Life issues

What's on during the school holidays?

23 Sep 2019

With school holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start planning what to do. Across the Hunter there are plenty of activities for all ages and interests, so if you’re stuck for ideas or unsure of what’s on, there’s no need to worry – just read on.


Maitland City Library

Maitland City Library will be hosting a variety of fun and challenging construction and design activities across their four locations these school holidays. Be sure to hold on to your hard hats and get ready to create!


Activities include:


  • LEGO Construction Plus – Think you have what it takes to solve the LEGO challenges? Roll the dice and put your imagination, creativity and building skills to the test!
  • Cool Constructions – Let your imagination flow and solve the engineering challenges using only craft sticks, clothes pegs and glue.
  • Lantern Making Workshop – Get ready for the Maitland Riverlights Multicultural Festival by making and decorating a lantern.
  • Design and Build a Model Town – Team up with other budding builders to create the perfect town!
  • Mine Craft Creeper Events – Build a Minecraft Creeper and Minecraft themed board game then use your board game to challenge other Minecraft fans.
  • Load Bearing Linguini – Discover how to construct strong, loadbearing structures such as bridges using pasta.
  • The World of Artemis Fowl – Explore and create secret languages, decipher the Gnomish code and sculpt a bad-tempered troll plus wearable, scaly goblin ears.
  • Fowl Creations for Foul Children – In this enchanted activity, kids are immersed in the world of Artemis Fowl and explore ways to help Artemis and his team on their dangerous crime fighting missions. Solve a Gnomish riddle and make a fairy trap or gadget for Foaly.



Maitland Regional Art Gallery

 Drop into Maitland Regional Art Gallery these school holidays and see-make-do!



Are you good at solving puzzles? Grab yourself a Code Breaker clipboard from the front desk, locate the hidden features in the art gallery and use the clues to break the code!

 Recurring Daily | 10:00AM – 5:00PM



Staffed by qualified art teachers, Art Sunday focusses on providing hands-on activities and encourages participants to immerse themselves into the art.

 Every Sunday | 11:00AM – 1:00PM


  • Colour Code Breaker
  • Search for the Golden Poo
  • Stories from Wonnarua Country Codebreaker and Wandering Words



Maitland Gaol

These school holidays Maitland Gaol will be offering plenty of fun filled activities for the kids, teens and adults to get amongst.


Self-Guided Audio Tours

 Choose from the following three tours to gain a unique perspective of life behind bars: Maitland Gaol Revealed, Escaping Maitland Gaol and Snitch’s Gaol Exploration.

Available seven days a week.

Junior Sleuth: Word Detective

 In order to solve crimes, detectives often had to sift through a series of clues first. During this activity children will be given a puzzle, the clues for which will be provided by the guide during a one-hour mini tour of the site. At the conclusion of the tour, children will have the opportunity to piece together the clues to solve the crime.

Tuesday 1 and 8 October | 11:00AM | $10 per child / $5 per adult


Workhouse Woes: Gardening

 Children will be introduced to one of the most popular jobs in the gaol – gardening. After a one hour guided mini tour, children will get to hear about how important the garden was for food production and get to plant some seeds in seed trays.

Thursday 3 and 10 October | 11:00AM | $10 per child / $5 per adult


Music and Projections at Maitland Gaol

 Facilitated by the University of Newcastle's School of Creative Industries in partnership with Maitland Gaol, this workshop is for high school students with a passion for music who are keen to explore live visuals and performance.

3 and 4 October | $90 per person | Bookings Essential

For more information please contact the Conservatorium of Music 02 4921 8900 or email

Kids Lockdown


A great opportunity for kids and their parents to experience a sleepover at Maitland Gaol.

Saturday 5 October | 8:30PM – 8:00AM (following day) | $50 per person

For more information, go to:

Escapes Guided Tour


A 90-minute tour designed to explore the various stories and exact locations of some of the documented escapes from Maitland Gaol.

28 September; 4, 11 and 12 October | 11:00AM | $23 per person

150 Years Under Lock and Key Guided Tour


A 90-minute family friendly tour delving into the rich history of Maitland Gaol.

29 and 30 September; 6, 7 and 13 October | 11:00AM | $23 per person

Ex-Warder Guided Tour


A 90-minute tour of the gaol with stories told from the perspective of someone who worked in the facility for 20 years.

2, 5 and 9 October | 11:00AM | $23 per person



The Levee Maitland

In Spring, the Levee is Going Global. A range of activities will take place bringing the wide world to Central Maitland.


Giant Paper Aeroplanes Workshop

 A great opportunity for all to create their very own giant paper aeroplane or helicopter with the help of Art Heroes.

 1 and 3 October | 10:00AM – 1:00PM | Free


Cultural Dance Workshop

 A great opportunity for all to learn the basics of traditional dance and dance styles from around the globe by a variety of talented instructors.

 8 and 10 October | 10:00AM – 1:00PM | Free


Riverlights Multicultural Festival

 Riverlights is a diverse and colourful celebration of culture through interactive stalls, dance, food, music and arts. This event really shines at night, with the popular festival parade and magical lantern flotilla featured on the Hunter River.

 Saturday 12 October | 3:00PM – 9:00PM | Free Entry



Hunter Valley Zoo

 Visit the Hunter Valley Zoo and get up close and personal with the animals these school holidays. With a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles from Australia and around the globe, enjoy daily keeper talks and unique animal encounters!

 Open every day during school holidays | 9:00AM – 4:00PM | Click here for prices



Hunter Valley Aqua Golf and Putt Putt

Aqua Golf and Putt Putt is the number one activity in Wine Country. Ideal for family and friends of all ages. Enjoy hitting floating golf balls into the lake for your chance to win prizes if you land a ball in the floating nets or test your putt putt skills with a challenging yet fun 18 holes!

Seven days a week | 9:30AM – 4:30PM | $7 - $20



Maitland / East Maitland Aquatic Centre

With the weather heating up, both East Maitland pool and Maitland’s outdoor pool will be reopening these school holidays. So, gather up the troops and head in for a dip on those warmer days. Be sure to apply sunscreen and be sun smart!

For opening hours and admission fees, click here.



New Release Family Movies

As usual, there’s a selection of new-release family-friendly movies to go see these school holidays. Screening at both Hoyts Greenhills and Reading Cinemas Maitland.




Rating: G

Duration: 97 mins

Synopsis: DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio's co-production Abominable takes audiences on an epic 3,000-mile journey from the streets of Shanghai to the breathtaking Himalayan snowscapes. When a mischievous group of friends encounter a young Yeti, they embark upon an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth.


The Angry Birds Movie 2

angry birds

Rating: PG

Duration: 97 mins

Synopsis: The flightless angry birds and the scheming green piggies take their beef to the next level in The Angry Birds Movie 2! When a new threat emerges that puts both Bird and Pig Island in danger, Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) recruit Chuck's sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) and team up with pigs Leonard (Bill Hader), his assistant Courtney (Awkwafina), and techpig Garry (Sterling K. Brown) to forge an unsteady truce and form an unlikely superteam to save their homes.


Dora and the Lost City of Gold


Rating: PG

Duration: 102 mins

Synopsis: Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora (Isabela Moner) for her most dangerous adventure ever – High School. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg), a mysterious jungle inhabitant (Eugenio Derbez), and a ragtag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents (Eva Longoria, Michael Peña) and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost city of gold.