There was a time when my mother had five children and a close-to-zero budget for holiday fun. Of all the boring places, we were in Canberra — but my simple school holidays now form some of my fondest memories.
Big fun doesn’t cost a thing. My long summers were filled with was three-out- all-out cricket in the front yard with the neighbours.
But if badly played backyard sport doesn’t scream school holiday fun for you, then try some of these ideas to get out of your hood, free of charge:
The main events
Mamamia’s Jo Abi, a mum of three, has shared her top tips for the main free events.
Sydney’s Beach: As part of the Sydney Festival there is a “beach” made up of over one million little white balls and you can “swim” in it and “surf” it and “float” on it. So fun. It runs from 7-29 January.
Michael Jackson tribute: Get you and your one white glove down to this library workshop in Melbourne where a professional dancer teaches kids the moves to Thriller, Smooth Criminal and Black and White.
Haighs free chocolate tour: This free guided tour in Adelaide teaches your kids about the history of chocolate. But be armed with money for the shop at the end.
Trace your family history: at The Migration Museum in Adelaide. This free event allows visitors trace find out about long lost relatives and map how they ended up in Australia.
Life’s a beach
I was raised inland so the beach is still a place of wonder to me.
It’s the perfect place for families. From Bondi to Broome, we have some of the most stunning beaches in the world here in Australia.
Take a walk
I recently did Sydney’s famous Bondi to Bronte walk. It’s not pram-friendly, but with older kids it’s incidental exercise with a free swim at the end.
All over Australia there are safe treks for families and a great chance to share an experience together.
ACT: A walk around the basin of Lake Burley Griffin is so Canberra or trek up Mt Stromlo to see some Kangaroos in the wild.
NSW: The Bondi to Bronte walk makes you glad you were born Australian.
NT: A guided walk in Litchfield National Park might just be worth buying.
QLD: You can potentially spot a platypus on the Eungella National Park trek in Mackay’s hinterland.
SA: Kangaroo Island has organised walking tours as well as shorter strolls and the mainland has a wide variety of rambles.
WA: The best hike near Perth is said to be Sullivan’s Rock to Monadnocks Shelter on the Bibbulmun Track.