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101 fun things to do indoors in Sydney

Looking for places to go in Sydney when it's cold and wet? Here are some excellent ideas for indoor fun

Dance class in a dim room.
Photograph: Daniel Lidmila
By Time Out editors and Rebecca Russo |
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Who says Sydney's all about the outdoors? For those days when it's wet, gloomy or particularly windy, take shelter with our guide to fun things to do indoors in Sydney. There's something for everyone, from entertainment parks to sport and fitness classes, workshops and talks and cultural venues that are warm and dry all year round. 

Don't mind a little rain? Here are Sydney's best walks to try

RECOMMENDED: The 50 best bars in Sydney right now.

101 things to do indoors in Sydney

1
Where to learn a language in Sydney
Illustration: Time Out
Things to do, Educational venues

Learn a new language

Want to impress your friends with un peu de français? Whatever the motivation, Sydney is brimming with language courses to suit your linguist needs, whether it’s saying hello in Arabic or signing your name in AUSLAN. 

2
Tickets at Archie Bros Flying Circus
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Go wild at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

icon-location-pin Alexandria

This little pocket of Alexandria is the perfect place to hide out on a rainy day. You’ve got indoor warehouses for climbing, boozing and bouldering, like Sky Zone, Rocks Brewery and 9 Degrees – plus an arcade of retro games, bowling and laser tag inside Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq.

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3
People learning how to throw axe at Maniax
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Things to do

Chuck an axe at Maniax

icon-location-pin St Peters

Keen to lob a hatchet at a wooden target? Head to this warehouse in St Peters to perfect your throw. Whether your style is two hands over the head or a one-armed power hurl, you’ll release a lot of stress with every axe that sticks to the board.

4
Screen printing at Makerspace and Company Marrickville
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Make something handy at MakerSpace &Company

icon-location-pin Marrickville

Marrickville is home to a huge warehouse where you can hire a workbench and finally finish that DIY project. They also run workshops in metal work, leather work, floristry, ceramics, textiles and wood work.

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5
Golden Age Cinema and Bar 2013 Bar interior
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Film, Special screenings

Go solo to the Golden Age Cinema

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

This 56-seat Art Deco cinema is a world away from the sticky popcorn covered seats of the multiplex cinemas. Get away from the crowds for an afternoon screening of the latest releases, classic picks or an indie film that isn’t showing anywhere else.

6
Cork and Chroma
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Cork & Chroma

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

If you've always wanted to have a crack at painting, but you’ve never had the courage to sign up for a class, now is the time to take the plunge with Cork & Chroma. This Surry Hills studio runs daily beginners’ painting sessions, fuelled by a healthy serve of wine. 

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7
Art Gallery of New South Wales 2017 exterior daylight August feat Archibald Prize banners (C) AGNSW photographer credit Felicity Jenkins
Photograph: Felicity Jenkins
Art, Galleries

Experience Art After Hours

icon-location-pin Sydney

Head to the Art Gallery of NSW on Wednesday for night-time exhibition access and a program of free music, screenings, and talks by experts, artists and celebs.

8
at Museum of Human Disease
Museums, Science

Visit the Museum of Human Disease (seriously!)

icon-location-pin Kensington

Hypochondriacs and WebMD enthusiasts, this one’s for you. For a stunning confrontation with your own mortality, pay a visit to this specialist museum housed within the University of New South Wales. In its possession are 2,000 specimens of human disease, obtained from the organs and tissue of autopsied patients who’ve generously given their bodies to science.

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9
Skydivers at iFly indoor sky diving
Things to do, Sports

Sky dive (without jumping out of a plane) at iFly

icon-location-pin Penrith

Penrith’s indoor skydiving centre is used as a training camp for professional divers and the local military. It has a powerful windtunnel that means you can learn to hold a good posture, turn from left to right and skyrocket to the top with your instructor.

10
Woolahra Library at Double Bay
Attractions, Libraries

Explore the greenery at Woollahra Library at Double Bay

icon-location-pin Double Bay

Can't go outside because it's raining? The three-level Woollahra Library is bursting with greenery, from the vertical plant wall to the hanging vines that cascade from above; giving the feeling of being in the midst of an indoor garden.

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11
Bartender at Soda Factory
Bars

Settle in for a free Monday night movie at the Soda Factory

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Cure the Monday blues with hot dogs and feelgood films on the big screen. The Soda Factory screens classic movies such as Sister ActMy Best Friend’s Wedding and Stand By Me every Monday night from 6.30pm followed by live music at the Monday Jam ($5 door charge).

12
koskella--counter.jpg
Shopping, Designer

DIY your home at Koskela

icon-location-pin Rosebery

Interiors store Koskela runs workshops in embroidery, screen printing, jewellery making, carving and kintsugi – the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics.

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13
Shark Dive Xtreme at Sydney Sealife Aquarium
Attractions, Wildlife centres

Dive into a shark tank at Sydney Aquarium

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour

Get closer to sharks, without entering the ocean. You can swim with sharks (who vary in size from 2.5 to 3.2 metres) and other marine life without a cage at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. The question remains: are you brave enough?

14
Photograph: Supplied
Art, Installation

Get lost inside Carriageworks

icon-location-pin Eveleigh

Worth visiting for the space alone, Carriageworks is the latest incarnation of the Eveleigh Rail Yards. With a program of large-scale theatre, dance and installation works, Carriageworks is gaining a reputation as the venue for the most progressive Sydney drama, dance and art.

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16
State Library of NSW Mitchell Reading Room
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Exhibitions

Go to the State Library

icon-location-pin Sydney

The grand old dame of libraries is the oldest in the country – stepping inside you can almost feel the weight of all the words that have been read between its walls. The studious, and those seeking respite from the bustle of the outside world, can ensconce themselves in the high-domed, light-filled Mitchell Reading Room.

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17
People dancing in a group.
Photograph: Supplied
Sport and fitness, Dance class

Spice up your life at Latin Dance Australia

icon-location-pin Glebe

Swap Netflix for Tuesday night salsa or reggaeton at Latin Dance Australia. Grab a partner and bring your best moves to the beginners’ classes at the start of the week.

18
Art hanging from roof at White Rabbit Gallery Super Natural Exhi
Art, Galleries

Head to White Rabbit Gallery

icon-location-pin Chippendale

This state-of-the-art, four-floor temple to post-millennial Chinese art hosts Judith Neilson’s epic collection, a shop and a tea house that serves dumplings.

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19
Person climbing at 9 Degress rock climbing gym
Things to do, Sports

Go bouldering at 9 Degrees

icon-location-pin Alexandria

Climbers don’t use ropes or harnesses but instead scale shorter walls beside thick, padded flooring. The benefit here is that you won’t need a climbing partner, equipment or much training.

20
Sydney Observatory
Museums

Observe the night sky at Sydney Observatory

icon-location-pin Millers Point

Taking a night tour of Sydney Observatory will make you feel small again. The museum is open to the public throughout the year and each twilight tour includes marvelling at constellations in the planetarium and looking through the telescope in the historic domed tower.

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21
MCA Art Bar
Photograph: Sam Whiteside
Museums

Party at the MCA Art Bar

icon-location-pin The Rocks

Party like/with an artist at this semi-regular social event, curated by a different artist each edition. Entry gets you late-night exhibition access, art-ivities, performances, party tunes – and a terrace bar with killer views.

22
Stage.jpg
Film

See a retro movie at the Hayden Orpheum

icon-location-pin Cremorne

This restored Art Deco theatre regularly shows retro films and old favourites like Chariots of FireDirty Dancing and Reservoir Dogs, plus the so-bad-it’s-amazing The Room.

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24
People on trampolines at Sky Zone
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Sport and fitness, Gyms

Take a leap of faith at Sky Zone Alexandria

icon-location-pin Alexandria

Sydney’s indoor trampoline park has multiple zones, so you can bounce off the walls, from side to side and into a pit of giant foam squares if you want to. Once you’re tired of jumping, they’ve got indoor climbing walls, dodgeball games and something called the Leap of Faith too. 

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25
Tablelay of food at Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst
Bars, Craft beer

Play pub trivia at the Taphouse

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

Mondays are quiet in Sydney, but there’re hijinks to be had at Darlinghurst’s beloved beer barn. Trivia starts around 7pm and Oscar is your sassy host with a truly terrible cheesy playlist that features Cher and the Corrs – hilarious and awful. Winners walk away with a $40 bar tab.

26
Shopping

Up your plant game at Plantify

icon-location-pin Leichhardt

You can’t help but be drawn to this cute cottage filled to the brim with succulents, ferns and leafy terrariums. Once inside, you’ll find more carefully curated greenery to purchase and take home.

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27
A tea room with chandeliers
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants

Have tea at the Tea Room in QVB

icon-location-pin Sydney

There are three pages of tea on offer at this QVB classic. That’s a whopping 35 teas including their ‘splendid Earl Grey’ blend and a stand-your-spoon-up-in-it assam bari. Sitt up nice and straight on your little velour chair and pick at dainties off the three-tier tray.

28
Powerhouse_Museum--train.jpg
Museums

Explore the depths of the Powerhouse Museum

icon-location-pin Ultimo

The Powerhouse is the largest museum in Australia, with a collection of 385,000 objects, 22 permanent and five temporary display spaces, and more than 250 interactive exhibits. It covers science, technology, creativity, decorative arts and Australian popular culture – there's truly something for everyone. 

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29
Two women wearing rollerskates
Photograph: Supplied

Learn to skate with RollerFit

In a RollerFit class you’ll learn to skate backwards, perform tricks and play games with other roller skating buddies. They run classes for all levels, so don't worry if you've never skated before.

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31
Work-Shop Sydney
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Make your own perfume at Work-Shop Sydney

icon-location-pin Chippendale

And master many other hobbies at this venue that runs fun and affordable classes for Sydneysiders. They’ve got evening and weekend classes in cheesemaking, Japanese bookbinding, blending your own gin and even stuffing your own dead animals (Taxidermy 101).

32
Sydney Trapeze School
Sport and fitness

Swing through the sky at Sydney Trapeze School

icon-location-pin St Peters

Sydney Trapeze School runs classes and workshops including aerial, juggling jumping stilts, acrobatics, trampoline, tight-rope walking and flying trapeze. It’s also the only indoor trapeze school in Sydney, a short walking distance from St Peters train station.

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33
Apple Store: Sydney
Shopping, Technology and electronics

Go to a free talk at the Apple Store

icon-location-pin Sydney

The big apple on George Street regularly runs free talks and masterclasses from all sorts of people. They’ve held a class on street style photography with the man behind Men in this Town and a fashion illustration class inspired by Fashion Week. You don’t even need to own an iPhone to attend.

34
Sydney Opera House Tour
Photograph: Jamie Williams
Things to do, Walks and tours

Take a backstage tour of Sydney Opera House

icon-location-pin Sydney

Visit the Opera House – but not as you’ve seen it before. Go behind-the-scenes and uncover the glamorous life of the performers that grace the famous stage. Tours run from 7am.

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35
The Cipher Room Espionage escape room
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Escape from the Cipher Room

icon-location-pin Erskineville

You and your co-players have just one hour to locate the secrets that Agent 'M' has hidden somewhere in the room. To find them, you're going to have to look for clues, follow a bunch of hints and crack a bunch of codes. OooOOOoOoooh.

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37
Anna_Kucera_Scenic_Cycle_010.jpg
Things to do

Cycle up a mountain at Scenic Cycle

icon-location-pin Sydney

You can cycle through the cliffs of Southern France or the harsh terrain of Arizona, all without leaving the CBD. Scenic Cycle is like a spin class but with beautiful locations projected on a screen.

38
Two men flying a plane
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Sports

Fly a plane at Sydney's Flight Simulator

icon-location-pin Alexandria

Have your own Top Gun moment and write cheques your body can cash at Jet Flight Simulator Sydney. You take complete control of an aircraft within the safe confines of a warehouse in Alexandria. Simply select which airport you’d like to fly from – there are 22,000 on the list.

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39
Finished dish at Sydney Seafood School
Restaurants

Learn to cook like a chef at Sydney Seafood School

icon-location-pin Pyrmont

The SSS gives lessons on how to cook everything from pipis to octopus, and in every dang style you'll ever want. With cameo appearances from Sydney's best foodies, and with complimentary wine tastings, you'll be cooking up a storm in no time.

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41
Brett Whiteley Studio
Art, Galleries

Explore the workplace and home of Brett Whiteley

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Miraculously, the studio of Australia’s great expressionist has been kept the way it was when he died of a heroin overdose in 1992. Browse Whiteley’s books and records and see the unfinished painting he was working on.

42
Q-Station---Boilerhouse-outdoor.jpg
Travel

Take a ghost tour of Manly Quarantine Station

icon-location-pin Manly

Did you know the old (and allegedly haunted) Quarantine Station on North Head at Manly hosts ghost tours? If you are looking for a fright in the night then this extreme ghost tour is for you (ages 18+ only). Not advised for anyone with a fear of deadly infectious diseases.

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43
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 2016 exterior daylight 01 photographer credit Brett Boardman
Photograph: Brett Boardman
Art, Galleries

Visit Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

icon-location-pin Casula

Visit this multi-disciplinary arts centre and enjoy an exhibition, participate in a workshop, watch some theatre, live music or a film.

44
iDarts Zen at Time Out Sydney Pub Awards 2016
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars, Pubs

Play darts in one of these Sydney pubs

If you like your schooner with a side of danger (they are very sharp) and enjoy blowing off steam the old fashioned way (by throwing things at a wall) then perhaps consider these haunts that our resident, anonymous pub darts fanatic has highlighted as the best.

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45
Generic go kart

Unleash your speed demon at Ultimate Karting

There are a number of indoor go karting tracks around Sydney. This one near Campbelltown is spread over an acre and it has a fleet of European Sodi go karts that you can race around the shot-blasted concrete track – great for tyre grip.

46
People at a breakfast lecture
Photograph: Liz Laughton

Wake up to a breakfast lecture at Creative Mornings

Turn after-work drinks into morning networking with Creative Mornings. The monthly breakfast lectures feature one speaker, usually from a design background, on topics from failure to taking risks. Tickets usually sell out within minutes.

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47
City Recital Hall Angel Place 2017 interior photograph for Sydney Flash Mob Choir 2017 Feb 3 feat Richard Gill and choir photographer credit Simon Bernhardt
Photograph: Simon Bernhardt
Music, Classical and opera

See a show at City Recital Hall

icon-location-pin Sydney

Beautiful acoustics and a diverse all-year program of classical, choral, baroque and chamber music make this a great place to take time out and contemplate the bigger things in life – or just tune out with a soundtrack.

48
Campbelltown Arts Centre
Art, Galleries

Spend a day at Campbelltown Arts Centre

icon-location-pin Campbelltown

When it’s too cold and wet to enjoy the Japanese garden, go inside for the gallery’s exhibitions, or sign up for one of the weekly ceramics and embroidery workshops.

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49
Children on trampolines at Flip Out
Photograph: Flip Out
Sport and fitness

Flip out at Flip Out

icon-location-pin Western Sydney

Kids (and adults) will be bouncing off the walls at this land of trampolines. There are two jumping indoor arenas to allow for maximum jumping fun in all kinds of weather and are open till late for the adults.

50
Woman gracefully dances at Sydney Dance Company Studios
Photograph: Gez Xavier Mansfield
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Pirouette like a pro at Sydney Dance Company

icon-location-pin Ultimo

Whether you want to learn how to fondue (that’s ballet talk for bending, sinking or melting on one leg), high kick or get low, Sydney Dance Company is your one-stop shop for dance classes. There’s absolute beginner right through to advanced.

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51
Bus people at Sydney Bus Museum
Museums, History

Have a poke around the Sydney Bus Museum

icon-location-pin Leichhardt

It’s all aboard for a one-way trip to public transport geekery at the Sydney Bus Museum, which has a huge collection of vintage buses kept at the hundred-year-old Leichhardt Tramshed. You’ll be able to poke around everything from the 1924 Ruggles, a cute, boxy little thing for only 22 people, all the way up to those stuffy white-and-blue Mercedes-Benz buses.

52
Pool tables at Strike Bowling
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Have a ball at Strike King Street Wharf

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour

The narrow entrance to Strike King Street Wharf is somewhat akin to the bowling lanes that are the star of the venue, but there’s a lot more on offer here than pins and spares. There's also five schmick karaoke rooms, three escape rooms and a bright new Japanese pop-art aesthetic.

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53
Outside at Australian National Maritime Museum
Museums, History

Explore the National Maritime Museum

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour

For a city whose history has always been entwined with its harbour, the sea and water travel, it comes as no surprise that this museum is one of the finest when it comes to maritime treasures. Enter the world of underwater warfare at the National Maritime Museum. Explore the last of the big gun destroyers, board a submarine and learn the difference between port and starboard.

54
Couple fighting
Photograph: Willie B. Thomas
Sport and fitness, Self-defence

Kick butt at the Krav Maga Defence Institute

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Unlike many martial arts that have a strong spiritual component, Krav Maga is all about the practical self-defence. You’ll learn to get out of a choke hold, a seated choke hold, how to free yourself from someone dragging you across the room by your neck and how to throw off someone trying to choke you while you’re fighting a secondary opponent.

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55
Alcoholic bubble tea with stuffed panda on straw at B.Luck and Sons
Photograph: Supplied
Attractions, Theme parks

Get boozy and play arcade games at B. Lucky & Sons

icon-location-pin Moore Park

B. Lucky and Sons in the Entertainment Quarter is a neon-lit fun house where you can play Mario Kart (in costume, if you like), NBA hoops, Space Invaders, Air Hockey, Jurassic Park, the Claw, and many many more classic and new-age arcade games.

56
Monster Skatepark
Sport and fitness

Ollie off an indoor street course at Monster Skatepark

icon-location-pin Sydney Olympic Park

Monster Skatepark is one of the best-equipped parks in Australia, with an indoor street course as well as outdoor ramps. There are sessions for BMXing, skateboarding, girls only and scooters. If you’re a little rusty, you can hire helmets and pads at the park. 

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58
Laser skirmish at Kingpin Bowling
Photograph: Supplied
Sport and fitness

Shoot lasers at strangers at Kingpin Darling Harbour

icon-location-pin Sydney

Up to 40 people can play laser skirmish in any one game in Darling Harbour’s entertainment hub, which means you can rock up in the middle of a rainstorm with one friend and still have a blast battling it out with the kids.

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59
People dancing in the dark
Photograph: Supplied

Dance in the dark at No Lights No Lycra

Let loose and don’t worry about what anyone else is thinking – they can’t see you! Join the weekly No Lights No Lycra dance fitness parties in Bondi, Newtown, Parramatta and Warriewood.