Make the most of the extended school holidays…

Activities to entertain the kids for the remainder of the school holidays.
18 Jan 2022
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

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!

Visit Thomas

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

built for speed 5

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 

Cuddle a farm animal at Haigslea Ewe Nique Hobby Farm. Photo: Jessica Palmer - Family Holiday Destinations

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

Dona Perera has opened Tranquil Tea House

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

Spy Espionage at The Workhops Rail Museum

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

Hidden Vale Adventure Park, Grandchester, Ipswich

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

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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

Seraphim Escape

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

Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour

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

Sip 'n Dip Ipswich

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

Summer Land Camels | Ipswich

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.

Take a dip in the Orion lagoon

Orion Lagoon

With the summer days set to sizzle, the Orion Lagoon is a great place to take a dip.  You can also visit nearby cafe Breakfast at Stephanies or pack a picnic to enjoy at Robelle Domain.

Head across the road to Orion Springfield Central to enjoy their mega playground!

Brighten up your Instagram feed with a visit to Nerima Gardens

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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

Naughty Little Kids_Image by Denise Cullen

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

Zero depth water park at Tulmur Place

In Ipswich when the weather warms up you can take the kids to explore a range of free water parks.

There’s a zero depth park at Tulmur Place, Robelle Domain, Bob Gamble Park and at Ripley Splash ‘n’ Play and there’s also varying depths at the Orion Lagoon.

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.

More information on the region’s water parks here.

Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy showing tourists around, blogging or hanging out with his cute and fluffy mates at the Nature Centre, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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