The Summer School Holidays are almost here, and we can’t wait for warm, sunny days by the pool and the beach. Of course, six weeks is a long time to keep the kids entertained, so we want to lend a helping hand! This is our second instalment of the Essential Guide to Summer Holidays, which is packed with even more options for entertaining, amusing and even educating your kids these summer holidays. So scroll down, and see what appeals!
- Australian Reptile Park (Somersby)
- Bop till you Drop (Mosman & Gladesville)
- Broadway Jam, Jim Jam (Hornsby)
- Carlile Swimming (Castle Cove & Lane Cove West)
- Chatswood Family Festival on the Concourse
- Cheeky Monkeys Play House (Warriewood)
- CRU Holiday Camps (Galston, Terrey Hills and Central Coast)
- Gowrie Vacation Care (North Sydney)
- Inspire Tennis (Killara & Roseville)
- Jeral Puppets (Castle Cove)
- Kids Circle (Chatswood, Lindfield, Northbridge)
- Ku-ring-gai Council’s Vacation Care (St Ives & Lindfield)
- Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden (St Ives)
- Ku-ring-gai Art Centre Holiday Program (Gordon)
- Moving Bodies Holiday Programs (Mt Ku-ring-gai)
- Speaking Schools Australasia (Online, Burwood, St Leonards, Moore Park)
- Sydney Opera House Kids Shows
- Tanya’s Travelling Tadpoles (Your home)
- The Mix at Chatswood Place
- Turramurra Learn To Swim
Cheeky Monkeys Play House (Warriewood)
Cheeky Monkeys Play House Vacation Care runs Monday to Friday during the summer school holidays. They offer a wide range of fun and exciting activities, including both incursions and excursions! Some activities include arts and crafts, cooking days, science experiments, days at the park, bowling, putt putt golf, arcades, water parks and so much more! Government rebates available to eligible families. Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch & Afternoon Tea are all included.
- When: Monday to Friday during school holidays
- Time: 6.45am – 6pm
- Where: 1101/4 Daydream Street, Warriewood
- Suited for: Primary-aged children
- Cost: $85-$99 (Government rebates available to eligible families)
- Website: cheekymonkeysplayhouse.com.au
Gowrie North Sydney Vacation Care
Looking for an action-packed Vacation Care program of hands-on creativity, exploration, investigation, and fun around North Sydney? From art and drama to science and sports, there’s something to engage the imagination of every child at Gowrie North Sydney Vacation Care.
The program is guided by ‘My Time, Our Place’, the National Curriculum Framework for School Age Care in Australia. It is revised each school holiday period and built on children’s interests, their input and developmental age. The program includes a mix of incursions, excursions and in-house activities.
- When: 21 December – 22 January 2021
- Time: 8am-6pm
- Where: Rear Civic Park. Miller St, North Sydney | North Sydney Oval. Fig Tree Lane, North Sydney
- Suited for: 7-12 years
- Cost: $65
- Website: gowriensw.com.au
Ku-ring-gai Council’s Vacation Care (West Pymble, St Ives & Lindfield)
Looking to keep the kids entertained after Christmas? Ku-ring-gai Council’s Vacation Care centres at St Ives and Lindfield are now taking bookings for January.
Kids aged 5 – 12 years will enjoy excursions and in-centre fun, including magic workshops, science days, trips to Sydney Zoo, bowling, ice skating, rock climbing, animation workshops, and lots more. Hurry, limited spaces available.
- When: Monday to Friday during school holidays
- Time: 7.30am – 6pm
- Where: West Lindfield Community Hall, 2-10 Bradfield Road, Lindfield | Corpus Christi Catholic School, 17 Link Road St Ives | West Pymble Community Hall, Lofberg Road, West Pymble.
- Suited for: Primary-aged children
- Cost: From $62 per day
- Website: krg.nsw.gov.au/vacationcare
Holiday Programs & Camps
CRU Holiday Camps (Galston, Terrey Hills and Central Coast)
Know what you’re doing this summer! Give your Year K-12 child a fantastic holiday experience on a CRU Camp! On a CRU Camp, your child will grow in self-confidence, make new friends, participate in loads of exciting activities in a safe, fun and caring environment, and have the opportunity to explore the Christian faith. Spots are filling fast – book today!
Christmas Capers (Yr 3-6 girls, 14-18 Dec, Galston): A week full of all the craft, creativity, glitter and masterpiece creations!
Waves & Wind (Yr 4-7, 19-23 Dec, Lake Macquarie – bus provided from North Parramatta). Sailing and water activities at the lake! For all skill levels.
Escape (Yr 7-11, 4-8 Jan, Galston): Water activities, high ropes, abseiling, messy games, climbing wall and more.
Extreme Games (Yr 3-6, 4-8 Jan, Galston): Extreme action with paint wars, swimming pool, games and more.
CRU Tech (Yr 7-12, 10-15 Jan, Katoomba): Test your skills and learn some new ones! Strategy games, technology and elective groups.
CRU Hype (Yr 7-12, 11-15 Jan, Attunga – bus provided from North Parramatta): A week of excitement, fun and mystery with a Sherlock Holmes theme!
Sailing Masters (Yr 7-12, 17-22 Jan, Lake Macquarie – bus provided from North Parramatta): Sailing and water activities at the lake! For all skill levels.
CRU Study Camps (Yr 11 – class of 2021, Galston): Their proven study strategy will help you kickstart 2021 and your Year 12 prep.
CRU Day Camps (Yrs K-6, Terrey Hills & Kemps Creek): Campers enjoy fun-filled days on camp and return home at the end of each day to sleep in the comfort of their own beds.
- When: Monday 7 December 2020 – Saturday 23 January 2021
- Where: Galston, Terrey Hills and Central Coast (transport provided from North Parramatta)
- Suited for: K – Year 12
- Cost: Day Camps start from $48/day, Residential Camps start from $104/night. All meals, accommodation and activities are included.
- Website: crucamps.com.au
Inspire Tennis & Sports Camps (Killara & Roseville)
Special Offer: Book in for a full week and get 10% off! Siblings also receive a 5% discount.
Inspire Tennis’ School Holiday Programs are fun, exciting and provide a learning pathway for every child. The Summer School Holiday Camps are held in two convenient tennis club locations on the North Shore, in Killara and Roseville. It’s a fun way for kids to spend over 20 hours each week, improving their tennis skills. There is also flexibility with casual bookings, plus before & after care. The programs are held every week of the holiday period rain, hail or shine!
- When: Friday 4 December 2020 – Monday 25 January 2021
- Times: Full day 9:30am – 3:00pm and Half day 9:30am – 12:30pm. Before Care from 7:30am and After Care till 6pm also available at a small cost.
- Where: Killara Lawn Tennis Club | Kooroora Tennis Club, Roseville
- Suited for: 3.5 to 15 years
- Cost: $40 to $60 per day
- Website: inspiretennis.com.au
Moving Bodies (Mt Ku-ring-gai)
Moving Bodies is offering an exciting Summer School Holiday Programs packed full of fun and adventure for children. There are a number of programs to choose from, with both full day and half day options. Kids can enjoy gymnastics, Ninja warrior and Parkour, as well as softplay. There are also optional extras, including swimming lessons and pool games, as well as cupcake and cookie decorating. A very popular day full of a large variety of activities all under the direct coaching of their enthusiastic and motivating coaches!
- When: Thursday 17 December 2020 – Monday 25 January 2021
- Where: Bottom of Hamley Road, Mt Kuring-gai
- Suited for: 5+
- Cost: from $80 per day
- Website: movingbodies.com.au
Kids Circle: International Cuisine, Visual Arts & Dance (Lindfield, Chatswood, Northbridge)
Kids Circle has something for all tastes and interests! Offering a range of different and fun workshops every day to help unleash kids’ creativity whilst making friends during the school holidays! Book by 15 December to redeem your 2020 $100 Creative kids voucher and enjoy our early bird discounted rates!
- International and Local Cuisine sessions with a Le Cordon Bleu Certified Chef! Gnocchi and profiteroles workshop, lamingtons and sausage rolls, animal-shaped bread workshop, superheroes’ Cookies decorating, high tea extravganza and colourful tie dye cookies.
- Arts and Crafts: under the sea clay workshop, hot air balloon painting, mixed media on canvas, letter art painting, my friend the toucan oil pastels workshop, a fun mystery box session and much more.
- Dance Party Workshop: KPop, Jazz, Latin (different songs that kids LOVE!)
- When: Week 1: Monday 11 to Thursday 14 January, Week 2: Monday 18 to Thursday 21 January. Bookings are per day, check timetables by location on the website.
- Time: 9am – 4pm, extra hours available until 6pm.
- Where: Chatswood, Lindfield & Northbridge (Check detailed addresses on the website).
- Suited for: 5-9 years (preschool program also available at Lindfield)
- Cost: Early bird price (until 15 Dec): $110, normal price $120, extended hours (4pm to 6pm) $20
- Website: kidscircle.com.au
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden (St Ives)
Step into nature with their fantastic program of activities for children during the Summer School Holidays. All their activities are based outdoors and comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines. Full day programs from primary school aged children include Nature Detectives, Animalia, Wild & Wet, Summer in the Great Outdoors, Bush Survival Skills and Off the Beaten Track. They will also be running shorter Nature Play programs for younger children (0 – 7yrs).
- When: From Monday 7 December 2020 – Monday 25 January 2021
- Time: 9am to 4pm
- Where: 420 Mona Vale Rd, St. Ives
- Suited for: 0 – 12 years
- Cost: $70
- Website: krg.nsw.gov.au or follow on Facebook
Performing Arts Workshops
Bop till you Drop Performing Arts Program (Mosman & Gladesville)
Special Offer: Use the code ‘NSMN20’ to receive $20 off your booking (two day bookings only)!
Bop till you Drop’s professional teachers will run a structured performing arts program with six 45 minute classes per day. Singing, dancing, drama, magic, science and craft! Their goal is to build good self-esteem in your child. They will work towards a performance on the last day for you to view online. This presentation will increase their public speaking skills, give them more confidence and a huge sense of accomplishment.
Bop till you Drop is a registered Covid-Safe business. They have safely re-organised their School Holiday Programs to make them extra hygienic.
- When: Tuesday 19 & Wednesday 20 January 2021
- Time: 9am to 3.30pm – extended hours 8am to 5pm
- Where: St Clements Church Hall: 144 Raglan Street, Mosman | Boronia Park Scout Hall: 93 Pittwater Rd, Gladesville
- Suited for: 5 – 12 years
- Cost: $79 per day ($158 for two days) | Siblings $30 off ($128 for two days) | Don’t forget to use your January 2021 Creative Kids Voucher!
- Website: boptillyoudrop.com.au
Broadway Jam Camp ‘The Lion King’, Hornsby
These Summer School Holidays, Jim Jam Music Studios in Hornsby is launching ‘Broadway Jam’ where kids can sing, dance, act, create and perform! There are 2-day camps for 6-12 year olds, and a half-day session for 4-6 year olds. This January, it’s all about the epic musical ‘The Lion King’. As well as exploring the music of the show through song and dance, Jim Jam we will be doing professional stage makeup, puppetry with a special guest artist, African drumming and making a video performance to showcase at the end of the 2 day workshops.
- When: Thurs 14 & Fri 15 January (6-12yrs) | Mon 18 & Tue 19 January (6 – 12 yrs) | Wed 20 January, 9 – 12.30pm (half day for 4-6yrs)
- Where: Jim Jam Music Studios, 11 Coronation Street, Hornsby
- Suited for: 4 – 12 years
- Cost: 2 day Jam Camp $180 all inclusive of activities and take home materials | Junior Jam Camp is $60 for the half day.
- Website: www.jimjammusic.com.au or call
Speaking Schools Australasia (Online, Burwood, St Leonards & Moore Park)
Looking for a great way to help build your child’s confidence in a fun and supportive environment these summer school holidays? Speaking Schools are here to help!
Speaking Schools Australasia will be running fun LIVE online and a limited number of face-to-face programs to help students build their confidence in Debating and Public speaking in January. Come and join either a four-day online workshop or head over to Southern Cross Vocational College, Burwood and choose one of the two or three-day workshops.
- When: 11-14 January | 18-21 January 2021
- Time: 9.30am – 1pm
- Cost: From $180
- When: 12 – 15 January (Moore Park) | 18- 22 January 2021 (Burwood & St Leonards)
- Time: Staggered start and finish times
- Where: Southern Cross College, Burwood (17 Comer Street, Burwood) | 54 Chandos St, St Leonards | Sydney Boys High School (556 Cleveland St, Moore Park)
- Suited for: Year 1 – Year 9
- Cost: From $220
- How to book: online, or email [email protected]
- Website: speakingschools.com.au
Arts & Craft Workshops
Ku-ring-gai Art Centre Holiday Program (Gordon)
Aspiring young artists will love Ku-ring-gai Art Centre’s school holiday program offering a range of morning, afternoon and full day workshops for children aged 5 – 15. Activities include painting, drawing, printmaking, pottery, beaded jewellery, craft projects, puppet making, creative writing and guitar.
Redeem your Creative Kids vouchers for classes over the value of $100. View classes now and book online from 10 December.
- When: Mon 11 – Fri 22 January
- Where: 818 Pacific Highway, Gordon
- Suited for: 5 – 15 years
- Cost: from $65 – $110
- Website: krg.nsw.gov.au
Turramurra Learn To Swim
Want to see your child make real progress with their swimming in just one week? Then book them in for an intensive four or five-day swimming course with Turramurra Learn To Swim these summer school holidays. Saturday lessons will be available in January, including Water Babies and there will be morning and afternoon lessons available in all three weeks during January from Monday to Friday. The 30-minute lessons are structured according to ability and age to ensure children have the best learning environment while also having fun! With only one class at a time, distractions are reduced.
A comfortable air-conditioned area is provided for parents as well as garden seating next to the pool in summer. The pool is indoors and heated to 33°C. They are a Covid-Safe business.
- When: Pre-Christmas: Mon 21 – Thurs 24 Dec (am classes) | Week 1: Mon 4 – Fri 8 Jan | Week 2: Mon 11 – Fri 15 Jan | Week 3: Mon 18 – Fri 22 Jan | Saturdays 2, 9, 16 & 23 January (need to book 3 out of 4 class)
- Where: 48 Tennyson Ave, Turramurra
- Suited for: 3 – 11 years
- Cost: $112.50 (5 days), $90 (4 days)
- Website: turramurralearntoswim.com.au
Tanya’s Travelling Tadpole Tuition – Swimming lessons in your own pool
North Shore Mums Offer: mention North Shore Mums and receive a free pair of googles
Tanya’s Travelling Tadpoles offers holiday intensive accelerator blocks of swimming classes each week of the summer school holidays in your own pool. Holiday swimming programs comprise one or more weeks of lessons each day in your pool. Cost is dependent on the number of participants (up to 4 per half hour) – 30 minute classes cost $65 (split between participants).
If your kids missed out on swimming during COVID restrictions intensive lessons are a great way to ensure they skills are at the right level through extra classes.
- Greater continuity in the learning process
- Frequent reinforcement helps kids retain key concepts
- The outdoor environment is ideal for swimming at this time of year
- It is a fun activity for the holidays and kids often have more energy when there aren’t the term time distractions around!
- A COVID Safe business and activity
- When: December & January, 8am to 6pm
- Where: Your own pool
- Suitable for: 3-12 years
- Cost: $65 for 30 minute class, $95 for 45 minutes, $105 for 60 minutes. Cost can be split between participants
- Book: 0402 002 902 or [email protected]
- Website: tanyastadpoles.com.au
Carlile Swimming Holiday Program (Castle Cove & Lane Cove West)
Looking for a fun, holiday activity that can boost your child’s confidence and swimming skills? Then you’ll find it at Carlile Swimming. The holiday swimming program is on weekly for three weeks from Monday 4 January.
- A lesson every day for a week! If your child is currently in lessons, then there is no better way to help them progress with the skills they are trying to master. Cost is $100 for a week.
- Specialised clinics for mastering Butterfly and Breaststroke, Dives and Turns or being Carnival Ready. Coaches work with your child on the specific areas they need to improve. These can be booked individually for $23.25 per clinic.
- Castle Cove – (02) 9417 2060, 2b Holly Street, Castle Cove
- Lane Cove West – (02) 9188 1027, 4 Sirius Road, Lane Cove West
The Chatswood Family Festival on The Concourse
Eco workshops, a children’s symphony with Justine Clarke, theatre shows, arts, crafts and an exhibition are just some of the COVID safe highlights of the Chatswood Family Festival on The Concourse.
Learn to make your own terrarium, beeswax wraps or recycled plastic artwork in interactive eco workshops. Let your imagination run wild in free art and craft sessions and enjoy artworks from around the world in a free exhibition of children’s art.
Join Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and children’s entertainer Justine Clarke for Mimi’s Symphony, a new orchestral story for children, and enjoy events at the library. There’s entertainment for all the family.
- When: Thursday 7 – Friday 30 January
- Where: The Concourse, Chatswood
- Suited for: 0 – 12 years
- Website: willoughby.nsw.gov.au/FamilyFestival
Children’s Shows at Sydney Opera House
Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark by The Listies
Comedy maestros The Listies will bring the LOLs with a stinky, silly extravaganza for “kidults” aged 5+, twisting the classic Shakespearean tale into a hysterical “badaptation” of the bard with plenty of hilarious costumes, supersonic gags and expertly timed stage magic. 55 minutes. Book tickets.
- When: 4 – 22 January 2021
- Tickets: From $39 + BF
- Venue: Playhouse
- Suited for: Ages 5+
The Gruffalo’s Child
One wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the deep, dark wood. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist… does he? If you love The Gruffalo, don’t miss the sequel which returns following previous sellout Australian tours. Join The Gruffalo’s Child on her adventurous mission in this magical musical adaptation of the best selling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer, published by Macmillan Children’s Books. 55 minutes. Book tickets.
- When: 2 – 19 January 2021
- Tickets: From $39 + BF
- Venue: Playhouse
- Suited for: 2+
Diary of a Wombat (Digital Livestream + On Demand Season)
Australia’s naughtiest wombat takes to the Playhouse stage in an adorable adaptation of Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s award-winning book Diary of a Wombat. This delightful production celebrates the Australian landscape with puppetry and a live music score, from the multi-award-winning touring theatre company Monkey Baa. 50 minutes. Watch on demand.
- When: 11 December 2020 – 2 January 2021
- Duration: 50 minutes
- Tickets: $20
- Suited for: 2+
Jeral Puppets (Castle Cove)
Join the Jeral Puppets for a program filled with familiar stories, songs, and rhymes to engage and entertain preschool and primary-aged children! With easy parking, air-conditioning and a playground next door, a trip to the puppet show is a fun, easy and comfortable activity for kids and their parents, grandparents and carers. After being closed for nine months due to Covid-19, Puppeteria Theatre is reopening on 15 December with a six week festival of puppet shows under COVID-19 safety guidelines!.
They have something for everyone with Santa and his reindeer, dinosaurs, mermaids, princesses, Pinocchio, gingerbread men and the Three Little Pigs, all featuring in their festive program. Join them in their Covid-safe theatre and support the return of the Arts!
- Santa’s Xmas Holiday + Xmas At The North Pole (2-9 year olds): 15 – 18 Dec | 20 – 24 Dec
- Pinocchio + Cinderella (3 – 9 year olds): 4, 6, 12, 20 Jan
- The Dinosaur Show + The Little Mermaid (3-9 year olds): 29 – 31 Dec | 8, 14, 18, 22 Jan
- Three Little Pigs (2 -5 year olds): 11, 13, 21, 35 Jan
- The Gingerbread Man (2 – 5 year olds): 5, 7, 15, 19, 27 Jan
- Time: Shows at 10.30am
- Where: 12H Denawen Ave, Castle Cove
- Suited for: 2 – 5 years & 3 – 9 years
- Cost: Adults: $15 | Children: $12
- Website: puppeteria.com
- Book here
Jurassic Zoo – Summer School Holidays at Australian Reptile Park
Dinosaurs have returned… to the Australian Reptile Park, these Summer School Holidays! Meet the dinosaurs on their daily walks & join in on the Dino Dance Party. Explore the Park to see how many dinosaurs you can spot and search for an ancient fossil in our Dino Dig! Say hello to Elvis the saltwater crocodile, Hugo the Galapagos tortoise, Elsa the koala & all the Aussie favourites!
The Australian Reptile Park is an interactive zoo, located in the natural bush setting of the Central Coast of NSW, only 30 minutes from the start of the M1 in Sydney.
- When: 17 Dec 2020 – 27 Jan 2021
- Where: Australian Reptile Park, Pacific Hwy, Somersby NSW 2250
- Suited for: 3+
- Website: reptilepark.com.au
Shopping Centre Events
Celebrate Christmas at The Mix, Chatswood Place
These summer holidays, pop into The Mix at Chatswood Place to celebrate Christmas. All retailers are operating under COVID-Safe Plans. There will be free entertainment for the kids each Saturday from 10am to 2pm:
- Saturday 12 December – Airbrush Temporary Tattoos
- Saturday 19 December – Balloonists
You can also bring the family along for Live Music at The Mix this Friday 11 December from 6pm.
- When: Live Music from 6pm Friday 11 December | Free Kids’ Entertainment from 10am to 2pm: Saturday 12 & 19 December
- Where: 260 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
- Suited for: 3 – 12 years
- Website: chatswoodplace.com.au