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Things to do in Sydney this weekend

Find all the weekend's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Sydney this weekend

The puppy ballpit at the North Gong Dog Day
Photograph: Supplied
By Maxim Boon |
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Wondering what wonders await you this weekend? Why not indulge in some ‘90s nostalgia at So Freshtival, or treat yourself to a cinematically themed buffet at Hubert's latest Magnums and Movies, featuring '80s classic Cocktail? Perhaps you'll feel the burn at the Sydney Running Festival or meet the Sausage Dog Ninja Warrior Wiener at the North Gong Dog Day?

Need more inspo? Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Sydney, including top attractionsart exhibitionstheatre productionsactivities for kids and more.

Find the best things to do this weekend

1
High Performance Packing Tape UnWrapped 2019 supplied
Photograph: Tristan Still
Theatre

Festival UnWrapped

icon-location-pin Sydney Opera House, Sydney
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Featuring hand-picked theatre, cabaret and dance performances from Australia’s best independent theatre-makers, the inaugural fest was a huge success, and now UnWrapped is back for more, with two new risk-taking shows – plus some extra fun – taking place at the House throughout September. 

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Restaurant Hubert Theatre Royale
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Special screenings

Magnums and Movies

icon-location-pin Hubert, Sydney
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If you adore the theatrical dining experience at Hubert, you’ll want to snap up a table at their Magnums and Movies series.  The concept is pretty simple: it’s dinner, drinks and a movie. The next installment features Tom Cruise in '80s classic, Cocktail. There isn’t a hard-and-fast menu available, but you can guess at the origins of the meal based on the films.

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Inside the Navy Destroyer HMAS Vampire at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Photograph: Kate Pentecost
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Murder Mystery at Sea

icon-location-pin Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour
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Any code-cracking, clock-watching, cipher-decoding wizzes will get a huge thrill out of this murder mystery experience created by the Australian National Maritime Museum.  Styled like an escape room, Murder Mystery at Sea takes place on the appropriately spooky Royal Australian Navy ship, the Navy Destroyer HMAS Vampire. This unusual experience will only run for four days this September. 

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A stock image of a bubbling cauldron.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

The Wizard’s Cauldron

icon-location-pin The Wanderer, Surry Hills
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While you won’t find the most famed greasy-haired potions masters or boy wizard at this creative drinking experience, you will have a lot of fun if you’re keen on the occult. Channel the powers of your coven idol, from Sabrina to Hermione and any of the kids from Wizards of Waverly Place, and brew boozy concoctions in your personal cauldron. 

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People drinking coffee at Carriageworks Farmers Markets
Shopping, Markets

Carriageworks Farmers Market

icon-location-pin Carriageworks, Eveleigh
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It’s imperative that you do not eat before you visit the Carriageworks Farmers Markets. You’ll want to save maximum belly space for your personal version of The Bachelorette where you decide who gets your dollars and what delicious produce gets to come home with you. If you like something soupy and savoury first thing go for the pho stand for a traditional Vietnamese start to the day, or there's a classic bacon and egg roll from Farmer Rod’s Free Range stall. Once the hounds of your hunger have been quieted it’s time to prepare for your next meal, or seven.

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Sydney Fringe 2019 supplied
Photograph: Cynthia Sciberras
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Sydney Fringe

icon-location-pin Around Sydney, Sydney
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Sydney's Fringe might not be as old or well-funded as Melbourne's but it's spreading its footprint much further for its tenth anniversary. While the festival has its traditional hubs of music, theatre, art and performance all across the Inner West, it's also taking over the CBD.

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Person cooking at Chinatown Night Market
Shopping, Markets

Chinatown Night Market

icon-location-pin Dixon Street Plaza, Haymarket
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Every Friday from 4pm, the main strip of Chinatown along Dixon Street transforms into a vibrant night market selling Asian street food, desserts and gifts. During peak times the narrow walkway can get a bit squishy, but the hustle and bustle is also what makes it fun. A number of Chinatown stalwarts run stalls each week, and you’ll also find stalls selling clothes, sunglasses, jewellery and phone cases.

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Person dancing inside studio at Dance Central Bollywood Dance Cl
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Dance Central Bollywood

icon-location-pin Dance Central, Surry Hills
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When you sign up for a Bollywood dance class, you might build up an intimidating image of a huge-scale, theatrically synchronised, glittering show like those depicted in Indian cinema. Happily, the Friday evening class at Dance Central is more attuned to our amateur skill set while maintaining the energy of an enthusiastic film ensemble. 

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Michael Armitage MCA
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Art

Michael Armitage: The Promised Land

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), The Rocks
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Michael Armitage is only in his mid-thirties but his uniquely beautiful paintings are in huge demand around the world. The MCA is presenting his first exhibition in Australia, which includes recent work and new large-scale paintings telling stories of folklore, history and memories from East Africa.

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Woman withe show make-up.
Photograph: Supplied
Kids, Book events

Bathory Begins

icon-location-pin Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith
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This fresh take on the zombie trope, at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, investigates a public school’s year 10 art and design teacher, Mrs Bathory, and the suspected murders of most of the student population. The powers that be are trying to cover it up as a head lice outbreak, but the seven girls left standing are nit-free and hot on Mrs Bathory’s case.

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People dancing in a mirrored room.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Crossover Dance Studio Popping Beginners

icon-location-pin Crossover Dance Studio, Sydney
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It’s an immediate, wonderous sensory overload when you hop off the lift at Crossover Dance Studio. The graffiti-clad space in Sydney’s CBD is filled with smaller studio blocks and open freestyle spaces where synchronised dancers bust incredibly fast hip-hop moves and breakdance to flowing electro-funk. Pop your popping cherry and break some shapes with the best.

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Fresh organic produce at Marickville Markets
Shopping, Markets

Marrickville Organic Markets

icon-location-pin The Addison Road Centre, Marrickville
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These dog-friendly markets aren’t just a ritual for locals – loyal visitors from all over Sydney trek to Addison Road Community Centre for organic groceries and a wander around Reverse Garbage. There are plenty of stalls selling seasonal fruit and veg, plus Asian greens, honey and fresh seafood. If you visit on the first or fourth Sunday of the month, the longest lines will be found at La Casa Latina – a pop-up diner where you can eat authentic Mexican food.

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Paper daisies
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Walks and tours

Paper Daisy Display at Australian Botanic Garden

icon-location-pin The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, Sydney
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Native to Western Australia, paper daisies are rarely seen outside the state, but every year the Australian Botanic Garden has a sprawling display of white, pink and yellow paper daisies that draws hundreds of people to the site. Over one million seeds have been planted to create the vibrant flowerbed in Sydney.

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A suitcase with stickers and pins on it full of cute embroidered purses.
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Artisans Market Glebe

icon-location-pin Dr H J Foley Rest Park, Glebe
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Artisans Market Glebe is all about handmade and local products, sold direct to you by the artist or designer who created them. The quarterly market takes place at Foley Park and there are around 60 stallholders selling jewellery, plants, furniture, fashion and childrens' toys. 

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Indigenous guide in Dharawal National Park
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Walks and tours

Dharawal National Park Walking Tours

icon-location-pin Dharawal National Park, Appin
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Just an hour away from Sydney’s CBD, Dharawal National Park provides stunning scenery. Until recently, public access to the bushland was restricted, now you can enjoy guided tours of the park every second Saturday of the month. Guiding the way will be an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger who will share local knowledge about flora and fauna along the way, as well as Dreamtime stories that connect Indigenous Australians to the area.

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People shopping at the Round She Goes Market Sydney
Shopping, Markets

Round She Goes Fashion Market

icon-location-pin Marrickville Town Hall, Marrickville
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Nab one-off winners at this haven for pre-loved fashion and other eclectic goodies. There’s a mix of vintage and modern clothing – it leans towards traditionally feminine attire – and accessories, as well as handmade jewellery and funky trinkets.

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Kirribilli Art and Design Markets
Shopping, Markets

Kirribilli Art, Design & Fashion Markets

icon-location-pin Milsons Point, North Shore
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The second Sunday of every month sees the art, design and fashion iteration of Kirribilli’s historic (est 1976) markets, centred on the weather-proof location of the Burton Street Tunnel right under Milsons Point Train station. Here you’ll find quirky millinery by Nitascraft, hilarious knitted parrots, octopuses and Barbie outfits by Irene, and cool laser-etched wooden phone cases by Bare-wood. There is also an excellent food court area where you can get a roast pork roll, quesadillas, churros, gözleme, paella, blynis, dim sum, banh mi or gelato. 

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Tomatos at Orange Grove Markets
Shopping, Markets

Orange Grove Organic Food Markets

icon-location-pin Orange Grove Public School , Lilyfield
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Using the expanses of Orange Grove primary school, these markets fill the playground with covetable goods on a weekly basis. Farm fresh fruit and veg is everywhere here and you’re spoilt for choice for truss tomatoes, plump berries, technicolour capsicums and leafy greens. There’s also a glut of small producers for all your smallgood and fancy condiment needs.

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Splinter Griffin Theatre 2019 supplied
Photograph: Brett Boardman
Theatre, Drama

Splinter

icon-location-pin SBW Stables Theatre - Griffin Theatre Company, Darlinghurst
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This thriller by Hillary Bell is about a couple whose missing five-year-old daughter returns after nine months – with no scratches and no explanation. The original production played in Sydney in 2012, which would usually count a play out of a major revival for at least a few more years. However, it's a play so good, Griffin Theatre's artistic director Lee Lewis had to bring it back.  This production stars Hilary Bell’s sister Lucy Bell and Les Miserables star Simon Gleeson.

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Chicago musical Capitol Theatre 2019 supplied
Photograph: Peter Brew-Bevan
Theatre, Musicals

Chicago

icon-location-pin Capitol Theatre, Haymarket
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Chicago was only a minor splash when it premiered on stage in 1975, but when it was given a stripped back and sexed up new production in 1996, it became an immediate sensation and eventually the longest running Broadway revival of all time. That's the production Sydney audiences will see.

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21
What She Said Comedy 2018
Photograph: Anthony Potter
Comedy, Stand Up

What She Said Comedy

icon-location-pin The Chippo Hotel, Chippendale
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What She Said packs out the room every Sunday at the Chippo Hotel. At this comedy spot for all women performers you’ll see a variety of stand up, storytelling, sketch and musical performances. In recent months, Bec Melrose, Lizzy Hoo and Alex Ward have all taken to the stage. The acts range from total first-timers to seasoned professionals, and the purpose of the event isn't just to give audiences a great time but to foster a supportive community of comedic talent. Tickets are just $10 online or $15 at the door.

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Cement Fondu - Heath Franco - Valley
Photograph: Enzo Amato
Art

Heath Franco: Valley

icon-location-pin Cement Fondu, Darlinghurst
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Heath Franco is best known for his zany, provocative video works, which have been exhibited at The National, MONA FOMA and Dark Mofo. He always creates something that’s strangely beautiful and overwhelming in its use of rhythm, colour and pop culture imagery. So you can be sure that given the chance to take over Cement Fondu’s Paddington gallery, he’d doing something big.  ‘Valley’ is Franco’s new installation that uses design, soundscapes and a huge range of materials to create an immersive environment in which elements from his video works seem to come out of the gallery walls and floors like a suspicious growth.

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Kaldor Public Art Projects 2019 AGNSW supplied
Photograph: Eric Sierins
Art

Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects

icon-location-pin Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
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Fifty years ago, a young John Kaldor changed Australian art history when he invited international artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Sydney to wrap two and a half kilometres of coastline with vast swathes of white fabric. Fast forward half a century, and Kaldor has now staged 34 awe-inspiring public art projects from artists including Jeff Koons, Marina Abramovic, and Gilbert & George. To mark this anniversary, he's inviting British artist Michael Landy to create a retrospective exhibition. 

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Chorus Old Fitz Theatre 2019 supplied
Photograph: Philip Erbacher
Theatre

Chorus

icon-location-pin Old Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo
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Aeschylus’ classic Greek tragedy has been transplanted to Sydney and given a distinctly Australian reworking by Ang Collins at the Old Fitz. Agamemnon is a global pop star just returned home from a nine month global concert tour to deal with unfinished business and start her life afresh.

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Caroline, or Change Hayes Theatre 2019 supplied
Photograph: Marnya Rothe
Theatre, Musicals

Caroline, or Change

icon-location-pin Hayes Theatre Co, Elizabeth Bay
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This highly regarded musical is based in Louisiana in 1963 and concerns an eight-year-old boy and his family’s maid, a single mother of four. It raises pertinent questions about economic inequality and white privilege, all set to a score combining blues, spiritual music, soul, motown and Jewish Klezmer.

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Tjungu Palyangku 2019 Artbank supplied image
Photograph: Silversalt
Art

Tjungu Palya: As We Come Together We Stand Strong For Our Story

icon-location-pin Artbank, Waterloo
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Tjungu Palya is an Aboriginal-owned and run art centre in South Australia, around 450km south-west of Alice Springs at the base of the Mann Ranges. This exhibition from the centre is two years in the making and is taking place across both Artbank in Sydney and Melbourne.

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Titus Andronicus Bell Shakespeare 2019 supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

Titus Andronicus

icon-location-pin Sydney Opera House, Sydney
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Packed full of corruption, rape, cannibalism, mutilation and murder, Titus Andronicus is generally considered to be Shakespeare’s most violent play and tells the tale of two families locked in a cycle of bloodthirsty vengeance during the Roman Empire.

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Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
Things to do, Exhibitions

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

icon-location-pin Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo
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The Powerhouse Museum has become a biodiverse forest of flora and fauna with the arrival of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. See stunning portrayals of the biogregions of Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand and Antarctica, including up-close investigations of animals and sprawling landscape scenes.

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Sokyo Sunday Sessions
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Sokyo Sunday Sessions

icon-location-pin Sokyo, Darling Harbour
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[Sponsored] Sunday afternoon often has a bittersweet note, but rather than worrying about the looming nine-to-five, Sokyo Lounge is inviting you to an afternoon of relaxation and cocktails for their weekly Sunday Sessions. Sokyo will be shaking, stirring, whipping and pouring their fabulous cocktails for $10-$12 throughout the afternoon. Entry is free and all you have to do is pop in from 4-7pm every Sunday to get amongst it.

More amazing things to do in Sydney

Person serving food at Kitchen by Mike
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Cafés

The best new restaurants in Sydney right now

If you love food and live in Sydney, your 'must-try' list of new restaurants, cafés and bars probably takes up your phone's entire storage capacity by now. Luckily, we've put together a curated list of the newest, hottest and coolest restaurants our critics are raving about. 

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A smoking cocktail
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars, Cocktail bars

The 50 best bars in Sydney right now

Here is Sydney viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.

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SOCIAL MEDIA - 1:1 Summer in Sydney
Photograph: Filippo Rivetti/Destination NSW
Travel, Short getaways

The best day trips from Sydney

Escape the city for a day by pointing your compass in the direction of one of these nearby towns, regional escapes or beautiful bush walks.

People drinking coffee at Carriageworks Farmers Markets
Photograph: Daniel Boud
Shopping, Markets

The best markets in Sydney

Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Sydney's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.

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Culture Scouts tour Sydney
Photograph: Emma Joyce
Things to do, Walks and tours

The best tours in Sydney

We’ve tried and tested Sydney’s best tours – from seaside foraging trails to urban graffiti walks – to bring you a list of tour operators who’ll help you discover the hidden gems of this city, whether you’re local or here to soak up the view.

Kids playing with the chickens at Rouse Hill House & Farm
Photograph: James Horan
Kids, Active events

The best activities for kids in Sydney

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. 

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