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Parent’s stress survival guide: Christmas holidays

12 December 2019 | Care & Support, General

The Christmas holidays are here, and for parents, there’s a good reason it’s called the silly season.

It means the seemingly never-ending chaos of finding care options and activities to keep your children entertained. While the shorter school holiday breaks throughout the year are generally manageable, the length of the summer holidays – about two months in total – present all sorts of challenges for working parents. But there are ways to ease the pressure without having to sacrifice your work responsibilities or wear out your welcome with friends and family.

First step is to form ‘care plan’ to cope with the extended holiday period, and in most cases this would consist of a range of options. There’s generally about 6-7 weeks of holiday leave that you’ll be needing to find care for, so it’s likely you’ll need to utilise a mix of options, as sadly annual leave can only stretch so far.

Home based care

At the end of a big year at school, or being juggled between other forms of care, children enjoy nothing more than spending time at home over the Christmas holiday period. It gives them a break from the frantic pace of life at other times.

This makes arranging home based care for your children a great option when you return to work. This may take the form of asking grandparents, family or friends to look after your children at your house, or using formal services such as nannying or babysitting offered through businesses like the Hessel Group.

Vacation care

During the Christmas holidays, most schools offer vacation care programs which can provide a good option for working parents. The drawback of this option is it may feel very similar to the work/school/care routine throughout the year, so your children aren’t really getting a break from the frantic pace of life that’s in place during school terms. There may also be age restrictions associated with these programs.

School holiday sports programs

An alternative to vacation care may be a school holiday sports program. While the routine is similar to that of vacation care, the activities and children involved are different and may be refreshing for your children. This option is particularly useful if your children are interested in a particular sport.

There is a range of sports programs offered by a number of providers, from governments to private companies, so it’s best to conduct an Internet search to find an option that’s best suited to you.

What to do during school holidays

With your care options in place, the second challenge for parents is finding holiday activities to keep their children entertained and busy.

While there’s many activities you can do at home, it’s also a good idea to organise some outings where you can experience interesting activities. Hiring a nanny or babysitter for periods during the school holiday period also offers this flexibility.

Here’s our list of mostly free activities to do with your children this Christmas holiday period in Adelaide:

Christmas Riverbank Display
River Torrens

25 November 2019 – 31 December 2019

See the magnificent Christmas Riverbank Display on the banks of the River Torrens. Take the whole family to view brand new displays, such as the Nativity scene, Ferris wheel and the Christmas Grinch!

Semaphore Summer Carnival
Semaphore foreshore

15th December 2019 – 27th January 2020

Enjoy a great day at the foreshore by visiting the Semaphore Summer Carnival! Join in on a special, one night Carols by the Sea on the 15th December 2019 and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Chriskindlmarkt
Main Street, Hahndorf

13th – 15th December 2019

A European-style Christmas market based in the German town of Hahndorf.

Lobethal Lights
Lobethal Township

8th – 29th December 2019

A South Australian Christmas tradition of more than 60 years, a Christmas display that lights up the entire value.

Civic Park Movies
Civic Park, Modbury

Selected dates in January – March 2020

Free latest release family movies in a beautiful outdoor park setting.

The Big Wedgie
West Beach and Elizabeth

23rd November 2019 – 9th February 2020

Have fun in the sun this Christmas by rocketing down the world’s tallest freestanding inflatable water slide! Don’t worry, there are also smaller slides for the little ones too.

Santa’s Wonderland
Goyder Pavilion, Adelaide Showground

6th December – 24th December 2019

Be transported to Santa’s wonderful world this December, and be surrounded by magical Christmas displays, music, rides, ice skating, and much much more!

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