Cover image via Instagram – @big4bellarine

Winter and school holidays.  What a combination!  (Anyone note the sarcasm)?  Chase yours and the kids winter blues and boredom away with these easily accessible, lots-of-fun winter activities.

All great adventures begin with a great journey and what better way to ride into your destination than aboard the mighty stead that is Port Phillip Ferries.  Comfortable, warm and highly engaging for adults and children, the ferry docks into two contrasting destinations; The Urban Jungle (aka The Docklands) and the Cruisey Coast (aka Portarlington).  Both of which offer up activities and experiences that will please and charm your young changes these wintery school holidays.

 

DOCKLANDS

ACMI – Wonderland

“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures….” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

And Wonderland at ACMI is certainly that, an adventure!  Take a journey down the rabbit hole and into the enchanted world of Alice.  This exhibition celebrates the screen history of Lewis Carroll’s magical series “Alice in Wonderland” with displays from a wealth of genres including silent film, animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, video games CGI, 3D and beyond.  The evolution of Alice is absolutely fascinating.

With a map in hand of Wonderland, navigate your way through the Hallway of Doors, the Queen’s infamous Croquet Ground and the Mad Hatter’s crazy tea party.  There are over 300 unique objects sourced from around the world for you to see and explore.

Photo via Instagram – @acmionline

 

Ice skating at O’Brien Group Arena

Embrace all things winter and totally immerse yourself into the crisp, white world of ice skating at O’Brien’s Group Arena.  Located in Docklands, O’Brien’s has created an ice-cold and oh-so-fun environment where children and adults can ice skate to their heart’s content.

With skates and the all-important protective gear for hire, all your need to bring is some warm, winter clothes (and gloves), your skating legs and a can-do attitude.  You will be up and skating in no time, especially as O’Brien’s also have the very handy and helpful skate aids and plastic seals.  There are no age restrictions as to who can skate, only the very cool rule of “if they can fit, they can skate” (in reference to toddler size 7 shoes being their smallest skate size).

So go on, get your skates on…..

Photo via Instagram – @obg_arena

 

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. 

Avengers assemble!  That’s right, your favourite super heroes are assembling right here in Melbourne at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N, a covert training facility that integrates science and interactive technology.

The S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (an acronym for Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) allows you to explore the vast range of the Avenger’s mind-boggling operation equipment including Captain America’s uniform & shield, Iron Man’s exoskeleton and Thor’s mighty hammer.  You can also experience what it is like to be a powerful superhero by stepping into the Bi Frost simulation, performing Captain America’s strength test and powering up Iron Man’s blasters.

Then after a hard day of fighting crime, refuel yourself at the Midtown Diner; a New York inspired diner.  Burgers and sundaes taste so much better when you know the bad guys are locked up!

Photo via Instagram – @marvelaunz

 

District Docklands Ice Slide

Winter is coming and to ring in the chilly season The District Docklands is transforming into a spectacular Winter Utopia, complete with a program packed full of exciting activities guaranteed to entertain kids – big and small! Jump on the District Ice Slide and hurtle on a tube down the whopping 15m-long slide, sure to be a thrilling experience.

So, grab your beanies, scarves and gloves and make your way down to The District Docklands these school holiday! And stay tuned for more snowy fun coming!

Plus, to launch the District Ice Slide, The District Docklands will host A Sale for Everyone on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July with exclusive retailer offers, giveaways, free family entertainment and so much more!

PORTARLINGTON

Meet and Greet The Animals at Basils Farm

Basil’s farm, where the wine grows and the animals roam.  How handy is that!  An activity for the adults and an activity for the kiddies!

During the winter school holidays, Basils Farm invite you to join them for their “Children’s Animal Feeding and Lunch”.  First up the kids will meet, greet, pat and feed the very cute and very friendly animals of Basils Farm – Houdini and Basil (the resident llamas); Sam, Shawn, Timmy and Baba (the very sweet “baby doll” sheep, a small breed of sheep),  Daffy, Daisy, Doris, Dora and Dee Dee (the delightful ducks), Lucy (the hard-working Border Collie) and finally the too-many-to-name cheeky chickens.

After working up a hard-earned appetite, kids are then treated to a platter box or a ham & cheese croissant for lunch.  And you adults will be in foodie haven with the delicious offerings of the Basils Farm lunch menu, not to forget that all important accompaniment of a glass of wine!

Photo via Instagram – @basilsfarm

 

Make it a mini-getaway

Why not make your adventure into  a night or two away?  Just escape from it all.  Leave the car at home, hop aboard the ferry, and transport yourself to a get-away-from-it-all mini break with the kids.

No car!!!  I can sense your trepidation.  Fear less.  The Bellarine offer outstanding family-style accommodation where everything you need to keep yourself (and more importantly the kids) occupied is in the one place.  There is really no need to leave! Between Big 4 Beacon Resort and Big 4 Bellarine there are jumping pillows, indoor swimming pools, café, BMX track, flying fox, outdoor playground, indoor play room, basketball court, bike hire, go-karts, bocce, tennis court AND activity centres.  That extensive list of things to do will most certainly burn off that holiday energy and then allow you time to sweat it out in the gyms or, wait for it, pamper yourself at the Beacon Resort’s Mud Day Spa!!!

So seriously, why not make a few days out of it…….

Photo via Instagram – @big4bellarine

 

Portarlington Bayside Miniature Railway

A train enthusiast; we all know one right?  I actually know two, my boys.  They love all things trains especially Thomas, James, Percy, Henry and Gordon!  Given the opportunity to climb aboard a train made specifically for them, well they may very well burst with excitement!

Located on eight hectares of open picturesque native parklands overlooking Port Phillip Bay is The Portarlington Bayside Miniature Railway, home to Australia’s only beachside miniature railway. Your train enthusiasts (and even the-not-no enthusiastic) will absolutely love the vintage railway station and mini train.

There is plenty to while away the hours with a ride on board the railway (of course), an on-site kiosk, undercover barbeques, picnic tables AND children’s adventure playground.

Haul freight to The Portarlington Bayside Miniature Railway.

 

Winter school holidays, three words you should no longer be afraid to hear together. The weather may be chilly but Melbourne and Portarlington are packing the holidays with super fun activities and Port Phillip Ferries on are hand to transport you to where the fun is at.

Blog written by Nat (Mumma to four youngsters who is ALWAYS on the lookout for school holiday adventures).