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Fun things to do with the grandkids on school holidays

BAM Life Unlimited bank22

School holidays are the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your grandkids and create lasting memories. Here’s a guide to some of the best things you can do with your grandkids during the school holidays that are sure to delight both young and old.

1. Explore Melbourne Zoo

The Melbourne Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world and is always a hit with kids. Wander through lush landscapes and encounter majestic lions, cheeky monkeys, and adorable meerkats. Don’t miss the Trail of the Elephants and the Butterfly House, where kids can marvel at colourful butterflies fluttering around them.

Tip: Check the schedule for daily talks and animal feedings for an educational twist to the fun.

2. Discover Scienceworks

Scienceworks is an interactive science and technology museum in Spotswood, perfect for curious minds. The museum features hands-on exhibits covering topics from space and robotics to human biology. The Lightning Room shows are particularly popular, offering thrilling demonstrations of electricity and lightning.

Tip: The Planetarium is a must-see, offering stunning shows about the stars and the universe.

3. Bake Cookies Together

Bring out the young bakers in your grandkids! Kids love cookies, and what better way to treat them than by baking together? This activity helps them learn how to plan, follow instructions, and use the kitchen in a fun and mouth-watering manner. Plus, you could pass down your secret family cookie recipe.

Tip: Choose simple recipes that they can help with, like chocolate chip cookies. Baking together is a great way to bond and create delicious memories.

4. Get Creative at ArtVo Illusion Art Gallery

ArtVo in Docklands is an immersive art gallery where you and your grandkids can become part of the artwork. The 3D, hand-painted murals allow you to pose and interact with the art in fun and imaginative ways. This experience is perfect for snapping memorable photos together.

Tip: Download the ArtVo app for photo tips and background information on the artwork.

5. Play Board Games

Board games are a fantastic way to spend quality time together, whether it's a rainy day or just a cosy afternoon at home. Choose games that are age-appropriate and fun for everyone, such as chess, checkers, or Monopoly.

Tip: Teach your grandkids some of your personal tricks and techniques for the games you love.

6. Ride the Puffing Billy Railway

Take a step back in time with a ride on the Puffing Billy Railway, one of the world’s best-preserved steam railways. Located in the Dandenong Ranges, this heritage railway offers a scenic journey through lush forests and fern gullies. Kids will love the open-sided carriages, and there are plenty of opportunities to hop off and explore the charming villages along the way.

Tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the picturesque stops. Sharing a meal in a beautiful setting adds to the experience and provides more time to chat and connect.

7. Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Melbourne, perfect for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or even a boat ride on the Ornamental Lake. The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is specifically designed for kids, with spaces to explore, including a kitchen garden, bamboo forest, and water features.

Tip: Join a guided tour or a special school holiday program for added fun and learning.

8. Unleash Their Inner Artist

Encourage your grandkids to paint, draw, and engage in craft activities. Artistic activities help kids explore and express their creativity while keeping them entertained and engaged.

Tip: Set up a mini art studio at home with all the necessary supplies. Display their artwork around the house to show how much you value their creativity.

9. Visit the Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum offers a wealth of exhibits for all ages. Highlights for kids include the Dinosaur Walk, the Forest Gallery, and the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery, designed for younger children with interactive play spaces and activities. The museum’s immersive exhibitions provide both fun and educational experiences.

Tip: Catch a show at the IMAX theatre located within the museum for an unforgettable movie experience.

10. Enjoy the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Dive into an underwater adventure at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. This fascinating attraction is home to a variety of marine creatures, from penguins and sharks to jellyfish and seahorses. Interactive exhibits and feeding sessions provide a deeper understanding of marine life and conservation efforts.

Tip: Consider booking a behind-the-scenes tour for an up-close look at the aquarium’s operations.

11. Wander Through Queen Victoria Market

Introduce your grandkids to the vibrant atmosphere of Queen Victoria Market. With a variety of fresh produce, specialty foods, and unique souvenirs, the market is a sensory delight. Kids will enjoy the lively buzz, and there are often special events and entertainment during school holidays.

Tip: Participate in a market tour or a cooking class to make the visit even more engaging.

12. Stargaze from the Backyard

If your grandkids are staying for a sleepover, grab a telescope and a constellation map to explore the night sky together. This simple activity can spark a lifelong interest in astronomy and provide a peaceful way to end the day.

Tip: Use a stargazing app to help identify constellations and planets. The quiet, shared experience of stargazing can lead to profound conversations and bonding moments.

Final Thoughts

With so many exciting activities, you can turn any school holiday into a fun-filled adventure with your grandkids. Whether exploring the great outdoors, cooking together at home, or delving into museums, the key is to share the experience and create lasting memories. So, gather your grandkids, plan your days, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories!