School Holidays

Add a Splash of Colour to Your Spring School Holidays

These school holidays present a golden opportunity to bring some fun back to family activities. Make sure a visit to Newcastle Museum is at the top of your list, with an injection of colour direct from Questacon. This special exhibition - aptly named Colour - explores the science of colour and perception. Book your tickets to discover what influences the visible and invisible spectrum and how optical illusions work.

You will be tickled pink to get out to the Civic Theatre’s cinema season with movies the little ones will love up on stage. Green thumbs will find ample opportunities to grow their imaginations… as well as their gardens!

As the weather warms up, the children will be inclined to run wild and free. And with so much to do around the city, who could blame them? There has never been a better time to holiday at home and with spring in the air we’re encouraging locals to discover something new about Newy by dropping into the Visitor Information Centre, visiting a local park or taking in the views at historic Fort Scratchley.

There will also be ways to get colourful and creative from home, such as drawing your pet under the virtual guidance of KILGOUR PRIZE 2020 winner Michael Bell.

Read on for more ways to add some colour to your Spring School Holidays.

See the world in a new light at Newcastle Museum

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From 25 September, Colour is coming to the Newcastle Museum. Direct from Questacon, this special exhibition explores the science of colour and perception. Discover what influences the visible and invisible spectrum and how optical illusions work. Do you see what I see? COVIDSafe interactives for the whole family to enjoy. Book tickets today from $5 for children to $25 for a family of 4.

Portraits of Newcastle during COVID-19 will also be on display in the free exhibition isolation. Local photographer, Luke Kellett, has captured how our City felt and responded during the recent COVID-19 lockdown, and gives an insight into the variety of togetherness during isolation.

Calling all budding scientists! Enter for the chance for your chance to win seats at Museum Express Science Shows! These school holidays, Catherine will be live-streaming her show online and we are looking for some of our visitors to be part of the live audience. With only space for 20 places per show the live audience will have exclusive access to a never before seen Science Show ‘EYE EYE!’ To enter, fill in your details here and pitch us your coolest topic or idea for a future Science Show! We’ll choose 20 people per show to come along and EYE EYE live!  Entries close 5pm 23 September 2020.

The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday each week and open on Mondays during NSW public and school holidays. Online bookings essential at newcastlemuseum.com.au

Grow your imagination with Newcastle Libraries

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Join us to celebrate the launch of local illustrator Liz Anelli’s latest book, The Biscuit Maker. Written by Sue Lawson, this charming story demonstrates how simple acts of friendship can bring a community together.

Four decades of writing by Paul Jennings will be showcased in the UNREAL! Exhibition. View original works and illustrations, sculptures of much-loved Jennings characters and scenes, such as the lighthouse from Round the Twist, The Thhefyspray, a multicoloured sea creature, and Rascal the dragon. Play in Rascal’s home or sit on the Dunny!

Did you know that Newcastle Libraries have recently opened a new Digital Library? Featuring a 'grab and go' collection of popular adult and kids titles, interactive digital storywall, magical story box, a programmable robot, 3D printer and so much more.

Don’t forget your library is always open and available via your fingertips on the Newcastle Libraries app. Visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Library to find out more.  

Get creative with Newcastle Art Gallery

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In Week 1 of school holidays, sign up online to get crafty from home with local exhibiting artist Bree Rooney. With workshops delivered over Zoom on Monday 28, Tuesday 29 & Wednesday 30 September, you’ll learn how to create your own texta prints using a printing plate made from cardboard.

In Week 2 of school holidays, you’ll have the opportunity to virtually meet local artist and KILGOUR PRIZE 2020 winner Michael Bell (and his pet dog Larry!) to create your own pet portrait. Be sure to check that your furry friends are available for one of the sessions on Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 & Thursday 8 October.

Both of these workshops will be delivered for free online via Zoom, but you will need to register here.

Newcastle Art Gallery is also open with two daily sessions Tuesdays to Sundays. To avoid disappointment, book your free Gallery session via the Art Gallery website.

See cinema at the Civic Theatre

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The iconic ‘picture palace’ returns with Civic Cinema, with the good old days of seeing a movie at the Civic Theatre once again possible with the installation of a new digital projection widescreen.

Settle into the regal seats for these special school holiday screenings:

Visit civictheatrenewcastle.com.au for ticket details.

Play at Blackbutt Reserve

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Let the kids run wild in one of the two playgrounds at Blackbutt Reserve. Inspired by the natural bushland, the adventure playground at Richley Reserve features rope courses, bridges, swings and slides, an adventure tower, and plenty of space for everyone from toddlers to tweens, and all abilities.

The playground at the Carnley Avenue entrance is ideal for children aged 6 - 10 years, with interactive musical instruments and activities.

Visit the Blackbutt Reserve website to find out more.

Find some Natural Connection

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For the green thumbs, you can earn reward points to spend at participating local businesses when you plant a native plant in your own backyard. Simply research a native plant that would best suit your backyard, visit a local nursery to purchase the suitable candidate, and take a photo of yourself planting it. Upload the photo to the challenge via the Lean in Newy app.

Do you have a favourite tree in Newcastle that you really appreciate? Has it shaded you on a hot sunny day? Has it made you smile as you walk past? Let your tree know how much it means to you by sending it an email! Find your tree on our Newcastle tree map, click on the dot where your tree is and select 'email tree'. You can search the map by entering a suburb, street address, park name, or tree asset ID. Click on the coloured dots to learn the species, age and asset ID of each tree.

For more information or other school holiday ideas visit our Natural Connection page.

Be a tourist in your own city: Visit the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre

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There has never been a better time to holiday at home and with spring in the air we’re encouraging locals to discover something new about Newy by dropping into the Visitor Information Centre.

Now open in its unique new home at the former Civic Station, the Visitor Information Centre is the place to source information about the latest offerings and sights to see around town. The team is passionate about sharing local stories and showcasing the local product now on display.

Snap a stay-cation pic of the discoveries you made on your local adventure and don’t forget to tag us @citynewcastle.au

Experience Fort Scratchley

Boasting one of the best panoramic views of Newcastle and with space to roam, this historic landmark is a must do. Open Saturdays and Sundays only during the school holidays, with gun firing at 1pm daily weather permitting, eagle-eyed youngsters might even be lucky enough to spot a whale heading down to the Antarctic Ocean. For more details visit newcastle.nsw.gov.au/fort-scratchley

Explore your local playground

With $8.2 million being invested in parks, playgrounds and sporting fields this year, there has never been a better time to look to your own neighbourhood for places to exercise or play with the kids.

Work on the recently completed playground at Brickworks Park in Wallsend included a new all-abilities carousel, boulder climb, nest swing, rope ladder, slide and more, while the Carrington Street Reserve playground has been upgraded to include a new plank walk, suspension bridge, double slide, tube net and other activities.

Download the City of Newcastle app to find the playground closest to you!

What's On(line) - Virtual Events Calendar

What else is on during the school holidays and beyond? There’s always more to see and do. Stay in the know with what else is happening around our city at newcastle.nsw.gov.au/whatson