With the school holidays here again, that eternal question comes to mind: “whatever can we do to keep them occupied this year?” Last Easter weekend, we went camping, and it is with great regret that this year we are unable to do so as Daddy is scheduled to work the whole weekend! But, this year Easter weekend falls at the end of the holidays, so we are left with the WHAT TO DO? for the rest of the time.
Here’s a list that I have come up with of possible things that we can do – both with Daddy on his own at home with children, and family events that we can do together.
- Craft and Paper Mache projects on rainy days. Craft boxes at K-Mart cost between $10 and $19 and have the ability to keep my crafty children occupied and busy for hours! Along with reams of paper, coloured pencils and modelling clay, this is great for a rainy afternoon. ABC for Kids has some fun craft ideas on their website. Or, if you want a few hours of ‘me time’ – check out the great school holiday workshops at The Arts Emporium. Soap modelling and cartooning are on the agenda these holidays!
- Walks along the foreshore - either in Newcastle, Warners Bay or The Entrance. If anyone has read Lachlan Gets Lost this is something – with my children at least - that requires a companion with great eyes! And the ability to run after a child very very fast! And while we are on the subject of moving and shaking – check out the Soccer Coaching clinics at www.inzanefootball.com, your future Socceroo can go along and be coached in the ways of a super soccer star by Newcastle’s OWN former Socceroo - Clayton Zane!
- Go to the movies! There are some great movies out this Easter! Hop (the rabbit who would be the Easter bunny who talks and poops candy), along with - I am told by my DS - the second instalment of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid – which he has already booked me for! Other great movies, include, Rango and Rio...so much to do so little time. On our sister website, Web Child, you can read reviews of some of the latest releases. And check 'F for Families', 'Babes in Arms' and 'Chicks at the Flicks' sessions at Greater Union. There are also some great DVDs out with the re-release of Disney's Bambii, Beverly Hills Chihuahua II and Megamind (a sure fire hit with my kids over Christmas, so something we can re-visit over Easter when we need an indoor day). I always load my kids up for movie day at home, with a big bowl of microwave popcorn and if they are lucky, I get out the slushie machine.
- Find a park, have a play and take a picnic! We live in a beautiful area, surrounded by beautiful parks, beaches and vineyards! Get out, take it in and breathe and appreciate this lovely part of the world – for those in the Newcastle area you know it’s not without reason that we were voted Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Cities in the world. Take the scooter, or a ball, have a play! This is a beautiful time of the year seasonally. Enjoy it while it lasts!
- Shopping Centre Fun. If you are brave, venture to your local shopping centre to see what’s happening for the kids! Often Stockland Centres have promotions running for the kids if they are part of the Jack and Jess Club – its free to join. Charlestown Square and Westfield also have great shows and entertainment for the kids.
- Visit Hunter Valley Gardens. They have a great dinosaur petting zoo there these holidays. There is also the usual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Saturday and Sunday where all kids participating get a bag of Cadbury Easter Goodies! My family have often picnicked at the resort, but have only recently ventured inside the gardens. At $60 for a family of 4, with the special events happening these Easter Holidays, the gardens represent a wonderful day out for your family. You can check it all out at www.hvg.com.au!
- Go to the Hunter Wetlands. Great family activities happening here, and if you are a working parent take a look at their packages to leave the kids there for the day. Ideal for the little explorers in your family. They also have a great interactive Play over the holiday break. Check out the Hansel and Gretel production, go for a walk in the ‘woods’. They also have great Easter Bunny Activities. While you are there – see if you can make the new baby crocs come out to see you!
- Take the kids to the Theatre. Great Productions in the region this Easter Break include: The Glugs Of Gosh at the Civic Playhouse , Little Women at the Wyong Memorial Hall , Kids Glee Club with Hunter Live Sites (also performing at the Hunter Valley Gardens), Grubble also at the Civic Playhouse and The Gruffalo and Gruffalos Child at the Laycock Street Theatre.
- Go camping! You may not be able to go away to camp, but what’s the harm in a little imagination? If you have a back yard and the kids have a pup tent - pitch it for them! Hours of fun indeed!
- Get Moving. Check out the wide variety of activities available for you and your kids. Yoga Bugs offers great Yoga Classes for the little ones (not just in the holidays but all the time) or go to a great local playcentre. There are so many to choose from, including, Fair Play Café at Gateshead and Tin Lids Play Centre at Morisset.
So that’s 10-plus ideas to keep all varieties and shapes and sizes of children busy for the Easter holidays – and they don’t have to bust the budget. Happy Easter all!