparking their curiosity and leaving them with cherished memories of their time in Melbourne.
35. Fed Squre
During each school holiday period, Fed Square presents a diverse selection of activities aimed at entertaining and engaging children. These activities encompass both free and paid options, ensuring there is something to suit every family’s preferences and budget.
Find out more about Fed Square here.
Big days out in Melbourne
One or two BIG days out are sometimes a fun school holiday activity to create special memories with your kids. Here are our picks of awesome December/January school holiday activities:
36. Rent a bike and explore Melbourne
Exploring Melbourne by renting a bike unlocks a realm of excitement, allowing you to navigate through its bustling streets and uncover hidden treasures. With the city’s iconic landmarks, tranquil parks, and vibrant neighborhoods within your grasp, you can fully immerse yourself in the distinctive fusion of urban allure and natural splendor that Melbourne offers.
From the picturesque Yarra River trails to the animated laneways adorned with street art, each pedal rotation reveals a novel facet of this captivating city. Whether you opt to meander through the cultural hubs of the CBD, indulge in the local culinary scene, or venture into the trendy districts, biking across Melbourne guarantees an unforgettable and exhilarating expedition that affords you a fresh and unique outlook on the city.
37. Grab an ice cream at St Kilda’s Beach
Grabbing an ice cream and exploring St Kilda’s Beach is the perfect recipe for a delightful day. With the sun shining and the waves gently lapping the shore, take a leisurely stroll along the sandy coastline. Enjoy the refreshing taste of your ice cream as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic Melbourne spot.
Feel the soft sand beneath your feet, watch the kites soaring high in the sky, and listen to the cheerful laughter of beachgoers. With a lively mix of street performers, quaint shops, and inviting cafes nearby, St Kilda’s Beach offers a wonderful blend of relaxation and entertainment. Whether you choose to sunbathe, dip your toes in the sea, or simply people-watch, this beachside haven promises a memorable and rejuvenating experience.
38. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Take LEGO-lovers to Australia’s first LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Billed as the “ultimate indoor LEGO playground”, it’s a great day of fun with 2 rides, 5 LEGO build and play zones plus a 4D cinema. If your kids love LEGO then this is an absolute must for things to do in Melbourne with kids. Click here
We have discounted tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre – click here for cheaper tickets
39. Melbourne Zoo
Get up close to Australian wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and emus at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, AKA Melbourne Zoo. The zoo is also home to tigers, monkeys, lemurs, Little Penguins and Australian Fur seals. The zoo often tops lists of kids attractions in Melbourne with its excellent facilities and well cared for animals.
*And remember kids under 16 receive FREE general admission to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary on weekends, Victorian government public and school holidays. Click here
EDITORS TIP: You can buy a multi-pass to 3 attractions and save money these school holidays – click here.
40. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
SEA LIFE Melbourne takes you on an interactive ocean adventure filled with amazing discovery around every corner. Discover your inner adventurer as you dive through the depths of the ocean, before waddling your way to the icy cool waters of Antarctica, home to the regal King and cheeky Gentoo penguins. Click here for more information.
EDITORS TIP: If you plan on doing both the Aquarium and SEA LIFE – you can get discounted entry with this combo pass here.
41. Science Works
Scienceworks is bursting with things to challenge curious minds of all ages. In just one visit, you can stroll among the gigantic machines that kept the city running, enjoy electrifying theatre in the Lightning Room, let your little ones roam safely in enclosed spaces, wander through our immersive exhibitions and drop into deep space in the Melbourne Planetarium. We love this place, so if you haven’t been… you should make the effort to get there these school holidays. Click here
These school holidays you can see:
- Planetarium (Every Saturday)
42. Animal Land Children’s Farm
Animal Land has been meticulously designed to provide children with a hands-on and interactive farming encounter. In contrast to traditional animal attractions and zoos, where visitors merely observe animals from afar, our guests have the opportunity to actively engage in farm life. They can hold, pat, feed, ride, and completely immerse themselves in the experience of interacting with animals firsthand. Click here
Artplay is a civic space where children and families can get creative and express themselves with a vibrant programme of arty workshops. They have more than 300 workshops, events and performances every year. The artists, workshop content and participants reflect Melbourne’s diversity. Bookings are required for most workshops, however there are also free drop-in events available. Click here
These school holidays you can see:
- The Flying Canoe (17 May – 17 Nov)
- I See You Like This (10 Aug – 26 Nov)
44. Eureka Skydeck 88
Eureka is perfectly positioned for a complete 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling views encompassing Melbourne’s CBD, sports precinct, Docklands and everything in between. Come by day for brilliant views extending to the Dandenong ranges, and by night to see the breathtaking Melbourne skyline nightscape. Apart from the unforgettable panorama and views, Skydeck 88 entertains the entire family with a host of activities and fascinating facts. Click here
We have discounted tickets to Eureka Skydeck – click here for cheaper tickets
45. O’Brien Icehouse
O’Brien Icehouse stands as the largest ice arena in Australia. Situated within Melbourne’s Docklands, surrounded by the city’s prominent sporting and cultural landmarks, it serves as a powerful representation of sportsmanship and exceptional achievement. This state-of-the-art facility draws top athletes from across Australia to practice and participate in the Olympic-standard arena, solidifying its status as a world-class venue. Click here
46. Werribee Open Range Zoo
Why travel thousands of kilometres when a taste of animal adventure is available just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s city centre, at Werribee Open Range Zoo? You will find an amazing array of animals living on 225 hectares of wide, open savannah. On the Pula Reserve Walking Trail, come face-to-face with amazing gorillas, a pride of lions, see monkeys and cheetahs at play and feel the sand between your toes at the new Hippo Beach!
*And remember kids under 16 receive FREE general admission to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary on weekends, Victorian government public and school holidays.
We have discounted tickets to – click here for cheaper tickets
Watch our Werribee Zoo video review:
Kids shows Melbourne
If you are looking for kids entertainment Melbourne style, why not a kids’ show or kids concert!? Here’s what’s on for Melbourne kids this Summer in terms of kids love shows:
47. Arts Centre Melbourne
Situated along the Yarra River’s banks, Arts Centre Melbourne warmly welcomes families and children. Beyond just hosting a variety of kids’ shows and workshops, they also present interactive engagements tailored for youngsters, specifically crafted to ignite a sense of wonder within them.
48. Athenaeum Theatre
This beautiful theatre was founded in 1839 and offers shows to surprise and delight families these holidays. Families tip: Located in the CBD, you can catch a show at the theatre then enjoy a free ride on the city circle tram ride!
Melbourne kids holiday ideas
Soooo…. what do you think? Plenty of Melbourne days out ideas here to keep you and the kids entertained for the whole school holidays? These Melbourne holiday ideas are updated every term, so remember to bookmark this page.
Let us know if we missed your favourite or if you would like us to add your venue or event!
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