School holiday fun for whatever the weather

colourful icecream cone
colourful icecream cone
If you’re finally preparing to enjoy some much-needed R&R these school holidays, the last thing you want are the kiddies bugging you because they’re bored.
To entertain your little angels/monsters, we’ve pulled together this guide to keep the kiddos entertained – so you can also enjoy all the Coast has to offer!

When was the last time you explored the Central Coast's free natural playground with your family? The Coast is famous for its beautiful scenery, which is great if you want something free to do with the kids this summer:

 

With our network of national parks, dog-friendly forests, calm waterways and patrolled beaches to explore, you'll find endless outdoor activities for the kids across the Central Coast. But what if it rains? Read on to discover some great, weather resistant ideas to kick-start your holiday plans.

 

girl in fairy dress wants sweets
Image: @HunterHunterCentralCoast
kids play in forest pond
Strickland State Forest, Arboretum Loop
Outdoor activities on the Central Coast...

Jurassic Zoo! @ The Australian Reptile Park

These school holidays The Australian Reptile Park has brought back its popular Jurassic Zoo! school holiday program - this time it is BIGGER and BETTER than ever before. A Tyrannosaurs Rex, Indoraptor and a Pachycephalosaurus are on the loose throughout the park...Kids and adults are able to interact with these lifelike prehistoric beasts and take some amazing photos. Dino Dig also returns to the park to give young paleontologists the chance to unearth ancient fossils. Plus Zookeepers will be roving the park with all sorts of reptiles to meet up close, and the daily croc feeds will surely impress the sandals off your whole family. 

Outdoor Escape Rooms @ The Entrance

Escape Rooms Central Coast are running exciting new Outdoor Escape Adventures around The Entrance. Filled with fun and intrigue, using high tech augmented reality, this is an 'Escape' game with a difference. Armed with an iPad and Action Pack kids will need all their super-sleuthing skills as they follow the course using Google Maps, unlocking clues and puzzles along the way. 

Kid's Camp @ Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

Bust boredom with a dose of the great outdoors these school holidays at Glenworth Valley Adventure Max School Holiday Camp. Kids will have a blast trying three awesome adventures in one day including horse riding, quad biking, kayaking, abseiling or laser skirmish. Activities are dependent on the season and age of the child, so you can rest assured they will be equipped to have a good time, and the camp is fully supervised by experienced guides.

Koi feeding in a Japanese garden @ Gosford Regional Gallery

The Edogawa Commemorative Garden is a beautifully peaceful space located in the Gosford Regional Gallery precinct of East Gosford, just a few minutes from Gosford Waterfront. The landscape design is inspired by a traditional ‘shuyu’ (strolling style) garden, incorporating Japanese features. Both kids and adults can appreciate the pretty tranquility available here - for free - and the whole family will love feeding the huge fish from the ornamental bridge (bags of feed available in the gallery shop).

Central Coast Aqua Park @ Gosford Waterfront

Opening every year on the picturesque waterfront location, right near several cafes, a swimming pool, Leagues Club Park and the stadium, Central Coast Aqua Park is one of the most refreshing activities for kids to have some fun outdoors on the water. Parents can watch their kids tackle the floating obstacle course on Brisbane Water from the sidelines with a coffee, with single, double or all-day passes available from just $25.

Climb to the canopy at Treetops Adventure Park

Treetops Adventure Park are ready to go for the school holidays, open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week! They offer a range of outdoor, kid-friendly activities to pursue high up in the treetops of Ourimbah State Forest on the Central Coast, including Networld and the longest zipline in the southern hemisphere. 

girl pats horse in stables
Horse riding at Glenworth Valley
kids watching and feeding koi fish
Edogawa Commemorative Gardens, Gosford Regional Gallery
jurassic dinosaurs at reptile park
Jurassic Zoo! at the Australian Reptile Park
Image: @australianreptilepark
Wet weather activities on the Central Coast...
Don't let flippant La Niña dampen the holiday spirit! There’s still plenty of activities to get the kids out of the house, burning off energy, and laughing til their belly hurts. For easy parental planning, we've rounded up some top indoor ideas here.

Selfie Society @ Westfield Tuggerah

Westfield Tuggerah have teamed up with local business, Kings of Neon, to create the Selfie Society pop-up activation these school holidays! Located next to Kmart, the pop-up features 10 selfie booths for some amazing themed photos, guests simply need to book a session and snap away. A great activity for creating some awesome photos that can go toward a 2022 calendar to gift to the family! Book for your group via their website.

Clip ‘N Climb @ Gosford

Let your kids enjoy the experience of climbing in a fully supervised and colourful climbing space. Clip 'N Climb Central Coast is a great indoor kids activity and truly is a WOW experience - for all ages too! Go on, Dad. All equipment is provided and every climb is equipped with the 'Trublue' auto belay making it super safe and easy to climb free of a belay buddy. Less standing still, more action!

Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre @ Terrigal

The newly refurbished Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre at Terrigal teaches the wonder of the ocean through real life displays and interactive activities. Kids can explore their special display showing the story of the sinking of the HMAS Adelaide or learn about the life of local rock pools. Kids crafts are available in a special play area, or they can complete a treasure hunt and win a prize! The centre also has opened an online Marine Discovery shop where parents can purchase a range of educational packs and marine-inspired toys to entertain at home long after their visit.

Erina Ice Arena @ Erina Fair

The newly refurbished, vibrant indoor Erina Ice Arena is a great place to beat the heat or escape the rain. Public sessions provide the perfect opportunity for anyone to experience ice skating whatever your level, or if you’re after a bit more of an upbeat experience check out their Disco sessions. Each morning from 9.30am starting 4 to 25 January 2022, there will also be a dedicated School Holiday Camp program to teach your child the basics of ice skating. There's also a NYE Disco event for the family starting at 730pm, where you can watch the 9pm fireworks on their big screen while you skate and dance.

Inflatable World @ Charmhaven

It’s all about having fun, so bring the whole family and bounce away the rainy day. Inflatable World can be for the BIG adult kids too, as parents can join their children on the bounce floor. Sessions are for two hours per single entry fee and you can play on the inflatable activities as many times as you like during that session.

Laser tag @ Gosford & Wyoming

If your kids love laser tag, playing tip or running around the house when it rains (yes, let's curb that), there are two popular indoor centres on the Central Coast where you can take your kids to let loose. Laser Tag Central Coast is located in Wyoming and there's also Laser Mania in Gosford. 

Monkey Mania @ Gosford

Monkey Mania Central Coast is located inside Central Coast Leagues Club and is a popular spot to bring the kids, with an impressive three-level play structure that keeps the kiddies entertained for hours. The facility also features an inflatable jumping castle, dedicated toddlers area, a cannon foam ball arena, climbing structure, slides, and kiddies electric go-karts. When they're tuckered out, pop into Gosford for a family feed at one of their many eateries. 

Soap making workshops @ Gosford

Central Coast Commons is a local providore and soap workshop located in the heart of Gosford. You can pop in to see how soap is made, but we'd suggest trying soap making in their January immersive workshops! There is a special kids Build-A-Soap Experience that is a great way to get kids excited about hopping in the bath and makes for a great rainy day activity. There is no age limit, and kids can produce 3-6 shapes with their choice of colour and scent. Weekday bookings get a complimentary kids snack pack which can be claimed at the nearby Apricot Cafe (with one free small coffee for the parent too!).

The Chocolate & Nougat Factory @ West Gosford

How about a 'Make Your Own Chocolate Workshop' for kids? Check our website for available datesVisit the sweetest spot on the Central Coast - home of popular Australian confectionery, Nougat Limar, Bon Bon Fine Chocolate and The Sydney Marshmallow Co. Wet weather is a perfect chance to explore The Chocolate & Nougat Factory where delicious treats are created daily, featuring Junior Chocolatier Workshop experiences that may just be the highlight of your kids holiday (and great for the parents if they bring home their creations).

Virtual Reality Studios @ The Entrance

Try one of the best virtual reality experiences in Australia! Central Coast Virtual Reality invites the kids to swim with the whales, walk around the Eiffel Tower, ride a rollercoaster, play with a litter of baby dragon pups or become a cyber ninja – there are hundreds of experiences for all ages in this safe, indoor environment. This studio is purpose-built with the only custom ceiling cable mount system in Australia, designed to create the ultimate immersive VR experience. If you're in The Entrance area with the family, pop in and try a free demo. There's an art gallery on site too for the parents to browse while the kids get the virtual wows.

kids climbing wall
Clip 'N Climb, Gosford
kids ice skating
Erina Ice Arena
Community activities for the holidays
Whether you're visiting family for the holidays on the Central Coast, or want to take the kids out to explore their own backyard, there's some lovely community events running throughout the break.

School Holiday program with Central Coast Council

Locals and visitors can get involved with the colourful program of free and ticketed activities throughout the school holidays on the Coast. This includes craft, reading and gaming activities at the region's libraries, plus painting, drawing and printing activities at Gosford Regional Gallery and much more. Visit centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/schoolholidays for the latest program information to plan your day.

reIMAGINE Festival

Everyone is invited to reimagine and celebrate the amazing Central Coast this holiday season through a series of pop-up events hosted across the region's town centres. The Festival takes place from 1 December 2021 to 30 January 2022 with a range of exciting community events, workshops, exhibitions, performances and classes across Gosford, Wyong, Toukley, Terrigal, Woy Woy and The Entrance. Download the program to find out more on each event and dot your holiday calendar with some local feel-good family fun.

girl rides down slippery dip
Local artist Molly Wattle enjoys Umina's playground precinct.
kid in themed selfie booth pop-up
Selfie Society pop-up, Westfield Tuggerah
Image: @archercrouch via Instagram

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