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Summer School Holidays Melbourne CBD – What’s On in January 2023/2024

Melbourne is an exciting city with a wide range of events and activities to keep people of all ages entertained during the 2023/2024 summer school holidays. 

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!

RIFIFI Jean Jullien NGV for Kids

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.

Featured Event

Experience Oz introduces the new Monopoly Dreams, located in Melbourne Central.

Swap games night for this! The fully immersive and interactive game is set at Mr Monopoly’s mansion where you can take your chances beating the laser maze security system for a chance to win Monopoly Money!

Work together with friends or family to solve challenges at Water Works and the Electric Company before heading into the ultimate 4D cinemas with eight special effects that will blow you away.

Make sure to stop at the bank cubicles and use your skills to grab as much money as you can while notes fly all around you. The day won’t be complete without picking up a unique gift from the merchandise store or a meal from the Monopoly-themed café.

Need inspiration for other things to do? Experience Oz has you sorted with over 4,000 activities across Australia & New Zealand

WHAT’S ON MELBOURNE CBD/DOCKLANDS

  • LEGO at RELICS (Fri 1 Sep – Sun 28 Jan) – RELICS: A New World Rises is an exciting mixed-media LEGO exhibition at Melbourne Museum. It’s been created by Perth duo Jackson Harvey and Alex Towler, winners of LEGO Masters Australia Season 2.
  • Christmas Market (Wed 22 Nov – Sat 30 Dec) – The District Makers Market’s special Christmas edition! Imagine enjoying live entertainment while exploring a vibrant array of market stalls. See you there!
  • Tinseltown: Where Everyday Is Christmas (Wed 22 Nov – Mon 30 Dec) – expect Santa, elves, presents, tinsel, festive tunes, lots of winter warmer drinks, and more
    *Get 10% off your tickets with the Tinseltown discount code JOYCE10
  • Escape Artists Tour at Old Melbourne Gaol (Mon 1 Dec – Sun 28 Jan) – Old Melbourne Gaol was the site of many escapes throughout its history. Walk in the footsteps of these ‘Escape Artists’ on this new tour.
  • Moonlight Cinema (Fri 1 Dec 2023 – March 2024) It’s that time of year – Summer is on the horizon and Moonlight Cinema is back at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Pirate Treasure Hunt (Fri 15 Dec – Mon 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’.
  • Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies (Tue 19 Dec – Sun 28 Jan) – Join the magical fairies as they go on an exciting musical adventure!
  • The Wind in the Willows (Wed 20 Dec – Sun 28 Jan) – Children will enjoy live interactive theatre and this classic tale and presented by The Australian Shakespeare Company at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
Christmas Market
  • Free Kids Explorer (Thu 21 Dec – Mon 29 Jan) – Children ride free on the Explorer Bus to experience the sights and sounds of Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne with live commentary.
  • TeamKids Summer School Holidays (Thu 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.
  • Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight (Sat 23 Dec – Sun 24 Dec) – an evening of magical performances to support kids who are blind or who have low vision.
  • Alice in Wonderland (Sun 24 Dec – Sun 21 Jan) – Alice in Wonderland returns to Melbourne this January with a spectacular new production for a strictly limited season!
  • Pixar Putt (Sat 30 Dec – Mon 29 Jan 2024) – Pixar-themed open-air mini golf at Skyline Terrace, Fed Square. Experience the adventure inspired by beloved films and take your game to infinity and beyond!
  • BBC Earth Experience (Mon 1 Jan – Sun 28 Apr) – The BBC Earth Experience at the MCEC is an all-ages interactive journey through the seven continents powered by state-of-the-art technology never before seen in Australia.
  • Night on the Reef (Mon 1 Jan – Tue 31 Dec) – Night on the Reef- a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, sharks, rays, and turtles captivating the beauty and diversity of the world’s coral reefs.
  • Road to Zero ‘Helmet Heroes’ summer holiday fun at Melbourne Museum (Tue 2 Jan – Sat 20 Jan) – Learn about keeping safe on bikes, scooters and skateboards through fun activities. Meet road safety mascot Zero Hero and take home your ‘safety selfie’ souvenir.
  • Erth’s Prehistoric World (Wed 3 Jan – Wed 10 Jan) – Bringing ancient creatures from land and sea together in one show, Erth’s Prehistoric World is the perfect combination of theatrical magic and charm.
  • Hot Wheels Afternoon Tea (Mon 8 Jan) – The Langham, Melbourne announces Hot Wheels is zooming into the hotel for one week only in the upcoming summer school holidays next January!
  • Analogue Animation: Flipbooks and Thaumatropes (Mon 8 Jan – Thu 25 Jan) – Hands-on workshop inspired by “The Story of the Moving Image.” Craft your flipbook and thaumatrope, two of the earliest forms of animation.
Alice and Wonderland
  • Kids’ Flicks with Feelings (Mon 8 Jan – Thu 18 Jan) – Keep the family entertained with Studio Ghibli films, introducing kids to emotional intelligence concepts. Screenings include My Neighbour Totoro (1988), Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), and Grave of the Fireflies (1988).
  • Enter Stage Left (Wed 10 Jan, Wed 17 Jan) – Write, direct and perform your own play and present it live on stage at The Channel. Friends and family are invited to come into the Channel to watch the performance. You will also take home a Theatre Program created especially for the play you have just created.
  • ACMI Preschoolers (Fridays 12 Jan – 22 Mar excl. 26 Jan) – Fun for 3 to 5-year-olds to explore “Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature” with parent, grandparent, or carer. Connect art and science through movement and play, engaging young learners with mesmerizing artworks.
  • Zindzi & The Zillionaires Frankston Arts Centre (Sat 13 Jan) – Play School host and hip hop artist, Zindzi, takes to the stage this summer alongside her delightful pals, The Zillies. Bring the whole family to join the world of The Zillionaires!
Sunshine Lunar Festival
  • NGV Kids Summer Festival (Mon 8 Jan – Sun 14 Jan) – Back with a packed schedule of entirely FREE events, the summer school holiday program includes artist-led workshops, performances, events and more designed especially for kids, teens and their families. Read the NGV Kids Summer Festival review.
  • Botanica: A Village Among the Oak Trees (Wed 17 Jan – Sat 20 Jan) – Children and their loved ones will build a village of cubbies made from natural materials gathered from the Gardens such as palm fronds and bamboo
  • District Live: Tennis Series (Fri 19 Jan – Sun 28 Jan) – The free-to-attend event will be hosted under the wheel with a pop-up bar and screen live streaming the tennis, plus lots of games and activities.
  • Pirate Day at Polly Woodside (Sun 21 Jan) – Calling all pirates! Come along and experience the pirate life aboard Melbourne’s favourite tall ship, Polly Woodside.
  • Summer Dance Camp (Mon 22 Jan – Wed 24 Jan) – Summer Dance Camp in South Melbourne for ages 3+ to seniors.
  • Midsumma Storytime (Mon 22 Jan, Wed 24 Jan, Mon 29 Jan, and Wed 31 Jan) – Join us every Monday and Wednesday in late January as LGBTQIA+ authors, performers and community members share their favourite stories – and join in to sing some rainbow-themed songs and rhymes.
  • Midsumma: Our Family Portrait (Mon 22 Jan) – View an installation of Mia’s photography in the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter over the two weeks of Midsumma Festival. You’ll also have a chance to continue Mia’s project and add your own image to the display!
  • Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat – Live on Stage (Wed 24 Jan – Thu 25 Jan 2024) – Embark on an unforgettable adventure with The Cat in the Hat and make your summer holidays purr-fectly memorable!
  • Jams for Juniors: Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet (Sat 27 Jan) – Jams for Juniors is the perfect way to introduce babies and toddlers to the magic of music! For children aged 0-5 and their adults.
  • Midsumma Rainbow Dance Party (Sat 27 Jan) – Get ready to groove and twirl at the most fabulous Midsumma kids dance party!
  • School Holiday Afternoon Tea (Every day during Victorian school holidays) – 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.
NGV shiny coin
  • Melbourne Street Art Tours Workshops (Every Tue and Thu) – Learn how to create stencil street art, freehand street art, wallet making and more
  • Docklands Community Market (2nd & 4th Sunday of each month) – Grab your early morning coffee, enjoy a lovely stroll & support your local producers at this lovely market.
  • Podcasting Workshop 2024 (Mon – Fri) – Students work on a script at school which they bring to The Channel, to be recorded and polished into a final product that can be shared with friends, family and the school community.
  • Into the Music – Composition Workshop 2024 (Mon – Fri) – Participants in Into the Music – Composition Workshop will explore technology and techniques used to create the music they hear every day.
CBD Summer School Holiday GMB
  • Arts Centre Sunday Market (Sundays) – find unique, quirky and handmade items at the stalls. There are always some yummy treats too!
  • The Story of the Moving Image (ongoing) – Journey through the past, present and future of the moving image through interactive experiences, digital innovation and captivating stories. Read the Story of the Moving Image ACMI Review.
  • Shrine Kids (Daily) – The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria and it makes for an educational (and sobering) outing for families. Read the Shrine Kids Review.
  • Melbourne Book Market (Saturdays & Sundays) – curated collection of more than 5,000 new and pre-loved titles selected and presented by 15 of Melbourne’s most experienced booksellers.
CBD Summer School Holiday GMB WP
  • The Lume Melbourne (ongoing) – Connection brings together First Peoples’ art, music and culture in an immersive new experience fusing the world’s oldest culture with the most cutting-edge technology.
  • Melbourne Museum (ongoing) – The museum was established in 1854, which makes it one of the oldest museums in the Southern Hemisphere. With over two storeys of exhibitions to explore including science, history and art, it’s a definite stop on your to-do list in Melbourne.
  • Queen Street Plaza (Sundays) – find a rotating line-up of delicious street food, live music and entertainment every Sunday from 9 am.
  • Melbourne Renegades Gades Arcade (Sun 5 Nov – Sat 13 Jan) – The Melbourne Renegades will unveil an epic family entertainment zone at Marvel Stadium this summer for their five home KFC Big Bash League matches.

See also: What’s On in Melbourne suburbs for Summer School Holidays 2023/2024

Check out Free Events for Summer School Holidays in Melbourne


CBD Summer School Holiday Pin
Melbourne CBD Summer School Holidays – PIN this picture to save this post!

About Joyce Watts

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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