School Holidays on a Budget

I don’t know about you, but the school holidays seem to be here as soon as the previous one ends. I cannot believe how fast 10 or 11 weeks goes. But regardless of how quickly it seems to come around, they are coming up VERY fast and we need to figure out what the hell we are going to do with our most precious people 😊


With at least 6 weeks off over the Christmas holidays I’ve been wracking my brain about what to do with my girls, so they don’t drive each other (and ME) too crazy. So, since I was doing research anyway, I figured I might as well share my findings with you all.


First things first! What’s the budget. I know it’s the most boring question but the most important one, obviously!


If, like me, you’re on a seriously tight budget these holidays then my research suggests checking out your local council for free activities. I did this last school holidays, and, actually, they were brilliant. Now, I know we live on the Gold Coast so this may not be an option for all places around Australia, but it’s worth checking out regardless. It’s going to be my first port of call for our Christmas holidays!


Living on the Gold Coast obviously has the benefit of having the beach in close proximity but, we don’t all have the beach as an option. However, I would think that most places would have fun things to do outside that are free or low cost. Parks, bushwalks, picnics are all really great ideas for chewing up some time with your kidlets. One great tip I read was to get your kids to come up with a list of things they’d like to over the holidays, even use a HOLIDAY IDEA JAR – set them a budget, number of activities and let them get to it. Obviously, the older kids can use computers to research but younger kids can also get hands on too, maybe it’s something you can do as family together.


A few articles I read suggested to plan your holidays out and make sure you’re not doing too much in the one week. Writing it all down on one piece of paper can help to ensure we have spaced out our activities appropriately. I like to plan for a maximum of two activities in any given week. This way my kids aren’t crazy exhausted, and we all get some down time at home.


If you have a local library or a nearby Bunnings, then these usually have good (and free) options, and they usually offer holiday programs/activities for children. We particularly like our local library as they usually have a Lego day and a couple of book reading sessions with local authors. Also, Bunnings usually offer some crafty activities, last holidays they even had a reptile encounter – which my girls just LOVED. I suppose what I’m saying is that there are likely to be lots of local events for free/low cost that you may not be aware of – I know I didn’t realise how many options there were.


Here's some other free/low cost options you might want to consider:

  1. Cooking – especially before Christmas, get them in the kitchen and make those Chrissy treats.
  2. Science experiments (research age appropriate ones) - com | #1 Educational Site for Pre-K to 8th Grade has some great ideas à you’re welcome 😉
  3. Puzzles and/or Lego – don’t make them too easy, try get one that will take them a while to finish!
  4. Check out some online ideas too – here’s a couple of suggestions.
    1. 100 Easy School Holiday Activities You Can Do At Home with Kids! ( Although this is mainly geared towards younger children.
    2. School Holidays In Australia - School Holiday Activities


But, if budget isn’t something you need to worry too much about, you might want to head away for some of the holidays. For overseas I don’t think you can better Fiji (for kids under 7 or 8 anyway). Kids club over there is seriously awesome and if you’ve been I’m certain you agree! The kids get to play and do activities (many local and/or educational) and we get some quiet (or not so quiet) time-out! Doesn’t a kid-free Spa treatment or drink by the pool sound fabulous?


I’m trying to convince hubby to take up camping, but he says the only stars he sleeps under are 5 FML.


If you need a place to start this is a good website to check out (even if it’s just for some inspiration).

School holidays 2024: Discover activities and events near you


Happy holiday planning! At the very least we hope you and yours have a fantastic festive season with lots of belly laughs, food and drink and incredible company!


As always, thanks for reading!