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Holidays are much more fun with a little planning. Here’s a comprehensive list of things to do in the school holidays. If the kids are driving you mad and you all need to leave the house this cheat sheet will give you some great ideas for those outings.
Busy parents are always looking for cheap things to do in the school holidays. If you are a parent who is stuck for ideas this cheat sheet is a life-saver! Stick this money-saving cheat sheet on the fridge or access on your mobile for quick reference over the school holidays. This sheet will help you to plan events ahead of time and keep the kids occupied.

Get out and about with the kids

Visit your local museum, pack a picnic and head to the park or spend a day at the beach! Just pick an activity and get out of the house. There are over 200+ ideas packed into this cheat sheet!

School holidays

200+ random school holiday outings for kids

 Ask and you will receive these holidays!

  1. Ask your local radio station for a tour
  2. Be a tourist in your own town
  3. Become part of a TV show audience
  4. Blow bubbles at the beach
  5. Book into holiday programs early

Borrow stuff to make the holidays more enjoyable

  1. Borrow audio books from the library
  2. Borrow classics from the library
  3. Borrow DVDs from the library
  4. Borrow kids’ books from the library
  5. Borrow some famous books
  6. Browse antiques at an antique store
  7. Browse home furniture stores
  8. Browse kids’ sections at a bookstore
  9. Build sand castles at the beach
  10. Buy supplies at an art store
  11. Buy your kids a cheap gi!
  12. Camp in the backyard

Catch a ride these holidays!

  1. Catch a ferry
  2. Catch a great movie together
  3. Catch a train
  4. Catch a tram
  5. Check out a sports match
  6. Check out free performances
  7. Check out sculpture exhibitions
  8. Collect shells at the beach
  9. Drive around and look at mansions
  10. Drive to a forest
  11. Drive, sing and go out for ice-cream
  12. Drive to the snow and feel snow

Plan School Holidays 2016 with printables from the Savings Room

Enrol and learn in the holidays

  1. Enrol in drama classes
  2. Enrol in school holiday programs
  3. Enrol in some pottery classes
  4. Enrol the kids in swimming lessons
  5. Feed the ducks at a lake
  6. Find a great go-kart venue
  7. Find a silly reason to go for a walk
  8. Find a specialist cake shop and indulge
  9. Find free community programs
  10. Find volunteer programs
  11. Fly a kite
  12. Get out and about on scooters
  13. Get your shopping essentials
  14. Give blood and take the kids

Go on adventures

  1. Go bowling with a group
  2. Go caving
  3. Go fishing off a pier
  4. Go for a boat ride
  5. Go for a bush walk
  6. Go for a drive and get a hot chocolate
  7. Go for a late afternoon swim in the ocean
  8. Go for a walk and take photos
  9. Go for rides on motorbikes
  10. Go fruit picking
  11. Go ice-skating
  12. Go on a family bike ride
  13. Go on a mall mini-train ride
  14. Go on a tour of an old winery
  15. Go on an organised city walk
  16. Go on an outdoor camping adventure
  17. Go on some factory tours
  18. Go on some group walks with kids and friends
  19. Go out for co#ee and cake
  20. Go out for “sh and chips
  21. Go out for ice-cream
  22. Go out for lunch with friends
  23. Go out for morning tea
  24. Go out for pizza
  25. Go rock-climbing
  26. Go roller-skating or roller-blading
  27. Go to a church event or fair
  28. Go to a concert
  29. Go to a drive-in movie
  30. Go to a family fun day
  31. Go to a festival
  32. Go to a free play area at a mall
  33. Go to a glass blowing demonstration
  34. Go to a great event
  35. Go to a lolly making factory
  36. Go to a magic show
  37. Go to a Medieval tourist attraction
  38. Go to a photographic exhibition
  39. Go to a puppet show
  40. Go to a skate park
  41. Go to a story-telling workshop
  42. Go to a summer concert
  43. Go to an amusement park
  44. Go to an expo
  45. Go to an games arcade
  46. Go to an interstate event
  47. Go to country fairs
  48. Go to mall outside your area for a day trip
  49. Go to mall special events
  50. Go to McDonalds
  51. Go to a carwash and wash the car
  52. Go to a Bunnings play café
  53. Go to the circus
  54. Go to the DVD shop and rent some movies
  55. Go to the hot pools
  56. Go to the local pool for the day
  57. Go to theatre rehearsals
  58. Go to your local info centre and grab brochures
  59. Go window shopping or real shopping
  60. Grab cheap toys at Savers
  61. Have breakfast at a café
  62. Have fun at a costume shop
  63. Have fun at an aquatic park
  64. Have lunch at Ikea
  65. Have lunch at the park
  66. Head to the footy
  67. Hire a canoe or kayak
  68. Hire a dingy on a river
  69. Hunt down some live music
  70. Investigate new hobbies while out
  71. Invite friends with kids over
  72. Join a playgroup
  73. Join a toy library
  74. Make movies on your phone
  75. Meet friends at the park
  76. Meet new people at Op shops
School Holidays 2016

cantinaprimore / Pixabay

Organise an event for the holidays

  1. Organise a baby-sitting barter
  2. Organise a bbq lunch with friends
  3. Organise a free holiday and house swap
  4. Organise a surprise dinner for a working parent
  5. Pan for gold if you live near a mining attraction
  6. Place flowers on graves
  7. Play on a whizzy dizzy
  8. Play with gadgets at computer stores
  9. Read books at the park
  10. Rent cheap movies from a dispenser machine
  11. Roll down a hill
  12. Run errands at the post office
  13. Scour Op shops for cheap costumes
  14. Scour Op shops for old things-to-do books
  15. Shoot some hoops down at the school
  16. Sit in some hotel lobbies
  17. Spend half a day at a play café
  18. Spend the day at the beach
  19. Stay overnight in a motel somewhere

Take a day off and relax

  1. Take a bus ride
  2. Take a cemetery walk
  3. Take a drive in the country
  4. Take photos all day at scenic locations
  5. Take photos of birds on a walk
  6. Take photos of nature on a walk
  7. Take the kids to a matinee
  8. Take up bird-watching in the park
  9. Take up horse-riding
  10. Take up tennis
  11. Tour a police station
  12. Tour an historic boat or ship

Get visiting people and places

  1. Visit a beautiful lake
  2. Visit a castle
  3. Visit a childrens’ farm
  4. Visit a chocolate factory
  5. Visit a conservatory
  6. Visit a cool city kids café
  7. Visit a famous Cathedral
  8. Visit a famous tourist destination
  9. Visit a farm
  10. Visit a #re station
  11. Visit a garden and take photos of butterflies
  12. Visit a hobby shop
  13. Visit a hot house
  14. Visit a magic shop
  15. Visit a monastery
  16. Visit a museum
  17. Visit a pet store
  18. Visit a planetarium
  19. Visit a police station
  20. Visit a private garden
  21. Visit a public garden
  22. Visit a science museum
  23. Visit a street market
  24. Visit a tip store for cheap #nds
  25. Visit a weekend market
  26. Visit a well known playground
  27. Visit a wildlife park
  28. Visit a zoo
  29. Visit an animal sanctuary
  30. Visit an aquarium
  31. Visit an extinct volcano
  32. Visit an historic building
  33. Visit an historic cottage
  34. Visit an historic mansion
  35. Visit an historic town
  36. Visit different libraries in your region
  37. Visit every park in your neighbourhood
  38. Visit friends who have kids
  39. Visit grandparents
  40. Visit relatives
  41. Visit someone at work
  42. Visit the council for local information
  43. Visit the elderly
  44. Visit the lonely
  45. Visit the rose gardens and take photos
  46. Visit toyshops and play for free
  47. Visit wetlands
  48. Visit an army base
  49. Visit an art gallery

Walking is a win-win!

  1. Walk around botanical gardens
  2. Walk down a pier
  3. Walk in the rain together
  4. Walk over a big bridge
  5. Walk the dog
  6. Walk through a city park
  7. Walk through some display homes
  8. Walk to a waterfall
  9. Walk to your local mall

Watch something in the holidays

  1. Watch a parade
  2. Watch a fireworks display
  3. Watch a procession
  4. Watch planes at the airport
  5. Watch Shakespeare in the park
  6. Write a letter to Santa at the park
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Some families don’t let expense dictate their choice of holiday; they just choose their holiday movements wisely. Indeed, making careful decisions about what you pay for on holidays means your money can take you twice as far. Try these tips next time you want to travel beyond your family’s budget; whether it be booking Gold Coast accommodation, taking a tour in China or planning a weekend stay in a city.

1. Travel in the off-peak season

Most destinations have peak seasons – often based on seasonal weather – with the region’s school holidays having an added effect. Shoulder seasons can provide windows with much cheaper airfares and hotel prices. Another benefit of off-peak travel is that crowds are smaller.

travelling with kids

tookapic / Pixabay

2. Avoid touristy areas

Travel somewhere where the tourists are less in number and the hotels cost less in price. Instead of staying in a large city, pop into the city for a day trip, and book a stint of accommodation in a not-too-distant regional town with an interesting history. As long as you are enjoying it with your family, it’s the experience, not the destination that counts.

3. Do it locally

Accommodation, tours, transport: book it locally and it can be much cheaper. Take public transport around the city, that little bit of an extra headache could equate to the cost of dinner one night. Besides, this is how you learn how a city operates, by working it out for yourself.

4. Alternative accommodation

Hotels aren’t all they’re cracked to be. Try hostels or HomeExchange.com, which has tens of thousands of members in a large range of countries who are seeking to exchange homes with other members for holidays. You can then learn about another culture from a truly local perspective.

5. DIY Tours

There is no need to take expensive tours to get to know a new place; but this means spending time doing research beforehand. Learn the facts about a city, art gallery or church, then go and see it. It can be far less stressful than trying to keep children amused and engaged during an hour-long tour.

6. Eating in

Try booking accommodation with a kitchenette. A quick dinner can be whipped up for four people for the same price that one meal may cost in a restaurant. No need to do this every night, but definitely have breakfast cereal and milk on hand, which eradicates the need to plonk the whole family down in a café each morning.

travelling with kids

innitech / Pixabay

7. Eating out

When you do want to eat out, get advice on which restaurants provide value for money. Ask fellow travelers, hotel staff or check out TripAdvisor. Research eateries on the internet which have play areas for children. Often there is a local gem, sometimes a club, which has great food at reasonable prices and fabulous climbing equipment.
Travelling with children on a budget is not as hard as it sound. Just know where you will be cutting corners, and brief the kids accordingly. Make sure you take plenty of child-appropriate entertainment for those travel lulls; because you certainly don’t want to be nagged into spending anything extra unexpectedly. Most importantly: enjoy!

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Parents have all been there in terms of finding fun games for kids. It’s a rainy day and the kids are tearing up the house on their trikes causing general mayhem. My toddler’s favourite habit is to rip towels out of the linen cupboard, scatter her Barbie dolls all over the living room and bring sand in from the sandpit into my newly cleaned kitchen floor.
A full day of these antics is enough to drive any parent to the pantry to chomp on some Tim Tams or head to the fridge for a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But we still want our kids to be kids. Mostly kids get up to mischief when they are bored and are lacking in exciting activities to indulge in. This is especially true for little ones who attend childcare. Their days are full of activity so when they are home they expect the same level of activity!

Rainy day fun

This list is designed for those rainy days during the school holidays or for generally keeping kids occupied at home during the day. Instead of going to a mall and spending money on the kids so you can get out of the house, action a few activities on this list. While the kids are occupied you can catch a breather too! You may even get through a chapter in a novel uninterrupted! Well, dreams are free anyway! Or perhaps you need to get those important taxes done. Well, this list will help you a little space in the day.

Miniature cities

One idea is to build a miniature city. Start collecting little cardboard food boxes and gather some art and paint. The kids will thoroughly enjoy building a miniature city and it is a project they can do ongoing. You can also get involved and add little pieces to the beautiful city. Alternatively act like animals together, bake some chocolate brownies or call people on Skype! Whatever you do, this list will cure the boredom and keep the kids occupied these school holidays or any weekend day when they are indoors.
Play these games for kids in the Savings Room

Act, bake, colour or cook

  1. Act like animals
  2. Bake biscuits
  3. Bake chocolate brownies
  4. Build a miniature city
  5. Build an indoor village
  6. Call people or Skype them
  7. Camp inside
  8. Colour experiments
  9. Colour theme day E.g. Red
  10. Colouring in fun
  11. Computer time
  12. Conduct housework training
  13. Cook gingerbread
  14. Cooking lessons
  15. Cool fashion competition
  16. Costumes and photo session

la-fontaine / Pixabay

More money games for kids here

Get creative

  1. Create a board game
  2. Create a dream book
  3. Create a housework roster
  4. Create a photo collage
  5. Create a sand world in a box
  6. Create a scrapbook
  7. Create a short play
  8. Create a travel art pack
  9. Create an indoor garden
  10. Create an indoor restaurant
  11. Create an indoor tunnel
  12. Create mazes to navigate
  13. Create photo books
  14. Create your own puzzles
  15. Dance to great music
  16. Do a massive jigsaw
  17. Do laundry together
  18. Do the vacuuming
  19. Draw the garden
  20. Explore new music genres
  21. Fairies theme day for girls
  22. Fashion show down hallway
  23. Flower experiments
  24. Frame a dream
  25. Frame artwork
  26. Give each other cool haircuts
  27. Have a French week
  28. Have a pyjama day
  29. Hold a different culture week
  30. Indoor bath play
  31. Indoor obstacle course
  32. Indoor pet show
  33. Indoor sandpit play

Learn something new

  1. Learn about recycling
  2. Learn hello in other languages
  3. Learn how to measure stuff
  4. Learn Origami
  5. Learn YouTube magic tricks

More games for kids and ideas for the school holidays

Make stuff

  1. Make a cardboard car
  2. Make a delicious pizza
  3. Make an Xmas wreath
  4. Make a Zorro mask
  5. Make an indoor cubby
  6. Make and wear weird hats
  7. Make boats
  8. Make chocolate cake
  9. Make cool fridge magnets
  10. Make cupcakes
  11. Make fairy wings
  12. Make fruit kebabs
  13. Make gift cards
  14. Make ice-blocks out of juice
  15. Make ice cream
  16. Make instruments
  17. Make jelly
  18. Make jewellery
  19. Make movies out of photos
  20. Make muffins
  21. Make pancakes
  22. Make paper clip chains
  23. Make paper dolls
  24. Make paper Mache
  25. Make paper plate masks
  26. Make puppets from socks
  27. Make the bathtub a beach
  28. Make Xmas gifts
  29. Make YouTube videos
  30. Measure yourselves
  31. Mop a floor
  32. Movie afternoon
  33. Nail and string art
  34. Online treasure hunt
  35. Organise a play co-op
  36. Paint each other’s nails
  37. Paint plaster models
  38. Pirate’s theme day for boys

Games for kids

Gellinger / Pixabay

Play money games for kids in the Savings Room

Play, play, play…

  1. Play a Rubiks cube
  2. Play a will power game
  3. Play blindfolded taste testing
  4. Play card games
  5. Play charades
  6. Play computer games
  7. Play dress ups
  8. Play fake tennis
  9. Play hallway bowling
  10. Play Hide and Seek
  11. Play horsey
  12. Play indoor catchy
  13. Play indoor soft soccer
  14. Play indoor soft volleyball
  15. Play Knucklebones
  16. Play marbles
  17. Play Monopoly
  18. Play musical chairs
  19. Play Op shop board games
  20. Play pretend shops
  21. Play put toys away game
  22. Play rock, paper and scissors
  23. Play Scrabble
  24. Play skipping games
  25. Play the slapping hands game
  26. Play the staring game
  27. Play Twister
  28. Press flowers in books
  29. Print online colouring pages
  30. Puppet show
  31. Rearrange a room
  32. Record noises and sounds
  33. Repair and fix things session
  34. Revamp a room
  35. Run around with streamers
  36. Sailboats in the bath
  37. Shoulder rides
  38. Skype grandparents
  39. Sleepover for friends
  40. Start a collection
  41. Start a diary
  42. Start and bury a time capsule
  43. Swap toys with friends
  44. Take up a new hobby
  45. Talent quest
  46. Teach the kids to sew
  47. Throw balls into buckets
  48. Tie-dye some clothes
  49. Trace and draw stuff
  50. Travel on Google Earth
  51. Try scrap booking

Noel_Bauza / Pixabay

Watch it or get writing

  1. Watch YouTube
  2. Wizards and spells day
  3. Write a book series
  4. Write a creative story
  5. Write a letter to a relative
  6. Write a script
  7. Write some songs
Games for kids

johny_deff / Pixabay

Want more games for kids and things to do on a boring weekend or during the school holidays?

Read more and access all these fab cheat sheets in the Savings Room.

Things to do and more games for kids here

  • 50 things to do in your community this Christmas
  • 50 things to do indoors this Christmas
  • 180+ budget adventures with bubs
  • 20+ things to do in the garden this Christmas
  • 45 things to do in your region this Christmas
  • 130 little adventures in the garden for kids
  • 150 indoor activities for kids
  • 200+ random school holiday outings for kids

Got some great games for kids? Be sure to leave your comments.

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If you like a great tale with a money-saving moral to it, you might want to listen to my little story of penniless love and triumph. If you have kids you’ll no doubt relate to the predicament I found myself in.
A few years ago I lost my wallet on a Friday afternoon just before the weekend started and after the banks had closed. My husband had gone away for work to paint a large farmhouse and I was faced with an entire kids-in-tow weekend and zero dollars in spare cash to rely on.
Note: I could have scratched around the house on my hands and knees for gold coin donations from under desks and beds but I’m a mum and I was tired and ‘over it’ by the time I declared my ‘zero budget weekend’ to the kids.
My children were dumbfounded. The look on their faces, when confronted with the reality of zero dollars for the weekend, was priceless. When I delivered the news of my lost wallet to their bleeding hearts, those previously cheeky smiles had sunk back into their faces and morphed into startled Meerkats.
Meerkat family of four members
I clearly remember, as we stood staring at each other in the garden, there was a weird sense of mystery, amusement and depression all at once. We mutually believed (although no one was brave or impolite enough to say it) that we were in for a very long weekend indeed. An instant sense of boredom floated in the air like an invisible cloud of penniless gloom. It was an otherwise beautiful and balmy spring night.
Here’s a small list of the mutual (and silent) realisations that flashed before my children and me in that money-deprived moment in the garden:

Greyerbaby / Pixabay

What I / we couldn’t do the weekend I lost my wallet

  1. Buy a real coffee or a paper on Saturday morning
  2. Go to the mall to do a grocery shop
  3. Buy random small gifts for the kids while at the mall
  4. Buy a donut as a treat
  5. Put petrol in the car
  6. Buy some DVDs at the video shop for Saturday night
Kids treats

Pezibear / Pixabay

What we did do the weekend I lost my wallet

  1. Had a lovely conversation in the garden over a cup of tea
  2. Went to the beach
  3. Went on a bike ride
  4. Made pancakes with cream and jam
  5. Walked to a park
  6. Read stories and played board games

Kids activities for the school holidays

Question to ponder

Which scenario do you think the kids enjoyed better anyway?


You are right – the second scenario.

Here’s the point and the moral to this little tale

You can have more fun without money than with it – and the quality family time is priceless.

And, just in case you were wondering

Yes I did find my wallet. It had fallen behind the washing machine!
Duh mum….
Do you have any ways to have fun with kids without money? Please share your thoughts in comments below.
More things to do with the kids these school holidays

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I’ve always worried about my kids on trampolines. I’ve heard some pretty nasty horror stories about these bouncing springs of fun, so I’ve always been ‘the paranoid mum’ standing by the thing anticipating an accident.
In fact, in the summer of 2014 we had an even stranger event occur. After a day at work, hubby and I were staring out the backyard wondering what was missing. After a little reflection we realised our entire trampoline (it was a big one) was gone! At first we though it had been stolen – but then thought, surely not? What thief would have the energy, guts, stamina or team to walk off with something that big? Eventually we checked the park next door only to find it in pieces. It turned out (on this particularly windy day )our entire trampoline had blown over the fence. Luckily, we were very thankful no passersby were injured.

So here’s my big bouncy trampoline tip:

Definitely tie your trampoline down. These things have wings in the wind!

Great. Now that we’ve kept your neighbours safe, read on to discover how to keep the kids totally safe on a trampoline.

Trampolines have been creating endless fun and excitement for Australian children for generations. It’s easy to see why. Not only do they give kids an opportunity to burn off excess energy, but kids also develop athletic and acrobatic skills. An active childhood spent on a trampoline leads to an active adolescence. Choosing the proper trampoline for your family is essential and you want to ensure that it’s safe and reliable. When looking for a trampoline, you should do put the time in and do you research.

The not so great news

Unfortunately the trampoline industry has refused to update its standards despite an influx of reports from Australian health organisations. Reports say that most trampoline designs are unsafe and require a complete overhaul. Current designs that use springs and a metal frame on a horizontal plane flush with the bouncing surface cause unnecessary injuries.

The good news

One New Zealand father and mechanical engineer, Dr. Keith Alexander, redesigned the way trampolines are manufactured from the ground up, and Springfree Trampoline was born.

Eliminating injuries by up to 90%

No other company has been bold enough to bypass the industry standards in trampoline design and develop a model that eliminates 90% of product related injuries.
Here’s what Springfree Trampoline can do:

  • Flexible composite rods in the place of traditional spring coils
  • The rods and frame are under the jumping surface out of the way of bouncing kids
  • The composite rods are three times stronger than steel
  • Are tested to endure millions of bounce cycles
  • Prevents injuries and stops children from being pinched when jumping

Look for trampolines that have been fully tested

If you want a trampoline you can trust, look for one that manufactures all parts in one facility. Make sure the manufacturer tests their trampoline models rigorously for safety and quality assurance. The best manufacturers also are represented by industry awards such as the Parent Tested Parent Approved Award and the International Design Award.

What’s good about a Springfree Trampoline

  • A Springfree trampoline has been rigorously tested for quality assurance and safety.
  • They utilise the highest quality components available on the market.
  • FlexiNet™ technology delivers a net that absorbs much of the jumper’s shock and has a longer lifespan than traditional netting.
  • The mat (with soft edges) redistributes energy evenly, making it 30 times more shock absorbent than traditional trampoline pads.
  • The frame, springs, and netting of a Springfree trampoline can be left outside year round, resilient to the effects of the elements. Note: Once you take a traditional trampoline home, the parts begin to degrade almost right away.
  • Over the last decade, engineers and product development teams at Springfree Trampoline have perfected a design that removes most of the hazards associated with traditional trampolines.
  • They offer the safest and most innovative trampoline technology which offers millions of hours of safe bouncing fun and peace of mind to families across Australia.

I now hope you, your family, neighbours and kids will enjoy an injury free trampoline experience.
Happy bouncing!

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