Events to book | Everyday Fun | School holidays

Enjoy Festivals, Workshops and Free Activities these July School Holidays

Beanies, jackets and scarves are de rigueur, there’s talk of snow and winter is well and truly here: it’s time to start planning for the July school holidays. From ice skating rinks to Dirtgirl shows, snowmen building to slot car racing, horse riding camps to robot workshops – there is so much fun to be had for kids on the Central Coast these holidays. Plus, some of them are FREE!

Free fun across the Central Coast these school holidays

Get grubby with Dirtgirl at The Entrance

Image: Supplied by Central Coast Council

She has a funky top knot, bright pink overalls and yellow gumboots. Her best friends are Scrap Boy and a garden gnome. She loves sunflowers, worm farms and stomping in puddles. And she’s all set to get groovin’ with you at The Entrance’s Memorial Park stage these school holidays. Come on outside and “Get Grubby” with Dirtgirl.

Cost: Free!
When: Each show runs for 25 minutes. Shows are held at 10am, 11am and 12pm on Wednesday 11th July, Thursday 12th July and Friday 13th July.
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance.
Contact: Hosted by Central Coast Council. Check their Facebook page for updates.


Winter in the Park, Gosford

Image: Central Coast Council

Get your skates on and hit the ice at Kibble Park these holidays. Central Coast Council has transformed Gosford’s CBD into a mini Winter wonderland with an ice rink open daily from Wednesday 11 July to Wednesday 18 July. This year they’re bringing not only ice to the Central Coast but snow too – with FREE snow play 9am-9.30am each day. Food trucks will keep parents caffeinated and the Fun Engine fire truck will excite little ones with Fireman Sam ambitions.

Ice skating and snow play dates: 10am-8pm daily Wednesday 11 July – Wednesday 18th July; the 45-minute skate sessions start on the hour.
Ice skating costs: 13 years and under $12; adult $15; family of four $35. Please note: children under 5 need to be accompanied by an adult on the ice rink.
Contact: Hosted by Central Coast Council. Click here for more information: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/events

The fun doesn’t end there. Kibble Park is set to be a hive of activity with many other special FREE events occurring daily. See below for details of the fun. ↓  

Image: Playing in Puddles

Whacky Winter Wonderland Show by DJ Jazzy

DJ Jazzy and some of the Coast’s local dancers are bringing the party to the park these holidays with fun beats throughout the day. You can also have a spin of the decks and a photo taken with DJ Jazzy herself. When: There are three DJ Jazzy shows daily (each running for 45 minutes) at 10am, 12pm and 2pm on Wednesday 11th July and Thursday 12th July. Free!

Star Chalet

Parents, grab a spot on the lounge while your kids get their faces painted and get crafty making snowflake crowns. When: Wednesday 11th July, Friday 13th July, Saturday 14th July. Free!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

FREE rides, free games and free activities. It’s sure to be a little crazy, and a lot of fun. Brought to you by GBID. When: Saturday 14th July.

Smurfette’s Journey

Papa Smurf and Smurfette are hitting the stage and bringing you a big jetsetting adventure. When: There are three shows (each running for 30 minutes) at 10am, 11.15am and 12.30pm on Monday 16th July, Tuesday 17th July and Wednesday 18th July. Free!

Where: Kibble Park, Gosford.
Contact: Hosted by Central Coast Council. Click here for more information: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/events


Free Family Fun at The Entrance

Image of Bubbly Life, supplied by Central Coast Council

Central Coast Council has a host of fun, FREE activities lined up to hit The Entrance these school holidays. Plus there will be the carnival rides, the mini train and the daily pelican feeding at 3.30pm. And don’t forget the waterfront is home to two great playgrounds, too. Read Playing in Puddles’ write-up on the playgrounds here.

Live entertainment: Ellie Drennan on Monday 9th and Nick Read on 16th July 10am-1pm at Waterfront Plaza.

Dinosaurs – Life Long Ago: Become a paleontologist! Locate and identify replica fossils of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Triceratops. Tuesday 10th July. There will be three excavations (one at 10am, 11am and 12pm) and each excavation runs for 45 minutes.

Slot Car Fun: Race your mates on this remote-controlled super-sized slot-car race track. Tuesday 17th July 10am-1pm at Waterfront Plaza. 

Crocodile Encounters: Get up close ‘n’ personal to some of Australia’s wildest reptiles. Wednesday 18th July 10am-1pm at Waterfront Plaza.

Bubbly Life – Monster Bubbles and Giant Bubbles: Humongous bubbles will be filling the sky. Get your fingers set to pop, pop, pop. Thursday 19th July 10am-1pm at Memorial Park.

Outrageous Entertainment – Circus Skills Workshop: Acro balance, hula hooping, tumbling, stick twirling, poise spinning,  juggling, diablo, flower sticks and so much more. Friday 20th July 10am-1pm at Waterfront Plaza.

Cost: All Free!
Contact: Hosted by Central Coast Council. Check their Facebook page for updates.


Free Mini Allstars Soccer Day at The Football Grounds, Erina

Image: The Football Grounds

Have an active preschooler? Want them to burn emos energy? The Football Grounds runs a preschool soccer program for children aged 3-5, and they’re running a FREE trial day on Saturday 7th July. It’s a great way to gauge your tots interest prior to signing up for a full term.

When: 9.15am-10am Saturday 7th July.
Cost: FREE!
UPDATE July 5 2018: This event has reached its quota. To go on the waitlist, click here. For details on their term 3 classes, click here.
Age group: 3-5 year olds.


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Fun family days and special events these holidays

Snow Time at The Hunter Valley Gardens

Image: Hunter Valley Gardens

You don’t have to make the trek to Thredbo to experience the fun of the snow. For three weeks the Hunter Valley Gardens will transform into an icy winter wonderland. Put on your skates and take to the ice rink, slide down the mega 40-metre ice toboggan and build a snowman in the Snow Play Zone! Plus, for the first time, there will also be a 9D big-screen Snow Adventure cinema experience that’ll be an “immersive virtual reality, multi-sensory experience”. Sounds very cool. There will be warm beverages (hello glühwein) and no doubt a few snowball fights too.

PLUS, don’t forget the rest of the Gardens. As well as the chance to wander the beautiful grounds, the Gardens also boasts a 35-metre long, 12-metre high super slide, a Venetian carousel, a giant swing chair, and a ferris wheel. You can purchase an unlimited rides wristband for $15/person or purchase a single ride for $6/person.

When: 10am-6pm, Saturday June 30th until Sunday July 22nd.
Entry costs: Adult (16yrs +) $32; Child (4-15 yrs) $25; Child under 4 free; Family Passes from $82 (1A + 2C). See website for more options. Ice skating, Tobogganing, snow play and the 9D snow adventure are included in entry. Ride costs: tokens for individual rides are $6 each; unlimited rides wristbands are $15 pp.
Where: The Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin.
Age group: All ages.
Tip: Ice skating sessions last for 20 minutes, starting from 10am every day. Book a session early to ensure you don’t miss out!
Contact: 02 4998 4000, www.huntervalleygardens.com.au


Wolfgang at The Art House Wyong

Image supplied by The Art House

Wolfgang reinvents Mozart’s music for a young audience and adds circus flair to keep them entertained. A live musician will take to the stage along with a backflipping acrobat called Wolfgang (from the Circa Contemporary Circus) to bring together this fun, quirky show of acrobats, movement and music. We’ve got our tickets. Don’t delay getting yours.

PLUS, did you hear that The Art House now has an on-site cafe? A bite here before or after the show will make your little one feel all grown up and special. The cafe’s open 10am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Cost: Adult $25, Child $20, Family $75. Kids under 2 are free on your lap.
Who: Best suited for 3+
Where: The Art House, Wyong.
When: July 19 6:30pm; July 20 10am and 2pm.
Contact: Click here to book tickets or call 43 351 485 (Mon-Fri 10​am-5​.30pm).


Kids Disco at Central Mangrove

Get down, get down: Party Chameleon are bringing the “whoop, whoop” to Mangrove Mountain Club these school holidays. You enjoy a peaceful dinner while your kids take to the D-Floor, get their faces painted and snack on party pies and sausage rolls.

Extend the fun and play FootGolf before you hit the disco. They’re offering a school holiday family pass for $45 (2 Adults and 2 Kids incl Ball Hire). Playing in Puddles had a kick recently: click here to read our review.

Cost: Child $5 – bookings essential. All parents or guardians must remain on the premises at all times.
Who: Children 3+. Children under 3 are welcome but a parent must remain in the room with their child.
Where: Mangrove Mountain Memorial Club & Golf Course.
When: Friday 20th July 6:30pm-8.30pm.
Contact: Call 0243 731 129 to book.


🌳Looking for a park that’s shaded, fenced and has coffee? Click here to read Playing in Puddles’ park reviews.


Kids workshops and classes across the Central Coast

2-day Motiv8sports Camp, Warnervale

Get set for two huge days of fun! Eight sports, 8 individual events, 4 Olympic face offs, incredible coaching, non-stop motivation, unbelievable prizes and possibly an Olympic medal. Since 2001, Motiv8sports has hosted non-sleepover school camps for children in kindy through to year 6. The sports are designed for all abilities and focus on the energy and effort each child puts in rather than sporting prowess.

Motiv8sports’ 2-day school holiday camp has already sold out in Erina. Nab your Warnervale space now before it too sells out.

Cost: $90-$115 per child.
When: 8.30am-3.30pm July 19-20.
Age: Suitable for children in kindy – year 6.
Where: Lakes Grammar, Cnr Sparks Rd and Albert Warner Dr, Warnervale.
Contact and bookings: 0424 951 175 or www.motiv8sports.com.au


Kids With Character performance classes, Tuggerah and Erina

Have a child who loves the stage, or a mini performer who doesn’t yet have the confidence to show off their talent? Kids with Character are running school holiday performance workshops this July. Classes include acting, singing, microphone work, stage confidence, how to engage your audience, plus there’s the opportunity to perform on the final day.

The classes run over 3 days (2 hours per day), and are for students in kindergarten through to year six.

Workshop at Tuggerah

Age: Suitable for children in kindy – year 6.

When: 2pm-4pm, Wednesday 11th-Friday 13th July, 2018.

Workshop at Erina

Age: Suitable for children in kindy – year 6.

When: Wednesday 18th-Friday 20th July, 2018. (12.30pm-2.30pm: suitable for students in kinder, year 1 & year 2; 3pm-5pm: suitable for students in years 3, 4, 5 and 6).

Cost: $80 per child. Sibling discounts available.

Contact and bookings: 0400046116 or facebook.com/Kids-With-Character-Performance-Classes


3-Day Horse Riding Camp, Glenworth Valley

Image: Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

Horse riding, toasted marshmallows and games around the camp fire: that’s the winter school holidays done right!

These holidays Glenworth Valley is running a 3-day overnight horse riding camp for children aged 9-16. Participants will enjoy three full days of riding with games and activities beside the campfire each evening. They’ll meet new friends, learn new riding skills, take part in a riding lesson and trail ride, muster a herd of cattle through the Valley and learn about grooming, horse care and Glenworth Valley’s horse breeding program. The final day is a fun-filled day of competition at the Gymkhana.

[UPDATE 5 July 2018: This camp has sold out. They still have full-day and half-day camps available. Scroll down for details.]

Cost: $550 per child. Includes full supervision and meals.
When: 8pm July 9 – 12pm July 11.
Age: Suitable for children aged 9-16 with some prior riding experience.
Where: Glenworth Valley.
Contact: (02) 4375 1222, http://glenworth.com.au


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Build a robot with Robot Science

Image: Robot Science

Your kids will build racing cars, buzzing bees, hopping frogs and earthquake simulators this July with Robot Science’s 2-day school holiday workshops. Plus your kids will learn how to code and then race them. We wish there were an adult class.

There are four workshops (UPDATE 5 JULY 2018 – these workshops are selling fast. Don’t delay):

+ Bateau Bay: 8.30am-3pm 9th-10th July for children in years kindy-year 3; $120 (includes lunch).

+ Bateau Bay: 8.30am-3pm 12th-13th July/19th-20th July for children in years 3-8: $140 (includes lunch).

+ Erina: 8.30am-3pm 17th-18th July for children in years kindy-year 6 (kids will be split into two age groups K-2 and Years 3-6); $160 (includes lunch).

Contact: 0406 896 612 or www.robotscience.com.au


Join the circus! – Roundabout Circus

Image: Roundabout Circus

Parkour, juggling, spinning plates and flying on a trapeze – now they are some nifty tricks you don’t pick up at school. But these holidays you can master them at Roundabout Circus in Wyoming. They’re hosting heaps of circus workshops for kids of all ages (and adults too). Classes range from one hour to all day and start at just $20!

Plus they’re hosting full-day circus camps. It doesn’t get much cooler than this: learn aerial skills and then perform all you’ve learnt at the end of the day! $85 for one full day. 18th and/or 19th July at 9am.You can attend both days or one. Suitable for children 7-12 year olds.

Click here to see the complete timetable of  ALL classes. Click on the class you’re interested in to learn more about each workshop.

Where: Roundabout Circus, Unit 1, 2 Evan Close, Wyoming.
Contact: 0423 324 407 or www.roundaboutcircus.com


Raw & Unearthed school holiday fun

Looking for a new adventure for your kids? In Raw & Unearthed’s School Holiday Session primary school children are invited to explore a cave, scramble over rocks, discover natural treasures on a seek-and-find bush walk, make bush craft from twine, clay and charcoal, or use a tool kit of hammers, saws, pocket knives, hand-drills and more.

Being largely unstructured, this outdoor session allows children time to develop ideas for play, to build on new skills and to create, explore and discover. They’ll jump in puddles, make mud pies, follow their curiosities and ignite their imaginations.

[UPDATE 5 July 2018: This session has sold out. Click the link below to register your interest and they’ll consider running a second day. ❤︎ Tell them Playing in Puddles sent you.]

🌿 Did you miss out on a spot? Subscribe to Playing in Puddles’ newsletter so you’re always the first to know about new events across the Coast. 

Cost: $55/child. A 25% discount applies to the second child’s ticket when siblings attend together.
When: 9:30am-1:30pm Tuesday 10th July.
Age: Suitable for children in primary school aged 6-12 years old.
Where: Kincumba Mountain Reserve.
Additional info: Carers are welcome to stay with their child or drop them off and pick them up after the session at 1:30pm. Max 15 children per session, so book quickly as it will sell out.
Bookings can be made by clicking here
More information: rawandunearthed.com/school-holiday-sessions


Adventure to the max at Glenworth Valley

Image: Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

This is the ULTMATE adrenaline-hyped boredom-buster school holiday camp! Kids will have an absolute blast playing laser skirmish, abseiling and either horse riding or quad biking (the choice is theirs) in this awesome “Adventure Max” full-day camp. Move over kids, we want to sign up: this looks like way too much fun. Plus, it’s great value at just $140/child (a massive saving of $205 off the usual price if activities booked separately). Click here for more details.

Want an idea of the fun at hand? Playing in Puddles went quad-biking at Glenworth Valley earlier this year. We got muddy and had a ball. Click here to read our review.

Cost: $140/child.
When: 8.15am-4.15pm – 11th, 13th 17th and 19th July.
Age: 12+
Where: Glenworth Valley.
Contact: (02) 4375 1222, http://glenworth.com.au


 Soccer Camps at The Football Grounds, Erina

Image: The Football Grounds

Whether you’re child is new to soccer or a bit of a pro, The Football Grounds will help them improve in all elements of the game. They’ll work on skills, drills, technique, strategies and fitness… and they’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

[UPDATE 5 July: Many sessions have sold out. Don’t delay booking your spot.]

Where: The Football Grounds, 224 Penrose Crescent, Erina.
When: workshops run 10am-1pm on weekdays throughout the holidays. Click here to see all of their programs.  
Age group: 5-14 year olds.
Cost: $30 per child per workshop.
Contact: 0404 444 742. Online Rego Link via their website – click here.


Full- and half-day Horse Riding Camps, Glenworth Valley

Image: Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

PLUS Glenworth Valley will also be running a number of half- and full-day riding camps throughout the school holidays. They have camps that cater to beginners who may be saddling up for the first time through to very experienced riders. Depending on the ability, age and interests of students, the day will involve learning to trot, canter or even jump, and a guided trail ride through the valley. The camps are loads of fun and a great way to get your kids outdoors these school holidays.

[Update 5 July 2018: There are still junior beginner classes available but the beginner and intermediate classes have sold out. Contact Glenworth Valley to be put on the waitlist and to register your interest for next holidays. ❤︎Tell them Playing in Puddles sent you.]

Where: Glenworth Valley.
Contact: (02) 4375 1222, http://glenworth.com.au


🐴 Did you miss out on a spot? Subscribe to Playing in Puddles’ newsletter so you’re always the first to know about new events across the Coast. 


Multi-sport holiday fun, Kincumber

Got an active one? Each Tuesday and Thursday these July holidays the kids can literally bounce off the walls at Kincumber Indoor Sports. It’s just $30/child for a day of rock climbing, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball and more. We bet they’ll sleep well that night.

This is a supervised day suitable for 5-15 year olds. Lunch can be provided for an additional sum: $3 for a sausage sandwich or $5 for nuggets and chips.

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the holidays, 9am-3pm.
Where: Kincumber Indoor Sports, 19 Cochrone St, Kincumber.
Cost: $30/child.
Contact: Call 02 4368 3197 to book. Here’s their website.


Kids String Festival Day, Gosford

Image supplied by Central Coast Conservatorium of Music.

Have a little muso? At The Kids String Festival your child will get expert string tuition, play musical games and activities, participate in graded ensemble rehearsals and perform in a concert for friends and family. The workshop is open to all primary and high school string students who have been learning violin, viola, cello or double bass for at least 6 months – up to AMEB Grade 4.

When: Monday 23rd July (The day commences at 9.45am and the concert is at 1.30pm).
Where: Central Coast Conservatorium, 45 Mann St, Gosford.
Cost: $35/student.
Contact: 4324 7477 or click here to register online.


❤ Are you hosting a fun event, workshop or class these July school holidays? We love hearing about new businesses and services. Please send us an email – info@playinginpuddles.com.au


Fun Central Coast Activities for Active Kids

Get your heart racing at Pulse Climbing, West Gosford

Image: Pulse Climbing

Want to inspire your teen to new heights these holidays? Pulse Climbing is open for extended hours during the school holidays: 10am-10pm Monday-Friday; 10am-6pm Sat; 10am-4pm Sun and most public holidays.

Who: Kids must be 5+
Where: Pulse Climbing, 8 Grieve Rd, West Gosford.
School holiday hours: 10am-10pm Monday-Friday; 10am-6pm Saturdays; 10am-4pm Sundays.
Contact: (02) 4339 2487, website.


New weekend hangs at Laser Mania, Gosford

Image: Laser Mania

Forget the movies: we have a new fun space for tweens and teens to hang on Friday and Saturday nights. Laser Mania Gosford is now open til late and offering UNLIMITED games of laser tag for just $21!

When: Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm-9pm throughout the holidays.
Where: Laser Mania is inside Central Coast Leagues Club, Gosford.
Bookings essential: please call 024325 9865 to book. More details: lasermania.com.au/gosford/


Take a farm tour, Kulnura

Images supplied by Grace Springs Farm

Join the family of Grace Springs Farm in their morning chores these school holidays. This morning tour gives families a lovely peek into everyday farm life. Watch their cow being milked and then help feed and water the chooks, cows and ducks (and, at times, calves, chicks and ducklings!) Pick produce from their market garden and purchase some of their pasture-raised eggs. Your kids will love it, and we have no doubt you’ll love it too.

Cost: $16.50 per person. Children under 3 are free.
Who: All ages.
Where: Grace Springs Farm, Kulnura.
When: 10am-12pm. July 7th, July 10th, July 15th, July 20th. Click here to make your booking. [UPDATE 5 July. Only one day left for July. August dates are now online too].
Contact: 0425 258 699 or www.gracespringsfarm.net

🌿 Did you miss out? Subscribe to Playing in Puddles’ newsletter so you’re always the first to know about new events across the Coast. 


Have a BLAST at Charmhaven

Image: Laserblast Charmhaven

Laserblast Charmhaven are offering Playing in Puddles’ readers some extra special deals these July holidays.

  • Book a 3-game pack and pay only $15 (usually $24).
  • Book a 6-game pack and pay only $25 (usually $35).
  • Friday Afternoon Special (any time between 4pm and 9pm) 5 Games for just $20pp ($15 if a Laserblast Member).
  • Any birthday parties booked for the July School Holidays get an extra game free.

Call 4392 5278 to book. ❤ Don’t forget to mention ‘Playing in Puddles’ to receive the above deals. Please note that the booking must be during the holidays.
Where: Unit 6, 132 Chelmsford Rd, Charmhaven.
Website: www.laserblast.com.au


Free jumping castle and extended hours at Kids World play centre, Erina

Image: Impact Kids World Erina

There will be a FREE jumping castle inflated in the Impact foyer (perfectly positioned next to the cafe – hello coffee) 11am-1pm every week day of the holidays.

Plus, Kids World will be open for an extra hour of fun over the July school holidays. On week days from the 9th to the 20th the play centre will close at 4pm. If you have a tot who naps at midday this will be very welcome news, as it means you can fit in an afternoon visit. Don’t forget your socks!

❤︎ Playing in Puddles has spent many hours playing at Impact. Click here to read our review of the play centre.

Where: Impact Centre, 19 Chetwynd Rd, Erina.
Tips: Socks must be worn in Kidsworld at all times and are available for purchase at reception if required.
Contact: 0243 676 767 or www.impactc.me/erina-play-centre


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