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April events in Sydney

Get active in April with these 40 fun things to do in the city

Photograph: Daniel Boud

The fourth month of the year means shorter days and cooler nights, but don't hibernate just yet – April is packed with arts and culture festivals, rooftop cinemas and Easter-themed events to help you enjoy the autumn chill.

Parents, you'll find cute animals and fairground rides at the Royal Easter Show and plenty of suggestions for things to do in the school holidays. Reading this on April Fool's Day? You'll need our guide to Easter in Sydney (no, it's not a prank). Planning ahead to ANZAC Day? Here's where to play two-up. Need to get away? See our tips for short getaways near Sydney. 

April's biggest festivals and events


The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Australian acting royalty Hugo Weaving returns to Sydney to play the leading role in Bertolt Brecht’s 1941 play about a Chicago gangster who rises to the top by ruthless means; an allegory for the rise of Hitler and Nazism. Artistic director Kip Williams says that audiences can draw whatever conclusion they like about his decision to program the play at this particular point of time. 

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Roslyn Packer Theatre , Millers Point Until Saturday April 28 2018

Batch Festival

Griffin Theatre Company has been churning out new Australian plays for more than three decades. But what about the performance and writing that doesn't quite fit into the neat and tidy "play" category? Batch Festival is the new alternative performance festival from the company and features everything from short comic monologues to stand-up, spoken word, burlesque and even a theatrical walking tour of the Cross.

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SBW Stables Theatre - Griffin Theatre Company , Darlinghurst Until Saturday April 28 2018

Real Bodies: The Exhibition


Ever wanted to see a real human body, from the inside out? This new exhibition coming to the Byron Kennedy Hall features 200 real, perfectly preserved human bodies and anatomical specimens, alongside scientific descriptions and philosophical questions about what it means to be homo sapiens. 

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The Entertainment Quarter , Moore Park Until Monday October 1 2018

Biennale of Sydney

You can see 69 artists' works showing at seven venues: Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace, Carriageworks, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney Opera House and, for the first time, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.  Kataoka is the first Asian director in the Biennale's 43-year history and, perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a strong focus on Asian art in next year's edition.

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Around Sydney , Sydney Until Monday June 11 2018

Sydney Writers’ Festival


It’s all change for Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2018 – they’ve moved to new locations: Carriageworks and the Seymour Centre. They’re also shifting the timing to start on April 30. Though the main hub will be Carriageworks, events are planned for familiar haunts Sydney Town Hall, City Recital Hall, Roslyn Packer Theatre and venues in Parramatta and Chatswood.

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Carriageworks , Eveleigh Monday April 30 2018 - Sunday May 6 2018

Sculpture at Scenic World

The Blue Mountains’ top attraction, Scenic World, welcomes its annual art exhibition again this autumn, as Sculpture at Scenic World returns. More than 35 artworks from local, national and international artists will be installed along the 2.4km Scenic Walkway, transforming the rainforest into an extraordinary outdoor gallery. 

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Scenic World Until Sunday May 13 2018

The Merry Widow


The Merry Widow is one of the Australian Ballet's greatest achievements – it premiered in 1975 and has been revived by popular demand every couple of years since then. It's a visual feast but also features all of Franz Lehár's gorgeously light and romantic melodies, played by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

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Sydney Opera House , Sydney Saturday April 28 2018 - Saturday May 19 2018

Sweethearts Rooftop Cinema

Every Tuesday and Wednesday in April, Sweethearts is putting on free movies on the rooftop. Watching a great retro movie over a few drinks along with a sympathetic audience is a tradition worth reviving in this era of stay-at-home, and at Sweethearts you can get popcorn and hot cocktails into the bargain.

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Sweethearts Rooftop , Potts Point Tuesday April 24 2018 - Wednesday May 30 2018

Spanish Film Festival

Palace Cinemas once again present the Spanish Film Festival, which returns in April. Big stars such as Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Maribel Verdú and Paco León feature in multiple films, and screenings include retrospectives, exciting new auteur efforts, crazy comedies, and all the passion, sentiment, dark Catholic guilt and political unrest that we’ve come to know and love about the cinema of this vibrant and in some ways divided nation. 

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Around Sydney , Sydney Until Sunday May 6 2018

Sami in Paradise

Russian playwright Nikolai Erdman’s 1928 black comedy The Suicide might not not be known by everybody but it has some obsessive fans in theatre circles. Belvoir’s artistic director Eamon Flack is amongst them, and will be dusting off the play about a displaced man looking for a place to belong. 

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Belvoir St Theatre , Surry Hills Until Sunday April 29 2018

Cinema ’68 Film Series

Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Paris burned. Prague was invaded by the Soviets. The world erupted into protests. If you thought 2016 was a shit year, then you probably didn’t live through 1968. From Hong Kong to Helsinki, Mexico City to Malaysia, protests, strikes and revolution ripped apart the East-West divide. The latest free movie season at the Art Gallery of NSW brings together ten landmark films all released in 1968. 

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Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Sunday April 22 2018 - Sunday May 6 2018

The Killers

The Las Vegas rock stars are heading on an antipodean arena tour kicking off in April. Their fifth album Wonderful Wonderful will have wormed its way into our subconscious by now and we’ll be chanting to recent singles ‘The Man’ and ‘Run For Cover’ with the same gusto as old favourites ‘Somebody Told Me’ and ‘Mr. Brightside’.

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Qudos Bank Arena , Sydney Olympic Park Saturday April 28 2018

Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story

There are few public figures more fascinating than Catherine McGregor: cricket commentator, columnist, cricketer, speech writer for Australia's Army Chief, ADF member, Australian of the Year finalist, close friend of Tony Abbott, transgender advocate and the highest ranking openly transgender member serving in Australia's military. Sydney Theatre Company will explore the many facets of McGregor in a new play written and directed by Priscilla Jackman.

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Sydney Theatre Company - Wharf Theatres , Dawes Point Saturday April 21 2018 - Saturday May 26 2018

Harry Styles

Harry Styles’ first solo tour is setting the tone for the singer's post-One Direction er... direction. Baby Mick Jagger will be starting his tour in Perth on April 21, before heading to Melbourne then Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on Friday April 27.

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Qudos Bank Arena , Sydney Olympic Park Friday April 27 2018

The Effect

Firass Dirani is best known for his work on TV and film but is set to return to Sydney stages after a long absence. He'll be appearing in Lucy Prebble's 2012 play The Effect, an unusual romance which takes place during a clinical trial for an unspecified drug. 

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The Old Fitzroy Hotel , Wooloomooloo Until Saturday May 19 2018

Sydney Comedy Festival

Sydney Comedy Festival takes over key Inner West venues for a month from April to May, with a line-up of international, local and interstate comedians across all genres. This year includes international favourites like South African-New Zealander Urzila Carlson and Irishmen David O'Doherty and Jason Byrne. Daniel Sloss is heading our way from Scotland, alongside British stars Ross Noble, Stephen K Amos and Jamali Maddix. 

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Around Sydney , Sydney Monday April 23 2018 - Sunday May 20 2018

The Book of Mormon

4 out of 5 stars

Written by ‘the South Park guys’, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, this musical was the highest-charting musical in over 40 years, until Hamilton smashed all records. The show has toured all over the US, has a long-running production in the West End, and recently opened in Sweden. So is it worth all of the fuss? Does it still hold up in 2018? The answer is yes. 

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Sydney Lyric , Darling Harbour Until Sunday July 15 2018

Duke Dumont

Best known for his UK number one hits ‘Need U (100%)’ and Jax Jones collaboration ‘I Got U’, the Grammy-nominated UK producer Duke Dumont is heading to Australia to perform at Groovin The Moo and various sideshows. He’ll be stopping in at the Ivy in Sydney to DJ at Ministry of Sound in April.

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Ivy , Sydney Saturday April 28 2018

The Lady and the Unicorn

Seen together, the works span approximately 20 metres in length. It’s not known who created the tapestries, or whether the lady they depict has a real-life counterpart, but it’s thought that they were commissioned by the Le Viste family in the late 1400s. 

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Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Sunday June 24 2018

We Love Kubrick

Many consider Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) the greatest filmmaker of all time, and the fact we're still watching his movies fanatically is pretty compelling evidence in the affirmative. There's no better way to experience his work than on the big screen, and the Ritz Cinema is happy to oblige with this season of seven of the master's films showing on Sundays and Mondays in April and May.

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Ritz Cinema Randwick , Randwick Sunday April 22 2018 - Monday May 21 2018

Aperture Australia

Budding Sydney photographers can network with industry greats at photography conference Aperture Australia. TV journalist Ray Martin will host this inaugural event, bringing his own enthusiasm for the art of photography to live talks and intensive panel discussions with eight well-known Australian photographers.

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International Convention Centre , Darling Harbour Saturday April 28 2018 - Sunday April 29 2018

Luna Park Rooftop Cinema

Luna Park: not the quietest place in Sydney for an open-air cinema event, right? Never fear – at Luna Park Rooftop Cinema all audience members are issued with noise-cancelling wireless headphones. A blanket to snuggle under can be hired for $5. 

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Luna Park Sydney , Milsons Point Until Monday April 30 2018

Suitcase Rummage

This mini-market is your go-to if you’re looking to downsize your wardrobe, share some handmade craft or pick up some vintage threads. Vendors will be offering everything from pre-loved clothes, jewellery and shoes to bric-a-brac, records, books and art. 

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The Goods Line , Ultimo Sunday April 29 2018

Sunrise on the Steps


Running until the middle of May, the 60-minute workouts will take place on the steps of the House with views of the Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. You can book into high intensity circuit training on Tuesday and Thursday mornings or a more chilled yoga class on Wednesday and Friday mornings. All classes start at 7am and cost $25. 

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Sydney Opera House , Sydney Until Friday May 18 2018
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Keep the little ones entertained

School holidays in Sydney

Looking for ideas to entertain the kids? We've found the best children's theatre shows, classes and workshops, outdoor activities and family festivals taking place during the school holidays.

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By: Emma Joyce