Darwin School Holidays December and January 2018/19 – Ultimate Guide

Darwin School Holidays December and January

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Darwin School holidays December and January break is fast approaching! We will have six weeks break in December and January for Darwin public schools. Starting Saturday 15th of December until Monday 28th January (Private and Independent school holidays may be slightly different – please check with your school). First day of school in the New year for Darwin students is Tuesday 29th January 2019. Darwin Family Life has rounded up some of the fantastic options that are free (or affordable) activities to do with your kids these Darwin School holidays December and January!

Darwin School Holidays December and January

Here is our list of the 2018/19 activities happening in Darwin and the surrounds!

Darwin waterfront lights displays

photo credit to Darwin City & Waterfront Retailers Association

Darwin Waterfront

The magic of Christmas comes to life every night during December from 7 pm to 10 pm at the Darwin Waterfront. Enjoy the light displays and a stroll through the gingerbread man’s house, standing at almost 4 metres tall, pine trees decorated with tiny lights and embellished with baubles and garland. And you must check out Santa’s sleigh and watch the reindeer grazing!! Santa will be there every evening between 7th to 14th December from 5 -7 pm!

Fun Bus

The Fun Bus program will be finishing up this next week and restart again once school goes back in 2019 but here is the locations and they will be having Fun Bus Christmas parties all this week! Santa arriving at 10 am – bring a plate to share.
fun bus indoor locations

Christmas lights

It is always fun at this time of year to take the kids for a drive around the suburbs and check out houses that have Christmas lights and decorations up. I find this Facebook group is great to find locations and places of light displays. Here is also a map of locations one member has created.

santa letter mailbox

Smith Street Mall – Christmas displays and Santa Letters

Christmas is everywhere in the Darwin CBD they have giant Christmas tree in the Mall and the Spirit of Christmas window display at the Live Darwin Creative Hub. Also have your children written a letter to Santa yet? From Monday – Saturday 9:30am – 1:00pm, Santa’s red mail box will be outside Santa’s Village in the Voyager Arcade. All kids who write a letter to Santa with their name and a return address will receive a gift from Santa!

Christmas time at Casuarina Square

Casuarina Square are having a ‘Santa Hunt’ this Saturday 15th December from 9.30 am – 12.30 pm. Kids will have a map to follow around the Centre collecting treats from participating stores and Santa will be hiding at the end of the map. We will have elves giving clues along the way. Head along and join in all the fun!

There is also their awkward Christmas photo pop up every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday leading to Christmas. Head along for a hilarious FREE photo!

Why not get a Santa photo of the kids at the Santa Sandbar. There is also a large mystery present with this that has a number of items for children to touch and feel and guess what is inside. They are giving away 5x $100 gift cards at the end to the top five who have guessed the items. There is also a photo wall where you can write your Christmas wish on a heart and stick it on the wall. If you upload your photo and #BeDifferentBeDarwin you can win 1 of 4 family passes to spectacular crocodile cruises.

Darwin Squash Centre

Darwin Squash centre have lots of different options these upcoming school holidays. Ring them today to book your option! 8945 7362.

Darwin Squash school holiday program

The Playshack Palmerston

Why not head into the Playshack located in the Hub complex Palmerston (Shop 7, 3 Maluka Drive). Let the kids run and burn their energy and you can enjoy a coffee or drink and a slice of Petra’s Raw cakes available for purchase. The Playshack have extended their hours to 8.30 am till 4 pm Monday – Friday for the school holidays, plus usual weekend times of Sat 9 till 5 pm and Sunday 10 till 4 pm. Entry is only $8.50 per child during the week and bubs under 1 are free. Please remember your socks!

Fun in the Parks – December

Fun in parks december

Swim Dynamics – school holiday intensives

Our friends at Swim dynamics are holding school holiday intensives during December. To book your spot head hereswim dynamic intensives

Activate Kids

Activate Kids is a free program for children (aged 3-16 years) to promote healthy habits and the opportunity to try new and exciting activities from 17 December 2018 – 27 January 2019. They will have our friends at the Burning Circus, Groove Vitality and to the Beat and 6 other providers offering a range of activities, including tennis, crossfit, karate, zumba, yoga, ball skills, dance and cooking, all specifically designed for children, running over the six-week period in Palmerston. This program is available to Palmerston and rural residents, children aged 3–16 years. Check the age suitability before booking your child into a class. To book for this program head here

activate kids

Photo credit City of Palmerston

Junior Reptile Ranger program

Crocosaurus Cove has a fantastic Junior Reptile Ranger program that would be great to book your kids into these Darwin School holidays December and January. The Junior Reptile Ranger program is a fun behind-the-scenes tour designed specifically for kids between the ages of 7 and 12. This 2 hour program, led by our experienced reptile handlers, gives children the opportunity to meet, feed, and learn about the Top End’s most unique reptiles. Also included is a souvenir lanyard and colour photo with our baby croc!

Exclusively available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the NT School Holidays, this is a great
gift for the little animal lover in your family! Program time: 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm and cost is $60 per child ($20 for an accompanying adult). For more information and to book your child in head to their website here 

Dates available:

December 19th – 21st, 27th, 28th

January 2nd – 4th, 9th – 11th, 16th – 19th, and 23rd – 25th

croc cove reptile program

Crocosarus Cove also have a brand new, free Tour Guide App now available to download on Android and Apple devices! Complete with a “kids trail” led by our enthusiastic mascot “Dundee the Croc”, this entertaining audio guide leads users around the park as they hear about the animals’ fascinating stories. These school holidays are a perfect time to try out the app and learn more about our awesome reptiles!

City of Darwin Libraries (Casuarina, Karama, Nightcliff and Darwin City) Christmas at the libraries and Curious Creatures Holiday Program

The City of Darwin libraries are celebrating Christmas with lots of festive fun including Santa Story times, Santa Tech workshop, Carols at the libraries and up-cycled Christmas ornaments. For all the details of times, dates and locations click here 

The City of Darwin Libraries have a full line up of fun FREE activities to entertain the kids these school holidays activities are aimed at children 5 years and over and parent supervision is required. Activities include Up-cycled Christmas ornament making, Tech Zone, Insect festival, Lego club, story times, scavenger hunts, movie sessions and more!

Some sessions require bookings head here to book your spot and check out the full program here

City of Darwin are also running their Summer reading club starting Friday 14th December through to Thursday 24th January. The Summer reading club will encourage your child to keep reading over the school break and help them avoid the slide in reading ability. There will be a Summer reading club party to celebrate your achievements on Friday 25th January – all ages are welcome and to join the club register at any of the libraries (Darwin City, Karama, Casuarina or Nightcliff.)

Zone 3

Zone 3 has been Darwin’s iconic laser tag venue for over 25 years. Opening its doors in 1993, and is considered the original and the best laser tag venue in Darwin. For the school holidays they will have an extra open session. These open sessions runs from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday, for $15 pp for 2 hours. Head in these school holidays for some action packed laser tag fun!

Fun in the Parks – January

Lots of free fun happening in January on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at various locations all over Darwin from 10 am till 12.30 pm.fun in the park January flyer

Sam’s Dance Studio Holiday Workshops

Sam’s Dance Studio is holiday workshops on Saturday 19th January (4-8 years) and Sunday 20th January (9 years and older) at both their Palmerston studio and their brand new studio in Nightcliff! Workshops will be $10 per class or $40 for 5 classes (So Cheap!) No pre-booking needed, cash on the day.

Palmerston Studio is located at Gray Shopping Centre Essington Ave Gray (Now with Front entrance) and Nightcliff studio is located at 3/40 Progress Drive Nightcliff (Top Floor, upstairs before cafe).

Workshop class timetable

sams dance studio timetable

The Planet Tenpin – School holiday specials!

The Planet in Nightcliff has some great deals these October school holidays. They will have 2 games for $12 per person or one game is only $9 per person!  Also there is a kids planet playground deal which is free entry with a $10 cafe purchase!  They also have FREE WIFI – see reception for details!

the planet tenpin school holidays deals

Gardens Tennis Club

Gardens Tennis have their school holiday program happening again – Monday 21st through to Thursday 24th of January from 8 am till 11 am for $30 per child per day (or $100 for all four days) it includes recess and a fun filled morning of Tennis skills. Their program is a social, fun & healthy way to spend the school holidays. Perfect for kids already playing tennis or for brand new beginners wanting to pick up a racket for the first time. For children 5 years and over. Morning tea platter included.

Bookings are limited – get in quick and book in by email info@gardenstennis.com.au or phone 8981 2181

burning circus play space

Big Top Coffee Shop – The Burning Circus

The Big Top Coffee Shop run by the Burning Circus will be open for play and coffee during these school holidays – Monday to Friday (8 am – 1.30 pm). Each session is $5 per child, adults and bubs under 1 are free. Why not catch up with a group of friends and enjoy a cuppa and let the kids play in their air con play spaces plus perfect place to escape the rain or heat! Check out their Facebook page for updates.

We hope this blog has given you some great ideas of where to take the kids and keep them entertained these school holidays. You can always visit the Free water parks at Leanyer and Palmerston, Howard Springs Nature park rock pools or many of our great playgrounds which are located all through Darwin and the surrounds. You can check out some of them on our playgrounds page.

Casuarina Square

Dance like no one is watching. Join The Essington International Dance Academy for free kids dance lessons these school holidays! From today 11 January until Sunday 13th January.
Lilypad Dance 
-Creative dance for ages 2-6yrs (approx) open to the public
-10am – 10.45am daily, located on Level 1 near The Coffee Club
-Lessons are free of charge
-Class is a max of  first 15 people to attend, no bookings required
Lisa Svara established the ‘Lilypad Dance’ program in 2016 to cater for toddlers to preschoolers.  The class structure allows ‘Prima Ballerina want-a-bees’, ‘Toddler dance divas’ and ‘Mini B-boys’ to explore movement and develop basic dance skills.  The ‘Lilypad Dance’ flexible class structure follows themes that incorporate theme related songs, props and costumes for the young dancers to freely express themselves. For example in our ‘In the Sky’ themed classes, dancers explore being Ballerina Butterflies, B-Boy Helicopters, Superheroes and much more.
Junior Hip Hop & Break Dance
-Creative dance for ages 7-12yrs (approx) open to the public
-11am – 11.45am daily, located on Level 1 near The Coffee Club
-Lessons are free of charge
-Class is a max of  first 15 people to attend, no bookings required

Dancers will learn a range of hip hop and break dance skills including popping, locking, freezes and freestyling.  The focus will be on developing strength, coordination, conditioning, flexibility and fitness. So come get your groove on and show us what ya got!

From Saturday 19th  till 25th January Casuarina Square will be hosting free kids activities with The Burning Circus. There will be a new and exciting activity each day including: rock painting, paper fan decorating, grow a grass head troll, slime making, seed art and button art flowers or turtles. All activities are located near The Coffee Club.

Youth NT

For youth aged 12 onward check out the Youth NT calendar of activities for Darwin and Palmerston. Click here for calendars  

Darwin Waterfront January School holiday fun!

Darwin Waterfront is hosting FREE school holiday fun on Tuesday 8th, Wednesday 16th and Thursday 24th January from 9 am till midday.

Dive into the ‘Splash and Play’ fun days on Tuesday 8 January and Thursday 24 January, jam packed with aqua based, sun and swim activities to keep the kids cool.  On Wednesday 16th it will be a ‘Craft and Play’ fun day in the Parklands, creating and decorating throughout the event. For more info click on their Facebook event here.

We also have this blog on our top 20 easy home activities to entertain the kids which could be helpful to fill in the time these holidays for a day at home.


  1. Thanks for taking the time out and letting us know what to do with the kids over the school holidays, much appreciated ?
    I’m a mother of 3 girls age 6,4 and 1.
    We have moved here to Darwin nearly 1 year ago and every school holidays or weekends I struggle to find something for the kids to do. I’ve recently come across this blog and was thinking ‘thank goodness’ hahahah

    Thanks Amy
    I will be doing most of everything on this list

    1. Hi Laylah, I am so happy that you have found the School holiday blog so helpful!I hope you and your girls have fabulous holidays and enjoy all the activities around town. Merry Christmas!

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