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Free and Low Cost School Holiday Activities at Melbourne Shopping Centres this Winter

by EricaL (follow)
Writer, blogger, Mum-of-two. Editor of melbourne.kidtown.com.au
What's on for kids at Melbourne's shopping centres over the July 2018 school holidays

The winter school holidays are possibly the most difficult to get through, particularly for families who are on a budget and need to find ways to entertain children of varying ages.

That's where shopping centres come in. Not only are Melbourne's many shopping malls undercover and heated, but such sanctuaries offer free entertainment for families all through the school holiday break!

You and your family are invited to a Photography for Parents Workshop on Sunday 9th September 2018 at Fitzroy Gardens.
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Here's a round-up of what is happening and when at Melbourne's many shopping centres over the winter school holidays:

Jurassic World Activiation at Westfield Knox

Westfield Knox introduces a dino-tastic pop-up Jurassic World activation in the first week of the July school holidays.

Dino fun at Westfield Knox


Experience life-like animatronic dinosaurs and interact with "the jungle" to answer trivia questions.

You and your family are invited to a Photography for Parents Workshop on Sunday 9th September 2018 at Fitzroy Gardens.
Learn how to take amazing family photos with your smartphone!
The activity will also offer art and crafts workshops run by National Geographic aimed at educating the children about the Jurassic period.

When: Mon 2 - Fri 6 July. 11am - 2pm.
Where: Centre Court, Level 1, Westfield Knox
Web: here

LEGO Activity Zone at Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre

Forest Hill Chase will host a free LEGO activity zone over both weeks of the winter school holiday break.

LEGO Activity Zone at Forest Hill Chase


When: Mon 2 - Sun 15 July. 11am - 2pm.
Where: Level 2, Opposite Best & Less, Forest Hill Chase
Web: here

District Ice Slide at The District Docklands

Slide into the winter school holidays at The District Docklands, quite literally, as Melbourne families are invited to slide down the District Slide on a tube! The whopping 15m-long slide runs on a gold coin donation, with monies collected going toward the not-for-profit organisation Kids Under Cover; helping combat youth homelessness.

District Ice Slide


Extra activities running on the weekends include snow play, ice-carving demonstrations and virtual snow ball fights, which make up part of The District Dockland's Winter Utopia Event.

When: 30 June - 26 August.
Where: The District Docklands, 440 Docklands Drive, Docklands - The Square, near H&M
Web: here


Little Life Lab at Woodgrove Shopping Centre

Award-winning scientist Dr Lorien Parker will introduce Melbourne children to the world of science & biology at Woodgrove Shopping Centre during the July school holidays.

Science fun at Woodgrove Shopping Centre


Dr. Parker will teach children about our amazing bodies, nature’s incredible colour spectrum and how everyone can protect the planet, through a series of interactive and educational stations.

During the first week (2-6 July) the topic is "our amazing bodies" with activities such as creating pom-pom & paint viruses and "ecobag" digestive systems!

The second week (9 - 13 July) focusses on "protecting the planet" with painting using spinach, beetroot and rocks. There will also be a "bubbles not balloons' activity to focus on why plastic pollution is a massive issue both locally & globally.

Participation: $2 per child.

When: Mon 2 - Fri 14 July.
Where: Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Melton
Web: here

Skating at Eastland Shopping Centre

Get your skates on because Eastland Shopping Centre's pop-up ice skating rink is back for the winter.

Ice skating at Eastland


Free ice skating sessions are available for all who spend $20 or more in any of Eastland's Town Square restaurants.

The pop-up ice rink in Eastland Shopping Centre is undercover, there are skates and ride-on animals for little children.

Where: Town Square, Eastland
When: Sat 23 June - Sun 28 Aug.
Web: here

Winter Fun at Parkmore

Parkmore will present a hub of winter fun activities including a snow trail to discover and explore, visits from the Snow Queen and photo opportunities in the igloo!.

Winter fun at Parkmore


Where: Parkmore Shopping Centre, Keysborough
When: Sat 30 Jun - Sun 15 Jul. From 9am
Web: here


Festival of Colour at Croydon Central

Croydon Central will offer two weeks of free colourful school holiday activities over the July break.



Week 1: Glitz, glam and goo for the kids with slime fun and glitter tattoos.
When: Wed 4 & Thurs 5 July. 10am - 1pm

Week 2: Create colourful masterpieces with rainbow-themed face painting, easel painting and biscuit decorating.
When: Wed 11 & Thurs 12 July. 10am - 1pm

Where: Croydon Central Shopping Centre, 5-15 Kent Avenue, Croydon

Web: here

Jurassic World Entertainment at Pacific Werribee

Pacific Werribee calls on all dinosaur fans to enjoy fun and free dino-themed entertainment over the winter school holidays.

Jurassic World at Pacific Werribee


Where: Pacific Werribee, Centre Court
When: 30 June - 13 July. 11am - 2pm.

Saturday 30 June – Friday 6 July
Paint & Design Your Own Dinosaur

Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 July
Build Your Own Wooden Dinosaur

Monday 2 – Friday 6 July
Dinosaurs Photo Opportunity*
Dinosaurs Photo Opportunity sessions are 20 minutes.

Monday 9 – Friday 13 July
Dig Your Own Egg & Find Your Own Dinosaur

Where: 250 Heaths Rd, Hoppers Crossing
Web: here


Peter Rabbit & Cat in the Hat activities at Karingal Hub

Karingal Hub offers two themed free activities over the school holidays:

Week 1: Peter Rabbit™ Craft Village

Peter Rabbit Craft Village at Karingal Hub


Decorate a pot and plant your own seedling to grow at home.

When: Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 July. 11am - 2pm

Week 2: Baking activities & Interative storytelling.

Cat in the Hat storytelling at Karingal Hub


Put your baking hat on and decorate your own cupcake & Go on a storybook adventure with Cat in the Hat™.

Dates: Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 July. 11am to 2pm
Storytelling: 11am to 1pm Meet and Greet: 12pm to 2pm

Where: Centre Court, Karingal Hub, 330 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston
Web: here

Train Treasure Hunt at Watsonia Shopping Centre

Watsonia Shopping Centre invites local families to enjoy a fun treasure hunt activity throughout the July school holidays.

Watsonia Shopping Centre fun


The shopping villages of Watsonia, Macleod and Rosanna invite families to jump on the Hurstbridge train and stop at any of these three great shopping villages to collect a Treasure Hunt map from selected traders and join in the scavenger fun.

At Watsonia there will be free face painting and great activities at the Watsonia Library too.

When: Tuesday 10 & Thursday 12 July. 10am - 3pm.
Web: here

Jurassic World Craft Village at Westfield Southland

To celebrate the release of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, Westfield Southland introduces Jurassic World to visiting kids over the school holidays!

Jurassic World Craft Village at Westfield Southland


Week 1: Paint and design your own 3D dinosaur
Week 2: Design you own dinosaur picture and paint with sand

PLUS, an opportunity to take a photo with Blue from Jurassic World and meet a moving Carnotaurus!

When: Monday 2 July - Sunday 15 July. 11am - 2pm.
Where: Level 2, outside Village Cinemas, Westfield Southland, 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham
Web: here

Winter Wonderland at Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre

Endeavour Hills will offer visiting families free indoor ice skating (on a synthetic ice rink) with boots and penguin sliders included.



When: Monday 2 July - Friday 6 July. 11am - 2pm.
Where: Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre, 92 Matthew Flinders Ave, Endeavour Hills
Web: here


This is a list of a handful of low cost and free activities happening over the winter school holidays. We do however, expect this list to grow in the coming weeks. Stay tuned or message us if you find another shopping centre activity to add to the list.


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Do you need an updated family photo?
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