There’s no reason to hear a “I’m bored” complaint from your kids with a range of offerings this autumn school holidays. Whether your kids are interested in art, books, science, movies, or the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone.

LibrariesMuseums & Galleries | School Holiday Workshops | Animals & Nature | Outdoor Fun | Shopping Centre Activities | New Release Family Movies

LIBRARIES

Visit a local library during the holidays. There’s plenty of fun activities to keep kids occupied.

Newcastle Region Library

There’s loads of fun at Newcastle Region Library during the April school holidays

Activities include:

  • Variety of Story Stomp storytimes for kids aged 3 to 7 at different branches.
  • Makey Makey sessions – kids 8 to 13 can get creative with simple circuits.
  • Lego ® Mindstorm EV3 sessions – kids 9 to 13 can create and code thier own Mindstorm vehicle.
  • Creative Lego ® Challenge – kids 5 tp 12 can have fun making LEGO creations
  • Family movies on Friday evenings at Wallsend and Newcastle Libraries. Films include The Wizard of Oz and Up.

Attend a special book launch and dog picnic on Tuesday 16 April in Lambton Park. Join children’s book author Katrina McKelvey and illustrator Cheri Hughes to celebrate the launch of ‘No Baths Week’ in conjunction with Newcastle Region Library. Enjoy stories, craft, singing, book signings, paw printing and more. Bring your dog, your children, doggy bags, and a picnic. Prizes and giveaways for dogs and humans.

Bookings required. For more information and to book holiday sessions, visit City of Newcastle website.

If you have Treehouse fans in your house, check out The Many Story Treehouse exhibition on at Lovett Gallery above Newcastle Region Library. It’s filled with many of Terry Denton’s original illustrations, sketches and layouts showing the development of crazy ideas, characters and stories for The Treehouse series developed with his friend, author Andy Griffiths. The exhibition is on until Saturday 27 April. Lovett Gallery is open from 9:30am – 8pm on Monday to Wednesday, 9:30am – 5pm on Thursday & Friday and 9:30am – 2pm on Saturday.

Lake Macquarie City Library

Lake Macquarie City Library has organised loads of fun school holiday activities in their libraries and also at parks and local pools.

  • Art & craft sessions
  • Dog-danas – In conjunction with the ‘Cats and Dogs’ exhibition at SEEN@Swansea, kids can make a custom pet bandana.
  • Meet the author session: Join local artist Kathy Langlade as she shares her first picture book Who Stole My Sausage Roll?
  • Art in the park storytime at Warner Park at Warners Bay

There’s also the ‘Cats and Dogs’ exhibition at SEEN@Swansea.  This special exhibition from the Australian National Maritime Museum shows the prolific Sydney photographer Sam Hood’s interest in recording not only the vessels that passed through Sydney Harbour, but the life of their crew including the seafaring pets. These photographs demonstrate the strong attachment that people at sea, who are often far from their family for long periods of time, have with on-board pets.

For more information and to book holiday sessions, visit Lake Macquarie City Council website.

Maitland City Library

Maitland City Library has a variety of fun workshops revolving around the theme “Steam Lab”. Steam ahead for oodles of science, technology, engineering, art and maths fun for kids these holidays.

Activities include:

  • Dragon Training Camp – Kids will learn how to approach dragons, test their agility and create their own dragon source book.
  • Steampunk: Kids can discover the world of steampunk and using springs, refashion fun and useful item into new, marvellous creations.
  • Bright Sparks – Learn how to construct a simple electronic circuit that can light up small LEDS.
  • Scratch Coding – Create mind bending, crazy animations and interactive projects with Scratch Coding.
  • Wigglebots – In this introductory robotic activity, make a motorised robot that jiggles and wiggles as it draws.
  • Robots Riot – Discover the world of robots and coding. This introductory, hands on workshop is presented by the University of Newcastle’s SMART program using Sphero robots.
  • Super Science Experiements – Discover how to power a light by lemon battery, make water walk and uncover the secrets of oil and water when you make your own lava lamp ja

For more information and to book holiday sessions, visit Maitland City Library website.

Cessnock Library

Enjoy free school holiday activities at Cessnock Library and Kurri Kurri Library.

Activities include:

  • Mothers’ Day Gift Making – kids can make something special to give Mum on Mother’s Day
  • Film and Craft – Enjoy an afternoon at the movies followed by craft
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s iPad -Magic meets technology at this kids tech meetup
  • Seams Legit Sewing – Learn the basics of sewing to create a take-home tote bag.
  • Make your own podcast – kids aged 12 – 17 can learn to write, record and upload your own podcast with experienced music producer Carlin McLellan.

Places limited, pre-booking essential. To book, visit Cessnock Library website or ring Cessnock Library 49 934399 or Kurri Kurri Library 49 371638 to enquire.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Newcastle Art Gallery

Featured exhibitions: FLORIBUNDA & SODEISHA

The Newcastle Art Gallery has workshops for 5 to 12 year olds inspired by the current exhibitions.

School holiday activities 5 to 12 year olds include:

  • Papier Mache Flowerpots workshop – Inspired by the FLORIBUNDA exhibition, kids can decorate their very own papier mache flowerpot.
  • Clay Nest workshop – Taking inspiration from SODEISHA ceramic works and the sculpture garden, children will sculpt a nest out of clay.
  • Art Cart every Saturday and Sunday morning.

For more information and to book holiday sessions, visit Newcastle Art Gallery website.

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery

Lake Macquarie Art Gallery is featuring a variety of children’s workshops during the school holidays that will be held at Toronto Library or Charlestown Library (while renovations are on).

School holiday activities include:

  • Cut and paste – Children can enjoy and art making activity using a combination of materials and techniques including collage with art tutor Maddy at Toronto Library.
  • Water colour wonderland – Children can enjoy an artmaking activity using a range of water-based art materials at Charlestown Library.
  • Join the Rover and Lake Mac Art Gallery for stories, songs and art under the trees on Wednesday 24 April at Warner Bay in Warners Bay. Suitable for ages 4-9 years. Bookings essential. Please note: This event may be cancelled in the case of wet weather.

For more information and to book holiday sessions, visit Lake Macquarie City Council website.

Maitland Regional  Art Gallery

Enjoy ‘See Make Do’ school holiday fun and activities for all the family at MRAG during the holidays.

  • Drop into MRAG these school holidays to do a series of self-directed activities throughout the gallery. Every day there will be something to do at MRAG!
  • Discover Charles Blackman from the MRAG Collection with the Look Closer activity booklet. Dress up and Draw with Props, Masks & Magic in Andrew Antoniou’s exhibition.
  • Crack the code in one of the Code Breaker activities!
  • Visit the front desk and ask for Code Breaker 1 & 2,Colour Code Breaker or Search for the Golden Poo

For more information, visit Maitland Regional Art Gallery website

Newcastle Museum

Have fun at Newcastle Museum during the holidays with activities reflecting current exhibitions.

School holiday activities include:

  • Pop-up Garden Craft – Help raise awareness of our local endangered flora and contribute to our craft garden installation inspired by the exhibition Flora of the Hunter Region. Free and no bookings required.
  • Flora & Photographs Workshop –  Kids aged 5 – 12 can join in the fun as they combine flora and photography to create cyanotype blue prints. They can learn about traditional photography methods and create their very own Flora photographic work of art to take home. $10. Bookings required.
  • Museum Whodunit Science Shows on Tuesday 16 & 23 April and Thursday 18 April  at 11:15am, 12:15pm and 1:15pm. These school holidays it’s the science of crime! Examine the clues, dust for fingerprints and extract DNA in “Museum Whodunnit – The Case of the Missing Brain”. Will you solve the mystery? Free and no bookings necessary but shows fill up fast.
  • Illustrators Alive Exhibit – A live exhibit of natural history illustrators at Newcastle Museum. Get up close with natural history illustrators and see the magic behind the creation of their
    drawings. Watch as they develop precise detail to capture scientific drawings.

Newcastle Museum is open every day during the school holidays from 10am – 5pm but closed on Good Friday. For more information and to book holiday sessions, visit Newcastle Museum website.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS

Rhubarb Jam Productions

Put on a show these school holidays. At Rhubarb Jam Productions, they offer vacation care of a slightly different flavour…. Their workshops are designed to help your children connect with others, develop their creativity and skyrocket their confidence. All through a collaborative process combining singing, dancing, acting & sets and prop making to put on a unique performance.

Children aged 5-12 years are invited to sing, dance and act and create a show in 4 days!  Rhubarb Jam Productions are back with a jam packed school holiday adventure. Participants aged 5-12 years are invited to embark on a CHOC-FILLED adventure. They will be using CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to create an original performance involving singing, dancing and acting – as well as making sets and props. Children exercise their creativity and build their confidence and communication skills in the process! If you have a child who loves to perform – this workshop will definitely get the creative juices flowing. The workshops go from 15 – 18 April at Kotara South Public School with 3 & 4 day enrollment options available. Places are limited.

For more information visit the Rhubarb Jam Productions website.

The Studio Lambton

Do you have young artists or creative kids at home? Looking for fun and creative activities over the April school holidays? At The Studio Lambton, they have you covered. These School Holidays your mini artists can be painting, sculpting, learning epic drawing skills and so much more. With both Junior and Senior workshops daily from 16th – 18th April and the 23rd and 24th April there is so much exciting art to create. So book now and give the kids a creative outlet these school holidays. Email them via courtney@theartsemporium.com.au

For more information visit the The Studio Lambton website.

ANIMALS & NATURE

Blackbutt Reserve

Here’s some school holidays activities at Blackbutt Reserve.

  • Fantastic Phasmids school holiday fun. Visit Blackbutt and make a stick insect and receive an animal replica. 2 sessions 12:30pm & 1pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). $5 per child. Pay at kiosk on the day.
  • Reptile Show – weekends and school holiday at 11am for $3 per person – not available public holidays and staff development days – no bookings required.
  • Feeding times – every day except for Good Friday and Anzac Day (as animal exhibits closed) – free – 10.30am Wombats / 10.45am bird brunch / 1.30pm Nocturnal animals / 2pm Koalas.

OUTDOOR FUN

Hunter Wetlands Centre

Get outdoors and visit the Hunter Wetlands Centre in Sandgate with plenty of tracks to go walking, a discovery trail, dipnetting and super fun playground. Bring your bike and ride around the site. Closed in shoes and insect repellent recommended. Adults: $8; Children 3-12 years $5 ; Under 3 free.

School holiday activities include:

  • Dinosaur Exhibition featuring scale casts, fossils and resin replicas of dinosaurs from the collection of local palaentologist Mike Dawson, Dinosaur Dig, Play Dinosaur Hopscotch, Dino Colouring and Dino Craft. (Available every day from 9:30am – 1:30pm).
  • Dino Disco on Saturday 13 April and Tuesday 16 April from 10:30am – 11:30am. Rock along to the Dino Disco. Come dressed up or make a Dino Mask to wear on the dance floor. Join in when children’s author Deborah Kelly reads her book Dinosaur Disco and sets the mirror ball spinning. Prizes for the best costumes and dancers. Free with entry but please book online as space is limited.

For more information, visit the Hunter Wetlands Centre website.

Swim at the beach or at a pool

If it’s still warm outside, visit one of the many beaches around the area and cool off. Or head to a local pool or the ocean baths at Newcastle and Merewether. For patrol times and baths cleaning schedules visit Newcastle City Council website. Lake Macquarie City Council lifeguards patrol Blacksmiths, Catherine Hill Bay, Caves Beach and Redhead beaches annually from October through to April. In Newcastle, pools in Lambton, Mayfield, Wallsend, Stockton and Beresfield will be open.

In Lake Macquarie, pools are open in Charlestown, Speers Point, Swansea, Morisset and Toronto. There’s also water themed science workshops for kids aged 3 – 8 with Curious Cubs at Swansea Swim Centre and West Wallsend Swim Centre. Science + swim = fun!

Enjoy inflatables

Inflatables on the Green at Club Charlestown is back for the Easter school holidays from Monday 14 April to Monday 22 April from 10am – 2pm. Entry is $5 per child per day or $15 per child to come for unlimited times over the duration of event. The Easter Bunny will be making an appearance on Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday. There’s also a daily sausage sizzle for an easy lunch option or the bistro is open for lunch. Kids Eat Free is available every Monday & Thursday. When one adult purchases a meal, up to two kids may eat free. Advance bookings are not required – you can just turn up and purchase day passes for a fun family day out.

Visit a new playground

Tarro Recreation Area

There’s been loads of playgrounds opened in the past year like Warner Park in Warners Bay, Smith Park in Hamilton and the adventure playground in Blackbutt Reserve. Now that it’s cooler, it’s a great time to visit. For more information, visit the Newy with Kids Parks & Playground list.

Family walks

It’s also an ideal time of year to get out and go for a family walk. Check out the Family Walks section of Newy with Kids. New articles have been added about the Stockton Shipwreck Walk and Lake Macquarie Sculpture Walk.

SHOPPING CENTRE ACTIVITIES

Charlestown Square

Join in for Charlestown Square’s Glitter Fest. Across six magical days, Charlestown Square’s Centre Court will be transformed into a glitter wonderland. Join them for glitter makeovers, cupcake decorating, craft and even slime making.

Daily glitter fun from 11-2pm.

Saturday 13th April – Sparkle makeovers for girls and boys, glitter craft workshop & our sugar fix lolly cart
Sunday 14th April –  Colour, create than shake with our Glitter Globe Craft
Monday 15th April – Glitter craft making workshop 
Tuesday 16th April – Glitter cupcake decorating with Fifi le Femme 
Wednesday 17th April – Glitter craft making workshop
Thursday 18th April – Glitter Slime making workshop – NOW BOOKED OUT

Daily Saturday 13 April to Thursday 18 April:

  • Colouring in brought to you by Smiggle
  • Braid Lab – glitter braids
  • Sky Jump
  • Ride on Animals 

To keep kids entertained these school holidays, get them an Entertainment Pass from the Customer Service Desk at Charlestown Square. (There’s an additional pass for adults). These passes are great for savings at Reading Cinemas, Megamania, STRIKE Bowling and Timezone.

On sale for $39, the pass includes:

  • 1 x movie ticket (under 15 years) at Reading Cinemas – excludes 3D movies, TITAN XC and Gold Lounge
  • 1 x game of Bowling at Strike or a 9 Hole Round at Holey Moley
  • 60 minutes of Quickplay at Megamania
  • 10 Yellow Swiper Games at Timezone
  • 1 x Little Beef Burger or 1 x Little Chicken Burger with chips at Ribs & Burgers

What’s great about these passes is that you decide how you want to use them. You can use the pass in one day for a mega-filled fun day. Or you can use them over multiple days or even over months as the passes don’t expire until December 2019. We’re planning to use ours during the school holidays and have some fun.

Wallsend Village

Stuck for ideas to keep the kids entertained these school holidays? Visit Wallsend Village for Easter Basket workshops. Families can make their own Easter baskets and fill it with free mini chocolate eggs. Workshops run on a drop-in basis from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday 16 April, Wednesday 17 April and Thursday 18 April. There’s also cooking demonstrations on the same dates from 11am to 2pm in which you can sample some of the finest, freshest Easter produce from Wallsend Village. For more information visit the Wallsend Village website.

NEW RELEASE FAMILY MOVIES

Want to take the kids to the movies during the holidays? As usual, there’s a few new-release family-friendly movies to choose from.

A Dog’s Way Home

  • Rating: PG
  • Release Date: February 28, 2019
  • Duration: 96 minutes
  • Description:A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human.
  • Trailer: Click here to watch the trailer

Dumbo

  • Rating: PG
  • Release Date: March 28, 2019
  • Duration: 112 minutes
  • Description:A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus. But when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.
  • Trailer: Click here to watch the trailer

The LEGO Movie 2

  • Rating: PG
  • Release Date: March 21, 2019
  • Duration: 107 minutes
  • Description:The Second Part reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city. It’s been five years since everything was awesome, but now the citizens are facing a huge new threat from outer space.
  • Trailer: Click here to watch the trailer

Wonder Park

  • Rating: CTC
  • Release Date: April 4, 2019
  • Duration: 85 minutes
  • Description: Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.
  • Trailer: Click here to watch the trailer

WIN A FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT PASS FROM CHARLESTOWN SQUARE – CLOSED

Thanks to our friends at Charlestown Square, Newy with Kids is giving away a Charlestown Square Family Entertainment Pass which include a movie & popcorn at Reading Cinemas, bowling at Strike or mini golf at Holey Moley + lots more. Fill in the form below and tell us your favourite thing about school holidays to be in the running. Enter before midnight Sunday 7 April. (BE SURE TO FILL IN THE RECAPTCHA TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY)

Winner announced: E. BROWNE

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

  • The name of the promotion is: Charlestown Square Giveaway
  • The promoter is Newy with Kids in conjunction with Disney on Ice
  • The conditions of entry are: answer the question provided, one entry per person, contact details must be provided in above form.
  • Employees, immediate family members, retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies are not eligible to enter.
  • The giveaway will close on Sunday 7 April 2019 at midnight (Newcastle time). Comments submitted after this time will not be considered for the giveaway.
  • This is a game of skill. The winners will be awarded based on the strength of their creative answer to the question “What is your favourite thing about school holidays?”
  • Judging will be done by Reena of Newy with Kids.
  • The prize will be in the form of a Charlestown Square Family Entertainment Pass (4 passes)
  • The results of the giveaway will be published on this website on Tuesday 9 April June 2019.
  • Prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable. The total prize value is $160.
  • The competition is open to Australian residents only.
  • If for any reason beyond the Promoter’s control the agreed prize is not available a product of equal or greater value will be provided.