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What to do in Sydney this October

From street celebrations to craft classes, exhibitions to theatre – clear your diary because you won’t want to miss these highlights.

Eat, shop and play at Sydney Streets

Sydney Streets at Stanley Street earlier in the year

Local high streets are awakening this spring. In October, you’ll find festival vibes in Surry Hills, Pyrmont, East Sydney, Redfern and Haymarket. Businesses will be getting involved with activations and offers, alfresco dining will spill out onto the street and roaming entertainers will wow the crowds.

Saturdays in October

Ponder Australian Life

Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives exhibition

Australian Life is one of the nation’s biggest – and most democratic – photography prizes. Take an intimate journey through contrasting scenes of love, destruction and cheek with this year’s photography prize finalists in Hyde Park.

Until Sunday 9 October

Plus, don't miss your chance to hear from the finalists at our series of online talks. High Fidelity on October 13 focuses on how people as subjects in photography can influence a photographer’s final work. Photographers Bob McKendry, Rose Hartley and Mike Keevers will discuss their works and the power of image making on 20 October. Cherine Fahd will sit down with the Winner of the 2022 Competition, Matthew Abbott, to discuss his winning image and his body of work on 27 October.

Tumble down the rabbit hole at the Royal Botanic Garden

Alice in Wonderland at The Royal Botanic Garden

Presented by The Australian Shakespeare Company, Alice in Wonderland will come to life in the spectacular garden setting.

Until Sunday 9 October

Celebrate creativity at Sydney Craft Week

Try a sewing workshop

From sewing workshops to teapot shows, upcycling classes to makers markets – there’s something for everyone at Sydney Craft Week.

Friday 7 to Sunday 16 October

Lose yourself in the Neon Playground in Haymarket

Neon Playground will light up Haymarket

Chinatown will be up in lights with a spectacular exhibition from exceptional Asian-Australian artists.

From 15 October

Get creative in the dark

Neon Nights at Pinot and Picasso

Pinot & Picasso brings Neon Nights to its Surry Hills studio. The glow in the dark paint and sip experience offers the benefits of a nightclub – without the sweaty bar lines.

Every day

See the world-renowned wildlife exhibition

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The 57th Wildlife Photographer of the Year is back at the Maritime Museum for another showing.

Every day

I Loved You at The White Rabbit Gallery

Love turns up in unexpected places for I Loved You.

Wednesdays to Sundays

Reflect on art for your wellbeing

Art Flow at Museum of Contemporary Art

Art Flow is a 45-minute session at the Museum of Contemporary Art that invites you to contemplate  art and your emotional response in a calm and supportive environment.

Thursdays and Saturdays in October

Gaze at the sparkling sky above Darling Harbour

Weekly fireworks in Darling Harbour

Start or finish your night out with a fireworks show at one of Sydney’s most glorious waterfront locations.

Saturdays in October

Learn about Sydney’s Aboriginal history as you walk Country

The Yananurala harbour walk

Yananurala is a 9km curated walk from Pirrama (Pyrmont) to Wallamool (Woolloomooloo). The name is from the Sydney Aboriginal language and translates to walk Country. 11 markers highlighting significant Aboriginal people and places have just been installed along the route, using Aboriginal place names. Follow the walk on Sydney Culture Walks app.

Watch the much-loved Italian migration story at Belvoir Theatre

Looking for Alibrand at Belvoir Street Theatre

Looking for Alibrandi was hugely popular when it was originally released as a novel and wowed audiences as a groundbreaking film. Lucky Sydneysiders can now see the story come to life on stage at Belvoir.

Every day

Explore Glebe through the City of Sydney online archives

Exploring Glebe through the City of Sydney online archives

City archivists Janet Villata and Mathilde de Hauteclocque will introduce you to the City of Sydney Archives and explain how to search and browse the online catalogue. They’ll also highlight some of the interesting discoveries you can make about Glebe.

Friday 28 October