When it comes to finding the best school holiday activities in Melbourne, we have you covered. It can be tough for parents to continually come up with Melbourne school holiday ideas with everything else we have to do as parents and sometimes even getting out of the house can be a struggle! So leave the school holiday fun to us and you just chose what works best for you and your family.
Melbourne is truly a historic and cultural city and has a range of December/January summer school holiday activities on offer, from beautiful gardens to iconic museums and incredible wildlife! As Melbourne locals, we are incredibly lucky to have such culture and nature on our doorstep. With so many things to do in school holidays in Melbourne, we really are spoiled for choice.
Kids school holiday activities don’t have to be a chore, even if you stay at home (check out our stay at home ideas included below). So no matter the weather, you will find something to entertain children of all ages with these school holiday activities in Melbourne.
We have compiled the complete guide to the best school holiday activities in Melbourne over the December/January summer school holidays to help make your life so much easier! We have listed indoor activities Melbourne style and outdoor activities. We have ideas for toddlers, kids and teens.
If you are looking for Melbourne school holiday programs and/or vacation care, where you can lave your child for a 1/2 or full day of fun while being cared for, read our Melbourne guide and book your child in now!
State schools finish on Friday 17 December and return to class on Monday 31 January 2022.
Summer school holidays in Victoria are Saturday 18 December to Sunday 30 January 2022.
Fun things to do for the Melbourne school holidays
We have broken our list of Melbourne school holiday activities for December/January summer into sections to help you:
- Fun things to do for the Melbourne school holidays
- 10 free school holiday activities Melbourne
- 10 fun cheap school holiday activities
- 10 BIG days out in Melbourne these school holidays
- 5 things to do at home these school holidays
- Theatres with kids shows on in Melbourne these school holidays
- Fun activities in Melbourne at night with kids
- Melbourne kids holiday ideas
- Even more VIC school holiday ideas:
As with everything at the moment, please check with the venue directly (either by their website or social media pages) to ensure they are open during the times you wish to attend. You should also check their current policy around advanced bookings, entry requirements/timings and social distancing rules.
10 free school holiday activities Melbourne
Who doesn’t love a free day out! A cultural museum visit, a family walk and days at the park, these are some of the best things to do in Melbourne without spending a dime. Check out our list of great family activities in Melbourne.
St Kilda Penguins
How incredibly lucky that as Melbourne locals we have penguins in our own city! Witness the wonder of a penguin colony at the beautiful St Kilda Breakwater these school holidays. This self-guided experience allows you to watch these incredible creatures as they go about daily penguin life.
Royal Botanical Gardens
Conveniently located just outside Melbourne City Centre (and easily accessible by public transport) are the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens. Over 175 years old, these gardens offer tours, talks and workshops throughout the year.
Royal Park Nature Play
Based on natural elements, this park is a wonderful outdoor space for children. With equipment to excite the kids – ropes course, climbing structures and more – as well as a water play area, there is something for kids of all ages.
State Library of Victoria
If you want to get the kids excited about visiting a library, remind them that the State Library of Victoria houses Ned Kelly’s armour! The library also has a range of talks, workshops and children’s story time on offer all year round.
The Queen Victoria Market
This open air market is a wonderland for the senses. Yummy food and smells greet you as you enter this expansive outdoor market. This iconic market has been running for 140 years and is a must see these school holidays. Buy some fresh food and take it home to cook up a storm with your kids. They will be learning about measuring, weighing and timing.. but dont tell them they are learning… ssshhh!
If you are a foodie, take a tour of the market.
A visit to the RAAF Museum will ignite the passion for flying in your kids. See aircraft up close and learn about the history of the air force. Open days and flying displays are held throughout the year so make sure you add them to the list!
National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria has two locations and lots to offer kids these school holidays. The Gallery is committed to expanding the creativity of children with a range of programs, exhibits and activities all year round.
Walk among skeletons, through a living rainforest and marvel at dinosaurs up close all at the Melbourne Museum. For the really little ones (up to 5 years) there is an interactive children’s gallery where you can let them explore and have fun.
ArtPlay is a venue that encourages creativity and self-expression. Workshops and programs are on offer for a range of age groups and it is centrally located in Melbourne City. Families tip: Allow sometime to play at the playground located beside ArtPlay.
City Circle Tram
Experience old world charm on this historic Melbourne Tram. A fun and easy way to explore Melbourne’s inner city, the City Circle Tram offers commentary along the way about Melbourne’s landmarks and history.
If you want even more things to do for FREE in Melbourne during the school holidays we listed 30 free ideas here.
10 fun cheap school holiday activities
While not everything in life is free, these activities won’t break the bank. These low cost activities are great options these school holidays in Melbourne.
Latitude’s giant aerial playground is the number one choice for thrill seekers of all ages. More than an indoor trampoline park, they offer rock climbing, obstacle courses, dodgeball courts, basketball lanes and 100s of trampolines all under one roof.
Get inside art at this truly unique experience at this ‘trick-art’ gallery. Bring your camera to pose in the ocean, space or riding wild rapids! Conveniently located in Docklands this art gallery is sure to delight.
Science becomes fun at this hands on science venue. Let kids learn through play and experience these school holidays, and watch them grow their love for science. With school holiday workshops running, put this on your must visit list.
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens
Spending a day getting lost in Australia’s oldest and most famous maze. Kids will love the great gnome hunt and woodland fairy walk activity sheets and maybe you can treat them to a lavender ice-cream at the end. Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic in the 25 acres of stunning gardens.
Bring the kids to Scienceworks and find something for the whole family. Conveniently located in Melbourne City, this interactive and fun museum offers something for all age groups.
Fire Services Museum
Bring the kids along to the Fire Services Museum to see what fighting a fire is all about. Staffed by retired firefighters who will happily tell the kids a story or two, this museum showcases the history of firefighting and lets you get up close to old firefighting trucks.
Rippon Lea House and Garden
Spend a day exploring a mansion and the incredible gardens. See how the rich lived in times gone by. With activities for the kids and lavish surrounds for the parents, this is a cheap way to see how the other half lived.
Altona Minatare Railway
This miniature railway line is run by a hobby club and has a 1.5km track! Safe for kids and adults of all ages, everyone will enjoy a ride on these miniature steam and diesel engines.
Collingwood Children’s Farm
The Collingwood Children’s Farm is a non-profit organisation passionate about community engagement and getting kids out in green space. Just four kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD you can cuddle a goat and interact with farm animals, so bring the family along and enjoy a day at the farm.
O’Brien Icehouse Ice skating
Kids go energy to burn? Why not take them ice-skating! Watch them (or join in!) doing laps with their friends or enrol them in skate school while you sit back with a coffee at the café. Families tip: Warm up after by visiting the Melbourne Star Observation wheel not too far away.
10 BIG days out in Melbourne these school holidays
Need to make an impression these school holidays? Choose something that they won’t forget in a hurry. These brag-worthy activities are sure to hit the mark when they return to school.
Virtual Reality Escape Rooms Melbourne
Apsis VR hosts the best Virtual Reality Escape Rooms Melbourne has experienced! They focus on team-based puzzle solving with story-driven adventures. They’re a favourite in the Melbourne CBD for the school holidays! Kids above the age of 10 can play as a team together in a virtual world to solve puzzles, discover new adventures and learn powerful communication and teamwork skills!
Get ready for a completely immersive 3D experience with unbelievable graphics and worlds of incredible scale and detail. With up to 6 players in each game, you’ll each have your own dedicated space to stand and move. Use your hands, body and mind to solve challenges by drinking shrinking potions, climbing buildings or using your body’s in-built tech. Talk through your mission together, and you’ve always got us to help. The clock is ticking, are you ready?
Take your ocean lovers to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium where they can learn and play. Find out about marine creatures while also enjoying watching sharks and rays get fed.
Legoland Discovery Centre
Conveniently located in the Chadstone Shopping Centre, Legoland lets kids explore the exciting LEGO-themed rides, replicas of local and global landmarks made out of millions of LEGO bricks in MINILAND, five LEGO build and play areas, as well as a 4D cinema.
Ride Puffing Billy
Experience the beautiful rainforest of the Dandenong Ranges and ride an iconic steam train! Puffing Billy was constructed in the early 1900’s and today, with it’s open sided carriages, allows the imagination of children to run wild.
If you really want to get away from it all, spend a day at Philip Island. With beautiful coastlines, stunning scenery and activities for everyone, you probably won’t want to leave! Stay on and enjoy the evening penguin parade, a truly unforgettable event.
More than 70 wildlife species await you at the Moonlit Sanctuary. Experience an animal encounter, listen to a zoo keeper or even take a night tour at this sanctuary less than an hour from Melbourne Central.
Forget waiting for the perfect wave these summer holidays, URBN Surf Park offers the perfect wave all year round! The waves are always rolling in and you can choose your level or for the beginners, take a lesson.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
See giraffes, hippos, rhinos and so much more at this incredible open range zoo. With education and exhibits to excite the imagination, a day out here is something the whole family will enjoy. We went to the Werribee Open range Zoo and wrote a detailed review here.
What do you get when you cross a zoo with a water park? A whole world of FUN! Gumbuya World is exactly that – visit the zoo to see animals up close, relax in the rockpools or race your friends down the slides.
Tour the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Go behind the scenes at this iconic Melbourne venue and walk on the oval where many historic sporting moments have occurred. Home to cricket and football, the ‘G’ as it is affectionately known, will delight the sporting fans in your family. Families tip: Take the tram to add to the excitement and forget about the stress of parking.
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel – permanently closed
Sadly the Melbourne Wheel has permanently closed. Take a look at the website here.
5 things to do at home these school holidays
When you just can’t leave the house, these stay at home activities will be crowd pleasers with the kids. Sometimes the best memories are made in your own home.
Go on a treasure hunt
Make a list of things you can easily find in your backyard and send the kids out to find them. Make it even more interesting by getting them to draw some things as well.
Build a cubby house with sheets
Building a cubby never gets old. Grab some sheets, towels and their favourite toys and make a cubby under the kitchen table.
Put on a show
Give the kids a theme and ask them to put on a show. Let them raid your wardrobe for costumes. You might be amazed with what they perform.
Plant a veggie garden
Getting kids outside is always a great idea. Grab some seeds from your local nursery or hardware store and start a veggie patch. It is a great way for kids to interact with nature and see where food comes from.
Make your own jigsaw puzzle
Ask you kids to do a drawing and then cut it into shapes. Watch them enjoy trying to put it all back together again. Tip: Glue the picture onto cardboard first to give it a solid backing before cutting it out.
Theatres with kids shows on in Melbourne these school holidays
If you are looking for something a little different, take a look at these venues who all offer family friendly shows and programs over the school holidays.
Arts Centre Melbourne
Located on the banks of the Yarra River, Arts Centre Melbourne really does embrace families and children. Not only do they host a range of kids show and workshops, but they also offer interactive experiences for little ones, designed to spark wonder in them.
This beautiful theatre was founded in 1839 and offers shows to surprise and delight families these holidays. Families tip: Located in the CBD, you can catch a show at the theatre then enjoy a free ride on the city circle tram ride!
Fun activities in Melbourne at night with kids
We have a whole article dedicated to things to do in Melbourne at night have have broken the list into toddler, younger kids and teens to help you plan your school holidays.
Melbourne kids holiday ideas
If you’re looking for more things to do in Victoria for the school holidays, click here.
Soooo…. what do you think? Plenty of Melbourne days out ideas here to keep you and the kids entertained for the whole school holidays? These Melbourne holiday ideas are updated every term, so remember to bookmark this page. If you re looking or things to do in Melbourne with teenagers, then read this article too!
Let us know if we missed your favourite or if you would like us to add your venue or event!
Even more VIC school holiday ideas:
If you are heading off on a Victorian road trip these school holidays check out our other articles:
- Bendigo school holiday activities
- Geelong school holiday activities
- Ballarat school holiday activities
- Warrnambool school holiday activities
And if you are heading to our nations capital, we have listed he best school holiday activities in Canberra too!