From outdoor films to fireworks, exhibitions to free coaching, head to the city and surrounds for free activities these winter holidays.
All fired up
The Docklands Firelight Festival lights up winter in solstice tradition with fire breathers and dancers, drummers, musicians and barbecue food. Each night, a large effigy will be set alight to the backdrop of a fireworks display.
Newquay Promenade, Docklands
Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July
5 to 9pm
Take in a family-friendly film in the heart of the city at Federation Square’s Outdoor Cinema.
Federation Square, Melbourne CBD
Monday 3 July, 12pm to 2pm, Frozen
Tuesday 4 July, 12pm to 2pm, Ice Age – Collision Course
Wednesday 5 July, 12pm to 2pm, Zootopia
Monday 10 July, 12pm to 2pm, Norm of the North
Tuesday 11 July, 12pm to 2pm, Trolls
Wednesday 12 July, 12pm to 2pm, Moana
Build a city
At Imaginary Architecture, join ArtPlay and artist Lara Tumak and make your own special diorama to add to the mega mini city at Kensington Town Hall. BYO cereal or teabag box, or use one of ours. Suits age 4 to 12 years.
Kensington Town Hall, 30 – 34 Bellair St, Kensington
Thursday 6 July to Sunday 9 July
11am to 3pm
Have you ever wondered what to do when you’re swooped by a magpie or a blue-tongued lizard appears in your yard? Wild Bytes at CERES offers cool tips and tricks to help co-exist with our wonderful native wildlife.
CERES Environmental Park, corner Roberts and Stewart Streets, East Brunswick
Sunday 16 July
2 to 3.30pm
The Bugs Alive Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum inspires family activities throughout the school holidays. Make a Bogong moth or an ant antennae, and in the second half of the holidays you can be a bug with the Polyglot Theatre’s free daily Ants performances.
Melbourne Museum Foyer, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Saturday 1 July to Sunday 16 July
Children free with a paying adult ($14)
To accompany Patrick Pound: the Great Exhibition at NGV Australia, Patrick Pound’s Great Expedition for Kids arms children with a map to explore the collections of photographs and objects on display and chart their own course by completing activities, making discoveries and finding new ways of looking at the world.
NGV Australia, Federation Square, ground level
Until Sunday 30 July
Open daily 10am–5pm
Make do and mend
No lipstick available? Try beetroot juice. Want a new piece of jewellery? Reshape that old curtain ring. This hands-on play and making session at the Shrine of Remembrance lets children get creative and repurpose old materials like the Second World War generation did. For ages 4 to 10 years.
Shrine of Remembrance, St Kilda Road
Monday 3 July to Friday 14 July
Sessions 10.30am to 11.30am
Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
Zoos Victoria offers free admission for children under 16 years of age to Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo during Victorian school holidays, on weekends and public holidays.
From wielding a lightsabre to perfecting YouTube videos, ACMI’s Family Sundays program is a unique interactive experience suitable for kids of all ages.
Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne
2 July (and first Sunday of every month)
11am to 4pm
Kids of all ages can get active at Netball Victoria’s Netball Get Active Day at Docklands’ The Hub. Four fun and interactive sessions will cater for different age groups, and Melbourne Vixens players will be in attendance.
Net4Kids - for boys and girls aged 2.5 to 5 years, fosters social skills and confidence, and builds motor development.
NetSetGO - introduces children aged 5 to 10 years to netball, incorporating skill activities, minor games, music, dance and modified matches.
Netball Victoria’s junior clinics - focus on fundamental netball skills including attacking, defending, goaling and ball handling.
Rock up Netball - is a fun and social netball tournament for adults. Register as a team or individual and hit the court with friends or represent your corporate organisation to boost morale and enjoy lunch out of the office.
The Hub @ Docklands, 80 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
Friday 14 July
10am to 4pm
Keen to find school holiday activities in your area? Try your local council website.