Free things to do during Easter school holidays

Are the kids getting bored as fast as your school holiday budget is running out? Then try these free experiences, from creative workshops to playing in an interactive zone inspired by a new family movie.

Signal

A creative studio where young people collaborate with professional artists working in various media, Signal always has a super school holiday program. Like New Kids on the Block: Deck Art, a session for decorating skateboards with spray cans, sharpies, stencils, even collage. And Sound School: Plant Synthesizers and Water Music, an incredible opportunity to create sounds, even compose music, with water, ice and plants. Turn trash to treasure in Open Artspace: Junk Jewellery or wander down nightly from 7pm to see animations made by young people at Signal in screen season of: Animation Temptation. Amazingly, everything is free, always, and there are more to be found at the Signal website. Book your kids in quick!

Please note Deck Art and Sound School are now booked out. Contact Signal to join the wait list.

A large building with projections on the side at night

Signal

Easter trail at the Queen Victoria Market

Follow in the fluffy footsteps of the Easter bunny at Queen Victoria Market from 6 to 21 April, where an adorable Easter trail will be set up for kids young and old. Take your little one on a scavenger hunt to gather clues, find hidden bunnies and win a prize. If you get peckish the sweet smell of freshly baked hot cross buns will guide you through the Dairy Produce Hall for a post-hunt treat. Make sure you hang around on Easter Saturday and Sunday, as the bunny of the hour will be making special appearances with treats for all!

ArtPlay

Young imaginations can go wild at ArtPlay, including with an immersive experience called Beneath. This underwater wonderland made of recycled plastic was nominated for Best Kids Event at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe. It’s full of surprising creatures, strange sounds, and food for thought about where our plastic waste goes. There’s also the Air Camp Pop-up Installation: illuminated inflatable sculptures designed and made by children from re-purposed tents.

A large diorama artwork of an underwater coral reef scene made of lots of different recycled plastic and glass

Beneath at ArtPlay

Fun at the library

There’s so much more than books at libraries these days, including heaps of school holiday activities. Meet a zoologist and learn about reptiles at the Lizzy’s Lizards sessions, or get to know some Australian animals at the Wild Action Zoo sessions. They’re all free, but book ahead.

Wonder Park Interactive Zone

Wonder Park, the new movie about an imaginative girl who discovers an amazing amusement park, becomes real at Docklands during the holidays. At the Wonder Park Interactive Zone, kids can knock down the Chimpanzombies and build their own mini rollercoaster. There are lots of craft activities and photo opportunities, and the chance to meet Boomer, the movie’s friendly blue bear. No bookings required, just head to The District.

Nature Play in the Gardens

Kids of all ages, and kids at heart, are invited to enjoy some nature-based sensory experiences at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Drop by any time between 10am and 1pm on 17 April for Nature Play in the Gardens. Frolic through the rustling autumn leaves, float a boat down a stream and build a shelter. It’s all wonderfully calming and totally free.

A large outdoor garden on a sunny day

Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens during the school holidays. Pic thanks to Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Supreme Court School Holiday Program

It might sound dull or intimidating, but the Supreme Court School Holiday Program is anything but. Primary school-aged children can participate in a mock trial to learn about what happens in a courtroom, and the importance of justice. There’s also the chance to go behind the scenes, including a visit to the beautiful Supreme Court library and grounds. It’s free but registration is essential.

Hop into the TV Director’s Chair at Melbourne Museum

What’s the coolest way to learn about the importance of wearing helmets and other protective gear when riding bikes, scooters and skateboards? By making a broadcast-quality ad about it! Tweens can hop into the TV director’s chair at Melbourne Museum, while little siblings get into road safety-themed puzzles, games and badge-making. Limited drop-in spaces are available for these half-hour sessions, but it’s best to book ahead.

Shrine of Remembrance Autumn School Holiday Program

Everyone had to be resourceful on the homefront during World War II, even children. The Shrine’s Autumn School Holiday Program helps today’s kids discover how resourceful they can be too with Make Do and Mend workshops. Before they get hands-on re-purposing all sorts of things, participants are guided through the Galleries of Remembrance to introduce ideas like adaptability. These hour-long sessions are free but bookings are essential.

An aerial shot over a large area of parklands, with a triangular roofed shrine set in the middle

The Shrine of Remembrance

More school holiday options

Explore our school holidays event listings for even more ideas about how to keep the kids entertained.