It’s safe to say living in Frankston/Mornington Peninsula we are blessed to be surrounded by surf, sand and city, not to mention a plethora of awesome family attractions!
When it comes to the school holidays, there’s just no excuses for boredom when we’ve got such a rich selection of things to do with the kids, right in our own backyard! We’ve put together a little list of our favourite spots to visit during the school holidays and the best thing is, lots of these activites are free!
You really can’t go wrong with a free trip to the beach or a local park on the school holidays, even on a chilly day! Our fave beaches include Seaford Beach, Frankston Foreshore, Schnapper Point, Sunnyside Mornington and Rye Foreshore. Mothers Beach in Mornington is also great for rock pooling and hiring kayaks and stand up paddle boards. The conditions are usually quite flat there and there is heaps of sea life to spot. Head to the Frankston Council website or Mornington Peninsula Shire website for other popular family beach locations.
Rye Foreshore Playground
There’s plenty to do when you visit Rye; a walk along the pier, searching for sting rays, a play on the gorgeous enclosed timber playground (yes, enclosed!) followed by an ice-cream from Vulcano Gelato or some hot chips from the number of fish and chip shops along Point Nepean Rd.
A fantastic park for kicking the footy, climbing trees or playing tiggy on the ship, we love grabbing hot coffee from The Boyz 4 Breakie and heading over for a play and a bask in the sun while we watch the kids play.
Frankston Foreshore Playground & Frankston Pier
Start with a walk on the boardwalk and pier and finish with a picnic and a play at the playground, this park is good fun for all ages and there’s enough open space too for a run around.
Ballam Park, Frankston
You could easily spend a whole day at the newly refurbished Ballam Park Playground. It has now has a section for the older kids, basketball courts, skate and scooter area plus the old large playground for the younger kids.
George Pentland Gardens, Frankston
George Pentland Gardens (Frankston Botanical Gardens) is so picturesque with a playground for younger kids and lots of open spaces along with a lake, perfect for a walk, pram friendly plus there’s always lots of Vic Rocks to find!
McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Langwarrin
This is one of our favourite places to visit, it’s positively magical! During the school holidays a variety of workshops are run for children and young people at the gallery and grounds, 390 McClelland Drive in Langwarrin. The program includes creative activities relevant to their temporary and permanent exhibitions, activities exploring the park as well as workshops with professional artists.
The best part about swimming at PARC in winter (besides actually being able to swim in winter!) is the pools are heated! Our kids love the aquatic playground, the tipping bucket and water slides and Splash Town the giant inflatable obstacle course which makes a special appearance in the school holidays.
Boneo Maze and Mini Golf, Fingal
At Boneo maze, visitors can play a round of miniature golf, explore the meandering waterways and canals on pedal boats, get lost in a hedge maze or picnic under tall trees of the games garden. In the games garden, with it’s giant chess and children’s hedge maze, you will also discover the magic of a fully operational vintage carousel (circa 1864).
Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing, Arthurs Seat
The Enchanted Adventure Garden located at Arthur’s Seat is a fab day out for the fam. Lose yourself in the beautiful colours of their seasonal gardens (take your camera!) A great place for a picnic, there’s various gardens and mazes to explore, bush scramble obstacle courses and an indoor 3D spooky maze. Kids can also participate in a tree surfing experience! They do book up fast though so get tickets early.
Wild Buggy, Heatherton
Wild Buggy is a fun driving track for kids and adults (with the ability to take kids as young as 5 years old as long as they are 100cm tall) that has been built specifically for Wild Buggy adventure cars. The MLTS boys loved Wild Buggy when they visited a few months back, you can choose from a 10, 15 or 20 minute drive when you pre book your session time, the boys did 15 minutes and Hubby said this was plenty of time to experience the track and get a full whack of adventure thrill! Lenny said “it was very cool. I liked it very much. There was lots of cool obstacles and it was very bumpy. I loved going sideways and through the water making a big splash! I give Wild Buggy 10/10.”
Searoad Ferries, Sorrento
The whole family can meet turtles, frogs and a crocodile and learn how to care for aquatic creatures in a fun, learning environment while sailing the bay on Searoad Ferries. Activities are on departures from Sorrento 1pm and 3pm and Queenscliff noon and 2pm only on Tuesday, June 28 and Tuesday, July 5. There’s also face painting and balloon art on other selected sailings. Activities are included with ferry ticket so why not take the kids for a fun day out!
The Messy Shed, Mornington
Fun and interactive, hands on, creative play for preschoolers or school children who love arts and crafts! They encourage the kids to create and experiment with the play spaces. There’s also an indoor play ground so a great place for the kids to run wild while there parents kick back and enjoy a coffee and some big fat wedges with sour cream!
Mornington Railway, Moorooduc
We absolutely love this gorgeous railway, it’s a place where you and the kids can forget about 2018 for a while and step back in time. You and the fam bam can join the heritage steam train trips, from Moorooduc to Mornington and experience a true historical relic. Also the annual Teddy’s Day Out is on on July 8!
The Big Goose , Moorooduc
One of the best farms in the land, The Big Goose just keeps getting better and better especially with their new indoor cafe! With so many animals, including Australian wildlife such as kangaroos and emu’s as well as farm animals to feed there’s also a number of animal shows, a barn to pat baby animals and smaller animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits and lambs, pony rides, a jumping pillow, mini golf and an awesome playground, this place really is a “must” to visit on the holidays.
Rain Hayne and Shine Farmyard, Balnarring
This gorgeous little farm is open daily from 10 to 4pm over the school holidays. It has a gorgeous range of animals to see and interact with, the kids can go on a tractor/hay ride and a pony ride, you can bring your own picnic, enjoy a free cuppa and use the BBQ areas.
Dinosaur World, Somerville
Dinosaur World is nestled behind the most beautiful sea of Christmas trees you have ever seen! Best suited for younger children, 2-10 years, Dinosaur World is home to interactive, moving, noise making dinosaurs that the kids will be amazed by! The complex is small but the dinosaurs are super impressive, there is also a fossil dig for the kids, colouring tables and a dinosaur themed playground for the kids to run off some steam! Open every day in the school holidays, 10am – 4pm.
Moonlit Sanctuary, Pearcedale
Interact with a dingo, hoot with an owl, pat a pythons and cuddle a koala at the Moonlit Sanctuary Junior Ranger School Holiday Program. Kids aged 7 to 14 can enjoy a range of environmental activities and animal encounters at the Pearcedale conservation park but you have to make a booking.
Sk8House , Carrum Downs
The Amayla Crescent roller skating and roller blading entertainment venue, owned by world renowned skater Jayson Sutcliffe, is such a cool place to spend a day on the school holidays. Check out their theme nights too where they have dress up nights, discos and mocktails!
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, Shoreham
This is Australia’s oldest and most famous traditional hedge maze, which was planted about 40 years ago among 25 acres of stunning gardens. It’s cypress hedges now stand three meters high! There’s a cafe, a gift shop, and the kids can search the maze high and low for the little resident gnomes as part of the Great Gnome Hunt. It is a very special place for the parents to marvel but one that the kids will always remember visiting too. It’s open 9am to 5pm daily and is located on Shoreham Rd in the Red Hill/Shoreham area of the Morn Pen. Don’t forget to pack your camera, a great backdrop for some updated family photos!
Gravity Zone, Seaford
Gravity Zone in Seaford is a great place to take the children these holidays for some active fun. Featuring more than 150 trampolines and a multi level laser tag arena the Oliphant Way centre is open every day throughout the break. The laser tag is definitely great for the older kids while the tramps are super fun for all ages (including fun-loving mums).
Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston
There’s always fabulous things going on at the Frankston Arts Centre and Cube 37, from children’s productions to craft activities and art exhibitions.
McCrae Eastern Lighthouse, McCrae
Located at 676 Point Nepean Rd, McCrae Eastern Lighthouse is one of the most impressive structures located on Port Phillip Bay and it’s a must-visit for the school holidays. The steel edifice was assembled in England in 1874, then shipped to McCrae and erected in 1883. Today, it remains the largest building on mainland Victoria at 33.5 metres. Although it helped guide sailors from Melbourne along Port Phillip Bay for decades, it is now a historic relic that has been placed on the Victorian Historic Buildings Register and the kids will love it!
Seawinds Gardens, Arthurs Seat
Seawinds Gardens is just a short two minute walk from the top of Arthur’s Seat, located directly opposite the Enchanted Maze. The gardens are made up of a mixture of bushland and manicured gardens with a combination of both indigenous and exotic plants. There’s beautiful views of Port Phillip Bay and lots of Kangaroos to spot in and amongst the bush areas. Perfect for a picnic or an afternoon stroll exploring.
Arthurs Seat Eagle, Arthurs Seat
Replacing the old Arthurs Seat chairlift, you can now board a state-of-the-art gondola at the Arthurs Seat Eagle and fly over the state forest to the highest point of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. You will be torn between looking at the breathtaking view across the bay to the city and spotting wildlife as you soar high above the trees. Either way you have a bird’s eye view!
Bowling – AMF Bowling, Frankston, Strike Bowling Bayside, Frankston or Rosebud Top Fun
You can’t really go wrong if you take the kids bowling for a day on the holidays! A perfect wet day activity, the following are three locations on the Mornington Peninsula to choose from. Strike Bowling in Frankston has Laser Tag and Rosebud Top Fun offers enjoyment for the entire family with 36 holes of Mini Golf; 18 holes outside, under shade sails and 18 holes undercover, along with their four full size lanes of Ten Pin Bowling.
Rebel Donuts, Mornington
The home of the only rainbow donut in the country (and quite possibly the world!), Rebel Donuts in Mornington is a great place to stop by to treat the kids the kids to something special on the school holidays. These school hols the fun Rebel team are also holding kids donut decorating sessions! But the classes sell out fast so book ASAP!
Red Gum BBQ, Red Hill
An easy 30 min drive from Frankston, maybe check them out for your next mother’s group catch up? It’s super warm in there with huge strip heaters and even blankets for your legs if you still feel the cold! A great children’s play area, super relaxed vibes and plenty of room for prams. Special Coffee and Cake $12 deal is available Wednesday to Friday.
The Hungry Peacock & The Busy Peacock , Tyabb
Such a cool little location in Tyabb – a cafe/restaurant where the kids can play inside and out while you relax and drink coffee without having to worry about them running amok! Then outside, next door, there’s the Busy Peacock where you can book your kids in for messy/sensory play! Saves them making a mess at home! Bingo! During the school holidays The Hungry Peacock and the Busy Peacock have a range of activities on offer as part of their school hols program such as magic shows, craft, painting, dancing and messy play.
Who doesn’t love a weekday cinema sesh on the school holidays? Arm yourself with a massive box of popcorn and a boysenberry choc top and settle in for some fun with the kiddies in heated comfort! There are various cinema locations to choose from on the Peninsula –