As a new mum I have a new found appreciation for all things child friendly. There’s nothing better than keeping your little ones happily occupied and your sanity intact, especially over the school holidays. And yes the weather may be chilly, but Bendigo has got your back. Check out our ultimate winter school holiday guide to Bendigo. You can thank me later...
#1 Get Animated
Popcorn – tick! Snuggly couch – tick! Get your tickets ready as Star Cinema, housed in the historic Eaglehawk Town Hall, is holding a School Holiday Animation Film Festival, July 6 – 8. A goodie for the young and young at heart, enjoy a little nostalgia with four classic movies: Fantasia (1940), The Little Mermaid (1989), Ponyo (2008), and The Secrets of Kells (2009).
#2 Calling All Budding Picassos
Let their minds run free with a kaleidoscope of art making workshops inspired by the current exhibitions and collections at Bendigo Art Gallery. Art making tables stocked with a wide variety of papers, tapes, pencils and art tools will keep your budding little artist busy and inspired. For more info click here.
#3 Potter For A Day
Create your very own masterpiece! And what kid doesn’t love playing with clay and getting their hands dirty. Fun is a must in the potters’ workshop from trying your hand on the wheel, decorating a plate or mug, or picking up a Clay Play Kit to hand sculpt a piece. Click here for more info.
#4 Gumboots On Little Farmers
Jamar Lodge is the perfect family farm stay for those who like to get hands on. Soak up country life just 25 minutes out of Bendigo where your little ones can feed pet sheep Benji and Archie, take a tour of the shearing shed and learn all about life on the farm. Then rug up because when night falls the fire pit is lit and marshmallows are on the menu – yum! Book your stay here.
#5 Be Entertained
Sit back and prepare to be entertained. Bendigo’s theatre scene offers something for everyone these school holidays. Splash Test Dummies will have you in tears of laughter with a brand new hour of circus filled hilarity for the whole family. Or for something a little more intimate, Robot Song follows the journey of a young girl learning to understand her unique way of relating to the world. Purchase your tickets here.
#6 Winter Fire Sparktacular
Not only does Bendigo’s Discovery Science and Technology Centre have over 100 exhibits to explore and the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest vertical slide, but they’ll be running live science shows full of fire demonstrations to ward off the winter blues, building paper igloos and exploring our hot and energetic universe. Sign me up! For more info on session times click here.
#7 For The Adventurous
It’s time to get down and dirty! Gear up in overalls, boots, miner’s hat and lamp, then make the descent 85 metres underground at Central Deborah Gold Mine. Explore the tunnels and work a mine drill as you experience life as a miner during the gold rush. Oh and no tour is complete without a traditional miner’s lunch – cornish pastry come at me! Book your tour here.
#8 Create Your Own
Get ready because Arnold Street Gallery is holding creative workshops for primary and secondary school kids in costume design, jewellery and badge making. That’s right, professional artists will be taking over the gallery to encourage our young artists to explore and reflect their imagination in their own fashion designs. Book a workshop here.
#9 Super Fun Indoor Play
Rain, hail or shine, there’s plenty of indoor activities to suit little ones of all ages. Why not try Golden Dragon Museum, Parky's Wonderland, Bendigo Bowling Centre, Confectionery Capers or The Zone Fun Park. That’s hours of jam-packed fun for everyone, or maybe a time out for you to recharge your batteries.
#10 It’s Free
Sometimes we all need a little fresh air. So when the winter sun comes out to play feel free to take advantage of it. Bendigo is home to over 100 playgrounds. Our favs include Fun Loong in Hargreaves Mall and the Adventure Play Space at Lake Weeroona.