Encourage your kids to enjoy and appreciate their natural environment by enrolling them in an outdoors nature class or school holiday workshop in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter.
Website: Curious Legends
The Curious Legends are a theatre company who aim to inspire kids and adults to experience the wonder of the world around them through the magic of theatre. Curious Legends love sharing their work, and regularly run workshops for the community, such as their Curbside Critters Workshop, where kids and their adults are shown how to use random bits of trash, rubbish, string, and LOADS of imagination to create new friends – and then shown them how to bring their creatures to life through object theatre and puppetry. See their website for current offerings. If you’d like something from them that’s not there, just ask! They are adept at creating workshops for every occasion.
Location: Newcastle & Lake Macquarie
CoastXP is a community focused tour company who run Nature-Based Adventure Tours for all ages over the age of 3 and Guided Coastal Hiking for all ages over the age of 8. See their website for more information on their tours and to book.
Location: Hudson Street Hum, Hamilton
Website: Hudson Street Hum
Elasmo is a Newcastle based education organisation for all things science and sustainability, offering education programs and experiences for all ages. If you want to learn about this wonderful planet, how you can live more sustainably or have a little eco warrior in your family then come on board as an Elasmo student (Elasmonaut)! Elasmo have classes for home school students, Primary and High school students and Adults. Elasmo’s mission is to achieve, unity, respect and protection for all life on Earth through education and empowerment. See the website for more information.
Hunter Region Botanic Gardens
Website: Hunter Region Botanic Gardens
Hunter Region Botanic Gardens run school holiday workshops for kids. Recent workshops have included Let’s Love Water presented by Hunter Water and Botanical Rock Painting. See their website for upcoming school holiday workshops. Hunter Region Botanic Gardens also run activities for school groups, including programs aimed at years 3 to 6 related to topics in subjects such as Human Society and its Environment, and Science and Technology, as well as programs for secondary students. They also hold an annual Children’s Discovery Day on the first Tuesday of the July School Holidays.
Hunter Wetlands Centre
Website: Hunter Wetlands Centre
Hunter Wetlands Centre run School Holiday Programs. Past programs have included Interactive Reptile Encounters and Wetlands Walks. In the school holidays they also often have a Reptile Ranger on duty so kids can ask questions and even get to touch one of their reptiles. Check their website for what is available in the coming school holidays. Preschools, schools, OOSH groups, nursing homes and other groups can include a Reptile Encounter in their visit to the Wetlands or book a Wetlands on Wheels visit where they bring the reptiles to you. There is a fee for these services. Dipnetting is also available.
Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters
Location: Anna Bay
Website: Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters
Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters run a Mini Marine Biologist Program for kids aged 7-11 and 12-15 years on selected days throughout the school holidays. The fully guided, day program offers exclusive behind the scenes access that enables them to face their fears and gain knowledge about the ocean and its inhabitants. Participants will learn about the animals with a take home workbook and help their aquarist/zoo keeper leader carry out some important aquarium jobs. They will need to bring their swimmers and towels as they will also participate in a Shark Encounter with their guide.
Lake Macquarie City Council
Location: Lake Macquarie LGA
Website: Lake Macquarie City Council
In the school holidays LMCC regularly run free guided tours of the local environment for kids and adults. One such example is their Rockpool Ramble, an exciting adventure for people aged 5+ exploring the rich and fascinating world of rockpools. Check the events page on their website for upcoming school holiday tours.
Little Explorers at Home – Messy Play
Location: Phoenix Park Farm, Morpeth
Website: Phoenix Park Farm
Jess from Little Explorers At Home has a passion for teaching and has a background in Early Childhood & School Aged Education. Jess is a mum to a beautiful girl and juggles part time work alongside her small business. The first years of a child’s life are so important for building relationships, exploring the world around them and how to become confident in their learning and development. Little Explorers was created to help families teach their little explorers to be independent and involve themselves in play-based learning. Phoenix Park Farm’s messy play sessions will give families the opportunity to get involved and allow their children the freedom to explore, investigate and learn during a sensory based experience. All sessions will be able to be enjoyed without the worry of harsh chemicals as their messy play comes from food based products so its taste safe for those curious minds. Each week they will explore a different theme and you will have the option to purchase a mini sensory pack to take home and further explore.
Phoenix Park Farm
Location: Phoenix Park (near Morpeth)
Website: Phoenix Park Farm
Phoenix Park Farm is a working organic farm adjacent to the Hunter River at Phoenix Park near Morpeth. The farm has mixed vegetable crops, citrus orchard, pasture raised eggs, honey production and fodder crops. They also have areas of improved and restored wildlife habitat and extensive riparian zones. Phoenix Farm’s Growing Future Farmers program is an educational experience which utilises hands on farming and creative arts to enhance wellbeing, connection to country and a love of growing things. All whilst promoting the ideals of eating, living and farming sustainably. They offer Come & Try Sessions, 10-week Programs in the school term, School Holiday programs and Primary School and Early Childhood excursions and incursions. They also offer Learn Your Way – The Growing Future Farmers program for children with disabilities or additional learning needs.
Sustainable Play Preschool
Website: Sustainable Play Preschool
Sustainable Play Preschool run a Bush Kindy Playgroup on Mondays from 10 – 11.30am for ages 1-6. Bush Kindy Playgroup is all about getting out in the bush together, nature play, nature connections, loose parts play, making friends and enjoying the great outdoors. You do not have to be affiliated with the preschool to attend, however their preschoolers are always invited to attend the bush kindy playgroup – so you’ll likely meet them! Visit their website for more information and to sign up.
Location: Garden Suburb
Website: TimberNook Newcastle
TimberNook Newcastle is located in the beautiful Lake Macquarie Area. They play on Awabakal land managed by Yamuloong, an Indigenous Cultural Centre. They have 6 acres of land including macadamia groves, waterfalls and creeks and lots of areas to explore. Their programs currently range from birth through to upper primary and include full-term Nature Kindy Programs and School Holiday Programs. Visit their website for more information and to book.
Location: Hamilton North
Website: Upcycle Newcastle
Upcycle Newcastle is a community group focused on saving waste from landfill through creative re-use and repair. They offer many workshops for families in re-purposing waste, with a focus on upcycling jeans and T-shirts including finger-crocheting technique for turning old T-shirts into a rug (suitable for ages 8+) and more. Workshops are offered both within and outside normal working hours.
Started in late 2012 by a local mum, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.