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5 fun and family-friendly adventures in Sydney

Taronga ZooAs any parent knows going to the corner store with kids is an adventure in itself. You know I’m not kidding.

But today I’m talking about the fun for the whole family kind of adventure and Sydney is full of incredible options. Whether you’re heading out with a toddler or trailing a crew of teenagers these day trips are sure to please all generations of the family.

Taronga Zoo – by day or night!

Taronga Zoo is a must see. It is set in a superb location overlooking the harbour and has the extra bonus of being accessible by ferry. A big winner with the kids. There is actually soo much to see that a trip even without kids tagging along can be pretty busy. My recommendation is to plan the trip together. Let the kids pick the things they want to see beforehand and make that your priority.

The kind folks at the zoo have thought of everything for you so check out their suggestions on how to make your trip enjoyable as opposed to chaotic. At night the zoo holds the awesome Roar & Snore which basically means you get to have a sleepover.

Visit Darling Harbour

I hate to say it but I think there’s more to do in Darling Harbour than in any other one place in Sydney. Yes it is a tourist trap and the food prices are a bit expensive but you can find more than 5 things to do just in this location and it’s very family friendly. If you’re visiting, I would recommend staying close by as this will be the centre of your activities during your stay in Sydney. During the day the kids are sure to love :

  • The Aquarium – big sharks swimming over your head. ANY age kid is totally IN.
  • Wild Life Zoo  – not a patch on Taronga but  it has animals and kids do enjoy it. If you want to do both the Aquarium and this place look into getting a combo ticket as you will save yourself mega bucks.
  • Darling Quarter Kids playground – this is relatively new and let me tell you it is rockin’. Your kids will love it. Highly recommended.
  • IMAX Theatre – the IMAX theatre does 3D flicks on the biggest screen in the world (apparently). Obviously not ideal for real littlies so you’ll have to figure out yourself if it suits.
  • Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre – drop in to cool off on a hot day
  • Powerhouse Museum or Maritime Museum – both have great interactive kid options and are accessible from Darling Harbour

Take a ferry to Manly and go to the beach

Super fun day out for the family this one and so cheap! The ride on the Manly Ferry is a nice 30 minutes and kids seem to really love it. On arrival in Manly you can wander around the Corso to the beach. Then take the walkway heading south to Shelly Beach.  It’s about a 25 min walk from the ferry. This beach is a great choice for kids under 5 as it is very sheltered. Your kids will sleep for a week after this day out (hooray!).

Luna Park

If the beach isn’t for you then why not try a day out at Luna Park. Located right on the harbour and packed full of fun rides that are guaranteed to make your kid empty their lunch on you, you can’t really go wrong. Technically entry is free but then all you can do is sit around and watch other people have fun. You pay for the rides. Ride tickets can get a bit exe so your best bet to keep it cheap is to:

  1. Buy online…and…
  2. Go on a Monday. Awesome discount for a Monday visit!

Camping on Cockatoo Island

If you are looking for a bit more adventure than a simple day trip can bring then head out to Cockatoo Island and go camping. If you can’t be bothered lugging all that crap with you then don’t stress, you can pay a bit extra and they’ll provide it for you. They even have the super fancy “glamping” option for those a little more flush with cash.

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