School holidays can get expensive, from paying for daycare or finding interesting ways to keep the kids occupied.

We’ve made life a little easier for you by making a shortlist of the top free things to do with the kids during the break.


There is plenty to see and do in Sydney with the beautiful coastal walks, world-class beaches and great family parks.

But there are also some special free events going on at the moment, including the Sydney Festival and the Night Owls Kids Film Fest.

 Between 6-28 January the Sydney Festival is hosting a bunch of free events and activities:

Jurassic Plastic

Dates: 6-28 January (closed Mondays)

The children will love this bright, bold and beautiful exhibition by Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji. He has repurposed old plastic toys to create impressive art sculptures like dinosaurs and landscapes.

Venue: Sydney Town Hall

Four Thousand Fish

Dates: 5–7, 13–14, 20–21 and 26–28 January – 4pm to 9pm

Participate in a large scale art installation where kids can create frozen fish-shaped sculptures using ocean water and moulds. 4000 fish will be returned to the Harbour to replace those captured by British colonists in just one day in 1790.

Venue: Barangaroo Reserve (image Sydney Festival)

Hand holding frozen fish sculpture

Village Pools

Dates: 5–28 January

Summer in Sydney can get very hot, so make sure you stop off at the Village Pools in Hyde Park as part of the The Meriton Festival Village. These funky pools made from shipping containers are decked out with sun lounges so parents can enjoy the sun while kids splash about. Make sure you bring your own towel!

Night Owls Kids Film Fest

Dates: 5-21 January

Movies can be quite expensive, especially for a whole family. Thankfully, the Night Owls Kids Film Fest is on at the Village Green in Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour. This great event is completely free and offers a range of films that the both you and the kids will love.

At 6.45pm each night between now and 21/1/18 there will be an outdoor movie for free and here’s what’s showing:

11/1/18: The BFG

12/1/18: The Secret Life of Pets

13/1/18: Sing

14/1/18: Red Dog; True Blue

15/1/18: The Boss Baby

16/1/18: Ballerina

17/1/18: Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

18/1/18: Kubo and the Two Strings

19/1/18: Storks

20/1/18: Little Big Shots - Three Little Ninjas Delivery Service

21/1/18: Home Alone


Melbourne is buzzing during the January school holidays with the Australian Open on and plenty more going on all around the city. Luckily, some of these events are free! 

Melbourne Zoo

During the school holidays and weekends, children get in for free. The whole family will enjoy seeing all of the animals including gorillas, elephants, lions and more!

Elliott Ave, Parkville VIC 3052

The laneways

Melbourne is famous for its artistic laneways. The electric bright coloured small streets that are tucked away off the roads can be hard to find. Make sure you take the kids to Hosier Lane, Central Place (Box Hill), Meyers Place and Tattersalls Lane. Read more.

Brighton Beach

Sydney isn’t the only city that can get hot! Melbourne brings in the scorchers too, so take the kids to Brighton Beach on a balmy day. Brighton Beach is a place that the whole family can rest, relax, swim and play in the fresh air and ocean. Make sure you go take a picture in front of the bathing boxes, a national icon.

Live entertainment at The District Docklands Shopping Precinct
Thu 21 Dec 2017 at 11:00am - Sun 28 Jan at 4:00pm.

Free live entertainment will be happening at The District Docklands Shopping Precinct during the school holidays.

- Trolls Live Show (8-14 Jan)
- Paw Patrol Live Shows (15-21 Jan)
- Shopkins Immersive Zone plus meet and greet with Kooky Cookie (22-28 Jan)


Toys Just Want To Have Fun exhibition

Dates: 10-30 January

Location: State Library, Perth Cultural Centre

Toys Just Want To Have Fun is the toy event of the summer showcasing dolls, dress ups, toys and more from the Western Australian Museum.

You and your children can build and make art, play music and games and enjoy an interactive experience together.

Free waterpark

Dates: 9am-8pm everyday

Enjoy a day in the sun at Adventure World, a free waterpark that will definitely keep the kids occupied... and laughing! There are trees to provide sun shelter, a BBQ area and a large oval for open fun and games.


Kid-friendly bike tracks

When the sun is out, a great activity to enjoy as a family is a fun bike trail. In Adelaide, there are number of tracks that are suitable for different ages and levels.

Here are our top picks:

  • Eagle Mountain Bike Park
  • Cudlee Creek Mountain Bike Loop Trails
  • Encounter Bikeway
  • Shepherds Hill Recreation Park
  • Linear Park Trail

Read more  


Catch a tram down to the family-friendly beachside area of Glenelg from Adelaide city centre. Here there are bunch of restaurants, shops and live entertainment.

But you can spend the day here for free on the beach, pack a picnic, watch free music and more.


The Currumbin Rock Pools

These rock pools are a great alternative to the Gold Coast’s endless beaches. A day at the Currumbin Rock Pools will ensure everyone has a fun day out. Head to the main pool, the most popular rock pool for kids here. Enjoy a BBQ or picnic at the grassy area located next to the creek.

Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin Valley QLD 4223