The Autumn school holidays (02 to 18 April 2021) are here and on the Northern Beaches, there are plenty of activities to get the kids out and about!
Check out some of the great School Holiday activities on offer:
Manly Surf n Slide
Manly Surf n Slide is an iconic playground like no other, located right in the heart of Manly, where the kids keep active and slide away, while you watch on from the spectator deck with friends. The water is heated, so no excuses. You can also relax next door, enjoying a quiet coffee in their café Sliderz. They are open Easter Saturday and Easter Monday, 10-3 pm and the school holidays, 6-18 April, 10-4 pm.
The local aquatic centres, Manly Aquatic Centre and Warringah Aquatic Centre offer intensive swim programs e swim programs to build your child’s swim techniques or gives them extra confidence in the water. Warringah Aquatic Centre also offers giant inflatable fun during the school holidays, excluding public holidays and weekends.
In autumn, the water is still really warm and on the Northern Beaches, we have 15 stunning beachside rockpools providing a perfect place to escape the ocean rips, avoid the sand or just find a safe swimming pool with panoramic views. Pack a picnic and head to one of your choice; we love the hidden pool at North Curl Curl Beach!
Explore the underwater world of Cabbage Tree Bay, home to an extraordinary amount of sea life. Keep your eyes peeled for the colourful cuttlefish or the enormous blue Groper hiding amongst the seaweed. You can hire a snorkel and mask, bring your own or jump on a tour with Ecotreasures to ensure you don’t miss out.
Head to the Beach
With plenty of beautiful beaches and surf schools in the area, the Northern Beaches is the perfect place to learn to surf. The best way is to enrol your kids in a surf school, and they will be standing on a surfboard in no time at all. Most companies supply wetsuits so all you need to do is turn up with a pair swimmers, towel and sunblock.
Another great activity to do with your kids is to go kayaking. Pack a picnic, rent a double kayak (if you would like to have some control!) and explore Manly harbour. Find a secret beach and maybe a waterfall! No prior kayak experience is needed.
Coastal Environment Centre
The Coastal Environment Centre offers a school holiday program with a difference. With a unique theme for each day, your child will learn about our natural environment through a range of fun and interesting activities, such as investigating curious creatures found on a rock platform under a microscope! This is a fantastic opportunity for children to learn about their local environment and how to help preserve it.
The Northern beaches is surrounded by beautiful native bushland and has amazing walks that the whole family can enjoy. Some beautiful walks include Dee Why Headland, Palm Beach lighthouse, Shelly Beach or Warriewood wetlands. If you need some inspiration, have a look at our Hello Manly website blog: ‘Five picturesque walks to get your steps up.’
Hire a Bike
The Northern beaches are well known for their beautiful family bike paths and are a great day out with the kids. One of the favourites amongst families is the Narrabeen Lagoon trail. An easy and flat 8.4km loop, which has beautiful views of both the lake and surrounding nature. If you are in Manly and up for a bit of a challenge, take the kids for a cycle up to North Head, you might even spot an echidna en route. If you don’t have your own bikes, you can hire them from Manly Bike Tours.
A fun day of bike activities designed for children aged between 8 and 12 years with a qualified coach. Drop off 8:30am, pickup by 3:30pm to help you squeeze in a workday.
- Skills: cornering, stopping, climbing, descending, jumping, balance
- Helmet fitting
- Maintenance -essentials to look after your bike
- How to fix a flat tyre
Room 8 Escape Room – MINECRAFT
Escape Rooms are a fun, team adventure game and Packhunt is Rooms Eight’s own unique variation on a scavenger hunt. It’s an outdoor challenge which is part scavenger hunt, part Escape Room, and part adventure movie.
When you book, you will need to choose one of the available hunts. Your group will need to follow the story on your phone by downloading the ClueKeeper app, and head to various locations around Manly solving puzzles whilst unlocking and revealing more clues hidden within backpacks and bags you’ll be carrying.
Room 8 has come up with a great Junior gameplay mode suitable for your children under 12. A group of Creepers have descended upon this idyllic seaside town, hellbent on creating total devastation. It’s up to you and your team to work together to stop them before it’s too late! If it’s raining, they also have a variety of fantastic indoor themed rooms to keep everyone occupied for a couple of hours.
Budding superstar in the family? – check out this Vocal Workshop and Masterclass. The Rise Academy of Music will be running multiple workshops during the school holiday period aimed at educating 7-12 year olds with in-depth topics on singing, acting, performance, and media. There will be special guests and some amazing giveaways! Book soon as limited spaces remain.
Q Station on North Head has lined up a jam-packed schedule to keep the whole family entertained, from sandcastle building competitions to an inflatable race on Quarantine Beach. If you are looking for a unique experience and something a little bit scary, book onto their Ghost Trackers family tour where you will walk around with gas lamps and enjoy the spooky stories told by the tour guide about the history of the Q station. This tour is recommended for children aged between 8 – 14 years old.
Northern Beaches Libraries
On a rainy day, why not check out your local library where you will find puzzles, board games, and Lego to keep them occupied indoors. They have also organised a few events especially for these holidays:
Easter Scavenger Hunt
29 Mar – 18 Apr
Find the book bunnies hiding around the library to win an Easter chocolate pack.
All library branches – Free
Young Writers’ Competition 2021
The annual young writers’ competition will open and announce the theme word on Wed 7 Apr. Check the library website to see the announcement.
Entries close Wed 26 May
Click and Create
Click and Create packs are still available with more to be release shortly.
Order a pre-made kit full of the materials you need to create something at home! Collect your kit from any library and then follow a tutorial online.
Manly Art Gallery & Museum
Kid’s Art Adventures – School Holidays Creative Workshop
Children 5 – 11 years are invited to join the fun through imaginative and creative play!
Learn a variety of art making practices through hands-on activities and create your own artworks in response to the exhibitions at Manly Art Gallery & Museum.
Thursday 15 April, 10am – 12noon
Inspired by the ‘Seaweed Arboretum’ exhibition, create detailed drawings of seaweed from observation, and with the use of microscopic images make large abstract artworks. Pattern and space will be explored along with colour mixing techniques.
Thursday 15 April, 1pm – 3pm
Explore Leila Jeffreys’ ‘Birdland’ exhibition and the colour and movement of birds through the artist’s video work of birds in flight, and her remarkable photographic bird ‘portraits’. Use a variety of art materials and hand-made brushes to paint and draw birds in motion. Then, use fine details to add feathers and colour to your artwork.
MAG&M Online showcases online exhibitions, films on art and music, learning opportunities and more!
If you have to work and are looking for someone else to entertain your family, at Northern Beaches Vacation Care they care for schoolchildren between 5 and 12 years old, Monday – Friday from 7.30am – 6pm. They have exciting excursions, discos, craft and sports days with a difference!
Tinkertank is a creative hub for both little ones and teenagers (5-16yrs) to explore the world of science and technology from their amazing team of mentors. They’ve geared up a school Holiday camp that will get them learning about 3D printing, animation, robotics, design and coding. Fun is the aim of the game, less talking and more action!
Run out of Stella Maris College, Camp Blue uses the local facilities (park, lagoon and beach) to make sure the camp is diverse, unique and never boring. The Camp’s philosophy is to satisfy each camper’s individual curiosities and interests while providing them with a unique opportunity for growth.
Open Air Cinema
Northern Beaches Council is hosting two Open Air Cinema events at Lionel Watts Reserve, Frenchs Forest especially for kids! Both movies are rated PG – they are screening Wonder Park (2019) on Friday 2 April and Jumanji (1995) on Saturday 3 April.
Bring your picnic rug and enjoy a night under the stars! Gates open at 5.30pm, movie commences at 6.30pm. You can bring your own picnic or enjoy delicious food from onsite food vendors.
As you can see, here on the Northern Beaches, we are spoilt for choice with fantastic and unique opportunities, all great for keeping the kids active, fit and healthy in both mind and body!