It’s finally 2021, with warm weather around us and the school holidays still rockin’ on. As always the question is ‘what do I do with the kids until school returns?!’. Luckily, we know how tricky it can get to come up with ideas when the kids inevitably pull out the ‘I’m bored’ card, so we have created the ultimate Cairns school holiday guide for all local parents, children and families – to stay entertained and having fun together.
Check out the awesome activities and places to visit these school holidays below.
Bad Fishy Jet Boating is ready to THRILL! With spins, slides, speed and stunts, this activity is extreme, loads of fun and perfect for the family. View the stunning scenery of Cairns and explore Trinity Inlet. Locals can receive 20% off both adult and child tickets using promo code LOCAL this January (suitable for children above 1.1 metres tall).
Cost: From $38.00 per child – locals rates.
A Berth A1, The Marlin Marina Cairns
P 0499 490 030
Kids Fresh Food Workshops
Do you want to make being healthy fun? Kids can get involved and learn to make healthy snacks and meals with fresh fruit and vegetables at Cairns Central with special FREE workshops. Each day will focus on a different, tasty recipe ranging from Mexican Wraps all the way to Sushi and Bento Boxes.
From Wednesday 13 January to Saturday 16 January workshops will run from 10.00am – 1.00pm, lasting 20 – 30 minutes each. Kids will be able to take away and eat their delicious creations at the end.
Recommended for ages 5 – 12 years. Make sure to visit their website for more information and to book.
A 1 – 21 McLeod St, Cairns
P 4041 4111
Have the ‘Slime of Your Life’ with this great kids show, hosted by Paramour Theatre. From January 11 – 15, 10.00am and 12.00pm (two shows daily, 40 mins in length). Hosted by Paramour Theatre, participants will be drawn from the audience to take part in mini-games – either succeeding or getting slimed! Bookings are essential.
Kids can also enjoy the creative arts activities from January 18 – 22, 10.00am – 2.00pm, that the centre is holding in collaboration with Cairns Art Gallery. Visit the website for all of the details.
A Mount Sheridan Plaza, 106 Barnard Dr
P 4036 3150
DFO Cairns is your one-stop-shop for all fashion, designer brands and bargains. The options are endless with 60 + stores and over 600 brands. Plus, these school holidays they will have face painting available from the 8 – 9 January, 16 – 17 January and 22 – 23 of January at 10.00am until 2.00pm (no bookings required!). Not to mention the epic Lasertag Tournament from 18 – 22 January at 4.00pm (bookings required). While you’re there, why not entertain the kids by booking them in for a fun session at Frozen Wonderland Ice Skating?
With Coles, free parking, free wifi and 10 + places to grab a bite to eat, there’s no better place to shop and have a day of fun with the family.
A DFO, 274 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt
P 4051 7444 DFO Cairns
Child’s World Early Learning Centres not only accommodate children from the age of six weeks old (Nursery) to Kindergarten/Preschool, they also do vacation care for children up to the age of 12 years. School Holiday Vacation Care includes cooked and nutritious meals, fun excursions, a home bus service on request and more, starting from just $13.00 a day. There are limited spaces available, so enrol your child now.
A Vacation Care offered at Bentley Park (two centres), Mount Sheridan (two centres) and Manoora
P 4045 4045
Get your adrenaline pumping in Cairns’ ultimate indoor laser tag arena with the Special School Holiday Sessions, each 90 minutes of pure energy, strategy and fun. Sessions will be running four times a day during the holidays at 10.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm and 4.00pm. There will also be an exciting lasertag tournament at the final 4.00pm sessions from Monday 18 – Friday 22 January – five whole days of thrilling competition!
Cost: $25.00/player with up to 20 players per game. Book online to find more information and get ready to win!
A T1, DFO Shopping Centre, 274 Mulgrave Rd
P 4031 9865
Participate in one of Jackley’s Kids Cupcake Classes during the school holidays at their new cake academy. Find out more and book on their website. Jackley’s is also your one-stop-shop for all things sweet. Conveniently located in Mount Sheridan, this Bakehouse offers amazing cupcakes and cakes for any event, with the option of extra special designs and add-ons for your loved ones and friends.
A Shop 57, Mount Sheridan Plaza, 106 Barnard Dr
P 4036 0694
Register for the Summer Reading Club Program to take part in fun activities such as the 40 days in 40 ways reading challenge and library scavenger hunt, running until 31 January. The FREE Summer Reading Club activity pack can be picked up from any library.
Kids can also enjoy the Science Spark STEM activities, Crafty Origami, Online Cartooning Workshops and the hilarious Sean Murphy Live – Online Commonwealth of Games show, all for FREE! Visit the Cairns Libraries site for registering information and more details.
A Smithfield, City, Earlville, Stratford, Manunda
Cairns Gallery offers exciting and stimulating art workshops during the school holidays that are a great way for kids to play and learn while improving their art skills. Over these summer holidays a variety of workshops including Art Bootcamps, Painting, Paper Jewellery, Portrait and Life Drawing, Sculpture, Finger Puppets and much more will be available for children aged 5 – 14 years (in separated classes). Led by experienced artists, these workshops are an opportunity that your own little artist won’t want to miss!
Visit the Cairns Art Gallery website below for individual class prices and times.
A 40 Abbott St, Cairns City
P 4046 4800
At Little Pearls your child can receive ongoing swimming and water safety lessons, from just a few months old, all year round. Facilities include an indoor heated pool, change tables, hot showers, a small play space and
more. Your child’s first lesson will also be free! Visit the website for more information.
Baby and Toddler – Lessons for ages four months to three and a half years.
Learn to Swim (Independent) – Lessons for ages three and a half years to primary school children.
Private Lessons – Lessons for children through to adults, one on one with an instructor.
A 1 Cumberland Avenue, Smithfield
P 4038 1241
Get the full mermaid experience, feel like you’re one with the water and have heaps of fun with the Swim Like a Mermaid Experience. Most ages are welcome (boys and girls six years +) but ability to swim and confidence in the water are essential.
Cost: $18.00 – $200.00 from Try Mermaid to Model Mermaid. Call or email Amanda for more information.
A 434-436 Brinsmead Rd
P 0411 612 442
Experience two and a half hours of action-packed fun on TEN massive jumping castles, inflatable obstacle courses and games. Use the sports court and ball pit to get out all your child’s energy for the day – they’ll have the absolute best time! Open every day from 9.00am – 4.30pm.
Cost: $10.00 for children five and under and $17.00 for children six and over. Online bookings will save 10% OFF entry price. Don’t forget your socks!
A 164 Mayers St, Manunda
P 4032 2844
Head on down to Cairns Indoor Sports for an exciting game of cricket, netball, soccer, beach volleyball or dodgeball. It’s the perfect way to revisit an old sport you loved or get into a new one, get your body moving and have fun. Bring your friends along and form a team or make new friends along the way. It’s always game on – no matter the weather!
A 164 Mayers St, Manunda
P 4032 2844
Do you want to be involved in awesome group theatrics these summer holidays? The Young Company are holding a variety of four-day Drama Camps for kids aged 5 – 12 years to reveal their inner actor and embrace their imagination. All programs run from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Visit the Young Company website to book.
League of Champions: Pikachu to the Rescue, 12 – 15 January
Wizarding Academy: Wands at the Ready, 19 – 22 January
A 169 – 171 Bunda St, Cairns City
P 4041 4066
Bring the family for a delicious lunch available from Wednesday to Sunday, 12.00am – 2.30pm, or dinner on Wednesday to Saturday from 5.30pm. A La Carte Café Style Breakfast is also available daily until 10.30am.
Shangri-La loves locals too! Join the #Grasscutters locals’ membership to receive some great exclusive specials, including $10.00 OFF the normal breakfast buffet price. Want to simply relax and grab a drink? The Bar and Garden are open from 11.00am daily.
A Pier Point Rd, Cairns City
P 4052 7670
Treat the family to 18 holes of mini-golfing fun and mix it up by playing a game or two at night when the course is lit up. You can let the kids’ imaginations run free in the Adventure Playground, complete with a slippery slide, climbing frame, flying fox and the hugely-popular 21-metre bouncing pillow. Grab lunch from the tasty restaurant or parents can get a drink from the bar.
PLUS these school holidays you can gain FREE access to the pool with any purchase from the restaurant on Fridays only, along with FREE mini golf and FREE adventure playground access.
A Paradise Palms Dr, Kewarra Beach
P 4059 9922
The adventure begins at Cairns Aquarium. As the only aquarium in the world exclusively dedicated to the habitats and species of Tropical North Queensland, visiting, is a great way to keep the kids learning these school holidays in the funnest way possible. The best part? Locals receive a 20% discount year-round on general admission prices!
Cost: $21.00 child admission, $44.00 adult admission and $132.00 family admission (2A + 2C). Annual passes (valid 12 months) available from $62.00.
A 5 Florence St, Cairns City
P 4044 7300
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures offers great family fun activities for everyone to enjoy. They are open from 8.30am to 5.00pm daily, with presentations starting from as early as 9.00am. These include the Crocodile Farm Tour, amazing Crocodile Attack Show and Snake Show. The ‘Slither and Slides’ Adventure playground is also now open for children to have a blast on.
Cost: $41.00 Adults, $20.50 Children, $102.50 Family (2A + 2C) or get yourself an annual pass for unlimited entry.
A Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures – Captain Cook Hwy, Wangetti
P 4055 3576
The CaPTA Group Annual Pass allows you to have 12 months unlimited admission to the beautiful Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome, Rainforestation Nature Park and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Locals get 20% off.
Cost: $260.00 for a family, $104.00 for an Adult, $52.00 for a child. Visit the website for terms and conditions. Covid-19 restrictions apply.
Be surrounded by 1500 colourful butterflies in the magical Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda Village. Enjoy a guided tour, see butterflies in all life stages in the laboratory and explore the fairy garden!
Cost: Adults $20.00, Children $10.00, Family $50.00. Suitable for all ages. Locals receive 20% off with code BUTTERFLYLOCAL. Open daily from 10.00am – 3.00pm.
A 8 Rob Veivers Dr, Kuranda
P 4093 7575
Enjoy a fun Indigenous experience with the Pamagirri Mini Mob. Learn how to play the didgeridoo and paint your own PVC didgeridoo to keep! Or you can join a Rainforest Walkabout and become a master of the boomerang. Sessions start at 10.30am and 12.30pm daily.
Cost: Children: $45.00 (includes boomerang). Adults: $45.00 or $65.00 (includes boomerang).
A 1030 Kennedy Hwy, Kuranda
P 4085 5008
Keepers In training is a fantastic weekend activity. K.I.T allows children to experience what it’s really like to be a Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome wildlife keeper, joining a wildlife keeper for an interactive, hands-on experience covering animal care, health and handling. You even get to have a photo taken with an animal to take home!
Cost: $40.00 per child. Runs for one hour from 9.00am – 10.00pm (3 – 7 years) and 11.00am – 1.00pm (8 – 13 years) on both Saturday and Sunday. Visit their website for more information.
A The Reef Hotel Casino, 35-41 Wharf St, Cairns City
P 4031 7250
Wildlife Habitat is Australia’s leading wildlife experience, providing visitors with the opportunity to observe and interact with a huge range of Wet Tropics wildlife up close. They have five distinct habitats – including the revamped Rainforest Habitat with the all new Licuala Tower and Birdseye Bridge. You can even have Breakfast with the Birds or Lunch with the Lorikeets – getting up close and personal with beautiful birds of the tropics. Locals enjoy 20% discount all year round with the code HABITATLOCAL
Cost: $19.00 (child general admission) – $170.00 (Private tour). Open daily from 8.00am – 4.00pm excluding Christmas Day.
A Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas
P 4099 3235
If you’re looking to revitalise in paradise, gather the family and head to the gorgeous King Reef Resort at Kurrimine Beach. Explore all day, swim in the tranquil ocean or pool, build sandcastles on the beach and return to relax with a gorgeous sunset view from your beachfront shack. You can also hire a family pedal bike, go fishing, and more – the possibilities are endless.
A 75 Jacobs Rd, Kurrimine Beach
P 4065 6144
This fun-for-the-whole-family waterpark is open every day of the QLD State School Holidays. 10.00am – 5.00pm
A Sugarworld Adventure Park, Hambledon Drive, Edmonton
P 4055 5477
Keep cool these school holidays and put your board riding skills to test on the Tobruk Flow Rider experiencing endless surfing fun! 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $10.00 per ride
A 370 Sheridan Street, North Cairns
P 4051 2604
The Cazalys Kids Room is an air-conditioned indoor Kids Play Centre. It’s a great environment for the kids to engage in fun and social activities in a specially created environment that’s just for them. The bigger kids can stay entertained on the six PlayStation terminals loaded with all the latest games. (Parental supervision required).
All kid’s meals are $8.50. Families can dine in the restaurant area and enjoy the delicious variety of foods and beverages on offer.
A 344 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt
P 4054 1464
Step into another world as the Daintree Discovery Centre takes you back 130 million years in time to when dinosaurs still roamed our planet. Meet Cryolophosaurus, the most ferocious carnivorous dinosaur of them all, or the giant megafauna such as the Diprotodon, the closest surviving relative of the wombat.
There are six life size animatronic dinosaurs to find on your pre-historic Jurassic Forest adventure, as well the Centre’s treetop walks, 23 metre high canopy tower and more.
Cost: From $18.00. $90.00 Family Gold Pass (valid 12 months).
A Cnr Cape Tribulation Rd & Tulip Oak Rd, Cow Bay
P 4098 9171
Age is no limit for iPlay arcades! Whether you’re a little kid or a very grown-up kid, they have something for everyone. An abundance of the latest games matched with your favourite retros will keep you occupied for hours amongst action and fun. Show your skills by taking on Dad on the latest Daytona or challenge your mates to air hockey and NBA basketball. Collect your tickets for the latest and greatest prizes from our prize shop, a great way to finish off your play session.
Open every day during school holidays from 9.00am – 8.00pm and 9.00am – 9.00pm on Thursdays.
A Cairns Central Shopping Centre, 1/21 McLeod St
P 4243 3209
Come visit Lake Tinaroo and get cosy in a cabin, glamp in a camper trailer, motorhome or caravan, or go full outback in a tent. Your days can be spent exploring Lake Tinaroo by boat, on skis or in a kayak, canoe or on a stand-up paddle board. At the park there are beautiful nature walks, a jumping pillow, and a swimming pool. You’ll get convenient access to the picturesque Tinaroo Foreshore with its playgrounds, barbecues and picnic areas. The family will never get bored!
Cost: From $29.00 (unpowered camping).
A 4-28 Tinaroo Falls Dam Road, Tinaroo
P 4095 8232
Kids Club kneeboarding and wakeboarding sessions are specifically designed to be an easy learning environment for younger kids. With a target age group of 7 to 12 year olds, our professional coaches can easily ensure that all kids have a fun time while being introduced to the Wake Park in the friendliest way.
Cost: From $34.00 (1 hour pass for child. Visit the website for more information as prices vary). Equipment must be hired, starting at $10.00 for Wakeskate and $20.00 for Pro Wakeboard.
A Skyrail Drive, Lot 5, Captain Cook Highway
Stay and play amidst 11 acres of tropical rainforest gardens! Kids will love the playground, three lagoon pools and fun pool slide. Parents can enjoy the relaxed surroundings and contemporary Poolside Bar and Dining facilities.
Cost: $169.00 per night includes accommodation for two adults and two children (12 years or under) in a spacious, fully air-conditioned Studio Room. Book TODAY using the code word “SLEEPOVER” for a bonus $50.00 dining voucher!
A 18 – 26 Cannon St, Manunda
P 4053 8800
The Cairns Ice Skating Rink at DFO will be open daily during the school holidays so get your long socks on and get ready to slide! Test your skating skills or have a casual outing with the family or friends with daily sessions between 9.30am – 5.00pm, lasting 90 minutes each. Tobogganing is also available for those who’d prefer to slide into the fun.
Cost (includes free skate hire): From $5.00 (Tobogganing only, four slides) – $65.00 (family pass). No bookings required and Skate Aids are available for younger children from $10.00.
A DFO Cairns, 274 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt
P 0437 929 373
At Smithfield you’ll find great deals and affordable fashion, games, wellness products, a huge variety of other home products and toys – all just waiting to go to a good home.
Keep the kids entertained these school holidays with Smithfield’s Craft Workshops. All supplies are provided, every workshop is free and they allow children to have fun while exploring their artistic side. Workshops take place January 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 with two sessions per day. Bookings with customer care are essential.
A Cnr Captain Cook and Kennedy Highway, Smithfield
P 4281 3800