School Holidays on a Budget - for under $5 a day

KIDsize Living blogger Jane @ 4 Pairs of Itchy Feet

Christmas School Holidays can be very hard for any family living on the Central Coast.  Firstly, we are all prepared for the most expensive day of the year and are worn out by all the Christmas functions and parties we end up attending.  It seems that we only look as far as Christmas/Boxing Day and if we are in the right frame of mind to New Years. 

Then January ticks over and the kids start to get bored and I mean really bored. The Christmas presents are considered old and boring.  You start to wonder what is there to do which is family friendly and affordable.  After all, I’ve just spent all my extra savings on Christmas and perhaps the sales stocking up for the year ahead.  Oh dear, what am I going to do with my kids for the next couple of weeks?  Arrg!    

We are abundant with natural attractions such as our beaches and lakes however, we are also a major tourist destination especially during the school holiday period.  Parking becomes something of a pain. 

Kids in the back seat of the car jumping up and down getting overworked as they just want to get out and play in the water yet there is no parking anywhere.  Giving up, you return home deflated with the kids very upset.  How often does this happen? 

The local Community Businesses, Shopping Centres and the RSL Clubs have cottoned onto this niche market, creating ways to encourage Central Coast families into their establishment. It helps us parents keep the kids occupied during the summer holidays in air-conditioned comfort. 

The Shopping Centres have always offered the entertainment shows and what they now call the ‘interactive zone’ but they have gone that bit further.  Here are some things we have done around the Coast;

Free Activities

There are loads of free activities from pavlova decorating and craft, cookie decorating at Muffin Break, animal talks from Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park.  Aboriginal canvas and rock stone paintings, stencil craft works, lantern making just in time for Australia Day to mention a few.

There was also the free outdoor movie event:  Cinema under the Stars including free popcorn, water, aeroguard and sun cream thanks to Newcastle Permanent and Central Coast Stadium.  They had plenty of activities for the kids to partake in including Bongo drum lessons, Circus workshops, Mariners soccer rink etc (yes, they were all free too). 

Activities for $5.00 per child and under

Now this I can work into the weekly budget. 

  • Circuit and Zumba Classes at Fitness First, Erina.  Our kids had a blast and also burnt off the excess energy.  At just $3.00 per class or both for just $5.00 per person.  Very affordable and a great deal of fun.

  • Kids Bingo at the RSL.  Just $5 for a 10 game booklet.  I was surprised at how long it went for and the great prizes up for grabs.  My son also won the lucky door prize which was a Crayola gift pack and drink bottle.  Woohoo!  With a 15 minute interval for drinks and loo break between the 5th and 6th game, it ended up being a 2 hour activity. 

  • I cannot forget to mention the Indoor swimming pools on those very hot days.  Entry is normally $5.00 or under.  It’s definitely a great way to spend a couple of hours cooling off without getting sunburnt. 

Next time the school holidays roll around, be sure to keep an eye out for all the fun activities you and the kids can have for as little as $5 a day.


school holidays on a budget

Meet Jane from 4 Pairs of Itchy Feet.