School Holidays


Whether it’s a cruise along the Perth and Fremantle coastline, an afternoon of trampolining, slipping and sliding in the waterpark, a round of mini-golf or an afternoon embracing Western Australia’s native plants and animals – we have compiled a list of exciting, family, summer activities that is sure to leave every family spoilt for choice.

Perth’s Outback Splash

Just 30 minutes out of the city, Perth’s Outback Splash is the perfect summer activity for the whole family. The popular outdoor entertainment centre gives both the option to find solace from the summer heat with the four new water attractions open from September to April, and year-round activities like mini golf, mazes and Australian animal experiences like patting Koala’s.

If you’re looking for a jam-packed summers day out for the family, then Perth’s Outback Splash is a great option. Who doesn’t love a waterslide on a hot day?

Wanneroo Botanical Gardens and Mini Golf

A must-visit destination in Perth’s northern suburbs since 1981, The Wanneroo Botanic Gardens is essential this summer.

If you’re looking for a fun family day out (with a bit of competition), Wanneroo Botanical Gardens and Mini Golf comprises the largest outdoor mini-golf course in Australia. With an 18-hole Garden course and an 18-hole billiard course, Wanneroo promises a day of lots of laughs, fun and friendly competition between families of any age. If you have older kids, or want to avoid golfing in the summer heat, Wanneroo also offers Night Golf (mini golf in the dark!) from Wednesday to Sunday evenings, with the latest tee off being 8:30pm.

Immerse yourself in the garden experience whilst playing 36 holes of mini-golf, and finish with a meal at the onsite restaurant Leapfrogs. Free admission for any Leapfrog dining or mini-gold players and $5 entry for spectators or sightseers.

Rockface Climbing Centre

Be active and have fun at Perth’s best Indoor rock-climbing venue, a safe, exciting, all-over body workout for ages 5 to 85! Whilst fun and exciting, it helps adults and kids conquer fears and build confidence in a workout environment. There are 100+ climbing courses,26+ ropes and a World Cup bouldering wall. Rockface also offers hosting birthday parties, corporate team-building occasions and group functions with your own provided food and snacks.

The Gravity Discovery Centre – Gingin & Perth

The GDC Observatory is an astronomical observatory dedicated to the exploration and science of the night sky. Located in Gingin, Western Australia, the observatory is a part of the Gravity Discovery Centre Precinct. Offering something for everyone, the gravity discovery centre caters from astronomy to astrophysics and indigenous culture to biodiversity.  Stargazing at the world-class facility includes new telescopes and dark skies with Cafe and meal bookings. Duration: 2 Hours (approx.)

WA Maritime Museum

A LEGO model of the Shinan wreck

Spend the day exploring Western Australian Maritime Museum, a celebration of Fremantle’s past, present and future as a coastal city and port. Located in Victoria Quay, the museum is open seven days a week, from 9:30am to 5pm. Its current exhibition, Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in Lego® Bricksbrings fascinating stories of famous shipwrecks to life, a perfect trip for all young LEGO enthusiasts.
Price admission to the museum is $15 per adult | $7.50 for concession | $30 for a family pass (2 adults + 2 children) | Free for child (0-15 years).
Price admission to Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in Lego® Bricks is $15 for a standard ticket | $12.50 for concession and juniors | Free for children under 5.

Fremantle Prison Tours I Torchlight Tour

Every Wednesday and Friday evening, join the guides in the dark as they engage you with sordid and ghastly stories of Fremantle Prisons dark history and ghastly stories. In winter (April – October) tours depart regularly from 6.30 pm, with multiple tours throughout the evening.
In summer (November – March) tours depart from 7.00 pm, with multiple tours throughout the evening. Cost is $28.00 per adult | $24.00 per concession | $18.00 per child | $82.00 for a family pass Please note: Torchlight Tours are not recommended for children under 10.

WA Shipwrecks Museum

Engage the family in the rich history of Australia’s oldest shipwrecks at Western Australian Shipwrecks Museum. Located a ten minute walk from Fremantle Station, the museum is open seven days a week and free for all visitors. Learn about Western Australia’s dangerous coastline, the journeys of Australia’s first European encounters, the riches of maritime trade and deadly mutinies of Australian history.


There are 2.5 million minds in Western Australia. SciTech is here to spark questions in every single one, through playful science, technology, engineering and mathematics experiences. Since 1988, SciTech has been fuelling curiosity and igniting the ideas that will forge the communities and workplaces of the future. SciTech is something both parents and kids will become fascinated by.

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

A visit to the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm provides children (and ‘grown-ups’ too) with the opportunity to experience the joy of getting ‘close and personal with lots of friendly farmyard animals in a delightful outdoor country atmosphere which is just 30 minutes from the Perth CBD in the heart of the beautiful Swan Valley. There are so many things to do including, visiting the friendly farm animals, kangaroos, emus, having a picnic or BBQ, free tractor-train rides, free bouncy castle, free merry-go-round and playground.

Adventure World

Visit Perth’s only Theme Park/Water Park, set in beautifully landscaped botanical gardens and lawns with over 25 attractions and rides to enjoy. Including the new world-class, exhilarating thrill ride Goliath; a giant pendulum swing ride. The heart-thumping, adrenaline-pumping roller-coaster Abyss and Kaken; the longest and steepest water funnel in Australia. Plus, there’s the Hawaiian resort-themed Kahuna Falls, and Aussie wildlife experience for the younger adventures just to name a few.

Latitude Joondalup

Bounce, climb and fly at Perth’s hottest destination for those that need to burn off some extra holiday steam. With 3000sqm of trampoline and climbing entertainment for all ages.  Latitude offers a bounce in your step with interconnected trampoline floors, featuring a free jump area, dodgeball court, basketball lanes, performance trampolines and an Air Bag. The action continues with their state-of-the-art climbing zone, featuring rock climbing walls, bouldering walls, a dual Perspex climbing wall and our famous wobbly pink poles.

Fly high with the 8m high sky-high obstacle course that offers you a bird’s eye view of the whole floor. And for all the little ninja-warriors, the experience is not complete without attempting The Grid, featuring a zip line, spider wall, bouldering, tight-rope and a warped wall. Latitude also offers a Kids Zone mini experience, for those 18 months to 5 years.


AQWA The Aquarium of Western Australia is Perth’s premier underwater aquarium located on the shores of the Indian Ocean just 20 minutes north of Perth city. Aqua is passionate about marine education, rehabilitation and conservation, and is dedicated to generating wonder and respect for the marine life of Western Australia through an extensive school education program, rehabilitation programs for sick and injured animals and amazing exhibits that provide a window to the bottom of the vast ocean floors. From December through to January at Aqua, you can experience mermaid and private shows, dive with the sharks, snorkel with the sharks, glass-bottom boat tour and more.

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is Western Australia’s very own island getaway, featuring a castle atmosphere, picturesque scenery, and some of the world’s finest beaches and bays. Rottnest is located just 19 kilometres off the coast of Fremantle. There are many things to do such as water play equipment hire, aqua play tours, shopping, swimming in the beautiful clear blue beaches and bays, seeing quokkas, this is the perfect little day getaway or overnight stay for you and your family.

Kookaburra Outdoor Cinema

Experience movies under the stars in the Perth Hills with the state forest providing a dramatic background to the on-screen entertainment. The season runs from November to the beginning of April; gates open between November and February at 6:30 pm and movies commence at 7:45 pm. All you must do is organise dinner, book a table and come early. There are snacks and lollies to buy onsite. You can even book to camp overnight at Perth Hills Discovery Centre which is across the road from the cinema.

Fremantle Arts Centre

Following on from the blockbuster 2018 kids’ exhibition Animaze, Fremantle Arts Centre presents an even bigger and more colourful creative experience for kids with Hundreds & Thousands.

Hundreds & Thousands see the galleries transformed into colour-filled worlds, with vibrant interactive artworks and immersive spaces designed for children and families to enjoy.

Across a spectrum of colour-themed spaces, Hundreds & Thousands offers rich sensory experiences for kids of all ages, including optical colour machines, giant golden soft sculptures to touch and participatory digital art that visitors create with their bodies.

Glowing Rooms 3D Mini Golf

Just five minutes from south of Fremantle, the Glowing Rooms as designed to provide you with a unique mini golf experience. Play in air-conditioned comfort, under ultraviolet light, surrounded by intense colours and mind-blowing hand-painted artworks. The magical 3D special effects glasses bring everything to life, transforming a game of mini golf into a glow in the dark experience. Golf balls appear to hover over the ground, the animals and characters come to life and almost reach out and touch you. As you move through the rooms, the journey takes you under the waves to a world inhabited by sea creatures, through space to corners of the universe. What an incredible experience.

Armadale Reptile Centre

The Armadale Reptile & Wildlife Centre houses a variety of native reptiles and other Australian wildlife with over 70 different species on display including snakes, lizards, turtles, fruit bats, kangaroos, frogs, dingoes, emus, tawny frogmouths, parrots, bustards and many more. Visit this interesting wildlife centre during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm.

Wembley Mini Golf

With 18-hole courses, high quality landscaped miniature putt putt, Wembley Mini Golf is a scaled-down version of a full-size golf course.  Considering tee and hole placement and featuring lavish landscaping and water features. Weave through sand traps, bridges and water features with your choice of starter, intermediate or advanced holes. The course is designed for both adults and children, challenging skill levels and offering a perfect family day out in the sunshine.

Perth Zoo

Located in South Perth, and just five minutes from the CBD, Perth Zoo is home to animals and plants from all corners of the globe. Offering an educational and entertaining family fun day out for all, with children under 4 years old entry free. Go behind-the-scenes and experience close encounters, and even meet Santa and his elves until the 24th of December. Open every day of the year 9 am-5 pm (That’s right! Even including Christmas Day, Good Friday and New Year’s Day) there truly is no better destination for your next full day of holiday fun!

Whiteman Park

Dedicated to the education and conservation of environmental, transport and cultural heritage, Whiteman Park offers the kids adventure and knowledge in one. With a vast array of fauna, flora, wetlands, and playgrounds the park offers visitors a full day of activities both educational and entertaining. Offering special events to cultivate community, join a nocturnal Woylie walk, Tour by train, tram or bus, Museum, Still Life Drawing or Christmas Count down this holidays and discover all the park has to offer (you may even need to come back if one day isn’t enough!).

Flying Trapeze Perth

Fly with Perth’s only Flying Trapeze School with over 25 years of teaching and performing experience. For 6 years and above, the flying trapeze is the perfect activity working to build confidence through achievement and overcoming fears, providing an opportunity to nurture identity and individuality for great and small. Providing adventure and playfulness in a safe and controlled environment. “Lycra and brightly coloured yoga and fitness clothing positively encouraged!”

Hillary’s Boat Harbor

Situated right on the water and hosting a range of boutique stores, delicious dining destinations and awesome adventure experiences, whether day or night, there’s lots to love about Hillary’s! Explore, swim, dine, shop, and attend a range of functions and activities over the holiday period. With live music on the boardwalk, Santa’s workshop, Christmas Markets and the Boardwalk Carnival, Hillary’s has got you covered for your next day or night outing that provides something for everyone to enjoy!

Wellington Square Playground

Wellington Square Playground offers a place for everyone, regardless of age, to connect, climb, explore, create and relax. This new and exciting inner-city Park is a ‘Landscape of Play’, where you can run around, take your dog for an off-the lead walk or enjoy a picnic in a destination location for the young and the young at heart. The design is influenced by Aboriginal themes and Western Australian iconic landforms, it is the perfect destination for locals and tourists alike.

Wellington Square represents cultural and spiritual significance, linking the past and the present, where Whadjuk Nyoongar people met, raised families, hunted, and performed ceremonies. Including a nature play, skate park, parkour activities, flying fox, embankment slides, pump track, water play, climbing towers and basketball courts, the park is the newest advancement for the city of Perth, that offers exciting new facilities to families and the wider community.

WA Museum Boola Bardip

Back and better than ever, the much-anticipated opening of WA Museum Boola Bardip offers education and entertainment in the heart of Perth. For over 120 years the Museum has been making the State’s natural and social heritage accessible and engaging through research, exhibitions and public programs, with incredible immersive experiences for everyone. The Western Australian Museum is the State’s premier cultural organisation, housing WA’s scientific and cultural collection, The Museum Boola Bardip, in Perth Cultural Centre on Saturday 21 November 2020 with nine days of celebration. The perfect place to share Western Australia’s stories, people, places and culture this holiday. The museum is open daily 9:30 am-5 pm with free entry.

Galaxy Drive-In

Watch new release movies under the stars at Perth’s only Drive-In Theatre. Featuring an onsite cafe and friendly staff, your night can be stress-free, enjoyed in a relaxing and safe environment. Located at 157-167 Goollelal Dr, Kingsley WA 6026, immerse yourself in the nostalgic drive-in experience, perfect for summer balmy nights and school holiday fun. Park up the car and stock your boot with pillows and blankets, for a big outdoor screening experience, with a cafe dispensing fast-food snacks. With fortnightly movie updates on their website, plan your trip today! Open Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Adults $11.00, Children 4yr to 12yr $5.50 and Children under 4yr free. With a Tuesday Night Special of $22.00 PER CAR.

Funcats Water Sports

Funcats Water Sports does a range of activities from Hobie man catamaran, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking. Funcats has become an iconic part of South Perth and it is not uncommon to have the entire fleet of 40 catamarans sailing on the Swan River in front of the city. Funcats really does have something for everyone.

Treetops Adventure – Yanchep

Just a 45-minute journey outside of Perth, Treetops Adventure Yanchep, offers a great escape and summer adventure. There are 7 tree ropes causes to choose from, filled with an array of ziplines, wobbling wooden bridges, swinging cargo nets and more! The range of activities is inclusive for the whole family, with additional Segway tours and mountain bike hire, 70 + aerial challenges, 16 zip-lines and the longest zip line of 80m.

Captain Cook Cruises WA

Imagine a perfect summers day out, looking at the blue sky views of the Western Australia coastline as you glide seamlessly through the ocean waters. Just a short walk from Perth’s CBD, Captain Cook Cruises provides a wide range of cruises around Perth and its surroundings, for you and the family to enjoy! There are a variety of different cruises to choose from, including daily passenger cruises to Fremantle, lunch, dinner, and twilight cruises that explore the calm waters and scenic views on the coast of Western Australia between Fremantle and Perth.

Plus, if the adults feel like allocating some time for themselves, you can pick an all-day scenic wine tour to the award-winning Swan Valley wine region!


Moving into the tail-end of the summer holidays, this is the time where many kids will be getting bored and unsettled.

Fortunately, there are a range of fun ways to keep them occupied, from outdoor adventures to DIY projects and fun games at home.

Here are some easy activities to keep them entertained:

DIY home theatre

Photo Credit: Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

With the pandemic affecting the accessibility of theatres, many kids are missing the novelty of the movie-going experience. But there’s no reason why it can’t be recreated at home. These holidays, encourage the kids to build their own home theatre.

Simply pick a room in the home and all you’ll need is a projector to display your chosen film on the wall. Throw some popcorn in the microwave and there you have it – the theatre experience in the comfort of your home. The kids may even enjoy it all the more for its cosiness.

Act out a play

Photo Credit: Ashton Bingham on Unsplash

This is a great way to keep your child’s mind sharp before they go back to school, while also letting them have fun. It’s a great activity to get creative with – they could choose from a range of popular plays or even write their own script.

From Shakespeare to a Harry Potter play, there are options for all ages and interests. Plus, the whole family can get involved and make a day of it. To add to the excitement, you could invite relatives or neighbours to watch the performance.

Have a dance-off

Photo Credit: Yan Berthemy on Unsplash

This is a fun activity for a group of kids to get involved in a movie-esque dance competition. It’s a simple way to encourage socialisation, while also tackling boredom. And, with the added bonus of physical exercise, it’s a no-lose situation.

The kids could make their own playlist and come up with some unique dance routines. The best part is, it costs nothing and can be done anywhere and with anyone. It could be a family affair, or you could encourage the kids to invite some friends over.

Outdoor sports

Photo Credit: Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

There’s never a better time to get exploring outside than in the summer. It’s a great time to try out some outdoor sports like open-water swimming. Explore your local area – or travel further out to your nearest beach – and dive into the deep end. This is a great opportunity for the kids to hone their swimming and water safety skills. There are also other activities for those who’d like to stay closer to the shore, such as playing around the rock pools and looking for shells.

Bike riding is a great option to get outside, while also having fun. There are a range of bike tracks out in nature so you can hit two birds with one stone – get the kids in the fresh air and get them exercising. Other types of wheel-based activities can also be a fun solution to holiday boredom, from roller skating to skateboarding – it’s the perfect time to try out some new interests. It could even lead to a long-lasting hobby and reduce hours spent looking at phone and computer screens.

Set up an indoor tent

Photo Credit: Kate Darmody on Unsplash

Making an indoor tent is a novel activity that will thrill kids of all ages. They can design the interiors themselves and could even watch movies or solve puzzles in their cosy new space. It’s a great way to incorporate family bonding time into the holidays and could even become a mainstay the kids to enjoy well into the future – it may even serve as a retreat for them during stressful times.

Festive fairy lights could be added to improve the aesthetics, along with music and colourful pillows to make the space welcoming. The kids could even create their own decorations to make the space their own.

Have a picnic

Photo Credit: Jarritos on Unsplash

It’s the perfect weather to head down to the park and get some family time in. A picnic is a fun way to get outside and it also gives you a chance to combine it with other activities such as walking through park trails, birdwatching or playing cricket in the park.

To really keep the kids entertained, they can even prepare the food themselves. From finger sandwiches to muffins to sushi – the options to get creative are limitless.

Perth Weekend Guide

We’ve found some fantastic fun and engaging things for the kids to do in Perth year-round, all you have to do is choose where to go first!


Are your kids bubbling with energy? These activities are sure to keep them entertained all day.

Zone Bowling Joondalup

Looking for a place with it all? With bowling, laser tag, an arcade and yummy food, Zone Bowling will keep them busy for hours. Visit: https://www.zonebowling.com/venues/wa/zone-bowling-joondalup


LatitudeAir Joondalup

Take the kids to LatitudeAir Joondalup to climb, bounce and fly. With over 3,000sqm of aerial entertainment, including trampolines and climbing walls, get the kids ready for a day packed full of activity. For more information, head to their website: https://latitudeair.com/?_ga=2.60282477.1790865332.1605578656-66651972.1605578656

The Climb Zone

At Kerem Adventure Park, the Climb Zone is a fun adventure packed experience – with high ropes, low ropes and rock climbing in a safe and fun family environment. Go to: https://www.theclimbzone.com.au

Adventure World

A favourite for the whole family, Adventure World is now open with awesome rides for everyone. If you’re a thrill-seeker, check out the big scary Abyss or the Kraken. Or if you’re looking for something a bit tamer, go see the Hawaiian resort-themed Kahuna Falls. There’s even something for the little ones in the Dragons Kingdom. Visit: https://adventureworld.net.au

Island Aqua Park

Located in Hillarys, this floating aqua park features climbing walls and slides, and is suitable for children 6 years and over. Just make sure to book 48 hours in advance. Go to: https://islandaquapark.com.au

Trees Adventure

Just one hour out of Perth, this action-packed treetop and zipline adventure is suitable for kids 4 years and older, and offers a great range of courses and challenges for the whole family to enjoy. Hopefully you’re not afraid of heights! Go to: https://treesadventure.com.au/park/lane-poole-park/

Bibra Lake Regional Playground

This playground has something for children of all ages, with everything from water squirting bulrushes to educational giant rocks telling local Nyungar stories. Located near Bibra Lake on Progress Drive, this playground has plenty of activities including a double flying fox, rope obstacle courses and climbing frames, and plenty of shade, so you can even bring a picnic. For more visit: https://www.cockburn.wa.gov.au/Recreation-and-Attractions/Parks-and-Playgrounds/Bibra-Lake-Regional-Playground


For the older kids, this fun and new Virtual Reality experience is suitable for children 11 years and older. Much more than just gaming, VR-ARRIVAL delivers extraordinary experiences, transporting you, your friends and family into immersive virtual worlds. Boasting the best in professional VR headset (HTC Vive Pro) and room-scale motion-tracking technology, VR-ARRIVAL lets you experience virtual reality at its very best, with unmatched immersion and realism. Walk freely inside virtual worlds and literally step INTO the experience. Visit: vr-arrival.com.au 


Keep them learning and growing on the weekends, by making their time off fun but educational.


A family favourite located on Hillarys Boat Harbour, the Aquarium of Western Australia is the place to see and learn all about the underwater creatures of our coast as you go on a journey to learn and gain respect for our sea life. There is plenty to see and do, including diving or snorkelling with the sharks. For more info, go to: https://www.aqwa.com.au/

Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison has some fantastic experiences such as an Escape Tour, for children aged 5-12; and their making a mark art workshop! With tours for children aged 8-12, the prison is an excellent and exciting place to learn while you play, getting a glimpse into the life of a prisoner at Fremantle prison.  https://fremantleprison.com.au/visit-us/

Boola Bardip Museum

Located in the heart of Perth, the new and improved Perth Museum has finally reopened its doors and has a multitude of fun programs and activities to get up to. From their “Blast off! Stop Motion Animation” program about meteorites and our solar system, to their “Virtual Vortals program” about virtual reality and interactive digital adventures, plus many more. See: https://visit.museum.wa.gov.au/boolabardip/tours-programs-events

WA Maritime Museum

This weekend, head on down to the Maritime Museum in Fremantle to learn all about the fascinating world of the Vikings, with activities such as a Vikings themed game show, a choose-your-own-adventure story, or just relax and enjoy a fun-filled adventure of sailing, raiding and exploring. Go to: https://museum.wa.gov.au/museums/maritime


Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory

Located only an hour north of Perth, become a rocket scientist for a day with their rocket making activities, and on Thursdays get the chance to become a space explorer with their school holiday program. Visit: Gravity Discovery Centre


Are you an animal-loving family? There’s plenty of activities to get out and see some furry (or not so furry) friends.

Perth Zoo

A family favourite for wildlife is the Perth Zoo. There is plenty to do, from kids and youth programs to watching live streams of the animals and Zoocoustics where you can see some of the best emerging Australian musicians with your loved ones. Set in the lush gardens of the Zoo, these unique live acoustic music sessions will have hearts fluttering. There will be food trucks for those looking for a bite to eat, or pack a picnic and bring your own food with responsible BYO drinks. General tickets are $30. Perth Zoo members receive a discounted ticket price of $25 (A valid Perth Zoo membership card must be present upon entry).  For more information check out the website:  https://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/programs

Caversham Wildlife Park

Located inside of Whiteman Park, get the chance to meet a wombat, feed a kangaroo, meet the koalas or feed some penguins. Visit: https://www.cavershamwildlife.com.au/daily-attractions/

Yanchep National Park

Have a little explorer on your hands? There are more than 400 caves reported at Yanchep Park, each offering contrasting experiences. Not only this but there are koalas to visit, kangaroos to see, golf to play and the opportunity tolearn about the rich culture and history of the Noongar people of Australia’s South West. For more, go to: https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/yanchep

Cohunu Koala Park

Have a chat with over 30 talking parrots, see dingoes, kangaroos, emus, deer and koalas, just to name a few of the animals that live at this park. Take a ride on the Cohunu Park Railway for $4, it zig-zags its way throughout the park most weekends & public holidays (subject to weather conditions). Visit: https://cohunu.com.au/pioneer-steam-museum/


Penguin Island

Just a five-minute ferry ride away, the beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters is an island known for its wildlife. Join them for a cruise to see some dolphins, rare Australian sea lions, as well as the world’s smallest penguins. Plus the chance to swim, snorkel, picnic and explore, Penguin Island is a dream for animal lovers. Go to: https://www.penguinisland.com.au/#welcome-1

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

Are cuddly farmyard animals more your style? With entry including free tractor/train rides, a free merry go round ride, free bottle and bucket feeding, and free tea and coffee for the grown-ups, this is a lovely day out for the family. Visit: https://www.cuddlyanimalfarm.com.au

Toodyay Fairy-Tale Farm

Located in the Avon Valley town of Toodyay, this family built and owned farm has a range of indoor and outdoor displays of all your favourite nursery rhymes and fairy tales, friendly farm animals for the kiddies to interact with, and even a vintage toy museum. Go to: https://www.fairytalefarm.com.au

Ari takes inspiration from her own childhood when planning school holidays for her child.

Okay, so now that I’m a mother, I can see the flawed and horrible logic that is the summer School Holidays.

SO LONG! Why so long? And why so sunny? Not only do the weeks last forever, each day seems like about ten days because the sun never goes down so you can’t do the old, it’s-dark-now-so-go-to-bed-and-leave-me-in-peace trick until about 9.00pm. Gruesome. Badly planned. Too hot. Whoever decides on these things needs a couple of mothers on the committee to arrange things properly.

When I was a kid, I loved Summer Hols, even though they mostly consisted of going to swimming lessons. I mean, there were a LOT of lessons and they kinda sucked. We didn’t get merit certificates for putting our heads under the water, or anything like that. No, me and my three siblings used to front up to the fifty metre non-solar-heated pool and some Old Boiler would make us fling ourselves into the lap-lane and bitch at us about our stroke. Every. Single. Day. I joke not. The only day we didn’t go was Sunday, and that’s because we had to go to church. My folks liked structure.

All of us kids were at different swimming levels and each lesson lasted about an hour – no pithy 25 minutes in a heated pool for us – so we had to hang around the local pool for about five hours by the time we got through everyone. In between lessons my mother, who engineered the annual Swimming Lesson Bonanza, would instruct us to do about a million more laps for ‘practise’, while she leisurely swam about seven lanes away from us pretending, I see in retrospect, that we didn’t belong to her.

Anyway, all that lapping took us through to about 2.00pm every day, and after five hours of swimming in waters that felt sub-Arctic, we had a lot of our collective Energizer Bunny burnt out of us. Basically that meant we were too tired to whinge and fight at the level we were accustomed to. Plus, we were starving.

My mother is a wily woman, non? She was deliberately, and delightedly, onto something and, now that I am a harried veteran of School Hols myself, I can see she utilised this strategy shamelessly throughout my childhood.

Summer hols meant overdosing on swimming lessons and Old Boilers brandishing megaphones but I think our winter holidays were worse. In winter, we’d take a trip down to Bluff Knoll and have to climb the mountain pretty much constantly. Once was never enough.

I, personally, do not understand the point of mountain climbing. I know there is a point and people feel all I’ve-Conquered-The-Mountain kind of thing when they’ve slogged up the rock face and are standing at the top, but I am quite happy for the mountain to conquer me. The mountain can win and I am MORE THAN OKAY with that. There. I said it. Go mountain. Victory is yours. Unfortunately, my folks are conquering types so I have actually conquered Bluff Knoll – miserably and without grace – more times than I care to recall. Sorry ‘bout that mountain. Won’t happen again.

If we didn’t climb the mountain, we’d go on long bush walks – like six hours or something – with an apple and a vegemite roll for sustenance, and only one another for company. I am not sure why. My parents thought this kind of thing was Fun With A Capital F. I mean, they really dug stumbling along some bush track for hours playing ‘I Spy’ for kicks. There’s only so many times you can Spy a Tree, if you know what I’m saying.

And being winter it rained quite a bit. Basically it rained whenever we had to do a Challenging Outdoor Activity, which was every day. It did not matter if there were fecking hail stones the size of golf balls – we still went mountain climbing or roaming around in the wilderness. My mother packed an odd assortment of raincoats for such weather and flung them happily at us, along with random too-big gumboots, and off we went.

We did complain to our parents, of course. I might have, ahem, complained more than anyone else but they took precisely zero notice and we still had to do these God-awful Extreme Sport like holidays, except we didn’t look cool like they do in Extreme Sport commercials, we just looked random and mis-matched, dodging hailstones in our weird raincoats.

So anyway, this School Hols we had a few weeks of the child bouncing-off-the-walls and me and the other half were starting to get a bit desperate and tetchy. The days were sunny and hot and, above all, long. So, so long.

“I have the solution,” I said, one morning after trying and failing to persuade the child to bounce on the trampoline in the broiling son without Mummy.

The other half raised an eyebrow.

“He needs to know how to swim better than he does,” I gabbled. “Much, MUCH better. We need to book him into swimming lessons EVERY DAY for the rest of the holidays RIGHT NOW.”

I grabbed my phone and started dialling swim schools and, gosh darn it, I did not stop dialling until someone told me they would take him the very next day. Huzzah!

And so he went. And he put his head under the water and blew bubbles and stuff. And he got a merit certificate and a colouring in book and lots of high fives. Unfortunately, it seems Old Boilers are now extinct, but he still got tired-ish. Sort of.

Next hols, I’ve decided that we’re off to Bluff Knoll. I plan to nominate myself for tea duty, while my husband and son conquer the mountain.