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Inspiration to make the most of school-holiday fun

CityNews rounds up some of the Canberra region’s best activities that the whole family can enjoy over the upcoming school break.

Whether the family is staying in Canberra or travelling to the surrounding regions, there’s plenty of fun to be had during these school holidays.

Live shows, visits to museums or trying a new sport, there is everything and more to keep the children engaged and entertained. 

In this feature, CityNews rounds up some of the Canberra region’s best activities that the whole family can enjoy over the school break.

Spend the holidays learning to row

Australia’s newest, and most inclusive rowing facility; Red Shed, is poised to launch its first rowing program in Canberra on July 8, says Red Shed president, John Gasson. 

The “Oar Explore” program is one in which Red Shed aims to put 1000 schoolkids from all backgrounds through rowing programs a year,
he says.

John says Red Shed aims to provide access to rowing for all, promote wellness, and inspire a commitment to community. 

Red Shed will provide accessible rowing programs for people of all ages, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds in a bid to fulfil their “Rowing For All” mission, John says.

To celebrate the opening of the Red Shed, John says they’re offering 32 Canberra highschool kids the opportunity to take part in a school holiday rowing program for free.

“At Red Shed, we want to empower everyone to explore the sport of rowing and to discover their own potential,” says John.

“Rowing develops skills and resilience, and has brought a huge amount of joy and value to my life and community. 

“Canberra is a diverse and supportive community, and we want to grow that. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a complete beginner, we hope you join us at Red Shed.”

Red Shed, Black Mountain Peninsula, Acton, access via John Cardiff Close. Visit redshed.org.au

Warm up and flip-out this winter

Flip Out Majura Adventure Park is more than just a trampoline arena, says manager Christina Vasiliou.

“We are a local, family-owned business with 30-plus years of experience in family entertainment,” she says. 

“We are all about community and have a great understanding of our local patrons.”

These school holidays Flip Out Majura will be offering two winter promotions.

Christina says when purchasing a one hour session for $22, a pair of Flip-Out winter socks are included, or, $32 for a two-hour session with socks. 

They are also offering a one-hour session with a beanie for $24, or $34 for two hours and beanie, she says, but excludes mandatory Flip-Out socks.

Socks can be bought separately for $5 a pair, and beanies for $10, Christina says.

“We are a place where people come for fun, to move their bodies, to learn new skills and challenge themselves in a safe, supportive environment,” Christina says.

“It is a great and fun place to bring the kids to burn off energy and meet up with their friends or family in an exciting environment.”

Christina says Flip Out Majura can keep even the most energetic of kids entertained, and with a cafe located on-site, parents and caregivers can easily take a break.

Flip Out Majura Adventure Park, 13 Mustang Avenue, Majura. Call 5133 7777 or visit flipout.com.au/majura

Morning holiday care with spirit

The St Andrews Holiday Club has been running during the July holidays for more than 35 years, says holiday club leader Helen Rowe, and is back for the upcoming school holidays. 

“For one week we run it, each morning, Monday to Friday,” she says.

“We provide a range of activities, craft, games, there’s a bible story, a play that runs through the week, like a little segment each day, singing, morning tea. That’s the basic structure of the day.”

The Holiday Club is run completely by volunteers, who are also members of the church.

“We just want to provide an opportunity for the young people to have some fun, join together, and we tell them a little bit about Jesus as well,” says Helen.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with the children, it’s lovely to see them get involved and have some enjoyment in doing something that’s, for many of them, quite different to their day-to-day.

“And I like the opportunity to spend some time getting to know the kids as the week progresses.”

Bookings are essential due to limited spaces and costs just $7 a day.

Presbyterian Church of Saint Andrew Canberra. Call 6295 3457 or visit standrewscanberra.com

 

Learn backstage and onstage theatre skills

Prevoius performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Child Players ACT is a children’s community theatre company established in 2005, says production manager Ange Fewtrell. 

“We are dedicated to providing a positive, supportive and inclusive learning environment where young people feel safe and confident to express themselves and have fun participating in theatre,” she says.

If parents are looking to keep the creative juices flowing after the school holidays, enrolments for the Term 3 Complete Theatre Training Program, are now open, Ange says. It is the first time since 2019 the program has been run, due to covid.

“This program will conclude with a production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, adapted from the book of the same name by CS Lewis,” says Ange.

“This program is uniquely designed for students aged 10 to 18 who want to experience every aspect of theatre, both onstage and backstage.”

Ange says that during the program students will learn and develop their stagecraft skills, such as audition skills, script analysis and character development, plus, their acting skills such as physical and vocal characterisation, projection, and improvisation. 

“Students will also learn about different backstage roles, such as make-up, costume, props, lighting/sound, set moving and stage management,” she says.

Child Players ACT, go to childplayersact.net for all enrolment and timetable information.

Cooma Correctional Museum.

History of Australia through correctional eyes

Opened in 2005, the Cooma Correctional Museum offers the history of Australia through correctional eyes, says statewide museum manager Andrew Weglarz.

“We show the history of corrections in Australia starting from the First Fleet, up until today,” he says.

“On November 1 2023, we celebrated our 150th anniversary, we’re the oldest working jail in Australia.”

Andrew says people should think of them as a big-city museum in a rural setting.

“We have a working gallows, people can use a real trap-door, but we also have fire trucks and tractors from history,” he says.

Andrew says they have serving minimum-security prisoners working as guides.

“We have done risk assessments with them,
and they are coming to the end of serving their time,” he says.

“In 1957, a minister put all offenders who identified as homosexual into Cooma Jail, until reforms in 1984, so we have that history, too.

“We also have a show of Aboriginal history.

“We’ve received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and some absolutely fantastic reviews.”

Andrew says he has been doing this work for eight years, having previously worked as a senior prison officer in the UK and in Canberra.

“My passion is the privilege I have been given to tell Australia’s history,” he says.

“I also set up displays in the reception area of some other correctional facilities, too.”

Cooma Correctional Museum, 2 Vagg Street, Cooma. Open seven days, 8.30am-3.15pm. Call 6452 5974 or visit correctiveservices.dcj.nsw.gov.au

Discover the world through art

Young artists have the extraordinary opportunity to step back in time and immerse themselves in the splendour of ancient Egypt these winter school holidays, says Elita Mackay, owner of Lavender Art Studios.

From July 8 to July 12, children will explore a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking and illuminated art, all inspired by the grandeur of ancient Egyptian art and daily life, she says.

“Each session is designed to ignite creativity while providing top-notch instruction and all necessary materials,” says Elita. 

“This week promises to be a magical blend of education and artistic expression, making history come alive through the power of creativity.”

To ensure a comfortable experience, morning and afternoon teas are included, she says.

Then, from July 15 to July 19, Elita says Lavender Art Studios is inviting young creators on an artistic safari. 

“We will transition from the ancient sands of Egypt to the untamed jungles and rugged wilderness, drawing inspiration from the majestic creatures that inhabit these wild landscapes,” says Elita.

“Participants will channel the spirit and energy of diverse animals into their artwork, capturing the raw beauty and untamed essence of nature.

Lavender Art Studios, First Floor, 42 Townsend Street, Phillip. Call 0412 649770, or visit lavenderartstudios.com.au

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