If you’re stuck for activities to do with the kids these upcoming school holidays, below are five ideas we think they will love! From observing Western Australian wildlife such as the penguins of Penguin Island or the Bremer Bay Canyon Killer Whales with Naturaliste Charters, to checking out the interactive exhibits at SciTech, these school holiday activities will be entertaining the kids and the whole family all break!
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A family movie night under the stars
Spice up the usual family movie night these upcoming school holidays and take the kids to watch a film under the stars! Every year Telethon hosts community outdoor cinemas in different suburbs around Perth including Murdoch, Burswood, Joondalup, and Bassendean, screening a variety of family-friendly block buster films, from November until the end of April. During the school holidays the program is especially catered to providing movies that the kids will love, making it the perfect activity for the little ones.
The events are run by volunteers and all the profits are donated to children’s charities through Telethon. You can pack a picnic for dinner or otherwise there is a fantastic range of food and drink options to choose from (as well as alcoholic beverages for parents!) including pizzas, pasta, and sausage sizzles. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for those wanting to claim the best viewing spots and the screenings usually commence at 7:45 p.m. You can bring your own picnic rugs and camp chairs, but if you’re worried about lugging around all the extras with the kids in tow, you always have the option to hire bean bag lounges and other seating from the venue.
Swim with wild dolphins and meet the world’s smallest penguins!
Located in the heart of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, Penguin Island is just 45 minutes south of Perth and a 5-minute ferry ride from the mainland. True to its name, the island is home to the world’s smallest penguins! Penguin feedings are hosted at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., daily where the kids will have the chance to get close and personal to the very cute birds, as they splash in the pool nearby and accept their fish.
Afterwards have a picnic in the sun, overlooking one of the islands many beaches, or take the kids for a swim or a snorkel to view the marine life on offer. Other tours are available including a guided dolphin swim and the kids may also see Australian sea lions whilst on their visit.
Ferries depart hourly from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the island is open daily to visitors from September to early June, providing plenty of opportunity to make it across next school holidays!
Take the kids to see the real life, wild ‘Free Willy’!
Have your little ones ever seen whales in the wild before? If not, then add a whale watching tour to the top of your school holiday agenda! Naturaliste Charters conduct Western Australian whale watching tours daily from January through to April at the Bremer Bay Canyon, where the kids will get to see ‘Free Willy’ in person, as Killer Whales glide past the boat within an arm’s reach, maybe even breaching!
If you find yourself in the south-west region and are stuck on what to do in Augusta or Dunsborough with the kids, Naturaliste Charters’ tours also depart daily from May to August in Augusta, and September to early December in Dunsborough! During these tours, the kids can add Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, and Southern Right Whales to their list of wildlife encounters! Each expedition is led by an expert marine biologist who is always happy to answer everything and anything that the kids ask during the tour. An experienced team on board will provide the whole family with an extremely high chance of observing these giants of the ocean in person.
Visit the planetarium at SciTech!
Does rain during the school holiday break send your kids bouncing off the walls inside the house? A trip to the SciTech science museum and discovery centre, which is open daily from 9:30 am to 4:00 p.m., is the perfect activity when the wet weather days don’t provide for being outdoors. There is always something to keep the kids entertained at SciTech in Perth, including live science experiments, interactive exhibitions, puppet shows and even stargazing sessions at the planetarium, featuring immersive shows led by astro-experts! SciTech hosts a fun, educational science program aimed at little ones aged 12 and under and during the school holidays there are special exhibits aimed at captivating the kids!
Have a cuddle with baby animals in the Swan Valley
Have the kids ever wanted to bottle feed a lamb? If so, then the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm is the place to visit these upcoming school holidays. Just 30 minutes from the Perth CBD, the kids can get up close and personal with lots of friendly native Australian animals as well as farm animals, and the whole family can relax in an outdoor country atmosphere. Daily bottle feedings of lambs, calves and piglets occur at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., so plan your day ahead and maybe stop in at one of the many beautiful vineyards on the way – this is a school holiday activity for the whole family!
At the farm, there are undercover picnic areas and free BBQ facilities, making it the perfect venue to host your little one’s next party during the school holidays. The nursery area hosts bunnies, Guinea pigs and chickens which are available to cuddle as well as lambs and piglets. Other animals at the farm include Alpacas, a Llama, a deer, miniature ponies, donkeys, kangaroos, emus, galahs, and parrots. After seeing and petting all the cute creatures available, the kids can then jump on a tractor for unlimited rides, spring for as long as they want on the bouncy castle or ride the merry go round, all free of charge during the day!