When it comes to finding the best school holiday activities on the Gold Coast, we have you covered. It can be tough for parents to continually come up with 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 choose what works best for you and your family.
The Gold Coast is truly one of Queensland’s gems and has a range of December/January summer school holiday activities on offer, from swimming to putt putt golf to glow worms! Gold Coast locals are incredibly lucky to have pristine beaches and nature on their doorstep and with so many things to do in school holidays on the Gold Coast, 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 on the Gold Coast.
We have compiled the complete guide to the best school holiday activities on the Gold Coast over the December/January summer school holidays to help make your life so much easier!
State schools finish on Friday 10 December 2021 and return to class on Monday 24 January 2022.
Summer school holidays in Queensland are Saturday 11 December 2021 to Sunday 23 January 2022.
Fun things to do for the Gold Coast school holidays
We have broken our list of Gold Coast school holiday activities into sections to help you:
- Fun things to do for the Gold Coast school holidays
- 10 fun free school holiday activities on the Gold Coast
- 10 fun cheap school holiday activities
- 10 BIG days out on the Gold Coast these school holidays
- 5 things to do at home these school holidays
- Theatres with kids shows on the Gold Coast these school holidays
- Fun activities on the Gold Coast at night with kids
- Gold Coast kids holiday ideas
- Even more QLD 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 fun free school holiday activities on the Gold Coast
Who doesn’t love a free day out! We have compiled a list of our favourite free things to do on the Gold Coast with kids. A swim in the rock pools, a family walk and days at the best parks, these are some of the best things to do on the Gold Coast without spending a dime. Check out our list of great family activities on the Gold Coast.
Currumbin Rock Pools
These secret rock pools are a true delight, especially on a warm day. Kids can swing from ropes, jump off ledges, or just enjoy splashing each other! A short drive from Currumbin Beach, bring the kids here for a day out that will be sure to tire them out!
Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area & Parklands Reserves
If you want to get out into nature these school holidays, these parklands are perfect. You can ride, run, walk or just spend time watching the incredible bird and animal life. The Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area is home to more than 270 species, so it is a great place to do some animal spotting.
Set right on the water, this park boasts a jumping pillow, flying fox and a monorail track. Bring the bikes and scooters because there is a mini traffic course as well. If that’s not enough, they can splash in the water play area or swim in the swimming enclosure.
Snorkel Tallebudgera Creek
If you have any water babies in your family, bring them all to snorkel Tallebudgera Creek. See turtles, fish and crabs occasionally dolphins in this beautiful creek or maybe you prefer to go kayaking or paddle boarding. Families tip: There can be strong currents so only swim at the top of the tide.
Burleigh Beach has to be the pick of the bunch of beaches on the Gold Coast. With more protected waters than other beaches, it is great for a family day out. Have a barbeque or grab some fish and chips from one of the many shops along the water.
Set on the river with a huge playground, this park will be a winner these school holidays. Bring a picnic lunch – or a barbeque – and just enjoy being outside. With more than 50 car parks, getting there is really a breeze.
Visit the library
If you are after a little down time these school holidays, why not visit one of the Gold Coast libraries. With libraries scattered from Coomera to Coolangatta, there is sure to be one near you. Check out the kids activities these school holidays or Story Time all year round.
Springbrook National Park
Just west from the Gold One is the beautiful Springbrook National Park. With a range of bushwalks, you will find one that is perfect for your family. We love the Natural Bridge walk as it is one of the most kid friendly and spectacular sections of the Springbrook National Park.
Nerang National Park
This largely untouched national park is heaven for those who love being outdoors. Bushwalk, cycle or even ride a horse through this piece of pristine nature.
Locals claim this to be one of the best parks on the Gold Coast for kids. Boasting a range of brightly coloured equipment for kids of all ages it has a pirate ship and a pedal-powered monorail circling the playground, as well as all the usual equipment kids love. Families tip: The park is fenced, giving you piece of mind bringing little ones here.
10 fun cheap school holiday activities
Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre
The Gold Coast City Council operates a number of pools on the Gold Coast, most with kids facilities, however the Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre offers a splash tunnel, tipping buckets and splash pad area the kids will love.
Gold Coast Indoor Go Karting and Activity Centre
Visit the Gold Coast’s largest indoor family entertainment centre and find something for everyone. Inside you will find Junior (1-12yo) and Adult Go Karting, Clip N Climb Adventure rock climbing, the challenging Leap of Faith experience, super hi tech Lazer Tag, indoor Zip Coaster, GO-VR experiences and more.
Gold Coast Hop On Hop Off All Day Ferry Pass
What better way to see the Gold Coast than from the water. Cruise the stunning Gold Coast waterways and enjoy this unique experience, with unlimited stops at five iconic destinations along the way. Gold Coast’s only Hop On Hop Off Ferry, is great value day out with something for everyone.
Gold Coast Aqua Park
Get wet at the Gold Coast’s only inflatable water park. Jump, climb and slide your way around 300m of inflatable obstacles. Life jackets are provided for all participants. This is one of our most favourite things to do on the Gold Coast with teenagers. If you want a full list of ideas for teenagers on the Gold Coast, then read this article.
Journey into a futuristic, maze-like world of wonder. Be transported into another dimension filled with unique special effects, atmospheric sound fields, ultra-groovy music and illusions that appear to go all the way to – Infinity.
Get inside art at this truly unique experience at this ‘trick-art’ gallery. Bring your camera to pose on the side of a cliff, surfing or next to a wild animal! Conveniently located in Robina Town Centre, this is a must for the family these holidays.
Aquaduck Gold Coast City Tour and River Cruise
Thrill the kids these holidays by taking them on a bus that swims! The Aquaduck goes straight from the road to the water on a tour that takes you around the coast. Families tip: Kids will love getting to drive and receive their FREE Captain Aquaduck license certificate.
King Tutt’s Putt Putt – permanently closed
Nothing says fun more than a themed putt putt course – unless it is THREE themed putt putt courses! Kings Tutt’s Putt Putt has a range of themed courses for your to check out and to challenge your family with.
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is the Gold Coast’s only dedicated Aboriginal cultural centre and is fully owned and operated by the local Aboriginal community. Go on a guided walk, experience a dance performance or visit the cultural centre.
Mt Tamborine Glow Worm Caves
The Mt Tamborine Glow Worm Caves are purpose-built, realistic caves where your kids can get up close to, and learn about these fascinating local insects.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Experience walking through the treetops at the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. This 1.5km round trip track is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and winds along the ground as well as lifting you high into the air.
10 BIG days out on the Gold Coast these school holidays
Every holiday needs some big days out. Take a look at our list of top places to visit on the Gold Coast that will leave the kids with some something to brag about.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
A visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a staple any school holidays. The sanctuary has been conserving wildlife for over 70 years and it is easy to spend a day here enjoying the animals and their surrounds.
Gold Coast Hinterland Treetop Challenge
If you are looking for some adventure these school holidays, the visit Gold Coast’s Tamborine Mountain for a rainforest adventure with high ropes, flying foxes and over 85 individual challenges. View this slice of nature from high up in the trees.
Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat
Enjoy a day with some majestic creatures at the Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat. Whether you are an experienced rider or looking to learn, there are lessons for all age and experience levels.
iFLY Indoor Skydiving Gold Coast
Get your adrenalin pumping these school holidays by doing some skydiving! iFLY lets you re-enact the experience of a skydive from 14,000 from the safety of glass tunnel.
Skypoint Observation Deck
Enjoy sweeping views of the greater Gold Coast region from the SkyPoint Observation Deck located in the iconic Q1 building. Popular with locals and tourists, SkyPoint offers uninterrupted 360° views.
Binna Burra Lodge
Binna Burra Lodge is not just a place to stay, they also offer an awesome range of activities for kids and families and you don’t have to be a guest at the lodge to join in. Kids can enjoy the flying fox, archery or just enjoy the adventure playground.
Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Ride
Take to the skies on a majestic hot air balloon journey. Experience true 360° views of the Gold Coast and it’s hinterland. Just be prepared for the early start!
Paradise Country Farm
Experience an authentic outback ranch and get up close and personal with the animals! Learn about life on a farm with educational shows on sheep shearing, boomerang throwing, stock whip handling, and more!
Village Roadshow theme parks
The Gold Coast is well known for theme parks and a holiday really isn’t a holiday without a visit to at least one of them! Learn about our oceans and sea life at Seaworld, experience the Hollywood life at Movie World or just have a splashing good day out at Wet and Wild. Choose your favourite – or visit all three – these school holidays.
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 the Gold Coast these school holidays
HOTA – Home of the Arts
With workshops, theatre, music and comedy happening all year round, HOTA really is a wonderful place for kids. Centrally located in Surfers Paradise it is easily accessible via public transport.
Fun activities on the Gold Coast at night with kids
We have a whole article dedicated to things to do on the Gold Coast at night and we have broken the list into toddler, younger kids and teens to help you plan your school holidays.
Gold Coast kids holiday ideas
If you’re looking for more things to do in Queensland, click here.
Soooo…. what do you think? Plenty of Gold Coast days out ideas here to keep you and the kids entertained for the whole school holidays? These Gold Coast holiday ideas are updated every term, so remember to bookmark this page.
If you are heading over the border, we also have school holiday ideas for Byron Bay.
Let us know if we missed your favourite or if you would like us to add your venue or event!
Even more QLD school holiday ideas:
If you are heading north these Queensland school holidays check out our other articles:
- Cairns school holiday activities
- Townsville school holiday activities
- Mackay school holiday activities
- Rockhampton school holiday activities
- Gladstone school holiday activities
- Bundaberg school holiday activities
- Hervey Bay school holiday activities
- Sunshine Coast school holiday activities
- Brisbane school holiday activities