Family friendly, wallet friendly, winter school holiday activities

With the upcoming July holidays, are you panicking about how to keep the kids entertained without breaking your bank? Don’t worry! We’ve done some digging for you and found a few cheap, some even free, family friendly activities that will ensure boredom is the last thing on your kids’ minds this winter holiday.


  • Head over to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and take a short walk to check out the Aboriginal rock art and engravings at Red Hands cave. There’s also a picnic area nearby if you and your kids are hungry after the hike. With free entry, make sure you don’t miss one of the most famous Aboriginal heritage sites!
  • Experience the Ice Age! And no, I do not mean Sydney’s current weather. Currently the Australian Museum is holding an Ice Age exhibit where you and your kids can learn about animals that lived in even colder weather than what we are experiencing right now. Discover fossils, meet life size replicas and a 42,000 year-old real preserved baby mammoth called Lyuba! Just make sure to buy your tickets online when you visit. An online family pass (two adults, two children) is $51 but when you buy at the counter its $61.
  • Get Healthy and active! If you are looking to get your kids out and about, why not head down to Bicentennial Park. With 40 hectares of scenic parklands in Sydney, this park is the perfect place to go cycling or for a relaxing stroll. Don’t have a bike? Sydney Olympic Park has got you covered with bike hire as well.


  • Do you have aspiring artists? Bendigo Art Gallery is holding multiple kid friendly workshops that allow them to create art and express their creative self. From the 10th – 11th July, kids aged between four and seven years old can practice inside out drawings and story lanterns. On the 12th of July, kids aged eight to 14 years old can practice drawing 3D! With workshops starting from $7.90 with accompanying adults free this is sure to be a cheap fun activity your kids will love.
  • Or a future rock star? The Art Centre Melbourne is holding their ‘Instant Rockstar’ event where for $24 your kids can work in a real studio, create their own music and make their own music video.
  • Hot entertainment, literally. Head down to the Docklands between the 29th of June to the 1st of July to experience the opening weekend of the Firelight Festival. Free entry will get you over 40 unique performances including pyrotechnics, gypsy tunes, music and much more family friendly entertainment


  • Go back in time. From the 2nd of July to the 14th of July Stockland Riverton will be taken over by Dinosaurs! Dino World will allow your kids to get up close to their favourite dinosaurs. With free entry, this is definitely a budget conscious activity your kids will enjoy.  
  • For legs of all ages! Wanting to connect more with nature? The Bibbulmun Track is the perfect way for you and your kids to experience the beauty of the wilderness. The track is catered for everyone from a light stroll to an 8-week long camping trip
  • For the budding scientists in your life, check out what’s on at Scitech. With a wide range of events being held just for the July School Holidays, this is one experience your kids would not want to miss.


  • Experience a real Winter Wonderland. From the 6th July to the 22th July, Winterfest 2018 is returning to Port Adelaide with a wide variety of activities such as winter markets, live shows, workshops for all ages, feasts for foodies and fun in the ice-skating rink. With free entry, this festival definitely delivers on wallet-friendly family fun.
  • Channel their inner chefs! This winter school holidays Sprout Cooking School will be providing kids with free cooking classes between the 11th – 13th of July and 18th – 20 of July at Harbour Town outlet shopping centre. Your kids will learn basic cooking techniques and safe cooking kills and who knows, maybe your child will be the next Gordon Ramsay (but with less swearing)!
  • The next Steven Spielberg? Visit the National Motor Museum between the 14th and 15th of July and your kids will have the opportunity to have a go at making their own movie! This event is free after admission with the family package (two adults and up to six children) only costing $35 so don’t miss out!


  • Attention stargazers! If learning about the night sky and solar system tickles your fancy, head over to the Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. You’re bound to find something that suites your budget and schedule.
  • This July school holiday the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is holding numerous exhibits and activities geared towards all ages. Be sure to stop by the interactive Patricia Piccinini: Curious Creatures exhibit to immerse yourself in an imaginative world. Did I mention admission is free?
  • Head over to Daisy Hill Koala Centre to see some extremely cute sleepyheads. Two different viewing levels are provided to ensure maximum koala viewing. It’s also free!


  • Interested in connecting with some aquatic wildlife? Aquascene lets you and your kids feed friendly local wild fish at the shoreline. Tickets starts at $10 for children and $15 for adults or you can purchase the family package for $43 which includes two adults and two or three kids.
  • To satisfy your boredom or hunger pains, head down to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. This local market has over 200 local stalls that range from food and drinks to specialty, arts, crafts and services. Just be aware of when you visit since it is only open on Thursdays and Sundays between 4pm to 9pm
  • Leanyer Recreation Park is a perfect and cheap place to let your kids use up all their energy. Things to do include a skate park, basketball court, cycling path, water facilities, an all-abilities playground and much more. The best part? All of this is free.


  • Join the frenzy. The Salamanca Market is a massive market that averages between 25,000 to 40,000 visitors every week. There is a wide variety of stalls including arts and crafts, novelties, jewellery, bags and food ensuring there is something for the whole family (even for the family pet). Entry is free along with a shuttle service to get you to and from the market! Just note that the market is only open on Saturdays between 8:30am to 3pm,
  • If you’re in the mood for some outdoor activities, Wellington Park will definitely provide that! Options include historic walking tracks, rock climbing, sightseeing and four wheel driving across rough mountain trails. Just make sure to pack a coat, since regular temperatures can go below zero degrees!
  • The Tahune AirWalk allows you to check out a forest from a whole new perspective. On the AirWalk you’ll be able to experience the beautiful scenic views and if you’re lucky observe wildlife in the tree tops. Adult tickets cost $30 and child tickets cost $15, but you can snag a family package which includes two adults and two children for only $60.


  • The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is holding a free film screening of two Australian classics, Storm Boy and Bran Nue Dae, at the Australian Parliament House on the 10th and 17th of July.
  • Yo Funky Dance Festival is a family friendly night out that is directed for older kids and teenagers. Performances like hip hop acts and appearances from several different entertainers such as DJ Cuddles are sure to keep your older kids entertained.
  • Celebrate Christmas in July. The Mona Farm estate are putting on a Christmas in July shindig on Saturday the 21st between 10am to 5pm. Kids will be able to frolick in the snow, go on horse and carriage rides or a mini steam powered train and getting a selfie with St Nick himself. There’s also time for some adult fun with mulled and local wines available. Make sure to get your tickets fast!

Of course, if you don’t feel like going out there’s always the stay at home option. Warm up with some hot cocoa and play some board games with the family, maybe dabble in some painting or get your kids involved with cooking. The most important thing is to have fun!