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Canberra Today 8°/13° | Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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There’s lots of school-holiday fun to be had

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

Whether it’s seeing a live show, learning about Australian history or trying a new sport, there are plenty of activities to keep the kids engaged and entertained these school holidays.

Wildlife encounters for the school holidays

Zoocation is a fun-filled school holiday care program for children in primary school who have completed at least one term of kindergarten, says Jessica Cartwright, education manager at the National Zoo and Aquarium.

“Zoocation is a whole day at the zoo with two guides to answer all your animal questions, special keeper talks, games, craft activities and a chance to relax and watch some animal information videos in our new Reptile Discovery Learning Centre,” says Jessica. 

“The day also begins and ends with a visit to our Adventureland Playground to play with new friends and old.”

The program will run April 15-19 and again April 22-24 inclusive, says Jessica. 

There will also be two Keeper For a Day sessions running on April 26.

“These three-hour sessions get into the true nitty-gritty side of zoo keeping, with participants seeing behind the scenes, meeting a friendly reptile and even helping clean out an animal enclosure or two,” she says.

“While the Keeper for a Day and Zoocation Programs are just for kids, get the whole family in on the action with our Enrichment and Training Tours.

“Learn how we take care of the mental and physical health of our animals in a fun-filled, two-hour behind-the-scenes tour – it’s essentially Keeper For a Day for the family without the cleaning. We figure mum and dad get enough of that at home!”

National Zoo and Aquarium, 999 Lady Denman Drive, Yarralumla. Call 6287 8400, email frontdesk@nationalzoo.com.au or visit nationalzoo.com.au

A place come for flip-out fun

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 offer a “2+2” package.

“When you purchase a two-hour jump session, you can buy a slushy for only $2,” says Christina. 

“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.”

Flip Out Majura has more than just trampolines, says Christina, with Olympic-grade trampolines, climbing walls and a ninja warrior course. 

“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,” she says.

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

Holiday program based on fun activities

Northside Community Service engagement officer Maddison Cater says the autumn school holidays coincide with ACT Youth Week and its program calendar is filled with a range of experiences across Canberra, including the National Zoo and Aquarium, movies, bowling, trampoline parks, mini golf and ice skating.

“The school holiday program will run from April 15 to April 26,” she says.

“Our school holiday program caters to those aged 12-25 years old.

“Families and young people can expect to be met with fun and engaging activities that cater to a range of interests.

“Our activities and events are a combination of qualification-building, skill-building and good old-fashioned fun!”

Northside Community Service is a profit-for-purpose community organisation supporting children, young people, families, older people and communities in Canberra and beyond since 1976, says Maddison.

“Northside supports people of all ages to live the lives they choose as members of socially just and connected communities,” she says.

All information can be found on the Northside Community Service website, Maddison says, but registration is required for most events and activities. Secure a spot at 6171 8000 or email engagement@northside.asn.au

Northside Community Service, 2 Rosevear Place, Dickson. Call 6171 8000 or visit northside.asn.au

Gymnastics, great for building skills

Gymnastics is a great holiday activity, says Zoe West, coach of the not-for-profit Canberra City Gymnastics Club.

“Not only are they getting some energy out, there are kids of all ages coming. Lots of kids make friends, they make memories and learn about gymnastics,” she says.

“Gymnastics is also great for practising co-ordination and other skills.”

Zoe says the club has been open since 1978 with the mission to spread gymnastics for everyone of all ages and types.

The club is running a dedicated holiday gymnastics program, April 15-19 and April 22-26 (excluding April 25 for the public holiday) with games, craft and free time.

“Drop-off is at 8.30am, they will do a couple of gymnastics circuits throughout the day with accredited gymnastics coaches,” says Zoe.

Morning and afternoon tea is provided. 

Prices for the school holiday program are $90 for one day, $176 for two days, $255 for three days, $332 for four days and $80 per day for bookings of more than five days. Pick-up is at 5.30pm, says Zoe.

Canberra City Gymnastics Club, 85 Chandler Street, Belconnen and 196 Mouat Street, Lyneham, 2602. Call 6251 1131 or visit canberracitygymnastics.com.au

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.”

In January, Andrew says the jail received its highest number of visitors ever, with 1000 people coming to visit. 

The museum has been expanded to include all aspects of Australia’s criminal justice history, he says.

“People should come and visit us as a big-city museum in a rural setting, we’re only slightly off the main road,” says Andrew

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

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.

“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. Call 6452 5974, or visit correctiveservices.dcj.nsw.gov.au

A day of inflatable fun for everyone

Tuff Nutterz was started in 2019, with the idea of creating an environment where families can have fun and come together, says general manager Juan Gomez.

“It’s a day filled with excitement for children, their parents and even grandparents,” he says.

“We are bringing the fun once more to Canberra during the school holidays. You can join us every day from 9am to 4.45pm from April 13 to April 28, at the corner of Parkes Place Lawns East and King Edward Terrace.

“The event features Australia’s biggest inflatable obstacle course – 300 metres long – and two other inflatable games, which are sure to provide an exhilarating experience for all ages.”

Juan says Tuff Nutterz is one of Canberra’s top-voted school holiday activities, and visits the ACT twice a year during April and September.

“We are very happy and lucky to be able to provide such an enjoyable family event,” he says.

“Tickets start at $25, with session times at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm, and group discounts are available.

“We will have coffee, ice cream and yummy food available at our events, and you may bring your own food and drinks, too. Socks with grip soles are highly recommended.

“What I love about Tuff Nutterz is it’s a whole day out for the families, and away from screens, so everyone is able to share their experience together.”

Tuff Nutterz, King Edward Terrace and Parkes Place Lawns. Visit tuffnutterz.com

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