Get out and undercover with our guide to fun things to do in Sydney, from entertainment parks to sport and fitness, classes and talks and cultural venues that are warm and dry all year round. Because fresh air is overrated...
And many other things besides. This new workshop space in Manly offers courses in quitting sugar, social media tricks, charcoal drawing and AirBnBing your home. Each weekend or evening class is a couple of hours long and they’re presented by local artists, makers, psychologists and nutritionists.
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.
Laneway Learning classes include boosting your confidence, updating your personal style and figuring out fermented vegetables – but they all have one thing in common, they’re cheap. Classes start from $14 and they take place in cafes, community centres and pubs. From $14.
There’s a lot more to taking a beautiful photograph than just pointing your iPhone at something. Find a digital camera and sign up for the five-week Camera Craft 1 course at the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP). The course start with the basics and covers focal length and ISO through to long exposures and working with black and white.
The Rizzeria is a non-profit collective of designers, artists, zine-makers, animators and creative entrepreneurs. They have a two-colour Risograph press which people can use and they run workshops in illustration, printing, bookbinding and hand-lettering. 143 Norton St, Leichhardt 2040. Thu-Sun 11am-4pm. $22-$160.
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.
Your first challenge is to find the new escape room venue Break the Code, hidden down a laneway in Haymarket. Your second challenge is to assemble a crackpot team of Indiana Jones wannabes who don’t mind being locked in a room together for 60 minutes as you stumble through physical and mind-bending puzzles.
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.
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.
Not only does each team get a chance to pick the category, but you spin a wheel to determine how many points a question is worth and in later rounds teams lose points for wrong answers. You can go from a front-runner to the back of the pack pretty quickly, which keeps you on your toes. Add a plate of nachos and a pint of craft beer to the mix and everyone’s a winner.
This beloved Newtown boozer is famous for its expansive beer garden, but if it’s wetter than Davy Jones’ locker this is still an excellent place to loiter thanks to their dedicated pinball room. Gather all your gold coins, order a jug of Young Henrys or Stone and Wood and bask in the colourful glow of the eight pinnies that will put your reflexes to the ultimate test.
Sick of people who don’t push the pedestrian crossing buttons? Why the fuck did they cut the trees down on Anzac Parade? Whatever the bee in your bonnet is, SocioPolitico give you the chance to wax lyrical about whatever you want… Ten ranters go at it for two minutes, no experience required. Rant on, friends.
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.
Nothing is more satisfying than blasting your friend with harmless ammunition. Now you can play paintball without the paint and without going outside. ‘Reballs’ are soft rubber paintballs, meaning you can catch the train home without looking like a cartoon artist, and they shoot straighter as well. And it all happens under cover, so rain never stops play.
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.
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. Ultimate Karting Sydney. 1300 859 219. Mon 10am-5pm; Tue-Sat 10am-10pm; Sun 10am-6pm. $28-$110.
At the Edge Rockclimbing Centre you can rap jump – that’s abseil forwards – down an 18-metre tower. You control the speed of your face first fall/run so you can fuel up on adrenaline in a two-hour session. 9/10 Hudson Ave, Castle Hill 2154. 02 9899 8228. www.edgerockclimbing.com.au. Mon-Fri noon-10pm; Sat, Sun 9am-6pm. $55-$69.
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.
Take an indoor dip
Just because it’s too cold for the beach doesn’t mean that you can’t swim! Go for gold with the Swim, Steam and Sauna package at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre.
Want to know more about coffee but don’t have a cent to spare? Reuben Hills do free cupping sessions every Saturday in their special lab above the cafО. There are no bookings and they can only fit 15 people, so get in early to secure a seat.
Prowl the lengthy aisles at Kinokuniya bookstore in the CBD, where you can while away an entire day exploring the shelves. They’ve got some wonderful art titles in store, plus did you know that Black Star Pastry have set up shop inside? So you can have your cake and eat it too.
Find more ideas for rainy days
Just because the skies are falling, doesn't mean you have to sit around doing nothing... We may be a city that struggles when the heavens part but look hard enough and there's a bunch of fun to be had in a downpour. The key is staying out of it with these great rainy day activities.