Family-Friendly Activities for the Winter School Holidays

Family-Friendly Activities for the Winter School Holidays

06 Jun 2024

Wondering how to spend the winter school holidays on the Gold Coast? Our city has a packed schedule of events, activities and family-friendly adventures to ensure kids (and parents) have the best holidays ever! From whale watching and winter wonderland, to inspiring street festivals and theme park fun, here’s where to go and what to do on the Gold Coast these school holidays.

Winterfest at Dreamworld

Get ready for an avalanche of fun at Dreamworld’s annual celebration of the chilly season. Winterfest is the perfect school holiday activity and this year’s event is set to be bigger than ever. Get into the winter spirit by gliding around on a full-size ice skating rink, speeding down the Ice Slide on a tube toboggan and tucking into a special European-style menu. Little ones will love the SnowFlake Scavenger Hunt and there’s a snowy surprise in store too! Entry to Winterfest is free with your Dreamworld ticket or Annual Pass and the event is runs from June 29th - July 14th.

Winterfest at Dreamworld!-1

DC Superheroes and Super-Villains at Warner Bros Movie World

From 24th June - 21st July you can witness the battle of Goodies vs Baddies at Warner Bros Movie World when the DC Superheroes and Super-Villains pack the park with action and entertainment. Enjoy an epic line-up of entertainment including dramatic street shows and character meet and greets from icons like Batman, Cat Woman, The Joker, Harley Quinn and The Flash. At 5pm, Main Street will come alive with the daily parade featuring light and laser shows, floats with your favourites and FOUR Batmobiles! This is alongside all the regular rides, rollercoasters and incredible experiences at Movie World including the new ride - The Flash: Speed Force.

Warner Bros. Movie World

SURFACE Festival

As far as school holiday fun goes on the Gold Coast, you can’t go past SURFACE Festival. This street art festival from June 23rd - July 7th brings the suburb of Miami to life with colour and creativity. Walk, stroll, ride or roll around the streets following the Fence Line Exhibition with over 140 artworks displayed along suburban fences. Witness live mural paintings and don’t miss Slick Surfaces - an event especially for kids on June 23rd. Get ready to shred, build, spin, and create with skateboard lessons, master LEGO builds, DJ workshops and stencil art, collage and screen printing workshops. All this for just $8 per kid (parents are free)! That’s a holiday win for everyone! 



Watch the kids eyes light up with Gold Coast’s celebration of illumination, BIG CITY LIGHTS* - a free, family-friendly festival in Southport CBD from June 21st - July 7th. Urban spaces will be transformed into bright, colourful outdoor galleries with large-scale light projections, immersive experiences and digital design alongside live music performances from over 100 artists. Let little imaginations run wild as kids wander through the artworks and ponder the entrancing technicolour displays. It’s the perfect school holiday activity to get their creative juices flowing. (Image: Claudio Kirac.)

BigCityLights_July2022_ArtWorkAgency_HR-1081_credit - Claudio Kirac, Art-Work Agency.jpg


HOTA’s Artcation school holiday program invites kids to explore creativity through many different mediums in wonderful workshops where they get to stretch their artistic wings. These school holidays budding creatives can explore acting, singing, computer coding, wardrobe design and visual art. There's also the Kingdom of Kindness exhibition showing in the Children's Gallery Being creative is one of the best skills our kids can learn and HOTA (Home of the Arts) is providing all the inspiration they need.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s School Holiday Programs are very popular with little animal lovers. Over the winter holidays there are half day options for 5 - 8 year olds and full day programs for 9 - 12 year olds. Interactive and educational, these animal-packed days let kids experience what it means to work with wildlife and they’ll get insights into how vets, rangers, animal trainers, keepers and zoo scientists care for the creatures at the sanctuary. Bookings essential. 


Illusions Magic Show with Matt Hollywood

For an unforgettable family-friendly holiday activity take the kids to witness the wonder and spectacle of the Illusions Magic Show with Matt Hollywood. After 30 years in the business, Matt is a master entertainer and performs the only full time magic show in Australia at his custom-built theatre in Cavill Lane, Surfers Paradise. The show features stunning Las Vegas style magic tricks and illusions including death-defying escapes, grand illusions, comedy and of course audience participation. 

Whale Watching

For a very special school holiday experience take the kids on a whale watching tour. Winter is whale season on the Gold Coast and more than 40,000 of the magnificent marine mammals travel past our city on their way to warmer waters up north. Some of the largest humpbacks are up to 16m long and seeing them breach is literally awe-inspiring. Mother humpbacks use the protected Gold Coast waters as a nursery to rest and play with their babies seeing newborn calves flop about as they learn to swim and breach will have children entranced. There’s a variety of whale watching tours to choose from  - take your pick for an amazing school holiday experience. 

Sea World Whale Watch

Gold Coast Recreation Precinct

Need to get some work done over the school holidays? Or maybe you just need a few hours of chill time to yourself. Drop the kids off at the Gold Coast Recreation Precinct on the south side of Tallebudgera Creek for a half or full day of fun, challenging and physical activities. Your little people can burn off some steam trying out archery, aerial adventures, high ropes, rock climbing, body boarding, beach games and more. They’ll be under the care of highly-qualified instructors and snacks and meals are provided. 

Need some more ideas for holiday adventures on the Gold Coast? Check out our Family Friendly Guide to the Hinterland.
Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.