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!

father and son creating. summer kids, NGV


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: Sat 05 Jan 2019 - Sun 27 Jan 2019

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

Cost: FREE

More info


Trinket the Robot – Workshops and performances

Trinket is a little Robot who longs to become "real" - but is he ready for what it means to be alive?

Shadow Puppetry Workshops (Duration 90 min):

In this workshop students are led through the process of imagining and designing their own unique puppet characters. Then they are guided through the steps of realising their designs, cutting and crafting their own individual puppets then writing story to perform.

Venue: Mooroolbark Community Centre
Dates: Mon 21 JAN
Workshop 1 – 11AM
AGES: 4 – 6 (Children 6 and under need to be accompanied by a guardian

Workshop 2 – 2PM
AGES: 7 – 12

Performance (Duration: 50 mins)

The story is of an inventor, Dr Doovalacky, who, with the help of his assistant, a green caterpillar named Mr Wigglyjig, sets out to build a robot with the ability to have feelings like a “real” human.  Trinket the Robot is an interactive solo puppet show, based on the tale of Pinocchio, which explores emotions and offers strategies to children to help understand different feelings. Suitable for all ages.

Venue: Mooroolbark Community Centre

Date:Wed 23 JAN at 11AM & 2PM

AGE:all (Children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent/carer.)

COST: $12 Full.  (Special price if attending both workshop and performance)

More info

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 8th, Wednesday 9th, Tuesday 15th, Wednesday 16th, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd 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 15thand 22nd, 17thand 24th 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 Adventurein 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 

Tuesday 8 Jan  2019 – Sunday 20 Jan 2019

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.


fun fields theme park., heated pool, volcano, summer fun, kids in January


Best backyard ever

Healesville Sanctuary is your summer backyard this January - kids visit free every day from December 22 - January 28!  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!

PLUS from the 14th – 28th of January experience Healesville Sanctuary's new two-week Summer Festival, bringing together live music, local food, a bush bar and backyard games set against the stunning bushland backdrop of the new Ellim-atta Gathering Place.

The family friendly program includes acoustic Aussie favourites, bush dancing, Indigenous Dreamtime storytelling and guest appearances from the Zooperheroes. Don’t forget the ‘Meet the Zookeepers’ program offered daily and be sure to say hello to the newest resident tiny koala joey Leuca! 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.

Fun for everyone

Did you know Funfields in Whittleseas have just opened Victoria's first outdoor, heated wave pool, the Volcano Beach? (it only opened on Dec 21!) Funfields Theme Park is a world class amusement destination with attractions including three World Record ProSlide water slides, Go Kart Track, swinging Pirate Ship, two multi level waterplay areas, 18 hole Mini Golf Course, the Alpine Toboggin Slide  and the Funfields KidZone area. A great family day out. More info.


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