11 weird and wonderful holiday activities for the kids: Monster Trucks, Shopkins, AFL players at Arthurs Seat & prison tours

There’s no getting cabin fever if you follow these tips.

1. Trash Test Dummies

Kids know. They can’t fake enthusiasm and if a show stinks, they’ll let performers — as well as parents and guardians — know all about it. Nobody is rubbishing the Trash Test Dummies show, they won Best Children’s Presentation at the Adelaide Fringe Festival two years running and since then they’ve wheely bin building buzz. Try saying that five times fast while upside down in an Otto. The trio are Isaac Salter, Thomas McDonald and Leigh Rhodes and they bring a family comedy circus show that leave you with a lingering smile…not the reek of last week’s fish. Contains strobe lighting, haze effects and it’s rather loud. All reasons to come along, really.

3 Blackwood St, North Melbourne. Until Sept 30. Today, 3pm, Mon-next Sat, 2pm. $25.

media_cameraTrash Test Dummies members, Thomas McDonald, Isaac Salterin and Leigh Rhodes return these school holidays.

2. Woodgrove Monster Trucks

Shopping centres don’t just have supermarkets, they’ve got Monster Trucks. At least, one in downtown Melton does. There is four tailored displays and special activities that will appeal to monster truck enthusiasts of all ages. Get a picture with the Mini Monster Truck, Dominator Stunt Car and two Dirt Bikes on display and follow it up by bounding around in the

Monster Truck Jumping Castle. Have a fun time on Buster the Rides Truck. NB: That starts next Monday.

Woodgrove Shopping Centre, 533-555 High St, Melton. Until Oct 8. Various times. Free/$5 per ride.

media_cameraWoodgrove Shopping Centre has Monster Trucks.

3. AFL Players at the Arthurs Seat Eagle

If you’ve always wanted to take a speccie over an AFL player then these school holidays you can. A piccie of you taking a hanger as you hang in the sky. Footy fans of all ages will have a chance to get handball tips with the St Kilda players, Dylan Roberton, Shane Savage and Darren Minchington, on Grand Final Friday. Get up close and personal with the AFL’s tallest supporters as stilt walkers entertain them. Wear your footy colours on Grand Final Saturday and you will get 15 per cent off the price off all full priced tickets. There will be facepainting and ruck-roving entertainment on the Friday too.

1085 Arthurs Seat Rd, Dromana. Fri-Sat, 10am-5pm. $15 to $21.

media_cameraThe new $20 million Arthurs Seat Eagle tourism cable car will have AFL players appearing.

4. Pre-historic VR at ACMI

Started from the bottom now we’re here. What lurks beneath the ocean? You’ll find out by “submerging” yourself in the deepest prehistoric oceans in ACMI’s immersive VR experience for families. The strange and terrifying fish that live in the darkest depths of the ocean today have nothing on the oh-so-freaky creatures that roamed the seas 200 million years ago. Kids and kidults have a chance to explore the world’s ancient oceans in a 360-degree virtual reality experience. Prehistoric VR is the brainchild of Australian company Erth Visual & Physical Inc, who create live experiences using large-scale puppetry. Don’t worry, you don’t need a swimsuit.

ACMI, Fed Square. Until Oct 8. Daily, 10am-5pm. Free.

media_cameraPrehistoric VR at ACMI features creatures of the deep.

5. Dialogue in the Dark

You will have a white cane and a blind guide. Up for the challenge? Spend an hour without your sight. The sensory experience removes you from your comfort zone and plonks you into the Melbourne CBD, with a blind or low vision guide who will teach you to rely on other senses to get by. The immersive experience is presented in partnership with Guide Dogs Australia.

Harbourtown, Docklands. Until Nov 30. Daily, 10am-4pm. $19.50 to $32.10.

media_cameraGuide Dogs Australia will assist the Dialogie In The Dark event.

6. Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and friends light up Watergardens

Everybody was kung-fu fighting! Watergardens will provide the backdrop for the Lights by Dreamworks Experience this school holidays. The experience is based on the Chinese lantern Festival, with the addition of DreamWorks Animation characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. There will also be a craft village and chance to meet Shrek or Puss in Boots from 11am to 2pm each day.

399 Melton Hwy, Taylors Lake. Until Oct 8. Daily, 9am-5pm. Free.

media_cameraShrek character’s Donkey and the Dragon are waiting for you at Watergardens Shopping Centre.

7. Shopkins Movie Screenings

Shopkins: World Vacation hits screens on Oct 5 and it features a high-flying new soundtrack including the hit single Ready To Go. There are more than 140 different Shopkins characters and this film will be the one everyone is talking about (as well as Captain Underpants) when school resumes.

Hoyts and Village Cinemas. Various times/prices.

media_cameraShopkins: World Vacation hits screens these holidays.

8. Junior Ranger BioQuest holiday program

Attention, junior burgers. Parks Victoria is inviting you to become a wildlife ranger by using their BioQuest app this school holidays. The Spring BioQuest allows users to track animals and plants they see, as well as link up with friends and family to compare.

Various times/venues.

media_cameraWould you dare to enter Pentridge Prison in Coburg? There are tours these school holidays. Picture: Ellen Smith

9. Pentridge Prison Crime Tours

Would you dare spend an hour in Melbourne’s supposedly haunted Pentridge Prison?

Tours take you to see the cell of notorious criminal Chopper Read and show you how prisoners lived in the jail. It wasn’t pretty.

1 Champ St, Coburg. Oct 7. 6.30pm. $29.

media_cameraRoyal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne features weird and wonderful gardens and water features.

10. Weird and Wonderful Garden

This is rather suitable. Marvel at some of the most weird and wonderful plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne’s quirky display. The garden shows off some of Australia’s boldest flora to create a surreal landscape.

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, crnr Ballarto Rd and Botanic Dr. Tue, 11am-noon. $11.90

media_cameraThe Day the Crayons Quit is the day you made your own. Instructions below.

11. Make Your Own Oliver Jeffers Crayons

Now it’s time for DIY. You can make the world’s most famous colouring creatures from Oliver Jeffers’ much-loved books – The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

Flick on your printer, grab some scissors and glue and you’re set. And once the kids have created their own set of cheeky crayons, they can get to work writing their very own letter to Duncan. All instructions here:

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