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10+ things to do these school holidays

Jessica Schumann

It’s that time of year again and oh my has it come quick! Feels like only yesterday that the new school year was starting. So with school holidays just around the corner, there’s no need to despair at the thought of how to keep the kids occupied because there are oodles of school holiday programs around (visit holidayhappenings.com.au for details). But we’ve rounded up some activities you may not have thought of. Here are 10+ things to do with the kids these winter school holidays…

1. Build it brick by brick

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Run by qualified teachers these one and two day workshops cater for children aged 5–13 years. Themes include Mining and Crafting, Frozen, Superheroes, Bricks4Girlz and Turtles to name a few. Workshops are structured with loads of fun as children work in pairs and small groups to rotate through a number of activities using different types of LEGO kits. From motors to mosaics, art and craft, the workshops are particularly great for children who prefer small structured programs.

Through exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) concepts through multiple learning modes, the Brick4Kidz workshops cater to children of all learning levels and help to build self-confidence in a non-competitive atmosphere. Plus at the end of each workshop, your child will always take a home a creation or gift crafted by them. For more information visit the Bricks4Kidz website.

2. Strike a pose

They say you’re never too young to learn how to work the catwalk and perfect your posture, so why not book your tween or teen into a Victoria’s Models modelling or deportment course? Perfect for 12 years and older, these two and three day workshops include everything from photographic modelling to choreography, etiquette to speech and drama even health, wardrobe coordination and self-motivation. Grooming, deportment and etiquette workshop runs Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 July. Advanced Modelling runs Thursday 16 and Friday 17 July. For details on how to book visit Victoria’s Models.

3. Discover Australia’s history

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Take a school holiday On the High Seas workshop at the Australian War Memorial and discover the history of our great country. Explore life at sea and hear the personal stories of those who have served with the Royal Australian Navy. Make naval flags and pennants, create an origami fleet, and use recycled materials to construct a submarine. Full of things to hear, see, and do, the Discovery Zone is an interactive environment where the kids can experience what it would be like to work in a trench, a helicopter, or a submarine. They can build bridges, explore an air raid shelter, and try on uniforms too. Families can investigate Australia’s involvement in the Second World War and some of the jobs today’s peacekeepers do. Or hear stories or brave animals, extraordinary people and faraway places brought to life through puppets, uniforms and educational toys (suitable for preschool children with older siblings welcome too). Find out more from www.awm.gov.au.

4. Roll up, roll up! 

Direct from Sydney Opera House, Flying Fruit Fly Circus: Circus Under My Bed is an Australian stage experience like no other performed by the nine to 19-year-old artists of Australia’s world famous national youth circus. Circus Under My Bed follows a young girl’s big imagination, discovering a make-believe circus hidden in her room. As the circus she dreams of comes to life, an unforgettable adventure full of “gasp inducing acrobatic feats” linking “impressive acts with a warm story” and amazing, whimsical characters unfolds on stage at the Canberra Theatre Centre. So hurry get your tickets from Canberra Ticketing.

5. Get your skates on! 

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Canberra’s CBD has one again been transformed into a winter wonderland and what better way to enjoy the school holidays then taking to the ice at Skate in the City! There will be seven sessions daily, with an extra session on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Two types of sessions will be on offer: 90 minute sessions including a professional show by experienced skaters, and 60 minute general skate sessions. A DJ Dance Party session will be held every Friday night and professional performances by experienced skaters will be included in a matinee and night session on Saturdays. This month-long event will once again feature events for the whole family including cultural days, dress up nights and a kids snow box. On now until 26 July in Garema Place. We’ve got all you need to know here.

6. Choose your own adventure

Choose your own adventure with the kids at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House these winter school holidays. Learn about children’s rights in Play Up, the exhibition curated by and for children, or let your imagination run wild as you get hands on with craft activities. Make a LEGO® masterpiece or become a superhero and save the world in the Behind the Lines exhibitions with a fun superhero-themed trail that helps children find cartoons they’ll appreciate. Power dress in Dress Up and don clothes reminiscent of Ancient Greece (the birthplace of democracy) or re-enact the Queen’s visit back in 1954 and discover the Queen’s Jewels in Happy and Glorious. Borrow a Press Gang Action Pack and be a news reporter in the Press Gallery before finishing with your visit in the Zine Lounge where the kids can create their own zine. No bookings required with activities for all ages including free entry. For details and more visit MOADOPH website.

7. Get animated at NFSA

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The NFSA celebrates 100 years of local animation with a selection of some of the best Australian animated features of the last 25 years these school holidays! Revist the younger years and see beloved characters like Blinky Bill, Bill Barnacle (The Magic Pudding), Mumble the dancing penguin (Happy Feet) and The Lego Movie’s Emmet Brickowski come to life on the big screen and only $5 per person per session. Visit the NFSA for bookings and screening times.

8. Battle it out this winter

MESSAGE FROM COMMAND: Are you in years 3 to 8 at school and want your holidays to include fun, adventure and creativity? Then Lee Campbell’s BFirm Battle Games need you! With 10 teams, three unique missions including 21 diverse and exciting challenges, and one goal, your teamwork and leadership skills will be put to the test as you embark on code breaking, first aid awareness, obstacle courses, construction, observation, problem solving and so much more. Be prepared to get muddy and active as you become the ultimate battle champions! On Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 July at BFirm Battle HQ, Symonston. Visit BFirm for mission details.

9. Create a masterpiece

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These winter school holidays, see the young artist in your family tap into their creative side and make some funky new creations with local artists and art tutors at the Belconnen Arts Centre. Andrew Hore returns with his popular cartooning classes, Jim Sharrock presents ‘Little World Rhythms’ drumming workshops, Heather Brenchley explores sculpture and in ‘Nature Shapes’, with Angela Pisciotta, shows how to form and create animal shapes from items that can be found in nature.

Workshops suit ages 5–12 years (under 7s must have an accompanying adult) and are $15 per child per workshop. Bookings are essential through the Belconnen Arts Centre website.

10. Get jumping!

Jump into Sky Zone at Westfield Belconnen these school holidays! Two hour jump sessions for $20 from 9am to 11am everyday! Book online before sessions sell out! Jumping socks not included.

11. Curl up with a story

Bundle up the kids and head to the National Portrait Gallery for story time! Listen to stories from the book Stradbroke Dreaming by Oodgeroo Nunukul and where children are encouraged to create a visual response. This opportunity is part of the Gallery’s children and family program and is suitable for all abilities and ages. All children must be accompanied and bookings are essential as places are limited with prices $5 per child. Visit the NPG website for booking information.

12. For when it’s too cold outside…

School holidays start this weekend but Libraries ACT is prepared with plenty of free activities as part of its winter program to take the pressure of you this winter and keep the kids busy, happy and learning. Encourage your toddler and young children to embrace the frosty season with winter-themed activities; visit the Tuggeranong Library and build observation skills spotting the hidden objects in their winter landscape. Drop into the Gungahlin or National Library with your three to eight year olds for a spot of reading, writing or illustrating. Teens can try new and innovative ways to tell stories through the discovery of stop motion film, iPads, characters and props. Or break the rules and let your teen get messy in the library where they can make their own jewellery inspired by steampunk – a subgenre of science fiction inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery. For a list of full events and their location visit the ACT Libraries website.
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Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at ramblingranga.com.au. More about the Author

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