The best things to do in the school holidays
Looking for ideas to entertain the kids? We've found the best children's theatre shows, classes and workshops, outdoor activities and family festivals taking place during the October school holidays.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Time Out gave the show five stars when we saw it at Riverside Theatres in its debut year. Four Eric Carle stories are brought together with vibrant puppets and a revolving set that captures the attention of even the youngest audience members. It’s designed for toddlers and up, but the gentle storytelling is mesmerising for all ages. This Australian-made production brings to life The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly, and of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Kids will recognise the rhythmic verse and they can shout out the words as they watch the 75 puppets dance, swim, fly and leap across the stage.
Spot On Children’s Festival
For kids from dot to 12 years old, the Spot On Children’s Festival has a packed program of live theatre, storytelling, music and films during the school holidays. There’ll be haunted backpacks, ninja nans, vomiting puppets and fully automatic toilet-paper guns from comedy duo the Listies, as well as a Helpmann Award-nominated show of faraway lands, Oscar Wilde’s The Young King. For gentler storytelling, Curious Jac is back at the Riverside Theatres with bilingual storyteller Lilli Pang, Play Along with Sam is a whole family experience of music and imagination and The Owl’s Apprentice combines shadow and hand puppetry with physical comedy. Spot On Children’s Festival also has relaxed performances to cater for young audiences with anxiety or additional needs. For $10, kids and parents can step into the cinema room for animated films including Maya the Bee Movie, The Iron Giant: Signature Edition, Kubo and the Two Strings and Blinky Bill the Movie. And if you’re looking for a brand-new adventure, audiences can step inside a pop-up fairy tale forest for an immersive storytelling adventure in an experience called In A Deep Dark Forest.
What's on for kids in SydneyFind the best playgrounds in Sydney
Activities for kids in Sydney
Fun indoor things to do in Sydney
Make like it’s your tenth birthday party all over again and head to one of these indoor activities to shoot lasers, bounce to your heart’s content, down some pins and more. You’ll soon forget it’s cold and miserable outside.
The best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney
We’ve picked the brains of some of Sydney’s most clued-up mums and dads to make these recommendations.
The best toy shops in Sydney
Need gift inspiration for a niece, nephew or new baby? Try one of these toy shops for size.
The best kid-friendly cafes in Sydney
Let them run amuck at the playgrounds, farms and kids’ areas in these child-friendly cafés around Sydney. Maybe treat them to a babyccino too.
The best kid-friendly pubs in Sydney
Whether it’s the awesome ball pit that’ll keep ‘em busy, or the $5 feeds for little ones that’ll satisfy the bank manager, these local pubs don’t shun parents for bringing their toddlers or their tweens.
Top spots for kids
Sydney Story Factory
In the bustling heart of Redfern is an eye-catching shopfront declaring itself the Martian Embassy – but what’s within is something even better.
The Messy Spot
The Messy Spot in Maroubra is a creative centre for kids of all ages. It offers a Squishy Workshop for toddlers and preschool kids to introduce them to different textures and crafts.
Wannabees Family Play Town
Wannabees Family Play Town is an indoor play centre that enables children to role-play at their dream jobs – from police officers and fire fighters to TV producers and postal workers.
Found next to another crowd-pleaser Sky Zone and Paint and Play, this entertainment centre in Alexandria houses an impressive amount of good times – all under one roof.
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Stellar service and optimum convenience is the order of the day at these local favourites. It doesn't matter if you're ducking in for a quick fix solution, or you don't even know what you're looking for, they're going to help out. And when it comes to the cash register, they're savvy enough to let you pay the way you want to, with no worries and no minimums.
Sunday Tex-Mex Brunch at El Camino Cantina
Tex-Mex food has put zing into café menus Australia-wide. Now Tex-Mex experts El Camino Cantina in the Rocks have a brunch special that will perk up your Sunday like a proverbial jumping bean. From 11am to 2pm every Sunday, $29 gets you a breakfast item plus unlimited beverages (Bloody Marys, Margaritas, draught beer and soft drinks) for an hour. Those brekky selections include a Breakfast Burrito packed with scrambled eggs, chorizo, diced potatoes, bacon and cheese with arugula salad; Huevos Sopes, namely poached eggs on fresh corn and chilli fritters with smoked pork and chipotle hollandaise; and Huevos and Chorizo – build-your-own tacos with flour tortillas, chorizo, scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, crema, black beans and guacamole. And if you’re lucky, there might even be a mariachi band playing. El Camino Cantina is a big, bold venue at 18 Argyle Street (right next to the Argyle) that also offers Happy Hours Sunday to Friday (with free chips, salsa, queso and drink specials), Ghost Chilli Mondays (a burger and a beer for $20) and Wing Wednesdays (with a dozen wings for $15). Book your visit at the website.
The Bank held a backyard barbecue party and we bet you're sorry you missed it
Can you think of a better way to send off winter and let the spring come in than with a Latin American barbecue cook out in a freshly re-done beer garden? Neither can we, and neither could the Bank, which is why on the 31st of August, they invited DJ Gonzo to take over the decks, and held a good old fashioned cook off, with barbecue corn, pinto beans, and plenty of charcoal chook to go around. They invited the whole neighbourhood down to celebrate and sample the new menu, and there was much feasting, drinking, and even a spot of dancing. Sorry you missed out? Don't be. That party may have been a good one, but it was just a warm up to what'll be happening at the Bank every day this spring and summer. The Bank in Newtown has been a drawing crowds to the Inner West for decades. With a famous beer garden, live music at Waywards bar where entry is always free, and craft beer bar Uncle Hops, the Bank is a one-stop party shop. Now the Bank has unveilied a new charcoal barbecue in pride of place in the venue’s famous beer garden. It's operated by a new head chef, Zac Smart (SoCal in Neutral Bay), who has devised a fresh menu based around the flavours imparted by barbecue techniques. But don’t expect the American style of barbecue that’s all too familiar to Sydney pub goers. Smart is more interested in the Latin American side of the equation, with flavours like house-made chimichurri and romesco sauce, chancaca and chillies. The menu features dishes such as cauliflower an
Liveworks festival is the main event in Performance Space's annual program, showcasing local, interstate and international artists pushing the frontiers of art and performance. In 2016, artists include dancer/choreographer Kristina Chan, who offers a meditation on impermance in the era of climate change, 'A Faint Existence'. Mish Grigor (of the collective post) will give 'The Talk' – in which she re-enacts awkward conversations about sexuality she had with her family members. Visual artist Ross Manning will transform CarriageWorks' public spaces into a psychedelic landscape with his installation 'Melody Lines'. Meanwhile Indigenous acoustic outfit the Stiff Gins will give a music-based performance about Indigenous artefacts held in museums.Experimental musician and composer Jon Rose will showcase his extraordinary collection of hand-built instruments for 'The Museum Goes Live'. Taiwanese performance artist River Lin will ask visitors to nominate 'unclean' parts of their bodies in a work titled 'Cleansing Service'. And there's more besides: check the website for the complete line-up. For a limited time CarriageWorks is offering an Earlybird discount of 20 per cent off all tickets for Liveworks.