The summer school holidays (Saturday 18 December 2021 to Wednesday 26 January 2022) are nearly upon us. There are plenty of activities on the Northern Beaches to get the kids out and about. The Dine & Discover NSW Voucher scheme has been extended until 30 June 2022. Have a look on the NSW Service website to see which businesses are participating.
We have put together a long list of some of the great School Holiday activities on offer. Please note that some changes may have been made to the activities due to the NSW COVID restrictions, make sure you check with each individual business before making your plans:
Manly Aquatic Centre and Warringah Aquatic Centre offer intensive swim programs to build your child’s swim techniques and give them extra confidence in the water. Warringah Aquatic Centre also offers giant inflatable fun during the school holidays, excluding public holidays and weekends. Both the pools are heated to a comfortable temperature, making it a great place to take the kids swimming, even on a wet day.
Continuing with the cultural theme, Manly Art Gallery offers a variety of creative workshops learning about the art of printmaking for ages ranging from 5 to 15 years.
If u like ART is a leading visual arts school in Brookvale for children and teens and has helped develop the artistic skills of thousands of children of all natures. They have a variety of school holiday workshops and believe that everyone can be creative!
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 Bikes.
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. Programs generally run from 10am-3pm (unless otherwise noted).
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 also have a few events, such as ‘Design a Bookmark Competition’, Junior and Master Builder Workshops and a big science show.
Another great rainy day adventure destination is JUMPd, a local, family-owned indoor trampoline centre in Brookvale. The kids’ trampoline area is designed for children under 7 years of age and less than 120cm in height. There is also a Ninja Xtreme course ideally suited for older teens.
Cheeky Monkeys Play House Vacation Care runs Monday to Friday during the summer school holidays. They offer a wide range of fun and exciting activities, including both incursions and excursions. Activities such as arts and crafts, cooking days, science experiments, days at the park, bowling, putt putt golf, arcades and water parks. Government rebates are available to eligible families. Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch & Afternoon Tea are all included.
Bricks 4 Kidz in Forestville offers a couple of two-day and one-day workshops where kids build their favourite rides, learning how to make things spin, roll, turn and rock. They also offer two awesome days of Superhero Fun where kids will be creating their favourite Superheros. At Jurassic Brick Land they can build a LEGO brick park that comes to life. You will also learn about the amazing dinosaurs that roamed the earth and swam the seas millions of years ago. Hurry, as these workshops book out quickly.
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 have a school holiday camp that will get the kids learning about 3D printing, animation, robotics, design and coding. Fun is the aim of the game, less talking and more action!
Q Station has 33 hectares of rolling hills, open space and paved tracks, Q Station, North Head, is perfect for kids to zoom around on their bikes, skateboards or scooters and is also very privileged to have it’s own private beach on Sydney Harbour.
Bushwalks that go along Sydney Harbour’s stunning coastline are all accessible from the grounds of Q Station. From kookaburras, bandicoots, fairy penguins, majestic white-bellied sea eagles and frilly lizards, Q Station is teeming with wildlife and truly is a nature lovers paradise. Discover the natural beauty of Quarantine Station on their ‘Wildlife Meanders Tour’.
Bring your buckets and spades and set up base on your very own protected, private beach from sunrise to sunset. With kayaks available to hire from the Visitor Centre, Quarantine Beach is the ideal place to embark on a harbour adventure.
We are lucky to have 15 stunning beachside rockpools located along the Northern Beaches coastline. The kids can put on their swimsuits and go for a swim or splash. Pack a picnic, sunscreen, and head to one of your choice; we love the pool tucked into the rocks at little-known Bilgola Beach!
Keep your kids busy with a 3 day adventure and sailing camp run by Manly Sailing Their holiday camps are aimed at 7-11 and 12-15 year olds and are the perfect way to get out on the water, have fun and meet new friends.
They offer an “adventure camp” where the kids will get to try multiple activities on the water and in the surrounding area. Activities include windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding and hiking.
Manly is the perfect place to learn to skateboard. A group class or private lesson at Henrietta Skate will definitely get the kids warmed up.
The classes are perfect for beginners who want to make some friends and learn how to skate at the same time. Your teacher will supply everything you need (pads, helmet and skateboard).
The kids will learn a range of skills in a safe and friendly environment. In just one lesson, they will learn how to push, turn, stop and do a few little tricks as well!
Summer is a great time of year to head underwater – hire goggles and snorkels and take the kids to explore the underwater world of Cabbage Tree Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for large blue gropers, Port Jackson and Wobbegong sharks, cuttlefish and if you’re lucky, weedy sea dragons.
The Northern Beaches is the perfect place to learn to surf. Enrol the 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 of swimmers, towel and sunscreen.
Kids Up Front Drama Academy have a Performing Arts Holiday camp at Stella Maris College Theatre, Manly where specialist tutors work with enthusiastic boys and girls, teaching singing, dancing and drama. The program culminates on the last day with a wonderful musical show for parents and friends to enjoy.
Northern Beaches Vacation care 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.
Based at 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 and grow each camper’s individual curiosities and interests.
The Northern Beaches are surrounded by beautiful native bushland and have amazing walks that the whole family can enjoy. Some beautiful walks include Dee Why Headland, Palm Beach Lighthouse, Shelly Beach and Warriewood Wetlands. If you need some inspiration, have a look at our Hello Manly website blog: ‘Five picturesque walks to get your steps up.’
On the Northern Beaches, we are spoilt for choice with fantastic and unique opportunities for the summer school holidays. We hope you find something here that will keep your kids active, fit and healthy in both mind and body!