Winter school holidays guide 2023: What's on in Melbourne and Victoria

Winter Festival Sovereign Hill

RACV Staff

Posted June 19, 2023

A guide to the best and most budget-friendly activities on for the winter holidays in Melbourne and Victoria.

Winter is in full swing, and with that brings the start of the Victorian winter school holidays which run from June 24 – July 9, 2023.

Both Melbourne and regional Victoria have activities and attractions this winter school holidays to keep the whole family entertained, from fire twirling festivals to LEGO-building, blockbuster movies, snowscape experiences and more.

So as another school term ends, gear up for two weeks of winter school holiday fun with these activities and experiences around Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

RACV Members save on attractions all over Melbourne and Victoria.  

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Winter school holiday activities 2023: Things to do around Melbourne and Victoria

Festivals and events

Explore the Firelight Festival


Running from 30 June – 2 July, the Firelight Festival will take over Docklands for three nights of fiery instillations, spectacular light shows, pop-up food trucks and winter festivities galore.  

Take the kids to experience 40 fire pits and drum performances, live fire sculptures, glowing light installations and dazzling street performers.

Entry is free and there is no need to book, just rug up and prepare to be dazzled by all things fire.  

Play in the snow at Grazeland


Melbourne's west is turning into a snow-filled winter festival for the whole family. On weekends from 23 June - 30 July, take photos with a snowman 10 metres high, take in the marvellous neon light and ballon displays, listen to live music while riding a chair lift to to snowy mountain, or even get your face painted just like Olaf.

Located at Grazeland, one of our favourite food truck parks, there's plenty of winter-themed international cuisine on offer, from mulled wine to sweet and savoury dishes to be enoyed under the "snow" by an open fire. 

Watch lights twinkle at Winter Glow


During various days in June and July, big and little kids alike can discover a glowing winter wonderland of snow, lights, fire and ice at Adventure Park's Winter Glow Festival.

Build a snowman in the Snow Play Zone, head on an adventure on the park’s rides and games, enjoy live ice-sculpting and fire-twirling displays before roasting marshmallows over the roaring open fire.

With over 2.7 million dazzling lights and hundreds of glittering installations all over the park, give yourself plenty of time to explore before resting your head at the nearby RACV Torquay Resort.


Adventure Park Geelong

There's fun for the whole family at the Winter Glow Festival. Image: Adventure Park Geelong.  

Family-friendly activities in Melbourne and Victoria

Strike a pose at ArtVo


Get up close with King Kong, ride a swan, and hold the world on the tip of your finger. It’s not a movie, it’s ArtVo, a trick immersive gallery with over 80 hand-painted images that make you the star.

By striking a pose in front of the 3D images, the optical illusions can have you photographed sitting in a fairy jar, opening the jaws of a lion or the whole family stuck in a fish tank – great fun for a winter’s day.

Save on tickets here.

Head underwater at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium 

Melbourne CBD

Home to over 10,000 aquatic animals, Melbourne’s SEA LIFE Aquarium features 12 habitat zones of sharks, penguins, crocodiles and more, where kids can also see the largest collection of seahorses in the world.  

The magical underwater word also has a new exhibit for 2023, featuring pulsating jellyfish where families can hop inside the Moon Jellyfish tank for an interactive view.

RACV Members save on tickets - book online here. 

Build your castle at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre


A great way to burn off some energy inside on those cold and wet days, the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre lets the whole family build, play and explore a range of LEGO-themed experiences.

With 13 playzones, a 4D cinema, rides and of course, plenty of LEGO to play with, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre is fun for all ages.

RACV Members save on entry here.

Indoor go karting

Port Melbourne

Like your activities with a side of adrenalin? The perfect indoor activity for high schoolers, head to Auscar Racings for drives anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes as you and the fam race around the track in pro racing karts that head up to 60 kilometres per hour.

Save on your booking now.

Take a ride on Puffing Billy


Winter is a great time to check out Puffing Billy, where you can head on a historic train journey through the leafy Dandenong Ranges.

Let the kids dangle their feet over the side of the train as they are immersed in nature, smelling the eucalyptus trees, and listening to the sound of rustling trees and rattling carriages.

If your kids are particularly interested in trains, there are many fantastic heritage railways to visit in regional Victoria during the winter break.  

Play all day at The Social Quarter


Located within the Chadstone Shopping Centre near LEGOLAND®, you can also take time to explore the mall’s new area, The Social Quarter, incorporating bowling, arcade games, min-golf, and the Hijinx Hotel.

With several entertaining activities in one zone, parents and families can also take a break with a bite to eat in The Social Quarter. UA Brewing Co is fast becoming known for its easy pub and family-friendly fare and fun twist on classic drinks, while nearby White + Wong’s provides a wide range of dishes with an Asian-fusion twist.

 See a blockbuster movie


If the weather is all rain and gloom, luckily, there’s a range of great family-friendly movies out this winter.

Plus, RACV Members save up to 30 per cent when pre-purchasing movie tickets for Hoyts, Village Cinemas & Palace cinemas, so take the kids to see The Little Mermaid, Flash, Elemental, or the latest Indiana Jones.

Experience the new Connection exhibit at The LUME

After the successful exhibits for Van Gogh and Monet & Friends, The LUME is launching a new walk through Indigenous exhibition from June 23, Connection. Fusing the mediums of art, music and culture with digital storytelling; Connection brings together over 550 artworks from 110 different artists, culminating in the largest ever art collection of First Peoples. 

RACV Members save 10 per cent on LUME tickets. 


Kids playing with LEGO at Legoland

Build it and they will come to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Image: Getty.

Musicals and shows in Melbourne and Victoria


26 February – 29 July, Melbourne

With a soundtrack that will have everyone dancing out of their seats, & JULIET is the fun new musical following the premise that Shakespeare’s Juliet lives to go on her own adventure.

With bright costumes, fun choreography, dazzling sets and songs everyone knows, & JULIET is part musical, part concert – and 100 per cent fun.

MIDNIGHT, The Cinderella Musical

23 June -18 July, Melbourne

A reimagining of the classic Cinderella story, MIDNIGHT: The Cinderella Musical features a new heroine for the modern ages. Featuring whimsical dance numbers, a live orchestra and plenty of magic to be dispelled before the stroke of midnight, the show is sure to delight both fans of the old and new fairytale. 

For a limited time, RACV Members can purchase 2-for-1 tickets to MIDNIGHT: The Cinderella Musical for a special performance at 7pm on Tuesday, 18 July 2023 at the Comedy Theatre.


Otway fly steel bridge through towering rainforest

Hit the slopes with the family for a winter adventure. Image: Getty. 

Winter trip ideas for Melbourne and Victoria

Hit the slopes

Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Mt Baw Baw, Lake Mountain and Falls Creek

Victoria’s ski season has well and truly begun, and after two years, Victoria’s ski slopes are once again open for business. 

This makes the winter school holidays the perfect time to pack the car and hit the slopes for some snowy fun.

Whether you’re looking just for a day trip to toboggan and make snow angels, or a longer stay where you can base yourself at a location like the RACV Healesville Resort to Lake Mountain, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the mountain regions of Victoria.  

Be sure to check out our guide to driving in snow before you head off to keep everyone safe and sound.

Pan for gold at Sovereign Hill


Sovereign Hill comes alive once more with illuminated gardens, streets, and dazzling light projections during the Winter Wonderlights celebration between June 24 - July 17. 

As well as the regular attractions like panning for gold, pantomimes, shows and candle making, the Winter Wonderlights also provides the opportunity for photos with Santa, creating Christmas-themed gifts, and for the parents, a mulled wine and gingerbread to be enjoyed as the snow falls around you.

Book a stay RACV Goldfields Resort so you're nice and close to the action.

Get up close with the Fairy Penguins

Phillip Island

Take a drive south-east of Melbourne to visit the largest Little Penguin colony on the planet (also called the Fairy Penguin colony), just 40 minutes from the RACV Inverloch Resort.

The Penguin Parade happens nightly at the Phillip Island Nature Parks, where visitors can witness thousands of penguins make their way to shore to tend to their penguin burrows from the RACV Penguins Plus Viewing Platform – it really is fun for the entire family.  

Whale Watching at Logan’s Beach


Why not take a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, visiting some great pit stops along the way, and finishing in Warrnambool to watch the southern right whales and their calves. 

Head down to the viewing platform at Logan’s Beach, and if you’re lucky there will be plenty of whales frolicking in the water. 

The Great Ocean Road is also a foodie’s paradise, with fresh lobster, handmade cheese and ice-cream, local gin and whiskey, as well as fruit farms where the kids can pick all the fruit they like. 

Book in a night or two at RACV Torquay Resort to make your road trip an experience the whole family will remember for years to come.  

Go on a day trip


If you’d prefer to just head on a road trip, there’s plenty of places around Victoria that make for a great visit on a winter’s day.

Enjoy a thermal bath at Daylesford, take the kids to a petting zoo or farm, head on a chocolate lover’s tour or admire Australia’s biggest outdoor gallery on the Silo Art Trail.

Penguin Parade Phillip Island

Victoria is home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world. Image: Supplied. 

Free winter school holidays activites in Melbourne and Victoria

Find a new favourite playground

Get the kids rugged up and head on a mission to find the best playground around! We’ve found a few in our guide to the best playgrounds in both regional Victoria and around Melbourne.

From flying foxes to giant slides, musical instruments, skate parks and obstacle courses, there’s plenty of fun to be had for free at these whimsical and imaginative playgrounds around the state.

Make new creations in the kitchen

Cooking and baking can be a great rainy-day activity, especially with a fun, kid-friendly recipe,

Get them involved with some of these yummy desserts designed to keep little hands busy, from these easy sausage rolls to making mini pancake cereal, creating delectable salted caramel choc chip cookies or this fun and tasty rocky road.

Ride around the neighbourhood

Exploring your neighbourhood on two wheels is a fabulous way to warm up and get your kids off the screens and into the outdoors.

Cycling is a great way to get around on holiday too, and makes a perfect excuse for a trip to the coast or country.

Check out our guide to family-friendly bike rides for a range of fun routes, including a cosmic trip through the solar system along Port Phillip Bay, a sculpture-studded freeway trail, and a riverside wander through a hidden valley so pretty it’s classified by the National Trust.  

You can brush up on the latest cycling rules here.

Visit the library 

Libraries are no longer the silent, dusty spaces you might remember from years past. Today, libraries in Victoria are architectural wonders filled with cutting-edge technology and massive book collections – both traditional and digital.

Whether you're looking for an easy rainy day activity or just need some quiet time with the kids, check out our guide to the best libraries in Victoria that combine history, community and literature. 

City Circle Tram, Melbourne CBD

Now this is a super fun one for kids who love anything to do with trams and trains, as well as those parents keen to see Melbourne’s historic landmarks. 

The tram route does a loop of the CBD, going past the famous St Patrick’s Cathedral and Flinders Street Station, while giving commentary on their history.

And the best part is you can jump on and off the tram as you please, allowing you to explore the city and teach the kids about what makes Melbourne so great. 


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