I can still remember those words coming out of my own mouth many 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 slightly unhinged former star of Two & A Half Men).
If only we had lived in Sydney … because there’s plenty to do there …
15 places to visit with children in Sydney
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum Sydney is an amazing museum full of interactive learning experiences and adventure. Climb onboard real life tall ships, a warship and a submarine. Heaps of hand-on displays that kids will love. Very kid-friendly museum but wear good shoes and be prepared for some walking and climbing. For safety reasons children under 90cm tall are not permitted to board all vessels.
Right in the middle of Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island is a historic convict site on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Visitors can tour the convict precinct, used as a convict prison between 1839-1869, or check out any of the special events and featured exhibitions. There’s also something for familes and children. You can also camp or stay on Cockatoo Island.
You won’t run out of things to do in a day at Darling Harbour. Cinemas, cruise, the National Maritime Museum, restaurants, bowling, laser skirmish, Madame Tussauds, the Powerhouse … and much more.
Darling Quarter Children’s Playground
The Children’s Playground at Darling Quarter is pretty spectacular. The free playground has heaps of fun activities that educate and inspire — but are mostly just heaps and heaps of fun. Your kids will love the balance ropes, the big slide, the flying fox and the giant ring (plus heaps more!).
Featherdale Wildlife Park
There are more than 1700 Australian native animals at Featherdale Wildlife Park – including the largest collection of koalas in New South Wales. At Featherdale children can feed kangaroos and wallabies in the walk-in enclosures as well as see some of Australia’s endangered species such as the tasmanian devils and quolls.
The iconic Luna Park has been entertaining Sydney residents and visitors since the 1930s but is newly restored. You can now catch a concert, dine out or ride the ferris wheel to take in the amazing views of Sydney. Of course there are plenty of rides and side show games for the children too!
Museums Discovery Centre
The Museums Discovery Centre is a collaboration between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MASS) – Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums. There are permanent exhibitions as well as workshops and special events. The museum runs a MAAS Minis session each month specifically for children aged 3-5 years.
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
There’s so much to see at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. In fact, there are more than 1700 marine animals from 16 unique species in the many themed zones, which house the largest variety of sharks and rays in the world. And not all of them are behind glass – children can get hands on in the Discovery Tanks. Also check out the penguins!
Sydney Olympic Park
There’s always a lot happening at Sydney Olympic Park. Check out the Birdlife Discovery Centre, the urban jungle high ropes adventure course, archery centre and monster skate park!
Sydney Opera House
More than 150,000 people take part in the Children, Families & Creative Learning program at the Sydney Opera House each year. The program offers traditional and contemporary-style shows for children from some of the leading national and international creative arts companies.
The Sydney Tower observation deck is 250m above street level and offers 360 degree views of this amazing city!
There are more than 4000 animals to see at Taronga Zoo and 20 keeper talks and tours daily. Visit the tigers, check out the lemurs and try the new high ropes course for children aged 3-7 years.
The Australian Museum
Established in 1827, the Australian Museum was Australia’s first museum. More than 190 years later they are still inspiring the exploration of nature and culture. There’s heaps here for children – including the mini-museum Kidspace, where under 5s can learn and explore (and touch!) and many permanent and non-permanent exhibitions that children will love.
The Entertainment Quarter
The kids won’t be bored at the Entertainment Quarter. There’s a play centre, plaster painting studio, bowling alley, laser skirmish, and so much more.
Wildlife Sydney Zoo
Meet the Australia Big 5 at Wildlife Sydney Zoo – the koalas, crocodiles, wombats, kangaroos and platypus! Explore all the different zones – including the Butterfly tropics, the Devils Den, Gumtree Valley – and time your visits with the animals feed times.