"I'm bored!" That seems to be a constant refrain of the summer holidays for anyone with kids.
Maybe our mothers were right when they told us, “Only boring people get bored”. However, six weeks is a long time to stay entertained.
And with the pressures of Christmas already weighing on the family finances, cheap thrills are definitely on the agenda. So, here are some tips for free or low-cost holiday activities you may not have thought about.
Local Council Activities
From library events through to guided nature walks, your local council is a source of fantastic activities. Many book out early though, so it’s best to get in fast – an online search will reveal a range of options for your council area.
A day (or night) in town
Remember the fun of catching the train or bus ‘into town’ when you were a kid? Well, the capital city councils have some wonderful events and many are free. For example:
Martin Place Christmas tree
Museums and Art Galleries
No longer are these sterile places the kids will be bored in. GOMA in Brisbane has a special Children’s Art Centre, while places like the Adelaide Museum and the National Museum in Sydney have dedicated kids’ activities. In Melbourne, the Children’s Gallery caters especially to the little ones (0-5 years).
If you haven’t set foot inside an art gallery for a while, now’s the time to check out your city’s and make it a family day out.
Parks and Gardens
Summer is perfect for getting the kids into the great outdoors!
A standout is the new Wild Play Garden at Sydney’s Centennial Park is a $4M state-of-the-art nature play space designed to reconnect children to nature.
Every city and many regional centres have special School Holidays guided tours and activities. The Botanical Gardens are always a great spot for a picnic or guided tour, and there are lots of online resources to help you find places to get out and about in nature.
If you’re in Western Australia, this website is a great resource for tips on how to get your kids enjoying the outdoors. To find somewhere near you, simply hit your favourite search engine and you’ll find heaps of great ideas.
Keeping Costs Down
The best free outings can soon create a strain on the wallet if you have to buy takeaway. Packing your own means you can avoid the additional costs. The keys to success:
- Frozen water bottles or juice boxes – These keep things cold and provide cold drinks even at the end of a hot day.
- An insulated backpack - Comfort and functionality! Search online or check you local outdoors store.
- Plan ahead to keep it interesting – While Vegemite sandwiches are good in a pinch, there are some easy picnic recipes that can get the kids a bit more excited. Check out this Picnic collection on Taste.com.au for inspiration.