Summer holidays are just around the corner! If your plan is to stay in Melbourne, there is no need to worry about what to do with the kids as there are lots of fun holiday programs for kids of all ages and interests.
Here are some of my favourites:
Zoos Victoria – Zoos Victoria offer a range of holiday programs for wildlife aficionados. Kids in years 7-12 can be a Keeper for a Day and go behind the scenes at Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Older kids (years 9-12) can experience being a Vet for a Day at Healesville Sanctuary, and younger kids (5-12 year olds) can have access to behind-the-scenes areas at Melbourne Zoo. For more information visit: http://www.zoo.org.au/holidays
Invent the World – The Invent the World holiday programs are all about science and technology. Minecraft Challenge and Lego Robotics are offered in 4- and 5-day courses, Game Programming is a 4-day course, and Tabletop Adventures is a 2-day course. For dates, locations and prices visit: http://inventtheworld.com.au/
ACMI – A range of creative workshops are offered at ACMI during the summer holidays. Kids in the Studio: Cut it Out is a one day workshop for kids aged 9 to 12 years. Kids create cut-out characters and explore the principles of traditional animation. For aspiring stars aged 8 to 12 years, Kids in the Studio: Space Explorers offers the opportunity for kids to star in their own space adventure movie. Writing for the Screen is a one-day workshop for teens aged between 15 and 19 years. Teens will learn core script-writing skills for both film and television. For more information visit: http://www.acmi.net.au/creative-workshops.htm
MSAC – The Planet Sport Holiday Program is for children aged 5-12 years. It includes all the sports and facilities that MSAC has to offer and a few excursions with each day offering a different program. For full details visit: http://www.msac.com.au/programs/for-kids/school-holiday-program
Gourmet Kids – Gourmet Kids offer cooking lessons for children aged 2-15 years. They offer small classes so they can provide individual support for each child, including fussy eaters! For more information (dates, times, recipes and cost) visit: http://www.gourmetkids.com.au/school-holiday-programs
Artmania – Artmania offer a number of workshops and classes for children aged 6 years and up and sessions run for 2 hours. The school holiday program includes mosaic and collage making, and painting sessions. For more information visit: http://www.artmaniastudio.com.au/
Music Theatre Boot Camp – This is a great five-day long program for future performers. The programs are for primary aged children who have an interest in music, theatre and dance. At the end of the week, all children perform in the production they worked on in the week. They are currently offering three commencing dates for January 2014. For more information visit: http://www.musictheatrebootcamp.com.au/
Little Devils – Little Devils Circus Studio offer beginner to intermediate circus programs for children form 3-years-old. For younger kids aged 3-4 years, they offer Tiny Taser classes that run for 50 minutes. For older children, they offer the 2-hour Fun Sessions, which are great as an introduction to basic circus skills, and the Circus Bootcamp, which is an all-day crash course of circus sills. For more information visit: http://www.littledevilscircus.com.au/studios_holidayPrograms.cfm
Although each of the abovementioned programs have specific target skills (e.g. cooking, art or circus skills) children will usually develop other skills, such as interpersonal, self-help, creative and planning skills. School holiday programs are great to eliminate boredom and boost kids’ confidence and self-esteem. If none of these programs suit you or your family, use it as a guide and ask in your local library, park or even school for more ideas (you can also make a Google search if you have something specific in mind).
Please note that school holiday programs are often very popular and do fill in quite quickly, so enquire and register your child as soon as possible.