Sydney is definitely a city for families. With such a wide range of family-friendly activities, from active adventures to brain-bending museums, there’s something for everyone whether you’re young or simply young at heart.
To get around and experience as many Sydney family attractions as you can, take advantage of CityRail’s ‘Family Funday Sunday’ fares for only $2.50 per person. Another option is to take the kids on a ferry ride to one of Sydney’s beautiful harbour-side locations.
A Sydney icon, Taronga Zoo is known for its world-class range of friendly animals, beautiful open exhibits and some of the best harbour views you’ll find in Sydney.
Make a day of it and take your kids to this world-class zoo. Whether they’ve never been or want to visit again, there’s always something new to discover at Taronga. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch because you’ll surely want to sit back and enjoy the stunning views of Sydney Harbour.
Sydney Aquarium + Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Darling Harbour is one of the best places in Sydney for kids. Whether it’s reptiles or sea life, there’s a huge range on display at Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium and next-door at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo.
With over 650 species and a series of underwater see-through glass tunnels where you can watch sharks swim above you, Sydney Aquarium is one of Sydney’s favourite family spots. The Wild Life Sydney Zoo – right near by – starts where the aquarium left off, introducing kids to a world of Australia’s wildlife. Some of them are funny and others are scary, but all of them are full of personality. These two are sure to be a crowd-pleaser with young and older kids alike.
The Powerhouse Museum at Darling Harbour
For more in Darling Harbour, check out the world-class science playground at The Powerhouse Museum. One of Sydney’s family-oriented museums, there’s something here for everyone. With craft and colouring tables, an outdoor playground and full-day ‘Thinkspace workshops’ for kids, they’ll be able to spend the day gaming, building, programming, and playing with electronics, space sciences, video, music and animation.
To get your kid’s eyes sparkling, look no further than Luna Park’s wide-eyed entrance gate. The rides are pricey, but there’s no entry fee – so with a bit of restraint this location can be an affordable way to spend a day in Sydney. While you’re in Milson’s Point, why not have a picnic underneath the bridge or grab a bite to eat in Kirribilli.
Perched on Observatory Hill, the Sydney Observatory will let you see the universe come to life through amazing 3D technology and fantastic exhibitions. The Observatory is particularly great in the evenings where kids can learn about the space and cosmos, as well as enjoy the scenic views at one of Sydney’s best harbour-side spots.
The IMAX is one of the world’s ultimate movie experiences. Home to the world’s largest cinema screen, the theatre hosts a variety of films and selected blockbusters in 2D and 3D. Films here start screening from 10am and make for a great option on hotter Sydney days when thoughts of mum and dad chasing after the little ones is too much to bare.
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
The Aquatic Centre in Sydney Olympic Park is another incredibly popular family spot and it’s easy to see why. Open daily until 9pm, and fitted with water playgrounds, water slide, and a rapid river ride, this swimming centre is a whole lot more than just a lap pool.
There’s also an urban jungle adventure park, mechanical climbing wall and a flying trapeze for when it’s time to get out of the pool and dry off.
Ice skating at Macquarie Ice Rink
For one of the best school holiday spots in Sydney, head to the ice rink at Macquarie Shopping Centre in North Ryde. Certain times of the day are allocated for reduced-price school holiday skating, as well as birthday party sessions. It doesn’t get more family-friendly than this hotspot (or should we say, ice-cold spot.)
Located in Mosman, Chinaman’s Beach is one of Sydney’s best secluded beaches. The beach is a 250 metre stretch of sand in Middle Harbour with just the right amount of space for kids to go wild. Whether it’s kayaking, snorkelling, swimming or building sandcastles, the possibilities are endless, but not so endless that they’ll run out of mum and dad’s sight!
Just 10 minutes from the city, Centennial Park is Sydney’s park mecca. With more space to play in than your kids’ imaginations can muster, the park features three popular playgrounds and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. With giant guiros, a water feature, modern play equipment, and a double see-saw – to name a few things – you won’t find a better range of outdoor playing equipment around.
The park also includes bike hire, golf, and horse riding.