Things to do in Sydney

The Best Things to do with Kids in Sydney

Make memories for a lifetime with these family-friendly Sydney activities.

We love Sydney. With its stunning skyline and even more impressive beaches, this city has a lot going for it, and we’re excited to be here. Nothing makes our hearts soar higher than our acrobats quite like discovering a city rich with artistic culture.

Discover a myriad of things to do in Sydney with kids that are just as exciting for the parents. Whether you’re just visiting or lucky enough to call this iconic Australian destination home, it’s a dream come true.

Check out some of Sydney's best art galleries, meet adorable native animals, or join in on the action at some of the most impressive theme parks. We've compiled a list of activities to help you and your family make memories that last a lifetime.

Outdoor Adventures for Families

You may be in the heart of a city, but there’s tons of family fun to be had here, too. These outdoor adventures for families promise excitement and thrills for children of all ages.

1. Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

A visit to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a feast for the eyes. With 74 acres of sprawling grass and meticulously cultivated gardens overlooking Sydney Harbour, there’s lots to see. Strolling through the oldest botanical garden in Australia, your family will discover ancient trees and vivid gardens amid ample bird-watching opportunities.

Take a guided tour or use the app to meander. Don’t forget to pop into The Calyx. You’ll find a menagerie of color through indoor and outdoor gardens and catch a glimpse of the largest green wall in the Southern Hemisphere.

2. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Experience the sights and sounds of the sea with the Bondi to Coogee walk. This coastal trail starts up the cliffside, and as you meander the trails, you’ll make your way down to the beach.

It’s a pretty gentle walk for the most part, but some areas can get a bit rough, with staircases and the occasional steep gradient path. It’s not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs, but people with average fitness and endurance levels should be fine.

Along the way, you’ll find scenic spots at rest stops with stellar ocean views. The whole walk takes roughly two to three hours. You’ll pass by Bondi Beach, Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach, Clovelly Beach, and Coogee Beach.

You might even encounter some magnificent wildlife. Humpback whales migrate annually along the coastline.

Photographer: hayeap

3. Taronga Zoo Sydney

The Taronga Zoo Sydney will drive your children wild with excitement. Not just a chance to see animals, but you'll get views of iconic sights like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour, sitting in the background.

Enjoy a short, scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay, then hop aboard the Sky Safari cable car to reach the entrance. No matter your child’s favorite animal, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here. More than 4,000 animals from Australia and elsewhere call this zoo home.

You won’t want to miss the daily schedule of activities and events, such as the seal show or meerkat keeper talk. You can even reserve a behind-the-scenes zookeeper experience to feed and care for animals for the day.

Educational Experiences

Fun and learning go hand in hand with these educational experiences!

4. The Australian National Maritime Museum

Have you always dreamed of boarding a real, working submarine? At the Australian National Maritime Museum, you can! Plus, you’ll be able to see all sorts of other historical warships while you’re at this sea museum.

Explore permanent galleries and exhibitions, such as the fascinating relationship between the Indigenous peoples and the ocean. There's no shortage of children-centric activities. Between exploring fish X-rays and marveling at exhibits, kids can create their very own souvenirs at arts and crafts stations.

5. Sydney Observatory

If someone in your family lives with their head up in space, the Sydney Observatory is sure to inspire their big imaginations. It’s housed in a heritage-listed sandstone museum built in 1858. It's also one of the best stargazing sites in the city.

For the budding astronomer, a nighttime tour is a perfect chance to live out dreams for an evening. Two telescopes offer dazzling views of stars and planets in the skies above.

Your family can explore the historic building and see the Sydney Harbour, Darling Harbour, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Try popping in for a show at the planetarium. There, you’ll be greeted with sights and explanations of what will be visible in the nighttime sky that evening.

Daytime tours are also available. You and your family can spend 30 minutes with a knowledgeable astronomer to answer all your family’s space-related questions.

Photographer: Thiago Calamita

Amusement and Theme Park

Welcome to Sydney’s best family-friendly amusement and theme parks, where laughter and exciting adventures await. From carnival games to massive water slides and everything in between, these iconic locations are must-sees.

6. Luna Park

The first thing you’ll see at Luna Park is the massive smiling face at the entrance, evoking the sense of stepping into a circus. It’s actually a restored 1930s-era amusement park, but that doesn’t mean the experience is outdated.

Beloved amusement park staples, such as a massive Ferris wheel and carnival games, join thrillers, such as the Hair Raiser drop tower that gives you a birds-eye view of Sydney before plummeting back down again.

Photographer: gibiecova

7. Raging Waters Sydney

If the summer heat is too hot to handle, check out Raging Waters Sydney, where splashing is encouraged. With over 40 rides at every intensity, there’s something for everybody here. Thrill seekers can hop aboard rides such as the 360 Rush, a six-story waterslide ripe with twists and turns.

The younger crowd can frolic in the water at a massive splash pad. It's got two water cannons and a giant bucket that steadily fills up before pouring on the unsuspecting swimmers below. Toddlers will love the shaded Splash Zone, where child-friendly equipment promises a grand time.

8. Darling Quarter Kids Playground

The Darling Quarter playground may not be a proper amusement park, but it deserves an honorable mention as one of the best playgrounds in Sydney. This public park, right next to Darling Harbour, delights children of all ages, and it’s completely free.

Children delight in dashing along the green spaces or zipping down the flying fox. Children delight in dashing along the green spaces or zipping down the flying fox. The daring among might find the massive climbing frame ultra fun.

Slides, swings, and spider’s web climbing nets abound, and the waterworks activities are the perfect way for kids to cool off on a hot day.

Cultural Discoveries

Every city has a history, and Sydney is rich with culture. Watch that history come to life as you explore some of the most unique things to do in Sydney.

9. Sydney Opera House Junior Adventure Tours

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the Sydney Opera House? Find out on a Junior Adventure Tour, where children are beckoned backstage for an engaging, educational event. This hour-long tour uncovers the greatest mysteries behind the shows that take place.

Discover facts about the facility and secret stage markings that help the stagehands support the performers. Your kids will even get a chance to dress up and pose with props at this iconic venue.

This tour is fast-paced, and over the course of the hour, you’ll climb over 300 stairs. Dress accordingly!

10. The Rocks Discovery Museum

Nestled in a sandstone warehouse built in 1850, The Rocks Discovery Museum digs into local history from an archaeological perspective. While some artifacts might look unassuming at first, they tell stories of those who lived there before the English colony was established.

The museum preserves history predating colonization up to the '70s in a highly interactive experience featuring touch screens and audiovisual elements to help bring the story to life in front of your eyes. It’s a must-visit if you have any history lovers in your family. Best of all, admission is always free.

11. Chinese Garden of Friendship

In the heart of Darling Harbour, minutes from the Darling Quarter playground, is the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Here, traditional Chinese landscaping blends seamlessly with Sydney's unique vibrance to symbolize the amity of Sydney and Guangdong, China.

Traditional Chinese pagodas reach for the skies, overlooking a picturesque pond and stunning willow trees, inspired by the Chinese philosophy of feng shui. The garden is a breath of fresh air amid the hustle and bustle of busy urban life.

Wildlife and Nature Encounters

Traveling with children can sometimes feel like trying to tame wild animals, and that’s okay. Tap into your children’s wild side at these face-to-face animal encounter experiences, and watch their faces light up with joy.

12. Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park

Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park brings Australian wildlife into the big city in a larger-than-life experience. Over 2,000 species call this park home, and you’ll be able to discover them all. Your journey begins by crossing a brook over a timber bridge to the soundtrack of bird songs.

Native marsupials peer down from the trees. The real appeal here is the hands-on opportunities. Grin back at a quokka while passing it tasty treats, or get down and dirty in the Little Penguin Enclosure, where you can meet and feed the smallest penguins on the planet.

While meeting the penguins, koalas, and quokkas comes with extra fees; you can visit the farmyard for free, where farm animals await.

Photographer: Tarryn Myburgh

13. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Discover a brand-new world as you traverse SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, where dreamy underwater ecosystems surround you. Take a trip through Shark Valley, an underwater tunnel where you’ll be surrounded by some of the sea’s most ferocious predators, or visit Dugong Island to see the majestic beasts face to face.

As you wander alongside massive glass walls, you’ll encounter penguins, tropical fish, stingrays, turtles, and so much more across nine distinct interactive zones. Children love the Discovery Rockpool, where they can get their hands wet and touch sea stars, hermit crabs, shark eggs, and more.

14. Koala Park Sanctuary

There’s no denying that the koala is one of the most iconic animals in Australia. At Koala Park Sanctuary, you can get up close and personal with these adorable marsupials. In fact, you can even handle the animals as long as you follow the sanctuary's strict rules to keep them safe.

A thick, green tree canopy shades the trails as you explore to find the perfect backdrop for a photo with one of the koalas hanging out. These aren’t the only animals you’ll meet, either. You can also feed a kangaroo, see native birds, and marvel at wombats and echidnas for an adventure-packed day you'll never forget.

Photographer: dayamay

Creative and Artistic Activities

Art is so much more than something pretty to look at. It’s a way of life and a form of expression, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Help your children find their inner artists at these creative and artistic activities. Watch them discover that the whole world is their canvas.

15. Art Gallery of NSW

The Art Gallery of NSW proves anyone can be an artist. Family-friendly events encourage children to pick up their pencils or paintbrushes and let their creativity reign supreme. Popular events include weekly Kids Club drop-in workshops, and children can also discover the thrill of artistry during story time.

This spacious gallery has plenty of room for strollers, making it the perfect place to spend a rainy day with kids. On Wednesdays, the gallery extends its hours until 9 p.m. for some extra time to take in the art.

16. Museum of Contemporary Art

Embark on a whole new safari experience at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Here, your younger children will explore art in a new light. Aimed at kids aged 3-5, this event runs a few times per month, bringing a new theme into the mix each month.

Watch your budding artists flourish as they explore contemporary art with enthusiastic guides and learn about the elements included. Afterward, they’ll get to dive in at the hands-on art-making studio, where they’ll bring their imaginative visions to life.

Embracing Adventure: Why Sydney Shines for Families

Sydney is filled with fantastical adventures that provoke your senses. Nothing is more exciting than watching your children become junior explorers as they develop a passion for learning while exploring the world around them.

From the Sydney Opera House to the Taronga Zoo Sydney, you’ll find things to do in Sydney that appeal to every child, no matter what fills their dreams. Part of the city’s appeal is its ability to inspire, and that's one of the things we love most about it.

At our shows, we bring artistry to life, and our canvas is your mind. With evocative performances, captivating stories, mind-boggling feats of athleticism, and a phenomenal soundtrack, our shows appeal to the whole family.

Watch in awe as our performers immerse themselves in a whole new dazzling world and bring you along for the ride. All you have to do is show up at one of our shows in Sydney — we’ll do the rest.

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