If there’s one wish we could ask for this school holidays, it’s probably for more ways to entertain the kids.

And it turns out our wish has been granted by an unlikely Christmas elf. NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes just opened the gates of 42 schools for the whole summer.

Mr Stokes launched the Come Play Summer Pilot Program at Mona Vale Public School. The program lets families use the valuable play spaces during school holidays.

“Schools are an important part of every community and often occupy prime open space. Instead of locking the gate this summer, the trial program will share this public space to allow people to exercise and play at their local school over the summer holiday break,” Mr Stokes said.

“We are trialing the program during the holidays with selected schools opening up their playgrounds, ovals and sports courts for the enjoyment of their communities.”

School’s not out for summer

NSW School Playgrounds Staying Open for Summer

And parents who live near public schools with the newly-opened playgrounds are thrilled.

Trista Smith, a mum-of-two and teacher from Gunnedah, lives near GS Kidd Memorial High School. She told Mum Central:

“I’m really excited about this. The school has great equipment and it’s safer than a lot of the parks around here, because the grounds are fenced and away from traffic. Plus it’s just down the street from us!”

And it’s not only good news for parents. The schools and their communities will receive a boost too:

“Participating schools will receive a $15,000 grant to help upgrade their facilities for community and school use,” says Mr Stokes.

Find your closest school

The following schools will open  from 23 December, 2017 to the end of school holidays in late January, 2018:

Region School Address
Hunter Central Coast Belmont High School 424 Pacific Highway, Belmont
Hunter Central Coast Cessnock East Public School Old Maitland Road, Cessnock
Hunter Central Coast Hunter School of Performing Arts Lambton Road, Broadmeadow
Hunter Central Coast Lambton Public School 18-30 Croudace Street, Lambton
Hunter Central Coast Maitland Public School 70 Elgin Street, Maitland
Hunter Central Coast Muswellbrook High School King Street, Muswellbrook
Hunter Central Coast Redhead Public School Hutchinson Street, Redhead
Hunter Central Coast Wangi Wangi Public School Dobell Drive, Wangi Wangi
North Coast Bowraville Central School 23 High Street, Bowraville
North Coast Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus Owen & Burrawan Streets, Port Macquarie
North Coast Toormina Public School Cavanba Road, Toormina
North Coast William Bayldon Public School Lyons Road, Sawtell
North Western NSW GS Kidd Memorial High School 37 Lincoln Street, Gunnedah
Northern Sydney Asquith Boys High School Jersey Street, Asquith
Northern Sydney Beauty Point Public School 17 Medusa Street, Mosman
Northern Sydney Marsden High School 22a Winbourne Street, West Ryde
Northern Sydney Mona Vale Public School Waratah Street, Mona Vale
South Western Sydney Appin Public School 97 Appin Road, Appin
South Western Sydney Belmore South Public School Nelson Avenue & Canterbury Road, Belmore
South Western Sydney Campbelltown East Public School Waminda Avenue, Campbelltown
South Western Sydney Campbelltown Performing Arts High School Beverley Road, Campbelltown
South Western Sydney Granville Boys High School 14 Mary Street, Granville
South Western Sydney James Busby High School Brolga Crescent, Green Valley
South Western Sydney Liverpool Public School Railway Street, Liverpool
South Western Sydney Prairiewood High School Prairievale Road, Wetherill Park
South Western Sydney Strathfield South Public School 457 Liverpool Road,  Strathfield
Southern NSW Glenroy Public School Logan Road, North Albury
Southern NSW Griffith High School Coolah Street, Griffith
Southern NSW Koonawarra Public School Byamee Street, Dapto
Southern NSW Lavington Public School 497 Hague Street,  Lavington
Southern NSW Murray High School Kaitlers Rd, Lavington
Southern NSW Wollondilly Public School Newton & Hoskins Streets, Goulburn
Sydney Bangor Public School 130 Menai Road, Bangor
Sydney Georges River College Hurstville Boys Campus Kenwyn Street, Hurstville
Sydney Haberfield Public School Denman Avenue, Haberfield
Sydney Illawong Public School Fowler Road, Illawong
Sydney Marrickville High School Northcote Street, Marrickville
Sydney Mortdale Public School Colebourne Avenue, Mortdale
Sydney Pagewood Public School Page Street, Botany
Western Sydney Blaxland High School Coughlan Road, Blaxland
Western Sydney Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School Great Western Hwy, Emu Plains


For more ways to keep the kids occupied during the holidays, check these ideas for fun summer activities.


Originally from the UK, but now very much at home on the sunny NSW Central Coast, Sarah is mum to 18-month-old Freddy. When she's not writing, you'll find her at the beach, chasing Freddy at high speed, or drinking tea and eating cake whilst thinking about going to the gym.

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