Make more of the school holidays without breaking the bank!

School holidays… Just the thought of them can send parents into a panic! How do you keep the kids amused? And what will the extra activities do to your budget? Well don’t worry, there are plenty of FREE or affordable ideas for the winter school holidays. Here are a few of our faves!


  • Go stargazing at Brisbane’s Planetarium

Explore a world of excitement at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Located in the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, the planetarium brings the night sky to life in a series of dramatic shows in the Cosmic Skydome. And with shows for all age groups – you’re sure to find something suitable. Check it out.

  • Get creative in Capalaba at Bricks ‘n’ Fun

Let their imaginations run riot! The Bricks ‘n’ Fun LEGO Buildroom is a unique opportunity for kids to explore their creative side using a huge range of LEGO kits. Just remember to book ahead as there are only 12 builders per session, and school holidays are peak season. Visit

New South Wales

  • Make traditional Aboriginal string figures

Want to combine craft with indigenous culture? Then try learning to make objects and animals out of hands and string? The Australian Museum is holding a free String Figures – or matjka-wuma – exhibition during NAIDOC week (7th – 14 July). It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and learn about Aboriginal culture.

  • Experience the Space Odyssey Tinkertoreum

Who doesn’t want to build a space buggy and race it across the moonscape? The hugely-popular Space Odyssey Tinkertoreum returns to Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum from 6th – 21st July, giving kids the chance to take part in a range of space-based activities, challenges and exhibitions. Kids go FREE!


  • Run wild at Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival

Spark your child’s artistic imagination at Melbourne’s Roola Boola Children’s Art Festival. It’s on from 2nd – 12th July at Chapel Off Chapel (and other venues), and offers ten fun-packed days of performances, workshops and activities – including some that are FREE.

  • Tell it like it is at Story Camp, State Library

If your kids have a talent for words, Story Camp could be ideal. It’s a FREE, 3-day workshop for children aged 12 – 15 who dream of writing novels, poems or blogs. Held from 1st – 3rd July at the Wheeler Centre, it’s a unique chance to learn from inspiring Australian storytellers. Call 03 8664 7014 for eligibility criteria.

South Australia

  • Explore a galaxy far far away

To mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the Adelaide Planetarium is holding activities throughout the holidays. Why not take an immersive guided journey through space in the company of an astronaut, as the breathtaking night skies are projected on to an 8-metre domed ceiling.

  • See Secret Life of Pets 2 with Wallis Cinemas and RAA.

RAA members can enjoy an exclusive screening of Secret Life of Pets 2 at selected Wallis cinemas on Sunday 7th July at 2.30pm. Tickets are $10 per person, including a drink or snack. Just remember to pre-purchase your tickets – and present your RAA card. You can book here.

Western Australia

  • Celebrate Christmas in July at Snow Mall

Perth’s Hay Street Mall is the perfect place to experience Christmas in July. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 28th June – 21st July, the west end of the mall will be transformed into Snow Mall, a winter wonderland complete with make-believe snow falls. This not-to-be-missed event is free!

  • Explore Perth’s No. 1 tourist attraction

Why is Kings Park Perth’s top tourist attraction? Is it the spectacular city views and stunning botanic gardens, the panoramic treetop walkway, the moving State War Memorial – or the many picnic spots and BBQ grills? It’s all of these things – and many more!

Watch your favourite films on the big screen.

If you can’t get to these activities – you don’t have to miss out. Event Cinemas are showing specially priced saver sessions during the holidays at lots of locations.

You can also take advantage of discounted movie tickets with Telstra Plus or Optus Perks. Just check out their websites for details, then sit back and enjoy the movie – and the savings!