The excitement of summer school holidays is upon us, but so is that humidity. The last thing you want to kids doing is spending the whole summer in the house; so we have tracked down some activities to get them moving, while still keeping their cool. These suggestions are either on or around water, in the shade, or in the air-con.
Launch Zone - Ongoing
If you haven’t been to Launch Zone yet, it’s well worth checking out – and not just for kids! There is truly something for every age with distinct zones, including a special section for kids under five; an extreme zone for practising snowboarding, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, skateboarding and surfing tricks and techniques; the challenging Olympic zone for those who like to get air, a basketball zone and dodgeball arena – the list goes on. Plus this summer holidays owner Adam Lam says it’s all about offering families value, so there are daily specials (download the vouchers from Launch Zone’s Facebook page). For instance, every Monday over the school holidays you can buy a one-hour jump pass and receive free unlimited arts and crafts, face painting, arcade gaming including space invader machines with over 60 different games, Xbox and PlayStation and pinball. More info.
Townsville Crocodiles School Holiday Program – December 15-16
Learn from the best in the business during the Crocs’ 2014 summer camp. Players of all skill levels will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with Crocs players and coaches to improve their basketball skills. This one-of-a-kind camp will be conducted over two big days from Monday, December 15 to Tuesday, December 16 from 10am to 3pm. The sessions are at Townsville Basketball Stadium in Annandale and are $100 per session (including a merchandising pack, coaching, morning tea, court hire). More info.
Psssst: If you miss this session, the Townsville Crocodiles are kindly running a one-day skills clinic on Tuesday, January 20 as part of our 31 Days of Activity. More details about this initiative and how to book coming soon…
CrossFit NQ School Holiday Program – Monday, December 15-19 and Monday, January 5-9
No matter the size of your little one, there is a way for them to discover CrossFit with CrossFit NQ’s three separate programs to cater to all children’s ages and experience levels. With sessions held inside in Body Torque Gym on Woolcock Street, there are CrossFit Minis (three to five years) and Kids (five to 12 years) sessions, plus a new program for teens looking to give the workout a go. CrossFit NQ owner Fiona Muxlow says this session will give participants the opportunity to learn some more advanced skills and techniques than the Kids category. Session costs range from $10 to $20, depending on the age, and there are discounts for extra siblings. More info.
Barra Fun Park – Ongoing
What better way to spend the school holidays then splashing around in the Aqua Park? This huge inflatable water park has obstacle courses, trampolines, jungle gyms, giant slides, rockets and catapulting pillows. Don’t worry about landing safely, as the water is over 2.5m deep, which means no hitting the bottom. Life jackets are provided and must be worn by all, regardless of age; which Barra Fun Park owner Belinda Stevenson says is often an unexpected bonus: “The waterpark can be quite challenging and exhausting so people are always grateful for the life jackets by the end!” The Aqua Park is open every day over the school holidays between 10am and 4pm (except Christmas Day). While you’re at the Barra Fun Park, kids can also have a fish, bounce on the jumping pillow or pat one of the miniature animals; plus older kids can try wakeboarding at Townsville’s only Cable Ski facility. They’ll sleep well after that! More info.
Sk8way – Ongoing
Based on Herveys Range Road at Cannon Park, Sk8way has developed a school holiday schedule which sees it popular regular classes run a lot more frequently. There’s Tots on Skates playgroup for children aged 6 years and under, frequent two-hour morning and afternoon sessions, ‘Cheaper Tuesday’ options and a Rolla Rampage disco on Friday evenings (request your favourite song through the Sk8way Facebook page). Check out the class schedule here (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day morning).
Laser Combat NQ – From January
A brand new activity that’s inspired by popular video games such as Halo 2 and Counter Strike, Laser Combat is just like a live computer game. Director Brendan Ellwood says Laser Combat is a laser game that’s ideal for all ages. “The laser guns use a harmless infrared beam, similar to a TV remote, that tags sensors worn by each of the players. Since there is no paint, it is fun for all ages and team missions like ‘Elimination’ and ‘Domination’ are being played out all over Townsville.” Laser Combat can be played at Sk8way Townsville, but it’s also mobile and can be hosted at your place. There are public sessions at Sk8way each Wednesday and Saturday starting from Saturday, January 3. Game tickets are $29 for 1 1⁄2 hours (half hour mission briefing, one hour game) and adults play at kids’ prices. More info.
Psssst: Try this activity as part of our 31 Days of Activity program on Monday, January 5 from 1pm-4pm. More details about the 31 Days of Activity and how to book coming soon…
Mudpickers Boat Hire – Ongoing
Don’t have your own boat, but want to get out onto the water this school holidays for a bit of fishing around Maggie Island or crabbing up the creeks? Or – the kids will love this one – you can hire a boat from Townsville and drive it up to Lucinda. Launch it from there and it’s not far at all to Hinchinbrook Island where there are some amazing swimming holes, including the magnificent Zoe Bay and beautiful Mulligan Falls (which is teeming with jungle perch). There’s a bit of walking, but the swim and the views are worth it. Or you can take the boat up some of the nearby creeks and catch some crabs for dinner. Kids will love pulling in the pots to see if they’ve got some keepers. Boat hire starts from $130 a day and there are unlicensed options. More info.
River-Sea Kayaking River Tour – Ongoing
There’s so much to see along the river that you often miss it just sticking to the footpaths. River-Sea Kayaking has guided tours of Ross River and all equipment is supplied, including kayaks (for beginner to experienced paddlers), paddles and PFDs. Owner Hans Preuss says he can customise any tour to suit the family’s needs. He’s particularly found of the sunrise or sunset tours for curious kids which are ideal for seeing wildlife including freshwater crocodiles, turtles, fish, birdlife, butterflies, dragonflies and wallabies as well as amazing landscapes as the bank is reflected in the river. Tours are $60 per person. More info.
SUP Hire from In the Loop – Ongoing
Want to try a family session in the river or on The Strand? Why not join the global phenomenon that is Stand Up Paddleboarding. Marvin Baumeister from In the Loop on Gregory Street says you can hire all kinds of SUPS: From beginner boards to high-end race boards. They also hire inflatable SUPs. It’s $30 for two hours, or $100 for the whole day. More info.
Outrigging – Sundays
There are three outrigging clubs in Townsville that all offer free Come & Try sessions which are ideal for families. With kids learning correct paddle stroke, timing and teamwork, you can either all go in the same canoe (with an experienced paddler from the club at the front and back), or split up and get a bit competitive (they talk about sibling rivalry; how about husband and wife rivalry?). Learn more about outrigging in our story here or find out which clubs are in Townsville (all have free sessions are on a Sunday) here. This activity is best for older kids (10+).
Warrina Ice Skating Rink – Ongoing
You’d struggle to find anywhere cooler in the holidays, and the ice skating rink has extended its hours over the holidays to open every day (except Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) from 10am to 3pm. For those who like to party, there are Disco Night sessions Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to 10pm. Getting on the icy-cool rink is $15 per session (including skate hire) or $50 for a family pass (two adults and two children). More info.
Townsville City Council’s swimming pools – Swim for Free Day Sunday, December 14
While the city’s pools are open all over summer, you can take a cooling dip for free on Sunday, December 14 with the Free Family Swim Day. Access Kokoda Memorial Pool, Long Tan Memorial Pool, Northern Beaches Leisure Centre and Tobruk Memorial Baths for free between 9am and 3pm. The Riverway Lagoons, Strand Waterpark and Rockpool are always all free of charge (please note: The Rockpool is closed every Wednesday for cleaning). More info.
Captain Active – Family Fun and Fitness Challenge January 1-31
A great initiative for families to add a bit of activity to home life and start the year with a bang, Townsville’s resident superhero – Captain Active – is laying down the challenge: “It’s about families setting their health and fitness goals to start 2015,” Captain Active tells. “Families receive a template story book to record their progress and – each week – they get new game demonstrations to play as a family. These can be played indoors or outdoors in the shade; plus there are water games also, like ‘Water Balloon Catch’, ‘Cotton Ball Run’ and ‘Water Feet’. There are also cooking demonstrations of snacks and meals that are healthy, yummy and refreshing in hot weather, like ‘Love Heart Salads’, ‘Fruit Popsicles’ and ‘Frozen Orange Bowls’.” The challenge also includes family adventure session plans that have ocean, river and creek options and meal plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The challenge will culminate on Saturday January 31 when there’s a fun party in Townsville for all member families that will include games, food and celebrations. Family membership for the month is $44. More info.
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