Looking for ways to entertain the little ones? Here’s a list of what’s on in Sydney for kids and families, from children’s theatre shows to sports camps and events in the school holidays.
Free family-friendly events
Budding horticulturalists who like plants with attitude should head to the Royal Botanical Gardens for a free exhibition of carnivorous greenery. The Calyx is filled with 25,000 of the world’s hungriest, most clever plants. Watch as the venus fly trap lures unsuspecting insects with nectar and snaps them up in its jaws, where they’ll spend their final days being slowly digested. Or meet the drosera, who use their sticky tentacles to attract and snatch their prey before devouring them. Then marvel at the simplicity of the pitcher plant’s hunting technique, which is to lure hapless bugs with honey and let them fall into the pool of digestive enzymes in their pitfall trap. The Plants with Bite display does sound a little like a horror film, but it’s really all bark and no bite (for humans, anyway) and families can expect a very kid-friendly experience. Plus, there is a range of themed education programs, workshops and a regular feeding display that will intrigue little greenthumbs and their grown-ups.
Bar Pho has been a staple of the weekly produce and snack fare for the past eight years, and the warming basil, beef and star anise-spiked stock makes a solid argument for passing on the usual bacon and egg breakfast. This stall along with Fritter House (try the lion’s share with chipolatas, sour cream, two big corn fritters, bacon and salsa) and the Raclette Shack (oozy cheese-topped potatoes are always a great idea at 10am) make the markets an excellent brunching destination. Grab some grub, BYO picnic mat and sprawl out on the lawn before making your way to the produce section. In summer there’s juicy pineapples, bright peaches and greenery aplenty from Kurrawong Organics, and Mayfarm Flowers always have a great selection of native and tropical blooms to brighten up your home. You’ll also regularly find SOL Cups peddling reusable coffee cups, AB Cheese bringing all the dairy goods, organic nut butters from Chunky Dave and hand carved wood pieces from Byron Bay Chopping Boards. There’s also doggy ‘parking’, live acoustic music and pop-up yoga classes on the lawn. In inclement weather the markets still go ahead, but often with reduced stalls. They also don’t open until 9am, so if you’re an early bird, pop across to the beach first for a walk or swim first. Find more best markets in Sydney.
Daz and Jax Compton, stars of hit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hip hop and pop music show Move it Mob Style, are here to shake up your Sunday funday with their Muggera Dance Party. Darren ‘Daz’ Compton is a proud descendent of Bundjalung, Munanjali, and Gamillaraay nations of the mainland, and the Mer people of the Torres Strait Islands, and has been a multi-skilled performer and dancer since the age of 13. Jacqui ‘Jax’ Compton is a proud Wuthathi woman from East Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, and a Torres Strait Islander with family ties to Thursday, Badu and Moa Islands. Studying at NAISDA Dance College, she has extensive skills as a performer, dance teacher and choreographer. Taking to the Joan Sutherland stage at the Sydney Opera House, they’ll host a banging dance party to make sure you end the week in style. It's beaming into your living room live, and everyone’s invited, whether you’re a big or little kid. Even if you are a bit unsure on your feet, Daz and Jax will walk you through all you need to know. So tune in to From Our House to Yours at 4pm, Sunday, May 31. And if you can’t slide in then, no worries, it will be good to stream anytime shortly afterwards. This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.
When shattered lives are reduced to numbers on paper, it’s hard to grasp the scale of human misery in war zones and the resultant need to flee with family. It’s all too easy to demonise those whom you cannot see. But put a face to these people, to the shattered places they leave behind, listen to their stories and it’s much harder to turn a blind eye. Particularly if those faces belong to adorable kids just trying to make the most of what little they have. That’s what’s so powerful about Bow Echo, the new video installation from interdisciplinary artist Aziz Hazara. Exploring the relationship between young people and the sites of trauma that have become their playground, it’s searing stuff presented at the MCA. Based between Kabul, in his home country of Afghanistan, and the much more peaceful Ghent, Belgium, Hazara has an eye for what grasps you. Having recently completed residencies at the Embassy of Foreign Artists in Geneva (2018) and at the KHOJ International Artists’ Association in New Delhi (2017) he's a thrilling artist to keep an eye on.