Your bumper guide to Canberra school holiday activities this autumn | HerCanberra

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Your bumper guide to Canberra school holiday activities this autumn

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Looking for something to keep the kids entertained as the school holidays approach? Think of this as your survival guide to school holiday programs in Canberra.

Perfect for any age and interest, here are some suggestions to help you save your sanity.

Egyptian Lanterns

Construct, decorate, and light up a fanous-style Egyptian lantern these school holidays! Running across two sessions daily, at the National Museum of Australia, your five to 12-year-olds can learn about the significance of these colourful lanterns in both ancient and modern-day Egypt, then construct their own lantern using laser-cut plywood. Pop in an LED tealight to see it shine!

Spaces are limited, so bookings are essential.

Weekdays, Tuesday 16 until Wednesday 24 April | 10 am–11 am and 11.30 am–12.30 pm | $25 per child, $21 for friends of the Museum, accompanying adults free | National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton | Book here.

Jewellery Making

For one day only during the school holidays, your child can discover the beauty and cultural significance of ancient Egyptian jewellery in this captivating beading workshop. Suitable for ages eight to 14 years old, they’ll explore the fascinating symbolism, materials, and techniques of ancient Egyptian jewellery makers and join specialists from Canberra Glassworks to create their own unique pieces of beaded jewellery. There are very limited spaces, so get in quickly!

Friday 26 April | 10–11.30 am and 12.30–2 pm | $20 per child,  $17 for friends of the Museum, accompanying adults free | National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton | Book here.

Art Cart: Leaf Game

Designed for little ones aged up to eight years, this is a creative activity for little artists. National Gallery of Australia staff will be hosting a free event in the foyer of the Emily Kam Kngwarray exhibition where your child will learn about her art and Country through stories, play, creative activities, and games – including the Leaf Game. Played by Emily Kam Kngwarray as a child, using sand and leaves, they’ll be immersed in the storytelling game as they test their artistic skills.

Saturday 16, Sunday 17, Saturday 23, Sunday 24, Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 | Free | National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place East, Parkes | More information here.

Playful Endeavour

Playful Endeavour returns for imaginative play at Glebe Park for the Autumn school holidays!

Experience the magic of open-ended, self-directed play that fosters independence and a sense of self as children learn and explore.

Children are invited to let creativity rule with objects of all shapes and sizes, including ropes, boards, wooden spools, tubes, beams, and more. Playful Endeavour is also held near Glebe Park’s nature play and traditional playground areas, offering plenty to explore.

Monday 15 – Friday 26 April | Free | Glebe Park, Canberra City | More information here.

Culture On The Move – Bush Animal Weaving Workshops

Teaching techniques of the age-old art of traditional weaving while inspiring a connection to Aboriginal culture, this is a hands-on experience for creative children aged three and over. Taught by Ronnie Jordan, a Kalkadoon Pitta Pitta woman who is a qualified professional weaver and artist (and who has delivered weaving and art workshops to government agencies, community groups, schools, events and corporations), your little one will have some fun creating a woven bush animal all while learning about traditional ecological knowledge.

Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 April | $32.74 per child and $59.11 per adult | Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton | Book here.

Ginninderry Conservation Trust’s nature-based art workshops

If you’re keen for your kids to engage in something fun, creative and not within WIFI range during the April school holidays, consider booking them into some of the Ginninderry Conservation Trust’s nature-based art workshops.

A collaborative program between Ginninderry and Strathnairn Arts as part of the Heritage Festival, there will be four separate full-day workshops running between 18 and 26 April.

Each day will see the kids focusing on something different, with mornings consisting of participants spending time with the Ginninderry Conservation Trust team in the Conservation Corridor. What they see and experience on their walks will then inspire what they create in the afternoon with the various artists who will be running different workshops.

More information on the workshops can be found here.

Working With Wool Workshops

This is a free workshop (bookings are essential) where children aged eight and over can learn some basic fibre craft – think spool knitting, pom pom making, crocheting, felt crafts and making friendship bracelets! All materials will be supplied, and it promises to be hours of fun.

Thursday 18 and Tuesday 23 April | Free | National Library of Australia, Parkes Place West, Parkes | More information here.

Art Live

Designed for 15-to-25-year olds, this is an art festival like you’ve never seen before. Created by the Gallery’s Youth Council, Art Live combines artists, ideas, exhibitions, music and creative experiences, so as the school holidays kick off on Friday 12 April, why not send them on our merry way to celebrate the exhibition Vincent Namatjira: Australia in Colour? They’ll meet Western Aranda artist, Vincent Namatjira, craft a photo book, take the spotlight in the Superstar Photobooth, connect with new people, relax in a quiet space and groove to the rhythm of rock music. There’s something for everyone!

Friday 12 April | Free | | National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place East, Parkes | More information here.

Culture On The Move – Traditional Weaving Workshops

Designed for anyone over the age of 15, this workshop will test weaving skills and creativity. Led by Kalkadoon Pitta Pitta woman Ronnie Jordan, the idea of Culture On The Move is to empower participants with a sense of connection and the opportunity to learn to connect to the oldest living culture in the world. All materials are included (raffia and natural fibres) and each participant will receive a weaving pack to take home (which includes materials, a tote bag, a full weaving guide, and a needle).

Saturday 20 April | $149.55 per person | Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton | More information here.

Art Lab: Tote Tales

In this one-day workshop, textile artist and Gumbaynggirr woman Helena Geiger will guide your 13- to 25-year-old through the process of creating their batik tote bag. They’ll learn how to apply hot wax to fabric and help them draw inspiration from their dreams, experiences, beliefs, and stories to create intricate designs. And before they begin, they will have the opportunity to tour the Emily Kam Kngwarray exhibition with National Gallery staff. Did we mention it’s free? But bookings are essential!

Thursday 18 April | Free | National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place East, Parkes | More information here.

Canberra Glassworks School Holiday Program

Discover a new side to the Canberra Glassworks these school holidays with their all-ages school holiday programs! For ages five to eight (supervised) and eight plus, book them in to create their own kiln-formed bowl or seasonal tile, and for teens (14 to 19 years), let them immerse themselves into the magic of working with molten glass as they learn the art of glassblowing over two days. Hopefully, they’ll come home with a masterpiece, but if not, at least you know that they’ll have some fun.

Wednesday 17 until Sunday 28 April | Kids Holiday Bowls: $100 per child. Teen Glass Blowing: $600 per child | Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston | Book here.

Fun With Photos

Perfect for all ages, during this workshop your budding artist will get the opportunity to create artwork of their own using pieces from the National Archives of Australia photographic collection after exploring the exhibition Focus: Australian government photographers. Not only will they learn about six decades of Australian life through photography, but they’ll have some hands-on fun in the process! Please note that young children need to be accompanied by an adult for this workshop.

Monday 15, Wednesday 17, Friday 19, Monday 22, Wednesday 24 and Friday 26 April | $5 per person or free for NAA Members | National Archives of Australia, Kings Avenue, Parkes | Book here.

Warehouse Circus School Holiday Programs

It’s time to let your kids run away with the circus. Kidding! Well…ish. The Warehouse Circus School Holiday Programs are back for another run for children aged from five to 17 to help them unleash their inner clown, acrobat, and performer. Hosting half-day and full-day sessions (curated depending on age), they’ll spend hours flipping, twisting, turning, and more as they learn some cool new skills and make friends.

Monday 15 until Friday 26 April | See website for pricing | 4/70 Maclaurin Crescent, Chifley and 104 Baldwin Drive, Kaleen | More information here.

Art & Action

Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s April school holiday program is a chance for young ones to show off their creativity in an action-packed day of visual and performing arts, guided by a team of professional artists, musicians, dancers, and actors. Everyone starts the day playing theatre sports before breaking into smaller classes based on age. Participants will be introduced to fun materials such as fabric, paint, and collage to create amazing artwork! They’ll learn a Hip Hop dance routine with our Fresh Funk tutors. After lunch, musicians Katie and Jess Cole will lead a collaborative music making music session.

Wednesday 17 April, from 9:30 am to 3 pm | $85 pp | Tuggeranong Arts Centre | Book here 

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