It can be tough finding school holiday programs in Sydney with everything else that we have to do as parents. School holidays are a time when parents have a lot of things to juggle. Finding the right vacation care is so important in balancing kids, families, work and other important responsibilities.
Sydney 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. We are lucky to have so many options in Sydney – soccer, coding, gymnastics, painting, robotics, animal encounters – list is endless! Fortunately we have you covered with the best childcare during school holidays.
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 Sydney, check out our free, cheap and BIG days out in Sydney article.
Sydney is such a great place to holiday that locals and visitors will be spoilt 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 Sydney that will make both you and the kids extremely happy.
If you are looking for school holiday ideas for teenagers in Sydney, we can help!
Please note – you may find that the Childcare Subsidy can be applied to some of these Sydney school holiday programs which are well worth investigating.
State schools finish on Tuesday 19 December and return to class on Friday 28 January 2024.
Summer school holidays in NSW are Wednesday 20 December to Thursday 27 January.
To help you we have broken our school holiday programs Sydney guide into sections.
- STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths vacation care options
- Sydney School holiday camps – sports & exercise
- Vacation care programs with animals in Sydney
- Performing arts school holiday workshops in Sydney
- Get art and crafty at these kids holiday programs in Sydney
- PCYC vacation care options in Sydney
- YMCA vacation care options in Sydney
- Fun activities in Sydney at night with kids
- School holiday programs in Sydney
- Even more NSW school holiday ideas:
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 Sydney 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.
The Australian Museum (AM) offers a range of educational activities to keep your kids entertained. Discover science and culture through a diverse program of interactive workshops for kids aged 5 to 16 years at the Australian Museum these school holidays!
This summer, explore the world of Ancient Egypt through a program of engaging and enjoyable learning experiences.
The AM is open every day of the school holidays, with free general entry! Only a short walk from Museum and St James train stations, the AM is easy to get to, and there is paid parking nearby for a visit whether it’s raining or a sunny day out.
Sydney Olympic Park
When you think of Olympic Park, STEM programs may not come to mind, but you will be surprised! Kids will be challenged and their curiosity encouraged, as they engage in activities like coding, robotics, learning about the human body and building creations with motorised Lego. Activities are play based and very social, encouraging confidence in kids and making new friends along the way.
Do your kids say things like ‘I want to create a Mars Rover and collection moon rocks!’? If so, then a coding and robotics day at Skill Samurai is where they need to be these holidays. Kids will have fun making their own inventions while also participating in unplugged STEM challenges throughout the day. A great way to encourage creative thinking and healthy uses of technology.
Tinker Tank believes in future proofing kids and they do this through a fantastic range of programs across 2 Sydney venues. Let their imagination come to life as kids do not only coding, but 3D printing, animation, or robotics. Kids work in groups to solve fun and challenging tasks, encouraging teamwork and friendship. Half and full day workshops are available.
Life Skills Centre for Kids
Let the creativity and ingenuity flow at a Life Skills Centre for Kids workshop. Experiments help kids develop a love of science and it is made fun by the inclusion of things like magic tricks! Or maybe a robotics workshop or coding challenge is more to their liking. A day here is a day filled with stories when they get home!
Sydney 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, Sydney 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.
Youth in the City school holiday program
The Youth in the City school holiday programs are for young people aged 13 to 18 years, or those under 13 enrolled in high school.
Program details and costs:
- Monday 1 January – No program – Public holiday
- Tuesday 2 January – 10am to 4pm – Movies on George – $8
- Wednesday 3 January – 9am to 4pm – Cables water ski park – $25
- Thursday 4 January – 10am to 4pm – Mexican cooking and board games – $5
- Friday 5 January – 10am to 4pm – Swimming at Des Renford pool – $5
- Monday 8 January – 10am to 4pm – VR escape room – $35
- Tuesday 9 January – 10am to 4pm – Surfing lessons – $26
- Wednesday 10 January – 10am to 4pm – Luna Park – $20
- Thursday 11 January – 10am to 4pm – Archery tag – $20
- Friday 12 January – 10am to 4pm – Disco ice skating – $10
- Monday 15 January – 10am to 4pm – Snorkelling at Clovelly – $5
- Tuesday 16 January – 10am to 4pm – Fortress Sydney – $30
- Wednesday 17 January – 10am to 4pm – Laser tag and bowling – $25
- Thursday 18 January – 10am to 4pm – Bingo and trivia – $5
- Friday 19 January – 10am to 4pm – Raging waters – $25
- Monday 22 January – 9am to 4pm – Jamberoo Park – $30
- Tuesday 23 January – 10am to 4pm – Stand-up paddle boarding – $28
- Wednesday 24 January – 10am to 4pm – Robotics and Art – $7
- Thursday 25 January – 10am to 4pm – IMAX – $8
- Friday 26 January – No program – Pubic holiday
Sydney Olympic Park
Sydney Olympic Park is a wonderful destination for kids, especially during the school holidays. Not only are there activities for kids of all ages, but many of the venues run school holiday specific programs. Volleyball, soccer, tennis, netball, water polo and archery are just some of the holiday camps on offer. They even have school holiday swimming programs for those who love the water.
Le Ray Gymnastics
If you have a future gymnast in the family, send them along to a Le Ray Gymnastics holiday camp. Full day and half day camps are held in a number of venues across Sydney and are all about building key skills like confidence, strength, flexibility and focus. No experience is needed, just a willingness to have fun.
Hunters Hill sailing camps
Get the kids out on the water and learning to sail these holidays. A number of different programs are available from the Hunters Hill Sailing Club, from introductory through to tips and tricks for more experienced sailors. Those who love the water can even book in for a 5 day program. A great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy some school holiday fun.
Try something totally new and exciting these school holidays with a fencing camp. Fencing is a fun, safe and inclusive sport (anyone can do it) and a school holiday camp at NSW Fencing is a great way to learn how. Instructors spend time teaching kids the basics so they are confident and learn the art of swordsmanship. Come along with friends or make there here at either a 1, 2 or 3 day camp.
Sydney Uni camps
Sydney Uni has been running holiday camps for years and they know what kids love. Camps are broken up by age group (5-12 and 10-15) and Sydney Uni prides itself on having instructors who love (and are great at) working with young people. Kids can try a mix of sports like netball, tennis, rugby and cricket or book in for a specific sport of choice. Single or multi day camps are available.
The Camp Australia school holiday program is called Rocketeers, an action packed and exciting program full of extraordinary holiday adventures. Days are broken up based on 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.
Vacation care programs with animals in Sydney
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.
Australian Reptile Park
Home to more than 2000 animals (and not all reptiles!) the Australian Reptile Park is a great place for animal loving kids to attend a half day or full day holiday camp. Located just an hour out of Sydney kids can learn about what it takes to be a zookeeper and get ‘behind the scenes’ in the park. Big and Little Kids zookeeper programs are on offer and kids have the chance to feed and handle animals like snakes, lizards, frogs, birds, mammals and even alligators!
Be a mini zookeeper for a day at the Sydney Zoo! Learn what it takes to look after animals, big and small, and get hands on feeding and caring for them. Kids can help prepare food for the animals and participate in daily cleaning duties, ask questions of the zookeeper and learn about conservation and why it’s important. This full day program is open for kids aged 8-12 years but books out early so get in quick.
Eastside Riding Academy horse riding camp
Spend some time these holidays on the back of a majestic horse. Eastside Riding Academy is conveniently located in Centennial Park and offer 1, 2 and 3 day camps. Each day consists of 2 rides and kids are taught by experienced coaches who help build their confidence in a fun and engaging way. As well as riding, kids will learn how to groom and care for horses and much more. Open to school aged kids.
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 NSW runs half and full day school holiday camps at a number of shelters and kids can get up close and personal with animals like dogs, cats, ducks and maybe even a donkey! Daily activities can include cleaning enclosures, preparing food and a tour of the shelter and veterinary hospital. Make some new furry friends these holidays.
This iconic Sydney zoo offers the chance for 5-10 year old’s to be a zookeeper for a day. Learning about the animals and the environment they live in is key to this special day. Taronga Zoo is conveniently located just outside the city and is easily accessible by public transport. Book early to avoid missing out on this popular program.
Performing arts school holiday workshops in Sydney
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!
Sydney Dance Company Summer School Holiday Workshops
This summer, Sydney Dance Company will host its Summer School Holiday Workshops at its Studios in the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct and the iconic Bondi Pavilion from 2-25 January.
Young dancers aged 5-18 years will have fun developing their dance skills while being taught by the best in the industry. With various streams on offer from beginner jazz, contemporary, ballet and more, there’s a workshop for every age and skill level.
Camp Blue is an American Style camp in the heart of Manly. 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!
Startime holiday camps are held across a number of locations in Sydney and including creative workshops like filmmaking, performing arts, robotics and so much more. These holiday workshops give your child the chance to learn important life skills like courage, commitment and communication through exciting and engaging activities. Kids can make their own scary movie, perform songs from musicals, learn cartoon drawing techniques or design their own clothing label – and that’s just a few!
Waverley Woollahra Art School
The Waverley Woollahra Art School offers a fantastic school holiday art program for kids aged 6-15 years. Kids can explore their creative and artistic side in either a half day or full day workshop organised by age group and class. Drawing, painting, pottery and collage are just some of the classes available. Classes include all materials and are run by artists experienced in working with children.
Sydney Youth Orchestras
Let their voices soar these holidays at a Sydney Youth Orchestra holiday camp. These camps are designed to explore creativity and music making while focusing on personal development. Specifically designed for high school students focusing on music, these camps are a great way to access experienced teachers and musicians to further their learning.
Sydney Dance Company
Get the kids on the dancefloor and enrol them in a Sydney Dance Company school holiday workshop. The doors are open to kids from 5 years to 18 years across a range of programs. Little ones can take part in beginner workshops while older kids and teenagers can spend a day in an area of their choice – contemporary dance, hip hop or a commercial dance masterclass. Taught by Sydney Dance Company staff these workshops are sure to be sought after so get in quick.
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 location in Sydney so find your closest one.
Get art and crafty at these kids holiday programs in Sydney
Let’s get creative at one of these school holiday programs Sydney. 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.
Life Skills Centre for Kids
The Life Skills Centre for Kids boasts an impressive range of activities in their school holiday program, including a young artists program, a sculptors program and fashion and jewellery design program. And that’s only a few! There are a number of venues hosting the program across Sydney, so be sure to check out what’s on and where before you go.
Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into the quiet creative space of the Tennyson Studio. This studio encourages creativity through a number of modalities including clay, acrylic painting, ceramics painting and more. Workshops are either half day, full day or 2 days and kids can walk away with the piece they made, making great keepsakes or gifts. All materials are included.
Little Ginger Studio
Want to send the kids along to a creative, fun and messy day out and not worry about cleaning up? Sign up for a Little Ginger Studio school holiday workshop and just wait till you see what they create. This studio is designed for KIDS and the holiday program lets kids of all ages engage in art through things like nature, STEM, crafting and other activities of their choice. This bright and colourful studio is sure to inspire the artistic side of your kids.
Artest Art School
Artest Art School has a school holiday program with a wide variety of options to choose from. Pottery, sculpture, mixed media, textile and even cartoon drawing classes are on offer in this studio conveniently located in Sydney’s inner west, with plenty of parking available. Workshops run for either half a day or full day workshops and all materials are included.
A Story Squad workshop is a must for all kids with a big imagination or who love to read. The staff are passionate about creative writing and storytelling and want to get kids excited about it from a young age. The school holiday workshops include activities such as creating your own book, illustrating a book, solving crimes and creating your own comic book!
Professor Plums is all about science and discovery. Learning through play, demonstrations and hands on activities kids will engage in adventures like becoming a Viking or living as a roman for a day, including creating your own shield and sword. Professor Plums focuses on participation and team building so is a great way for kids to build confidence and make new friends.
The Helping Hands vacation care program is so varied it’s hard to narrow it down! Sporting activities, excursions, arts and craft and museum exploration days are just some of the things your kids can enjoy. Parents can relax knowing experienced educators are spending the day making sure kids have the best day possible.
PCYC vacation care options in Sydney
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 great school holiday workshops including both sporting and creative activities. Think gymnastics, boxing, pirate days and coding to name a few! Make sure you take a look at the PCYC vacation care programs near you.
Find PCYC holiday programs in these suburbs in Sydney:
- City of Sydney – Woolloomooloo
- Eastern Suburbs
- Mount Druitt
- Northern Beaches
- North Sydney
- South Sydney
- St George
Families tip: PCYC NSW also do some great outside school holiday care activities including before and after school care.
YMCA vacation care options in Sydney
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 inspires your kids. 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 Sydney:
- Bankstown City
- Mount Annan Leisure Centre
- St Ives
Fun activities in Sydney at night with kids
We have a whole article dedicated to things to do in Sydney at night have have broken the list into toddler, younger kids and teens to help you plan your school holidays.
School holiday programs in Sydney
So what do you think? Do we have vacation care in Sydney 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 NSW school holiday ideas:
If you are heading north these school holidays check out these helpful guides:
- Newcastle & Central Coast school holiday activities
- Port Macquarie school holiday activities
- Coffs Harbour School holiday activities
- Byron Bay school holiday activities
If you are heading south these school holidays, these holiday ideas might help:
And if you are heading to our nations capital, we have listed he best school holiday activities in Canberra too!