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101 fun things to do indoors in Sydney

It's pouring with rain, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home

Photograph: Anna Kucera

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...

1

Make your own perfume...

And master many other hobbies at Work-Shop. They’ve got evening andweekend classes in cheesemaking, Japanese bookbinding, blending your own gin and stuffing your own dead animals (Taxidermy 101).

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Chippendale
2

Make something handy

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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Marrickville
3

Be a better home cook

Food delivery company the Cook’s Grocer are running weekly cooking classes to help the kitchen shy pick up tips and techniques to give you the confidence to prepare healthy weeknight meals.

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Rozelle
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4

Wake up to a breakfast lecture

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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Around Sydney , Sydney Friday May 5 2017 - Friday May 26 2017
5

DIY your home

Interiors store Koskela runs workshops in embroidery, screen printing, jewellery making, carving and kintsugi – the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics. Various times. $100-320.

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Rosebery
6

Learn to achieve mindfulness...

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.

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Manly
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7

Spice up your life

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

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Glebe
8

Go to a free talk at the Apple Store

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.

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Sydney
9

Pen an awardwinning novel

If you’ve got an idea for a story, you can start putting words on the page with the help of the Australian Writers’ Centre. They run courses in creative writing, blogging and more.

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Milsons Point
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10

Enroll in a cheap creative class

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.

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11

Pick up new photography skills

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.

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Paddington
12

Learn to rock the dance floor

Miss Peaches runs Wednesday night swing classes and Thursday night rock’n’roll classes that are open to beginners. Already know a few steps? Take the advanced classes, which start at 7.30pm on the same nights.

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Newtown
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13

Make the next Tropfest winning short film

The Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) runs short courses in screenwriting, documentary filming, radio presenting and assistant directing. You don’t need any prior knowledge or skills to apply. Various times. From $160.

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Moore Park
14

Print your own zine

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.

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15

Learn a new language

Sydney Community College offers short courses in Arabic, Cantonese, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Vietnamese – plus many other languages. 2A Gordon St, Rozelle 2039. 02 8752 7555. Various times. From $299.

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16

Take a pizza masterclass

Italian providore Salt Meats Cheese has a cooking school where they run two-hour pizza making classes or three-hour pasta and ravioli classes. Various times. $89-99.

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Alexandria
17

Learn to cook like a chef

Sydney Seafood School has upcoming classes from Dan Hong (Mr Wong), Mark Best (Marque), Mark Jensen (Red Lantern), Luke Twemlow (Victor Churchill), Phil Wood (Rockpool), Nelly Robinson (Nel) and Brent Savage (Monopole). Various times. $90-220. 

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Pyrmont
18

Make your own soft cheese

You’ll make your own ricotta, mascarpone, feta, quark, yogurt and even a Camembert that you’ll take home to mature until it’s ready to eat. It’s easier than you think. Narrabri Art Gallery, 66 Dangar St, Narrabri 2390. 02 6656 2335. Various times. $200.

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21

Take a leap of faith

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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Alexandria
22

Find the Mayan treasure

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.

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Haymarket
23

Get lost in a laser beam maze

Attractivity entertainment centre has laser beam mazes, an arcade shooting gallery and dodgem cars – all under one roof. Plus, ten pin bowling and climbing ropes! They offer a three-hour ‘All U Can Play’ card for $49.99.

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Alexandria
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24

Go bumper to bumper in the city

City Amusements at Market City has a dodgem track where you can bump and grind until 10.30pm on weekends. Bonus: there’s a laser tag course and you can hit the Market City food court if you work up a hunger. 

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Haymarket
25

Observe the night sky

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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Millers Point
26

Enter the Timezone

Whether for killing time before a movie or just de-stressing after a long day at the hive, Timezone is as fun as we remember it: smack a croc, shoot some hoops and... oh...yes... play some air hockey! Put your coins down and hole up for the winter.

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Sydney
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27

Go indoor ice skating

Break the ice and head to the Macquarie Ice Rink to glide into winter (without getting frostbite). There are multiple sessions a day as well as a Friday disco night and private lessons available.

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Macquarie Park
28

Play unlimited bowling and pool

Make the Monday blues melt away with the best package on the worst day of the week. Switch back and forth from unlimited bowling, laser tag and pool on Monday nights for $20.

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Moore Park
29

Shoot lasers at strangers

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 rain storm with one friend and still have a blast battling it out with the kids.

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Sydney
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30

Ollie off an indoor street course

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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Sydney Olympic Park
31

Pay nothing for karaoke at Goros

The free karaoke rooms at Goros often fill out on Friday and Saturday nights, but while you’re waiting there’s plenty of arcade games (and drinks and snacks) to keep you busy.

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Surry Hills
32

Go Heaps Gay

Whether you’re gay, straight or somewhere in between, you’ll have a heaps good time at one of Sydney’s favourite queer and inclusive parties. Expect Vogueing on the dancefloor. 

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By: Jordan Kretchmer
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34

Plan B Dance Classes

Amrita Hepi has quite the following for her frequent dance classes at Plan B. She likes to emulate pop divas like Beyonce and Rihanna, and the routines are always beginner-friendly.

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Sydney
35

Go bowling at the Standard Bowl

Fuel up at Johnny Wongs before heading up the next flight of stairs to face off in a bowling match. The lanes and balls are funsized, it’s always free and there’s DJs to keep you dancing between strikes.

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Darlinghurst
36

Stay up for MAASive Lates

These semi-regular adults-only parties at the Powerhouse present a program of music, performance and interactive activities themed around one of the exhibitions.

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Ultimo
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37

Prop up the MCA Art Bar

Party like/with an artist at this monthly social, curated by a different artist each edition. Entry gets you late-night exhibition access, art-ivities, performance, party tunes – and a terrace bar with killer views. Last Fri of the month 7-11pm. $15-$20.

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The Rocks
38

Settle in for free Monday night movies

Cure the Monday blues with hot dogs and feelgood films on the big screen. The Soda Factory screens movies such as Sister Act, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Stand By Me every Monday night from 8pm.

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Surry Hills
39

‘Swim’ at the Cliff Dive

Whether you want to get down to grime and hip hop at the regular Swim Club parties, or feel like having a nostalgic night at the Naughty Noughties, you’ll be sure to have plenty of reasons to dance under the club’s sea of fake fishes.

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Darlinghurst
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40

Go see comedy at Café Lounge

This Surry Hills stalwart delivers the goods to those in need of a LOL fix, two nights a week. The Short and Sharp Sundays and Comedy Lounge Mondays see local laughpeddlers dish out snappy stand-up, alongside happy hour drink specials.

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Surry Hills
41

Play pub trivia at the Lord Raglan

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.

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Alexandria
42

Smash pinball at the Courthouse Hotel

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.

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Newtown
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45

Get political

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.

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51

Chuck an axe

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.

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St Peters
52

Sky dive – without jumping out of a plane

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.

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Penrith
53

Dive into a shark tank

Get closer to sharks, without entering the ocean. You can swim with sharks and other marine life without a cage at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. You can even feed the animals too.

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Manly
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54

Swing through the sky

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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St Peters
55

Find your inner Spider-Man

You’ll get a workout while you learn the best strategies for indoor rock climbing. Sign up for a fun five-session course at two convenient locations. Warning: racing to the top gets addictive.

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St Peters
56

Enjoy paintball without the mess

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.

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Concord West
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57

Fly a plane

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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Alexandria
58

Unleash your speed demon

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.

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59

Abseil indoors

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.

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60

Take a tour of Sydney Opera House

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. Tickets include a cooked breakfast. 7-9.30am. $165.

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Sydney
62

Take a tour of Macquarie Lightstation

Take in the city’s views from the top of Australia’s oldest operating lighthouse. Learn the history of this 19th-century building on a guided tour or visit the grounds free of charge.

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Vaucluse
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63

Rub shoulders with celebrities

Visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and play an interactive game of Wii tennis with Lleyton Hewitt, duet with Taylor Swift, or take a selfie with Ryan Gosling.

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Darling Harbour
64

Explore Aussie natural history

Learn about Australia’s flora and fauna, meet dinosaurs or better understand Earth’s many minerals. Take a look inside Trailblazers – an exhibition on Australia’s greatest living explorers

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Darlinghurst
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70

Visit the Museum of Sydney

Located on the site of Sydney’s original Government House, this museum offers a mix of permanent exhibits, nostalgic memorabilia and changing exhibitions that explore the city’s history from settlement through to now.

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Sydney
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72

Visit White Rabbit Gallery

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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Chippendale
74

Seek out a creative arts complex

In a traditionally industrial but increasingly residential inner-city suburb, 2 Danks Street is a former warehouse with nine galleries featuring Australian and international contemporary art.

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Waterloo
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78

Take a tour of Hyde Park Barracks

This UNESCO World Heritage site has been a home to male convicts, a hostel for orphan girls, a female immigration depot and an asylum. Tours are free with admission and are available in many languages.

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Sydney
81

Salute to the projected sun

There’s no chanting, no meditation and no Sanskrit at this yoga studio. Classes are set to music and there’s a screen projecting videos of landscapes, animals, sunsets and beaches – so even if it’s pouring outside, it’s warm and tranquil inside.

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Surry Hills
82

Cycle up a mountain

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.

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Sydney
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83

Kick butt

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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Surry Hills
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86

Pirouette like a pro

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-stopshop for dance classes. There’s absolute beginner right through to advanced.

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Dawes Point
87

Retreat to child’s pose

Baby, it’s cold outside – so get into the heated chambers of this Potts Point yoga studio and stretch like a cat against a hot radiator. They’ve got two studios warmed to 27 degrees and 37 degrees and classes include Hot Mat Pilates and Slow Hot Flow yoga.

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Potts Point
88
Take an indoor dip

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.

Ultimo
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91

Go solo to the Golden Age Cinema

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.

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Surry Hills
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93

Spend the morning coffee cupping at Reuben Hills

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.

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Surry Hills
94

Listen to classical music at City Recital Hall

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.

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Sydney
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96

Give your face a treat

Take your pick of Aesop’s six signature facial treatments at the Paddington store. They cater to all skin types using their own suite of products.

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Paddington
97

Have a go at Antigravity yoga

Antigravity yoga combines traditional yoga poses, pilates, dance and aerial arts to form a challenging workout that involves being suspended in a trapeze-like hammock.

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Redfern
98

Lose an hour in Kinokuniya

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.

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Sydney
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99

Zen out in a flotation tank

Immerse yourself in a cocoon-like sensory deprivation tank. Filled with lukewarm water and mixed with 600kgs of Epsom salts, the relaxation pods create a weightless environment, which encourages deep relaxation. Daily 7am-11pm. From $49.

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Find more ideas for rainy days

Things to do when it rains in Sydney

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.

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By: Time Out editors

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