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.
What's on for kids?
Got a mini masterchef on your hands? Award them the apron and head down to Brasserie Bread. The bakery and café has enlisted expert educators to guide kids through free baking classes while you kick back and have a quiet croissant to yourself. Each little kneader will learn how to make two baked goods they can take home and all ingredients and materials are provided. Participants must be at least 5 years old, and wearing closed toe shoes. And, make sure to book in advance, the classes are frequent, but there's only room for four kids per session. The best part? You don't have to do any of the cleaning.
Spiders – Alive and Deadly is an exhibition dedicated to our beloved arthropod friends. You'll learn all there is to know about spiders, including their venom and silk, where they live, how they hunt, how they have adapted to changing environments and the critical role they play in our ecosystem. There are over 400 real specimens to see, including 30 alive and deadly spiders such as the funnel web, red back and tarantula. There’s also a venom lab where there'll be venom milking every day, as well as a cobweb room where visitors can witness the world’s largest cobwebs made by the golden orb spider. Plus, you can hear about how spider silk is used for the latest technologies (from medical sutures to rubber tyres) to how scientists are using funnel web venom to help cure ovarian cancer. The exhibition will also be screening the documentary, Sixteen Legs – a story, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, about two Tasmanian Cave Spiders who fall in love and come together in darkness.
When it’s too hot to be at the beach, bring the beach indoors. This summer, the Museum of Sydney will have a playful exhibition – filled with sand – that features miniature versions of our city’s famous beaches. Sand in the City is based on our love of the seaside, and in particular the tactile enjoyment of scooping and shaping sand with our fingers and toes. So, you’ll be able to play and interact with tiny versions of Manly Beach and Bondi Beach, using ready-made moulds or your own Lego moulds to make sandcastles. You can create your own harbour waterway or grassy headland using digital technology and an overhead projector. The exhibition will include Lego models of the city’s icons (the House, the Bridge) and coastal landmarks like Manly Pier and Bondi Pavilion. Surrounding the sand pit will be storyboards and interactive displays showing life at the beach for salty-haired Sydneysiders and visitors. Take a seat and watch the complimentary documentary Life on the Edge, a National Geographic Channel production about Australia’s coast.
Since opening in 2011, The Wiggles exhibition has been a huge hit. This year it’s had an exciting upgrade, including new content on display and personal keepsakes from the new members, such as Lachy’s first teddy bear and Emma’s childhood ballet shoes. Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword are all still on show, but there’s lots of new stuff to check out. For example, the Big Red Car now sings the catchy song “Are you Buckled Up.”
Experimentations is a permanent exhibition at Powerhouse Museum that first opened in 1988. It’s had a recent update to introduce 2017 learning frameworks and it’s now the most interactive part of the Museum. Kids can get hands-on with science and design experiments with the opportunity to make, break and create. The exhibition is open daily and it’s free with museum entry. Experimentations is suitable for ages 5-12.
Free family-friendly events
The Entertainment Quarter is reintroducing its weekly Wednesday and Saturday morning markets as Moore Park Produce Market, giving farmers, chefs and food producers a direct link to customers and a place where shoppers can ask questions about the produce from the people who grow or prepare the food. Produce is sourced from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Chef Matt Kemp, the market’s curator, is keen to ensure producers are getting a fair price for their products and that customers can engage with the stallholders through conversation, workshops or tours at the markets. The Wednesday market is focused on food and the Saturday market is geared towards family activities with a focus on growing and sustainability.