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Free or low-cost school holiday ideas

Maggie Gray | November 24, 2021

School holidays can be an expensive time of year, but we’re here to show you there’s no need to break the bank this summer.

From movies under the stars to rock climbing, and skate photography workshops – here’s a round up of the City’s free and low-cost school holiday activities to experience this summer.

Chill out  

Movies Under The Stars | Broadwater Parklands

What better way to spend an evening than watching a movie under the stars outdoors! The City of Gold Coast Movies under the Stars program is FREE, family-friendly fun on offer throughout summer. Gather your family and friends, pack a picnic and make a night of it at Movies under the Stars.

Movies on the Beach | Surfers Paradise
8 December – 24 December 2021
Surfers Paradise Movies on the Beach will see an outdoor movie screen come alive on the beach and provide free, family-friendly fun in the lead up to Christmas. To complement the movie schedule and provide some colourful ambience to the Cavill Mall area, there will be roving entertainers and carollers throughout the event.

Disney Drive in Cinema | Carrara Sports Precinct
23 November 2020 –  4 January 2021
Disney+ Drive In Cinema is coming back to the Carrara Sports Precinct this summer. From the latest releases to throwback classics, enjoy your favourite flick from the comfort of your own car or kick back on comfy bean loungers with exclusive wait service at The Park.

Summer reading club
1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022
If you want to encourage your children to keep reading over the long school holiday summer break, then our Gold Coast Libraries Summer Reading Club is just what you need. It’s easy to join online, and kids can track their progress against reading ‘challenges’, print custom certificates, submit book reviews, or simply go old-school and grab our unique fun and interactive activity booklet from their local library.

child fishing at The Spit

Splash and play

Learn to fish | The Spit
Fishing sessions led by experts, with all equipment provided – that sounds reely good to us! These sessions are great for beginners and the whole family. You’ll learn fishing techniques, the best bait to use and the safest methods to maximise released fish survival. Parents and caregivers must attend with children. The start time of the session will vary depending on the tides but will be between 9am and 10am.

Watermania | Ormeau, Pimpama, and Jacobs Well
11 December 2021, 8 and 22 January 2022
Cool down this summer and have fun getting wet at these super fun water play activities in the park. It’s the perfect afternoon out for big and little kids who want to beat the heat and have fun playing games, such as dodge balloon, run the gauntlet, water relays, the big balloon movement and don’t burst the bubble. Bring a towel and a change of clothes as you are sure to walk away drenched, with a smile on your face!

Broadwater Parklands Fun 

  • Obstacle course: Do your kids have some extra energy to burn? We have you covered with this inflatable obstacle course. Come and go as you please. No bookings required. Sunday 5 December.
  • DJ Party in the cark: Come party at the park with all your old favourites, right through to today’s hits! Sunday 12 December.
  • Wild rangers: Calling all wildlife warriors! Come and check out an interactive display of native wildlife such as lizards, frogs, invertebrates, birds, and snakes. Monday 13 December.
  • Thomas The Tank Engine train rides: Choo choo all aboard the Broadwater Express! Grab the kids and explore the parklands on one of our free scenic train rides around the Broadwater Parklands. Wednesday 15 and 22 December.
  • Christmas crafts: Keep those little hands busy over the holiday season and get creative making Christmas tree decorations. 20 minute workshops on every half an hour. Tuesday 14 December.
  • Pop up playground: Sparky Do Dah’s pop-up playground is a collection of activities and games like sack races, stilt walking, balance beams and more. Best suited for kids aged 3 to 12 years. Monday 20 December.
  • Pom pom workshop: Join us for a fun session of crafts and groovy music. All participants will wind their very own Pom Pom and learn a series of twirling tricks when they are done. Tuesday 21 December.
  • Circus Rio: The Circus Rio Spectacular is back in town showcasing internationally acclaimed, world-class Australian and international performers. It’s a circus show with something for everyone. Friday 17 December 2020 – 8 January 2021.

Kayaking | Oxenford and Nerang
8 and 20 January 2022
Experience life on the water while exploring our city’s beautiful waterways. Kayaking is a fun activity that can be done solo or with family and friends. It’s also a great way to connect with nature. Suitable for children aged six years and older. The start time of the session will vary depending on the tides, but will be between 9am and 10am and run for 2 hours. Location will be given once booking is confirmed.

For the skate groms:

‘Yeah Girl’ Cruiser skate workshops and roller-skating | Jacobs Well
12 December 2021, 9 January 2022
Yeah Girl and Gold Coast Skateboard Coaching are teaming up to deliver some all-girl skateboarding workshops. Learn from Sarah and Jay in a safe and non-intimidating environment, while celebrating women’s skateboarding. It doesn’t matter where you are in your skate journey – no experience is needed. Make new friends, build your confidence, and hone your skills. BYO gear or use our skateboards and helmets.

‘Yeah Girl’ Skate photography workshops | Ormeau
15 January 2022
A skate photography workshop for those who have a passion for skateboarding and want to learn how to capture it. We’ll cover things like composition, how to capture the context of a trick, basic technical skills and settings, photographing a skate event, communicating with skateboarders you’re shooting, how to get your work published, and more!  Ages 15 years and up.

Rock N Sizzle skate event | Varsity Lakes
11 December 2021
Come down to your local skate park and join Jesse Noonan for Rock ‘N’ Sizzle. This two-hour event includes a short coaching session, demos, skate jam, raffle and games. The event is about bringing the community together and promoting skating to families in a healthy and safe environment.

 

 

Fun Daze – Rollerskate beach cruise | Miami, Broadbeach
4 December 2021 – 23 January 2022
Enjoy a cruisy roller skate experience and hit the Gold Coast’s best roller skating locations, from our beautiful beach paths, expansive netball courts to some of our awesome skate park locations. To participate skaters must be able to skate unassisted. Bring your own skates and protective gear is mandatory. Ages seven years and up.

Fun Daze – learn to roller skate | Miami, Jacobs Well, Broadbeach, Palm Beach
4 December 2021 – 23 January 2022
Ever wanted to learn how to roller skate but not sure how to start? This is the perfect workshop for you. Experienced coaches will teach you basic skating techniques including skating stance, pushing, toe stop techniques, stopping, turning, skating backwards and front to back transitions. Please bring your own skates and protective gear is mandatory. Ages five years and up.

Skateboarding workshops | Miami, Varsity Lakes, Coomera, Nerang, Ormeau, Mudgeeraba
4 December 2021 – 22 January 2022
Come on down to your local skate park and be taught by our great coaches. Learning new skills may be a little challenging – but challenges are good. If you feel nervous about trying skateboarding, don’t be – these workshops are all inclusive and great for beginners, all ages three years and up. You don’t even need your own gear as we supply skateboards and helmets for up to 15 participants.


Let’s get physical

Laughter yoga from families | Molendinar
10 January 2022
Bring joy, laughter, your inner child and let go of daily life stress and join us at the very popular laughter yoga. It involves a series of movement and breathing exercises to promote deliberate laughter. Everyone will leave feeling uplifted, energised and with huge smiles.

Climb, bubble and pop | Burleigh Heads and Paradise Point
14 December 2021, 15 January 2022
Challenge yourself on the 11-metre-high mobile rock wall. Fully qualified and friendly instructors give you the guidance needed to ensure your climbing adventure is enjoyable, exciting and safe. The rock climbing activity is suitable for children (from six years of age), parents and caregivers and enclosed shoes must be worn. While you’re waiting, join in on a mind-blowing, magic bubble-popping fun activity! Learn different types of bubble tricks with a twist, to become a bubble master. Bring the picnic blanket and invite friends for an adventurous morning out in the park.

Parkour adventure | Southport
23 January 2022
Everyone will be challenged with custom made obstacles to tackle in an outdoor parkour course. You will be shown the best techniques to make your way around the course quickly, efficient and safely. Run, jump, climb, roll, vault and leap any obstacles in your way. For ages 7 years plus.

Retro beach games | Coolangatta
7 January 2022
Nothing makes a beach visit more enjoyable than playing some good old-fashioned games. Think cricket, frisbee, beach touch, soccer and retro games. Keep the whole family entertained, laughing, and breathing in the fresh air. For all ages. 

 

 

The weird and wonderful

Silent scavenger disco hunt | Surfers Paradise, Benowa
Have you ever experienced a scavenger game, wearing a headset? You will get clues and hints to search the park and complete tasks while grooving to music. Silent scavenger disco hunt is guaranteed to be a unique and fun experience for the whole family.

Dance TikTok inspired jam | Benowa, Worongary, Ashmore
11 December 2021, 16 and 19 January 2022
Come along to dance to your favourite TikTok jams. This workshop will turn your child’s obsession into a fun and active class where they can learn from experienced dancers and teachers. Find the inner dancer in you and learn the moves that are taking the world by storm. 

Tie-dye and park games | Hope Island, Surfers Paradise
17 December 2021, 21 January 2022
It’s colour, laughter and hours of entertainment for the whole family. Bring a white item (t-shirt, socks, small bag) and bring them to life with colourful swirls, stripes or spiral patterns in an vibrant tie-dye workshop. While you are waiting your turn, enjoy Sparky Do Dah’s Pop-Up Playground and try stilts, juggling sticks, duck fishing, balance and old-school retro games – suitable for all ages. Pack the picnic blanket, snacks and invite family and friends to enjoy time in the fresh air.

Bubble popping parkour adventure | Nerang
15 December 2021
Come for a fun morning out, with parkour adventure challenges combined with bubble popping fun! From jumping, climbing and vaulting to mind-blowing, magic bubble-popping fun! Learn different types of bubble tricks with a twist, to become a bubble master. Bring the picnic blanket and invite friends for a fun morning out in the park.

Colour explosion obstacle course | Southport, Mermaid Waters
13 December 2021, 21 January 2022
Fill your day with colour! Challenge yourself on an obstacle course while being sprayed with colour powder and water. So book in, grab a white shirt, friends and family and head to the park for some colour filled fun!

Check out the full Active and Healthy, Libraries, and Naturally GC school holiday programs.

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