Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Ice Creamery kids can run and play in the grounds 2

What’s On: Spring School Holidays In Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

Family Spring

With school holidays here again, there’s no reason to feel stuck for ideas on entertaining the kids. The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges have something for children, tweens and teens alike.

Get Outside

If your child is an adventurer and loves the outdoors, consider these activities.

Get Curious at Healesville Sanctuary

Over the school holidays, kids visiting Healesville Sanctuary have a range of kid-friendly activities on offer. The sanctuary itself is always packed with great options from learning about wildlife, enjoying keep talks, experiencing the Spirits in the Sky presentation and visitor experiences like the Australian Wildlife Health Centre. See first-class hospital facilities, where compassionate conservation is at the heart of everything they do.

Kids can enjoy Future Vets, the fun vet-themed play space that the littlest visitors love.

Kids (and parents too) can also hear Murrundindi (Wurundjeri Elder) share cultural stories and listen to the sounds of the didgeridoo, every day during the School Holidays except for Saturdays.

There's so much to discover, you might need to go twice or grab a Zoos Victoria membership and enjoy it all year long.

Ride the Rails With Puffing Billy

Do you know you can swing those legs again as you sit on the sils of Puffing Billy? Yes, you can!
This school holidays, take a picnic to enjoy in Emerald Lake Park or grab a bite from the cafe inside the Lakeside Visitor Centre. For a dose of history, check out the Museum of Steam Artifacts. Pre-book your spot aboard today!

It's a great day for the whole family to connect in the fresh air of the Dandenong Ranges. Parents can also relive their own childhood memories whilst introducing the next generation to this unforgettable part of Victorian history.

Visit the Animals at Edendale Community Farm

Open from 11 am to 3 pm daily, visitors to Edendale Farm near Diamond Creek in Eltham have the opportunity to connect with nature and farm life in an interactive environment. A great day out for the whole family.

Kids get the opportunity to interact with the farm animals, talk to the farmers, feed the chooks and more. A wide range of activities, workshops and programs are on offer during the school holiday season that is ever-changing to suit a wide range of ages and interests. Click here to read more.

Get Active with Golf and Tennis

Kids can discover golf and tennis with The Eastern Golf Club and GP Tennis teaming up during their autumn school holiday program. Kids will enjoy an awesome day outdoors filled with fun activities and making new friends. It’s always a fun-filled day and the kids will be out in the fresh air and being active.

No experience is required for children to attend and lunch is included. The day will include training and practice to develop and improve, golf and tennis skills. Suitable for kids aged 5+ years at Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Levels. There will be lots of fun activities; a day of making new friends and getting out into the fresh air and sunshine.

For more information and booking, click here.

Cycle Emerald Lake

With options for traditional as well as e-bike hire, children's bikes, tandem bikes, you name it, head over to Emerald Lake and spot the iconic Puffing Billy historic train with Cog Bikes Australia.

A partnership between Puffing Billy and Cog Bikes Australia now means you can hire a bike from Puffing Billy Railway's Lakeside Station bike hub in Emerald Lake Park.

Whether travelling by train or driving into the precinct on a lovely sunny day, choose from a range of standard trail bikes, e-bikes, balance bikes or children's pedal bikes, and explore a number of tracks and trails to suit all capabilities and interests.

Book a steam train ride, travelling from Belgrave to Lakeside Station, where your pre-booked bike and all-terrain adventure awaits, or begin your day at Emerald Lake Park and pedal to the metal in the morning, before jumping on board to enjoy a steam train journey from Lakeside to Gembrook Station.

If it's only off-road cycling amongst the towering rainforests and lush fern gullies of the region that you're after, then come along and simply hire a bike on the day, all day.

From beginner tracks for families to the more challenging terrain of the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail that runs alongside Puffing Billy between Emerald and Gembrook, there is a bike trail to suit everyone.

Once you're done, roll on into the new Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Visitor Centre and take advantage of the gift shop, café, and railway museum.

Tackle the Trails

Spend a day cycling the trails! Our region offers a range of options for bicycle hire that are inclusive of helmets and locks. Otherwise, BYO and have a great day out.

Check out some of the exciting options in our region (many kid-friendly) or explore any number of parks, reserves and trails and enjoy a great family day out.

Go Back in Time

Once part of a 25,000-acre property, Gulf Station began in the 1840s and was owned by the Bell family until 1951. Now as one of the oldest and most intact examples of a pioneer farm complex in Australia, it's a great place to experience a self-guided tour around the property's homestead and outbuildings and be transported back in time into the life of a rural colonial family.

During the Gulf Station open days, visitors can enjoy a tour of the house, heritage buildings and gardens, or join a guided tour conducted by one of their volunteer guides and see working horses, sheep sheering, butter churning and more.

They encourage picnics and visits to the resident Clydesdale horses during your visit.

Have an A-MAZE-ing Day at SkyHigh Mt Dandenong

SkyHigh Maze at SkyHigh Mount Dandenong is the perfect place for the kids to run free. Mystery awaits around every corner as it's filled with sculptures, illusions and butterflies! Grab your maze passport and get stamps along the journey to collect a prize to become a SkyHigh maze master!

It's an exciting challenge for both the young and the young at heart where you can finish up the day with a well-earned treat in the Maze House Cafe.

The maze is open every day and during the school holiday season, there's so much more to enjoy with mini animals to meet, treasure hunts, pony rides, mini golf and more.

The fun activities and games change every weekday, so check the daily activities and times on the website. All the activities below are free of charge and designed for children between five and 12 years old. The parking fee still applies for all vehicles. No activities are scheduled over the weekends.

You can even dine in at the SkyHigh restaurant while your kids can enjoy the awesome fun on top of the mountain, or grab a bite to eat or coffee and cake at their kiosk.

Plus the SkyHigh Maze is open every day – Entry fees apply for the maze.

Indoor Fun

Rain or shine, these activities are a great day out every day.

Become a Chocolatier at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is the ideal spot to get your chocolate fix and kids can get hands-on experience in chocolate making.

Over the school holiday period, it’s extra special as junior chocolatiers aged 6-12 can spend a day learning what it’s like inside the kitchen creating sweet treats.

The 45-minute Junior Chocolatier Classes teach kids to make their very own yummy creations. Sessions include a personalised badge, chef’s hat and apron, graduation certificate plus take home three chocolate creations to enjoy. Bookings are required and multiple event days are available, but be quick, places are limited.

Get Artsy With Heide

Creative kids love Heide Gallery Kids is a new creative and educational art observation session for pre-schoolers aged 18 months to five years and their carers. Join Art Therapist Tanis Douglas, who supports children in gaining confidence by observing artworks in a small group.

Activities involve looking, listening and learning ways to explore the sculpture park and gallery space together. Sessions involve directed sensory play, investigating colour, texture and shape. The program ends with a shared story and puppets with themes tied to Heide and song time.

Explore More at Bunjil Place

There's always something new for kids to explore at Bunjil Place, not only over school holidays but all year round. From creative indoor spaces such as their incredible kid-friendly, to live stage shows, workshops, and loads of exhibitions and events, there's always something.

Visit their What's On page to discover upcoming events.

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