12 April 2024

25 places doing awesome stuff these school holidays (13 - 28 April)

| Dione David
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Man shows little boy how to skate

Don’t miss out on City Skate, back again at Crown Street Mall. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Autumn school holidays are upon us, but Illawarra’s institutions and businesses have ensured boredom won’t have time to set in.

From outdoor adventures to creative workshops, educational activities to cultural awakenings, there’s a a jam-packed offering of fun for families with school-aged children.

Many places are offering numerous activities and multiple sessions, so to make it easy, we’ve grouped them by venue.

Things are booking out fast though, so get in quick.

Here are 25 places doing awesome things these school holidays.

Child looks at colourfully painted fairy houses

Get egg-cited at the Illawarra Fly. Photo: Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures Facebook.

EGGsplorer Challenge at the Illawarra Fly

When: Saturday 13 to Sunday 28 April, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, 182 Knights Hill Road, Knights Hill
Cost: Adult $25.65, child (three to 15) $12, family $60, senior, student or concession $17.60, book here.

These April school holidays get ready to take on the EGGsplorer Challenge at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. Collect your activity sheet when you arrive and discover fun facts about some of the animals that call the rainforest home. Climb Knights Tower to get the lay of the land to scout out the hidden animal eggs among the trees, before returning your sheet and collecting a chocolatey surprise. With cracking photo moments and a rainforest full of wonder this is the perfect school holiday activity, alongside the venue’s usual archery and zipline offerings.

Banner for event at Stocklands Shellharbour with kids making mosaic art

Brick-tacular fun awaits at Shellharbour. Image: Stockland Shellharbour.

Kids Mosaic Workshops at Stockland Shellharbour

When: Sunday 14, Monday 15, Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 April, 10 am to 1:30 pm
Where: Stockland Shellharbour, 211 Lake Entrance Road, Shellharbour
Cost: Free (gold coin donation encouraged, all proceeds go to KidsWish Foundation)

The world of toy brick building presents the perfect way for kids to develop fine motor skills, explore colour, have fun and unleash their creativity. On a first come, first served basis, little ones will be invited to work with colourful tiles to create a unique mosaic masterpiece. Their creations will be proudly displayed as part of a special exhibit at the Illawarra Annual Brick Show 2024.

Locomotive Kiama at Illawarra Light Railway Museum

School holiday fun is full steam ahead at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum. Photo: Region.

School Holidays at Illawarra Light Railway Museum

When: Sunday 14, Tuesday 16 and Tuesday 23 April, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Illawarra Light Railway Museum, 48A Tongarra Road, Albion Park Rail
Cost: Adult $16.50, child $11, family $60.50, book here.

An oldie but a goodie, the Illawarra Light Railway Museum will have multiple open dates over the school holidays. Your ticket gets you diesel train rides, miniature train rides and access to the locomotive museum and onsite playground. On the day enjoy food sales or BYO and grab a spot in one of the picnic shelters or a patch of grass in the sunshine amid the natural beauty of the grounds.

Youths making art with nature on the grass

A chance for older kids to connect with nature and their creativity. Photo: Bundanon.

Bundanon Inspire Youth Art Program at the The Boyd Education Centre

When: Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 April, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: The Boyd Education Centre, 170 Riversdale Road, Illaroo
Cost: Free, book here.

Get in quick for this one – art programs of this calibre are rarely free. This two-day program for young people aged 12 to 18 requires attendance on both days to complete the artwork. On day one, they’ll explore the art museum and enjoy a guided ecology walk through the Bundanon bushland. They’ll use drawing and painting techniques to create a text or symbol-based artwork that explores how meaning and messaging can be obscured, highlighted, revealed or hidden. On day two, they’ll use simple printmaking, stencilling and collage processes and recycled materials to interpret Bundanon’s landscape, creating a large format work that can transform towards three-dimensional possibilities. In the afternoon, they’ll create their own woven interpretation of their thoughts and feelings in that place, then collaborate with peers to assemble a larger work that shows relationships between the individual woven pieces. Attendance includes a shuttle bus to and from Nowra, lunch, morning and afternoon tea each day.

Colourful potplants with faces

Art workshops, LEGO challenges, crafts and cinema – kids are spoiled for choice down south. Image: Kiama and Gerringong Libraries.

School Holiday Activities at Kiama and Gerringong Libraries

When: Various dates from Tuesday 16 to Friday 26 April, various times
Where: Kiama Library, 7 Railway Parade, Kiama and Gerringong Library, 8 Blackwood Street, Gerringong
Cost: Free to $5. To book contact Kiama Library on 4233 1133 or Gerringong Library on 4234 2302.

Kiama and Gerringong libraries have lined up a long list of painting workshops, upcycling crafts, LEGO challenges, needlecraft, moonrise cinema and more to keep your little ones busy these school holidays. Places are strictly limited, and many events are already waitlisted, so get in quickly. Note: Age guides for each activity have been carefully considered for age appropriateness.

  • Tuesday 16 April, 1 to 2 pm – Lego Scattergories at Gerringong Library
  • Wednesday 17 April, 10 to 11:30 am – Abstract Sewing
  • Thursday 18 April, 10 am to noon – Paint a Poppy Art Workshop at Gerringong Library
  • Friday 19 April, 10 to 11:30 am – Family Portrait Planters at Kiama Library
  • Saturday 20 April, 5:30 to 7:30 pm – Moonrise Cinema at Gerringong Library
  • Monday 22 April, 10 am to noon – Paint a Poppy Art Workshop at Kiama Library
  • Tuesday 23 April, 10 to 11:30 am – Autumn Paper Wreaths at Kiama Library
  • Tuesday 23 April, 2 to 3:30 pm – Kids Cross Stitch Bookmarks at Gerringong Library
  • Tuesday 23 April, 4:30 to 6:30 pm – Out Of This World LEGO Space Challenge at Kiama Library
  • Wednesday 24 April, 10:30 to 11:30 am – Upcycled T-Shirt Bags at Gerringong Museum
  • Friday 26 April, 10 to 11:30 am – Finger Knitting Workshop at Kiama Library
A lyrebird in song.

Choose from three experiences at Budderoo National Park. Photo: Dannogan.

School Holidays at Budderoo National Park

When: Monday 15, Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 April, various times
Where: Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, Budderoo National Park, 345 Minnamurra Falls Road, Jamberoo
Cost: Various.

Walk alongside an NPWS ranger and hear stories about the unique plants and animals of the rainforest. Feel the land and its stories as we explore the oldest surviving culture in the world. Or with an experienced NPWS guide by your side, explore the suspension bridges and elevated walkways of Lyrebird Loop walk by torchlight. Just don’t miss your chance to explore Budderoo National Park with amazing guides who will open your eyes to the bounty of nature.

Montage of people painting art

Calling all young artists! Photo: Art of Creating.

Paint and Create School Holiday Classes for Kids at Bulli Community Centre

When: Monday 15, Tuesday 16, Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 April in Bulli and Wednesday 17, Thursday 18, Wednesday 24 and Thursday 26 April in Fairy Meadow, 2 to 4 pm
Where: Bulli Community Centre, 328 Princes Highway, Bulli and Fairy Meadow Community Centre, 17 A Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow
Cost: $40, book here.

Children will unleash their creativity at this painting class featuring a unique collection of artworks to inspire young minds. In this two-hour class, our expert instructors will guide children aged six to 12 (and parents who want to join in on the fun) through the step-by-step process of creating their own masterpiece, providing all the materials needed. Each child gets a sugar-free soft drink and lolly bag and tea, coffee and complimentary biscuits for parents.

Galaxy illustration

Expect planetariums, magic, movies and more in libraries across Wollongong. Image: Wollongong City Council.

School Holidays at Wollongong City Libraries

When: Various dates from Monday 15 to Tuesday 23 April, various times
Where: Various Wollongong City Libraries
Cost: Free, book here.

Wollongong City Council is offering a veritable smorgasbord of activities across its many public libraries these school holidays. With limited spaces, many are already booked out; book soon to avoid disappointment.

Appearance of rabbit inside magician top hat

Shelleys has an eclectic offering of activities these school holidays. Photo: aluxum.

School Holidays at The Shellharbour Club

When: Various dates from Monday 15 to Friday 26 April, various times
Where: The Shellharbour Club, Wattle Road, Shellharbour
Cost: Various, book here.

Looking for low commitment school holiday fun that can be worked in around lunch? Check out the diverse range of fun and exciting activities for all ages coming to The Shellharbour Club this April.

  • Monday 15 April from 11:15 am – Marvellous Magician Show: a fast-paced show of magical madness featuring audience participation, live animals, and crazy comedy guaranteed to keep the youngsters amused
  • Wednesday 17 April from 11:15 am – Squishmallows Bingo: Learn how to play bingo for a chance to win Squishmallow prizes
  • Friday 19 April from 10:45 am – Build-a-Bear Workshop: Your child will become the ultimate bear builder, creating their perfect one-of-a-kind cuddly companion to take home
  • Monday 22 April from 11:15 am – Pokemon Paint n Sip: Embark on a colourful journey as you paint your favourite Pokemon-themed canvas while enjoying a refreshing Slurpee
  • Wednesday 24 April from 11:15 am – LEGO Bingo: Learn how to play bingo for a chance to win LEGO prizes
  • Friday 26 April from 11:15 am – Taylor Swift Dance Party: Get ready Swifties for the ultimate Taylor Swift dance party filled with Swiftie hits, karaoke and prizes for the most fabulous outfits.
bubble art

Arts and crafts rule the holidays at Shellharbour City Libraries. Image: Shellharbour City Libraries.

School Holidays at Shellharbour City Libraries

When: Various dates from Monday 15 to Friday 26 April, various times
Where: Various Shellharbour City Libraries
Cost: Free to $5, book here.

From Wonka-inspired crafts to movie nights, educational nature talks and a community family day, don’t miss school holidays at your local library.

Two children wearing chef's hats

It’s not too early to start letting the kids get their hands dirty in the kitchen. Photo: IrinaG1504.

Kids Cooking Classes at Hideaway Lane

When: Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 April, 10 am and 2 pm
Where: Hideaway Lane, 8/81 Church Street, Wollongong
Cost: $55, book here.

A kid who can cook – that’s the dream, no? Littlies can find their inner chefs these school holidays at Hideaway Lane as they cook a delicious two-course meal in this hands-on cooking class. Suitable for kids aged eight to 14, the course includes all equipment, an electronic information book and expert tuition. Parents are welcome to stay and watch the class if they wish but also welcome to leave the kids in capable hands while they have a few hours of ‘me’ time.

Kids Paint and Sip banner with illustration of artist painting the sky

“Paint and sips” are not just for adults. Image: Illawarra Yacht Club.

Kids Paint & Sip at the Illawarra Yacht Club

When: Tuesday 16 April, 11 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Illawarra Yacht Club, 1 Northcliffe Drive, Warrawong
Cost: $45, book here.

In this step-by-step art lesson, taught by local artists, kids will learn the captivating technique of acrylic painting. The workshop is open to kids aged six and above. All art materials including a 40 x 50 cm canvas to take home are included. Participants will be given full creative licence over their final piece – a chance to unleash their inner Picasso.

Banner for Abilities Unleashed event at Kiama Leisure Centre

A chance for kids of all abilities to discover a pathway to a new passion. Image: Disability Sports Australia.

Abilities Unleashed at Kiama Leisure Centre

When: Tuesday 16 April, 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Kiama Leisure Centre, 1 Havilah Place, Kiama
Cost: Free, book here.

The Abilities Unleashed Program by Disability Sports Australia is a free Abilities Unleashed session for children living with disability. This multi-sport “come and try” day provides the initial steps in the active journey of young people (up to 25 years old) living with disabilities. Each session aims to motivate and enable participants by allowing them to try a variety of sports and active recreation within a fun, safe and inclusive environment. Participants are split into small groups and rotate across four to six activity stations, each with a modified sport or recreational activity using adaptive equipment to suit the participants. The activities are facilitated by specialised coaches with the support of students and community organisations.

Print templates

With a wide range of artistic workshops at the gallery, there’s something for every little artist. Photo: Wollongong Art Gallery.

School Holidays Workshops at Wollongong Art Gallery

When: Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 April, various times
Where: Wollongong Art Gallery, 46 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: $24.49, book here.

Looking for an interesting and creative activity for the school holidays? Wollongong Art Gallery’s popular range of workshops invites children aged five to 14 to learn and experiment with various art styles and techniques.

Clay hand painted fairy houses

Wonka-mania has hit Shellharbour. Photo: Shellharbour Civic Centre.

School Holidays at Shellharbour Civic Centre

When: Tuesday 16 to Wednesday 24 April, various times
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free to $30, book here.

Thanks to Paul King’s Wonka, Wonka-mania has hit the world all over again and the Illawarra is no exception. Among Shellharbour Civic Centre’s school holiday lineup are some Wonka-inspired activities. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Girl paints

Get creative at Expression Art Experience studio. Photo: Expressive Art Experience.

School Holiday Art Workshops at Expressive Art Experience

When: Tuesday 16 to Wednesday 24 April, various times
Where: Expressive Art Experience, 13 Newing Circuit, Kiama Downs
Cost: $39 to $50, book here.

Expressive Art Experience offers an eclectic array of workshops for young creatives. Paint all manner of subjects from smiling faces to sunset silhouettes. Spaces are limited and many sessions have already booked out, so get in quick. Participants are welcome to bring a water bottle and snack (no nuts). Enclosed shoes and clothes that can get messy are advised, and aprons are provided.

Woman makes cake pops with kids

Sweet and educational, don’t miss these workshops at Maxwells Treats. Photo: The Treat Factory & The Dairy Bar.

Bean to Bar Chocolate School Holiday Workshop at Maxwell Treats

When: Tuesday 16 and Tuesday 23 April, 9:45 am, 11:15 am and 1 pm
Where: Maxwells Treats, 6 Old Creamery Lane, Berry
Cost: $45, book here.

Treat your kids to a fun, educational and hands-on experience during the school holidays. Children will have the opportunity to learn about chocolate, taste different types of chocolate and get hands-on creating their own unique chocolate treats to take home. Classes will teach where chocolate comes from and how it’s grown and produced before kids will have the chance to use professional chocolate equipment to produce their take-home giant speckle and a marshmallow chocolate pop. They’ll even package and label their products!

Partially painted skateboard

This fun, free program is funded by the NSW regional youth Government Grant and brought to you by Kiama and District Stronger Community. Photo: South Coast Kook.

Paint a Skateboard Workshop at the Pavilion, Kiama

When: Wednesday 17 April, 10 am
Where: The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong Street, Kiama
Cost: Free, book here.

In this free workshop open to young people aged 12 to 24, the South Coast Kook will guide participants in creating their own skateboard deck design. Parents are welcome to assist their child or leave and return later. Each participant will receive a skateboard blank, 16 Surfpaint pens, a sketchpad, a pencil, tracing paper, and other resources to help with the design process. The Surfpaint pens are made with ingredients that ensure guaranteed adhesion to fibreglass surfboards, but they also work on just about anything due to the nature of the smooth, consistent, water-based acrylic paint.

Banner for Disco at Warilla Bowling Club

Enjoy dinner while the kids enjoy some sweet tunes. Image: Warilla Bowling Club.

School Holidays Disco at Warilla Bowlo

When: Wednesday 17 April, 5 to 7 pm
Where: Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club, Jason Avenue, Barrack Heights
Cost: $12, book here.

Looking for a bit of quick and easy entertainment for the little ones that fits in around dinner? Sneak downstairs for a nice quiet meal while Warilla Bowlo entertains the kids. All children will receive a party bag on arrival before Ignite Dance Parties delivers tunes, lots of games and ice cream to finish off the night.

Painting of fish and starfish

Learn about the life and nature of Shellharbour waters before creating art inspired by its beauty. Image: Shellharbour City Council.

Discovering Shells Art Making Workshop at The Imaginarium

When: Wednesday 17 April, 9:30 to 11 am
Where: The Imaginarium, Wentworth Street, Shellharbour
Cost: $15, book here.

Children, parents and art and nature lovers (aged eight to 108) are invited to a morning of artmaking guided by resident artist Stephanie Quirk and inspired by shells found in our local harbour. This workshop will include a 30-minute ambling discovery walk to the pram and wheelchair friendly Shellharbour Village boat ramp. Participants will explore the namesake of Shellharbour and come back to the studio inspired by some artmaking.

Art palette with oil paints

Flicks and art at Shell Cove. Photo: starlight_starlight.

School Holidays at The Waterfront Shell Cove

When: Various dates from Wednesday 17 to 24 April, various times
Where: The Waterfront Shell Cove
Cost: Free.

Free art workshops hosted by celebrated young Illawarra artist Tegan Georgette and box office hits on the big screen can be found at The Waterfront Shell Cove these autumn school holidays. The art workshops have limited spaces, so book early.

School Holidays at Georgia Rose

When: Various dates, Wednesday 17 to Wednesday 24 April, 10 am to noon
Where: Georgia Rose, 1/9 Marina Drive, Shell Cove
Cost: $39, book here.

Two exciting art experiences will take place at Georgia Rose these holidays. The first is a clay sculpting workshop guided by the experts from Black Duck Studio. Children will create their favourite character or animal with air-dry clay which they can paint. The second is a themed painting workshop run by Michelle Springett of Expressive Art Experience and accompanied by delicious pizza. There are two sessions for each activity and all materials are included.

Whalebone at IPAC

When: Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April, 10 am and 12:30 pm
Where: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: General $29, school and vacation care groups eight-plus $16, book here.

Welcome to the “Depository”, a mysterious bureau that has seen better days. The last, rather whimsical worker continues an important task: with the help of some strange machinery, he extracts the stories that live in old, discarded objects and safeguards their memories in a magical place. But the arrival of an obsolete AI that is programmed to avoid being disconnected starts a gripping and humorous clash between the analogue and the digital.

Featuring dazzling video and computer animations, flying objects and a pinch of circus, this richly visual theatrical experience takes kids and adults on a roller-coaster ride. Performed by the imaginative tinkerer and comedian Jens Altheimer (winner of the Adelaide Fringe Award for “Best Production for Children”), physical reality turns virtual and back, in this quirky family show about what makes us human.

Two young skater girls say hello

Make your bookings now for this awesome, free event for skate enthusiasts. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

City Skate 24 at Crown Street Mall

When: Friday 19 April, 5 pm to 8 pm, Saturday 20 April, 10 am to 9 pm and Sunday 21 April, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Crown Street Mall, Crown Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

City Skate is coming back to the Wollongong CBD to celebrate Youth Week. Expect skate lessons (bookings required) and demos with pro riders George Richards, Shaun Paul and Ben Weir, basketball mini clinics presented by the Illawarra Hawks, youth markets, workshops, live music all weekend, plus a competition prize pool of $2000 in cash and giveaways. The live music programmed by Yours & Owls on Friday 19 April from 3 pm to 8 pm and Saturday 20 April from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Montage banner for holiday workshop at Miss Zoe's School of Dance

The gamut of dance and fun is crammed into one day. Image: Miss Zoe’s School of Dance Facebook.

Dance Workshop at Miss Zoe’s School of Dance Wollongong

When: Wednesday 24 April, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Miss Zoe’s School of Dance Wollongong Studio, 90 Swan Street, Wollongong
Cost: $100, email [email protected] to book.

This fabulous one-day workshop is open to everyone – not just Miss Zoe’s current students. Groups of five- to 10-years-olds and 11- to 17-year-olds, will experience ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, acrobatics, arts and craft, drama and fitness/technique – so much is jam-packed into the one day! Students are advised to wear comfortable clothing, any dance shoes they would like to wear, and bring a drink bottle, packed lunch and snacks (no nuts).

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