Whoever said a day at the museum had to be boring? Throughout Melbourne in the upcoming school holidays, there are endless options for all kids great and small, writes Lauren Cameron.
Cancel your holiday babysitter right now – and hold off on that Foxtel subscription. If you thought you were going to have a hard time keeping the little ones entertained these spring holidays, relax. Melbourne is offering kids and their families hours of amusement at a number of museums dotted throughout the city as part of their upcoming Spring Holidays program.

Celebrate the mystique of the Palestinian culture at the Immigration Museums’ “Around the world to the Middle East” exhibition, take part in an archaeological dig and wander through the ancient Roman city of Pompeii at Melbourne Museum’s “A Day in Pompeii” exhibition, and be dazzled by the intergalactic fantasies of the “Star Wars: Where Science meets imagination” exhibition showing at Scienceworks.

Or, for those Jedi knights who consider themselves brave enough, see the exhibition after dark for the late-night Jedi Nights session on Thursdays.

Kids can immerse themselves in the wonders and delights of ancient Pompeii; as they wander the streets of a city that has been preserved in a time-capsule for almost 2000 years after the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Displaying more than 250 objects of incredible craftsmanship, photographs of the fatal eruption and other archaeological finds, it’s as though the ancient city has been brought back to life at the Melbourne Museum – just for you. You can relive the drama of the volcanic eruption in the 3D theatre, make your own special gladiator helmet, try your hand at Mosaics in a craft workshop, or don a toga and see what it’s really like to be a Pompeian citizen.

Or, allow your kids to absorb all they can of the exotic Middle Eastern culture – safely within the confines of Melbourne city – at the Immigration Museum until November 22. Make a coin rubbing of a Palestinian coin, use traditional Palestinian patterns to create your very own paper doll, or lead the way on a self-guided “immigration adventures” trail, where you can learn all about how the link to Palestinian homeland is passed on from one generation to the next. In this day and age, it goes without saying that an exhibition of this kind is pretty invaluable – so bring your kids along. The exhibition is priceless for children (literally).

And you needn’t travel to a galaxy far, far away to discover the fantastic science behind your favourite Star Wars films – simply pop into the Scienceworks Museum, located just a stone’s throw from the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, and find out exactly what it would take to recreate the fantasy world of Star Wars today. In Australia’s first exhibition to showcase over 80 Star Wars costumes and interactive displays, take off on a stimulating journey into space with Tycho – the world’s first space dog. Feel free to marvel at freakishly realistic models of Obi-Wan and Darth Vadar, take the front seat in Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder, join Harrison Ford on the search for alien life outside our planet, or even take part in an astro-adventure of astro-nomical proportions.

Or, for those Jedi knights who consider themselves brave enough, see the exhibition after dark for the late-night Jedi Nights session on Thursdays.

We recommend pre-booking tickets to avoid tears of disappointment.

DETAILS // School holiday fun in Victoria
1. Scienceworks // 2 Booker St, Spotswood. Open daily 10am– 4.30pm. Star Wars open late on Thursdays until 9pm. Adults $8, Children and Concession FREE. Additional charges apply to Star Wars, Planetarium and Lightning Room shows. (03) 9392 4800, www.museumvictoria.com.au/scienceworks

2. A Day in Pompeii // Adults $20, concession $14, children $12, family $54 (all tickets include entry to Melbourne Museum). www.museumvictoria.com.au

3. Immigration Museum // 400 Flinders St, Melbourne. Open daily 10am-5pm (except Christmas Day) 13 11 02, www.museumvictoria.com.au