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A girl pretending to be a dinosaur in front of the Melbourne Museum Triceratops exhibit
Photograph: Supplied/Melbourne Museum

Winter school holidays at Melbourne Museum

Head out for a fun day of culture, adventure and discovery the whole family can enjoy

By Time Out in association with Melbourne Museum
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Get the kids off the couch and out of the house this winter school holidays for an exciting day out at the Melbourne Museum. Situated in the Carlton Gardens, Melbourne Museum is home to some of the country’s most fascinating permanent collections and temporary exhibitions showcasing history and the natural world and this winter school holidays the museum has a jam-packed schedule of family-friendly events and activities, running June 25 to July 10. Entry to the museum is free for kids and just $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, so it’s a budget-friendly outing too.

The timing also coincides with NAIDOC Week, held across Australia in the first week of July each year to celebrate and recognise the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Here, we’ve rounded up everything to see, do and experience this winter school holidays at the Melbourne Museum – rug up and have fun. 

When: Jun 25-Jul 10, 11am-3pm

Learn more about the traditional custodians of Melbourne, the Wurundjeri people, and the surrounding lands with a creative workshop that looks at the seven seasons in the Wurundjeri calendar. It will be all hands on deck for the Waring | Wombat Season activity as you help contribute to a large-scale art installation that’ll immerse you into the key indicators of the Waring season, which runs from April to July. The good news is this program, which is proudly supported by Aboriginal Melbourne, City of Melbourne, is suitable for kids from three and up (with an accompanying adult) – so the whole family can come along. You’ll find the Waring | Wombat Season activity on the Level 1 Galleria daily during the school holidays, and the price is included in your entry fee. 

When: Mon-Fri Jun 27-Jul 8 (except Wed Jul 6), 10.30am & 1.30pm

Deep dive into the spectacular world of Victoria’s native flora and gain knowledge about the flowers and plants that are significant to First Nations peoples with a digital art immersion experience. The Connecting with Nature workshop will see kids and adults develop skills in observation and digital botanical art, commencing with a viewing of an award-winning film that encourages viewers to see how interconnected the natural world is. Next up will be a session where participants are taken through step-by-step instructions on using digital art software to sketch, paint and upload their own unique botanical illustration. Tickets range from $30-$35.

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When: Jul 3-10, 11am-3pm

Allow the creative juices to flow with a badge-making session at the Birrarung Gallery in the Melbourne Museum. As well as badge making, the free workshop will give the whole family a chance to celebrate this year’s National NAIDOC theme – Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! – and learn more about First Peoples’ cultures and histories, the longest, continuous living cultures on Earth. Suitable for children from six and above, this program is proudly supported by Aboriginal Melbourne, City of Melbourne. Roll your sleeves up, and get stuck in. 

When: Sat Jul 2, 10.15am, 11am & 11.45am 

The natural world is truly majestic and needs respect and care. In the Bite Sized Science: First Peoples seasons session, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from First Nations peoples about the true-to-life seasons of First Peoples and their Country, discover the creatures that inhabit our world and their ecosystems, and learn the best ways we can look after our planet. This half-hour session is ideal for the younger members of your household and includes an engaging 10-15 minute presentation followed by a Q&A where experts will be able to answer any tricky questions that come their way. This Bite Sized Science activity is free with museum entry and no booking required

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When: Daily 9am-5pm

Whoever says that dinosaurs are only alive in the movies hasn’t been to the Melbourne Museum. Get up close and meet the most complete real dinosaur in Australia, 67-million-year-old Horridus the Triceratops, only at Melbourne Museum. In the Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs exhibition, you’ll enter into the world of one of the most awe-inspiring creatures to have ever walked this earth and embark on a voyage into the past, exploring the landscapes of the Cretaceous period, and get to know the creatures that thrived there. The free Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs exhibition will happen daily this winter school holidays from 9am to 5pm – bookings are essential so get in quick.

When: Daily 9am-5pm

Be sure to check out the Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections exhibition for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see extraordinary collection items from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Exclusive to Melbourne Museum, this free exhibition (running until August 14) features 44 works that date from the early Bronze age to the Roman period, taking you on a journey through ancient Greece exploring how the trade of ideas and goods influenced Greek culture, and in turn, influenced the ancient world. Keep a look out for the marble sphinx with a female head and the body of a winged lion – a remarkable work of art that hasn’t been seen outside of the National Archaeological Museum since it was acquired. One thing’s for sure – this exhibition will be more fun than reading a history book. 

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