Save your sanity – things to see, do and devour on the Gold Coast these school holidays
School holidays are – for the most part – a welcome reprieve from the relentless Monday-to-Friday routine. Two glorious weeks of freedom – hurrah! The downside to all of this extra time is that you have to fill it with something and, let’s be honest, there’s only so many times you can watch Frozen 2 in a day. If the thought of finding activities to keep your offspring amused has you breaking out in a cold sweat, fear not. We’ve rounded up some fun things to do with the kids across the Gold Coast these school holidays.
Silent discos, skating and ninja-warrior sessions at various locations, September 19 to October 4: If your kids need a little nudge to get off the couch and into the sunshine, the City of Gold Coast has just dropped a series of fun (low cost and sometimes free) school-holiday activities including freestyle roller-skating workshops, tie-dye classes, family ninja warrior sessions, Aerial Angles Cirque, silent discos, kayaking, surfing and heaps more. The classes are held in various locations from Jacobs Well to to Coolangatta. Check out the whole program here and remember, the classes will fill up quickly so if you’re keen to head along, make sure you book in post-haste!
SWELL Kids Movie Night at Wallace Nicoll Park, Saturday September 19: Screen time, it’s the bane of parents everywhere but it doesn’t really count if they are watching a movie whilst getting fresh air, right? If you agree, SWELL and Gold Coast Film Festival invite you and the fam to roll out a rug in Wallace Nicoll Park on Saturday September 19 for a free screening of The Wishmas Tree. BYO snacks and rug.
Pacific Fairgrounds Carnival at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, September 19 to October 4: All aboard! Pacific Fair’s school-holiday carnival of fun is ready to roll. Whirl around until you’re dizzy on the teacup ride, test your skills in Sideshow Alley or grab a net and scoop up a little rubber ducky to win some excellent prizes. The much-loved Pacific Fair train (oh, the memories) will also be back for two weeks only giving parents a hefty dose of nostalgia. Tickets to Pacific Fairgrounds Carnival are strictly limited and there will be allocated time slots to avoid crowding. The third (and final) release of tickets will be Monday September 21 at 8:00 am.
Neon Paradise at Paradise Centre, September 19 to October 5: A kaleidoscope of eye-popping neon and ultra-bright waves of colour are set to flood Insta feeds these holidays as Neon Paradise takes over the Paradise Centre in Surfers Paradise. The pop-up features a towering four-metre-wide neon-light installation that will be flashing with 18 different ‘quintessentially Gold Coast’ custom-built graphics – from the iconic beach-safety flags to a pair of rubber thongs, a melted ice-cream, a koala, ocean waves and many more wild and wonderful locally inspired creations. Best of all? It’s free! Get those iPhones ready – this is a selfie wonderland.
Little Lifesavers at Tallebudgera Creek, September 28 to October 2: If you have grand plans of spending your summer beachside, now is the time to get your kids acquainted with water safety and this is the perfect place to do it. Run by Surf Life Saving Queensland, the holiday program gives kids from 5–11 years the chance to participate in a wide range of water activities, beach games and rescue techniques in the flat water of Talle Creek, giving them the confidence to take their skills to the beach. Places are limited so if you’re keen to get swimming, jump over here.
Turtles: Living Dinosaurs at Palm Beach Surf Club, Wednesday September 30: Thought all dinosaurs were extinct? Think again. Sea turtles are ancient mariners that have been roaming our planet for more than 100 million years. If your little people are dino-obsessed, this is definitely one for the calendar. Kids will be able to see a real-life turtle shell from the 1600s and hear the fascinating story behind it. They’ll learn how to identify turtles, create turtle nests and where to spot them in Southeast Queensland and Northern New South Wales. There are limited spots available – jump here to register.
Unicorn Festival Day at Pampered Princess Coomera, Tuesday September 29: Your little love will be transformed into a glittering unicorn princess at this magical school-holiday event. The perfect outing for the unicorn obsessed, the pamper day includes unicorn braid extensions, unicorn glitter makeup, a special unicorn manicure, unicorn craft to create their very own unicorn headband, a unicorn photoshoot with a real-life unicorn, a unicorn disco with Rainbow Sparkles and of course, a unicorn goodie bag to take home. On the southern end? There’s one in Burleigh Heads on Wednesday September 23. Check out all of the details here.
Ice-cream, DIY bath bombs and hula hoops at Robina Town Centre, various dates: Whether you cherish every single minute or you are counting the minutes until they go back (sometimes both in the same day), Robina Town Centre is dishing up a smorgasbord of school holiday fun for the whole family. These holidays, your little people can get creative in a tasty ice-cream decorating workshop, get hands-on with a DIY bath-bomb making workshop with LUSH, work for their supper (or smoothie) at the Boost Juice Bike Challenge, hula-hoop competitions and DIY canvas painting. Bookings are essential for all sessions.