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Gold Coast school holidays made easy with these 18 fun activities for kids

Natalie O’Driscoll | June 14, 2022

Keep the kids entertained these winter school holidays with our comprehensive list of boredom-busting Gold Coast activities

Gold Coast school holiday organising has never been so easy. Keep the kids entertained with our comprehensive list of activities for 2022 Gold Coast winter school holidays.

Roll up to the new Pizzey Park Skate Park

The world-class Pizzey Park Skate Park underwent a 3,0002 m square metre extension and upgrade in 2022, bringing it up to a whopping size of seven basketball courts. The upgrade has added features like banks, rails, ledges, stairs, hubbas, blocks, kickers, extensive flats and a big bank extension with skateable signage for advanced riders.

Miami not near your ‘hood? Never fear. Believe it or not, Gold Coast has more skate and BMX parks per capita than any other city in Australia. So check out any of the awesome parks from Ormeau to Coolangatta, and have yourself a wheely good time these Gold Coast school holidays.

Be ignited by BIG CITY LIGHTS*

BIG CITY LIGHTS*, an ambitious new arts festival that celebrates light, design, installation and live performance, will take over the Southport CBD from 7 to 10 July 2022. A Gold Coast first, these four-nights of colour and creativity will feature immersive audio-visual experiences, large-scale digital works, 3D mapping and unexpected projection sites that will transform the city’s everyday urban spaces.

Step into the spotlight at this free, family-friendly event delivered by Placemakers* Gold Coast (best known for the flagship annual arts festival – BLEACH*), with a program that highlights Queensland and the Gold Coast as a cultural destination to Australia and the world, and enjoy this spectacular installation that’s conveniently plonked right in the middle of the Gold Coast school holidays.

Immerse yourself in Surface Festival Miami

From 3 to 17 July 2022, visual artists of all mediums will showcase their work across the many surfaces of Miami, with art exploding onto the footpaths, fence lines, laneways and walls. Audiences are invited to walk, ride, roll and stroll through the streets and witness the Surface Festival magic unfold. This family-friendly festival is all about connecting the two creative precincts of Miami, from Hillcrest Parade through to Lemana Lane with art of all forms, and will feature a tonne of activities, events and live music, too. It runs for two weeks – including a full week of the Gold Coast school holidays – so there will be plenty of opportunities to take the kids again and again!

Lights, camera, action! It’s showtime

The trusty old cinema will keep the young ‘uns entertained for a few hours on those too-chilly school holiday days. Gold Coast is home to a plethora of huge cinemas with a range of experiences on offer from your standard shows through to the top-of-the-line multi-sensory experience of 4DX. Long-time northern staple Nerang Cineplex is a great option for a cheap day or night out, while the shiny new Dendy cinema in Southport offers gorgeous contemporary surrounds and an eclectic mix of mainstream and art house films, as well as deals for students.

Get amongst the Gold Coast Libraries program

Gold Coast Libraries are always a winner when it comes to school holiday activities, with a schedule of fun and educational events held all across the city, targeted to a wide range of ages. This year’s holiday program has an environmental focus, with a sustainable futures workshop, design a library bag, LEGO nature build challenge, seed and grain art, bee craft and make your own bird feeder workshop all on offer.

Answer the call of the wild with winter whale watching

June is the kick-off month for whale watching on the Gold Coast, and the Humpback Highway comes to life with these playful, cavorting creatures as they begin their annual migration. With over 35,000 humpback whales embarking on their trip past our shores each year until October, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll manage to catch some gentle giants up close when you head out with one of Gold Coast’s many whale watching tour operators. Some of the boats have underwater mics that let you hear the whales singing and calling to each other, and these curious creatures often come right up to the boat to say hello to the humans, too.

Make a day of it at HOTA

HOTA is the perfect playground for the whole family. You can plan ahead and book a gig, a movie or a show, or just rock up and check out what’s on offer that day. The HOTA gallery has free entry, and the grommets will love the latest exhibition in HOTA’s dedicated Children’s Gallery – Postcards from the Edge – a colourful, interactive installation of Martin Edge’s travel paintings. Be sure to climb the giant sandcastle! Popular ticketed LEGO experience Bricktionary is still running in Gallery 1, with over 1 million LEGO bricks in over 150 models, build zones and interactive challenges. One the last weekend little creatives can check out ARTLAB – LEGO® MATION with Toonworld. When you’re done exploring, grab some munchies from the café or head down to Evandale Lake for a picturesque picnic and a romp in the playground. Endless family fun these school holidays.

BIG CITY LIGHTS* will take over Southport in July

There’s something for everyone at Bricktionary

Watch the streets of Miami come to life at Surface Festival

Get busy at Broadwater Parklands

This popular family hangout zone will come alive with activities during the Gold Coast winter school holidays, including a pop-up playground, circus workshops, balloon twisting workshops, inflatable horse racing, bubble play and an inflatable maze, to name a few. And of course, it’s still one of the prettiest places on the Gold Coast to head for a picnic on the grass, play on the jumping pillow and – if you feel like braving it! – a splash in the Broadwater.

Cosy up with winter vibes at the Oasis

Head to the Winter Wonderland themed activation on Level One of the Oasis Broadbeach from 4 to 8 July. Kids will love stepping into the snowy world to create their very own snow globe to take home. With tickets only $5 for half an hour, the whole brood can join in the fun! Bookings essential through Gold Coast Tickets. Once the kids have made their globe, you can pop downstairs to Madison’s Café & Patisserie for a warming hot chocolate and some snowman or snowflake cookies that the family can decorate and eat themselves for $15. Cookie decorating runs over 29 and 30 June, and 6 and 7 July on the Gold Coast school holidays. Bookings essential via the Madisons website.

Go au naturel in the rainforest

If you want to use the school holidays to check out some Gold Coast rainforest, then the walk to Natural Bridge is for you. Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Natural Bridge features a stunning rock formation, created by the force of the waterfall over the top of a cave. Park at the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road car park and take the easy 1km circuit to the arch, and let the kids spot local fauna such as paradise riflebirds, sooty owls and koalas while marvelling at the ancient Jurassic-era trees. Best part? It’s totally free.

Thrill your senses at the Gold Coast Botanic Gardens

The free Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens are open year-round, from 5am to 7pm each day. Curious kids will love the Sensory Garden these school holidays, where they’re welcome to smell and touch a beautiful array of plants and flowers. The Gardens also play host to a Mangroves to Mountains walk, a native butterfly garden, rose garden, huge playground for kids and off-leash dog area for your poochy pal. And it’s never too cold for icecream, so be sure to stop in at the café for some treats while you’re there.

Flutter into the Butterfly House

Get back to nature at the Butterfly House enclosure in Carrara, where you can walk amongst the beautiful Australian butterflies that gently flutter around in a tropical garden setting. Kids can learn about the butterfly life cycle and see butterfly eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis that may even hatch before their very eyes. Learn how to help with Butterfly Conservation in your own backyard and be sure to hold out a finger – you never know when a tired butterfly friend might like to have a little rest.

Get into the swing of things with mini golf

Who doesn’t love mini golf? Take a putt and challenge yourself and the family at one of Gold Coast’s many courses these school holidays, including Carrara Mini Golf, Holey Moley, Surfers Paradise Mini Golf, Putt Putt Mermaid Beach, The Park at Coomera and the brilliantly named Boulders and Badlands in Parkwood. Just don’t let the kids beat you, because you’ll never hear the end of it.

The popular Broadwater parklands jumping pillow keeps kids entertained

Make your own snow globe at The Oasis

Natural Bridge. Image via @DestinationGoldCoast

Saddle up!

Gold Coast’s bountiful outdoor spaces form the perfect backdrop for a relaxing horse ride with the kids these school holidays. Get up close and personal with some of nature’s most beautiful creatures and take to the trails at Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat, Gold Coast Equestrian Centre, Red Gum Riding and Arundel Park Riding for the Disabled (a limited number of places for able bodied riders are available at the Arundel centre).

Chase the adrenaline rush at Game Over GC

Visit the Gold Coast’s largest indoor family entertainment centre these school holidays and get that heart pumping with a range of thrilling activities including Go Karting (junior and adult levels available), clip n climb adventure rock climbing, the challenging Leap of Faith experience, high tech Lazer tag, indoor zip coaster, GO-VR experiences and much more. It’s a one stop adventure shop.

Muscle into GC’s Active & Healthy program

A few extra sweet treats can end up sneaking onto the menu during the school holidays, so it’s important to stay active. And physical activity is also a great way to stay warm! Fortunately, City of Gold Coast’s Active & Healthy program has got you covered, with a whole range of fun and challenging events for the kids happening all over the coast. Activations include gladiator games, parkour adventures, a BMX clinic, dance jams, rock climbing, a silent disco and colour explosion fun day, with the full program available on the City’s website.

Take your picnic beach-side

It might not be perfect beach swimming weather right now, but there is still plenty of sunshine and nature to enjoy. Pile the family into the SUV alongside the king-sized esky and blankets galore, and head to one of the Gold Coast’s many grassy foreshores for a picnic by the beach. You could even grab your cabana and stretch out on the golden sand! There’s nothing quite like fresh sandwiches eaten in salty air next to the sounds of crashing waves. Be sure to bring a ball for a kick around to get the appetite going before lunch.

On ya bike! Ride your way around the coast these hols

Gold Coast is a cyclist’s dream, with endless stretches of bike-friendly pathways to choose from all across the city. Enjoy the sea breeze on one of the beach paths or hit the hinterland for some more challenging tracks these school holidays. And when it comes to family friendly BMX and mountain bike trails on the Gold Coast, we’ve got your back.

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