Your guide to the best school hols EVER!

12:00AM, Dec 25 2012

Ideas that'll make your summer one to remember.

1. Organise a Mad Hatter-themed picnic
Delegate food and decoration duties to your peeps. Think teacups and saucers, cake stands and assorted hats, finger sandwiches and pink lemonade. Head down to your local park, put out a picnic blanket, decorations and enjoy the sunshine. Don't forget your camera!

2. Catch these summer releases
For laughs: Fun Size is out with Victoria Justice and Jonny Knoxville. You'll be squirming and laughing from start to finish when Wren's (Victoria Justice) plan to hit up a huge Halloween party thrown by her crush goes bad after she gets lumped with her oddball lil' bro, who goes MIA.

Summer hit: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits cinemas December 26 with Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood. This time Bilbo Baggins makes a trip to Lonely Mountain with his dwarf friends to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

3. Host a round-the-world pool party
Choose a country like Mexico or Hawaii for your theme. Ask your friends to bring a plate of party snacks from the country you've chosen (check out some foodie blogs for yummy treat ideas). If you want to add a touch of competition to the day, hold a mini MasterChef-style cook-off with ingredients from your allocated country.

4. Discover a new hangout area
Rather than hitting up the same old shopping centre, grab some friends and plan a day out in a new 'hood. You'll be the first to claim new eating spots and shops that other friends won't have shottied yet.

5. Hang with the boys
As fun as it is chilling out with your girlfriends over the hols, sometimes it's fun to mix it up with the boys too. If you're planning to spend your summer by the beach, you could try a surfing lesson. Or grab your girls, some cute boys, balls and bats and organise a game of cricket in the park. You'll get fit and it's a laid-back way to get his attention without looking like you're trying too hard.

6. Start a summer-hols book club
Choose a book and decide on a time to have it finished by. Then get your fellow book lovers together at one of your houses to discuss. Make it a fancy affair by holding an afternoon high tea with cupcakes and pastries.

7. Throw a clothes-swap party
Send out an FB invite asking everyone to round up their old clothes, jewellery and accessories. On the night, get each friend to set up an area with all their pieces labelled with their name on it so you can keep track of everyone's things. Then let the swapping begin!

8. Go glamping
Glamping is not your average cold shower and burnt sausages camping experience. Instead, glamp it by pitching tents in your backyard and scattering pretty cushions, throws and blankets. Arrange tea-light candles and whip up yummy nibbles for a balmy summer night under the stars with your best pals.

9. Chick flick marathon sleepover
Get out the bean bags, order pizza and put on girlie flicks.

10. Vintage crafternoon
Hit the local markets and hunt for cool pieces you can up-cycle (a little imagination may be required). Then head back to a friend's place and get crafty by transforming your vintage digs into one-off beauties.

11. DIY Big Day Out
If you missed out on a ticket to Big Day Out, why not make your own backyard festival? It's cheaper, cleaner and you don't have to line up for the loo. Create a festival playlist, a dance area and chill-out zones with bean bags.

12. Have a DIY spa night
... with this coconut oil scrub recipe!

What you'll need:
• 1 cup of salt or sugar
• 1/2 cup oil — organic extra virgin coconut oil is great, but you can use any type of oil
• 2 drop of essential oil of your choice
• A bowl
• A spoon
• A glass jar to store the scrub
• 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut

To make: Mix the dry ingredients together in a clean bowl, then pour in the oil, adding more or less until the ingredients are completely soaked in it. Pop it into a pretty glass jar and store for later use. Simply rub all over your body, rinse and you'll be left with smooth skin that smells like you're on a Bahamas vacay!

13. Date night at the Moonlight Cinemas
The Moonlight Cinemas will be hitting Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Port Douglas and Sydney throughout summer. Don't forget your picnic blanket and snacks! Check out moonlight.com.au to find showings and times.

14. Start a vegie patch
Head to your local garden shop and buy some seedlings or newly sprouted vegies. Mix-up your selection with carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and even strawberries — they're easy to take care of. The best part is, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

15. Reorganise your room, feng shui-style
Throw away that crusty old lunch box that's been under your bed since last term and give yourself a fresh start to the hols. To feng shui your bedroom layout, the bed should have a solid wall behind it and should not be in a direct line with the door. Add high- energy colours, like bright pink and red. Don't forget to cover your mirrors with a shawl or scarf at night to make sure zenned-out energies flow around your room while you sleep.

16. Make a pinhole camera and get happy-snapping
Pinhole cameras are basically a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. They're a fun way to play around with effects, as your image will turn out differently depending on how long you leave it to expose. Head to matchboxpinhole.com/index.html to find out how to make one and for more info.

17. Go fruit picking
Spend the day in the sunshine feasting on yummy berries you've picked yourself. Head to pickit.com.au/findafarm.html to find out what's in season and where you can fruit pick near you.

18. Take an art course at your local community centre
You can try out anything from jewellery-making to photography. There's a mix of classes, from one-day sessions to week-long courses. Prices range from as little as $20 and go up to $250 for bigger programs.

19. See the stars
Heading out with a brainy guy, but you don't know where to go? Check out astronomy.org.au/ to find your local observatory or planetarium for a night of getting up close to the stars and planets (and him.)

20. Treat Mum to a day off
Show Mum you appreciate her by getting your bro and sis to help you get stuck into the mopping and ironing. It will win you much-needed brownie points for that next party, trust us!

21. Make a mini movie
Download apps like CineCam, or Vibop (vibop.com), which have cool themes like "horror" and "silent film", and get your friends to act out scenes or just muck around. Then, for a laugh, get everyone around, break out the popcorn and show off your work.



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