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What’s on these July school holidays

Zoe Pleasants 12 February 2018

July School Holidays

If you’re at home with the kids these school holidays here is a list of activities for you to enjoy with them. The first week of the holidays is NAIDOC week so there are plenty of opportunities around town to participate in activities teaching you and your kids about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. If you all get cabin fever, rug up and enjoy an outdoor activity. How about ice-skating in Civic, skiing at Corin Forest, riding your bike to the Museum or walking around the Arboretum or Jerrabomberra Wetlands? If you’d prefer to be indoors there are plenty of theatre shows and movies on, and crafty activities that mean you don’t have to get the paints and glue out at home and clean up afterwards. For a really comprehensive list of options check out the Holiday Happenings website, and let us know what you are up to these holidays.


Canberra Glass Works
Hanky Lampshades
5 & 12 July 10 am – 12 pm
Cost: $70
Inspired by The Chandelier Show at the Glass Works, kids get to create their very own kiln slumped glass lampshade. The kids will work with an artist in a small sized class to learn how to cut and fuse glass and create their very own illuminated Art Deco masterpiece – complete with stand and working bulb. This workshop is suitable for kids 5 and older, but kids 5–8 need to be supervised by an adult at all times. Book here.

Frosty Fantasy Tile
When: 12, 16, 19 & 23 July 1 – 1:45 pm
Cost: $50
In this 45 minute workshop, kids get to work with a professional artist to create their own frosty fantasy tile. The kids get to learn how to cut and fuse glass. This workshop is suitable for kids 5 and older, but kids 5–8 need to be supervised by an adult at all times. Book here.

Winter Tile
When: 12, 16, 19 & 23 July, 10 – 12 pm
Cost: $30
In this 20 minute workshop, kids get to work with a professional artist to create their own winter tile. This workshop is suitable for kids 5 and older, but kids 5–8 need to be supervised by an adult at all times. Book here.

National Gallery Australia
Create space with Tony Albert
When: 8 July 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Cost: FREE
Celebrate NAIDOC week by dropping in to the National Gallery and making art with Aboriginal artist Tony Albert and friends. No bookings required.

Sketchy Tuesday
When: 11 July 2 – 3 pm
Cost: FREE
In this workshop, kids get an opportunity to sketch around the National Gallery in a supported drawing session. Kids will need to bring your own drawing supplies (pencils only). Kids are to be accompanied by an adult, book here.

When: 16 July
Cost: $8 per kid
Kids are encouraged to use an iPad to do something creative. They will explore the possibilities of digital drawing around the National Gallery and hopefully get inspired by the Gallery’s artworks to create something of their own. Meet at the information desk, kids to be accompanied by an adult and iPads provided. Book here.

The National Arboretum
Warm Trees drop-in craft activities
When: 1 – 16 July 10 am – 2 pm
Cost: FREE
Your kids can learn how to knit or make a cherry blossom flower out of paper these school holidays. These drop-in craft activities are being run in conjunction with the Warm Trees installation. Drop-in knitting sessions for all ages will be held every day of the holidays. All materials will be provided, kids need to be supervised by an adult, but there is no need to book. The origami sessions will be held on 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16 July, 11:00am – 12noon. These sessions are suitable for kids aged 7–12. They will make flowers that they can either take home, or add to the strings of flowers in the Village Centre. To book either call 6207 8484 or email:

Australian War Memorial
Make and Create
When: 6 – 7 & 13 – 4 July 11:30 am – 1 pm
Cost: FREE
Make poppies and other creations to take home during this free craft session, and also help make a collaborative work to display in the War Memorial’s Education Space.


The Canberra Theatre
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
When: 12 – 15 July
Cost: $35 for kids, $40 to $50 for adults
This show promises to be a tea-riffic circus show featuring wacky characters performing amazing tricks, and surprising and delighting audiences. Be warned, audience participation is a big part of the show!

Child Players ACT
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
When: 6 – 8 & 11 – 15 July, 10:30 am & 2pm
Cost: $18
Child Players ACT is bringing the much-loved Roald Dahl story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the stage these school holidays. All on-stage and off-stage roles will be performed by kids aged 10–16 who have been learning all aspects of theatre by participating in this production. Charlie and Chocolate Factory will be performed at theatre@bcs, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court. It runs for 2 hours with an interval. For tickets either call 6257 1950 (Mon–Fri, 10am–4pm), book online at, or buy them at the door from one hour before each performance.

Pied Piper Productions
Jack and the Beanstalk
When: 1 July 6 pm, 4 July 11 am & 2 pm, 5 July 2 pm, 6 July 11 am & 2 pm and 7 July 6 pm
Cost: $7
For another Roald Dahl experience, Pied Piper Productions is bringing Dahl’s revolting rhyme Jack and the Beanstalk to the stage. The cast in this show are kids aged 6 –16, the show is performed at St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Manuka. Buy tickets on the door.


Skating at Garema Place
When:  Mon-Thur 10 am – 8 pm, Fri & Sat 10 am – 10 pm, Sun 9 am – 8 pm until 16 July
Cost: From $10 for kids 3–7, $12 for kids 8–13 & $22 for kids aged 14+ and adults for a 45 minute session
Take the kids for a special outing ice skating in Civic. Suitable for kids aged 3 and up — a Bobby Skate Aid is recommended for children under 5 — and enjoy not only the ice rink but the ice slide, giant slide and jumping castle. Book tickets for a session here.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands
Wetland Treasures
When: 4, 6 & 14 July 1011:30 am
Cost: $8
An activity designed to encourage young kids, who are not yet at school, to explore the Wetlands with a Ranger. All walking tracks are pram-friendly and a healthy fruit snack will be provided. Book online here.

Clay Sculpting for Children
When: 5 July 10 am – 12 pm
Cost: $8
Suitable for kids 5–13 (to be accompanied by an adult), a Ranger will take the kids on a short walk around the Wetlands in search of inspiration for them to channel into creating a clay masterpiece back at the education centre. The kids will need sturdy shoes, hat and a water bottle, A light healthy snack will be provided. Book online here.

Bush and Waterbug Detectives
When: 7 & 13 July 10 am – 12 pm
Cost: $8
Also suitable for kids 5–13 (to be accompanied by an adult), a Ranger will take the kids on an easy walk through the Wetlands to piece together clues to discover what animals live in the Wetlands. The kids will need sturdy shoes, hat and a water bottle. A light healthy snack will be provided. Book online here.

Bush Treasures
When: 11 July 10 am – 12 pm
Yet another activity for kids 5–13 (to be accompanied by an adult), a Ranger will take the kids on a walk around the Wetlands to collect a variety of materials for them to make a brilliant masterpiece with back at the education centre. Kids will need sturdy shoes, hat and a water bottle. A light healthy snack will be provided. Book online here.

National Arboretum
Walking with Wollemis
When: 10 – 13 July
Cost: $12
Take the kids walking through the Wollemi Pines. See 165 million-year-old petrified wood and make a botanical fossil. Suitable for kids aged 4–8 (accompanied by an adult). Book by calling 6207 8484 or email:

Australian National Botanic Gardens
Indigenous Plant Use Walks
When: 6 July 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Cost: $20
This NAIDOC Week, take an easy walk along the Aboriginal Plant Use Trail at the Botanic Gardens with an Aboriginal guide to learn how Indigenous people from across Australia use plants for food and medicine, to make tools and weapons, and for ceremonial practice. Book here.

Dinosaurs in the Garden
When: 1–16 July 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: FREE
Take the kids on a walk through the Botanic Gardens to discover life-sized dinosaurs! Learn about the supercontinent of Gondwana and how fossils reveal the patterns of distribution of living organisms.

Corin Forest
When: Sun, Mon & Tue 8 am – 5 pm & 8 am – 10 pm Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat
Cost: From $18 for a snowplay session & $30 for a ski/snowboard session
Rug up and take the kids skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing at Corin Forest. There is a ski/snowboard area with a magic carpet ride to get you back up the hill and a separate snowplay area. Corin Forest runs three 2.5 hr snowplay sessions a day at 8:30am, 11am and 2pm. The number of people on the snow is limited for safety and comfort. Similarly, there are two sessions to get for the ski/snowboard area at 9am and 1:30pm which also involve a limited number of people. From Wednesday to Friday you can also ski/snowboard at night from 5:30–9:30pm . After you’ve been on the snow, warm up in cafe which serves wood-fired pizzas and has a massive fireplace where you can toast marshmallows. Book your sessions here.


National Film and Sound Archive
Book heroes on the screen
When: 5, 6, 7, 13 & 14  July 11 am
Cost: $8 (children under 3 free)
These holidays the National Film and Sound Archive is continuing its season of movies that successfully took the leap from book to screen.

  • Jasper Jones — 5 July
  • The Neverending Story — 6 July
  • The Iron Giant — 7 July
  • Beauty and the Beast — 13 July
  • Night at the Museum — 14 July

National Museum of Australia
Discovery space: Wheelie fun
When: 3 – 7 July 10 – 11:30 am & 11:30 am – 1 pm
Cost: $10 per kid, free for members
The Museum is encouraging kids to ride their bike to Museum these school holidays. When they arrive, they can participate in a Wheelie fun session where they’ll take a tour of the Freewheeling exhibition and design and make some bike accessories to take home. Kids need to be accompanied by an adult, book a session here.

Afternoon play space
2 – 3:30 pm
Play, read or relax in the Bay Window play space in the Main Hall of the Museum. Curl up with a book, or try one of the self-guided activities connected to the Freewheeling exhibition. A nice way to unwind.

MKids Movies
When: 5, 8, 11 & 15 July
Cost: FREE for members, $5 for non-members
The Museum is also showing a season of kids movies during the school holidays.

  • Moana — 5 July, 1 – 3 pm
  • Sing — 8 July, 3 – 5 pm
  • Trolls — 11 July, 3 – 5 pm
  • Ballerina — 15 July, 3 – 5 pm

Traditional weaving workshop
When: 8 July 10am – 2pm
Cost: FREE
Celebrate NAIDOC Week by joining Kalkadoon woman Ronnie Jordan in this hands-on workshop as she shares her knowledge of the weaving designs of the Kalkadoon people of north-west Queensland.

Old Parliament House
Superhero Masterclass
When: 3 – 7 July 9:30 – 11 am
Cost: $8 per kid
Help your kid to discover their inner superhero. Kids will design and make their own superhero costumes out of recycled materials, then they will be ready to save the world! After they’ve made their costumes, the kids will go on the superhero museum trail. Suitable for kids aged 5 and over, kids need to be accompanied by an adult, book a session here.

National Gallery of Australia
Creative meditation for children
When: 4 July, 10:30 – 11 am & 11:30 am – 12:15 pm
Cost: $7 per kid, $5 for members
Give your kids the chance to chill-out at the National Gallery, by meditating in front of evocative artworks. There are two sessions, a 10:30am session for kids aged 5–7 and an 11:30am session for kids 8 and older. Meet at the front desk, book a session here.

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