20+ things to do these spring school holidays

Posted 26 Sep 2017

Story by Her Canberra

The spring season is upon us. And the spring school holidays are just around the corner.

Here’s how to spend the two weeks exploring, creating and learning.

Museum of Australian Democracy

Play Up at Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Looking for something to do during the first week of the school break? MOAD‘s program is affordable for everyone. There is a wide range of activities that will keep your kids happy and busy with creating zine stories, speech bubbles and “occupy” figures. Every participant of the program will have the opportunity to contribute their voice to the story of Play Up.

If you’re interested, make sure to reserve a place for your child. Bookings are essential due to a limited number of vacancies. You can pick a suitable day and a session time.

Happening 25-29 September. Cost: Child – $5.00, accompanying adult – $2.00 (museum entry). Booking: A Play Up, mixed up, mash up!

Canberra Centre


How do you combine a healthy lifestyle with lots of fun for the whole family? This spring holidays your family has the opportunity to participate in a family yoga class at Canberra Centre.

Angela Tonkin, Founder and Head Trainer of Be Happy Yoga, has worked closely with children and the purpose of these classes is to bring healthy and happy enhancements to the lives of others.

Happening 7 October, 11am- 12pm. Register hereFamily Yoga is recommended for ages 4 – 8. Registration includes a spot for one parent and one child.

The National Arboretum

Credit: Martin Ollman.

The National Arboretum invites kids and their parents to engage in some exciting activities planned during the school holidays.


Kids from age five and up are welcome to attend a special workshop and create your own kite to fly in what must be the best kite flying spot in Canberra! Bring your ideas and make them real during just one hour of this amazing workshop.

All participants take their own new kite home with them. Bookings are recommended but not essential.

Happening Monday 25 Sept and Monday 2 Oct at 11am to 3pm. Cost: $10 per child. For information, call 6207 8484


This workshop is for kids to learn more about the beauty of bonsai trees and create their own. The workshop includes a tour of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, a tour that is sure to provide inspiration for their own Bonsai project. Kids can pick materials and learn how to snip, sculpt and pot their own bonsai tree. Every participant can take their creations home.

Happening 26 September at 10.30am, 27 September and 29 September at 10.20am. Cost: $33.50 per child. Bookings are essential.


This workshop might be just as interesting for parents as it will be for kids. Join Wiradjuri artist Duncan Smith and have fun with music, painting and dancing. Learn how to chant along to the didgeridoo, then enjoy traditional indigenous face painting, boomerang painting and learn some dancing. Develop a wider understanding of the Wiradjuri indigenous culture and enjoy having a great time in the company of a talented artist.

Book your attendance here.

Happening 3-5-6 October from 2-3pm. Cost: $21.50 per child


Hear the famous stories of Natasha’s Wood from well-known Canadian storyteller Fay Maddison. Natasha is a young girl who writes little stories about magical unicorns, dragons, fairies and an enchanted tree. If you have young artists in your family who love fairy tales, this is a perfect event to attend. All participants will get a chance to help to illustrate the children’s picture book series for a good cause, as these books will help support families of first responders.

Make sure that you will book a spot for your kids.

Happening 3-4 October at 9.30am and 11.30am. Cost: Free

The Street Theatre


Credit: Migel Etherington

Built on the animation of images from Shaun Tan’s popular book, a fantastical world comes to life in a strange and wonderful metropolis full of floating ships, alien objects and weird animals. It is in this place that our hero Aki makes his home.

The Arrival is a fusion of Tan’s beautiful, surreal illustrations with exquisite puppetry, haunting music and fine acting.

The challenges, humour and adventures of arriving in a new country resonate with any arrival….a new school, a new job, a new town. The absence of words not only makes the story perfect for puppetry but emphasizes the isolation that is experienced by many people arriving in a new place. This is Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s most visually stunning and emotionally moving production to date and has been received with absolute critical claim.

Age Recommendation: Suitable for all ages, perfect for 5 and above. Tickets from $16.

Happening 27-30 September at various times, see PatronBase for more details and to purchase tickets.

Pialligo Estate

Mother and daughter are cooking

Pialligo Estate’s Academy is going miniature with cooking masterclasses for the little ones.

Pastry and pies and baking and decorating are all on the lineup for the spring school holidays with each two-hour course taking place in the gorgeous surrounds of Pialligo Estate.

Happening Tuesday 26 September and Tuesday 3 October at Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo. Find more information here

Tuggeranong Hyperdome

The Tuggeranong Hyperdome presents a range of activities for all kids to enjoy this school holidays.


Exciting news: iPlay is coming to the Hyperdome in time for the school holidays! It will be located on the upper level (near Coles). There are so many games and activities for kids to play, they’ll be entertained for hours. An official date hasn’t been announced, but keep an eye out for it to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Date and time TBC. 


Your little one can stuff their very own bear to take home—for just $7! It’s not just bears, there’s a total of 15 plush creatures on offer including cats, dogs, dragons, monsters, jungle animals and more.

Not only are the kids entertained, they also get to be creative and have a new toy to take home at the end. They’ll choose which friend they’d like to take home, use the Fluffenstuff Machine to bring them to life, and insert a love token in the love ceremony. They’ll also name their creation and record it on their Stufflers Birth Certificate.

Booking aren’t required, however, only the first 160 per day will be $7. After that, they’ll be $12—so get in quick to save. There’s also a range of bear accessories available at an additional cost, while stocks last.

 9:30am – 2pm, 25 to 29 September in Centre Court.


Transformers have been a big hit among kids all ages for years now, and this event is bound to be no exception! Hyperdrome’s Centre Court will be transformed into an interactive zone where kids can immerse themselves in Transformer-themed activities. They can get creative with mask-making, play interactive games and there’ll be photo opportunities available, too!

11am – 2pm, 25 to 29 September in Centre Court. 


It’s your chance to meet the lovable Gru and the Minions! They will all be in-centre live for a meet and greet, and of course to dance with everyone who comes along. Bring the kids and your dancing shoes for hours of entertainment.

Shows from 11am & 2pm, Meet & Greet at 12pm, from 2 to 6 October in Centre Court.


When it comes to the school holidays, the cinema is always a good option. Limelight is showing a great line up of kids’ films, including The Emoji Movie, Captain Underpants and The Lego Ninjago Movie. Grab some candy bar treats for the kids and settle in for some entertainment.

Check the website for screening times. All movies screening at Limelight Cinemas.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands


Spring into nature these school holidays with a range of outdoorsy activities at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands.

From drawing with professional artists to discovery tours and school holiday craft activities, there are activities for all ages.

Happening 22 September – 1 October at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. Find more information here.

The National Film and Sound Archive


Wondering where the Wild Things are this September? At the NFSA’s school holiday program, of course!

Their Book Heroes on the Screen program returns these school holidays. Not only will they be showing modern classics like Where the Wild Things Are and The Golden Compass, they’ll also be celebrating the splendiferous world of Roald Dahl, with screenings of James and the Giant PeachThe BFG (in 3D) and Fantastic Mr Fox.

The program kicks off on Tuesday 26 September and runs through to Friday 6 October. Sessions begin at 11am and tickets are just $8, with children under three able to attend for free.  View the full program and book tickets here.

Basketball ACT School Holiday Camps

Credit: Tim Bean Photography

Why not indulge your child’s love of basketball this school holidays thanks to Basketball ACT? The Holiday Hoops Camps are designed for children to make friends, learn new moves and most importantly- have fun!

There will be skills, games, movies and Futsal. Included will be lunch on the second day, a t-shirt, a ball and lots of prizes!

Each two-day camp is $100 per person. Please bring reversible singlet, morning tea, water and a towel!

Happening 3 and 4 October and 5 and 6 October for kids ages 4-12 years. Find more information here

Canberra Outlet Centre



Smurfette and Papa Smurf will show you how to sing and dance these school holidays! Be quick but they are only visiting for a week.

Happening Monday 25 September – Friday 29 September. 11 and 1pm is the Stage Show followed by a 12pm Meet and Greet. Located in Canberra Outlet Centre’s Centre Court, near Monkey Mania.

Kids Pantry

Cooking up a storm with Kids Pantry.

Bring your budding chefs and cooks to learn how to create delicious meals and snacks at Kids Pantry in Deakin!

Their school holiday programs run from 9am-4pm each day from Tuesday 26 September until Friday 6 October and include Chicken and Chive Pie, Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with Berry Coulis, Apple Croissants, Zucchini Lasagne, Fried Rice and more!

Find more information and the full menu here.

National Gallery of Australia

nga play


Would you like to sit side by side with your kids and do some relaxing sketching together? The National Gallery of Australia’s sketching session will be supported by NGA staff; however, you are required to bring your own pencils. Pick your favourite ones and get ready to have lots of fun!

Kids of all ages are welcome.

Happening 26 September 2-3pm. Cost: Free. Meet at the information desk. Due to a limited number of places the bookings are essential.


Do you like secrets? Join the ASI squad for their next big adventure, investigate and unveil a puzzle of mystery. Expect to have a lot of fun and excitement!

This activity is suitable for kids ages 7 and over. Tickets will also include morning tea.

Happening 3 October, 10.30am- 12.00pm. Cost: $12 per child, $10 child members. Meet at information desk. Make a booking. 


This activity invites you to spend quiet time surrounded by evocative works of art. The meditation sessions are designed for family and children of all ages which you can enjoy it individually or bring family and friends to.

Book your place here.

Happening 5 October 10.30am- 11.00am, 11.30am -12.pm. Cost: $7 per child, $5 child members (free for accompanying adults)


The beautiful NGA Play area is available every day for kids during school holidays. The area is decorated by innovative artist Reko Rennie, and provides an exciting, interactive and educational experience for all kids. Surrounded by graphic landscapes of camouflage and traditional Kamilaroi patterns, this engaging environment encourages people of all ages. We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum this year and that’s why Rennie’s work is highly relevant today for all Australians.

Happening 14 May – 3 December, 10am- 5pm daily. Cost: Free. NGA Play is made possible through the support of Tim Fairfax in honour of Betty Churcher.

Canberra Theatre


Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s beloved book Room on the Broom comes to life on stage for 3-8-year-olds! The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand.

A helpful dog, bird and frog find the witch’s lost things, and they all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – the broom snaps in two! When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone?

The team behind The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child return with songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up – and their grown-ups…

Reserve your tickets here.

Happening 5 October – 10am, 12pm, 6 October – 10am, 12pm and 7 October – 10am, 12pm, 3pm. Cost: Standard $29.00. Family 4 +(per ticket) $25.00


Reef UP! combines the latest scientific research with the magic of theatre to share the story of what is happening to our coral reefs, and what we can do to help. Meet a sea-full of loveable characters (and villains): Manta and Ray, Slinky the shark, clown fish, Minkie whales, and a devious Crown of Thorns starfish called Priscilla!

Using dance, theatre, and some amazing costumes, audiences learn how all life on the reef is interrelated. If a single organism or species is affected or declines in number it can have a huge ripple effect both down and up the Great Barrier Reef’s food chain. To a soundtrack of popular songs and original music, Reef UP! highlights the beauty and precarious nature of the reef ecosystems across the globe, and helps students explore the simple things that they can do to help preserve these breathtaking environments.

Book your tickets here

Happening 6 October from 11am, 1.00pm, 7th October 11am, 1pm. Cost: adult $20.00. Family 4+ (per ticket) $15.00. Concession $15.00

Nature Play CBR

Image: Supplied

Nature Play CBR offers all families the chance to share outdoor adventures and re-connect with nature together.


For those who love to spend time outdoors, the family bush camp at Orroral Valley is be the perfect solution.

The camp, organised by the Canberra Bushwalking Club welcomes everyone, even non-members.

Reserve your spot by Thursday 5 October by contacting Linda Groom lbgroom@gmail.com.

Happening 7 October 9.20am – 8 October 12.00pm. Cost: free. Find more details here. Bookings are essential.

Child Players ACT


Child Players ACT proudly present a new version of the children’s favourite The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Kai and Gerda have their adventures in the hilarious 80s this time and meeting all kinds of weird but funny characters. The Snow Queen, however, is still the same evil woman, who separated Kai from his best friend Gerda and takes him to her icy kingdom. Join Gerda on her mission to save Kai and bring him back home and see the classic story from a very different and funny perspective

Book your tickets for this great entertainment that is perfect for all family!

The Snow Queen will be performed at Theatre@BCS, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen

Happening Thursday 5 October at 11am, 2pm, Friday 6 October at 11am, 6pm and Saturday 7 October –at 11am, 2pm. Cost: $15. Find more information about Child Players ACT.



The Maker2Market – Marketday experience is for young people (aged 10-17) who love making things, have probably been tinkering for a while and have a vision to start their own business. This taster workshop enables young people to explore their passion and create a business through a real world business life cycle enabling them to test the value of their products and inventions with real customers.

The three-day Maker2market – Market Day experience sees participants learn and develop a range of business skills:

  • Develop a logo and product prototype
  • Understand the steps to take their product to market
  • Create products for market day through an intensive Maker session.
  • Develop product costing and generl financial literacy skills
  • Develop merchandising and customer sales skills

Participate in a real market day experience to test products with real customers at Old Bus Depot Markets. Find more information here.

Happening 4-5 October from 9.30am-4.30pm both days at Griffith Community Hall, Sturt Street, Griffith. Cost : $175 +GST. BYO your own materials or choose a $25 materials package when completing your enrolment form.

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