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FREE School Holiday Activities Gold Coast, Tweed & Byron

This article reveals the secret to where you can get involved in free school holiday activities across the Gold Coast, Tweed and Byron.

Entertaining the kids these school holidays doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve found the best FREE school holiday activities for families on the Gold Coast, Tweed Shire and Byron Bay regions.

Free school holiday activities Gold Coast

Check out these activities for kids these school holidays on the Gold Coast

Easter 2024 free School holiday fun – Gold Coast

toowoomba indoor sports balls
Ball sports

The Gold Coast Council’s Active and Healthy Holiday Program is an online program that is dedicated to keeping kids (and adults) moving during the school holidays; simply download the free info from their website and get busy completing the activities.

Find out more here.

Here are just some of the activities on offer. Please note, booking is essential for most of these events. 

Park Run

Join in a weekly free 5km timed run or walk. Family-friendly and suitable for runners, walkers, prams, and dogs. Register prior then come along each Saturday to any of the nine Gold Coast locations. See website to register and for more details.

Where: Multiple locations
When: Saturday 30 March, 7am

Easter Crafts

Keep those little hands busy over the holidays

and get creative making some cute Easter decorations including Easter egg decorating, plaster painting and wood craft. No bookings required!

Where: Southport, Beside the bouncy pillow, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade
When: Saturday 30 March, 9am – 12pm

Movies under the stars: Spider-man: Across the spider-verse

What better way to spend an evening than outdoors watching a movie under the stars?
City of Gold Coast’s Movies Under the Stars program is free, family-friendly fun! On offer from August 2023 to April 2024, right across the city. Gather your family and friends, pack a picnic, or take advantage of delicious food options available.

Where: Ormeau, Brien Harris Oval, 1 Peachey Road
When: Saturday 30 March, 6:30pm-9pm

Sunday-sounds: Easter edition

Join us for an unforgettable afternoon of sweet

soul music with Dr Love and the Gang at the Easter Edition of Sunday Sounds!
Bring your camp chair, snacks, and good company as we gather for an afternoon of local music talent, hosted one Sunday a month.
Let’s turn Paradise Point Parklands into a haven of music, relaxation and good times!

Where: Paradise Point Parklands, The Esplanade
When: Sunday 31 March, 2pm-5pm

Other holiday activities for summer 2023

Little Paccas Kids Club Activities | Pacific Fair

Little Paccas is a free kids’ club for preschool aged kids and parents. Pacific Fair hosts 2 FREE kids’ events each month to entertain and delight kids. This means there will be events happening these school holidays. Sign up now to get exclusive bookings to the events. Check out their website for specific activities.

Naturally GC | Various Locations

Connect, conserve and explore nature with NaturallyGC and participate in a variety of free and low cost nature based education workshops, activities, events and nature based recreation across the Gold Coast. These school holidays, create natural arts and crafts, play with sea creatures, plus heaps more activities each day of the school holidays.

Visit Local Markets | Various locations

Markets are a great FREE (if you are just browsing) and family friendly event to keep the kids entertained. There are so many markets around the Gold Coast and Tweed region including Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, The Village Markets and many more. There is bound to be one near you. Check out the markets on here. 

Explore the Currumbin Rock Pools | Currumbin

currumbin rock pools swimming gold coast fun Free School Holiday Fun
Currumbin Rock Pools

Cascading waterfalls, lagoons, trickling streams all surrounded by lush, tropical greenery … sounds like the stuff that holiday photos are made of, right? It’s one of our ABSOLUTE favourite things to do on the Gold Coast with kids – for VERY good reason.

Free school holiday fun – Byron Bay region

Brunswick Heads Fairy Trail | Brunswick Heads

Brunswick Heads fairies abound, and if you look in nooks and crannies their wee houses can be found. Take the kids on an adventure to find the homes of fairies located along the Brunswick Heads Fairy Trail. Fairy Trail maps are available at the Visitor Centre.

Byron Bay Region Beaches

Byron Bay is home to some beautiful beaches, so why not explore them with the kids. You can swim, explore and take a picnic along. It can be a whole day of fun!

Cape Byron Lighthouse

Take the kids to the most easterly point in Australia and have a look at the lighthouse and maritime museum there. See how the lighthouse originally worked and read up on the history of whaling in the area. Families tip: Take a guided tour up the lighthouse as an added bonus. Read more about the Lighthouse here.

Past school holiday activities 

Bubble Play

Bubble Play is a unique, mind blowing, bubble magic extravaganza. Come along and play with Bubble’licious creations and have fun creating the biggest, most beautiful, amazing, shimmering bubbles you’ve ever seen.

Where: Broadwater Parklands
When: 24 June, 9am – 12.30

Giant Slide

You can’t beat the simple thrill of a slide and this giant slide is one you simply won’t want to miss.

Suitable for all ages to delight the big kids along with the little kids. Race your friends to the bottom for a bit of fun. So c’mon, let’s get sliding.

Where: Broadwater Parklands
When: 27 June, 9am – 1pm

Under the Sea Craft Workshop

Bring the kids down and get creative, with some fun craft activities including sand in a bottle, sea buddies woodcraft, the ocean rocks and seashell jewellery. 

Where: Peninsula Playground, Broadwater Parklands
When: 30 June, 10am – 2pm

Gold Coast Park Warrior

Experience the exhilaration of Queensland’s largest ninja warrior inspired all-ages park at the grand opening of Park Warrior at Harley Park, Labrador.

Join host Councillor Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden and special guest Australian Ninja Warrior, Skye Haddy, as they celebrate the first permanent installation of its kind.

Watch in awe as competitors tackle the thrilling Park Warrior course for the first time. Don’t miss the chance to meet Skye Haddy and enjoy face painting, live music by a DJ, games, rides and plenty of surprises

Where: Harley Park, Marine Parade, Labrador
When: 8 July, 12pm – 4pm

There are many, many more activities available and so many are free of charge, so be sure to check them out here as there is no need to be bored with this many free activities to choose from. Be sure to check which events need to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

LEGO in the Vale

BRICKS 4 KIDZ will return to the Helensvale Library and Cultural Centre during the June/July school holidays, to provide an interactive and fun LEGO experience for children aged between 6 to 12 years old.

Children will complete LEGO building activities using LEGO Technic Project Kits, Mosaic and Colour Builds, and copious amounts of Free Play LEGO.

Where: Helensvale Library and Cultural Centre
When: 3 July, session times: 8.30am – 10.30am and 11.30am – 1.30pm

Pho3nix Kids’ Gold Coast Triathlon

Join in the fun at this year’s free Pho3nix Kids Gold Coast Triathlon. Participants can choose triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon & fun run options and every one who participates receives a t-shirt,
swimming cap, finishers medal and sausage sizzle. Registrations close for the kids triathlon at 8am on Sat 1 Apr unless sold out prior.

Where: Southport Broadwater Parklands, Mitchell Park/Fisherman’s Lawn
When: Saturday 1 April 2023, 6.30am to 9am

Kids Crazy Cup

Bring your friends and family down to join in our games and challenges and win the Kids Crazy Cup. There will be challenge zones set up including targets, racing, dodgeball, strength zone and more. The aim will be for you and your friends to devise plans and strategies so you can beat the clock, set records, and simply have fun, running, jumping, throwing, and catching your way to the ultimate glory of winning the Kids Crazy Cup!

Where: Southport, Lilli Pilli Park, 44 Lilli Pilli Drive
When: Monday 3 April 2023, 9.30am – 10.30am

Giant Slide

Who seriously doesn’t love a giant slide. See everyone’s faces light up as they glide down the slide that has 3 big lanes 30 meters long, fast, medium and slow So what are you waiting for!

Where: Southport, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, The Great Lawn
When: Tuesday 4 April 2023, 9am to 1pm

Acrobatic and Flexibility workshop 

Learn some arco tricks and work on your flexibility and strength in this fun 1-hour workshop. Flip on an air track to some of your favourite tunes. All students to bring a yoga mat or large towel to use when doing stretches.

Where: Varsity Lakes, Frascott Park, Yodelay Street
When: Wednesday 5 April 2023, 9am – 10am

Slime Bubble Science Workshop

Join Professor Peantbutter to make your own slime which can then be turned into giant bubbles mix! So make your very own giant bubbles using the provided wands. A fun messy science session. Everyone will take home their own bubble slime. All children must be actively accompanied by an adult at all times. It’s a necessary to arrive 10 minutes early for a prompt start as once the session starts people are not able to join in.

Where: Coombabah, Grassy Park, 46 Hansford Road
When: Friday 7 April 2023, 3-4pm


Cool down and have fun getting wet, at this super fun water play activities in the park. It’s the perfect activity for both big and little kids who want to beat the heat and have fun playing games, such
as, run the gauntlet, water relays, there’s a hole in my bucket, Water Balloon Catching challenge, Sponge Toss and more. Bring a towel and a change of clothes as you’re sure to walk away
drenched, with a smile on your face!

Where: Reedy Creek, Southern Skies Park, Southern Skies Avenue 
When: Wednesday 12 April 2023, 9.30am – 10.30am

Summer 2022/23 – FREE School Holiday Fun – Gold Coast

Check out these past events from previous holidays for more inspiration of things to do during the school holidays. 

Gold Coast summer holiday program: Active and Healthy

The Gold Coast Council’s Active and Healthy Holiday Program is an online program that is dedicated to keeping kids (and adults) moving during the school holidays; simply download the free info sheet from their website and get busy completing the activities.

Find out more here. 

Here are just some of the activities on offer. Please note, booking is essential for most of these events. 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Skate Event for beginners – Tugan

Join Jesse Noonan from Rock ‘n’ Sizzle for this coaching session. 

Where: Tugun Skate Park
When: Sat 10 Dec, 8am

Movies Under the Stars – Surfers Paradise

Bring a rug and settled in for a movie under the stars. 

When: Sat 10 Dec, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Lionel Perry Park, Surfers Paradise

Colour blast obstacle course – Mudgeeraba

When: Mon 12 Dec, 9am – 10am 
Where: Firth Park, Mudgeeraba

Scavenger hunt – Southport

Whether it is your first time visiting or you are a local, there is always something new to ‘find’ in Broadwater Parklands. Bring along your team or you can be put into a team with others, and join
this fun family scavenger hunt. 

When: Wed 14 Dec, 2pm – 5pm

Where: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade

Surf safety and beach games – Labrador

Learn to swim safely in all types of water and be introduced to survival tips, basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid in this beginners’ surf safety session 

When: Sun 18 Dec, 9am
Where: Labrador, location confirmed at time of booking

Christmas craft workshop – Southport

Enjoy decorating your own wooden Christmas
tree decorations,

When: Fri 23 Dec, 9am – 1pm
Where: Broadwater Parklands

Glow party silent disco – Pacific Pines

This amazing experience will come all to life at dusk. Bring your family and friends to a glow dance party and get your body moving to classic dance songs like the Nutbush through to current party hits and line dancing!

When: Fri 13 Jan, 6pm – 7.30pm
Where:  Pacific Pines. Pacific Pines Central Park

There are many, many more available, so be sure to check them out here

Spring 2022

A&H Sport Festival | Miami

Kids are always wanting to experience different sports. During the school term it’s busy and there is limited time – so join us for a jam-packed morning of sport and activities. Great opportunity to try something different, test your skills, learn the rules of a new game, and make friends along the way. 

  • When: Saturday 17 September 2022
  • Where: Pizzey Park, Pacific Avenue, Miami
  • Time: 9am – 11.30am

Beginner BMX Workshop 

Girl BMX rider
BMX riding

Boost your confidence, improve bike control, and learn small jumps and tricks in a fun and safe environment. Kids to BYO bike, helmet, protective gear, water and hat.

  • When: Sunday 18 September 2022
  • Where: Pacific Pines Skate Park, Brockman Park, Pitcairn Way, Pacific Pines
  • Time: 10am – 11am

A&H Silent Disco

If you like to listen to music, climb, dance and experience something different, then gather up your crew. There is a silent disco and a climbing wall waiting for you. 

  • When: Monday 19 September 2022
  • Where: Abbott Park, Parkwood Boulevard, Parkwood
  • Time: 9am – 12pm

A&H Acrobatic and Flexibility Workshop

Learn some acro tricks and work on your flexibility and strength in this fun workshop. 

  • When: Tuesday 20 September
  • Where: Pat Fagan Park, Marine Parade, Coolangatta
  • Time: 9am – 10am

A&H Sun Safety and Beach Games

Learn to swim safely in all types of water and be introduced to survival tips, basic cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid in this beginners’ surf safety session. 

  • When: Saturday 24 September 2022
  • Where: Location to be confirmed when booking
  • Time: 9am – 10am

A&H Fun Zone

It’s fresh air, laughter and hours of entertainment for the whole family, inspiring creativity and active play.  Enjoy Sparky Do Dah’s Pop-Up Playground and try stilts, juggling sticks, duck fishing, balance and old-school retro games – suitable for all ages. 

  • When: Thursday 29 September 2022
  • Where: Alan Nielsen Park, Nielsens Road, Carrara 
  • Time: 9am – 12pm

A&H Obstacles Gone Mad

Let your kids unleash their inner ninja warrior on a 5 metre long obstacle course! Watch them use their strength and skill as they fly, swing, balance, climb and conquer a kids ninja warrior inspired obstacle course. This activity is perfect for kids who are always on the move and love to try a new challenge. 

  • When: Monday 3 October 2022
  • Where: Pizzey Park, Pacific Avenue, Miami
  • Time: 9am – 12 pm

Swell Kids Elements

SWELL 2020 Web

As part of SWELL Sculpture Festival, SWELL Kids Elements is the curated project dedicated to KIDS, ART & PLAY, to be experienced through the eyes of children. A place where young artists are invited to play and explore. A sculpture park for children to marvel at elements of art, science and the environment. Exploring shape, colour, texture, form, line and sound. To participate in fun, creative workshops, discover big and bold sculptures and experience live circus performance, hands-on masterclasses and workshops. Evoking thoughts, creativity, conversation and interaction with art and the works around us while being inspired and empowered through creative expression. There are a range of sessions including some free and some that involve a fee. You can find all of the details here. 

  • When: 9 – 18 September 2022
  • Where: Wallace Nicoll Park, Pacific Parade, Currumbin Beach
  • Time: 9am – 4 pm

Winter 2022 – FREE School Holiday Fun – Gold Coast

Gold Coast Youth Holiday Program | Various Locations

Gold Coast youth hubs have announced their FREE school holiday program for kids 12-17 years, will be held across six locations for the school holidays. Locations include:

  • Upper Coomera
  • Coomera
  • Runaway Bay
  • Nerang
  • Thrower House –Palm beach
  • Pimpama

Each centre offers various activities to keep your 12- to 17-year-old entertained during the holidays. The hub’s are safe and supervised so teens can come socialise and get creative, play some sports, learn fun things and get away from their devices for a little while.

  • When: Various dates throughout the holidays
  • Where: Various locations across the Gold Coast
  • Time: 9am-5pm

Balloon Twisting Workshop | Broadwater Parklands

Looking to learn a new fun party trick? Learn to twist your very own balloon animals to take home! 

  • When: Monday 27 June 2022
  • Where: The bouncy pillow, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport
  • Time: 10am – 2pm

Inflatable Horse Racing | Broadwater Parklands

Five horses to the starting line, Ready, Steady….. Go! Come on horsey! Bounce you good thing! Will you be the first over the line? Race your friends – who will be the winning jockey? (Suitable for 6 years and up or to 90 kilograms). 

  • When: Tuesday 28 June 2022
  • Where: The little lawn, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport
  • Time: 10am – 2pm

Bubble Play | Broadwater Parklands

Come along and play with Bubble’licious creations, and have fun creating the biggest bubbles you’ve ever seen! Beautiful, amazing, shimmering bubbles in the sunshine! 

  • When: Thursday 30 June 2022
  • Where: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport
  • Time: 11am – 3pm

Inflatable Maze | Broadwater Parklands

The challenge is to get out as fast as you can, but don’t be fooled as it’s harder than it appears! Left, Right, go back! Oh no I’m lost, start again! We might need some bread crumbs to drop on the ground to find our way through the maze! This is so much fun – children can’t get enough of this energetic activity. Come and get lost with your family and friends, and find your way through to the other side – if you can! 

  • When: Thursday 30 June 2022
  • Where: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport
  • Time: 11am – 3pm

Kids Learn to Surf Sessions | Currumbin

Learn how the Gold Coast coastline is managed as well as surf etiquette and safety before hitting the waves. Session held the Currumbin Alley – the famed pointbreak which is part of the Gold Coast World Surf Reserve that stretches from Burleigh Heads to Snapper Rocks. Open only to secondary school students, ages 14 to 17.

  • When: Wednesday 6 July 2022
  • Where: Currumbin Alley Surf School, Pacific Parade, Currumbin
  • Time: 11:30am – 1pm 

Easter 2022 – Spring 2021.

Dumpling Dreams | Surfers Paradise

Brought to life by beloved Brisbane-based artist YEAHYEAHCHLOE, the wonderfully imaginative Dumpling Dreams plops youngsters, the young-at-heart. A blank canvas to build your own world, little visitors will spend hours imagining dreamy futures, and discovering new ways to connect with the environment and people closest to them. Little creative hearts are free to dip their toes into the world of art and be themselves in a safe, inclusive space.

Featuring Augmented Reality experiences and interactive activities, you’re only limited by your imagination. Fill your days, weekends, and holidays with colour, connection, and creativity at HOTA Children’s Gallery.

  • When: Saturday 27 November – Monday 18 April
  • Where: HOTA Children’s Gallery, 135 Bundall Rd Surfers Paradise 4217
  • Time: 10am-5pm (Sat-Thurs), 10am-8pm (Fri)

Shout Out Fest 2022 | Tugun

This FREE event is the ultimate destination for young people to get together and celebrate all things friends, fun, and youth. The main event includes live music, skatepark jams, BMX displays, DJs, creative workshops, food trucks and more. In addition to the main entertainment, Shout Out Fest also includes rock climbing wall challenges, inflatable boxing fun, art activities, and so much more! This event is held during Queensland Yout Week 2022.

  • When: Saturday 9 April 2022
  • Where: Tugun Skatepark, Boyd Street, Tugun 4224 
  • Time: 2pm-6pm

Easter Balloon Show | Coomera

Join The Park Coomera for a very Special Edition Easter Sundae Sesh. For half an hour only, make sure you reserve yourself a seat to watch The Mr Kaboodle Easter Balloon Show. He uses balloons, comedy and magic to create a fun interactive experience for audiences of all ages.He will fill the stage with colour and excitement to draw a crowd. You will see amazing balloon sculptures such as sponge bob, hulk and of course an Easter Bunny!

The show is FREE and kids eat free after 2pm with every regular pizza or salad purchase.

  • When: Sunday 17 April 2022
  • Where: The Park, Westfield Coomera 
  • Time: 2pm-2:30pm

Citizen Science | Main Beach

Kids get to become citizen scientists for the day as they join marine experts to learn about how micro-plastics and debris affect Gold Coast beaches and marine life. They also get to create art to take home and a litter audit which goes towards “ice-cream credit”. Suitable for 6-17 year olds.

  • When: Thursday 14 April
  • Where: Hollindale Park, Seaworld Drive, Main Beach 4217  
  • Time: 9am-11am

Meet Gold Coast Marine Life | Labrador 

Kids can discover amazing ocean artefacts and learn why healthy ocean environments are so important to the survival of our precious marine animals who all have a specific role to play.

  • When: Wednesday 13 April
  • Where: Labrador Community Centre, 57 Billington Street, Labrador 4215    
  • Time: 11am-12pm

Mayor’s Christmas Carols | Surfers Paradise

The family-friendly event will commence at 3pm on December 4 with interactive kids fun including Santa and Looney Tunes characters. The main show will commence at 5pm and finish off with fireworks at 9pm. The line up includes Dami Im, Kate Miller-Heidke and many local Queensland artists.

  • When: Saturday 4 December 
  • Where: HOTA Outdoor Stage, 135 Bundall Rd Surfers Paradise 4217
  • Time: 3pm-9pm

Find out more here.

Broadwater Parklands Obstacle Course | Southport

A inflatable obstacle course has come to Broadwater Parklands to help your kids burn off some energy these school holidays. No bookings. required.

  • When: Sunday 5 December 
  • Where: Marine Parade, Southport QLD 4215
  • Time: 9am-2pm

Citizen Science | Miami

Kids get to become citizen scientists for the day as they join marine experts to learn about how micro-plastics and debris affect Gold Coast beaches and marine life. They also get to create art to take home and a litter audit which goes towards “ice-cream credit”. Suitable for 6-17 year olds.

  • When: Wednesday 15 December
  • Where: Don MacSween Park, Marine Parade Miami 4220
  • Time: 9am-10:30am

Thomas the Tank Engine Train Rides | Southport

Hop aboard the Broadwater express and travel around the parklands on one of the free scenic train rides. No bookings are required. 

  • When: Wednesday 15 December & Wednesday 22 December 
  • Where: The Great Lawn, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade Southport 4215
  • Time: 10am-2pm

Pacca’s Putt Putt | Broadbeach

Get ready to kick some Putt these school holidays at Pacific Fair’s FREE mini golf experience! 

Putt your way around the centre with 9 holes inspired by iconic Gold Coast landmarks such as Q1, the Surfers Paradise sign, theme parks and the beach. Head along with the family, grab a scorecard, receive a complimentary golf visor and have a tee-rrific time. Select holes include mechanical components.  There ain’t no party like a Putt Putt Par-Tee! Bookings are essential!

  • Where: Pacific Fair, Broadbeach

Gold Coast Chinese Cultural Festival

On Saturday 2 October, 2021 take the kids along to see 10 artistic groups and nearly 100 actors and staff from the local Chinese and multicultural communities sing, dance, and perform.

Check out the food stalls and craft stalls to experience Chinese culture. The Gold Coast Chinese Cultural Festival is a family-friendly event. Do not miss the opportunity to have a fun day together with your family at the Broadwater Parklands. 

World Upside Down

Discover secrets and surprises, where nature is not what it seems in World Upside Down, the first exhibition in the Children’s Gallery at Home of the ARTS (HOTA). The young and young-at-heart can be curious and creative through interactive art and hands on making activities, designing a future where we all belong. Find out more here.

Past events: FREE School Holiday Activities – Byron Bay Region 

Christmas Markets | Gold Coast/Byron Bay Region

We’ve contacted all our friends and rounded up a comprehensive list of Christmas Markets from the Gold Coast, through Tweed and down to Byron Bay for you and your family in 2021. Christmas Markets are one of the ‘must do’ Gold Coast Christmas activities to get you in the spirit! Click here.

Christmas Carols | Gold Coast/Byron Bay Region

t’s that time of year, Carols by Candlelight. There’s no better way to shake off the bah humbugs than a good dose of Christmas carols with flameless candles lighting up angelic little faces. In this round up of the best Gold Coast Christmas activities, we’ve included a list of the very best places to enjoy Christmas Carols, Gold Coast to Byron Bay in 2021 – see them all here.

Looking for more ideas?

If you’ve got some funds tucked away for school holiday fun we highly recommend a visit to Paradise Country. It’s one of the more affordable theme park options and has something for all ages. Read our full review here.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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