NEWFM GUIDE TO THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

NEWFM has complied 50+ ideas for you and the kids to do these school holidays!

Blackbutt Reserve, Kotara

Blackbutt Reserve is the perfect place to be on a sunny day. Walk through all the exhibitions featuring koalas, kangaroos, emus and heaps of other critters. After seeing all the fluffy, scaly and feathery animals, cook a barbeque or unpack a picnic in the sunshine. Admission is free, however there is a parking fee.

Camping, Various Locations

Camping is great fun for the kids! Let them roast marshmallows and get back to nature. To find an awesome spot to pitch your tent, click here.

Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland  

The Hunter Wetlands Centre has so much to do. Enjoy daily reptile talks and bird feeding, take an eco-tour, walk or bike along the trails, take a Segway tour, test out your map reading skills and go for a quick canoe! Plus after all the fun, relax with a nice barbeque or a picnic!

Miniature Railway, Maitland

Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 11am, volunteers run miniature trains for kids to ride right next to the lake. Find out more here.

Stockton Ferry, Newcastle and Stockton

Take in the beautiful foreshore from the Stockton Ferry. Ride the ferry from Newcastle to Stockton, and take a relaxing walk along the break wall. Ferry times can be found here.

Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin

Wander amongst the beautiful gardens filled with stunning plants, water features and bridges. Plus, check out their Christmas Lights Spectacular until January 27th. More info can be found here.

Newcastle Beaches, Various Locations

The beaches of Newcastle are known for their beauty! Check out all the details about parking, disability access, food options and more here.

Skate Park, Various Locations

Grab the board, bike or scooter, and let them zip around many of the skate parks in our beautiful region. Find a list of skate parks here.

Hunter Valley Zoo, Nulkaba

Monkeys and crocs and cheetahs – oh my! There’s so much to do here! Visit the exhibits, listen to talks, watch feedings, and animal encounters! Find them online here

Newcastle’s Famous Tram, Newcastle

Ride the historical tram around the beautiful city of Newcastle! The tram departs twice daily at 10:30am and 12:00pm from Wharf Road. More details here.

Baths, Mereweather and Bar Beach

The baths are great for kids who aren’t ready for the waves, and for adults that just want to stretch out and sunbathe. Find out more here.

Botanical Gardens, Heatherbrae

Let the kids roam among rare and beautiful plants under the sunshine. If you stick around, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the resident ringtail possums or koalas. Find out more info here.\

Newcastle Farmers Markets, Broadmeadow

On almost all Sunday’s of the month, the Newcastle Showground becomes a hub of fresh food, delicious wines, custom clothing, handmade blankets and specially crafted toys. Find out more here.

Queens Tower Wharf, Newcastle

Climb Newcastle’s most well-known (and most unfortunate looking) attraction before it is torn down in 2018! It will help you and the kids keep fit, and you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of the city and water.

Tree Tops Adventure Park, Minmi

Climb, fly and weave your way through the tree tops on a self-guided rope tour! There are 100 obstacles with rope ladders, bridges, tunnels and zip lines. Find it online here.

Go Karts Go, Broadmedow

Get your heart rate up with so exhilarating go karting at Go Karts Go! They’ve got the fastest carts in Newcastle and the biggest track too!

Oakvale Farm, Port Stephens

Bottle feed baby animals, milk cows, ride tractors, pat crocs and so much more! Plus, they’ve only recently installed a Splash Bay – perfect for those boiling hot days! Find out more here.

Fernleigh Track, Adamstown

The Fernleigh Track is the perfect place for a walk or a bike ride on a sunny afternoon. The track runs 14km and has plenty of access points.

Drive In Theatre, Heddon Greta

Let the kids take a jump back in time while you relive old memories at the drive in. Click here to find out more.

Dolphin Swim, Port Stephens

Get up close and personal with some of the most beautiful and gentle marine animals! Find out more here. 

Snorkelling, Various Locations

Let the kids become mermaids for a day and explore the under the sea. There’s plenty of great places to go in our lovely region but we recommend you head up to Nelson Bay to Fly Point and Middle Rock for the best experience.

Newcastle Museum, Newcastle

This is the perfect place for curious minds with plenty of amazing exhibitions, events and express science shows. Find out more here.

Cinemas, Various Locations

What’s better that grabbing some warm popcorn on a rainy day and seeing the most anticipated movie of the year! Event Cinemas, Hoyts and Reading Cinemas have you covered for all your movie needs.

Holey Moley, Charlestown

The hottest new spot for both kids and adults is Holey Moley, an indoor mini putt-putt course. Sharing its location with Strike, there is also a bar and plus plenty of food available. Check it out here.

Miss Lily’s Lollies, Morpeth

Treat yourself and the kids to a few sweets these school holidays! They have so many sweets ranging from homemade fudge to American Candy, Aussie Cobbers to English Sweeties, and Humbugs to Sour Spray! Find their Facebook here.

Megamania, Charlestown

Megamania is both an awesome play centre and a tasty café! There’s a massive multi-level play maze with rope bridges, tubes, obstacle courses and speed slides! Find them online here.

Spotlight, Newcastle

Keep an eye out for kid’s classes at Spotlight over the school holidays. If nothing takes you or your kids fancy, grab a craft kit, and head home for some arty fun.

Superstrike, Warners Bay

Bowling is the classic rainy day activity. Head to Warners Bay for a bowl, a bite and a beer (but only for the adults). Check it out here. 

Flip Out, Thorton

Let your kids run, jump and flip to their hearts content at this indoor trampoline park. Find out more here.

Pulse Rock Climbing, Adamstown

The kids will absolutely tucker themselves out scrambling up and down the wall at Pulse. Check it out here.

Family Portraits, Various Locations

Now that the kids are home from school, you finally have the time to get those family portraits you’ve always wanted done! Check out Natural Lights Photography and Capture Imaging Photography to create some memories!

Toronto Workers Club, Toronto

While you kick back and relax, let the kids enjoy all the fun that will be going on at the club! Throughout the holidays there will be face painting, balloon animals and pirate parties! Plus, kids eat free in the bistro from 5:30pm  on Saturdays! More details here.

Shopping, Various Locations

Take the kids on an adventure around the shops as you do your Christmas shop! After all that hard work, relax with a coffee as you watch them play on the centre playground. Why not head to the biggest shopping centres in Newcastle – Charlestown Square and Westfield Kotara?

Fighter World, Williamtown

Fighter World is an aviation  museum just a quick 20 minute drive from Newcastle where you and the little ones can walk around, touch and look into the cockpits of famous aircraft. Check it out here.

Hunter Ice Skating Centre, Warners Bay

If the rain is pouring but it’s still hot and muggy, head to Hunter Ice Skating Centre! Let your kids learn to ice skate or show off their awesome skills. Find out more here.

Maitland Gaol, Maitland

Maitland Gaol is the perfect combo of education and fun! There are self-guided tours, private tours and much, much more!  Find out more here.

Art and Craft

Grab a craft kit from Spotlight or Lincraft, and settle down for an afternoon of arty fun. If you’re looking for something a little different, search online for some ideas! A good place to start is searching Pinterest or heading over to parents.com!

Movie Day

What’s better than rummaging through the DVD’s or searching Netflix for a good movie? Don’t know what to watch? Click here for some great ideas!

Baking and Cooking

Have an awesome time and teach your kids an invaluable skill at the same time! Click here for some kid friendly recipes.

Board Games

If the kids are bored, whip out an old board game to entertain them!

Pillow Fort

Nothing beats the classic building a pillow fort!

Treasure Hunt

Hide clues all over the house and watch as they follow each one! For the final treasure, hide some cookies or some new toys!

Cubby House

Get the entire family involved with an awesome school holiday project! Find 12 cubby house plans here.

Gardening

Get the kids in the garden for the day! Decorate pots, plant flowers and enjoy the sunshine!

Sports

Whip out the family wickets, or the soccer ball to get the kids active and keep them busy!

Experiments

Let their little minds be blown with some awesome, yet simple experiments! Check out some experiments here.

Backyard Camping

All the fun of camping without the packing and planning! There’s plenty of awesome things you can do in the backyard – roast marshmallows in the fire pit (or make a DIY fire pit), play classic games and enjoy the stars!

Outdoor Cinema

Put up a sheet in the backyard or find a blank wall, grab the video projector, and you’re good to go!

At Home Water Park

Get out the old slip and slide, put on the sprinklers, and fill up the water balloons! It’s the best way to cool down on those hot summer days!

Backyard Picnic

Bake a few cookies, slice up a few sandwiches and stretch out in the backyard with the kids.