How to entertain your kids this school holidays

CURIOUS MINDS: Keep your kids amused these school holidays with workshops at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and amusing antics at Kryal Castle.
CURIOUS MINDS: Keep your kids amused these school holidays with workshops at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and amusing antics at Kryal Castle.

There is plenty to do in Ballarat during the coming school holidays. 

Discover the fun of making art with local art educators at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. 

The Gallery’s school holiday program is an opportunity for students to work with local professional artists and expand their art knowledge and skills while having fun.  All classes are supervised and artists have Working with Children Checks. Activities range from making your own mummy or mobile sculpture, to constructing wearable art and discovering microscopic worlds.

The Gallery will also be running a great interactive activity in the Ballarat Mining Exchange. Kids can enjoy discovering the meaning of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition in a workshop which brings together storytelling, physical activities and art-making activities. The activity which has been devised by Mexican-born Melburnian Leonardo Castañeda and will be delivered by local educators in association with MexVic, Victoria's social and cultural organisation for the Mexican community.

The two-hour workshops start at 10am and 1pm and all tickets are $5. For details visit artgalleryofballarat.com.au

Meanwhile, Robinhood returns to Kryal Castle these school holidays, his twisting tale unfolding every day of the school holidays around the castle grounds from 10 to 4pm. 

Highlights of the school holiday program include an archery contest, with the Sheriff of Nottingham enticing Robinhood into a wager to win the hand of Maid Marion. It culminates in a legendary battle, with the kingdom’s finest knights competing for victory in the Royal Joust. 

Other activities include the Dragon’s Labyrinth, the Wizard's Workshop, a pony/carriage ride and indoor archery. An absolute favourite is the knight training, where kids can take centrestage and learn the skills of knighthood, fighting under instruction from the knights with a sword and shield.       

Why not bring the entire family along to enjoy a four-course medieval feast, with diners entertained by medieval skits and games throughout the night, finishing with a fire performer. Tickets for the feast and show are $65 per adult and $32.50 for children every Saturday night.

HOLIDAY FUN: There are plenty of ways to spend the spring school holiday that don't involve forking out fistfuls of money. All you need is some mates and a rope.

HOLIDAY FUN: There are plenty of ways to spend the spring school holiday that don't involve forking out fistfuls of money. All you need is some mates and a rope.

Keeping the kids entertained in the holidays can often be a challenge, not to mention expensive for families. There are however, plenty of ways to keep the little people busy without having to dip into your wallet everyday. Getting outside and active is often the best way to stave off bouts of boredom and ensures bedtime isn’t a struggle at the end of the day. Here are some great ways to keep the boredom at bay next holidays. 

1. Build a fort or cubby

Grab the sheets or some blankets and let the kids have some fun constructing a fort or cubby house. Whether it’s inside under the dining table or out in the garden using the washing line and pegs, kids love to create a secret hideout for themselves.Try serving up a picnic in their den for some added fun. 

2. Picnic by the lake

We are fortunate to have beautiful Lake Wendouree at our doorstep and kids love nothing more than to spend a sunny day near the water, so why not plan a picnic at the Lake Wendouree Adventure Playground or nearby Botanical Gardens. Make the most of the whole day by packing some games and an esky full of food and cold drinks to keep everyone satisfied.

3. Give them some culture

Most local art galleries have some great programs and often free activities during the school holidays for young creative minds. 

Check websites for school holiday schedules at galleries throughout the goldfields region and release the inner artist in your children. Most galleries also boast a decent cafe for a pit stop to refuel hungry kids. 

4. Grow your own veggies

There’s nothing quite as satisfying than eating something you have grown yourself and it’s also an easy way to encourage the kids to eat their fruit and vegetables or try something new. The best part is you don’t need a large garden to get started. A small patch or raised bed will do. For those with limited space pots can work well, especially for balconies and courtyards. 

Allowing the kids to pick which seeds they would like to grow ensures they’ll stay interested in watering them until it’s time to taste the fruits of their labour. 

5. Head to the mall

The Bridge Mall or your local shopping centre may not sound like that much fun to the kids, but many malls provide attractions to keep the kids occupied in the holidays and attract parents who might need to shop. 

Not only can you take advantage and get some shopping done but the kids have an opportunity to play with other children while you’re there. There are lots of ways to keep the kids entertained whether you are at home or head into the great outdoors and many are free to do. 

Try mapping out some ideas in the run up to the holidays and allow the kids to have some input and suggest their own activities for the days ahead.

This is advertiser content for:

  • Kryal Castle
  • Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
  • Funbugs Playhouse
  • Paintball Games
  • Ararat City Council