Fun activities in the school holidays

It was my great pleasure to open two fantastic new playgrounds in Newcastle just ahead of the winter school holidays.

 We're working hard to improve our parks and playgrounds across the City of Newcastle

We're working hard to improve our parks and playgrounds across the City of Newcastle

With a few days left, it might be an opportune time to take the kids to Grahame Park, Carrington, and Smith Park, Hamilton North, where the playgrounds have had $150,000 makeovers to challenge young bodies and minds.

At Smith Park, the new set up includes two slides, climbing structures, a distinctive nest swing and a new picnic area, while a play fort, double slides and a picnic shelter with an electric BBQ are among the attractions at Grahame Park.

Another great place to spend family time outdoors while also learning together is Blackbutt Reserve, which is offering special programs in the school holidays.

Make a crafty clay creature at the Wildlife Arena between 12.30pm and 1.30pm up until Friday or pat some resident critters and learn interesting facts during the 11am Reptile show until Sunday. Or just watch your favourite animals dig into some tucker during daily feeding times.

Fancy an underwater adventure? Drop into Newcastle Museum to visit our family friendly exhibition Voyage to the Deep*, which follows the explorations of Captain Nemo, his Nautilus submarine and his world of ocean wonders and fantastical sea creatures.

This exhibit stimulates young imaginations and allows kids to role play as a submariner exploring the depths of the ocean - and it's engaging for adults as well.

The Museum, Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Region Libraries are continuing this week and through the weekend with their offerings of fun and educational workshops, story times and craft - many of them free.

A link to the full school holidays brochure and schedule is available on Council's website, www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au.

Matt Murray