summer holidays whats on melbourne 2017

Summer holidays what’s on Melbourne 2017

Spending part or all of your time in Melbourne over the school holidays?   Here is the list of things you need to check out!

Events and shows happening in the city

Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza arrives in Melbourne on 20 Jan until 12 March 2017 at Flemington Racecourse {review coming}.

Circus 1903 takes us back to the golden age of circus at the Regent Theatre from 3 – 12 January 2017.  Don’t miss this spectacular show – read our review!

It’s on again, NGV International is holding its Summer Children’s Festival from 16-26 January 2017.  It’s FREE and every day there are loads of fun events and activities in the Great Hall from 10am-3pm daily. Check the full program here.  While you’re at the NGV be sure to visit Viktor & Rolf’s Atelier and other FREE activities.

The Arts Centre has a number of productions and events on this summer including Jimmy Giggle’s Magical Christmas (20 & 21 Dec), Room on the Broom (4-15 Jan, ages 3+), In A Deep Dark Forest (11-15 Jan, ages 6+),  Macdeth (19-21 Jan, ages 8+), Air Play (18-22 Jan), Imaginary Architecture (4-15 Jan, BYO cereal box, FREE), Les Moutons (19-22 Jan FREE), Deadly 60 Pole to Pole tour (24 Jan, ages 5+) and Mister Maker & The Shapes (29 Jan).

ArtPlay always have loads of family friendly events on over summer for children aged 5+

ACMI has plenty happening this summer – a collection of kids flicks, workshops and FREE activities running all January (and late December).

Slide The Square is a giant water slide set up on Fed Square‘s forecourt and it’s loads of fun, read our 2016 review here.  50-minute sessions are on the hour every hour, from 10am -8pm daily, 4 – 15 January 2017.

Splashland is a popup waterpark making temporary homes at Mornington Racecourse (from 27 Dec 2016 – 8 Jan 2017) and then (from 11-24 Jan 2017) at Caulfield Racecourse.  Ultimately for the 5 to tween this event also caters for tots and adults, 5-12 years $31.50, under 5 $5, adult supervisor $5, ages 13+ $15 (limited access).  Read our review of Mornington.

MusicPlay Melbourne Recital Centre Melbourne School Holidays

The Recital Centre has the amazing music festival for children called MusicPlay – a highlight of our calendar!  Check our review from previous years.  Suitable for toddlers and above, mix of free and ticketed events.  11-14 January 2017.

The Australian Open kicks off on January 16, but before the Open is the Kids Tennis Day with loads of VIP tennis stars and plenty of fun on and off court action.  Tickets are $16 (for either a single ticket or a family ticket – kids go FREE) and include allocated seats within Rod Laver Arena.  Happening on Saturday 14 January 2017 from 8am – 1pm, a great morning out with the kids.

We love going to the Australian Open (and kids Ground Passes are now only $5!!) and you can read about our experience in 2013 here and in 2017 the Open introduces a new kid zone called the Ballpark.Kids World Australian Open Festival

Brickvention is the biggest LEGO event of the year and a must-see for LEGO fans of any age.  14-15 January 2017 at the Royal Exhibition Building.  Tickets sell out FAST.  Read our review from 2013.

The Wind in the Willows - ASC - IMAGE 5 MED

Wind in The Willows is on in the Botanical Gardens preview on the 23 Dec 2016 – 28 Jan 2017.  Tickets start at $25 or a group of four $90.  Check our review and tips.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies is on in the Botanical Gardens from 28 Dec 2016 – 28 Jan 2017, various times.  Tickets are $25 or a group of four $90 and you can check our 2016 review here.

Melbourne Museum is about fresh cool water this summer – with activities perfect for school age children.  Add a visit to IMAX to check out one of the fabulous 45-minute documentaries.  Oh and don’t miss the new Children’s Gallery – perfect for the preschool crowd!

Trust Kids at Polly Woodside is exploring the idea of where do you belong in history and life on the high seas, from 16-19 Jan (1-3pm)

QV Cinema is running again until 26 Feb 2017.  Loads of great family films and event sessions for your pooch!  Movies start at 8.30pm.


Gas Works (recommended by friends) has shows and workshops, suiting ages 4 – 14.


Rhythm of Africa is on again at Werribee Open Range Zoo on Saturdays during January and February.  Festivities run from 4.30 – 8.30pm and are included with your entry.  Check out our review.

Scienceworks is celebrating Robots these holidays with workshops on robotics.

Other ideas and out of town

  • Junior Rangers (Parks Victoria) run a series of activities and workshops happening these holidays. For events that need registrations get in quick as they book out fast.  Read our review from previous holidays.
  • So Frenchy So Chic is part music festival part gastronomic adventure celebrating all things French.  It’s a family friendly event, so littlest festival fans are welcome for face painting, puppet shows, pétanque, croquet and other surprises. Kids under 12 are free of charge.  Sunday 15 January 2017, kids are FREE.  Read our 2016 review.
  • Kryal Castle – summer can be a fun time to visit the Castle and these holidays there is option to take up a Royal Package as well as some evening feasts.  You can read our review from last year .

For more ideas and inspiration, make sure you are a Meetoo subscriber – we send out emails when we have a new review to share.  Also, check out our side menu, there are lots of other reviews to explore: events, parks, free things and much more.

If you think we have overlooked anything for the Melbourne School Holidays – feel free to share in the comments section below or send an email to info{at}