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Things to do in Sydney with kids

After school activities, weekend activities, and indoor activities, Sydney has plenty of fun for kids of 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 are our top 10.

  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. Learn new skills at Centennial Park
  5. Dive under water at the Sydney Aquarium
  6. Get creative with kids activities at Museum of Contemporary Art
  7. Play, create and discover with the whole family at the Australian National Maritime Museum
  8. Break out that BMX bike, skateboard or scooter
  9. Get dirty at Sydney Park
  10. Spend the day at one of our favourite parks

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.

Getting active in nature at Wulaba Park

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.

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

Check out the stunning view at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, set on Woolloomooloo Bay near the Royal Botanic Garden. The 50m outdoor saltwater pool has at least one lane available for free play only from 9am each day. The smaller 20m pool is 1m deep throughout and perfect if you're learning to swim or just want to have fun. It is heated to 28ºC and has a shade cover.

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.

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. Learn new skills at Centennial Park

Over in the east of Sydney you’ll find at the beautiful Centennial Park, you'll find a year-round program of family fun activities.

5. Dive under water at the Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is a must-see for kids. Walk through the underwater tunnel, discover new species of fish, or pet some slimy critters in the touch pool.

Cost: From $38 for a child. Save up to 20% when booking online. Age: Suitable for all ages

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

6. Get creative at the Museum of Contemporary Art

The MCA is a great space for young creatives to see world-class art in the city. Entry is free of charge. The museum runs kids' workshops and classes for a fee. See what's happening at MCA now.

Cost: Entry is free. Cost for workshops and special exhibitions varies
Age: 0 and older (Art Baby is a perfect first-visit for little littlies)

Museum of Contemporary Art run great kids' workshops

7. Play, create and discover with the whole family at the Australian National Maritime Museum

In the heart of Darling Harbour you'll find the Sea Museum with its stunning collection of maritime history. It's a great place to take the family for some educational fun and they offer a selection of kids activities.

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.

8. 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. 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

9. 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.

Cost: free
Age: All ages

Sydney Park's super-fun playground

10. Spend the day at one of our favourite parks

Whether your kids prefer a hit on the tennis court or practising their 3-pointers, there’s something for everyone at Prince Alfred Park. The park features two playgrounds, and various barbecue and picnic spots. You can book the tennis courts and pay a small fee for a dip in the outdoor heated pool that's heated all year round. Besides that, it’s a free, fun day out for the family.

Cost: Tennis court hire from $27.50. Pool entry $20.50/family
Age: All ages

Prince Alfred Park

11. Great parks for kids near the city centre

  1. Centennial Parklands – plenty of green space to run, 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

For a must-do cultural experience, stop by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Entry is free for a stroll through the space, but the gallery also run a range of ticketed workshops such as Tours for Tots (ages 3-5), or a free drop-in makers workshop for kids. See current events at AGNSW.

Cost: Entry is free. Cost for workshops and special exhibitions varies
Age: 3 and older

13. Kids' sports

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

Cost: Varies
Age: All ages

Perry Park Recreation Centre

14. Educational walks for kids

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.

Cost: Free
Age: 5 and older

Dual Nature, part of our City Art collection

15. 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.

Cost: From $27 for a child
Age: All ages

Taronga Zoo

16. Go on an ice cream and street art adventure

Discover some of Newtown’s best street art while treating the family to delicious ice cream samples from local businesses. The kids will also get the chance to draw their own street art.

Cost: $40 to $50 Age: All ages

17. Take a ferry

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

Cost: Varies
Age: All ages

Take a Sydney Ferry for an unbeatable view

18. 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.

Cost: Free
Age: All ages

Cockatoo Island was once home to Sydney's shipbuilding industry

19. Shows and theatre for children

Sydney Opera House has a packed program of theatre shows and workshops for juniors throughout the year. One notable event is Junior Adventure, where kids are guided through the spaces of the Opera House and tasked with activities (every day throughout school holidays). See what's on at Sydney Opera House now.

Cost: Varies
Age: Varies

20. 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.

Cost: Library membership is free if you live in NSW. Cost of activities varies. Age: All ages

Darling Square Library

Want more? Find all events for children and family.