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10 Best Things to Do in Sydney With Kids

Sydney, Australia is a great city for kids, packed with a variety of attractions that will keep them busy.  The mild climate and picturesque harbor city provide plenty of outdoor entertainment and beaches where kids could swim, learn to surf, or search for marine life. Alternatively, the Sydney zoos and aquariums will let them get up close and personal with Australian native species.

Parents and caregivers usually reach a point in their lives where they are at their wits’ end attempting to schedule activities that will keep the kids occupied. Luckily, Sydney is the perfect city to keep the kids active and entertained!

Here are the top things to do in Sydney for kids of all ages that will create amazing and unforgettable experiences.

Sydney with Kids - What Not to Miss

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Top Things to Do in Sydney with Kids

1. Luna Park

Luna Park is a family-friendly amusement park that offers breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. On the outskirts of one of the most stunning harbors in the world, kids will love attractions like the Tango Train or Ferris wheel.

Luna Park in Sydney is one of the few remaining amusement parks with fancy Art Deco design, complete with an enormous statue of the Moon’s smiling face which greets you at the Luna Park entrance. 

The park was built in 1935, around 600 meters (2,000 feet) from the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It operated for monthly seasons before becoming a year-round attraction in 1972.

The rides at Luna Park range from the typical Carousel, Ferris Wheel, and Dodgems to more inventive rides that spin, turn, twist, and move fast. Luna Park also offers a tonne of game booths, restaurants, and other services and facilities so that you could spend the entire day there.

Please visit the Luna Park website to get the current schedule of hours. 

2. Kids Surfing Lessons In Manly

For lively adults and kids, Sydney surfing lessons are a fantastic activity that will encourage you to get active!  

The best place to take surfing classes is in Manly. There are many schools that offer surf lessons, and the waves are ideal for novices. You can learn all the fundamentals in a few hours worth of surf lessons.  You can choose the best surf school for you from among the several that are available in Manly.

Manly Beach surfing lessons with kids

Manly is a great location for surfing. Compared to many other Sydney beaches, this one is a little more guarded.  Because of this, the waves are a little bit more predictable, which is ideal for beginner surf lessons. Surf Life Savers also guard the beach, making it a secure location for surfing.

Don’t be shocked if your kids are far better than you are in this important Australian sport! Manly Surf School, Manly Surf Guide, and Manly Surf Hire all offer surf lessons for kids. Some group lessons are open to kids as young as five years old.

3. Taronga Zoo

One of Sydney’s top family attractions is the Taronga Zoo, one of the most renowned animal parks in the world. You’ll realize why as soon as you board the free-flying safari that takes you to the zoo from the boat and bus stops. The elevated harbor vista is breathtaking, and the contrast between the city skyline and the animals is stunning.

Taronga Zoo in Sydney

A trip to the zoo with the family will always be a fun activity for the kids, but with some forward planning, you can maximize your time there. Be sure to utilize the family-friendly sections as well, like KidZoo at Backyard to Bush. Plan to spend at least half a day to experience all Taronga Zoo has to offer.

Notably, there is a kids program for school holidays, which kids will be astounded and fascinated by. They can participate in activities with an animal theme and get to know the excellent keepers who look after the animals at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

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4. Sydney Harbour Pirate Ship 

Come decked out in pirate attire and join Captain Pineapple and his crew on the majestic Soren Larsen or the authentic Southern Swan pirate ship for the most exciting voyage of your life!

The dramatic performance is explosive and engaging, taking place on a historic sailing ship in Sydney Harbour. Take charge, set sail, find the treasure, fire the cannons, and play a crucial role in this 90 minutes of non-stop, action-packed family fun!

A very unique aspect of any pirate’s life aboard a tall ship while seeking out loot and eluding the law is helping set the sails, which is something that all pirates are encouraged to participate in.

Feel the power of the wind as it fills the sails and carries the ship over Sydney Harbour. It is like going back in time when the wind takes control and the sound of the engine stops, a feeling that pirates have shared throughout history as they stood on the deck of a tall ship with their eyes fixed on the horizon.

If hauling on a rope doesn’t appeal to you, just relax with a view, unwind, and take in the entertainment offered by the staff, captain, and other passengers.

5. Treetop Adventure Park

The West Sydney Treetop Adventure Park is tucked away in an ideal spot to make your visit unforgettable. The high ropes obstacle course, which soars up to four stories above the ground, offers breathtaking vistas of the Sydney CBD as you navigate suspension bridges and zip lines.

For young families, the Treetop Adventure Park also features a dedicated children’s obstacle course for little ones aged three to nine. The general entry is perfect for everyone aged 10 to 80. 

There are also locations of Treetop Adventure Parks on the Central Coast and in Newcastle. Each one provides activities for both adults and kids of various ages and skill levels.

6. Oatley Park Adventure Playground

Sydney was introduced to the Oatley Park adventure inclusive playground in September 2019, giving park visitors a top-notch recreational asset. The playground includes new park furnishings and recreation equipment, suitable for kids of all ages and abilities. 

Oatley Park is a 112-acre reserve on the Georges River in the southern Sydney district of Oatley.  Jew Fish Bay, Georges River, and Lime Kiln Bay all surround the park.

The Oatley Park Adventure playground design takes into account suggestions from the local community and complies with the NSW Government’s ‘Everyone Can Play’ inclusive play space requirements to provide accessible play in more than 80% of the playground for kids of all ability levels. 

7. North Sydney Olympic Pool

Take the family to the North Sydney Olympic Pool for one of Sydney’s iconic experiences. When you glance up after splashing around and see the Opera House and Luna Park nearby as well as the Harbour Bridge almost immediately above you, you almost have to pinch yourself!

North Sydney Olympic Pool

The great news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy the view. The pool has moderate prices, so you can have an entire day of inexpensive family good times!

Don’t let the pool’s opulent art deco façade and setting deter you, this is a great pool for the whole family. There is a children’s pool for splashing in and swimming lessons available, starting from age six. 

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8. Wendy’s Secret Garden

One of Sydney’s top spots for a family picnic is Wendy’s Secret Garden. There is something to amuse and entertain both kids and adults around every curve in this unique, peaceful area.

This expansive, lovely garden contains a little playground that is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets. The unexpectedly big garden is lush and green, full of plants, flowers, palm and fig trees, tree ferns, and boasts stunning views of the port.

A rusty old wheelbarrow and an old scooter are just a couple of the unexpected artifacts (including picnic tables, eccentric statues, and miscellaneous objects) that give appeal to this living piece of creativity.

As Wendy herself states: “Children love to play and dream here, so it’s a great place for kids of all ages.”

9. Sydney Harbour Cruise

You already know that Sydney features one of the world’s most stunning natural harbors. Sydney Harbour is 19 kilometers long and 55 km wide, stretching from the east’s North and South Heads to the head of the Parramatta River. An astounding 317 km of beaches, inlets, and bays hug Sydney Harbour’s shores.

How to choose the best Sydney Harbour boat excursion for your family 

Here are some things to keep in mind before booking your cruise.

  • How old are your kids, and can they keep still while you cruise?
  • Where does the cruise depart from, and is it convenient for you to get there? (Most cruises depart from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour).
  • Do you want to eat while sailing? There are possibilities for family dinner cruises and even more options for lunch cruises.  Most cruises offer some form of food, but it’s also a good idea to pack some snacks.
  • Are you familiar with Sydney? If not, a commentary-enhanced cruise will provide you with a wealth of intriguing information.

Check the weather for Sydney before your trip. If possible, book your tickets close to the day to ensure favorable conditions or ensure that your reservation can be canceled if needed.

Sydney Harbour bridge cruise

Recommended Sydney Harbour Cruises

  • Sydney Harbour Tall Ship Afternoon Cruise with Get Your Guide – BOOK HERE
  • Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Lunch with Viator – BOOK HERE
  • Sydney Harbour Hop-On Hop-Off Cruise with Viator – BOOK HERE

10. Ian Potter Garden

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY is a botanical wonderland tucked away among the tree-lined streets and undulating hills of the Centennial Parklands. The design by ASPECT Studios is in response to research that indicates few Australian children routinely play outside.

Instead of utilizing typical playground equipment, ASPECT has created a whimsical and immersive experience that invites kids and their imaginations to run wild. These natural play elements include sand, water, sticks, leaves, and dirt.

Conclusion – What to Do with Kids in Sydney

Sydney, Australia is a city of beaches, bridges, and must-see attractions, suitable for people of all ages, including kids. Sydney will provide encounters that become lifelong memories whether you are traveling with young children or older teens.

The picturesque city is bustling with energy and the outdoor experiences are ideal for entertaining kids of all ages.  Make sure to book ahead in peak holiday seasons and research prices and weather. We are sure you and the kids will have the best time in Australia’s famous harbour city!

About the author: Kate Rae is a travel blogger at Not A Tourist, providing alternative and unique travel tips for Australia.  Not A Tourist is a go-to place for Australian travel secrets, written by a local.