Gold Coast school holiday ideas that won’t break the bank

With Christmas school holidays now here on the Gold Coast, we’ve put together a list of free or low-cost activities in your home tow to keep that holiday boredom at bay, both for you and the kids.

Participate in the City of Gold Coast School Holiday Program

There are literally hundreds of free, low cost and fun school holiday activities across the region provided by the City of Gold Coast where kids can get active, explore nature and try something new.

  • The NaturallyGC program connects kids with nature through activities such as kayaking, bushwalks, nature play, coastal education and wildlife shows. This program is primarily for kids aged between 6 and 14 years.
  • Our Community Youth Centres across the city have programs that are jam packed full of free and fun activities designed for young people aged 12 – 17 years.
  • The Active & Healthy holiday program encourages kids to discover the outdoors where they are learning and being physically active in our many parks, beaches and natural playgrounds for kids aged four – 18.
  • The City Libraries Holiday Program provides free, fun holiday activities, which will include a summer reading challenge to encourage kids to keep reading and enjoying books during the school holidays

For more information and to book into an activity head to the City of Gold Coast website:

 Go on a picnic and have a swim while you’re at it

  • HOTA, Home of the Arts Parklands – Evandale: The parklands are located at the rear of HOTA where the Sunday farmers markets are held, and with a lagoon, fully fenced kids playground and plenty of shaded areas and bbq’s, this is the perfect place to chill and go for a dip with the family. Location: Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Bundall.
  • Currumbin Rock Pools: Located alongside Currumbin Creek Road, just a short drive from Currumbin Beach (10-15 minutes), Currumbin rock pools are a gem of Currumbin Valley. Everything is here for a great relaxing day with family and friends – shelter, picnic tables, barbecues, toilets and amenities – and of course, the beautiful rock pools.  Dogs are permitted and must be on a leash unless otherwise signed. Location: Currumbin Creed Road, Currumbin Valley.
  • Broadwater Parklands: The whole family can enjoy the Broadwater Parklands with a range of free activities on offer which include a cycle monorail, swings, manmade rock pools, flying fox, giant bouncing pillow, outdoor gyms, huge open green parks overlooking the water to relax or play games in and kilometres of path to cycle, skate or walk along. Location: The Broadwater, Marine Parade, Southport

Try a unique move experience at the Yatala Drive-in

This will be a movie experience the kids won’t forget in a hurry.  With a range of kids and Christmas movies on offer there is something for everyone.  Visit the candy bar for some snacks then set up your spot to watch your movie under the stars. Prices are $35 per carload and for more information or to book your tickets, go to the Yatala Drive Inn website:

 Get Crafty at The Craft Parlour

The Craft Parlour have you covered with a range of activities on offer for the kids which include things like weaving, wreath and paper making, pottery classes and mini Kokodama making.    For more information go to the Craft Parlour website: 

Enter the Kids Take Over Artist Competition at HOTA

Do you think the kids have what it takes to be HOTA’s next Mini Artist?

HOTA are calling for all mini Van Gogh’s to pick up their pencils, paints or texters and get to work creating a Kids Take Over Monster, which will be the face of their Kids Take Over Campaign.   The competition is open to kids aged 6-13 years and should represent something they love doing, inspires them or can only do in their imagination. For more details go to the HOTA website:

Fly Tarzan-style in the Treetops

Thunderbird Park is Australia’s largest adventure playground located along the boundary of Tamborine National Park.   There are educational and fun activities for everyone, including high ropes courses and zip lines, leaving the most fearless daredevils shaking in their boots. For more information go to the Thunderbird Park website:

Hit the arcades

  • Who doesn’t love a bit of competition on some arcade games? Time Zone Surfers Paradise has reopened with bigger, better attractions including glow in the dark golf, laser tag arenas, bumper cars, mini bowling and over 200 games. Located:  Level One, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise. For info and prices head to
  • Level Up Arcade Broadbeach is the newest entertainment venue to hit the coast with an 80’s & 90’s inspired amusement venue featuring 62 of the best games from the era, plus bowling, a pool table, 3D pong, Lakers hoops and heaps more. Located: First Floor, Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach.  For more info and pricing go to

Go on a wildlife adventure at Currumbin

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary holiday program puts participants right in the heart of the action with activities like enrichment feeding, behind the scenes access and up-close and personal animal encounters. With 5 different, action-packed days, there is even more to see and explore. To find out more or to book your experience head to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary website:

Get up close with a dinosaur at Jurassic Creatures

Jurassic Creatures, is an interactive walk through event that will captivate young and old alike. Explore a prehistoric world full of moving dinosaurs.  Get ready to be amazed and thrilled as the greatest creatures ever to walk the earth return and come alive before your eyes. Jurassic Creatures will be taking over Robina Town Centre, Gold Coast from 26 December 2020 – 31 January 2021.  Tickets will be on sale via Ticketmaster.

Go on a hike and get out into nature

  • Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area.  The area is ideal for short and long walks, bike riding, trail running, bird watching and is the perfect spot to get up close with native wildlife.  Insect repellent is a must.
  • Federation Walk, The Spit. Get back to nature, and explore the array of natural flora and fauna that this park has to offer. Grab your walking shoes, breathe in the fresh air and experience the thrill of the outdoors. The sandy tracks are perfect for mountain biking and walking.
  • Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens.  The Botanic Gardens are a natural playground and a haven for wildlife in the heart of the city. Explore more than five kilometres of walking tracks and boardwalks, winding through landscaped native gardens, a sensory garden and peaceful lagoons.
  • Schuster Park.  Schuster Park is a great spot to take the family to enjoy the playground, bushwalking, horse riding, fishing or a barbeque by the creek. There’s lots of space to explore and a sandy beach for launching kayaks.  You can bring your dog and let them run free in the designated off-leash area.
  • Queensland national parks.  There are a range of destinations right on our doorstep with world-class waterfalls, bushwalking trails and picnic areas with a variety of experience for everyone.  Head to Burleigh Headland National Park, Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park or Tamborine National Park for a hike to remember in the rainforest.

Learn about local Aboriginal culture at Jellurgal

Children can learn about Aboriginal culture at the centre and also include in a tour for kids aged 5-12 years that explores the magic of the ‘Dreaming Mountain’, Jellurgal (Burleigh Headland) with a guided walk, activities and an art workshop. For more information or to book a tour, go to the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre website:

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