School holiday activities that won't break the bank

Children playing

With the September school holidays coming up, you might be wondering what you’re going to do with the kids for two weeks. It can also be expensive!

At Mozo, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of free activities you can do with your kids this break, as well as a few low cost options if you’re in a position to spend. No matter what your kids like doing, there is sure to be something for all.

Free Activities

Here’s a list of fun activities that won’t cost you anything beyond a few basics:

  • Bake something - figure out what ingredients you already have and help the kids bake something yummy such as cupcakes, cookies or banana bread!
  • Camp in the backyard for the night - this is perfect if you own a tent, otherwise you can use a tarp or just sleep underneath the stars.
  • Arts and crafts - look online for inspiration but you can always print off colouring in pages and use any art supplies you have to colour them.
  • Go to the library and find some books to take home - this means that as well as an outing, the kids will have books to occupy them at home. 
  • Go to the beach - whether you want to swim, make sandcastles or throw a ball, the beach is a great place to spend a day.
  • Free museums and galleries - there are lots of museums and art galleries that offer free exhibitions. The examples below are based in Sydney but if you live elsewhere, you can always have a look online for local spots. In Sydney, consider the Powerhouse Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and The Rocks Discovery Museum. 
  • Have a picnic at a local park - make some sandwiches or snacks and visit a local park where the kids can play in the playground. 
  • Visit a national park  - take this opportunity to go explore it. Most national parks have scenic walks - a great way to get the kids out in nature. 
  • If you have bikes, go for a bike ride as a family - this is a fun and active way to explore your neighbourhood.
  • Try star-gazing for constellations - there are various free apps such as Sky View Lite which helps you find stars and tells you about them. 
  • Play a board game that you already have at home - for example Uno, Monopoly or Connect Four.
  • Live stream the animals at Taronga Zoo with Taronga TV - you can choose which animals to watch, including tigers, elephants and giraffes and keep track of what they’re doing in real time.

Easy low cost activities

If you’re willing to pay a bit of money to treat the kids to an exciting day out, here are some fun options the kids will love:

  • Plant a veggie patch and grow your own vegetables - take a quick trip to Bunnings to buy some vegetable seeds and plant them. Once the seeds are planted, they will need watering so this is something the kids can do every few days. You might also save money on your grocery bill!
  • Ride the Sydney ferry. If you live in Sydney, take a day trip into the city and get the ferry to Manly for lunch, or just go to the beach with the kids.
  • Visit a pool or aquatic centre - lots of local pools have day passes and this is something that will keep the kids occupied for hours and even tire them out for the rest of the day.
  • A trip to the movies - some good ones now showing at the cinema - DC League of Super-Pets, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Avatar (Rated M, may be suitable for teenagers), Top Gun: Maverick (Rated M, may be suitable for teenagers) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (Rated M, may be suitable for older children and teenagers).
  • Mini golf - the kids can practice their putting! This can be a fun way to spend a few hours and can get very competitive.
  • Bowling - take the kids to the alley, a fun outing on a wet day.
  • Trampoline park - treat them to a few hours at a local trampoline park.
  • Ice Skating -  a fun activity for the kids, especially if you want to sit and watch.
  • Stand up paddle boarding. In Sydney, places like Narrabeen Lagoon and Palm Beach offer stand up paddle boarding. There are good spots for this all around Australia.

Want more money saving tips? Check out our family finances hub for tips such as how to save on your grocery shop.