School holidays are almost here and children everywhere are just about to open their mouths and sigh a collective “I’m booooored”.
Now, my children aren’t old enough to be bored yet (or at least if they are they don’t know how to verbalise it so effectively) but I can still remember those words coming out of my own mouth some 15 (ok … 25) years ago.
My mother’s standard answer was “I’ll find something you can do” while holding up the nearest cleaning product/appliance she could find. Needless to say I was outta there, headed towards my colouring books/Lego/favourite climbing tree, quicker than she could say “Mr Sheen” (the wood polishing spray, not the recently insane former star of Two & A Half Men).
If only we’d lived in Sydney (and had a time machine) … because there’s plenty to do there these school holidays.
Here are 12 things you can do in Sydney these school holidays
The FREE stuff
1. Head to Sydney’s newest precinct The Darling Quarter at Darling Harbour to try out the awesome playground of balance ropes, flying foxes, jumbo swings and water fun.
2. The Biennale of Sydney continues these school holidays. Pick up a Biennale Kids Trail Booklet designed specifically for kids and families to explore the exhibition on Cockatoo Island. This tour provides child-friendly descriptions of artworks as well as audio activities.
3. Sydney Opera House has a free Creative Play Area hosted by trained educators to encourage exploration, play and creativity. Kids can participate in arts and craft activities as well as storytelling sessions.
4. Grab your binoculars and head to Sydney Olympic Park to uncover some 180 different bird species. Spot a Superb Fairy-wren, a Brown Honeyeater or the Black-shouldered Kite in their native habitats.
The EDUCATIONAL stuff
5. Every kid loves sharks right? There are more than 1700 marine animals from 16 unique species at Sydney Aquarium after its $10 million renovation. There will be 14 newly-themed zones housing the largest variety of sharks and rays in the world.
6. Learn all about the wacky and wonderful creatures at the Mysteries of the Deep Workshop at the Australian Museum. Go behind the scenes of the Museum’s newest exhibition to find out what it’s like to live on the bottom of the ocean.
7. Budding inventors and film directors will love the school holiday program at the Powerhouse Museum. To coincide with the extension of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition until October 7, kids can create their own video game, make props for film sets and see demonstrations of fight scene techniques by the Sydney Combat School.
8. Introduce your young kids to the art world in new specically designed guided tours at the Art Gallery of NSW. They can also make their own prints and colourful sculptures in workshops. Bookings for the workshops are essential.
The INTERACTIVE stuff
9. The Sydney Children’s Festival runs from September 24 – October 5 offering junior photography courses, storytelling, acting workshops and performances for all ages (yep, even babies) such as This (Baby) Life at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre.
10. Now who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Now you can touch and feed life-sized dinosaurs during The Petting Zoo, a production from theatre company Erth at Carriageworks. Following the performance kids can also join in a puppet making workshop.
11. See international bubble artist, Mr Bubble Dragon, at the North Shore’s newest performing arts centre, The Concourse in Chatswood.
12. In October, keep an eye out for a baby T-Rex dinosaur who will be exploring Sydney before making his way to Taronga Zoo fro November 1. The new exhibition, Dinosaurs in the Wild, will feature 16 life- sized dinosaurs including a Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Australia’s own dinosaur, the Muttaburrasaurus.