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Busting boredom these school holidays: Free activities for kids on the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Council has plenty of free activities for kids this summer. From workshops to events and amazing days out – there is plenty to keep the kids busy this summer.

There’s something for everyone, from exploring the great outdoors at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden to trying a new Adventure Sunshine Coast trail or stepping back in time at Bankfoot House.

With so much on offer, you can start planning now. Remember, places are limited for some events, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Visit the Council’s website for all the details, or see all the details below.


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Secret Garden

Don’t miss out on the final Secret Garden of 2023. Set in tranquil bushland, the series will be sung by local musicians.

This family-friendly ticketed event is the perfect laid-back start to the school holidays, featuring The Lyrical, Anna & Jordan and Asher Chapman, plus special guests.

When: Sunday, December 10, 2.45 – 6.30 pm.

Where: The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, 51 Palm Creek Road, Tanawha.

Details: Visit the Troubadour Wagons website.

Maroochy Regional Botanic Garden Sunshine Coast

Secret Garden at Maroochy Regional Botanic Garden, Sunshine Coast

Meet the Forest Fellowship

In the forest, no single species can survive on its own – it takes teamwork to make a healthy forest grow.

Discover how the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve team works together at the new exhibit: Forest Fellowship.

Find all the fun facts, make your own felt fellowship at the craft area or borrow a junior ranger kit (equipped with binoculars and a nature journal) for your walk in the rainforest.

When: Open seven days, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm. Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Where: The Rainforest Discovery Centre at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny.

Details: Visit the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve website.


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Bushland Festive Craft Day, Sunshine Coast

Celebrate the festive season and get creative in the local bushland.

Free activities for kids four years and older, led by Natureweavers.

Learn to craft instruments and decorations from natural materials, make a self-watering garden bed gift, dream up a wish for the new year at The Giving Tree and join in nature games with new friends.

All activities are free, but registration is required. Limited materials are available, so be sure to register.

When: Saturday, December 16, 10 am – 1 pm.

Where: The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, 51 Palm Creek Road, Tanawha.

Details: Visit the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden website to register.


Coastal Pathway at Mount Coolum Sunshine Coast

Coastal pathway at Mount Coolum, Sunshine Coast


Festive on the Green

Head to the Sunshine Coast Stadium to enjoy Council’s festive event for 2023.

Local maker market stalls, street food, interactive activities, giveaways, plus on-stage and roving performances.

Entry is free, but bookings are essential. Free sustainable transport parking service or $5 paid parking.

When: Saturday, December 16, 3.30 – 8.30 pm

Where: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina

Details: Visit the Council’s events website to register.


The Great Botanic Race

Keen to get your older children out of the house and on the move?

A new challenge has been set for the Great Botanic Race – an orienteering activity with a puzzle to solve.

Grab a friend, pick up a map at the front entrance and explore the botanic garden. Run, walk or race to find all the letters.

The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden is open daily from 7 am – 6 pm.

Where: The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, 51 Palm Creek Road, Tanawha.

Free Activities for Kids Sunshine Coast Great Botanic Race at Maroochy Botanic Garden

Great Botanic Race in Maroochy Botanic Garden

Free activities for kids – Marvellous Museums

There are plenty of free activities for kids at Bankfoot House and Landsborough Museum on the Sunshine Coast these holidays.

At Bankfoot House, enjoy Christmas crafts, peg dolls and paper crafts, butter churning, pioneer play and more.

Make your own Christmas decorations to either take home or add the tree at Landsborough Museum, search for the elf on the shelf or spot the difference in the then and now exhibition.

Entry is free, but bookings are required for some activities.

When: Saturday, December 9, to Sunday, January 21, 10 am – 3 pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Where: Bankfoot House – 1998 Old Gympie Road, Glass House Mountains and Landsborough Museum – 4 Maleny Street, Landsborough.

Details: Visit heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.


Celebrate the New Year

Enjoy fireworks displays in Mooloolaba, Caloundra and Coolum this New Year’s Eve.

At Mooloolaba, there’s entertainment for the family in the gated event zone, with security to ensure everyone has a great, safe, and fun evening.

Displays: Mooloolaba 8.30 pm and midnight, Caloundra 9.30 pm and Coolum 8.30 pm.

Getting there: Visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for information on parking and getting to the event.

Safety: New Year’s Eve Mooloolaba is a drug, glass and alcohol-free event.

Details: Visit events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.


Experience Caloundra Regional Gallery

Visit the gallery’s latest exhibition, Variation and Autonomy: The Prints of Contemporary Japanese Painters, and join the Kids Art Trail. On show Friday, December 8 – Sunday, January 21.

Wind down in the gallery Makerspace and follow the self-guided instructions to create a delightful origami gift box. This free, family-friendly activity is from Friday, 8 – Sunday, 31 December.

Details: Visit the Caloundra Regional Gallery website.


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Servicing BrisbaneGold CoastSunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids eventsattractions & things to do with kidsschools and educationschool holiday guideshealth & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.


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