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're invited to tour the new, custom designed environments at Guardian Early Learning Blackburn Village.
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
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
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
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, natures 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Bambini Early Learning Centres are set to host the Bayside Treasure Hunt and Open Day on Saturday 8th December. Families can get their thinking caps on and look for clues around any of the Bayside centres, with the chance to win a $1000 JB Hi-Fi voucher, just in time for Christmas!