Screen Shot 2024 04 16 at 3 08 23 pm

Winter School Holidays in The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

Family Winter

The winter school holidays are here and if you’re looking for activities to get your kids out of the house and active, the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges has plenty to offer.

Visiting our What's On page is the best way to find special events happening during your visit and our Deals page is full of amazing offers.

With lots of family-friendly adventures that suit every budget, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Discover nature experience, arts and crafts, animal adventures, delicious food and drink plus lots more!

Here are some of our favourite winter school holiday ideas that kids (and adults!) will love.

Attractions Galore

6 A crossing the famous Monbulk Trestle Bridge Image by Kahla Webb
Screen Shot 2024 06 19 at 3 29 33 pm
13653 two kinder kids look through binoculars healesville sanctuary edumarketing hs 038
Screen Shot 2023 11 22 at 11 35 40 am

Puffing Billy Railway is open over the school holidays with a variety of activities for kids of all ages. Enjoy an excursion, visit the train museum or grab lunch on board.

Discover wonderful wildlife and spectacular landscapes made for adventure while sitting on the carriage sill of Puffing Billy's open-side carriages; a truly iconic experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.


It doesn't matter what time of year you visit, there's always something for kids to explore at Healesville Sanctuary. Over school holidays, in particular, there are always special programs encouraging connection with the wildlife, land and culture.

There are talks and presentations throughout the day and kids can also keep active and warm up jumping and playing in the Bunjil and Corrobboree Frog Nature Play spaces. Discover Australia's majestic birds in the spectacular and newly refreshed presentation of Spirits of the Sky, twice daily, the list goes on!


Hidden within the Yarra Valley Estate property, you will find the Edible Forest. A place to grow unique edible plants, create experiences and breathe the fresh air. The kids (and adults) will love their tours where you'll learn about the different varieties of plants they have and their extraordinary uses including edible, medicinal, nutritional for the soil, bee attracting or for companion planting. A truly unique experience in the Yarra Valley.

Explore Delicious Food & Drink

Screen Shot 2024 05 01 at 11 05 58 am
Screen Shot 2024 06 19 at 3 43 51 pm
Screenshot 2022 03 21 at 19 38 26 Whats On Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Ice Creamery
Screen Shot 2024 06 19 at 4 01 02 pm

The kids will love visiting Beechworth Bakery as they feast their eyes on the sumptuous display of over 237 delicious products. With so many sweet and savoury items to choose from including the Ned Kelly Pie, their signature Beestings, there is something for even the fussiest eater!

Located in the heart of Healesville, it is the perfect place to start your journey, enjoy a delicious meal or pop in for a mid-morning or afternoon tea. With a tradition of creating delicious baked goods and a welcoming atmosphere, the bakery has become a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike.


The school holiday season is a whole lot sweeter when kids join a hands-on workshop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. Session times take place during the school holiday period and bookings are essential.

After they've made their own yummy chocolate and pastry creations, indulge in their cafe overlooking the beautiful countryside and check out the large viewing windows to watch talented European chocolatiers at work. Don't forget to grab an ice-cream and some treats to take home for later!


In the Dandenong Ranges, Bam Bam Italian, Incy Wincy and The General Food Store and great places to take the kids. As well as lots of delicious items to choose from, they have kids' menus and cater for a variety of dietary requirements.

Discover Art & History

2022 Tarra Warra Museum Of Art Visit Vic NECI 35
Screen Shot 2024 04 16 at 3 08 23 pm
Screen Shot 2024 06 19 at 1 11 07 pm
Screen Shot 2024 06 19 at 1 10 51 pm

Take the kids on a discovery of art and history. There are lots of places to choose from which will inspire their imagination, teach them something new and keep them entertained on winter days.

Why not take a day and explore TarraWarra Museum of Art? Their rotating exhibitions mean there's always something new to explore. Additionally, the grounds include fantastic sculptures and installations worth the wander.


Step back in time and check out places like Gulf Station, the oldest and most intact examples of a pioneer farm complex in Australia. Take a self-guided tour around the property's homestead and be transported into the domestic life of a rural colonial family.


The kids will love Mont De Lancey's YesterYear Tours with guided and self-guided tours taking you through the 1880s Pioneer Homestead. Afterwards, discover the beautiful gardens, enjoy a light lunch and visit the Museum.