Winter School Holiday Fun: Things to do for kids and family friendly fun to be had in Byron and surrounds
27 June, 2023
How glorious has this winter weather been! I am not a big fan of winter – definitely more of a shorts and singlet summertime gal – but despite the cold, I have been appreciating the beautiful sunny days. It’s also made a world of difference to our winter calendar of outdoor community events – from bonfire nights to winter festivals including the legendary Lismore Lantern Parade, celebrating 29 years of ‘bringing light to the heart of the city’, the more recent Byron Music Festival, and the return of the Love Lennox Festival.
For the first time in a very long time, our family will not be here for the holidays. Originally planned pre-covid for 2020, we are taking the kids to visit their overseas relatives which is very exciting as they have never met in person before. They have cousins around similar ages and as you can imagine, everyone is ridiculously excited.
So, I have spent these weeks prior, preparing as much as possible in advance so that the What’s On Guide has everything you need for your school holidays too!
There’s plenty on offer with local organisations making every effort to cater to the diverse needs and desires of locals and visitors alike. From crafty and creative, active and energetic, educational and entertaining and all-round inspirational options to suit families and kids from tots to teens!
The What’s On Guide is your place to go for all the details – dates | times | location addresses with Googlemap | contact details | ticket prices and booking links but below is a taster of everything on offer.
PLEASE NOTE: PLACES WILL BE LIMITED AND BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL FOR MANY ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS LISTED
As usual, I’ve split the options into 4 broad themes to make it easier for you as parents – who know best what your kids like to do. There’s GET ACTIVE, BE CREATIVE, GET INSPIRED and BE ENTERTAINED.
Have a scroll through and see for yourself what wonderful activities and entertainment has been lined up this Winter break for kids and families to enjoy.
Get your skates on and join us at Rollerworld Lismore for one of their popular skating sessions. Open Monday to Sunday of the NSW school holidays, you’ll get 2 hours of skating, music, games and more! Whether you are a rollerskater (like me) or a rollerblader (like my son and daughter) Lismore Rollerworld has you covered! Both my kids love going for an outing here during the school holidays and it’s fun for all the family with a 2 hour session from just $12pp.
Circus Arts Byron Bay school holiday programs are open now! Generously covering both QLD and NSW school holidays their holiday program runs from run Monday 26 June to Saturday from 17 July 2023. It’s a fantastic indoor venue with an amazing variety of apparatus to learn on, Circus Arts pack the programs with fun circus activities including acrobatics and a swing on the high flying trapeze (for those who dare). They have an onsite cafe and offer an optional add-on lunchbox so everything is taken care of. Choose from full or half day programs and extend by adding special holiday options.
They also have a magical indoor circus playground suitable for ages 1 -10. Socks required for playspace and session duration is up to 1 hr 15 mins.
Farm Kids Byron Bay school holiday program starts on Wednesday 28 June and runs to Friday 14 July. Choose from a number of their fantastic, hands-on 3 hour farm-themed workshops for kids such as Pigs, Cows, Chickens Bees and Nature Craft . Also on offer is their full day experience – Farm Kids Mini Farmers Program which includes important topics such as Beneficial Bugs, Flowers, DIY, Companion Planting, Herbs, Citrus, Veggies and Nuts Herbs Suitable for 5-15 y/o, this full day program introduces children to real life farming. They get their hands dirty and learn many aspects of organic and sustainable farming.
Byron Bay Skateboard School offers a full day of skateboard instruction, catering to all levels – from beginners to advanced – at their bespoke coaching facility in Byron Industrial Estate the day camps are a unique and fun experience for kids age 6 – 12 years old. The school holiday program is super popular but with sessions from Tuesday to Friday both weeks of the holidays you should be in luck and jag a day that works for you.
If you can’t book into a class – why not try their OPEN SESSIONS. A 2 hour skate session is just $20, open to all levels and are simply a time for you to come along and work on your skills – there will be no coaching.
- Thursday from 6-8pm (walk in only, no booking required)
- Sundays 10am – 12pm | 12pm – 2pm | 2pm – 4pm | Bookings Essential
And – if you’ve brought your skateboard with you, I can highly recommend the new Jarjumirr Skatepark that has recently opened in the centre of Byron Bay. Located behind the library, this ages skate park, has been transformed into a dynamic, friendly and popular community hub featuring – Check it out!!
Some super fun and creative classes have been added the the What’s On Guide for the winter holidays. Choose from craft, acrylic painting, watercolour, clay, illustration, design and more for a range of ages and skill levels – take a look below…
Make, play and explore at Art Kind these holidays! Located in Byron Bay’s Arts & Industry Estate, Art Kind gallery owner, Bec Duff is offering two hour creative sessions for ages 6-12 years old.
Your kids can have fun with watercolour paints, specialty papers, pencils, natural materials and a range of art practices. Open weekdays from 3 – 7 July with two sessions daily, there’s a different activity each day with a mix of art, craft and experimentation.
Over in Newrybar, Oceana is offering a range of creative arts through her Kids Art & Craft Winter Holiday Program. 2 hour sessions include Kids Art & Craft (ages 5-10) | Kids Drawing & Illustration (ages 7-12) | Kids Painting (ages 7-12) All materials are included and there are just 6 students per class. Oceana also offers unique, tailored art and craft classes as well as mobile art parties for birthday parties and other events.
As always, our local libraries offer a diverse range of fun FREE creative and practical activities throughout the school holidays and these Winter holidays are no exception.
PLACES ARE LIMITED AND BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL FOR MANY ACTIVITIES – SEE WHAT’S ON GUIDE FOR DATES, TIMES, AGE SUITABILITY AND BOOKING DETAILS
Brunswick Heads Library Comic Collage Workshop (ages 12 -15 years), Make Beeswax Food Wraps (ages 5+)
Ballina Library Green Screen Filmmaking (ages 8 – 14 years), Make Beeswax Food Wraps (ages 5+), Holiday Bingo and Scavenger Hunt (every day for all ages).
Lennox Head Make a Suncatcher and Basket Weaving for ages 6+, Make Beeswax Food Wraps (ages 5+)
Alstonville Library Make Beeswax Food Wraps (ages 5+), Fun With Wool.
Byron Bay Natural Weaving and Clay Fun for ages 6+, Collaborative Craft Mornings and Scrabble Club – open to players of all ages.
Mullumbimby, Ballina and Alstonville libraries will also continue with their regular weekday Story, Baby and Toddler Time sessions throughout the school holidays.
It’s NAIDOC Week from 2 – 9 July and this years theme is For Our Elders. Where there is knowledge there are our Elders. Our Elders paved pathways for us, taught us our knowledge, our history, they passed down their art, stories and wisdom. Our Elders are the foundation of our communities and role models for our children.There are celebrations happening in Ballina, Mullumbimby and Byron Bay throughout the week. Check out our What’s On Guide for all the details.
Auscare Support are excited to offer their NDIS Social Clubs over the school holidays.
The Social Clubs are designed for NDIS participants aged 7 – 12 years and can be paid for with NDIS funding (Core and Capacity Building). Each club is capped at a maximum of 6 children.
Starting on Wednesday 5 July until Friday 14 July. Choose from a three hour morning Explorers session or a two hour afternoon session session in Ballina. Explorers are an out and about club and there’s heaps of fun options including tenpin bowling, pottery, skateboarding, rollerskating and a morning at Circus Arts!
Two hour sessions are based at the hub in Ballina where kids can enjoy fun and adventure in a safe and supported environment with activities including, Social Minecraft, Robolox, Lego games, stop motion movie and Arts & Craft where you can paint, draw or sculpture to your hearts content!
To book, call 1800 940 515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of Queer Family’s Pride Month Bonanza, Queer Family is inviting all LGBTIQSB+ young people aged 12-25, their friends, families and supporters along to Tweed Heads Diversity Walk on Saturday 1 July. Following the the march at 12 pm, will be fabulous performers, music, games, a chill zone and food. There will also be a BEST DRESSED DOG competition! And on Wednesday 5 July, young queerios are welcome to join Queer Family at Palace Cinemas to watch Elemental – featuring Disney’s first ever non-binary character! Discounted tix available – scan QR code on poster for more details.
The Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offer kids the opportunity to get up close and personal and learn more about our Australian wildlife with one day workshops. Choose from popular WILDLIFE GUARDIANS PROGRAM (Ages 8 -12) where kids get to spend the day with the keepers behind-the-scenes in the Animal Park and learn about the conservation of our local wildlife . And for high-schoolers (12-18 years old) , they offer their KEEPER FOR A DAY PROGRAM where teenagers can spend a day behind the scenes in the animal park with a senior keeper and find out what working in a wildlife sanctuary is all about with some exclusive firsthand experiences.
Matsuri Japan Festival Byron Bay is an annual – not to be missed – event to introduce unique Japanese cultural experiences to promote understanding and diversity. There will be lots of authentic street food stalls including our favourite – shaved ice plus Gyoza, Takoyaki, Yakisoba and Wagyu. Plenty of Japanese live music, Taiko drumming and traditional kimono dance performances, as well as markets, crafts and workshops. This year, the event is designed for an evening early dinner lantern atmosphere as this is what real matsuri is. More info on the event can be found on the What’s On Guide
Hosted by the Caldera Environment Centre on Saturday 16 July in conjunction with community environmental groups from around the region, this event gives local environmental organisations an arena to bring attention to their issues and their actions. The Program Includes guest speakers and demonstrations, aboriginal dance group ‘KIDS CARING FOR COUNTRY‘Circus Performance Entertainment by THE PITTS FAMILY CIRCUS and HOOPLA KIDS CIRCUS and music in the afternoon is by LUNA JUNCTION. There will be plenty of kids activities, food vans and more.
Cherry Street Sports in Ballina has 2 weeks of epic entertainment lined up for the holidays. There’s so much fun to be had with Mr Brad from Fitness Kidz, and long time favourite Miss Beka who will be running the kids disco and plaster fun workshops. Kids eat free on Thursdays and Kidz Klub Australia will be providing the entertainment form 5pm with their Arts & Craft Zone They also have Laser Tag on Monday 3 and 10 July plus on Saturday 8 July, join in the fun on Ninja Warrior Day on the Ninja Obstacle Course & Wall bookings essential!!
It’s a similar story for Club Lennox Sports who are also offering fun sessions on the green with Fitness Kidz, Plaste Funwith Miss Beka and Laser Tag on Friday 7 and 14 July(bookings essential for Laser Tag).
Ballina RSL are putting on some fantastic entertainment for kids with side-splitting old school fun with Shorty Brown and her hilarious ‘old school bingo’ fun. Expect raucous shenanigans with Shorty who will be making them laugh with her funny, vibrant personality. They also have fab FREE show with The Wildlife Twins where you can meet Barty The Wombat, plus from Monday 3 to Tuesday 11 July they will have a FREE JUMPING CASTLE & OBSTACLE COURSE in the Auditorium from 10.30am – 5.30pm!
Byron Theatre have a couple of fabulous shows up their sleeves this school holidays. Shorty Brown will be bringing the roof down with one of her epic blue-light disco parties! Hot tunes! Prizes! and Surprises! Interactive fun! It’s going to be a blast! And we are gutted to be missing one of our favourite kids performers – The Listies. They will be back on 11 July with 2 shows of Hamlet: Prince of Skidmarks. Do yourself a favour and watch the trailer on Byron Theatre’s website – they are the ultimate in slapstick!
The Palace Cinema Byron Bay has a heap of movies showing this school holidays and are thrilled to be presenting family friendly [PG] flicks The Little Mermaid, Spider-Man Across The Spiderverse, Elemental, Cats In The Museum and Belle & Sebastian. Teen [M] films include Sweet As, Flash and Indiana Jones and The Dial Of Destiny – which we went to see last week and it was AWESOME! Visit Palace Cinemas for showing times and bookings.
Ballina Tenpin Bowling is open almost every day of the school holidays and is the perfect all-weather entertainment option! It could be pouring with rain or stinking hot outside and they offer a delicious air conditioned, cool environment to enjoy a super fun morning or arvo social bowling with family or friends.
They have a special price on Tenpin Bowling too – just $16 per person for 2 games plus they also light up the lanes between 12 and 4pm and from 7pm onward for GLOW bowling sessions every day of the holidays.
If you have little ones who want a go, they offer lightweight balls and bumpers/ramps so they can really enjoy a game too. In addition they have a super fun Putt Putt section for just $5 per person!
Please note: bookings are essential as spots are filling up even faster as Lismore’s Tenpin is out of action.
There are a couple of markets happening over the Winter Break including a special one for local youth on Wednesday 12 July. The Mullumbimby Flea is a Youth Run Market for only young people. The market is open for all young people to book a spot, bring a rug and sell up. There will be a FREE BBQ and LIVE music performed by local artists.
The quarterly Byron Beachside Market will be held on Saturday 8 July at Main Beach foreshore. Open from 8am – 3pm this market showcases a diverse and exciting collection of high quality art, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, glass, home wares, fashion, craft, clothing and music created by local artists and designers as well as an array of services offered by our health and well being practitioners.
If you’re not yet here, or indeed even if you are, Dinner is Served offers a fabulous service delivering fresh, locally made, ready-to-heat meals, delicious salads, breakfast supplies and more directly to your home or self-catered accommodation. If you’re like me and you want a holiday from “What’s for Dinner mum?” check out their menu – I can guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
NOTE: you can view photos, read more and even check out the menu options by clicking the respective links.
Club Lennox Sports have a Kids Eat Free all day on Tuesdays and Cherry Street Sports have Kids Eat Free all day on Thursdays. Ocean Shores Tav have a fantastic kids play area so parents can enjoy some relaxing, uninterrupted adult conversation! And…
If it’s a babysitter you’re after, look no further than our babysitting category for some highly recommended babysitting / nannying services.
So, there you have it.
That is apart from heading down to one of the many beautiful beaches, enjoying a coastal or hinterland walking trail or enjoying a scoot or a skate or a play at any number of our local skateparks and playgrounds… all of which you can find out more about by clicking on the links.
We hope you enjoy a wonderful winter break this holidays and try something new. My very best wishes to you 🌈🌻🌊🏖️
Have a look at what you fancy doing with the kids and make a morning, afternoon or a day of it!