sydney - school holidays spots

Sydney Winter School Holidays Edition - Saturday 6th July to Sunday 21st July 2019

How Cities Work - Museum of Sydney. Photo credit: @busycitykids

How Cities Work - Museum of Sydney. Photo credit: @busycitykids

art galleries & libraries

  • Art Gallery of NSW - School Holiday Programs. Enjoy various free art making workshops such as Drop In and Make - Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let’s Work Together (Sun 7th July Mon 8th to 12th July 11am to 3:30pm) and Drop In and Make - Face Time (Mon 15th to Friday 19th July and Sun 21st July 11am to 3:30pm). Various dates & times, free and no bookings required at Entrance Court. More info here.

  • Casual Powerhouse Arts Centre. The annual Way Out West Festival returns to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in just two weeks! Running from 10th to 14th July during the school holidays, it’s the premier interactive festival celebrating young people’s curiosity and imagination five days overflowing with crazy and creative family fun. This year’s program features over 230 family-friendly programmed activities spread over 12 spaces: from massive interactive installations (including a giant maze), brand new kids’ shows by Australia’s leading entertainers, and crafty and educational workshops. “WOW Festival is about hands-on fun and artistic exploration in all its forms. We have collected a huge array of wonderful activities and shows, all aimed at igniting imagination and sending kids on a creative journey of discovery. The 2019 WOW Festival program features over 230 chances to experience 18 performances and events, 22 workshops and four interactive installations, spread across 12 spaces in and around the Centre, over five days.” More info here.

  • MCA - School Holiday Programs. Celebrate NAIDOC week at the MCA these school holidays. Explore work by Aboriginal artists in MCA Collection: Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday and get hands-on with fun collaborative art-making activities. Designed for mini art lovers aged 4 years+ and their grown-ups. Various dates & times and charges apply. More info here.

events

  • Disney On Ice. Disney On Ice celebrates Mickey and Friends these school holidays! Get ready for the ultimate interactive event this winter with your Disney favourites; Moana, Toy Story, Frozen, Finding Dory and “Live Your Story” alongside Disney Princesses as audiences celebrate their favourite Disney memories in this commemoration of 90 years of Mickey Mouse. Touring Qudos Bank Arena these school holidays 17th to 21st July 2019. More info here.

  • Peppa Pig Playdate. The popular Peppa Pig Playdate event is returning to Melbourne and Sydney these Winter school holidays. The interactive, super-sized play experience will invite families to journey into the world of Peppa Pig as TEG and Lifelike Touring bring to life the show’s characters and adventures across 10 different zones. Guests can visit Peppa’s house, ride on Grandpa Pig’s train, jump on bouncy muddy puddles and have a special playdate with Peppa, all within this huge and interactive world. On from Saturday 13th July to Sunday 21st July. More info here.

  • Riverside Theatres Parramatta. This July school holidays, Riverside Theatres is a treasure trove of delights for kids of all ages, with a spectacular program that includes the musical magic of The Toybox, Andy Griffith’s hilarious Just Romeo & Juliet! presented by Bell Shakespeare and the outrageous fun of Roald Dahl’s The Twits. What happens when the toys are packed away and the children tucked snuggly in their beds? The toybox opens and the toys come to life! They dance, they play, they are naughty and nice, they bicker and battle but always make sure to gather back inside the toybox before the first rays of morning sun. More info here.

  • Sydney Olympic Park. Kid’s will go wild these school holidays on the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course at Sydney Olympic Park. Thrill seekers will be able to run, climb, bounce and slide their way through 30 different adventures on the Tuff Nutterz obstacle course. Set up over a massive 270m at Blaxland Riverside Park, the blow-up course is suitable for kids over the age of 5 years, while children aged 3-5 must be accompanied by a (non-paying) adult. Commencing daily from Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 July, the course will open from 9:00am to 3:00pm, with start times spaced out in 1-hour increments throughout the day. More info here.

  • Sydney Opera House - Shows. These July School Holidays, the Sydney Opera House celebrates friendship, storytelling and dance with an exciting line-up of shows and interactive workshops including page-to-stage adaptations, brilliant breakdancing and creative play all underneath the world-famous sails. 

    Following a sell-out season in the Studio earlier this year, 360 ALLSTARS RETURN will return to the Opera House on 7 July with two encore performances in the Concert Hall. A spectacular celebration of all forms of rotation, the all-star cast includes a two-time World Champion BMX Flatlander and a World Record-holding cyr wheel artist plus exceptional break dancers and basketball freestyler. Don’t miss the international group’s final Australian performance this year!

    In Between Tiny Cities (5-7 July), two dancers from Phnom Penh and Darwin explore the language of physical movement, expressing their respective cultures with impressive choreography. The project is the result of a four-year dance program between Australia and Cambodia where two troupes travelled, trained and danced together, building a meaningful understanding of each other’s perspective, history and performance. 

    From 6-10 July, the Playhouse transforms into the imaginary world conjured by author and artist Shaun Tan in his award-winning children’s book The Red Tree. A young girl is too afraid to leave her bed, but after conquering her fears she finds her courage and takes control of her destiny. This poignant adaptation teaches kids big and small that it’s okay to be different.

    Roald Dahl’s timeless Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts leaps off the page and onto the stage from 11 July in a fantastical new live show. Familiar faces from your favourite fairy tales make an appearance to live out their stories on stage, but this time there’s some unexpected and entertaining twists in store!

    In Beep (16-20 July), Mort’s picture-perfect and peaceful planet is turned upside down with the sudden appearance of the loveable robot Beep, who’s left her alien world in search of a new home. In this tender tale of friendship, Beep combines puppetry, storytelling and music to show that a little bravery and curiosity can bring strangers together, even if they’re worlds apart.

    Creative Play also returns to the Western Foyers as a free, hands-on and interactive installation to let children bring their wildest imaginations to life. Designed to encourage a borderless and exploratory approach to creativity and art, Creative Play takes on a new form every school holidays. Discover more information about Creative Play at the Opera House here

  • Sydney Opera House - Junior Adventure. Uncover mysterious secrets and unusual facts with this jam-packed journey through the Sydney Opera House. The Junior Adventure Tour is filled with interactive activities and games for the whole family: explore with our expert guides, and inspire your inner performer to become a Sydney Opera House star. Only during school holidays. Adult $32 and Child $22 for kids 5 to 15. Children under 5 are free. 29th Sep 8th Oct. More info here.

gardens

  • Centennial Parklands - School Holiday Programs - From lego robotics, Wild Play Bush School, Pizza Party in the bush, Wild Play kids vs wild, Wild Play Bush Rangers, CSI Forensics with Fizzics, Gross and Gory, chemical concoctions, and more. Ages, dates and prices vary. More info here.

  • Royal Botanic Garden - School Holiday Programs - Choose from a range of sessions from Create and Play!, Kids Veggie Patch, Indigenous Olympics, City Slicker Critters, Botanic Beats - Garden Disco and Garden Grubs. Ages and prices vary. More info here.

  • Royal Botanic Garden Sydney - Plants with Bite. Be impressed by the NEW Plants with Bite green wall composed of 18,000+ plants. Carnivorous Plants are under threat of extinction and it has been said that among the 800 known species, 56 percent of them are under threat from habit loss, poaching and weeds. Free entry. Read our review here.

museums

  • Australian Museum - School Holiday Programs. Enjoy free drop-in activities, theatre and science workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, craft activities, live shows, film screenings and talks at the Australian Museum these winter holidays. Celebrate NAIDOC Week, join our First Nations staff in making traditional string figures and share any you know with us! Take part in workshops: Theatre workshop: Shadowscapes!, UNSW Science – Digital Planetarium Experience, Science workshop: Earth, sun and moon, Science show: Destination moon and beyond! and Scientist for a Day: Archaeologist. More info here. Checkout our top 5 things to do at the Australian Museum while you’re there. Our review here.

  • Australian Reptile Park. Head to the Australian Reptile Park for a fun day in Somersby. This fun reptile park has a number of great alligators, crocodiles, Australian native animals, birds, mammals and more. Every holiday, the park throws has various activities, feeding times, talks etc so be sure to checkout their visit to make those special activities on time. Our review here.

  • Elizabeth Farm & Vaucluse - Convict Kids. Convict kids, come straight off the ship and get to work on the Macarthur estate. Mr Macarthur is returning from England and there’s much to be done before he arrives. The table needs to be set, clothes washed, the bed needs to be made and there are so many other jobs to do! Various dates & times and charges apply. Ages 5 to 12 years. More info here.

  • Justice & Police Museum - The Justice & Police Museum. A great place for primary school children, teenagers and adults to read up on, understand and appreciate the rich history of the buildings and underworld Sydney. The Museum is only open weekends and the Mock Trial is only on once a day on Saturday and Sunday so make sure you attend during those times. Kids can play dress ups and follow a little trail to find their missing friend provided at reception. Read our review here.

  • May Gibbs Nutcote. Visit the beautiful house and gardens of May Gibbs in Sydney's Neutral Bay these holidays. Nutcote is now a house museum surrounded by an English garden and Australian garden which is opened to the public all year round and run by volunteers and one of our favourite places to visit. Take the kids to enjoy a cool school holiday workshop where they can create their own artwork. Ages 5-11 years on the 18th & 26th of April. Check their website for more details. Our review of this beautiful estate here.

  • Museums Discovery Centre. Explore the Museums Discovery Centre and expect to find millions of treasures, with hundreds on display, and thousands more waiting to be discovered through booked tours of the deep collection stores. Our review of the centre here.

  • Museum of Sydney - How Cities Work. A must visit exhibition for the summer holidays. Kids will love exploring and creating their own city and interacting with James Gulliver Hancock’s world of his popular How Cities Work book. Every area in the exhibition is interactive, kids will be busy for hours. Perfect for busy city kids! Our review of the exhibition here. Don’t forget to checkout the Lonely Planet Kids videos on level 1 while you’re there for some fun videos & facts as well as the Street Photography exhibition on the same level as the exhibition and wonder around the rest of this great museum. A great morning in sight! Closes 21st July so it will be your last chance to experience this exhibition.

  • Powerhouse Museum - School Holiday Workshops.

  • Rose Seidler House - Visit. Designed by Harry Seidler for his parents Rose and Max and completed in 1950, this house was the most talked about house in Sydney at the time and you can see why. We loved visiting this stunning house and furnishings, find out why. Our review here.

  • Rouse Hill House & Farm - Rouse Hill House & Farm in LEGO® Bricks exhibition. Explore models of the iconic Rouse Hill House, outbuildings, stable and barns constructed from LEGO® bricks with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy by the Southern Hemisphere’s only LEGO®-certified professional, Australia’s Ryan McNaught. Kids can get hands-on with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks too. Adult $12, Concession $8, Family $38, Member free. Wednesday to Sunday. Our review here.

  • Rouse Hill House & Farm - Earn your tucker. Help feed the chickens, collect the eggs, grind the corn, make the butter and pump the water. At the end of the program, you’ll sit on the verandah for some well-earned tucker! Ages 5+. Various dates, times and prices apply. More info here.

  • Rouse Hill House & Farm - Bush Tucker. Search for bush tucker plants with Aboriginal guides from Muru Mittigar around Rouse Hill House and Farm. Learn about traditional bush foods and make a traditional johnnycake. Then sit down to your well-earned tucker! Ages 5 to 12 years. Various dates, times and prices apply. More info here.

  • Rouse Hill House & Farm - Family Tours. Head to the farm these holidays and find out about the fascinating history of Rouse Hill House & Farm! Take a farmyard tour to explore the stables and meet the chooks, ‘Pudding’ the cow, and our horses Larry and Ziggy. 6th July - 21 July 2019. Included in museum entry. Daily in the school holidays. There are also family tours at Vaucluse House, Elizabeth Farm, Elizabeth Bay House, Meroogal and Rose Seidler House. More info here.

  • Rouse Hill House & Farm - Naidoc Week. NAIDOC Week is celebrated by Australians from all walks of life. It’s a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and get to know and support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Join Rouse Hill House & Farm on Sunday 14 July for their own celebrations with cultural partner Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural & Education Centre. The day is suitable for all ages and will include language workshops, dance performances, a smoking ceremony, yarning circle, cultural cook-up, art activities, weaving, boomerang throwing and more! 10am to 4pm. More info here.

  • Susannah Place - Playing Shop. With Playing Shop children become shopkeepers and get behind the counter of Susannah Place Museum’s re-created c1915 corner shop. Various dates, times and prices apply. More info here.

  • Sydney Bus Museum. Hop onboard a Vintage Double Decker Bus from the QVB to the Sydney Bus Museum with the kids these holidays for a fun day out! The kids will love it, we sure did! Open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month so Sunday 21st April will be the next opening however please check their website for more to make sure. Our review here.

  • Sydney Living Museums - School Holiday Programs. Take part in The Water Picnic, Jungle Book performances, Convict Kids at Vaucluse and Elizabeth Farm these holidays. Ages, dates and prices vary. More info here.

  • Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society. Visit the Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society and let the kids enjoy the thrill of miniature train rides. The society is open on the THIRD Saturday afternoon of each month from 1.30 pm to around 4.30 pm. $2 per ride plus entry fee of $4 for adults and $2 for children. We loved it! Our review here.

  • Vaucluse House - Earn your tucker. Help feed the chickens, collect the eggs, grind the grain and make the butter, then sit down to your well-earned tucker! Ages 5+. Various dates, times and prices apply. More info here.

programs

  • Bricks 4 Kidz - School holiday Programs. Choose from a range of great school holiday workshops. Kids can have fun with friends creating cool BRICKS 4 KIDZ® models with LEGO® Technic, building 3D characters, or making craft projects and other activities that centre around our SUPER FUN themes. (Shhh… they’re also educational, but the kids will never know!). Or sign them up to one of their robotics workshops to create and learn to program their own ‘bot! Ages and Prices vary. More info here.

  • Fizzics Education. Choose from a range of school holiday programs Science Shows and Workshops across Sydney with Fizzics Education. They will be running programs at ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation), Centennial Parklands, The Australian Botanic Garden, Museums of Discovery Centre and Sydney Olympic Park. Dates, locations and prices vary. More info here.

  • Northern Beaches Council. Info to come

  • Northern Beaches Council. Other events. Checkout various activities taking place these holidays at Northern Beaches libraries, vacation care programs, kids on the coast holiday program, Glen Street Theatre and Manly Art Gallery & Museum. More info here.

shopping centres

  • St Ives shopping Village. Head to St Ives for a variety of activities for the kids: Computer Coding Workshops, Rock Art, Bricks 4 Kidz and Cake Decorating Workshops and more. More info here.

  • Warringah Mall. Head to Warringah Mall for Ninja Kids actions. 10 days of Ninja action. Ninja Kids is bringing their brand new ninja warrior style obstacle course to Westfield Warringah Mall. Brush up on your ninja skills as you balance, swing and soar through the course. More info here.

zoos - aquariums - farms and more!

  • Illawara Fly. This school holidays, fly into Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures for a brand new adventure! Partnering with Animal Planet, Illawarra Fly is inviting all children to create their very own storybook as they journey through the Illawarra rainforest. All little wanderers will receive a complementary “My Forest Adventure” booklet to accompany them on the Treetop Walk; a 500 metre-long, 25 metre-high elevated walkway which provides unrivalled views of the unique beauty of the region’s flora and fauna. Guests will create their own story, through fill-in-the-blanks and multiple choice activities which are brought to life by their sights, smells, textures and feelings, making for the ultimate take home souvenir to always remember their Forest Adventure at the Illawarra Fly! And for those adventurers aged four years and over, the attraction’s high-flying Zipline Tour is the perfect “my first zip” experience which has you flying through the treetops and over the forest floor! Saturday 6th July to Sunday 21st July 9am to 5pm, included in admission. More info here.

  • Madame Tussauds Sydney.This July, get ready to roll out the red carpet as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex touch down at their new home and join the family at Madame Tussauds Sydney! Inspired by iconic looks from their recent visit to Australia, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new wax figures will be a permanent feature at the Darling Harbour attraction as part of a brand new ‘The Royal Academy’ interactive experience. From the 1st of July, guests can become royalty in a revamped Royal experience which invites them to walk, talk and dress like a royalty! Guests are then invited to join the British Royal Family portrait, alongside Her Majesty the Queen, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! There will be ‘Instant Royal Academy’ coaches guests on etiquette, teaching all how to correctly address a Royal, sit gracefully, curtsy like a lady and perfect the Royal wave. From 2-4pm on the 7th and 14th of July, nationally acclaimed etiquette coach, Zarife Hardy, will also be hosting exclusive lessons in Royal etiquette at the new experience for all budding Princes and Princesses! To sweeten the experience, the first 20 walk-up customers each day during the NSW school holidays (July 6th -21st ) will receive a memorabilia biscuit, personalised with their Royal portrait or selfie. The bespoke biscuits are otherwise available to purchase in-attraction. The Royal Portrait experience launches at Madame Tussauds Sydney from 1st July. Open daily from 10am-6pm (last entry at 5pm). Included in price of admission. For more information, head here.

  • Sandbucket Play Centre and Café - Head to the Sandbucket Play Centre and Café for some fun these holidays. This great indoor playground is perfect for kids 0 to 12 years and with a café outside it’s perfect for a catchup with friends and some food & drinks after play. Our review here.

  • Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - Colourful Creatures - These school holidays SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo have partnered with Animal Planet to celebrate the most Colourful Creatures! Have you ever noticed the unique and vibrant patterns and colours of our marine and Aussie outback wildlife? Wondered how a clown fish got its stripes? Or why a cassowary’s face is blue? Find out all this and more! As guests venture through the attractions, they can create their own adventure storybook based on their encounters and experiences through the attraction, plus learn about the colourful creatures which call Darling Harbour home!

    Weave your own tale as you encounter the bright and beautiful creatures at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo including the monarch butterflies, magnificent tree frogs, Kangaroo joeys and resident Cassowary. Next door at SEA LIFE Sydney, try and spot our camouflaging weedy sea dragons, draw your own ‘Dory’ blue tang, touch a sea star in the Rockpool and learn how many spikes a lion fish has! Then bring your story book to life and recount the sights, smells, textures and emotions, making for the ultimate take home souvenir to always remember their ultimate day out! ‘Colourful Creatures’ at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo from Saturday 29th June to Wednesday 31st July. Open daily from 10am-6pm (last entry at 5pm). More info here regarding WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo here and SEA LIFE Sydney here.

  • Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - Day and Night on the Reef. Checkout the impressive $5 million NEW interactive exhibit Day and Night on the Reef developed by a team of over 100 people. This great exhibit is the largest Great Barrier Reef display in the world with interactive experiences which help visitors appreciate the Reef. Kids will love this new exhibition, lots to see experience and checkout and interact with. Read our review here. Checkout the Penguin Expedition, hop on a boat and experience this cute expedition while you’re there. Read our review here.

  • Sydney Tower Eye. This July, Sydney Tower Eye is transforming into Sydney’s Highest Playground, offering the ultimate fun, games and views from the Observation Deck of the tallest building in Sydney! Sydney’s Highest Playground will be a superbly silly, fun-filled event, featuring the best games and activities of the 80s, 90s and now Get your boomerang on with glow-in-the-dark hula hoops, or challenge your friends to a game of giant connect-four, giant jenga, table tennis, kerplun or the ultimate EYE spy! Nestled 250 metres up in the sky, Sydney’s Highest Playground offers endless photo opportunities for the ‘gram and much much more! From 1st July. Open 9am-9pm daily (last entry 8pm), included in admission. Visit the Sydney Tower Eye website for Milky Lane’s pop-up times and dates.

  • Taronga Zoo - Zoo Adventures. Taronga’s Wild Squad Zoo Adventurers is a fun, educational holiday program for children aged between five to 10 years of age, where they are taken on an exciting zoo journey, learning about animals and the environments they live in. Ages 5 to 10 years. Prices vary. More info here.

  • Wannabees Frenchs Forest & Hornsby Indoor Centres. Let the kids have fun these holidays at Wannabees Frenchs Forest’s 1100 sqm building which has a beauty salon, grocery store, vet office, café & restaurant, post office, bank, doctor’s office, school, library, jail & police station, maternity ward, radio & tv studios, fashion shop and a construction site and more! We loved our visits. Read our Frenchs Forest review here. We also checked out and loved the newer Wannabees Hornsby centre which is jam packed with many rooms to explore like a supermarket, vet, grocery shop, radio and news room, hairdresser, fire station, a dance floor, the list goes on! Read our Hornsby review here.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.
Se Life Sydney Aquarium.