20 ways to beat the winter blues
There’s nothing more magical than skating across ice glistening underneath the winter sunlight. Ice skating is perfect for a romantic first date, a family day out or even just a casual hang-out with friends. Bondi Winter Magic and the Skating at Sydney festivals held throughout June and July provide a wintery atmosphere that makes up for the lack of snow in Australia. Embrace the chill and get active on the ice.
Sweat it out with fiery vinyasa at your nearest hot yoga studio. Stretch your muscles in the toasty rooms at Bikram Yoga Darlinghurst. Or hone your practice at BodyMindLife Yoga in Surry Hills. Wherever you choose, you’ll be guaranteed to warm up your muscles in a room that mirrors your body temperature.
A cosy destination for caffeine-addicts and bookworms, bookstores with cafés are perfect for escaping the winter chill with a hot drink and a good read. Settle into a comfy armchair by the fireplace with a second-hand book at the Ampersand Café Bookstore. Or order a glass of wine at Sappho Books Café & Wine Bar while you peruse the wide selection of genres.
Take advantage of less crowded trails during winter at the Royal National Park. Build up heat by trekking the expansive coastal cliffs or roaming the empty beaches. Cycle Loftus Loop Trail then treat yourself to a much-deserved picnic lunch at Ironbark Flat. Admire the Wattamolla waterfalls or paddle down Hacking river in a canoe hired from Audley Boatshed. Wintertime is whale migration season, so take your binoculars to catch a glimpse of the marine mammals in action.
Indulge in a hot soak or a restorative steam and sauna to cure your frostbite. Heat up at the fragrant Balmain Bath House by stimulating your tired joints in a hot and bubbly spa heated to 39 degrees. Follow this by boosting your immunity in a cold spa. You can then venture into a eucalyptus-scented steam room or a dry-heat Swedish sauna. Afterwards, treat yourself to a massage, spa facial or a scrub.
Enjoy a feelgood film on the big screen and tasty hot dogs, burgers and cocktails with friends on Monday nights from 8pm at the Soda Factory. Experience the perks of 'staying in' with the added bonus of being in a retro party environment with lively tunes. The new $35 Date Night Package includes a discounted meal, drink, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, unlimited popcorn and a guaranteed comfy seat.
There’s nothing like feasting your eyes on the Sydney Harbour at twilight during winter. The Bridgeclimb twilight sessions run every day around sunset and include live performances to create a romantic atmosphere. It’s ideal to book a twilight climb during the colder months because the sunset looks pretty cool over the harbour. Plus – fewer tourists.
There’s nothing like a warm dip in a heated pool when it’s cold outside. And who says you can’t go swimming in the winter? Whether you’re looking to escape the chill or eager to work up some heat by swimming some laps, the Prince Alfred Park Pool has got you covered.
Cultivate a new appreciation for art this winter. The 21st Biennale of Sydney is showcasing around 69 artists across seven different venues until June 11, but don’t let your gallery hopping stop there. There are plenty more art galleries all over Sydney that you can feast your intellectual eyes on.
There’s no more fitting time to sip a steaming bowl of savoury goodness. Sample some of Sydney’s best soups by trying the lentil options at Crouton’s Soup Bar, the prawn laksa from Malay Chinese Takeaway or the crispy chicken rice noodle soup from Pho Pasteur.
Tis the season for citrus, and we’ve got a list of the best places to pick the best and ripest fruits this winter. For mandarins, look no further than Watkins Family Farm, just a one hour drive from Sydney. Ford’s Farm is also a great spot for mandarins along with limes, lemons and cumquats. If you can’t help but crave summer fruits, Berrylicious Berries grows their fruits in greenhouses, meaning you can indulge in delicious strawberries just before the dead of winter.
Beyoncé’s doing it. Mel B’s doing it. And so should you. Spin class is a great way to work up a sweat during the colder months. Scenic Cycle transports you to foreign landscapes such as the cliffs of Southern France and the harsh terrains of Arizona, all while listening to upbeat pop and EDM tracks.
Unlock your inner Sherlock Holmes by heading to your nearest escape room. Venture into various themed rooms and solve a series of puzzles and riddles before time runs out. Defrost the winter brain freeze by stimulating your senses at Next Level, Paniq Room, the Cipher Room and many more.
Work up a sweat on the dozens of trampolines that will have you forgetting the cold weather. SkyZone takes trampolining to a whole new level with interconnected trampolines, some even lining the walls. Defy gravity in a basketball game in the Sky Slam, dive into the pit of foam squares, or sign up for a SkyFit exercise class.
Who says Australian winters are devoid of snow? Go cross-country skiing in the dead of winter at Thredbo, by braving the five km Village Trail. You’ll feel mountains away from the beachside city. Keep your eye out for flare running on Saturday nights, snow shoeing tours, tobogganing and snow tubing. Tune in to the weather reports for snowfall updates so you can visit during the best powdery times.
Tick these off your bucket list
We’ve picked out 50 things to do in Sydney at least once, from kayaking on the harbour and cocktails with a view to our favourite weekly markets.