I’m sure kids across the country are in two minds about having extra school holidays, just like their parents, but if you’re ready to seize the opportunity with the extra time up your sleeve then here’s a few great things to do in your own backyard!
Everyone’s favourite big blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, will be appearing at The Workshops Rail Museum from December 27 until Sunday, January 23 as part of the Day Out With Thomas exhibition. Fans, both young and old, will be able to meet Thomas, as well as the Fat Controller and some of Thomas’ other closest friends.
There will be lots of hands-on activities in the Thomas Play Pit, a Thomas movie, and the opportunity to get loads of happy snaps with Thomas and his friends around the museum.
Race your friends at the Art Gallery
Design, build and race your Lego hot rod, dragster or supercar down rad ramps and slick tracks at the Ipswich Art Gallery with the new exhibition, Built for Speed.
Entry is $7 per person, or $25 for a family pass. Built for Speed is on until Sunday, January 30.
Feed and pet the animals
Get up close to the animals at the Haigslea Ewe Nique Hobby Farm, open every day during the school holidays except for Tuesdays.
Sessions start at 9am and 10.30am and you can feed the farm animals.
There is also a cafe onsite for cool drinks and snacks.
Leaf to cup tea tasting experience
Suited to teenagers and older children the tea tasting experience at Tranquil Tea House will introduce you to three different tea varieties and tea culture. Tea will be brewed and served with food that would complement a tasting experience. At the end of the two-hour experience, you will be gifted with a box of tea to take home and enjoy at your leisure. Held every Sunday this month from 3-7pm.
Learn more about spies
With the latest James Bond movie released, now is the perfect time to combine that with a visit to The Workshops Rail Museum. The museum is currently hosting the Spy: Espionage in Australia exhibition.
It reveals the personal experiences of secret agents and the curious history of espionage and counter-espionage in Australia, from Federation through to the present day. On now until Sunday, February 6, 2022.
See the animals at the Ipswich Nature Centre
Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy seeing the wide array of animals at the Ipswich Nature Centre, including dingoes, kangaroos, bilbies, spotted quolls, birds, an emu and even a shy little wombat.
It is free to enter so families can visit as many times as they like and the Nature Centre is open seven days a week during school holidays. Don’t forget the Queens Park Cafe is open a short stroll away.
Hit the bike trails over the holidays
If you like to stay active, grab your bike and explore more than 110km of world class trails at Hidden Vale Adventure Park.
Operating out of the luxurious Spicers Hidden Vale getaway, the various tracks are suitable for beginners right up to experienced riders.
Entry is $10, with the property open from 7am-3pm daily. Upon sign in, everyone will be issued a map to ensure they stay on the right track.
Family night at the movies
Load up the car and take everyone to the Tivoli Drive-In for a night of Hollywood blockbusters, popcorn and ice creams. Movie screenings this month include Encanto, The Martian, Real Steel, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Spiderman: Far from Home.
Or head over to Limelight Cinemas for airconditioned comfort for new releases including Spiderman, Venom and The Matrix! Book for an indulgent Lounge experience or take the family to one of their family friendly holiday sessions.
Test your skills at an Escape Room
Grab a group of friends and try your luck at Ipswich’s own escape room, Seraphim Escape Rooms. Teams can be made up of six people but you must work together to beat the clock to open the lock.
Meet Ipswich’s resident ghosts
Are you brave enough to walk through a cemetery at night? Join renowned historian and ghost hunter Jack Sim on one of his many haunted ghost tours across the city. Guests can choose to visit the Ipswich Cemetery, Goodna Cemetery or join a night time walking tour through the Ipswich CBD. To book, log onto Ghost Tours Australia
Unleash your creative side
Are you looking to try something new, or hone in your artistic skills? Join one of the many art workshops with Sip ‘N’ Dip Australia, where you can make your own paintings, jewellery and resin pieces to take home with you. Workshops are held at various venues across the region.
Take the family for a camel ride
Located just a short drive from Ipswich is Summer Land Camels in Harrisville, where you can tour the farm, ride and feed the camels, taste test camel milk products and browse their shop which is stocked with beauty products and more. The farm is open every day from 9am-3pm and it is free to attend.
For the extra two weeks of school holidays you can take the farm tour and book camel rides daily and they’ve also added in some special kids activities including lawn games and a free colouring in competition.
Brighten up your Instagram feed with a visit to Nerima Gardens
With lots of lovely blooms to photograph, Nerima Gardens is sure to brighten up your social media feed. With a Japanese design concept, this idyllic retreat is perfect to visit anytime of the day.
Cuddle a baby goat
There are lots of adorable baby goats just waiting to meet you at Naughty Little Kids in Peak Crossing. The farm welcomes visitors for tours every Sunday afternoon. Gates open at 12.40pm and farm tours run at 1:05pm, 2:15pm, and 3:25pm. They go for around an hour and are a fantastic family event for all ages. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
Visit free water parks
In Ipswich when the weather warms up you can take the kids to explore a range of free water parks.
The kids will love splashing around and with nearby BBQ facilities, park benches and amenities you can make a day of it. Please note that there aren’t any BBQ facilities at Tulmur Place, but it is within walking distance of CBD restaurants.