The Best of the Autumn School Holiday Activities For Kids In Melbourne 2020

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While these school holidays have snuck up on most of us, Mary Harvey, Creative Producer for Families and Children at the Arts Centre Melbourne has been planning for it since 2017. That’s how long it has taken her to adapt Alan Brough’s kids book Charlie and the War Against the Grannies for the stage.

“It is a really exciting new work which features shadow puppetry and live music,” Mary says. “The thing that is really exciting about this work to me is the musical direction in the show; Kit Warhurst from Rocket Science has written all of the music so I am expecting that young people will hear a very different style of music compared to what they often hear on stage for young children, it has a very rocky feel, which is quite exciting.”

Mary says that it is a story with intergenerational appeal with the story revolving around Charlie finding a paper round. “There is a nostalgic element to the show that will allow conversation about how different work is now, how news is reported and, for me, it was flashback to my first paper round job that I got, and realising no one knew what that was anymore and that is explored in a really comedic way."

To keep the kids busy this school holidays check out our picks of the best things to do in Melbourne this Easter break:

Credit Jason Lau
Photo: Jason Lau

Charlie and the War Against the Grannies

Based on the book by Spicks and Specks star Alan Brough, Charlie and the War Against the Grannies is a musical comedy for kids five and older. All 12-year old Charlie Duncan wanted was a simple paper round. What he uncovers is a league of evil grannies plotting to set up a “Granny State”, where everyone will be forced to wear brown cardigans, go to bed early and there will be no kids allowed. Expect silliness, songs and a story about friendship.

“We are also working with our team to produce a 'relaxed' performance for this show,” says Mary Harvey, Creative Producer for Families and Children at the Arts Centre Melbourne. “This is one specific show within the season which is specifically tailored for children with autism or anyone that might feel like a theatrical experience is highly sensory.”

 

Where: Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

When: March 28- April 5

Cost: From $27

Freehand Street Art Workshop

Your kids can learn to be street artists with a freehand workshop at Blender Studios. Create your very own piece of street art under the guidance of a spray-painting professional with an introductory talk, a street-art demo and then its time to get spraying, practicing a range of different techniques. After you have done your training you will then get to work on a large piece of wooden board, which you are free to take with you at the end of the day. This really is a fun, and very Melbourne, way to spend the holidays. All materials and light refreshments are provided.

Where: Blender Studios, 33-35 Dudley St, West Melbourne

When: Thursday April 2

Cost: $89

Photo: Parks Victoria

Junior Rangers

The Parks Victoria Junior Rangers program helps kids explore and experience the state’s national parks under the guidance of a qualified park ranger. There are a huge variety of experiences: you might go exploring a cave; you can take a cultural walk with an indigenous ranger; or go on a walk and talk tour of some of the park’s tidal rock pools. Most session require booking and kids need to be accompanied by an adult but this is a great way to connect with our national parks.

Where: At a variety of Parks Victoria locations

When: throughout the holidays

Cost: Free

Lisa Sontag and Company. Photo: James D. Morgan

Billy Elliot

If you missed Elton John on his recent farewell tour you can experience his music in Billy Elliot the Musical this holidays. There are four local boys who share the lead role of Billy, the boy from a stoic English working class family who just wants to dance, and they have been rehearsing for months to bring the beloved movie to the stage. The play has been seen by 12 million people around the world and has won 85 international awards.

Where: Regent Theatre, 191 Collins St, Melbourne

When: Until April 19

Cost: From $65

Album Cover Design Workshop

Design your own album cover at the Australian Music Vault. The vault is a celebration of Australian music and kids will be encouraged to explore the historic collection in the vault and get inspiration for their album artwork. Then they will then get access to a range of visual imagery and try to capture the essence of their pretend band or solo project. Kids can use pictures of themselves or delve into the vault’s online collection of digital images to Photoshop their way to rock ‘n’ roll stardom. Children must be accompanied by an adult and they will receive a hard copy of the album cover once they finish.

Where: Australian Music Vault, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

When: Wednesday April 8

Cost: $25, adults admitted free

Mini Golf Staycation at Crown

Crown’s Metropol hotel has a “Hoppin’ Around” package this Easter school holidays where you can get a room at the hotel plus 9 holes of mini golf at the OTT-mini-golf Holey Moley golf course for the whole family. The package also comes with a Koko Black gift of Easter chocolate and valet parking for the ultimate Melbourne staycation over the holidays.

Where: Crown Metropol, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank

When: Available 27 March to 27 April 2020

Cost: From $299 per night in a Luxe King room

Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery, Melbourne Museum. Photo: Rodney Start

The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery

For younger museum visitors this holidays the Melbourne Museum has the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery where kids can take part in a camouflage disco, go on a dinosaur dig and explore the discovery garden. The gallery is part of the Melbourne Museum and is for kids five years and under and their carers.

Where: Australian Museum, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton

When: throughout the holidays

Cost: Included in museum ticket of $15

Air Playground Exhibition, Scienceworks Photo: Joel Checkley, Tiny Empire Collective

Air Playground

Coming to Scienceworks this holidays is the Air Playground, an immersive exhibit that explores all the fun of air from letting kids play in front of giant fans to getting them to make the best paper aeroplane they can. Set the kids loose and let them learn about just how much fun they can have with just air and their imagination.

Where: Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood 

When: throughout the holidays

Cost: Free after entry

More Kid-Friendly Venues

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Adventure Park Geelong


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