School holidays are either here or just around the corner for the majority of Australia’s school children.
Time to run for the hills?
We hear you.
Two weeks is a long time to keep the kids entertained.
So, what can you do to avoid those dulcet words of ‘I’m bored’ or as our little one once said perched in the back seat of the car, ‘I’m bored… Bored. Bored. Bored.’
Fortunately Australia packs enough activities suitable for all budgets and they extend far beyond the cities.
Beginning with Victoria, here is our pick of itineraries that will help you pick out the plums and stave off the bored, bored, bored.
A Mornington Peninsula Weekend
There is so much to see on the Mornington Peninsula.
Just 50km from the city, it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The Peninsula is a region that’s packed full of local produce, sandy beaches and fun things to do.
It’s a place where many fond childhood memories are made. Memories that last a lifetime.
An exciting way to kick the day off is to take a ride in a Lamborghini at Dromana near Red Hill. Or if you prefer, there’s a Ferrari Thrill Ride that’ll take you from 0-100 km/h in about 4 seconds.
It may sound a bit over the top but it’s priced lower than you think. It’s not every day you get to drive a European sports car. Imagine the stories.
Just up the road is the Eagle Skylift. Here you can view the beautiful Peninsula from its highest point and across Port Phillip Bay. The skylift is a state of the art gondola.
As you descend see if you can pick out the Melbourne cityscape emerging just beyond the big blue.
To chill out, take a detour off the beaten track to a garden paradise. Diggers Heronswood garden is an ideal location to escape the crowds.
Children and adults alike can explore its open spaces, exquisite gardens, a pond and perhaps even taste the heirloom crops and organic produce that’s on offer at the restaurant.
Kids will delight in the gardens’ attractions and they will love the geese, chickens, frogs and swing.
Pre-order a picnic hamper during warm months to take into the gardens.
Natural shade is abundant and with views out to Port Phillip Bay it makes a perfect escape on a hot day.
Further along the coast, Sorrento offers a sandy beachfront, local shops and a great range of places to eat. From the pier you can join a boat, sail out to sea and swim with the dolphins.
Dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals and very playful.
They swim and play around you as you enter the water. It’s the kind of experience that can turn kids into eco-warriors, set on a quest to ensure we preserve everything nature offers.
Moving inland, there are many wineries for the grown ups to enjoy.
One of the most unusual ways to visit some of the best wineries is on horseback.
The horseback winery tour is suitable for beginners and gets you out and about exploring the region with one of only two accredited facilities in Australia.
Kids can enjoy a half day horse riding school holiday program at the same venue.
Nearby, there are tall, green mazes, chocolates delicacies, golden sandy beaches, fishing and a car ferry to take you across to the Bellarine Peininsula.
To the Bellarine Peninsula
As well as playgrounds, roaming rhinos, chugging steam engines, boomerangs, frightening gaols, adventure flights, and eco adventures, the Bellarine Peninsula is also the home of Geelong football club.
So there’s not a second to waste.
Climb off the ferry and prepare to explore.
Let off some steam at the Bellarine Railway in Queenscliff. On selected dates, Thomas the Tank Engine, an authentic steam engine, offers unlimited rides.
Plus the event hosts lots of fun things to do from jumping castles, a children’s maze, movies and story telling.
Set aside the evening for a haunted tour of the repressive Geelong Gaol. The tour takes you back in time when the building housed not only men and women but children too.
It’s creepy and scary too, so kids under 8 will have to bow out but everyone else is welcome to explore the three-story blue stone building.
Just 10 minutes away from Geelong off the Bellarine Hightway at Wallington sits Victoria’s largest theme park..
Packed full of water adventures, it makes a giant splash for the kids and adults alike.
There’s the crazy coaster and Red Baron rides. A giant, six lane slide named the Aqua Racer. The Gold Rush Rapids where you can take a 2m plunge in a two-seater raft.
It’s easy to spend a whole day at the Adventure Park, so go prepared.
Travelling up toward Melbourne, Point Cook houses the RAAF museum.
The museum tells the stories of the experiences of war from World War One to the present day.
But to really enjoy a taste of aviation as it used to be, there is no better way than to don the leather flight suit, the Biggles goggles and take to the skies in a genuine 1940s Tiger Moth.
Tiger Moth flights take off at the old RAAF base in Point Cook and are available most weekends for children and adult alike.
If you think your (or your children’s) stomach can take it, try aerobatics. From mild to wild, it’s certain to topple the gyros.
Way, Way West of Geelong
Travelling west of Geelong, there’s even more thrills to enjoy.
The Ottways offer a Zipline Adventure, a 2.5 hour experience that the kids will love.
With its 8 cloud stations, 6 flights and 2 suspension bridges, its incredible fun, extremely safe and best of all, a thrill-a-minute for the family.
Just north of the Ottways, at Yeodene is a big favourite for the over eights – Zorbing.
Zorbing? Well it’s like being in a giant washing machine.
Safely strapped into a see-through giant ball, you are gently pushed down a slope. But that’s where the gentle stops and if you like, the washing cycle starts.
You go round and round, rolling with the ball helped by gravity alone.
Hurtling down the hill you’ll scream your heart out for a minute that seems to take forever.
Simple, yet wonderfully dizzying you’ll want to do it all over again.
At Ballarat you can dare to venture out into the night to explore the Gold Rush Cemetery.
Eerie stories. Spooky sensations in the dark. Eureka!
It’s enough to send shivers down your spine and set many good people running.
But for the kids, it’s just perfect in the run up to Halloween.
Kids Activities Around Melbourne
The word ‘bored’ should never be in the vocabulary for children whose home is near Melbourne.
From hot air ballooning over the CBD, kayaking, paddle boarding to abseiling, recording a song to V8 hot laps and creative art, Melbourne offers a remarkable range of fun for kids.
Sports mad families will find plenty going on in Melbourne to keep their heart rates up, whether they want to be participants or spectators.
Other activities that should appeal to kids are buggy adventures, rock climbing, chocolate tour, rap jumping, a visit to the Aquarium, flyboarding at Port Melbourne and even abseiling down rock faces.
Most parents find it difficult to get the children out and about during the school holidays.
You probably do too.
If you don’t, chances are you probably have thought well ahead.
This list of activities for kids in Victoria is just a sample to get the most out of the school holidays without having to spend a ton of time and energy searching.
Just pick the ones you feel are right for your budget, add in some free activities like family time on the beach and build your itinerary up from there.
Which activities are you planning for during these school holidays?