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Winter Holiday Kids' Activities for Every Budget to Keep Parents Sane

Winter Holiday Kids' Activities for Every Budget to Keep Parents Sane

Winter Holiday Kids' Activities for Every Budget to Keep Parents Sane

Winter school holidays are here, and dealing with kids screaming 'I'm bored!' around the house is enough to drive us all bananas. While the idea of cosy family time sounds good in theory, the reality of keeping kids entertained during the colder months can be a challenging (and sometimes costly) task. It's that constant struggle to come up with fresh, fun winter school holiday activities to keep the little ones busy without breaking the bank. That's why we're here to share some budget-friendly, sometimes splurge-worthy, and even free ideas to keep your kids entertained these school holidays.

Thrift Shop for Bargains

Consider visiting op shops (thrift stores). These stores are treasure troves for preloved puzzles, board games, and books, all of which can serve as excellent boredom busters. For just a few dollars, you can grab a jigsaw puzzle or board game, that offers hours of indoor fun and family bonding.

If you already have a collection of board games, puzzles, and books at home, why not organise a games day? Set aside a day where the family can engage in various games and activities. This not only keeps everyone entertained but also fosters a sense of togetherness. With a little creativity, you can turn the winter holidays into a memorable and enjoyable time for the whole family without breaking the bank.

Other Fun Finds at Op Shops

Here are some hidden gems you might discover to keep the little ones from driving you up the wall:

  1. Board Games: Remember those epic family game nights? Op shops are goldmines for both the classics and new gems. Perfect for making memories (and maybe some friendly sibling rivalry).
  2. Books: Op shops are usually brimming with children's books, from colourful picture books to children's novels, perfect for all reading levels. Ideal for those quiet moments like finally finishing that warm cup of coffee in peace.
  3. Toys: Action figures, dolls, and stuffed animals—there’s always a variety of toys just waiting for a new home (and a new round of 'Mum, watch this!').
  4. Dress-Up Clothes: Costumes and dress-up clothes are a hit for imaginative play. Who doesn’t love a good pirate or princess adventure? (Bonus: It’s a free pass to wear a tiara all day - and let's be honest, we deserve one too for all the juggling we do!)
  5. Sports Equipment: Sometimes, you'll stumble upon used sports gear like balls, bats, and rackets — perfect for burning off some energy outside. Kids don't seem to mind the cold, and it's a great way to get them out of the house and off screens.
  6. Building Sets: Keep an eye out for LEGO sets, building blocks, and other construction toys that spark creativity and problem-solving. These can provide hours of fun — and who knows, you might find yourself joining in on the building action too. It's a great way for budding LEGO masters (both kids and parents) to bond and create together.

So next time you're wandering through an op shop, keep these in mind. You never know what treasures you'll find to keep your kids entertained and happy - and maybe even snag a few moments of peace for yourself!

'Op shops are goldmines for both the classics and new gems. Perfect for making memories (and maybe some friendly sibling rivalry).'

Outdoor Adventures: Embrace the Elements

Don't be scared to get outside even if it’s raining. As parents, we often dread the thought of our kids getting dirty or sick, but dressing appropriately with raincoats and waterproof gumboots makes all the difference. Kids don't feel the cold like we do, and they aren't as easily deterred by a bit of rain. To them, every day is an adventure waiting to happen, regardless of the weather.

The local park is your secret weapon. A simple trip there means your kids can meet other children and run wild, turning the playground into their own kingdom. It’s also a fantastic way to get them off electronics and engage with the world around them. Picture this: you plop down on a bench with a hot coffee (a rare treat), while they dash off to make new friends and conquer the monkey bars. It's like hitting the parent jackpot—your kids are entertained, socialising, and getting fresh air, all without you having to lift a finger. Plus, it beats trying to pry the tablet out of their hands for yet another battle over screen time.

The best part? It's totally free. No entrance fees, no overpriced snacks—just pure outdoor fun. Plus, you might even strike up a conversation with another parent, gaining valuable insights like which playgrounds have the least treacherous slide or where to find the best post-park hot chocolate.

So, next time cabin fever sets in, grab those raincoats, step outside, and head to the park. The kids will love the adventure, and you'll cherish those moments of relative calm - after all, a bit of fresh air and mud never hurt anyone—it's practically a rite of passage for childhood.

'Kids don't feel the cold like we do, and they aren't as easily deterred by a bit of rain. To them, every day is an adventure waiting to happen, regardless of the weather.'

Happy Toddler On Swing at Park with parent
Other Budget-Friendly Kid Activities

Baking Fun at Home: Get your kids involved in the kitchen— whether it's baking cookies, making pizza, or crafting simple no-bake treats, you'll end up with delicious snacks and teach your kids valuable cooking skills. Plus, there's nothing like the smell of fresh-baked cookies to make everyone happy. Just be prepared for a flour-covered kitchen and some giggles along the way. Need some recipe inspiration? Head over to Bento Masters here and find a fun recipe you can whip up with the kids at home.

Library Adventures: Check out your local library for events. From story time sessions to workshops, there's always something going on. It's a great way to keep the kids entertained while sneaking in some educational value. Plus, you might actually get a chance to finish that book you've been meaning to read.

Playdates with mates: Organise playdates with their school friends or even your own friends who have kids. This not only helps children burn off energy but also allows them to make cherished childhood memories from the time spent with their friends. They’ll have a blast while you get the chance to chat with another adult. And if you're taking turns hosting, you’re supporting each other by giving everyone a much-needed break to catch up on life. Bonus points if the playdate is at someone else’s house—your home stays intact, and you might even get to tackle that to-do list!

Themed Movie-Marathons: Turn your living room into a magical movie theatre. Pick a theme—like superheroes, Disney classics, or wizarding worlds—and go all out. Watch Spiderman while dressed up as Spiderman, or have a Frozen marathon complete with blankets and hot cocoa. Not only is this super fun for the kids, but it also gives you an excuse to wear your favourite pyjama pants all day. This is another fantastic cheap indoor activity for kids that the whole family can enjoy.

With these budget-friendly ideas, you'll keep your kids entertained and create lasting memories without breaking the bank. And who knows, you might even find yourself having as much fun as they are.

Splurge-Worthy Kid's Holiday Activities

Movie Days: Family-Friendly Flicks on a Budget

Taking the kids to the movies during the school holidays is a fantastic way to keep them entertained, and with a few savvy strategies, it doesn't have to drain your wallet. Cinemas often offer discounted rates on specific days, and joining membership programs can provide access to exclusive deals and special screenings. Here’s how you can make the most of these offers and plan an affordable family movie day.

Hoyts Cinemas: Our Top Pick

If your family loves a good movie outing, Hoyts is a great choice for budget-friendly movie experiences. With their 'Super Saver Tuesdays,' you can get standard tickets starting at $13, making it an ideal day for a family trip to the cinema. The Hoyts Rewards program sweetens the deal even further, offering adult tickets at $18.75 and kids tickets at $14.60 every other day of the week. And let's talk about their reclining chairs—pure luxury for us parents! Who wants to be crammed into a cinema in tiny chairs, bumping elbows with the person next to you? By signing up, you'll gain access to exclusive discounts and special events throughout the year.

Check out Hoyts Rewards Program here.

Top Movies to See These Holidays
  • The Garfield Movie: Release date: 30 May 2024
  • Inside Out 2: Release date: 13 June 2024
  • Despicable Me 4: Release date: 20 June 2024
Toddler Boy Watching Movie At Cinema
Savvy Snack Tips

We all know that one of the biggest expenses at the movies can be the snacks. Instead of splurging at the cinema’s snack bar, why not bring your own treats from home or the supermarket? This way, you can keep the kids happy without overspending (all while sneaking in a few of our own favourite goodies too).

Homemade Popcorn: Make a batch of fresh popcorn at home and season it just the way your family likes it, for a cinema-style treat without the high cost. While it's hard to resist movie cinema popcorn, if you love warm, buttery popcorn at the movies, consider sharing a bucket with the whole family.

Fruit & Nut Mix: Create a delicious and healthy snack by mixing your favourite dried fruits and nuts. It’s portable, satisfying, and a nice balance to all the sugary treats. You might even feel like a responsible parent for a minute—win-win!

Supermarket Chocolate Bars: Grab a selection of your favourite chocolate bars from the supermarket. They’re usually much cheaper than buying them at the cinema, and you can have fun picking out everyone’s favourites. Just imagine the look on your kids’ faces when you pull out their beloved candy bar mid-movie.

Supermarket Popcorn: Pick up a bag of pre-popped popcorn from the supermarket. It’s just as tasty and often comes in a variety of flavours.

Supermarket Drinks: Buy your favourite soft drinks, bottled water, or juice from the supermarket. They’re usually much cheaper and you can easily bring them along in a small cooler bag.

By keeping an eye on your local cinema’s schedule and taking advantage of these membership programs, you’re all set for an exciting family movie day that’s easy on the budget. So, grab your tickets, pack some snacks, and get ready for a fun-filled adventure on the big screen!

Other Splurge-Worthy Activity Ideas

Indoor Play Centres: Check out your local indoor play centre. Perfect for those rainy days when cabin fever hits. Think climbing walls, trampolines, and ball pits galore. Bonus: You get to sip your coffee in peace while the kids burn off energy and your house stays intact.

The cost of taking your kids to play centres in Australia can vary depending on the location and the specific centre. Generally speaking, you can expect the following average costs:

  • Per Child: Entry fees typically range from $10 to $25 per child. Some more elaborate play centres with additional facilities might charge a bit more.
  • Per Adult: Many play centres allow adults to enter for free when accompanying children, but some may charge a small fee, often around $5 to $10.

Themed Parks and Attractions: Create epic memories at places like Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, Melbourne’s Luna Park or Zoo, The Big Banana Fun Park in Coffs Harbour, Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast, or Queensland’s Dreamworld. These outings might have you digging into the piggy bank, but the joy on your kids’ faces as they meet a koala, ride the Ferris wheel, or scream on roller coasters is worth every penny — and watching them experience something new is priceless. So, pack up the snacks, grab the camera, and get ready for some unforgettable adventures.

Family Getaway: Winter holidays are the perfect time to pack up the family and escape to a cosy mountain cabin, beachside caravan park, or even somewhere on the plane the weather is a tad warmer. Caravan parks are the real MVPs here. Picture this: you roll up to a charming caravan park, the kids spill out of the car bursting with excitement, and you set up camp while getting that fire roaring. Suddenly, roasting marshmallows becomes the highlight of the evening. The best part? The kids are off making new friends and playing all day, giving you a much-needed breather. Need ideas on where to go? Check travel blogs, or ask that family friend who knows all the best spots. Family getaways aren’t just about escaping the daily grind—they’re about creating those priceless memories that both kids and adults will cherish forever. Got any favourite spots or tips? Share them in the comments below and help fellow parents plan their next great adventure!

'Family getaways aren’t just about escaping the daily grind—they’re about creating those priceless memories that both kids and adults will cherish forever.'

Family enjoying camping caravan holiday

Winter school holidays don't have to turn into a stress-fest for parents. Whether you're sticking to a budget or splurging a little, there are loads of ways to keep the kids entertained and engaged. The real trick? Mixing it up with a variety of activities—some indoor, some outdoor, some quiet, and some that'll have them bouncing off the walls (in a good way).

What's your go-to Winter Holiday activity? Share your favourite ideas in the comments below. Let's help each other conquer holiday boredom and keep our sanity in check. Together, we can make sure our kids look back on these days as some of the best times ever. And hey, if you know other parents who could use a bit of inspiration (and maybe a break from 'I'm bored!'), share this post with them too. Happy holidays!

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