Things to do in Sydney with kids

After school, during the weekend and indoor, Sydney has plenty of fun for all ages.

Parents, breathe a sigh of relief: we’ve rounded up 20 of the best year-round activities for kids of all ages.

If you haven’t got time to read the full piece, here is the list.

  1. Find a new playground
  2. Make a splash at one of our pools
  3. Wonder at the beauty of the Royal Botanic Garden
  4. Dive under water at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
  5. Visit a library
  6. Get creative at Museum of Contemporary Art
  7. Break out that BMX bike, skateboard or scooter
  8. Get dirty at Sydney Park
  9. Experience island life
  10. Discover Barangaroo
  11. Great parks for kids near the city centre
  12. Visit the Australian Museum
  13. Make and see at the Art Gallery of NSW
  14. Throw a ball
  15. Play, create and discover at the Australian National Maritime Museum
  16. Walk and learn
  17. Meet the locals
  18. Take a ferry
  19. See a show
  20. Check out the Chinese Garden of Friendship

1. Find a new playground

There are loads of playgrounds in the Sydney area. You'll find a mix of equipment for older kids and fenced spaces for toddlers and younger children.

  • Wulaba Park – featuring a giant slide
  • Prince Alfred Park – fly high on a yellow balloon structure. There’s also a big see saw, dinghy and elephant slide for littlies.
  • Darling Harbour Playground – take a wild ride on the supernova roundabout or delve into the tunnels
  • Pirrama Park – explore a large shaded sand pit and accessible spinner

Pirrama Park Playground

2. Make a splash at one of our pools

The city and surrounds is home to multiple pools suitable for children of all ages.

Check out the stunning view at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, set on Woolloomooloo Bay near the Royal Botanic Garden. The smaller 20m pool is 1m deep throughout and perfect if you're learning to swim or just want to have fun.

You can swim all year around at Cook + Phillip Park Pool next to Hyde Park. Its indoor leisure pool has a wave machine.

Ian Thorpe Pool in Ultimo has 3 heated, indoor pools. Give your kids more confidence around the water with learn to swim classes or a fast-track school holiday intensive program.

Victoria Park Pool in Camperdown features a splash pool with a beach-style entry deck and a fun water feature.

The kids’ water play is a highlight of the stunning Gunyama Park Pool in Zetland with slides, fountains and even a magnificent mega-drencher for the kids.

Gunyama Park Pool

3. Wonder at the beauty of the Royal Botanic Garden

From cryptic adventures to crafty workshops and theatre productions - there's plenty of fun to be had at these beautiful harbour-side gardens.

4. Dive under water at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Encounter some of the world's most incredible animals. Walk through the underwater tunnel, discover new species of fish, or pet some slimy critters in the touch pool.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

5. Visit a library

Explore any of our 9 libraries to access free wifi and computers or to browse and borrow from the collection. Our librarians present fun storytime sessions for pre-schoolers and rhymetime for 0 to 2 year-olds. Darling Square Library in Haymarket has a children’s area and a makerspace classes for kids who like to create, tinker or invent.

Darling Square Library

6. Get creative at the Museum of Contemporary Art

A great space for young creatives to see world-class art in the city. They can get hands-on with workshops on all media. Art Baby is a perfect first-visit for little littlies.

Museum of Contemporary Art

7. Break out that BMX bike, skateboard or scooter

If your kids love to skate or want to learn, the amazing skate park in Sydney Park in Alexandria is a brilliant choice. Boasting the largest public flow bowl in Sydney, sculptural bowls and obstacles for skaters of all ages.

There’s 920sqm full street-style skate plaza next to Waterloo Park and Oval. It has blocks, ledges, manual pads, stairs, rails, flat bar, fly-out, corner bank, steep wall and mini-ramp.

At Federal Park skate park in Annandale, you’ll find rails, ledges, walls, banks, kerbs and stairs as well as a freestanding mini ramp to get your blood flowing.

Federal Park skate park

8. Get dirty at Sydney Park

Sydney Park offers 40 hectares of greenery a stone's throw from the city centre. The main drawcard for kids is the adventure playground that will occupy them for hours. There's also a large sand pit. Pack the picnic basket and make a day of it, and bring the family pooch: the majority of the park is off-leash.

Plus, if you have a little one learning how to ride a bike, Sydney Park's cycling centre has a terrific course for kids aged 3 to 8. Kids can learn basic traffic and pedestrian rules on 2 wheels and join free balance bike clinics.

Sydney Park's super fun playground

9. Experience island life

For a short ferry ride, Cockatoo Island is worth a visit. Take step back in time with a guided tour through the UNESCO world-heritage-listed site, then grab some lunch and experience the beauty of Sydney’s biggest island.

Cockatoo Island was once home to Sydney's shipbuilding industry

10. Discover Barangaroo

There’s always something exciting happening in Sydney’s newest waterfront precinct. Join a free and interactive yarn and storytelling session, picnic in a secluded cove surrounded by native plantings, view a piece of public art or take a dip at the most central swimming spot in the city.

11. Great parks for kids near the city centre

  1. Centennial Parklands – encompasses Centennial Park, Moore Park (including the Entertainment Quarter) and Queens Park, plenty of green space to relax, play, cycle, scooter and more
  2. Paddington Reservoir Gardens – a pocket of greenery inside – you guessed it – a former reservoir
  3. Hyde Park – because kids love the Archibald Fountain

12. Visit the Australian Museum

Check out the oldest museum in Australia, and the fifth oldest natural history museum in the world, opposite Hyde Park. While away a few hours with immersive exhibitions and interactive experiences for kids of all ages and the young at heart.

13. Make and see at the Art Gallery of NSW

Inspire curiosity with this diverse collection of art in beautiful parklands overlooking Sydney Harbour. Entry is free for a stroll through the space, but the gallery also runs ticketed activities for kids including workshops and demonstrations, tours and storytime.

14. Throw a ball

Tennis, basketball, futsal, netball, pickleball or badminton – are you game? We run community centres with dedicated kids programs and opportunities for casual play.

Perry Park Recreation Centre

15. Play, create and discover at the Australian National Maritime Museum

A stunning collection of maritime history in the heart of Darling Harbour. You'll find tall ships, war ships and submarines for the bigger kids to play on. Don't miss the mini-mariners program for under 5s or the kids on deck art-making experience for 4 to 14 year olds.

16. Walk and learn

Take your kids to see public art and historical sites in Sydney, and uncover our city's stories. Our free Sydney Culture Walks app covers more than 400 points of interest across Sydney. You can filter by type, location and theme.

Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park

17. Meet the locals

Check out animals in all shapes and sizes at Taronga Zoo. A visit is almost compulsory for locals and families visiting Sydney. Tick off another must-do activity by catching a ferry to the zoo for brilliant harbourside photos. While you’re there, there’s a range of fun tours and activities such as the Sky Safari, or various ticketed animal encounter experiences.

Taronga Zoo

18. Take a ferry

It doesn’t matter where you’re going, Sydney Ferries are a must-do experience, giving you a front-seat photo opp with Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Take a Sydney Ferry for an unbeatable view

19. See a show

Sydney Opera House has a packed program of theatre shows and workshops for juniors throughout the year. There’s live music, art making, dancing, acrobatic adventures and more.

20. Check out the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Follow the winding pathways of this lush oasis in Darling Harbour. Feed the magnificent koi or spot the 12 animals of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Want more? Find all events for children and family.

Posted . Last updated .

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