While those little rascals seem to be filled with boundless energy, all the amazing activities for kids at Sydney Olympic Park are sure to tire them out. Whether you’re a family of sport enthusiasts or history buffs, you'll find diverse fun at the Park. So pack a picnic, bundle the tykes into the car and get ready for a big family day out.
When the sun is shining, a trip to Blaxland Riverside Park is the obvious first step for the day. Stop by the Armory Wharf Café on the way to load up on coffee and croissants. Positioned right on the boardwalk, this modern eatery offers café classics and waterfront views over the Parramatta River.
You’ll struggle to hold the littlies back from racing up the grassy hillside to the play equipment. And with tunnel slides, mega swings, double flying foxes and a multi-storey treehouse, it’s hard to blame them. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, they can splash around down at the water playground from 10am-4pm.
While you’re on this side of the Park, visit the Newington Armory. Once a military and industrial depot, this heritage-listed site is now a centre for history and the arts, with a theatre, outdoor amphitheatre, artist studios and an exhibition space. Families can peruse the artworks, scoot around on the weekends with a Segway Tour, and on Sunday ride the rails that once transported torpedoes and missiles around the Armory.
Make lunch a picnic and let the kids roll around on the grass at Bicentennial Park. There’s plenty of room for a family-sized picnic blanket among the 40 hectares of pristine parklands, and more play equipment if the kids get restless. If you prefer to leave lunch-making to the experts, Café at Waterview offers all the family winners – burgers, wraps, pizzas and all-day breakfast – in a casual dining environment within Bicentennial Park.
After lunch, get moving again with a family bike ride. Rent a set of wheels (there’s carriers for tots and tired kids) and explore the mangrove pathways, wildlife, outdoor art and shipwrecks along 35km of cycleways. Before your legs get too tired, head over to the Brickpit Ring Walk. This impressive structure gives you a bird's-eye view of the area where the State Brickworks operated in the early 20th century. It’s now home to families of green and golden bell frogs, visibly enjoying the pond habitat below the 550-metre track.
Photograph: Christian Wright
If they’ve still got some fight left in them, let the kids lose at the Aquatic Centre. Parents can relax in the spa or sauna, or release their inner child and join the kids on the Rapid River Ride and Water Slide at the play area. If you’re visiting in the school holidays, kids over ten can take on the obstacle course at the Aqua Park. It’s all kinds of inflatable fun on the water.
Need one more activity to fill in the fading hours? Go flying through the treetops on ropes courses, flying foxes and climbing constructions at Urban Jungle. There’s five different courses that’ll test your physical prowess and problem-solving skills.
After such a huge day, a proper rest is in order. When you stay at the five-star Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park, you can enjoy time with the kids or some privacy, with connecting rooms for families available and a babysitting service upon request. For dinner, pop down to the Brewery Bar and Kitchen, which serves fresh bistro meals and offers a special kids' menu – there’ll be no complaints tonight.