Beyond the beautiful beaches, waterways, parks and gardens, Sydney is home to some of the best food, culture and family fun to be found in Australia.

Sydney’s Rocks area is bursting with history dating back to convict times. See a show under the sails ...

Take the Sydney Harbour Ferry to Taronga Zoo where, along with a wide range of animals, you can share the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour with its furry, scaly and feathered residents. There are also several playgrounds where kids can climb and explore. And for something extra sweet visit Nutcote in nearby Neutral Bay, a delightful museum and tearooms surrounded by gardens where May Gibbs wrote her children’s books about Banksia Men and Gumnut Babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. And while you are still on the Northside, Luna Park has a dedicated area with rides for tiny tots. Back in the city, the Australian Museum is the place for kids to stomp and roar as they walk among the dinosaurs and to enjoy the interactive fun of the Kidspace mini-museum experience for under-fives. And at the Museum of Contemporary art, even the littlest visitors are catered for with guided Art Baby sessions for parents and carers with babies under one.

The lively waterfront precinct of Darling Harbour is always a hive of activity with regular free entertainment, events and dining along with a multitude of exciting family attractions. The Children's Playground at Darling Quarter should be your first stop. Here the kids can splash and paddle in the water play areas, clamber over climbing nets, swings, slides, and shoot across the flying fox. Enjoy a moment of calm in the Chinese Garden, where the kids can dress up in traditional costumes. Explore the underwater world at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium where sharks, dugongs, rays, tropical fish and penguins, are showcased in spectacular habitat displays and amazing underwater viewing tunnels. Next door at Wild Life Sydney Zoo you can spot a croc, along with more than 100 native species. And across the Harbour, visit the Australian National Maritime Museum for interactive exhibits, a kids’ zone and to clamber on the restored tallship, submarine and destroyer warship.

Iconic Bondi Beach is a must-see Sydney tourist attraction as famous for its lively atmosphere, fun attractions and great cafés as it is for its surf and sand. The promenade is always a hive of activity and you’ll also find great street art, the beachfront Bondi Skate Park and kid-friendly surf school, Lets Go Surfing. Take the Discover Bondi – Get Wet tour to see inside Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club and meet a Bondi lifesaver. You can even brave the waves for a guided swim between the flags. At Bondi Pavilion and the Marine Discovery Centre, head on a 30-minute virtual dive to meet the amazing marine life in Bondi Bay without getting wet. A must do for any visitor is to embark on a stretch of the stunning Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. And head to nearby Coogee where you’ll find a protected marine reserve that is excellent for snorkelling.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is a once in a lifetime experience that takes you up and over the arch of the bridge. Cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge for Luna Park to get the adrenalin pumping on the hair raiser and wild mouse. Camp overnight on Cockatoo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage listed convict site. Take the ferry to Manly for a surfing lesson with Manly Surf School or head to Q Station for a chilling night time ghost tour of the spooky former Quarantine base. Take to the sky for the wildest views of Sydney at Taronga Zoo's high ropes adventure park, Wild Ropes. At Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush you can fly high with outdoor trapeze lessons or grab a skateboard, scooter or BMX to roll at Monster Park skate park. Further west is Wet'n'Wild Sydney, the biggest and best water theme park in Sydney and home to some of the world’s most thrilling waterslides.

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Kids View: Things to do in Sydney

Stories

Things to do in Sydney

Sydney is a glorious destination for families all year round. The city lies in a temperate zone so while the climate can be variable, it is generally free from extremes. The warmest weather falls between December to February and the coolest from June to August when you will need to rug up, especially in the evenings and early mornings. With its dazzling Harbour and excess of attractions, Sydney is a popular family destination all year around so you will need to book well ahead to secure the best accommodation for your crew. For pleasant weather, more affordable prices and smaller crowds, the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November are ideal. If you are on a budget consider visiting during winter as you will find much better deals. It’s worth noting though that in late May and early June, the Vivid Festival sees the city bursting with visitors, so accommodation needs to be booked way in advance.

From sparkling Sydney Harbor to iconic architecture and beautiful beaches, there’s so many must dos in Sydney. Here are ten of our favourites. 1. Learn to surf like a pro at Manly Beach. 2. Snap a selfie with a celebrity at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. 3. Take the Bondi to Bronte walk to soak up the views. 4. Visit Taronga, the zoo with the world’s best view. 5. Climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the best views of the city. 6. Unlash your inner lunatic at Luna Park. 7. Walk through a tunnel of sharks at SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium. 8. Spend a night under canvas at Cockatoo Island. 9. Ride the Sydney Harbour ferry across the harbour. 10. Down periscope on a submarine at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Sydney is one of the world’s great cultural melting pots, with more than a third of its residents born overseas and more than 250 different languages spoken, a diversity that shines through in an almost inexhaustible variety of ethnic food experiences that are accessible to kids. Head to Chinatown for a feast of yum cha, visit the Sydney Fish Markets for the freshest seafood, pack a picnic to enjoy one of Sydney's beautiful parks or take a ferry across the Harbour for fish and chips on Manly Beach. While there are plenty of places that offer kid friendly menus, a kid-friendly vibe can be harder to find. The Grounds is café culture at its family friendly best. A sanctuary of sustainable locally roasted coffee, fresh organic food and friendly service in a heritage listed factory space, you’ll also find a pretty spacious courtyard with lemonade stalls, an animal farm and kids enclosed play area.

From expansive parks and playgrounds to world class museums and harbourside walks, Sydney offers plenty of free fun for families. Head to one of Sydney’s abundant beaches to paddle in the ocean or swim in an ocean pool. Take the Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk, or take a stroll or scooter around the Sydney Harbour Foreshore to Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney’s newest Harbour side park. Let the kids splash, climb, slide and play at The Kids playground at Darling Quarter. Pack a picnic and take a stroll through the stunning Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain. While you are there, stop to feed the ducks and soak up the stunning Sydney Harbour views. For a hit of culture, you can view the incredible collection of artworks at the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, or visit The Rocks Discovery Museum to learn about Sydney’s convict past.

JANUARY Sydney Festival – Enjoy a three-week cultural extravaganza of music, theatre, art, circus and family fun. APRIL Sydney Royal Easter Show – From animal shows and craft displays to stadium spectaculars and showbags, the kids will love Sydney’s biggest show. FEBRUARY Sydney Chinese New Year Festival – Celebrate the largest Lunar New Year celebration outside of Asia with markets, Dragon Boat Races, a Twilight Parade and fireworks. MAY/JUNE Vivid Sydney – Sydney’s most glittering festival brings together stunning light installations, music performances and creative ideas. AUGUST City 2 Surf – The City 2 Surf attracts thousands of fit families for the 14-kilometre run or walk from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach. OCTOBER Art & About Sydney – Get creative at this month-long festival celebration of art and performance. DECEMBER New Year's Eve – Sydney Harbour’s New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacular is the best in the world and an unmissable delight for families.