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What to do in Sydney this summer

Warm nights and fun events call for celebration - see our picks for summer in Sydney.

All summer long

Rediscover the city centre

With heaps happening in the city centre this summer, it’s the perfect time to fall back in love with the heart of Sydney. Find everything that's happening as part of the rediscover the city centre program.

More cafes, bars, theatres and restaurants now have space to dine outdoors. Make the most of it and find a place where you can eat alfresco in our beautiful city this summer.

We Are All Astonishingly Wise on Abercrombie Lane

Temporary art installations are breathing new life into the city's laneways. Don't miss Katy B Plummer's interactive fortune-telling installation, a micro-forest from the Dirt Witches, or Adam Norton's spectacular Giant Badges.

There’ll also be performers roaming around the city this summer and more free spaces to sit in our public spaces.

This is an initiative from the NSW Government in association with the City of Sydney. We're working together to revitalise the city centre. If you’re a hospitality venue or theatre, find out more about our new opportunities for trading outdoors.

Mov'In Boat - The Floating Cinema Experience

Mov'In Boat Cinema

The spectacular floating cinema begins this December in Cockle Bay. Hire a rowboat or board your very own floating pontoon for the ultimate cinema experience.

Here I Am: Art by Great Women exhibition

Check out an exhibition

If the online exhibitions haven’t quite satisfied you, head into the city centre to soak up some culture in real life. Throughout December and January, Darling Quarter will display the work of 8 contemporary Indigenous female artists from across Australia.

Lose yourself in the work of influential Australian Chinese artist Lindy Lee at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Or head to the Australian Museum to see the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2020 exhibition, a stunning collection of more than 100 images of animals and landscapes around the globe.

The landmark exhibition of Australia’s best-loved impressionist, Arthur Streeton, showcases light, land and sea that capture the spirit and optimism of our country.


LIFE – the show at Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival

What comes after New Year’s Eve? In Sydney, we always start the year by soaking up the best of Sydney Festival. In 2021, immerse yourself in the A Mile in My Shoes exhibition, watch the boundary-pushing, jaw-slackening circus The Pulse or discover the story of tennis legend and Wiradjuri woman Evonne Goolagong.

Wednesday 6 January to Tuesday 26 January 2021

City Art free walking tour: Chinatown at Night

City Art free walking tours

Rethink and revisit your city with one of our free walking tours. Discover public artworks you may have never noticed before on the Hidden in Plain Sight tour. Let local art aficionado lead you around the vibrant streets of Chinatown and Haymarket. Or, experience thought-provoking sculptures, light displays and digital artworks created by local, international and First Nations artists on the Sydney Living Memory tour.

Various dates in January

Sounds on the Terrace at MCA

Culture Up Late

Get your culture fix after dark this summer. Major arts and cultural institutions will keep their doors open later, so there’s no excuse to miss the incredible exhibitions on offer. Plus, there’ll be a selection of events in the program, including Sundown Sketch Club at MCA, Ngalu Warrawi Marri – We Stand Strong at the Australian Musuem and Art After Hours at Art Gallery NSW.

Various dates in January

Australia Day Ferrython

Australia Day

Prepare for a sun-drenched celebration of our nation. The usual suspects - WugulOra Morning Ceremony and Australia Day Live - are back. Find a whole weekend of fun at The Glenmore and the Aussie Big Weekend Out at The Rocks.

Tuesday 26 January 2021 

Sydney Lunar Festival LED dragon

Sydney Lunar Festival

Celebrate the Year of the Ox in Sydney at the Sydney Lunar Festival. The full program of events will be released closer to the date.

Friday 12 February to Sunday 21 February