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Summer School Holidays Melbourne CBD – What’s On in January 2023

Melbourne is an exciting city with a wide range of events and activities to keep people of all ages entertained during the 2023 summer school holidays. 

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Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly outing, activity, workshop or something that offers a little bit of everything, you can bet that the city has got you covered. To help you find the best events for your family, we’ve decided to compile all the best events into one ultimate list!

From interactive exhibits to live music and theatre performances, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste in the vibrant city of Melbourne. So without further ado, here’s a list of the best family-friendly and kid-friendly events happening in Melbourne during the Summer school holidays.

Be sure to check back often for updates and to see what’s on in Melbourne today and this weekend, as well as what’s happening for the whole month.

WHAT’S ON MELBOURNE CBD/DOCKLANDS

  • Pirate Treasure Hunt (Thu 15 Dec – Sun 29 Jan) – Can you help the Captain find all the lost booty that's hidden around the aquarium and fill in the pirate map as you go? And while on your hunt for the Captain’s loot, learn all about our ‘treasures of the ocean’.
  • School Holiday Afternoon Tea (Mon 19 Dec – Wed 25 Jan) – Catch up with family and friends in the Windsor Hotel’s beautiful historic dining room, where there is plenty of space for merry-making and prams.
  • TeamKids Summer School Holidays (Wed 21 Dec – Sun 29 Jan) – Let your kids enjoy activities that will engage and entertain them in a fun and safe environment over the school holidays.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Thu 22 Jan – Sun 8 Jan) – Featuring an all-star Australian cast including Paulini as The Narrator, Euan Fistrovic Doidge as Joseph and Shane Crawford as Pharaoh, this is the perfect summer celebration.
  • Kids' Flicks with Feelings (Fri 23 Dec – Sun 29 Dec) – Keep the kids entertained and engaged this summer with a selection of family films that make you think and feel, featuring cute and curious cats, compassionate robots and friendly aliens from outer space.
  • Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies ( Sat 24 Dec – Sat 28 Jan) – Join the magical fairies as they go on an exciting musical adventure!
  • Madagascar – The Musical (Wed 4 Jan – Sun 5 Jan) – This brand-new musical from DreamWorks will leave audiences with no choice but to ‘move it, move it'.
  • Alice in Wonderland (Thu 5 Jan – Sat 7 Jan ) – Alice in Wonderland returns to Melbourne this January with a spectacular new production for a strictly limited season!
  • District Live – Free Open Air Series (Sat 7 Jan – Sat 28 Jan) – Every Saturday in January 2 pm – 8 pm, enjoy live music, entertainment, food and activities for all ages.
  • How Long is A Piece of String? (Mon 9 Jan – Sat 14 Jan) –  This interactive string installation invites people of all ages to create a visual exploration of the milestones, life stages, and experiences that define us—and to weave them into a rich tapestry of stories from across our community.
  • Robotics Workshops (Mon 9 Jan – Fri 20 Jan) – This workshop is the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about coding and the foundations of computer science using the SpheroEdu platform and Samsung tablets.
  • Jurassic Park Kids' Tea (Mon 9 Jan – Fri 20 Jan) – In celebration of Jurassic Park's 30th anniversary, treat your little one to a movie-themed kids' tea held in Alto.
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  • Crack the code scavenger hunt (Mon 9 Jan – Fri 20 Jan) – Find the hidden symbols throughout the library in order to crack the top secret code.
  • Spy craft (Mon 9 Jan – Wed 18 Jan) – Every good secret agent needs gadgets, come along to this crafting session to make some. All materials provided.
  • Secret messages (Tue 10 Jan – Wed 18 Jan) – Solve the coded messages, create your own decoder wheel and learn a little spy craft so that you can make your own secret messages this school holidays.
  • Super spy storytime (Wed 11 Jan – Thu 19 Jan) – Attention all secret agents! Join us for thrilling stories, songs and a top secret craft.
  • Australian Open POP Tennis Pop-up (Wed 11 Jan) – Melbourne's laneways come to life with pop-up demonstrations and opportunities to play POP tennis, the contemporary new format of the much-loved game.
  • Andy's Amazing Adventures (Fri 13 Jan – Sun 15 Jan) – BAFTA-nominated presenter Andy Day is returning to Australia to embark on another adventure with his fans, live on stage.
  • Mother Earth Textile Collective (Sun 15 Jan) – Get crafty and come learn about Indigenous Latin American symbolism through textile art!
  • Super spy cars and Lego lairs at East Melbourne Library (Thu 19 Jan) – Build the ultimate baddie hideout or a super, sneaky spy car out of Lego. What will you create?
  • Mission possible escape room at North Melbourne Library (Thu 19 Jan) – Calling all secret agents! Come along to crack codes and solve riddles in this thrilling escape from the library.
  • Introducing Teddy (Tue 24 Jan) – a gentle story about gender, being true to yourself and being a good friend. Teddy knows in her heart that she is a girl, not a boy. Will her friends understand? Will they call her Tilly?
  • Melbourne's Chinese Lunar New Year event (Thu 29 Jan – Sat 4 Feb) – Enjoy awesome free events during Melbourne's Chinese Lunar New Year Festival!
  • Instant Rockstar (Thu 12 Jan & Mon 23 Jan) – designed for ages 10 – 15, Kids will get to experience an inclusive music making experience, paired with a tour of the Australian Music Vault.
  • Hip Hop Lyric Writing Workshop (Thu 12 Jan & Mon 23 Jan) – a jam-packed session to explore lyric creation and song writing. The wokshop will also includes a guided tour of the Australian Music Vault and an insight into the history of hip hop
  • NGV Kids Summer Festival (Sat 14 Jan – Sun 22 Jan) – Back with a packed schedule of entirely FREE events, the 9 day program includes artist-led workshops, performances, events and more designed especially for kids, teens and their families. Read the review
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  • Make Your Own Mosaic – Ancient Art Class (Sat 14 Jan) – Craft a mosaic inspired by ancient Greek and Roman designs, in this hands-on kids' holiday workshop.
  • The Magic Workshop (Tue 17 Jan & Wed 25 Jan) – Guided by the incredible Lee Cohen, aspiring magicians aged 10 – 12 will get to learn tricks of the trade in the wonderful world of magic.
  • Sensible (little) Soirees (Wed 18 Jan) – This event promises crowd participation, interactive percussion and a safe and inclusive space to express your inner rapper, RnB soul singer or 2-step booty shaker!
  • Enter Stage Left (Thu 19 Jan & Tue 24 Jan) – Write, direct and perform your own play and present it live on stage at The Channel.
  • Polite Mammals (Sat 21 Jan – Sun 29 Jan) – At ArtPlay: Experience a new sketch comedy show for families, co-created with kids.
  • Feast (Sat 21 Jan – Sun 22 Jan) – Feast is a meal like no other, inviting children to make gastronomical delights from a pile of most unusual ingredients.
  • Automata Fantastica: Craft an Ancient Robot (Sat 21 Jan) – Step into the shoes of an ancient engineer and try your hand at building an automaton in this kids' holiday workshop.
  • Eureka! Archimedes' Ancient Water Experiments (Sat 21 Jan) – Dive into the water-powered wonders of the ancient world, in this hands-on school holiday workshop.
  • Are We There Yet? (Tue 24 Jan – Sat 28 Jan) – Following CDP’s successful national tour of Magic Beach, Alison Lester AM’s classic book comes to life on stage, with songs, fun, (and quokkas!)
  • Mary Poppins the Musical (Sun 29 Jan – Sun 30 Apr) – Adapted from the beloved stories by PL Travers and the original film; the magical tale of the world’s favourite Nanny comes to life on stage in a spectacular and unforgettable production.
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  • Fed Square Pop-up Library For Kids (Tue 31 Jan) – Children of all ages will explore worlds of fiction, science and history at the new pop-up library which will feature 1200 brand new books and interactive kits, and will host a range of family-friendly activities
  • Gandel Storytelling Workshops: Storyline Express (Daily until Thu 2 Mar) – All aboard the Storyline Express: a marvellous visual installation where you’ll see a miniature locomotive carrying its friendly, furry passengers through a bustling city.
  • Kids Takeover (Thu 19 Jan) – Let your child’s creativity run wild with workshops, performances and activities throughout the Library this summer! Note that this event is free but with some paid events within the program
  • The Excellent City Series: Build Your Own City (Sat 28 Jan) – an interactive experience that invites members of the community to come together and build the city of their dreams.
  • Library on the Lawn (Daily until Thu 2 Feb) – Pull up a bean bag and relax in the shade as the Library’s forecourt is transformed into an urban oasis for two weeks. There will be boxes of books to read for children and adults.
  • Playdate at the Library: Happy Feet Fitness (Starts Wed 18 Jan) – Calling all movers-and-shakers! These interactive classes are designed to boost youngsters' confidence through dance and encourage participation and social interaction.
  • Melbourne Street Tours Workshops (Various Dates until Fri 27 Jan) – Learn how to create stencil street art, freehand street art, wallet making and more
  • Trail of Mystery (Until Sun 26 Dec) – solve a series of puzzles to discover the clues that you’ll need to deduct who has stolen the precious object.
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See also: What's On in Melbourne suburbs for Summer School Holidays 2023

Check out Free Events for Summer School Holidays in Melbourne


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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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