• Free Things to Do with Kids

Holidays can be expensive but there are plenty of ways to enjoy fun family time in Bendigo that won’t break the bank.

Active families should definitely bring their bikes along for the ride. There are networks of safe cycling tracks traversing the city that pass by some of Bendigo’s best attractions. Take the Bendigo Creek Trail past Lake Weeroona and Rosalind Park for a backroad view of the suburbs. The more adventurous riders should head straight to the O’Keefe Rail Trail; a 49km path between Bendigo and Heathcote, past forest, farmland, the Campaspe River and Lake Eppalock.

The city’s parks and gardens offer great playgrounds, barbecue facilities and stunning surrounds for tree hugging, cloud gazing, a kick of the footy or simply a chance to kick off shoes. Again Rosalind Park ticks plenty of boxes for letting the kids run free, as does the Bendigo Botanic Gardens which includes the newly unveiled Garden of the Future. In summertime pack togs and towels and head to the Long Gully Splash Park, it’s a favourite of locals and visitors. For more water fun visit Crusoe Reservoir, take a dip and soak up the sun on the pontoon.

Give your kids a taste of gold fever at the historic Victoria Hill Mining Reserve, then challenge them to climb the Rosalind Park Poppet Head. While in the centre of the city, check out the Bendigo Art Gallery’s children’s program. There’s often free activities for young culture vultures, especially during the school holidays.

The Bendigo Library also offers plenty of school holiday fun for children of all ages, such as tech and craft activities, visiting authors, writing workshops and live entertainment.

Check out the city’s events calendar to see which festivals coincide with your visit. Often they feature free stuff to do, especially the Bendigo Easter Festival and Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival.