The struggle to find decent school holiday programs that the kids will love is real. Finding vacation care that fits with work, busy schedules and other responsibilities can be tough and time consuming. How can parents even know where to start?
Melbourne school holiday programs are a great option for busy families. These vacation care programs are often half day or full day programs, giving flexibility to busy parents. Melbourne is a city full of endless options – AFL, coding, dance, painting, robotics, animal encounters – the list is endless! Fortunately we have you covered with the best childcare during school holidays in Melbourne.
Melbourne is such a great place to holiday that locals and visitors will be spoiled for choice with the school holiday camps and vacation care ideas we have for you (including winter holiday camps and summer holiday camps). Take a look at our extensive list of school holiday programs in Melbourne that will make both you and the kids extremely happy.
If you are after school holiday ideas for activities that are only for an hour or two or for places to take the kids with you to enjoy school holiday activities in Melbourne, check out our free, cheap and BIG days out in Melbourne article. If you are after ideas specifically for teenagers, then read this article here.
Summer school holiday dates:
State schools finish on Wednesday 20 December and return to class on Monday 30 January 2024.
Summer school holidays in Victoria are Thursday 21 December to Sunday 29 January 2024.
To help you we have broken our school holiday programs Melbourne guide into sections.
- STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths vacation care options
- Performing arts school holiday workshops
- School holiday camps – sports & exercise
- Vacation care programs with animals
- Get art and crafty at these kids holiday programs
- PCYC vacation care options in Melbourne
- YMCA vacation care options in Melbourne
- School holiday programs in Melbourne
- Even more Vic school holiday ideas
- Summer school holiday dates:
STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths vacation care options
If you have a child that would prefer a screen to sport, then we have some great vacation care program ideas that don’t involve sitting mindlessly in front of a screen. These STEM holiday programs Melbourne will have kids interacting, making friends and learning, all while doing something they love!
Code Camp – for the best school holidays ever!
Let Code Camp inspire your children to get creative with technology these holidays, learn some valuable new skills, have fun and make new friends. With a wide range of in-person camps and online programs available, there really is something for everyone. Choose from beginner to advanced coding camps, robotics, stop-motion animation, DJing, video production and so much more!
What’s New? Code Camp is launching brand new camps this summer!
Kids can learn to code with DreamWorks Trolls! At Little Coders: Trolls Edition, 5-7 year olds will take their first steps on their coding journey banding together with their favourite characters. At Spark and Ignite, kids 7-12 years can code and create an adventure game with Poppy, Viva, and Branch.
Plus, AI Camp where kids embark on an exciting journey into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most important technology of a generation. Young minds discover the wonders of AI and its fun and practical applications in our everyday lives and create their own comic book using AI!
Your favourites are also back this season including Minecraft Engineers (for kids 7-12), Minecraft Minis (for kids 5-7), and Roblox Legends (for kids 7-10). Robotics Camp and Drone Camp are also running this summer, offering the coolest few days of STEM learning and fun.
Bricks for Kidz
Build, learn and play with Lego! What a fun way to spend the holidays, with the added bonus of learning! This EDUtainment program encourages creativity and allows kids to build Lego models while building confidence and problem solving skills. During breaktimes kids are encouraged to spend time outside to really round off the day. Primary school aged kids and above are welcome to attend a full or half day workshop at one of their venues.
It’s science time at Swinburne University and your kids don’t even have to be old enough for university! The PrimeSCI program makes science fun and engaging for kindergarten to Year 8 kids. These fun hands on science and engineering workshops are sure to spark the interest and love of science and learning in your child. Let their inner Albert Einstein shine!
The world is becoming increasingly more digital and STEM Birds wants to help kids find their place. Offering workshops in robotics and coding, kids can learning the basics of coding and robotics while having fun. During this full day program kids will build their own robot and then take home a robotics machine – a wonderful way to encourage continued learning.
These kids school holiday camps are a wacky way to make science stick! Each day program has one theme and comprises activities based around that theme to help solidify learning. Fun is the key and innovation is encouraged. A great way to make new friends and develop a love of science. Held in a number of locations across Melbourne.
Performing arts school holiday workshops
If you have the next budding superstar in your family, send them along to one of these kids holiday programs which we know they will love. School holiday childcare is fun and engaging at any one of the workshops listed below because we know that having fun is FUNdamental to a good holiday!
Magic Camp – Learn Magic!
Awarded top kids program 2 years in a row!
Get ready to take an amazing adventure into the exciting world of magic.
The Magic Academy’s School Holiday Program “Magic Camp” is for kids aged 4-12 who want to learn incredible magic tricks, play awesome games, and make great friends!
The Melbourne Magic Academy exists to create more happiness, empathy and confidence in our kids, while adding a little magic to the world.
Action Drama Studio
The ADS drama camp is a 4 day/3 night residential camp for kids aged 14+, held in Healesville just outside Melbourne. This intensive program is filled with a diverse range of skill based workshops which is sure to impress. Departing from Melbourne (no need to drive them out of the city!) participants will also engage in team bonding and social activities to build confidence and essential life skills. This holiday camp is a must for drama lovers.
Little dancers will love taking part in a these school holiday clinics. Suitable for kids 6-12, they will do activities like a silent disco dance party, Disney themed pop yoga as well as other creative games. These full day school holiday workshops are a great way to encourage kids to move their body. Active kids are hungry kids, so morning and afternoon snacks are provided, but be sure to bring lunch.
Let your little inner performer immerse themselves in one of the one day or three day school holiday camps at Immerse Drama. Held in two convenient locations across Melbourne, these programs will let your kids explore story through music, dance and drama. With a focus on building confidence, encouraging creativity, communication and collaboration, kids will both upskill and enjoy themselves. Plus, kids get to put on a final performance, which is sure to leave lasting memories.
Kids of all ages will love the school holiday day camps on offer at NIDA. Creativity is encouraged as kids sing, dance, write, direct and act their way through all the workshops on offer. Children as young as 2 years old are welcome, with special creative play sessions on offer. Holiday programs for kids are held across locations in Melbourne so find your closest one.
Melbourne Performing Arts Academy
Full day and half day camps are on offer at this school holiday childcare option. Conveniently located in Melbourne’s inner north, kids can try their hand at a number of instruments or have vocal training. Lessons are focused on creating a fun and engaged learning environment. Let the music flow these school holidays.
School holiday camps – sports & exercise
We know that sport is an important (and fun!) part of childhood and we want to make sure that includes the holidays. Thankfully, Melbourne has some amazing Australian sports camps that kids can be a part of. We have listed out the best holiday camps for kids that will that will get them moving and off the screens.
Cave Hill Creek
Just a 2 hour drive from Melbourne, but a world away is Cave Hill Creek, offering residential camps for kids aged 8-14 years. Kids will enjoy 4 nights away with activities like canoeing, abseiling, archery and sleeping under the stars. Cave Hill Creek holiday camps for kids are a wonderful way to break up the holidays and give busy parents some much needed down time. Camps are limited and sell out quick.
It’s time for the primary school kids to have fun! Team Kids provides fun, engaging and entertaining programs designed with kids in mind. They are owned and run by teachers, so parents can relax knowing that the holiday care is of the highest standard. They even offer school holiday swimming programs! Venues are located all over Melbourne so jump on the website to find your closest one.
The Camp Australia school holiday program is called Rocketeers, an action packed and exciting program full of extraordinary holiday adventures. Days are broken up around types of activities including incursions and excursions that are based on what the kids and families want to do. Be sure to check out the website to find a program near you.
Ever thought about playing professional AFL? Well the Saints football club offers school holiday programs that can help get you started or draft ready! These programs are for boys and girls aged 10-18 and are held in different Melbourne locations. Designed to inspire budding football superstars, these clinics are sure to sell out quick so get in fast.
Get moving on wheels these holidays, with Ramp Camp! Ramp Camp is a school holiday program run by Ramp Fest where confident skaters aged 6-14 can enjoy a day, or even 3, 4 or 5 days of fun. Ride, skate or scooter through the day and learn new tricks and skills. Ramp Fest encourages teamwork and kids are grouped together and given challenges to compete.
Vacation care programs with animals
These holiday care programs will have the kids finding their new best (furry) friend. While bringing home a pet isn’t always an option, kids will have the opportunity to spend time with some incredible creatures at these school holiday clinics.
Head behind the scenes to understand what it is really like to care for animals at the Werribee Zoo Keeper for a Day program. Their kids holiday programs are sure to be a hit with kids, with daily duties like animal enrichment and exhibit maintenance. See animals up close and give your friends an experience to be jealous of.
RSPCA School Holiday Program
A wonderful way for children and teenagers to learn about the welfare of animals is to spend a day caring for them. The RSPCA runs school holiday camps at a number of shelters and kids can get up close and personal with animals like dogs, cats, ducks and horses. Daily activities can include cleaning enclosures, preparing food and a tour of the shelter and veterinary hospital. Make some new furry friends these holidays.
Encourage your child’s love of horses with the Racing Victoria Saddle Up program. Primary school aged kids are invited to engage in horse-related activities like designing your own jockey hat, taking part in the Golden Horses team challenge and having their photos taken at the finishing post! Held at some of Victoria’s most picturesque racecourses, these one day camps are sure to be popular.
Have a splash-tacular time these holidays at Sealife Melbourne. Kids vacation care ideas have never looked so good, because what could beat an underwater adventure! Kids aged 7-12 can join the Ocean Rangers program and those aged 12-18 can be an Aquarist for a day. Go behind the scenes and enjoy animal interactions and feedings. Programs days are broken up based on age group, so make sure you check the website before you go.
Junior wildlife lovers will love taking part in the Junior Keeper Club at Moonlit Sanctuary. Holiday programs for kids lets them interact with cockatoos, reptiles and nocturnal animals that usually aren’t seen by the general public! They will help with animal feeding and enjoy animal encounters, giving fabulous memories to take home. Add to that environmental activities and you have a fully packed day out.
Get art and crafty at these kids holiday programs
Let’s get creative at one of these school holiday programs Melbourne. Kids can paint, draw, sculpt, create or engage is storytelling at any of these great holiday camps. You will be amazed what they will come home with.
Street Art Workshops
The Blender Studios & Melbourne Street Tours actively present a range of hands-on classes and workshops, allowing participants to learn new skills from top artists in the industry while having a blast. The famous Blender Studios serves as the venue for all workshops, offering a chance to connect with fellow artists and gain insights into their ongoing projects.
Melbourne Young Writers
If you believe the pen is mightier than the sword, then book your kids into one of the young writers holiday camps for kids put on by Melbourne Young Writers. Kids aged 7-13 are invited to either a one day or two day camp, both built around incredible stories that they can be a part of. Held in Fitzroy North, these camps will excite the imagination of kids and they will come away with a love of writing.
Merryl’s mosaics & glass studio
Half day and full day sessions are happening over the school holidays at this glass and fusion studio. Enjoy doing mosaics, glass fusing, jewellery making and more where kids can take home whatever they have made, giving a great sense of accomplishment. These colourful creations make wonderful keepsakes or gifts for family members.
Let the kids pick up a paintbrush and create a masterpiece. Held in a number of venues across Melbourne, the vacation care programs are dynamic and change every holiday, meaning kids can always experience something new. Classes are varied and kids can try and learn a number of skill and techniques while having fun. Full and half day workshops are available.
The National Gallery of Victoria offers FREE and stimulating school holiday fun for kids of all ages. The NGV is the oldest gallery in Australia, with more than 70,000 exhibitions. Activities on offer are inspired by these exhibitions and will nurture children’s creativity and love of art. They also offer free online events, activity sheets and games. Make sure you add it to your list of places to go.
Camp Blue is an American Style camp conveniently located in Windsor. Camp Blue offers kids a wonderful range of activities each day, including drama, dance, media, art & craft, sport and so much more. Days are broken up into 5 blocks so that kids can do 4 of their favourite activities plus a group activity. This is a great way to meet new friends in a fun and engaging environment. Book in for a minimum of 2 days or for the full 5 day week – the kids will thank you for it!
Junior Chef Experience at South Melbourne Markets
The South Melbourne Markets are a popular destination for both locals and tourists. This bustling market is home to a variety of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and gourmet foods to handmade crafts and clothing. In addition to the shopping experience, the markets offer a range of family-friendly activities, including kids’ school holiday programs.
The program will take kids (aka Junior Chefs!) on a hands-on shopping experience at the Market, in search of ingredients using a Clue Card. Parents/Carers will receive a Helper Card which has all the answers to the clues as well as what stalls the ingredients are available from. Kids can meet traders and learn about seasonal produce and food literacy throughout their journey, with excitement building as they try and figure out what the recipe might be!
With its lively atmosphere and exciting range of activities, the South Melbourne Markets are the perfect destination for families looking to spend a fun and memorable day out.
PCYC vacation care options in Melbourne
It can be hard to find cheap and affordable vacation care programs, but don’t worry PCYC has you covered with a PCYC holiday program that will keep the kids entertained all holidays. PCYC has a long history of community involvement and run some fun and adventurous school holiday workshops.
Find PCYC holiday programs in these suburbs in Melbourne:
- St Kilda
YMCA vacation care options in Melbourne
Kids school holiday camps are something that YMCA pride themselves on. YMCA is all about inspiring young people and as such, we are sure you will find a YMCA school holiday program that is fun and inspiring. Craft, cooking, swimming, STEM and sport are just some of the options available! Physical activity and inquisitive minds are key ingredients for any YMCA vacation care program so take a look at what’s on offer.
Find YMCA holiday programs in these suburbs in Melbourne:
- Burnside Heights
- Clyde North
- Craigieburn West
- Cranbourne North
- Cranbourne West
- Epping North
- North Balwyn
- Point Cook
- Taylors Hill
School holiday programs in Melbourne
So what do you think? Do we have vacation care in Melbourne covered? Have we missed any OOSH vacation care that you love and we need to know about? If so, let us know.
We think our childcare in school holidays options are so good that the kids will love them so much and will be begging to go back for the next school holidays!
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!