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$0 school holiday ideas: Skimp on the dollars, not on fun

You don’t have to spend to get your kids out of the house during the school holidays. Here are six ways you can have fun without the price tag.

Separating kids from their tablets is not an easy task, while going to the movies or an amusement park can set you back a penny or two.

You don’t have to go bankrupt to get your kids out of the house or be creative during the school holidays. There are lots of ways you can make the most of summer as a family without whacking a thing on the credit card.

Here are six ways you can have fun without the price tag.

1. Pop-up cinemas

One of the best ways to spend a hot summer night is on a picnic blanket in front of a projection screen. While you can splash out on luxury experiences at outdoor cinemas these days, you don’t have to, especially if you’re going as a family or in a big group.

Many pop-up cinemas materialise across cities and local councils throughout the country. Places like Sydney’s Olympic Park and Southgate in Melbourne host free movie screenings featuring everything from kids flicks to cult classics.

Cost: Free

2. Art attack

Exhibitions are a fun and interactive way to learn about new things. Spark a love of art and learning in your kids’ lives early on during a day out with the family at a local gallery.

Museums and galleries have dedicated programs for kids and families drawn from whatever they have on show; from interacting with the artworks hands on to exploring the themes on display. Many of the activities on offer are 100% free, but require you to put your name down ahead of time.

Cost: Free

3. Make a movie or comic

There are lots of free apps that teach kids how to construct stories, and tools that allow them to let loose with video-making and comic book skills. Tromaramix is a free app that makes stop-motion clips like Wallace & Grommet or Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, while Comic Touch lets you edit photos into comic strips.

Cost: Free

4. Join a community garden

Eating more healthy, fresh foods is something most families wish they could do more of, but it starts to get pricey at the supermarket. These days though, you can usually find a local community garden to join and share in the spoils.

While stocking your crisper drawers, kids can also learn about gardening, growing food and minimising organic waste, as well as meeting other local kids and families.

Cost: Free

5. Scavenger hunts

Get them investigating by writing up a list of items for them to find around your house and in the backyard. Items can be creative too; get them to draw their favourite place, take a photo of a visiting bird or make up a poem about an object.

Scavenger hunts don’t have to be at home either; local parks are prime territory while places like Heide Museum even have their own treasure hunts that you can download for when you visit.

Cost: Free

6. Make it a sustainable summer

Getting solar panels installed can make a drastic difference to your energy bill and put you on track for your most sustainable summer yet – letting you crank the air-con a bit longer and keeping you cool while you’re inside with the kids.

AGL offers plenty of ways to get solar onto your house today.

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