20 things to do this summer
Slip down a giant slide in the Hunter Valley, roll around in a giant ball pit at Barangaroo Reserve, get lost in a maze of mirrors in Hyde Park. Pack your summer calendar with these all-killer, no-filler events and have the time of your life.
The best waterfalls in Sydney and NSW
Load up the picnic basket and take a road trip to find these cascading falls around Sydney.
Escape the heat
When the temperature peaks and you have sweat dripping down your back after one too many T-shirt changes, it's time to head indoors – or dunk yourself in salt water.
Christmas in Sydney
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere means beach barbecues, long lunches and checking out the festive lights in the city. Find out where you can sing Christmas carols, shop at the Christmas markets, and get a head start on the Boxing Day sales.
The best of Sydney
20 things to do in Sydney at least once in your life
Sydney’s a beautiful place to live and a glorious city to visit. We’ve picked out 20 things to do that show off our best side, from kayaking on the harbour and cocktails with a view to our favourite weekly markets, the best underground restaurant in the city and where to get your culture fix.
The best yoga studios in Sydney
Ashtanga, yin, vinyassa, hatha, bikram – whatever your style, Sydney's got it. Here are the best yoga studios offering a relaxing place to work on your poses. Reward your efforts with Sydney's healthiest breakfasts, or try something completely different and check out the best kayaking spots.
Escape rooms in Sydney
Puzzle rooms are taking Sydney by storm. Every time we check, another two seem to be popping up out of nowhere – and each one raises the bar with new ideas inspired by the hundreds of escape rooms found across the world. (Apparently Hungary is the place to go for the ultimate mystery room binge – there are more than 100 rooms in Budapest alone). The concept is simple: solve a variety of puzzles placed in and around the room before your allotted time runs out. Each room has a different theme and stimulates all senses, demanding a variety of problem-solving skills. Time Out took the challenge of visiting nine rooms in the city. Whether we got out in time? Well, that's a different matter.
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:
The best walks in Sydney
Coastal walks, bush walks, historical walks and inner city ambles: there are many routes to choose from to discover Sydney from a new angle. See our list of ten favourite places to wander and remember to pack a camera – these walks offer some of the best vantage points for snapping our city at its best.
The Sydney tourist hit list
Events coming up in Sydney
Finders Keepers Markets
Shop from hundreds of emerging designers at this huge indie art and design market
Fairs and festivals
The annual cultural celebration is the big one on Sydney’s summer must-do list, and the festival’s contemporary programming always manages to surprise.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival has managed to go from just that – a festival in the backstreets of Melbourne for friends – to an internationally renowned tastemaker in a matter of year. 2017 will be no different, when the festival returns to the Sydney College of the Arts for a day of grassy fun.
If you were in Sydney in January, you’d have seen the Flaming Lips play a free concert in the Domain, built a giant cardboard tower in Darling Harbour, watched ferries race under the Harbour Bridge and you’d have ridden a flying fox at Barangaroo – all thanks to Sydney Festival. The annual cultural celebration is the big one in Sydney’s summer must-do list, and the festival’s contemporary programming always manages to surprise. Events take place across Sydney and Parramatta, attracting an audience of over 500,000 each year. In 2017, it’ll be the festival’s 41st year and they’ve already announced shows from multi-award winning artist PJ Harvey, who is playing the new ICC venue in Darling Harbour, plus the homegrown musical Ladies in Black – a toe-tapping trip back in time based on the comic novel by Madeleine St John. Look out for more announcements when the full program is released on October 26.
Sydney Chinese New Year Festival
Roosters, rats, pigs and snakes will light up the skies in late January for the 21st Chinese New Year Festival in Sydney. It’ll be the Year of the Rooster, and the City of Sydney is putting on more than 80 events around town from a spectacular lantern exhibition to Dragon Boat races and hawker-style food markets. From the festival’s modest beginnings in 1995 as a community street market, Sydney Chinese New Year Festival has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia, led by festival curator Claudia Chan Shaw.
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Girl Asleep at Belvoir
Before it was a favourite at Berlin Film Festival and in Australian cinemas, Girl Asleep was a critically acclaimed collaboration between long-time partners in crime Windmill Theatre Company and writer/actor Matthew Whittet (School Dance). This December, Girl Asleep comes to Belvoir, starring Whittet and Amber McMahon as Mr and Mrs Driscoll (aka World's Most Embarrassing Parents) in a show that's an explosion of hormones, imagination run wild, and the kind of 1970s design that would make Wes Anderson squeal with delight. Girl Asleep follows Greta Driscoll on the cusp of her 15th birthday as she grapples with crushes, first kisses and a gang of teen Queen Bees at school. Then there's her parents, who want to throw her a birthday party. Awkward. To celebrate Girl Asleep, Belvoir are transforming their Downstairs Theatre into a 1970s-themed pinball arcade, complete with retro pinball machines, arcade games, beanbags and an original Nintendo console. For $10 you get unlimited plays, with the proceeds going to Belvoir’s Arts Access Program, which gives free theatre tickets to students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Girl Asleep runs December 2-24 at Belvoir St Theatre.
NYE at the Argyle
The Rocks is party central on New Year’s Eve, and what better place to be in among the action than the Argyle? The Argyle plans on kissing goodbye to 2016 with a no-holds-barred, golden-themed event right in the middle of Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve action. Expect an-over-the-top production with the whole venue dripping in gold. Dancers and performers will be roaming through the outdoor courtyard and across the Argyle’s five bars – roller skaters, stilt walkers, golden mermaids, and more. And of course, it wouldn’t be NYE without confetti cannons to add some glitter to the night. An epic line-up of some of Australia’s biggest dance and house DJs is promised over the two levels of the Argyle, with DJs Brooklyn, Tenzin and Andy Murphy welcoming the New Year with golden vibes and epic beats. So get your tickets and get ready to paint the town gold. Early bird tickets are now available for $69 + booking fee. The early bird catches the party worm when it comes to New Year’s Eve in Sydney, so book ahead and get ready to paint the town gold.
Harbour Bar and Kitchen
If you’re after Darling Harbour convenience, Harbour Bar and Kitchen is the spot. You’ll find the restaurant spanning the balcony of Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour with views of Sydney Harbour and the CBD skyline visible from any seat in the house. Taking cues from the pit masters of North America, Harbour Bar and Kitchen takes top quality meats, adds just enough seasoning and smokes them with wood for many hours until the perfect harmony of smoke, flavour and time emerges. Then they're slow cooked over a roaring woodfire oven to produce an authentic flame-grilled meal. The house chateaubriand special for two is 500g slow-roasted tenderloin finished on the woodfired chargrill, carved and served with woodfired crispy potatoes and seasonal steamed vegetables with a choice of red wine jus or grill baste. HBK are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serve everything from smoky, chargrilled meats direct from the oven to strawberry stuffed French toast with ground cinnamon, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. The signature cocktail list includes a refreshing strawberry and basil frozen Margarita alongside classics like the Espresso Martini and an Old Fashioned.
Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas Inner West
Gadigal Green, on the south-of-King-Street side of the University of Sydney, is gearing up to host the new season of Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas.The event's sponsors take their responsibility to cinema goers seriously, ponying up free Ben & Jerry's ice cream as well as live music before the screening at the four Sundae Sessions, which are always quick to sell out. The four movies screening in Sundae Sessions this year are comedy Keeping up with the Joneses (Sun Nov 27), Marvel flick Doctor Strange (Sun Dec 4), sci-fi think piece Arrival (Sun Dec 11) and raucous seasonal comedy Bad Santa 2 (Sun Dec 18). Live music is courtesy of Jeff Riley, Lisa Heller, Nick Casey, the Runaway Houses and Naomi Sequeira, and there are DJ sets from DJ Who. Other highlights of the season include Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge and acclaimed modern-day western Hell or High Water.Classics getting a nostalgic screening on 'Time Travel Tuesdays' include Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Rocky Horror and Will Ferrell's funny holiday flick Elf. Ben & Jerry's ice cream, booze and pizza are available for purchase on site and tickets start from $16. Loungers and deck chairs are also available. Doors open Tue-Fri at 6pm and Sat, Sun at 5pm, and movies begin at sunset. Click on the DATES AND TIMES tab for the full movie line-up and Time Out's critics' picks. Be sure to book well ahead to avoid disappointment.