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30 Days of Summer: School Holiday Events & Activities in Melbourne 2023

A new year, a new start – what adventures will your family have in 2023?

To kickstart your fun I've compiled a list of 30 awesome things to do with your kids this January.

If you’re on social media I’d LOVE to see what you're up to this summer. Please use #totsummer on your posts so we can all be inspired to enjoy a fun, restful and HOT summer holidays!


Victorian Summer Holidays 2023 are from Wednesday 21 December 2022 to Sunday 29 January 2023.

Mornington Beach


1 January – See all the lights at Adventure Park

Can't get enough of Christmas? This weekend is your last chance to catch the spectacular Christmas Festival of Lights at Adventure Park Geelong.

Christmas Festival of Lights, Adventure Park Geelong, 1249 Bellarine Hwy

Christmas Lights Geelong Adventure Park Featured Image

2 January – Visit Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum have curated exciting events and activities to make your holiday visit the best one yet!

This January you can come and experience the new ‘Summer of Play' at their illuminated Plaza playscape. Have a play on their lit up swings and seesaws or enjoy game of ping pong and handball. There will even be museum inspired ice-cream flavours at an ice-cream truck that will be open from 11am Wednesday to Sunday. You can set yourself up in a spot under an umbrella to relax, then see the Plaza Play Concierge to pick up paddles and games pieces (12pm –5pm every day) or bring your own after 5pm.

While you're at the Melbourne Museum don't forget to check out TYAMA: A Multisensory Experience of Nature on until 29 January and Bricktionary: The Ultimate A-Z of LEGO.

Melbourne Museum Summer of Play, Sat 24 Dec– Sun 26 Feb

plaza nights

3 January – Go for a swim

Head to your favourite public pool for some splashy fun!

Whether you're looking for an indoor swimming pool or an outdoor swimming pool, check out where to find the best swimming pools in Melbourne.

Even better, bring your own food and order a grazing box so you just need to pack your bathers, towel and sunscreen!

North Melbourne Recreation Centre pool, 1 Macaulay Rd, North Melbourne

4 January – Get smelly at Scienceworks

For something a bit different this summer they are braving the topic of everything poo-related with their sewerage-themed summer school holidays program, to celebrate the Spotswood Pumping Station on site at the Museum.

There will be daily STEM Lab activities, pumping station tours, a ‘From Sandwich to Sewerage' program and ‘FlushBack' an augmented reality game to play on-site, plus lots more.

Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood, Sat 16 Dec – Sun 29 Jan

Tricky Water Scienceworks Summer School Holidays

5 January – Hit one of Melbourne's best playgrounds

Melbourne is home to some of the most spectacular playgrounds you can imagine!

Make a day of park play by checking off the list of the best playgrounds in Melbourne (one for every week of the year!).

Woodlea Playground, 27 Woodlea Boulevard, Rockbank

6 January – Kick some putt at Pixar Putt in Frankston

Get your putters ready for Pixar Putt – the most fun mini-golf experience, at the Frankston Waterfront this summer!

Come to the amazing outdoor pop-up mini-golf event, where you can explore interactive putt-putt holes inspired by some of Pixar's most beloved movies and characters! Enjoy a round of golf-inspired by iconic characters and scenes from Toy Story, Cars, Monsters Inc., Turning Red, Soul, The Incredibles, Onward, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, Wall-E, and more.

Pixar Putt will be up in Frankston until Sunday, January 29, 2023, so make sure to book your spot before they run out!


7 January – Visit a Beach Playground

Carrum Beach is one of our favourite beach playgrounds in Melbourne with a gorgeous nautical-themed playground on the foreshore.

Also check out the best beach playgrounds we’ve reviewed including beach playgrounds at WilliamstownAltona and Albert Park.

Carrum Beach Playground, 15 Old Post Office Lane, Carrum Beach Foreshore, Carrum

8 January – Enjoy free water play

Water play activities are great for keeping kids busy while also helping them develop and strengthen their gross and fine motor skills.

Enjoy free water play at one of Melbourne's many free water play areas.

crocodile park point cook

9 January – The Langham Melbourne's Jurassic Park Kids' Tea

Treat your children to a unique afternoon tea experience at The Langham Melbourne as they're hosting Jurassic Park Kids' Tea these school holidays.

Enjoy a feast of Jurassic proportions including dinosaur themed treats like Dinosaur Trifle, Ancient Apple Egg-Nest, Jurassic Red Velvet Cupcakes, Honeycomb Splinter, Jungle Nasturtium Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Éclair Bone Sandwich, Black Rock Arancini and more!

The Langham Melbourne's Jurassic Park Kids' Tea, Melba Restaurant at The Langham Melbourne, on weekdays Monday 9 January until Friday 20 January.

10 January – Hit the beach

Pack your bucket, spade and explore some of Melbourne's best beaches for kids.

While you're there, check out the best beachside eats in Melbourne.

Brighton Bathing Boxes, Dendy Street Beach, cnr Dendy St and Esplanade, Brighton

11 January – Eat The Best Ice Cream in Melbourne

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Cool down with a delicious treat and work your way through my list of Melbourne’s best ice cream and gelato or best ice cream and gelato delivery in Melbourne.

pidapipo carlton

12 January – Eat all the things at Queen Victoria Summer Night market

The Queen Victoria Night Market is back and ready to make this summer the most epic one yet! The market spans several sheds with over sixty street food vendors, over 100 art, craft and design stalls plus a weekly calendar of live entertainment.

Enjoy this much-loved Melbourne market full of street food, refreshing cocktails, great shopping and live music every Wednesday night from 23 November 2022 to 15 March 2023.

Queen Victoria Night Market, Every Wednesday 5-10pm | 23 Nov – 15 Mar 2023

queen victoria night market

13 January – Kick some putt at one of Melbourne's miniature golf courses

Kick some serious putt at one of Melbourne's mini-golf courses this summer. 

Whether you call it mini-golf, goofy golf, putt-putt or otherwise: a fun time is assured for both young and old. Conquer fun and challenging layouts and obstacles all while completing all the holes. This summer holiday, challenge your friends or family at one of Melbourne's popular miniature golf courses.

Related: Best places to play mini golf in Melbourne

Albert Park Mini Golf
Albert Park Mini Golf

14 January – See the animals at Sunset Safari Werribee Zoo

Sunset Safari is an after-hours event held at Werribee Zoo where you can explore the walking trail throughout the Werribee Zoo at dusk.

As the sun sets, enjoy a guided sunset tour, cocktails and canapes at Hippo Beach, feast on a traditional African braai BBQ, and delight in an immersive performance that showcases the rhythm of Africa.

Sunset Safari Werribee Zoo, Sat and Sun from Sat 14 Jan – Sat 4 Feb

15 January – Get creative with NGV Kids Summer Festival

The popular NGV Kids Summer Festival is back with a packed schedule of entirely FREE events for families from Saturday 14 January to Sunday 22 January 2023. The nine day program includes artist-led workshops, performances, events and activities designed especially for kids, teens and their families. 

This year's theme is curated around the concept of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure,’ with each section of the festival highlighting a different summer exhibition. 

Highlights of the 2023 festival will include activities based around the Alexander McQueen exhibition, the newly-installed architecture commission ‘Temple of Boom’ which is a contemporary and very colourful and vibrant reimagining of the ancient Greek temple, the Parthenon as well as the NGV Collection of Asian Art and Indigenous Art.

NGV Kids Summer Festival, NGV International, St Kilda Rd, Melbourne and The Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square, Jan 14 – Jan 22, 10am – 3pm daily

NGV Erik Yvon.jpg

16 January – Australian Open tennis

If you love tennis then the Australian Open is definitely something you should not miss this summer!

See tennis stars, enjoy the food and drinks and festive atmosphere. Read my tips on visiting the Australian Open with kids.

Australian Open Tennis, Mon 16 Jan – Sun 29 Jan 2022

Related: Where to find free public tennis courts in Melbourne

Man serving tennis ball

17 January – Discover the Art of Magic at the Arts Centre

Book the kids in to join magician Lee Cohen on 17 or 25 January at this magic workshop where they will learn some cool magic tricks to impress friends and family. There will even be a goodie bag of tricks to take home. Parents will need to join in for this one (it's not a drop and run workshop).

Lee Cohen is the former President of the Australian Institute of Magic, teacher at College of Magic South Africa, Australian Magic & Illusions Associate at Harry Potter And The Cursed Child and Head teacher at Melbourne School of Magical Arts (MESMA). Participants don't need any prior knowledge or skills, beginners are very welcome!

The Magic Workshop, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Tue 17 Jan & Wed 25 Jan

18 January – National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA)

Reignite your creativity this summer with short courses for Prep–grade 12 starting in January, presented by the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Explore an exciting range of holiday courses including acting, drama, filmmaking, TV presenting and more!

NIDA summer courses are the perfect opportunity for children and young people to stretch their creative muscles, explore new skills, improve confidence, and have fun with new friends.

Courses start from Tuesday 3 January at NIDA Melbourne, Southbank and other Melbourne venues.

For more info and to book, please call 1300 450 417 or visit nida.edu.au/summer

NIDA Open Summer Classes

19 January – Library on the Lawn

This summer, the State Library of Victoria will be taking the library outside to make the most of the glorious sunshine!

On the Library’s forecourt you'll be able to pick up a book, soak up the sun and watch the world go by, or stay cool and wander inside the Library to tour the spaces or the available exhibitions. 

Library on the Lawn, State Library of Victoria, Swanston St, Melbourne, Thu 19 Jan – Thu 5 Feb

Library on the Lawn

20 January – Visit Convent Kids!

There are lots of free activities and events on at the Abbotsford Convent these holidays as part of their Convent Kids Summer program.

The Slow Art Collective is a series of hands-on, art activities for kids using visual art, craft, sound and performances. Immersed by large-scale experiential installations, children will be able to add their own touches to the unique constructed world, using recycled and repurposed materials.

Child Nation, another part of the summer program, will offer the using of a hand-held device where kids will be prompted to answer quirky questions in response to the things they see around them.

Convent Kids, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford4 Jan – 24 Jan 2023

Weave it

21 January – I Wish, An Acrobatic Adventure

From 18 – 21 January 2023 get the whole family to Arts Centre Melbourne to see award winning children's theatre company Patch Theatre use physical theatre, eye-catching visuals and humour to explore our differences and uncover the magic of being an individual.

I Wish, Arts Centre, St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

22 January – School Holiday Street Art with Blender Studios

Let your child explore their creative side with a freehand or stencil street art workshop run by Blender Studios. Kids will learn how to master the tricky art of working with spray paint as a medium and work on a wooden board that they will be able to take home after the workshop.

The workshop costs $89 and is running on various weekdays all throughout January. It goes for around 2 hours.

School Holiday Street Art Workshop, Blender Studios, 33-35 Dudley St, West Melbourne, +61 3 9328 5556

23 January – Venture outdoors at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

This summer school holiday period, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is offering a plethora of free, self-guided activities; perfect to have a great time with the whole family.

These outdoor experiences include historic nature trails, sentimental children’s theatre and audio tours.

You can find an overview of these fun, yet educational, summer school holiday activities on their website: https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/melbourne-gardens/what-s-on-melbourne/

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria 7:30 am – 7:330 pm daily

Seek And Find - Summer School Holiday activity at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

24 January – Take a day trip to the coast

Take advantage of the clear clouds, bright sun, and warm summer heat by heading to the beach for a day trip or for the long weekend with my family-friendly guides to LorneMornington Peninsula and Frankston.

Frankston Regional Foreshore Playground, Frankston Waterfront Reserve, Pier Promenade, Frankston

25 January – Get Inspired at ACMI

If you're looking for something to fill your day, a visit to ACMI and The Story of the Moving Image exhibition is a fantastic way to spend a morning or afternoon. You can read my review here. The exhibit journeys through the past, present and future of the moving image through interactive experiences, featuring ancient shadow puppets, Victorian-era magic lanterns, the first cameras, famous costumes, movie sets, sketches, movie clips and contemporary art. The best bit is that its free!

ACMI The Story of The Moving Image, Gallery 1, Ground Floor, ACMI, Fed Square, Open Daily, 10 am – 5 pm

Acmi Exhibition The Story Of The Moving Image 11

26 January – Australia Day

Every Australia Day there are family-friendly events happening around Melbourne, such as the Government House Open Day.

However, it would be remiss of me to not point out that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Australia Day is considered a day of mourning and protest.

Share The Spirit Festival Melbourne

27 January – Catch a movie at an open-air cinema

Take advantage of all the outdoor cinemas open throughout Melbourne during the summer and catch the latest family-friendly flicks while relaxing on comfortable chairs or lounging on a picnic rug.

If you're not sure where to find them then you should check out my post on the Best Outdoor Cinema Melbourne

Cameo Cinemas

28 January – Go for a scoot or bike ride

Check out some of the best bike trails in Melbourne for families or hit a playground with a bike or scooter track with your wheels.

Another option is to find a stretch of beachside path around Port Melbourne. For instance, Altona Beach is a fantastic bay beach with long stretches of sand, a pier, cafes and a beach playground. We love taking our bikes and scooters there.

Micro Scooters Altona Beach

29 January – Have a Ride on a Miniature Train

It's Sunday! Take the kids for an adventure to Eltham to have a ride on the Diamond Valley Railway. You can read my review here. Volunteers operate the railway every Sunday of the month and families can ride steam and diesel trains for only $4 per person, with online tickets available only.


30 January – Relax with a picnic

Last day of the summer holidays before school starts!

Take this day to relax and have a chill day out under the sun with the people you love. Order a gourmet picnic box, read these zero-waste picnic tips and visit one of Melbourne's best picnic spots for families.

Fitzrovia px

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This post has been published in collaboration with selected partners and contains affiliate links. If you order using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks in advance – Joyce

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

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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In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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