Updated 26 November 2019

Cool activities are all the go in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges this January. Come for a day, stay a week – there’s so much to do to bring the family together.

Try out a completely new experience in the outdoors and give your children the gift of new skills, new friendships and new discoveries! 

Find your happy space, your culture space, your tasty space, your burn some energy space, and your family fun space  in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges! No screens required!


NGV Kids Summer Festival on Tour 

Do you like to play make believe? Close your eyes and imagine – transform into a creature, fly through the sky, or travel through infinite worlds. Your creativity can take you anywhere with upcoming NGV Kids on Tour 2019.

Dates: 07 Jan 2020 - 25 Jan 2020

Venue: Upper Yarra Arts Centre, Warburton & Healesville Memorial Hall, Healesville, Mooroolbark Community Centre, Moorolbark 

Cost: FREE

More info


Linley Dodd Exhibition

The Lynley Dodd Story is an exhibition of original illustrations from the world-renowned author and illustrator of the Hairy Maclary and Friends™ book series.

Showcasing 55 original artworks, this family-friendly exhibition features favourite characters including Hairy Maclary, Slinky Malinki and Schnitzel von Krumm, as well as lesser known characters such as Sam Jam Balu (The Other Ark) and the Dudgeon (The Dudgeon is Coming).

Venue: Yarra Ranges Regional Museum
Dates: Until Jan 26
AGES: all

chocolate making, YVCI, summer activities, Janaury kids


Masterchef your Chocolate at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

Become a JuniorChocolatier In a 45 minute Junior Chocolatier Class held in their ‘parent free zone’, children aged 6 – 12 years can learn from chocolatiers how to make their very own chocolate creations. $40 includes personalised badge, chef’s hat and apron, graduation certificate plus take home three chocolate creations to enjoy. 

Classes available throughout the January School Holidays on Tuesday 7th, Wednesday 8th, Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th, Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd January. Bookings are essential. More info.

Rayners Orchard

Pick your own sweet and juicy peaches and nectarines or grab a pack of peaches or nectarines from the farm shop at the Rayners Orchard café in Woori Yallock!

Stonefruit is the taste of summer, and Rayners Orchard has plenty to choose from — dozens of varieties ready for sampling on fruit tasting tours and for picking during January.

Experience the sumptuous flavours of tree ripened peaches and nectarines, bursting with flavour, grown without pesticides and insecticides so you can eat them straight from the tree. If you have only ever eaten stone fruit from a supermarket, you will be amazed with the fruit you taste on Rayners Orchard. Try a tractor tour and taste test a variety of season fruits right from the tree with Farmer Len. More info.


Summer to a tee

Your kids will love that it’s all done with fun at Eastern Golf Club! School holidays is a great time to learn new skills and the Golf and Tennis Program being offered this January (dates TBC) is an ideal way to get your children outside and active.

The Tuesday program is suitable for children who are new to the equipment and lessons are offered with an emphasis on games and fun where kids won’t even realise they are learning! Every day is different and pitched to the children who are there making the program highly inclusive and adaptable to children of any age (above 5) and those with special needs or learning difficulties. The Thursday program provides challenges for more advanced children and those with some experience. More info 

Get wild in the forest

Kinglake Forest Adventures in Kinglake is open every day of the school holidays to provide your family  with awesome tree top challenges, super mountain biking fun, swamp wallaby encounters and fabulous forest escapades. Take the zipline, scale new heights and have some ‘elevated’ fun. Suitable for all ages even mums, dads and carers. More info. 

Children’s Festival at SkyHigh on Mt Dandenong 

Friday 10 Jan  2020 – Thursday 16 Jan 2020

With different activities every day your kids will want to return again and again. Kids can enjoy a pony ride, face painting, magicians, mini golf, a petting zoo, reptile displays a jumping castle and much much more, while parents and carers can dine out in the restaurant or café. There no such thing as ‘I’m bored’ at SkyHigh. Cost: Free ($7 car gate fee). More info.



Best backyard ever

Healesville Sanctuary is your summer backyard this January - kids visit free every day in the school holidays!  Every day of the school holidays, keep cool under the new Hills Hoist sprinkler, connect with nature through the ever-popular creek play, explore our rustic cubbies, and play awesome backyard games. Listen to the didgeridoo and learn how to throw a boomerang with Wurundjeri Elder Murrundindi, and keep an eye out for roving bush poets, singers and encounters with some furry friends!
More info.

Drop a line

Try Trout fishing at Australian Rainbow Trout Farm in Macclesfield – bring the family and have fun catching fish from the well-stocked and picturesque lakes of the farm. Bring a BBQ or enjoy the kiosk menu. Your family will be taking home fish for dinner with the pride they have caught it themselves. Open every day except Christmas Day. Rods supplied – and there’s mini golf too! More info.

Worlds of fun at Gumbuya World

Take a stroll through the Wildlife Trail set in beautiful Australian bushland and meet all the iconic Aussie animals during ranger talks and close wildlife encounters. You can even hand feed the kangaroos, take a snap with a cuddly koala and walk amongst 30 species of birds through the new state of the art Aviary. Oasis Springs Water Park is open in the summer months offering twelve exciting water experiences, wave pool, thrilling slides, Lazy Rivers and heated rock pools to spend your days. More info

Check out ‘What’s On’ in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges for more great activities!