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Beat the winter blues: 9 wholesome activities to do these school holidays

Winter has arrived, and venturing outdoors has officially become an icy ordeal. Especially for us Melburnians. But what if we told you that hiding inside with the fireplace wasn’t the only option to battle the chill these school holidays? Melbourne has a heap of wholesome activities to keep your heart warm and your mind buzzing. Whether you’re after active adventures, cultural explorations, sightseeing or thrill-seeking experiences – we’ve got you covered.

Monopoly Dreams, Melbourne Central

Hidden within the bustling Melbourne Central Station lies an immersive experience that brings our favourite family board game to life.

Monopoly Dreams has re-created all the best elements of the iconic game. You can try your hand at cracking Mr Monopoly’s vault and making a dash for cash at the bank – all while dodging the dreaded jail.

You’ll fix broken pipes, get the power flowing and even strike a pose for a mugshot. All in a day’s work!

So, scrounge up some Monopoly Money (which you can redeem at the adjoined retail store and café) and head to Monopoly Dreams these holidays.


Enchanted Adventure, Arthurs Seat

Just a short drive from Melbourne in Victoria’s hinterland lies an exciting adventure park for thrill seekers.

The Enchanted Adventure at Arthurs Seat is set among beautiful gardens and offers everything from tree surfing and tube slides to outdoor puzzles and canopy walks.

For those of you seeking a challenge, the tree surfing option offers a high ropes experience with ziplines, swinging bridges, tunnels and a Tarzan swing.

But if you’re after a more understated escape, all the on-ground activities offer a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s CBD.


Joy, Immigration Museum

What brings joy into your life? That’s the question Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’s Joy asks of its visitors.

The transformative indoor journey delves into the facets of happiness, inviting guests to wander through spaces filled with vivid hues and contemplative settings.

A true celebration of belonging and togetherness, Joy even features a ‘Share Your Joy’ wall – where you can read all about what joy means to others and then share what sparks joy for you.

With free admission for children under 3, it’s the perfect family day out.


Ancient Egypt for Kids, NGV

Have you always wanted to experience the wonders of ancient Egypt? Well, now’s your chance.

The National Gallery of Victoria is hosting a free Ancient Egypt for Kids exhibition in Melbourne alongside the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces showcase: Pharoah.

The exhibition invites you to explore a space adorned with shimmering gold walls and towering hieroglyphs – encouraging youngsters to immerse themselves in the mysteries of Egypt.

The larger exhibition, in partnership with the British Museum, delves deep into 3,000 years of Egyptian history through over 500 artifacts.

It’s the perfect educational and thrilling mix to keep minds young and old abuzz these school holidays.


Lightscape, Royal Botanic Gardens

If you’ve lived in Melbourne for some time, you’ve likely heard about the enchanting Lightscape at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Lightscape brings the famed oasis to life in the winter, taking you on a magical journey through colourful leafy trails in the heart of our city.

Beginning at Observatory Gate, you’ll follow winding paths through gardens filled with stunning light installations and vibrant, colourful sculptures. All set to a whimsical soundscape.

The experience is elevated with delicious food to warm you up on those chilly Melbourne nights.

But be quick! Lightscape is only available between 14 June and 4 August – so make sure to snag your ticket ASAP.


Impossible Occurrences, Melbourne’s Magic Show

Picture stepping into a cosy, dimly-lit room at a chic Melbourne hotel, ready to witness something extraordinary.

That’s exactly what Luke Hocking’s Impossible Occurrences offers.

This live magic show features mind-blowing illusions performed right before your eyes, and it has converted even the most stubborn of sceptics.

Luke, a skilled local magician, seamlessly combines magic and mind reading, creating an intimate experience that will leave you in awe.

Whether you’re 10 years old or 80, the show promises an intriguing and spectacular evening.


Dinos at the Zoo, Melbourne Zoo

Does your child consider themselves a fearless explorer? With Dinos at the Zoo, Melbourne Zoo is offering a deep dive into The Lost Wild for only the bravest of children.

Venture through wild tunnels to discover hidden fossils, see moving dinosaurs and explore all the different play spaces that pop up along the way. Then, refuel with a dino-themed kids’ lunch – complete with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, of course.

And with a souvenir from our Zoo Shop, you can even take some of the prehistoric magic home with you.

But be warned, the experience is not suitable for those who scare easily.


Clip ‘n Climb, Phillip Island

Over in Phillip Island, Clip ‘n Climb brings the great outdoors inside with an exciting new concept for junior climbers.

A range of colourful, 10-metre-high climbing walls cater to new climbers as well as seasoned experts. And the best part? Only your enthusiasm is needed.

They’ve got themed challenges that are just as visually stunning as they are fun. Plus, they offer virtual reality experiences to add a whole new level of adventure to your day out.

It’s active. It’s fun. What more could you want from a school holiday activity?


Cottage Detective Quest, Fitzroy Gardens

Where in the world is… Kylie’s Kangaroo’s Hat?

The Cottage Detective Quest in Melbourne’s stunning Fitzroy Gardens is perfect for our youngest Melburnians who are eager to solve any mystery before them.

The search begins at the visitor centre, where children can collect their activity booklet and set off to Cooks’ Cottage.

Along the way, they’ll meet eight of Kylie’s animal friends and solve clues to uncover the mystery of the missing hat. Once the adventure is completed, little detectives can return to the visitor centre to claim a prize.

And potentially a new answer to the age-old ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ question!


Looking for more of the best spots in Melbourne’s southeast? Seek out our series of Suburb Spy stories – only on The Peer Blog.