9 AWESOME XMAS SCHOOL HOLIDAY IDEAS!
So it's nearly that time of year again, yes folks, #schoolholidays - the Christmas school holidays bring with them (hopefully) a bit of sunshine. So we've thought of some fun things to do during the school holidays around the Yarra Valley and Dandenong region. 8 weeks is a LONG time and keeping kids busy and active is usually a lot harder than you think.
Whether it brings joy with the thought of sleep ins, routine-less-ness and a 'no-packed-lunches-for-two-weeks' regime ... OR on the other end of the scale, perhaps the fear of how to keep your kids healthy, happy and entertained (on a budget) for what sometimes may seem an interminable fortnight. Yes, the endless messy house, device overload (and then guilt), and ofcourse the constant empty fridge and cupboard scenario (those stomachs never seem to get full right?!).
Here we bring you 9 awesome kids activities and things to do around our special region that you can diarise to do during the school holidays because really ... we all need things to do over these magical 8 weeks right?! Whether you are coming from Melbourne for a day trip, or staying a few nights - or even a local, check out our school holiday guide.
Well, here at Yarra Valley Lodge, we understand. We've done a bit of research to find out the top 9 fun things to do with your kids these school holidays - from the budget conscious, to the more extravagant option.
Our numero 1. We LOVE this place. This Zoo is one of the best places to see Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. An awesome way to get up close and personal with kangaroos, koalas and all your furry friends! Kids are free on weekends and school holidays!
Cost = $0. Gotta love that.
Summer in Victoria is can be hot, but the walk at Sherbrooke Falls is surrounded by stunning flora and fauna that provides great shade. A perfect time to head out for a walk with your family at Sherbrooke Picnic Ground - an easy 2.4 km loop. Pick up some delicious morsels and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Cost = $0. Whoop!
OK, so this is an oldie, but a goodie!! Anyone whose been on Puffing Billy LOVES it. And we mean young to old. You jump on a steam train and meander through the Dandedong Ranges. The whole dangling your legs over the carriage is a truely memorable experience, and it's a great way to spend time with your family and re-live what the past used to be like.
Cost = Ranges between $28 - $108
Ummm.. who doesn't like a good dose of sweet?! Especially kid-friendly, a visit to the Chocolaterie is a bit of an experience, offering tours, a cafe and all sorts of chocolatey goodness you would expect! A definite visit for the family.
Cost = depends on how much chocolate you can consume!!
There is something for everyone at the unique playspace, including older children and even adults. The new playspace is inspired by local creeks, wetlands, marshes, reed beds and animals in their natural habitat. In particular the design reflects how water can affect the landscape, life cycle of animals and their habitats. There are thoughtful references to the Gang-gang Cockatoo, the Helmeted Honeyeater and platypus.
Splash pad with water activities for all ages
Sensory creek bed with mushrooms
Platypus and wood duck climbing sculptures
giant basket swing
double flying fox
Cost = FREE!
Summer = Cherries. Open every day from mid November until mid January, Cherryhill Orchards opens it's doors to the public. Fun for all ages, this is a great school holiday activity that the whole family will enjoy. So why not pack a picnic, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and have fun picking the biggest, sweetest tasting cherries straight from the tree. You'll never taste cherries fresher than that!
This is a fantastic school activity. Head to the Yarra Valley Railway and jump aboard a historic trip on the Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill, crossing the Watts River, under the Donovan's Road overbridge and through the historic tunnel at Tarrawarra Winery. Relax and take in the spectacular sights and sounds of the beautiful Yarra Valley.
The round trip departs Healesville station from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the school holidays.
So it doesn't need to be all about the kids, and looking for kid friendly wineries around the Yarra Valley is no problem. We love Oakridge Winery for its outdoor giant chess, jenga and bocce. They also have a great kids menu and during school holidays the kids can sign up to budding MasterChef cooking classes!
This would have to be a highlight of a lifetime. We seriously recommend doing a hot air ballooning yarra valley experience at least once in your life! This is something for the 7 years and older age groups (though warn them of the early start!). A breath-taking ride over the Yarra Valley landscape followed by a hearty buffet breakfast at our very own Bella Restaurant.
Cost = Begins at $285 ... but we insist - this is an extravagance you won't regret!
As well as these fabulous school holiday ideas - if you stay at Yarra Valley Lodge for 2 or more nights you get our Stay and Save Deal which saves 20% -- something to put towards one of the ideas above #winning.