April School Holiday Guide 2017 | Top Picks and Calendar of Events

April school holidays guide 2017

In need of some school holiday inspiration for what to do with little or bigger kids? Here is our April School Holiday Guide, with 20 top picks and a What’s On Calendar with over 100 events listed.

20 Top Picks – Free, Cheap, Special Deals and Something a Bit Different

1Play at Western Sydney’s Newest Playground

Western Sydney’s newest, and now largest, playground is at Bungarribee Park in Doonside. There is a giant sand pit, geometric climbing tower with slides and nets, flying fox, swings and balance beams. Plus, there are walking and cycling tracks, 20 barbecues and 13 picnic shelters.

Fairfield Adventure Playground April school holidays guide
Fairfield Adventure playground

Or take the kids to play at one of these great regional playgrounds, perfect on an autumn day and for a range of ages:

And if you want to combine a play at the park with coffee, brunch or lunch, then we mapped 48 local playgrounds with cafes nearby for you to choose from.

We are fortunate to have many wonderful ferry stops along Parramatta River, with lots of great parks, playgrounds, swimming spots and picnic facilities within easy walking distance. There are at least 20 different adventures you can have. Our top three picks these April School Holidays area:

  1. Ferry trip to Meadowbank and play at Memorial Park.
  2. Jump off at Sydney Olympic Park and walk, scooter or rider across Bennelong Bridge. You can then stop in at The Connections (where they have free drop-in holiday activities), play at Phoenix Park or keep going to Rhodes Waterside.
  3. Travel to Abbotsford, wander up to The Cove Dining Co for a bite to and then head back down to Battersea Park for a play before heading home.
Foam pit at Boing Central

3Take Advantage of Special Deals at Boing Central and Lollipops Parramatta

If the rain sets in again or you just want the kids to burn off some energy indoors, head along to Boing Central or Lollipops Parramatta. Both are offering a great deal to ParraParents for all day, indoor fun that is bound to tire the kids out. Just print or show the deal page at reception.

4Pick Your Own Apples, Tomatoes, Persimmons, Quinces, Walnuts or Chestnuts

Did you know that you only need to travel about 60mins north or north west to reach a number of farms that let you pick your own fruit and nuts? It is a great way to help kids learn about where their food comes from and just a really lovely outing wandering around the farm and travelling through a bit of countryside. Be sure to pop some gumboots on though!

Bush Detective School

5Attend the Bush Detective School, Build Bridges or Learn about the Riverkeepers

If you have kids aged 7 to 11yrs, you definitely need to book in to one of the great 1.5hr to 2hr activities being run by the Parramatta Visitor Information Centre. Plus they are only $5 each to attend!

6Pop into Parramatta Library for Toys and Books

Kids missing the story time sessions? Bring them into the library in the morning to play with lots of toys and then borrow a bunch of books for afternoon reading.

7See Native Animals for Free or Cheaply

Central Gardens in Merrylands has a free native animal enclosure with wallabies, emus, kookaburras and plenty more. And if you are lucky, you can spot a koala in a tree in the koala sanctuary near the smaller playground. There is also another large shaded playground, a waterfall, lots of picnic tables and bbqs, plus plenty of grass to play on.

You can also see native animals at the beautiful Auburn Botanic Gardens – free for Cumberland Council residents or $4 for non-residents.

8Get Creative at a Recycle Arts Workshop at The Bower, Parramatta

Kids aged 7 to 12 can make some really cool sculptures, art and even a marionette using recycled materials at The Bower in Parramatta. The workshops are running on Wednesday 12th and Wednesday 19th April mornings and only cost $5 for City of Parramatta residents.

9Take a Splash at the New Aquatic Centre at Lidcombe

The Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre re-opened on 1st April, after two years of renovations. It has a good mix of indoor and outdoor pools, and a fun outdoor water playground (for a warm day). To officially launch the Centre, a free community day will be held on Saturday 22nd April from 10am to 3pm.

Indoor pools can be a great way to spend an hour or two on a wet/ cool day. Our favourite at the moment is Hornsby Aquatic Centre. But there are 12 other local public swimming pools with indoor pools to take a warm splash at.

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve

10Go for a Little Bushwalk at a Local Reserve

The cooler autumn weather is a great time to go bushwalking with your kids. It is a wonderful free activity and everyone will benefit from the fresh air, exercise, family time and nature to explore. We are fortunate to have plenty of lovely walks nearby – here is a list of 21 kid friendly ones.

Our top four picks for these school holidays are:

  1. Balaka Falls, Hunts Creek Reserve, Carlingford
  2. Lake Parramatta, North Parramatta
  3. Third Settlement Reserve, Winston Hills
  4. Cumberland State Forrest, West Pennant Hills

One we are hoping to explore for our first time these holidays is Terry Creek Reserve.

11Join in a Free Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Bunny Visit or Easter Craft at a Local Shopping Centre

In the first week of the school holidays, most local shopping centres are holding an Easter activity or two. Check out our Easter Guide for a complete list.

Go along to Riverside Theatres these school holidays for a truly magical experience. From new releases, to performances captured live on stage and old classics back on the big screen, you will be spoilt for choice! Films to be shown include: Sing, Zootopia, Moana and Beauty and the Beast. Single tickets are $10 and a family ticket is $35.

13Enjoy a Free Kids in the Park Event at Sydney Olympic Park

Kids in the Park is an exciting school holiday program which commenced in 2004 and has continued to get bigger and better every year! Whether your children love to be creative, sporty, or are into nature, there’s something to keep them entertained – though they book out quickly. There are however a number of free events that don’t require bookings:

14Cook up a Storm at a Mini Cooking Class at a Shopping Centre

Let the kids learn some cooking skills, without the cleaning up afterwards!

  • Ikea at Rhodes and Marsden Park are holding Cooking with Kids workshops where you and your little ones can learn how to make cooking a fun experience. The workshop is open to kids aged 7-12 years.
  • Rhodes Waterside has two free cooking activities – Muffin Break cookie decorating and Easter cookie decorating.
  • Top Ryde City is hosting Kids Love to Cook 15min workshops, making such things as fresh fruit spring rolls and berry yoghurt tarts.
  • The Cooking School at Castle Towers is putting on a few of Kids in the Kitchen 15min workshops throughout the holidays. They cost $5 to attend.

15Ride or Scooter Along Parramatta River or Through a Park

You can ride, scooter or walk along Parramatta River from Rydalmere wharf to Ryde Bridge, and then onto Gladesville Bridge. And there are plenty of parks and playgrounds to stop at along the way. Or you can pack up the kids bikes or scooters and go enjoy one of the many purpose built bike/ scooter paths around. Here are six good ones:

  1. Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park
  2. Lions Park, West Ryde
  3. Holroyd Gardens, Merrylands
  4. Buffalo Creek Reserve, Hunters Hill
  5. Boronia Park, Epping
  6. Reynolds Park, Toongabbie

16Step Back in Time at the Australiana Pioneer Village

Open every Tuesday and Wednesday during school holidays, the Australiana Pioneer Village will absorb you into the atmosphere and activities of life over 100 years ago. The theme these holidays is colonial and kids can step back in time to the 1800s to see what it was like being a kids then. Entry is only $5 for adults and $3 for school aged kids and there are plenty of places to picnic.

17Attend a Class at PCYC Parramatta

Open to kids from 3yrs, PCYC Parramatta are running daily classes covering a host of fun things. From Bollywood dancing to Easter craft, music and kids boxing. The 2hr classes are $6 each and you need to register to attend.

18Drive-in to Skyline Cinema Blacktown

Looking for something different to do these school holidays? Why not catch a movie with family and friends at Skyline Drive In Blacktown! Family movies screen nightly at 6pm from Saturday 8th April to Tuesday 25th April (excluding 15th April). Gates and diner open from 4:30pm. Tickets are $30 per car for 3 or more people, or $12.50 per person and kids under 5 are free. Prices are per movie and you have two movies to choose from at the early bird time.

Louisa Magrics, 3D Webs; Keith Maxwell

19Experience Sculpture at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains

Sculpture at Scenic World 2017 celebrates its sixth exhibition transforming the natural Jurassic rainforest with world-class sculptures. Held over 30 days from 7th April to 7th May, the exhibition offers exciting opportunities for art lovers, children and families to engage with art in a spectacular setting. Thirty-five local, interstate and international artists have created works specifically to be installed in the rainforest along the Scenic Walkway. As part of this year’s Sculpture at Scenic World, there is a program of workshops for children called Sculpture for Small People.

20Watch a Live Performance

The two must-see performances these school holidays seem to be:

  1. Creature: A Re-telling of Dot and the Kangaroo on at the Joan in Penrith on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th April and recommended for kids 4-8yrs.
  2. Diary of a Wombat on at Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre from 18th to 24th April and recommended for kids 3yrs+.


Calendar of School Holiday Events

The events listed in our April school holidays calendar are mostly free or cheap and don’t required pre-booking. Some other holiday programs to check out, run by local parents are:

  • Science for Real Workshops run by Quantal Bioscience at the Science Centre of The King’s School, North Parramatta for primary school kids.
  • Pinta Craft are running a series of ceramic painting activities at various locations these holidays. Artistic talent is not a requirement – they can help bring out the artist in everyone.
  • Banjos Bead House offer a variety of classes for children 6yr to 12yr or teenagers. Within a safe and creative environment, they can learn basic beading and sewing skills to make jewellery or gifts.

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