Winter School Holidays: Our list to help get the family outdoors

It's school holiday time and for many, there's a chance to explore our parks and cultural centres again. We've put together a list of ideas to get your family outdoors and into the fresh air.

The last round of school holidays saw us all relegated to staying inside.  Restrictions have been relaxed in most areas, and we can explore our own backyard a little more this time. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some ideas to get you out of the house, away from the screens and connecting as a family.

Note: We strongly recommend checking directly with the DHHS and providers prior to planning your visit due to evolving restrictions.

And don’t forget to check out Our Super List of Great Ideas for Kids at Home: Winter holiday edition.

Compiled by Natalie Moutafis.

The Great Outdoors

National parks are free to explore across Victoria and there is also a wonderful Junior Ranger program that is free to join.  They offer activities you can attend throughout the school holidays (sign up to their mailing list to be sure to know what’s happening) and you can also download their at-home activities to get started if you can’t make it along to an activity.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are also free with locations in both Melbourne and Cranbourne.

Our alpine parks and resorts are also reopening and you can visit Lake Mountain for a scenic day trip or stay a little longer somewhere like Mt Buller or Mt Baw Baw. Don’t forget to pack your toboggans!

Load up the car with a picnic and do the silo art trail (best to stay overnight as it’s 200km from one end of the trail to the other).

If you aren’t a huge nature lover and prefer to stay in the urban setting, the kids can still have plenty of fun burning off energy in the playgrounds.

And while you are exploring the great outdoors, you can add another element of fun to your day by trying geocaching. It’s a game of hide-and-seek using a mobile app or GPS device to help narrow your search. Remember though, if you find something and you take it, you must leave another item of equal or greater value for the next person to find.

Cultural Experiences

Many of our much-loved cultural experiences will reopen just in time for the school holidays. Be sure to check their websites to pre-book your attendance as numbers and times are limited to maintain social distancing measures.

Melbourne Museum, Carlton

NGV International, Melbourne

Museum of Play and Art, Geelong

Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin Airport

Scienceworks, Spotswood

Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne

Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville

Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee

The Gruffalo Trail at Rippon Lea Estate, Elsternwick

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen


If you aren’t in Victoria, here’s a shortcut list for the parks in your own state, or to bookmark for when travel restrictions ease and you can visit interstate again:

New South Wales
National Parks NSW
Wild About Whales

Gateway Visitor Centres
Whale watching

South Australia
Junior Rangers
Whale watching

Northern Territory
World-heritage listed parks

Western Australia
Parks and Wildlife

Australian Capital Territory
Parks and reserves

Parks and Wildlife

Silo Art Trail image courtesy of Wimmera Mallee Tourism
The Gruffalo Trail image courtesy of National Trust of Australia
All other images courtesy of Parks Victoria

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