Things to do in Sydney this week
With so many Sydney establishments now offering bottomless brunch, sipping on limitless mimosas while you enjoy your avo on toast has fast become the most in vogue foodie phenomenon of the moment. Adding their offering to the ever-growing list of Sydney’s bottomless brunch options, the mini-golf gurus at Holey Moley’s Newtown location have put their spin on the dining trend to celebrate the recent refurbishment of half of its pun-tastic course. Drawing on the themes of their latest holes – inspired by pop culture faves including Forrest Gump, Lego, The Flintstones, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Jaws – you can tuck into a limited-edition menu, paired with unlimited beer, cider or wine (including sparkling), bottomless waffle fries, a specially themed cocktail on arrival, plus two-hours of unlimited mini-golf, all for $50. The eats are more diner fare than brunch classics; if you're in search of pillowy scrambled or buttered toast, jog on. Instead, you can tuck into a krabby patty that would make old mate SpongeBob drool, or gnaw on some chicken ribs like a cave-dwelling Flintstone. Fill up on Forrest Gump’s favourite popcorn shrimp, or swap out the meat for veggie and vegan alternatives, all while getting your putt-putt on. And if, after a few of those bottomless drinks, you want to keep the party going, Holey Moley Newtown is now home to two karaoke rooms, complete with a fun array of props to help unleash your inner pop star. Holey Moley’s bottomless brunch is available eve
If you've seen The Greatest Showman (and there's a good chance you have, given it's the fifth most successful movie musical ever) you probably remember the scene where a bearded lady played by Keala Settle sings 'This is Me'. It's an uplifting number where a group of misfits plucked from obscurity by circus leader PT Barnum declare their self determination. But it's also total nonsense. See, the real PT Barnum was no champion for people of colour or people with disability. In fact, he's pretty well known for exploiting them in nasty ways with his "freak shows" and displays of Indigenous people. Now a group of First Nations artists are telling the real story of Barnum's circuses and freak shows as part of a new cabaret created for the Sydney Opera House. Created by the Opera House's head of First Nations programming Rhoda Roberts, the show follows several performers who ended up in Barnum's circuses and shows like them. It's difficult territory, but given the backdrop of circuses and travelling shows, you can expect plenty of razzle dazzle in this vibrant fusion of vaudeville, burlesque, cabaret and circus performance. One of the stories in the show is of Tambo, one of 17 Aboriginal people who were taken from Hinchinbrook and Palm Islands in 1883 to be part of a Barnum show. They were considered "human oddities" and were eventually cast as "the Aboriginal Cannibal Boomerang Throwers". That's just the tip of the iceberg, and this show doesn't shy away from taking us all t
Spring has sprung, and that means one thing in Sydney: it's time to go alfresco. This is a city that thrives outside, preferably with a refreshing beverage in hand. That classic Sydney combo is exactly what you’ll find at the Golden Sheaf’s Canvas Cinema, where you can enjoy a great film under the stars, plus a limited-edition gin and tonic on arrival, for just $10. The Sheaf’s upstairs Canopy Bar has been transformed into a pop-up outdoor movie oasis for five weeks, and a limited-edition Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic botanicals menu lets cinemagoers create their own bespoke thirst-quenchers. A range of flavoured tonics – including an elderflower infusion, a sharp Sicilian lemon and a rich blend of aromatics – can be paired with your choice of fruity, herby or spicy botanicals, for a choose-your-own-adventure spin on the ever-popular G and T. Alternatively, you can sample a selection of gin-based cocktails, including a fresh yet creamy rhubarb and vanilla Gimlet and that classiest of Martinis, the Vesper. There is also a finger food-style menu on offer, and best of all, your eats can be brought directly to your cinema seat, so you won’t miss a moment of your movie. A culturally eclectic program of films will be screening throughout October, with tickets priced at just $10, which includes your choice of limited-edition G and T. Proceedings kick off on October 3, with the 2002 biographical drama Frida, starring Salma Hayek in an Oscar-nominated portrayal of Mexican surreali
If you breathe a sad sigh as your bins fill up with veggie off-cuts or bruised fruit, this is the cooking class for you. The pickling and fermenting food waste warriors at Cornersmith are running a class that’s dedicated to making the most of your expired pantry and fridge items. Their Waste Hacks class is a mixture of demonstrations and hands-on activities that’ll teach you how to reduce wastage in the kitchen. Cornersmith chef Ava Stangherlin will be leading the two-and-a-half hour class, where you’ll pick up tricks for making a quick pickle out of leftover veggies and creating the café’s special waste-free chimichurri. You’ll also craft a banana jam that’s leftovers only, sweet syrups made of normally discarded fruit skins, and a fragrant paste made from spice and herb stems that can replace supermarket stock cubes. After your sustainable cooking adventures, you’ll get to enjoy a plate of Cornersmith snacks and a beer or housemade boozeless beverage, then take home the fruits (and veggies) of your labour.
The historic grounds of Q Station are spooky at the best of times. Even in the sensical light of day, the halls where sick convicts were quarantined before entry into Australia – and where many perished – can send a chill up your spine. So you can imagine that creeping through the dorms on Halloween, with the graves of 572 unfortunate souls peppering the grounds, would be a considerably more intense spook-fest. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing on the Halloween Scream tour. Prepare for a solid 90 minutes of goosebumps and jumpscares as the moon rises and you’re guided through the site that’s one of the most haunted in Sydney. Perhaps you’ll encounter the strict matron that’s said to patrol the ward to this day, or bump into a more playful spirit. Your guide will be in character (we assume a terrifying figure from days long past) and even though we can’t ensure spectral sightings, a few creative surprises are definitely on the cards. This tour is only for adults or kids over 15 accompanied by a parent. If you do have a brood of little Halloween demons, there are also more family-friend tours happening at Q Station in the lead-up to the scariest night of the year.
The best kind of costumes are undoubtedly adorned by dogs, so make the most of the opportunity to get Rex all tizzed up at this Halloween doggy day out. The animal rescue legends at Pound Paws are hosting a haunting dog-friendly party at the Gymea Hotel on October 27, with scary activities for furry Earth-bound beings and their hoomans. As with all their events, this is an opportunity to meet adorable dogs up for adoption – and potentially add a pooch to your family – as well as a chance to have fun with a community of woofers at the pub. For humans, there’ll be scary face painting and a haunted jumping castle, and puppers can find treats and activities at more than 20 pet-focused market stalls. Since the party verges on the most hallowed of eves, there’ll be prizes for the spookiest costumes (a team theme is more than acceptable).
Sex should be a topic that all adults can discuss freely, no matter their abilities. However, people living with disabilities are often sidelined when it comes to exploring sexuality. Feel the Vibe is tackling this issue by combining all the titillating fun of a sexpo with fun, flirty advice and information about sexual expression for people with disabilities – although all are welcome to attend. The evening at Parramatta’s Information and Cultural Exchange will offer interactive talks – questions are encouraged – educational activities and saucy product displays of all the best in modern sex-quipment. Cheeky highlights include burlesque lessons, a practical sex toy talk, and tips on visiting disability-friendly sex workers. If you’re feeling a little awkward, find emotional safety in numbers and invite a pal, partner or anyone from your support network of family, friends and professional support people. It’s all being organised by not-for-profit disability service provider Northcott. The group aims to empower people with disabilities to reach their personal and professional goals and fight against social barriers and ableism. The all-abilities sexpo is free to attend (but you’ll want to register so that they can confirm numbers) and there’ll be some sexy freebies for everyone on the night.
The annual Antenna Documentary Film Festival highlights the most creative, insightful documentaries that have been produced in the last year. For its 9th year, Sydneysiders can get stuck into the festival’s largest ever program, with 80 films screening over 11 days of investigative cinema this October. The program includes a series of Q&A’s, talks by local and international filmmakers and the full-day industry forum that’ll help aspiring filmmakers perfect their lingering docco projects, DocTalk. You’ll need to submit your film plan before September 13 to be considered for the day of networking and practical advice about storytelling, editing, marketing and sales strategies. If you’re more about watching than doing, keep an eye on the growing program. There are some intriguing real life stories, like the opening night production Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin by veteran director Werner Herzog. The story investigates nomadic life, belonging and connection, with Herzog retracing the adventures and inspirations of prolific travel writer Bruce Chatwin – Herzog’s now deceased friend and collaborator – from Patagonia to Wales and the Australian outback. In The Disappearance of My Mother, Italian director Beniamino Barrese seeks to understand and stay connected to his mother, Benedetta Barzini. She was a supermodel and muse to Dali and Warhol in the 1960s, a radical feminist in the ’70s and now, at the age of 75, simply wants to retreat from life and the expectations im
Renounce your fast-fashion sins and stay retro with some fabulous finds from this haven for pre-loved fashion and other eclectic goodies. There’s a mix of vintage and modern clothing – it leans towards traditionally feminine attire – and accessories, as well as handmade jewellery and funky trinkets. You’ll find high-end designers like Ferragamo and Carla Zampatti, as well as good quality high street styles from Gorman and Sass & Bide among the 60 or so stalls packed into Marrickville Town Hall. It’s $2 entry at the door, and you can hone your bargain-spotting sense with a coffee from one of the caffeinating carts on site.
The folks at Surry Hills speakeasy the Wild Rover know a thing or two about oysters; they’ve been serving them up to hungry punters since 2013. In 2017, they decided to put this shuck-load of oyster knowhow to the test by launching the Wild Rover Oyster Fest, and three years later, the crustacean celebration is still going strong. At last year’s fest, more than 11,000 oysters were slurped down by seafood-loving Sydneysiders, and this year is expected to be a similarly scaled weeklong feast. On offer for the third annual Wild Rover Oyster Fest will be the freshest Sydney rock oysters from the state’s top oyster farms, and you can pick up a dozen for just $15 throughout the festival. And of course, as Wild Rover is one of the city’s finest whisky bars, you’ll also be able to enjoy a selection of perfectly paired measures of smooth amber spirits. On Monday October 28 at 6.30pm, a whisky tasting master class will bring together two staples of luxury indulgence, Talisker and Oysters. The event is hosted by Katie Nagar (brand ambassador of Scottish coastal distillery Talisker) and Australian Oyster Coast’s Paul Ryder, and tickets can be booked on the website. If you’re in the mood to dance, on the evenings of November 1 and 2 from 6-9pm you can channel your inner Michael Flatley to the sounds of Irish ceilidh band Flying Seaman. Then get into the spirit (literally) with one of the festival’s signature whisky cocktails – perhaps a Talisker highball – in hand. The festivities kic
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