Buvette Masthead

13 (more) things to do these winter school holidays

Elizabeth Harris

Do the winter school holidays feel like they’re dragging on forever? 

Make the time fly (and have fun too!) with these 13 fun options.

National Dinosaur Museum

Take your junior palaeontologists to the National Dinosaur Museum for a whole range of free (with normal entry) holiday activities.

Until July 16 at 12pm and 3pm daily, the Museum’s educators will discuss what dinosaurs may have looked like, before you and your children make your own dinosaur masks to take home.

Then, if you want your kids to get a real dose of education to break up all this fun, all visitors can take part in a dinosaur hunt activity, taking part in a quiz as you explore the Museum. Some lucky visitors might even win a real fossil to take home…

See the website for more information.

Pialligo Estate Academy

If you have children between eight and 12 years old and are hoping for something yummy to snack on over the holidays (without having to make it yourself!) then send them along to Pialligo Estate Academy for the Mini Masters series of cooking classes.

Couldn’t make it? Overseas for the holidays? At only $69 a class, your kitchen helper can learn to make pasta or sushi in scenic Pialligo outside of the school holidays.

Classes are available on 11 and 13 July. Check the website for more details.

Girls Rock! Canberra July Program

Every HerCanberra reader already knows that girls totally rock, but the ladies who run Girls Rock! Canberra know it even better. If you have a daughter aged between 10 and 17 years old, who you think rocks, then the Girls Rock! Canberra program is open to her!

Through the program, girls, trans and non-binary youths – whether they have musical experience or not – will form a band and learn an instrument (bass, guitar, vocals, drums or electronic music) and engage in a broad range of activities related to the music industry, including making zines and screen printing band t-shirts.

Running until Saturday 15 July at Ainslie Arts Centre, Braddon, you can fund more information on the website.

Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing Centre

Now for a different kind of rock, roll along to Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing Centre in Mitchell or Hume for some holiday fun. With extended trading hours of 10am to 10pm on weekdays, and 10am to 8pm on weekends during the school holidays, you and your children can scale rock faces all within the centre itself. Read as: You can pretend to be outside, but you get to be warm!

They even have a school holiday special: Only $19.50 including harness hire if you come on a weekday between 10am and 4pm.

Check out the website for more details.

Nature Play CBR

Nature Play has a plethora of wonderful activities for your little adventurers. With many activities which run daily throughout July, you’ll never be bored in the great outdoors with Nature Play. Discover the microscopic world of water bugs, or if you prefer something higher up the food chain, join in with the daily pelican feed, koala viewing, or pursue the elusive platypus with a Tidbinbilla Nature Sanctuary ranger.

Learn more about indigenous culture with an experience with Aboriginal spears and boomerangs, or burn some energy on the Nature Adventure Obstacle Course.

The fun doesn’t end there so find all the details on the website.

Llama Experience: Take a Llama for a Walk

Are your little darlings fans of Paddington Bear from deepest, darkest Peru? Introduce them to more exotic creatures from the land of Machu Picchu with Alpaca Magic! On offer at Alpaca Magic are walks across peaceful pastures and visits with llamas, alpacas, and miniature donkeys – they’re even more exciting than the bear himself!

For more information on bookings and session times, visit the website.

National Zoo and Aquarium Zoocation

You might not be able to go on safari in Canberra, but you can get pretty close at the National Zoo and Aquarium! The Zoocation program offers activities for primary school aged children, allowing them to get up close with animals, play games, and make toys for the animals.

Zoocation runs until 13 July. Bookings are open now, so get your mini-Attenboroughs enrolled now on the website.

KidTechnic School Holiday Programs

Aimed variously at children aged over six or eight years, KidTechnic offers a range of school holiday programs. Activities range from basic robotics to LEGO Mega Build days, where children can build and create with LEGO kits with themes including Minecraft and Star Wars.

Bookings can be made online.

Questacon Maker Project Workshops

Targeted at children aged 10 to 15 years old, Questacon’s Maker Project workshops will unleash your child’s inner techno wiz. Across 11 and 12 July participants will have the opportunity to learn about app design and robot programming. Cultivate your child’s imagination and ingenuity and log on to the website to book now!

Gooromon Park Riding School

‘Back in our day’ we revelled in Saddle Club. We have a sneaking suspicion that Stevie, Carole and Lisa have become a generational moment, but a child’s love of horses will never become a thing of the past. Gooromon Park runs four and one day programs for children with all levels of experience. Children can make new four-legged friends, and maybe even become queen of the gymkhana.

Bookings can be made by calling 6230 2230. Find more information here.

Hands on History

Get your hands on real objects and immerse your children in Australia’s military history at the Australian War Memorial’s Hands on History holiday program.

At 11am on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday during the school holidays, families can try on uniforms, handle artefacts from the Memorial’s collection, and explore the real story of a family featured in the exhibition For Country, For Nation.

No bookings are necessary. Find out more here.

Canberra Glassworks

Holiday activities a bit too rough and tumble for your kid’s tastes? Engage your children’s creative spirits with the most delicate of materials.

Canberra Glassworks offers a range of school holiday programs ranging in price from $30 to $70. Children over eight years of age can take part independently, but children between the ages of five and eight can join in with the help of a parent or guardian.

Admire the Glassworks’ current Chandelier Show, and create a kiln slumped glass lampshade, or create a frozen frieze with cut glass.

Bookings can be made online here.

AIS School Holiday Programs

Nothing will warm your kids up more than a healthy dose of active living! Jump (literally) right in with the holiday swim intensive program, designed to get your child in the fast line quickly. Prefer to stay on dry ground? It’s not a problem with the AIS’s AFL or Soccer camps.

Programs run until 14 July. For more details and bookings, go to the website


Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris is currently studying Law and Arts at the ANU. She majors in Art History and has a minor in French. She has a hunger for fashion and food, and is a lover of the fabulous Canberra arts scene and many farmers’ markets. She has a deep interest in the intersection between the arts and law, and hopes to undergo further study in this area. Alternatively, she dreams of writing an art history thesis on the subject of memes. She can commonly be found enjoying a delicious cappuccino at any one of Canberra’s staple cafes, but particularly Tilley’s which she has frequented since she was four years old. When she grows up/old she wants to be just like Iris Apfel. More about the Author