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From budding scientists to aspiring publishers, get your kids off the couch with these free activities.
New York! New York! For Kids, 9 June to 7 October
A large-scale interactive installation is taking over the NGV’s Children’s Gallery during MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art.
NGV International ngv.vic.gov.au
Family Funday, 24 June to 29 July
Sundays at Queen Victoria Market will be jam-packed these holidays with a line-up of activities including an animal farm with furry friends, stilt walkers, bubbles, kids’ painting, live music, fairy floss, popcorn and prizes, along with all your usual market favourites. qvm.com.au
Docklands Firelight Festival, 29 June to 1 July
The opening weekend of the Docklands Firelight Festival kicks off with nightly pyrotechnics, flame jets and fire drums, roving performers and eclectic music.
New Quay Promenade onlymelbourne.com.au
Teddy Vet Checks, 30 June to 15 July
Kids can help the Teddy Check Team to diagnose and treat their teddy’s ailments, while learning about the animals at Healesville Sanctuary.
Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary
Free with general admission. Kids enter free in school holidays. zoo.org.au
Play with fire at the Docklands Firelight Festival.
Explore the sights and sounds of The Big Apple at New York! New York!
Harry Potter Extravaganza and Film Screening, 30 June
The perfect way to begin school holidays for aspiring young wizards. Kids will start the day with wand making before being sorted into their assigned Hogwarts house. They can then sit back and enjoy a free
screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Wonthaggi Library eventbrite.com.au
Family Sundays: Koorie Stories and NAIDOC Week, 1 July
Explore the stories and art of South East Australia’s First Nations peoples. Kids can try their hand at animation, traditional ochre painting and necklace making activities, and take part in an interactive animated artwork.
Junior Rangers, 2 to 3 July
Parks Victoria is hosting free activities in more than 80 parks and reserves. Kids can participate in nature-based activities and hang out with park rangers. Featured activities include searching for feathers and fur on a Minibeast Discovery, a Nature Treasure Hunt and a Rockpool Ramble.
Free, bookings essential juniorrangers.com.au
Learn to science, 3 July
Homebound inventors can join a real scientist for an interactive session about all things science. Suitable for 8-12 years.
Inverloch library eventbrite.com.au
Open Range Art, 3 to 5 July
Art-making tables at Bendigo Art Gallery will be stocked with a papers, tapes, pencils and art tools. Start with an art prompt card or delve into the explorer’s box. The gallery will also host holiday workshops ($7.90 to $11.20) to inspire the budding Picasso in your home, from 10 to 12 July.
Bendigo Art Gallery bendigoartgallery.com.au
Junior Rangers: Wildlife detectives at work.
Keep young film enthusiasts occupied with free cinema screenings.
Zines for Teens, 6 July
Young publishers aren’t left out these school holidays – this free event will give them the opportunity to put together their own mini-magazine.
Registration required eventbrite.com.au
Little Rebels Clinic, 9 July
Head down to Gosch's Paddock these school holidays and play some rugby with Melbourne Rebels.
Gosch's Paddock, Olympic Boulevard melbournerebels.com
Kids’ Movie Club, 11 July Get the kids out of their Netflix binge and take them over to the library for a change of scene. BYO snacks and drinks.
Phillip Island Library eventbrite.com.au
Coco at Southbank Library, 12 July Bring your favourite pillow and settle in with some popcorn to watch the colourful animation, Coco.
Southbank Library at Boyd Ground
Registration required eventbrite.com.au
Don't forget about...
Scienceworks The interactive science and technology museum is perfect entertainment all year round. These school holidays will celebrate all things flight. Check their website for times and workshops. Kids up to 16 enter free. museumsvictoria.com.au/scienceworks
Melbourne Zoo Add a touch of the wild these school holidays. Ages four to 15 years enter free on weekends and school holidays. zoo.org.au/melbourne
Screen Worlds Explore this free, interactive and immersive permanent exhibition at ACMI. Older kids can learn how the moving image has evolved, while the younger ones play in the Games Lab and Kids Space. acmi.net.au
Artplay Workshops, events and performances for kids looking to explore their artistic side. Bookings are required for most workshops, however there are also free drop-in events available. Be sure to check out what’s on before dropping by. melbourne.vic.gov.au
Children’s Garden The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is the perfect place for kids who love getting their hands dirty in the garden. Between the water feature and the Bamboo Forest, young explorers will find plenty of entertainment. rbg.vic.gov.au