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Children on trampolines at Flip Out
Photograph: Flip Out

Rainy day activities for kids

Come rain or shine, these activity ideas and indoor play spaces around Sydney will keep kids entertained all day long

Olivia Gee
Elizabeth McDonald
Written by
Olivia Gee
&
Elizabeth McDonald
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When it rains in Sydney, it pours. So it pays to have a few wet-weather saviours up your sleeves for when the kids are home and bored with cartoons and colouring-in books. Luckily, our city has a whole load of indoor playgrounds and kid-friendly museums – as well as craft workshops, leisure centres and active areas – to keep ’em busy for a while.

When it stops raining, run off some steam at these outdoor playgrounds

That's the kids sorted, now what are we going to do? Check out our top picks of things to do in Sydney when it rains.

14 rainy day activities for kids in Sydney

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Alexandria

This circus-themed funhouse will dazzle the kids with a dizzying selection of games, rides and prizes. Younger kids (aged 8-10) can enjoy dodgem cars, carousels or the overhead ropes course, while older players shoot hoops, go bowling or ride the interactive 3D theatre fit out. If they’ve gotten their hands on one of the extravagant milkshakes from the diner, get them to burn off all that sugar-strength running around the laser tag field or games arcade. This glittery wonderland is open seven days but the kids get kicked out after 8pm.

Climb Fit
  • Sport and fitness
  • St Leonards
  • price 1 of 4

Up for a challenge? There are over 160 climbs at the Climb Fit gym. Along with steep overhangs, a neverending lead wall, the chimney, a vertical treadmill and a giant log ladder, there’s a tamer wall for the kids (and the climb-wary). If bouldering’s more your thing, there’s over 90 problems to solve in the exclusive bouldering area.

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  • Museums
  • Ultimo

The little ones can dance around the Wiggles Exhibition while bigger kids explore space travel at this Ultimo Institution. The Powerhouse Museum has diverse exhibitions, intriguing object collections and interactive experiences, so you may have to make a return visit to explore everything on offer. It’s open every day except Christmas, so it’s a sure bet when the rain is pouring and the kids are running wild. Best part is, general admission for under 16s is free.

Event Cinemas - Macquarie Megaplex
  • Film
  • Macquarie Park

We all know that going to the movies is a classic rainy day activity but going with kids can be challenging. Sitting still for two hours, endless toilet runs, not to mention it can be a little overwhelming when you're, well, little. Thankfully a lot of cinemas have mums and bubs sessions and Event Cinemas have Event Junior, a playground dedicated to keeping the wee ones happy and entertained when sitting still just ain't cutting it.

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Monkey Mania
  • Kids
  • Moore Park

Bounce on the inflatable jumping castle at Monkey Mania, in Moore Park, then race around the climbing structure and shoot down the slides to burn off stuck-inside-all-day energy. Parents can even use the playzone as a handy kid-sitting service while they shop, as you can leave children aged five and up in the care of Monkey Mania’s staff for up to three hours for $26 (single child price is $10-$15, with an additional $4.50 for an accompanying adult).

Macquarie Ice Rink
  • Sport and fitness
  • Macquarie Park
  • price 1 of 4

Macquarie Ice Rink has recently completed a multi-million-dollar transformation. They’re making ice-skating more fun. There will be bubble soccer, around-the-clock music videos screening during sessions and a brand-new compressor and dehumidifier to create optimum skating conditions at all times.

The cheapest times to skate are Mon-Fri 11.30am-1pm and Wednesday evenings from 7.30-9.30pm, when tickets are $20. Otherwise prices are $23-$25. Kids under five get in for $10 with a paying adult.

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Strike Bowling Bar: Entertainment Quarter
  • Bars
  • Moore Park

Conveniently situated within the Entertainment Quarter, Strike EQ features bowling, food, drink, and even karaoke. If you're keen to burn the kids out, challenge them to a game of laser tag and rest easy that they'll sleep all night.

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Avalon Beach

Art is for everyone, but the kids will be particularly fond of the ceramic-painting workshops at Jenny’s Painted Pots. You can decorate ceramic mugs, plates, animals or signs and lettering starting from $12, and they supply all the arty equipment. It’s also home to a traditional lolly shop, so you can scoff old-timey sweets while you paint. It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained when it’s grizzly outside and it could be a prime opportunity to procure some sentimental stocking-fillers for the family.

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  • Things to do
  • Penrith

Kids will be high-as-a-kite with excitement after hearing about this place. Children from as young as three years old can learn how to skydive in an indoor facility in Penrith – and it’s fun for adults too. After a safety briefing and training from experienced instructors, children can experience being lifted into the air by a powerful wind generator. For the seriously keen, there are ten-week courses for ages 6-16 years and birthday party packages available for flyers.

  • Museums
  • Darling Harbour

Embrace the wet and take your bedraggled brood on an aquatic adventure. The tunnels of the aquarium are a mesmerising place for kids, where they can meet dugongs, sharks, sea turtles and penguins. Little aspiring marine biologists will love the informative displays and specialised experiences that give kids a glimpse behind-the-scenes as they feed the underwater residents and see the aquarium from a new perspective. The aquarium promises marine exploration every day of the year.

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  • Sport and fitness
  • Western Sydney

Flip Out Trampoline Arena is Australia’s largest trampoline playground. It first opened in Western Sydney and there are now centres across the country offering indoor and outdoor fun that’s flippin’ awesome. The Penrith centre has wall running, an after-dark program and dodgeball – plus you can book kids’ birthday parties and children can sign up for Little Ninja classes to learn how to twist and bounce like a pro.

  • Things to do
  • Sports
  • Prospect

What’s missing from your average mini golf course? An East African theme, of course. Putt Planet brings the city streets of Mombasa to Miranda with 18 holes of themed fun. Though the course is relatively challenging, it’s suitable for all ages. There’s a dedicated function room for parties and café that’ll cater events or serve up snacks once your tournament is won. And it’s all enclosed; wet weather will never ruin the green or your day out.

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  • Art
  • Sydney

Get creative at one of the many kids workshops and experiences at the Art Gallery of NSW. If they like getting messy, send them off to one of the hands-on art-making workshops and clubs that run monthly. The Tours for Tots program is perfect kids aged 3-5 and explores a different aspect of the museum each edition. The halls of the gallery are kid and pram-friendly, and you can take a break at the adjoining café and restaurant without venturing into the rain.

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
  • Sport and fitness
  • Sydney Olympic Park

Whether it’s so hot you need to cool down, or so cold you need to warm up, the swimming pools and water playgrounds at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre are always a balmy 26 degrees. Pack swimmers for the whole family and spend the day racing the kids down the Rapid River Ride or work up the nerve to leap from the 10 metre platform.

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