Seven ways to spend the summer school holidays in Canberra

Seven ways to spend the summer school holidays in Canberra

Keep the kids entertained with these Canberra summer school holiday must-dos.

Canberra delivers plenty of activities to keep kids entertained during the summer break. From water park fun to video games and cooking, we've pulled together a list of boredom busting ideas.

  1. 1

    Get creative at DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition

    Go behind-the-scenes of some of the greatest kids’ movies of all time at DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition. Journey from sketch to screen and get a rare glimpse of how movies like Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and How to Train a Dragon were made.

    Take a ride on the back of Toothless the dragon in the immersive theatre experience Dragon Flight – A Dragon’s eye View of Berk or put yourself in the animator’s shoes and play with your favourite characters in real life in the Drawing Room.

  2. 2

    Cool off at Canberra’s water parks

    We can’t think of anything better during summer than to get in the water and stay cool. The Canberra Aqua Park along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin at Black Mountain Peninsula is a summer school holiday must. The kids will go gangbusters over this giant inflatable obstacle course made up of ladders, slides and a giant jumping pillow. Not a bad way to keep them cool and burn that excess energy off.

    For some all-day fun, head to Big Splash Waterpark, where nine water slides, a kiddies pool, a play pool and a 50-metre pool, Splash Island and pool inflatables will keep the water fun going all day long.

  3. 3

    Get friendly with the animals

    Primary school-aged children can experience being a zookeeper for a day as part of the Zoocation school holiday program run by the National Zoo & Aquarium. Get up close and personal with many of the zoo’s animals, playing games, making toys for the animals, and learning about the many animals who call the zoo home.

    For something a little more domestic, the RSPCA ACT will be running Kids n Kritters, a series of fun, interactive education sessions for youngsters who are interested in learning more about animals. Leading up to Christmas, the sessions take on a festive theme with the kids wrapping presents and making Christmas themed treats for the shelter’s furry guests.

  4. 4

    Catch a movie on the big screen… with a twist

    Relax with a picnic in the afternoon sun at the Australian National Botanic Gardens after taking part in their school holiday activities, then snuggle up for a movie under the stars (endless popcorn included) as the Sunset Cinema brings a range of children and adult movies outdoors.

    Pop into Parliament House for free school holiday screenings after enjoying the school holiday fun at the PlayUp kids area at the nearby Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

    The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is bringing a packed schedule of films to its Arc Cinema. This year’s summer school holiday special ‘We can be (kid) heroes’ showcases the heroic power of kids. Pop in and catch a screening of Up!, The Incredibles, Matilda and more.

  5. 5

    Read, play and create

    Canberra national attractions have the kids front of mind during the holidays.

    Explore the Story Time exhibition at the National Library of Australia, enjoy Friday Storytime for pre-schoolers at the Australian National Botanic Gardens or hear the stories of brave animals, extraordinary people and faraway places at the Australian War Memorial’s Friday Story Time for preschoolers followed by a Make and Create School Holiday session.

    Let the kids unleash their imagination at the Canberra Glassworks. Its School Holiday Program is the place for budding glassmakers. They will be under the guidance of some of Australia’s most acclaimed glass artists and learn basic glass-making techniques and produce their own masterpiece. 

  6. 6

    Become a budding chef at Pialligo Estate

    Like the thought of an assistant chef when preparing those delicious family meals? Then book those budding chefs into The Pialligo Estate Academy where they will learn about kitchen safety, healthy food and how to cook lunches and treats using farm-fresh produce.

  7. 7

    Get your game on at Game Masters: The Exhibition

    Game on at Game Masters: The Exhibition, Australia’s largest arcade of playable games. Head to the National Film and Sound Archive for a fun-for-all-ages dose of gaming nostalgia. There is 50 years of video game history and 80 of the world’s favourite games waiting for you to get behind the controllers. Games Masters is the perfect opportunity to discover the creative process behind video game creation and have a go at the dance challenges, vintage arcade games and everything in between.

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