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Image: Mitchell Moore

How to have the most Sydney day ever (without leaving your house)

Shutdowns be damned – you can still experience the very best of our Emerald City while physically distancing

By Alannah Maher and Time Out editors
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7.30am

Wake up. Set the mood by changing out of your pajamas into your most archetypal Sydney day wear. Are you an Inner West hipster tragic? Chuck on the linen overalls and ironic bucket hat you’d be sporting on your farmers market call or meander down King Street. Are you a Surry Hills pilates pro who likes to lift heavy things? Slip into your most on-trend activewear. Are you a North Shore mum? Float a Camilla kaftan of your choosing over your shoulders.

8.00am

Time for breakfast. Local cult butter connoisseurs Pepe Saya have teamed up with sister outfit Crumpets by Merna on a care package for the discerning Sydneysider. You can order the Breakfast Box($35) for next day delivery and wake up to a delicious batch of sourdough crumpets with foil-wrapped single serves of rich Pepe Saya butter, crème fraîche, and a jar of some delicious preserve like stewed rhubarb with vanilla pods.

9.00am

If you’re anything like us, mornings just don’t feel right without the ritual of calling into your favourite coffee shop. While you might not be seeing your favourite barista any time soon, you can keep up that quality caffeine hit. Some of the best roasters in town are delivering the goods to your door, and with the widespread range of brewing gadgets out there you can brew up cafe quality coffee in your kitchen. If you’re able to pop over to Sample Coffee’s St Peters branch, you can pick up some gourmet groceries while they pour you a takeaway.

10.00am

Sydney is a city notorious for the pursuit of the body beautiful. Gym bunnies have wept for their lost #gainz since the closures of gyms and the restrictions placed on outdoor bootcamps. However, all is not lost. There are plenty of online workouts by local experts to get your endorphins pumping. You can even learn some moves with Sydney Dance Company’s virtual dance studio if you'd like a side of culture with your exercise. If you’re looking for a more freestyle way to get moving and grooving, Sydney performer and ‘feminist sex clown’ Betty Grumble is livestreaming her popular Grumble Boogie classes every morning at 10am on Facebook and Instagram. While finding ways to keep our skin suits active as we all spend more time at home is good for us, it's also important to note that our bodies are likely to fluctuate right now, and a little iso-podge is no big deal. We don’t need to hold ourselves to the utterly ripped\ physical standards that might be popping up in targeted advertisements. Some days it's ok to slide into your yoga pants for no other purpose than vegging out.

11.00am

While all our favourite cultural institutions have had to shutter their physical doors for the meantime, you can still explore some of Sydney’s best museums and art galleries from home, digitally. You can check out cool new virtual experiences from the Australian Museum, including three-dimensional explorations of priceless Egyptian mummy collections, and deep sea angler fish. The Art Gallery of NSW has put some of its coolest exhibitions online, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art curator Coby Edgar’s cheeky pocket exhibition on a ‘dummies guide’ to the current circumstances. The Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is dropping a bunch of online exhibitions, workshops and events-Adaptation, an exhibition created by artists living with a disability or chronic illness gets the online treatment, along with Pulse of the Dragon, which highlights Chinese traditional culture.

Noon

Time for luncheon. There are a number of Sydney restaurants offering takeaway right now. If you’re after something fresh and healthy, dietary requirement masters Nutie are delivering gluten free, vegan meal boxes to doorsteps all over Sydney. If your sweet tooth needs satisfying, they’re also doing boxes of their popular donuts, which are known to delight the appetites of people with less particular dietary requirements as well. If you’re feeling a little fancier, you can have a gourmet picnic hamper delivered by Surry Hills’ own Sydney Picnic Co, packed with lush goodies from local suppliers.

1pm

Once you’ve broken bread, why not digest with the company of some of Sydney’s most charismatic animal residents? Sydney’s oldest zoo has launched Taronga TV, where you can tune in to animal antics from cheeky Asian elephant calf Jai Dee, a playful Sumatran tiger family, as well as other residents from across the animal kingdom. You can also check out a weekly program of livestreams from Sea Life Aquarium Wild Life Sydney Zoo, including penguin playtime, shark feedings, and Q&A’s with some of Australia’s most unique animals and their keepers.

2pm

Go for a walk around your neighbourhood and keep that cabin fever at bay. At the time of writing, this is allowed as long as you feel well and are not currently self-isolating due to recent travel or illness. Spending some time in nature has even been shown to be beneficial for your mental health. Make sure to maintain 1.5-metres distance from others at all times and if you need to sneeze or cough do so into your elbow. Can’t go outside but still craving some natural tranquility? You can take a virtual walk around Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden or even build a jigsaw puzzle of one of Sydney’s best beaches.

3pm

Feeling refreshed? Good, now go wash your hands (you should be doing this every time you leave home or return from outside, or when you’re about to touch doodads in the kitchen). Keeping hand sanitiser around is a good way to stay on top of hygiene. But along with that most precious of resources, toilet paper, han-san is proving to be difficult to find at the usual stores. Thankfully, some of Sydney’s top distilleries have stepped up to the mantle and are producing their own spicy, botanical twists on hand sanitiser to help meet public demand. You can get your freshly sanitised hands on germ-killing gels from Manly Spirits Co, Surry Hills’ rum masters Brix Distillers, and more.

3.30pm

Play a round of Sydney Monopoly with your housemates/spouse/family. We all know that it takes forever to finish a game of Monopoly, and lucky for you, time is something we all have an abundance of at the moment. Sydney is a little obsessed with property, water views, and gobbling up prime locations for new sets of apartment blocks and casinos, so it only makes sense that the city lends itself well to the game of bankrupting your competitors. You can buy it online from retailers like Games Paradise from $44.95. After a more casual game that is less about capitalist empires and more about personal introspection? Sydney DJ, MTV host and noted slashie Flex Mami is the mastermind behind ReFlex the Game, a card game that is designed to provoke insightful conversations and promote critical thinking, which could be useful for spicing things up with your iso-mates.

6pm

Celebrate another day without human contact by pouring yourself a stiff drink. Time Out Sydney’s 2020 Bar of the Year, PS40, is now delivering 250ml pre-batched cocktails directly to your door and they last up to a month in the fridge (though we doubt they’ll survive the first night). Should you wish to recreate the full-blown bar experience in your lounge room, the Roosevelt and Dulcie’s are both offering bespoke glassware and bar equipment for hire. And if you need to brush up your bartending skills, Leichhardt’s Golden Gully is hosting online masterclasses. The drinks list doesn’t end there, we’ve rounded up the best Sydney bottle shops offering home delivery.

7pm

For the very first time in history, it’s possible to feast at some of Sydney’s splashiest restaurants for a fraction of the price – and from the comfort of your dining room. A family-style pink ling, saffron and fennel pie from Saint Peter’s ‘Mr Niland at Home’ pick-up menu only sets you back $50; a three-course dinner for two from Bert’s, meanwhile, featuring duck-liver parfait, beef rib and chocolate mousse, can be delivered to your door for $105. Prefer to pinch some pennies and clear out the pantry? Some of Sydney’s best chefs are posting fuss-free recipes on Instagram.

8pm

It’s an opportune time to tick some movies and shows off your must watch list, and discover some hidden gems of the screen. Some of Sydney’s most popular film festivals have taken things digital, including the Japanese Film Festival and the Jewish International Film Festival. After some lighter, easily digestible viewing? There’s a bunch of binge-worthy, feel-good shows to stream for free from the ABC and SBS. After a break from all the screen time? Some of Sydney’s best bookshops are delivering. Explore perspectives from Sydney’s women of colour in the newly released anthology Sweatshop Women: Volume Two, a diverse collection of short stories and poems.

9pm

Hang out with your mates - virtually, of course. Digital conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts are giving us a way to gather sans physical contact. While these options aren’t Sydney specific, they do give you a way to talk to the people who make the city feel like home to you. Put on some tunes (check out what digital gigs you can stream from around the world via Sydney-born guide Sofa King Fest) and have a little inside fun. Whack on some headphones if you’re worried about bothering the neighbours and party until whenever the hell you like – no one is going to know if you’re feeling dusty tomorrow morning. Is it Saturday night, and you wanna feel alright? The power of the boogie won’t be locked down, bust a move at this virtual dance club. Courting a cutie? Go on a digi-date and check out our guide to finding love under isolation.

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