Looking for inspiration? These ten venues are our favourite places to go with babies, children and tweens as they’re the most consistent when it comes to offering quality programs for children and families. Check ahead to find out what special events and activities are taking place this month.
The beautiful and vast Centennial Parklands has great walking and cycling tracks, but it’s also one of the world’s only urban parks with riding facilities, with a huge 210 stables and five riding schools that can take you out for a trot any day of the week. Care to canter? Each school will offer lessons catered to your age and level of experience, and all the necessary equipment is provided.
Luna Park is very much a vintage attraction. Martin Sharp's iconic clown face at the entrance, the rickety wooden rides, and the vaudeville decor gives the park a strong sense of nostalgia. If a great night out means going on every ride four times and screaming yourself hoarse then you are in for a win, if you just want to soak up the history of a classic amusement park, you can do that too. And the park gets bonus points for boasting some of the city’s best harbour views.
This city is serious about surf culture, and learning the ways of the waves is fun, and open to all ages. Time Out recommends taking to the sea with the helpful guidance of Manly Surf School. You can make the lessons private or join a small group and hit the big blue with some new mates. You will learn surf etiquette, the basic rules, how to stand up on the board, and, of course, how to actually stay up on the board. Tubular, bro.
For those who want to make the most of the fresh air and get outdoors, Sydney Olympic Park is teeming with activities to keep the whole family busy. Have a BBQ at Wentworth Common, grab a bike and head to the wetlands, meander around the parkland circuits, cruise around the Cauldron, meet a ranger and learn some wildlife tips, and navigate your way around the park with compass and clues. Or try the flying trapeze workshop. Or golf. Or – you get the point – get down there and see for yourself.
The Utzon-designed marvel isn’t just for adult culture vultures. The Sydney Opera House has an awesome kids programme too, called Kids at the House. For musical nippers, check out the much-loved Babies Proms series, which sees a range of composers and conductors raise their batons for the city’s toddlers. You might also find circus performances, musicals, films, or dance. And for a little history lesson in architecture and performance, take the Kids Tour – a junior version of the ever-popular Opera House Essential Tour.
It's beautifully laid out, and – most importantly – the place is full of animals. Really interesting ones too: along with the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) you’ll find young elephants, chimps and giraffes, and now, brand new baby tigers! Also Taronga classics (pygmy hippos, the komodo dragon, koalas, platypi, Andean condors) and many exotic creatures you may not be immediately familiar with. Make a day of it: pack a picnic, enter by ferry from Circular Quay, and take in the shows (especially the bird and seal performances) as well as the feeding times.