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Spring school holidays survival guide

From enourmous elephants to lights & lasers, make iconic family memories this Spring

Sydney Opera House

School holidays have rolled around again. And with them, the temptation to hand over the devices to the little ones and send them on their merry way.

But there is another way. The Sydney Opera House’s spring holidays program is for the parents who want their kids to be awe-inspired, to walk away from this magnificent space with a newfound appetite for art. Whether it's a journey of self-discovery told through life-size animal puppets, or an enchanting, multimedia experience about finding oneself in art, you can expect entertainment and inspiration these school holidays, in a venue that epitomises both.

This is our guide to surviving the spring break with your sanity, and your kids' imagination, intact. 

1. World premiere from the creators of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo™: ARC

When: Saturday 24 September - Friday 7 October

For: People ages 5+ 

Explore the natural world of our feathered, furry, and smooth-skinned friends that co-habit our beautiful planet. Feel inspired to embrace caring for and nurturing our incredible wildlife on our shared planet earth.

This latest world premiere by Erth presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our relationship with the changing natural world. Explore these rare and exotic animals, as they look unblinkingly to the future, find a place in your heart, and transform the stage before your very eyes!

Top tip: Be prepared to get up close and personal with snow leopards, hammerhead sharks, microbats, elephants, and more. 

2. Help a lost star find it's way home: Zooom

When: Saturday 24 September - Wednesday 5 October

For: People ages 3+ 

Combining old school whimsy with state of the art technology, ZOOOM is an enchanting story of a child alone in her bedroom who, unable to sleep, befriends a lost star.

Inspired by iconic children’s book Harold and The Purple Crayon, ZOOOM channels the same philosophy; a child who makes sense of their world through art.

Top tip: Come early before the show and join in free creative play in the foyers, where you can create your very own piece of dark before you watch Zooom.

3. How to Be Creative: Teeny Tiny Stevies

When: Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October 

For: People ages 2+ 

ARIA Award-Winning Children's Artist, Teeny Tiny Stevies are heading out on the road for their most comprehensive National Album Tour to date! 

Performing a mix of fan favourites and brand new material from their new album, the band will be leaving no stone un-unturned. How to be Creative is a ten-song masterclass in embracing the creative urge, overcoming self-doubt, trying new things, learning from mistakes, working with others, and the superpower that is perseverance.

Top tip: Have a read of When I Was Little to hear about the Artist's inspiration.

4. Tell your story: Shadow Puppets Workshop

When: Tuesday 4 October

For: People ages 9-12

Learn how to draw and design your very own characters and backdrops! Using different paper cutting methods, cast your drawings into animated shadows using various light sources and surfaces.

From storyboarding, paper puppet making and shadow play, this workshop will introduce kids to one of the oldest forms of theatre-making in the world - the traditional art of wayang kulit or shadow puppetry from Indonesia. Then end the day with a performance that the whole family will love!

5. What does the future hold in store?: After the Flood

When: Saturday 24 September - Sunday 2 October

For: People ages 7-11 (and adults 16+)

After the Flood is an immersive, dreamlike, audio installation and workshop for children and their adults. Everyone will enjoy this calm, magical place and be inspired by the restorative power of story, courage, change, and the sea. Told by a group of children living far into the future, they tell us about their life on the water and the tending of the great kelp forests of the sea. Following the personal audio experience, children and adults are invited to draw, make sea creatures and write together using their imaginations, conversations, and reflections.

6. Uncover mysterious secrets: Junior Adventure Tour

When: Saturday 24 September - Sunday 9 October

For: Curious minds! 

Embark on a journey behind the curtain and discover how the magic of theatre comes to life on this one hour behind the scenes adventure filled with fun facts, crazy stories and guessing games. Walk away wide eyed with plenty of fun facts up your sleeve to share with your friends.

7. Tick this photo off your bucket list 

Before or after your show, don’t forget to take the ultimate Sydney Opera House photo of the kids on the Monumental Steps. Take in the majesty of the Sails from this vantage point and take home a lasting memory of your day out!

8. Have a bite by the harbour: Kid-friendly menus

Worked up an appetite? Stop by one of our relaxed harbourside restaurants for a delicious junior lunch, and even an adult version too (if that’s what you fancy). There’s plenty to choose, from kid meals for every taste at Opera Kitchen to your family favourites like pizza at Opera Bar

Or fancy a picnic? Make a day of it and grab a Kids Lunch Pack from Portside to enjoy wherever you please! The Royal Botanical Gardens are only a short walk away. 

9. Listen in: House Call podcast 

Are there any ghosts in the Opera House? Who is the biggest celebrity who has visited? Keep the kids entertained on the road with our latest season of Arty Farty podcast for kids – House Call answering questions kids want to know! Each episode is answered by people who make magic happen on stage and behind the scenes at the Opera House, and jam-packed with interesting stories and facts! 

10. Pick up a souvenir for your treble makers

Visit our shop at the Lower Concourse (or jump online) to explore our range of gifts and souvenirs including our playful kids collection of backpacks, coin purses, LEGO and colouring books, and much more!

Top tip: Settle in for storytime as Zindzi Okenyo reads Sidney Opera Mouse (thanks to our partner Mastercard) and then purchase your very own copy to read at home. 

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