It is December 26th. If your family is like ours, you probably have the post-Christmas blues and feel overdone like Michael Bublé’s songs in a shopping mall. Having cooked yourselves silly in the kitchen and put a strain on the purse strings to fill stockings, now you can relax. Between testing out new presents and finishing off yesterday’s leftovers, Boxing Day is the chance to stick your feet up and enjoy some free family entertainment before amping it up again at New Year’s. Family Travel wishes you a very merry Boxing Day with these top 11 ideas for what to do on Boxing Day with kids.
Watch the Test Cricket
If you are a family of sports fiends, you’ll be well acquainted with the annual tradition that is the Boxing Day Test Match. This year, Australia and New Zealand will battle it out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from 26th to 29th December. The cheapest tickets are $90 for a family, but the best of the action can also be watched on television.
Watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Another Boxing Day institution that happens every year is this icon of a yacht race. For 74 years, competitors have launched from Sydney Harbour on a gruelling 628 nautical mile route to Hobart. The start and finish attract extensive media coverage – another great event to witness from home. But the Sydney Race Village also provides loads of family fun on Boxing Day, including popcorn, face painting and live streaming.
Go to the beach
Temperatures are usually sky-high by the end of December. Cool off somewhere along the coast, be it Adelaide’s famous Glenelg Beach, Sydney’s Bondi, Perth’s Cottesloe, Melbourne’s St Kilda or your family’s favourite best-kept secret. The NSW Central Coast is packed with hidden gems, as are South Australia’s Yorke and Fleurieu Peninsulas. A snorkel on Ningaloo Reef would be a delight.
Brave an outdoor swim
Shake up your beach trip with a refreshing dip in an ocean bath. Sydney and the coast of New South Wales is packed full of these ocean-fed pools. The famous Bondi Icebergs requires payment on entry, but Cronulla Rock Pool, Dee Why Rock Pool and Fairy Bower Rock Pool in Manly are all free, for example.
Go for a bike ride
Maybe Santa left a two-wheeled surprise under the tree. Test out your new set of wheels on a bike track in your local area. You can just head to your local park or corner shop for an ice cream. Or seek out something more exciting. Victorians should check out these top 21 bike tracks Melbourne has on offer. There’s also The best Tasmanian mountain bike tracks for families and The South Coast’s best bike tracks for families.
Go fruit picking
Stone fruits abound at this time of year. Cherry season is in full swing – make the drive out to Orange or Young in regional NSW to pick your own. December is also the start of the berries. Try Huntley Berry Farm near Orange or Ricardoes near Port Macquarie. In Victoria, try Paynes Orchard, Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm or Cherry Hill Orchard. Queenslanders can enjoy the unique attraction that is Tropical Fruit World. Confirm opening times for Boxing Day public holiday.
Go for a bush walk
Test out the trails near you and immerse in some much-needed post-Christmas peace and quiet in nature. Whether it is the Royal National Park or Blue Mountains in Greater Sydney, the Dandenongs near Melbourne or Adelaide’s Bel Air National Park, there’s plenty of greenery to go around. Read more about Top 5 multi-day hikes for teens in Australia or 13 wild New Zealand walks from beginner to advanced if you are overseas.
Go on a picnic
Pop some turkey and cranberry sauce on a semi-stale bun and you have yourselves a picnic lunch! You may as well add a special touch to your leftovers by enjoying them in the great outdoors. We recommend heading to your nearest shady space – perhaps The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, North Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens or Australian National Botanic Gardens (Canberra). For NSW residents, check out this story on What’s On in Botanic Gardens this summer.
Visit an exhibition at a gallery or museum
Most of the crowds choose to stay away on Boxing Day, so you’ll have free reign of galleries and museums. Whether it is art or natural history, you’ll learn heaps on this intriguing family outing. Double check they are open on the public holiday before you make the trip. Check out our story on the top exhibitions that opened this summer in Australia’s hottest galleries and museums. These include a showcase on Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and other Dreamworks movies at the National Museum in Canberra and a spooky Sea Monsters exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Sydney.
Watch a movie at home
Sticking at home on the couch sounds mighty fine to me. Pop on a movie, crack out the board games or start a puzzle – the perfect way to unwind as a family on Boxing Day.