Need some ideas for what to do during the school holidays ? Your public libraries can help! Libraries are a great source of low-cost and no-cost activities and educational and entertainment options for all ages. Whether you want to attend organised workshops and activities in-person, or borrow materials – including books, DVDs, even console/board games or robotics toys – to create your own activities at home, libraries have you covered.
In my home state of Victoria, public libraries are running a campaign called Return Yourself to Your Library. As libraries return to full services following disruptions caused by the pandemic, they would love to remind their members (past, present and future!) of the wide range of services they offer. Not only are they a great source of borrowable and/or downloadable materials, they can also support your entertainment and creativity needs, as well as being welcoming spaces where you can make new friends and feel part of a community.
In today’s blogpost I am highlighting some activities offered by libraries around and beyond Victoria, to show the diversity of events available. I hope this inspires you to contact your nearest library to see what they have to offer. From story times and craft workshops to robotics and dance sessions, library events can add some welcomed variety to your school holidays!
Treasure Hunt at the City of Melbourne Libraries
Whether you live in the City of Melbourne, or are visiting for the day, you can drop into one of their five branches (City Library on Flinders Lane, Southbank, Docklands, North Melbourne, East Melbourne, and Kathleen Syme in Carlton) for a treasure hunt! Follow the clues, discover some surprises, find the hidden pictures and collect your treasure! This is a self-guided activity available anytime during library opening hours – speak to a staff member for full details. Also look out for pop-up library spaces throughout the CBD – perfect for a bit of quiet downtime or free internet access.
The Australian Ballet at Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries
One of the biggest library services in Melbourne, Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries is offering an extensive holiday program across its nine branches. One highlight is its collaboration with The Australian Ballet – ballet storytime for young children (5 years and under) at Watsonia Library, and STEAM dance workshops for 5-12 year olds at Ivanhoe Library. These workshops encourage and nurture movement, creativity as well as literacy. No dance experience required, bookings essential. Other holiday activities include movie afternoons, Minecraft and coding.
Little Warriors Yoga at the State Library of Victoria Every Wednesday, you and your preschooler can enjoy a fun and free 45-minute yoga class hosted by Little Warriors Yoga. Help your little one grow into happy and confident beings with tips on stretching, calmness and wellbeing. Two sessions available every Wednesday morning, bookings essential. Part of the Playdate at the Library series of events suitable for 3-5 year olds. And while you are there, why not explore the beautiful spaces in this iconic building, including the famous Dome Reading Room, and the beautifully refurbished, dedicated Children’s Quarter?
LEGO Club at the Geelong Libraries The popular LEGO Club at the Geelong Regional Libraries is running a bricktastic workshop as part of its school holiday program, where you can make new friends and explore your creativity. These sessions are for parents and children to build together, and can suit diverse needs, especially for children on the autism spectrum. Sessions are held at the Bannockburn Library and are suitable for 5-11 year olds.
Make a seed bomb at the Goldfields Libraries
The Goldfields Libraries service a number of central Victorian towns including Bendigo, Castlemaine, Gisborne and Kyneton. The current school holiday program has a Peter Rabbit theme and focusses on hands-on activities including craft, LEGO and robotics. If you have young people who love gardening and/or messy play, drop into one of their branches and make a Seed Bomb. Seed bombs are a tried-and-true method of providing an optimal environment for germinating seeds – great for home-use and also as gifts. All materials supplied.
Laser-cut Jewellery workshop for teens at the City of Sydney Library
Further afield, the City of Sydney Libraries are hosting a range of creative workshops at their Darling Square Library. Many public libraries offer Maker Spaces with equipment that are free to use and help support your creativity – from sewing machines to 3D printers to design software and even sound studios. The gorgeous new Darling Square Library is offering a jewellery-making session for adults and older teens. Suitable for beginners, the workshop will show you how to use Adobe Illustrator software to create a design, that can then be turned into reality using a laser cutter on plywood or perspex. Follow the link for booking and cost details.