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23 December 2016

Staring down the barrel of a long, hot summer with school-aged kids at home? Never fear! Victoria's state-owned creative organisations have a ton of holiday activities on offer.

Polyglot Theatre and Suitcase Royale's Separation Street, photo by Greta Costello

Polyglot Theatre and Suitcase Royale's Separation Street, photo by Greta Costello

Do more than just keep your kids busy – keep them stimulated, expand their minds and give them a little creative inspiration for the school year ahead.

Arts Centre Melbourne

Arts Centre Melbourne is encouraging a new generation of music producers with their Instant Rockstar and Ultimate Rockstar sessions. Cheeky cherubs and funny monkeys can learn the art of a good joke in the Class Clowns Comedy Crash Course Workshop while budding illusionists can test their slight of hand at The Magic Workshop. On your way in, they can make a contribution to a city of Imaginary Architecture in the Smorgon Family Plaza.

Theatre and shows for kids include Room on the Broom, adapted from the award-winning picture book by Julie Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and the Silent Disco Walking Tour.  By the light of tiny torches, In the Deep Dark Forest will lead kids on an exciting adventure in the heart of the Arts Centre, while Air Play employs umbrellas, kites, balloons and snow to lift them off their seats. Finally, ABC3 is coming to town with the crazy experiments, amazing stunts and amazing facts of Operation Ouch! Live.

Visit Arts Centre Melbourne for full program details

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

A massive slate of holiday workshops are/is on offer at ACMI, including two special events for Minecraft enthusiasts: The Massive Minecraft Movie and The Minecraft Building Challenge. Kids who want a shot at making the hit game of the future can check out the Young Coders or Advanced Young Coders programs, or take a different look at computer science with Family Scratch Day. If your kid is destined for a life in front of the camera, the two-day Be A Game Critic workshop is on offer. They could also Star in A Zombie Scene or learn the tips and tricks of Youtube Starz.

Budding filmmakers can sign up to Make a Movie, Make an Animation or try Claymation for Kids, or they can step into the future and Build A Virtual Reality World. If they prefer to sit back and enjoy the ride, there is also a full summer of Kids Flicks to explore.

Visit ACMI for full program details

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

The NGV for Kids program is action packed over the summer, with two key exhibitions designed for small people. Atelier: Viktor&Rolf for Kids gives children insight into the creative phases of the fashion industry, beginning with making in the studio and finishing with the presentation of a collection in a runway show. John Olsen: The You Beaut Country takes kids on a journey through the colourful world of one of Australia's greatest living artists.

A host of creative workshops are also on offer at the NGV, where kids can try their hand at making magical masks, explore painting power, share magical stories  - all part of the NGV Kids Summer Festival. Kids can create, dance, do yoga and much more. And don't miss the midsummer Dachshund Parade.

Visit the NGV for full program details

Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC)

Looking for a holiday treat in the Greater Geelong region? GPAC has two holiday shows that are great for kids. Based on the hit BBC series, DEADLY 60 – Pole to Pole follows explorer Steve Backshall on an epic journey from the South Pole to the North Pole, and his gripping encounters with deadly creatures from all corners of the globe. Towards the end of January, Mister Maker and the Shapes includes a big 'make' to take part in, plus super songs and dances for pre-school kids, while the older kids can experience the magical musical, Wicked.

Visit GPAC for details

Melbourne Recital Centre

Melbourne Recital Centre will host the Music Play Children's Festival from 11-14 January, with a program designed to ignite a love of music. Polyglot's Bellbird will blur visibility and reality in an enchanting forest of sound while Justine Clarke encourages kids to dance and sing with the stage adaptation of her book, Look! Look! It's a Gobbledygook.  Older kids can join an improvised drumming ensemble with Ben Walsh's BYO Bucket or learn to write a song with Emma O'Brien.

For family shows the kids will enjoy, check  cabaret sensation Ali McGregor with CABHooray or the multifaceted theatre experience, The Race for the Chinese Zodiac.

Visit Melbourne Recital Centre for full program details

Museums Victoria

Over at Scienceworks, tech comes to life with the Robots Redefined Live Show and

Ready, Steady Rollbot, two live action shows where robots are the star. The LEGO Robotics Workshop will teach kids how robots move, sense their environment and 'think' while the Lego Robotics and Coding Workshop takes robot programming to the next level. There are also great exhibitions and planetarium shows on offer. Head to Scienceworks for details.

At Immigration Museum, kids can play What's in my Backpack? - a treasure-hunt activity that leads you through objects in the collection.

Over at Melbourne Museum, the Freshwater Drawing Classes will teach kids to draw river creatures using museum specimens as inspiration while Water Colour Wonderland asks children to help create a long cool freshwater painting along the upstairs walkway of the museum.

State Library Victoria

Bring the family to State Library Victoria this holidays for daily play and craft  in their book-themed Play Pod, along with weekly storytelling and creative activities for little ones. Older kids can explore the legend of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and get up close to his original armour and other Kelly artefacts.

Discover more at State Library Victoria