School Holidays in Sydney: winter 2023

If you have just realised the end of term is fast approaching and wondering what to do in the school holidays in Sydney, we have you covered. There are plenty of choices, from low cost and free things to do across the city to fun day trips out of town. Read on and plan some fun days out in Sydney for your family.

Winter School Holiday Ideas

The Winter School Holidays run from  3 July – 14 July

With 6 plus weeks to fill, the summer school holidays in Sydney require a bit of planning. From mornings at the park or playground to picnics and beach walks, it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors but remember to slip slop slat.

School Holiday Workshops and Activities in Sydney’s Museums

Perfect for days when the sun goes into hiding or it’s too hot to be outdoors, Sydney’s museums and galleries have plenty to offer kids of all ages. Some of these activities will require prebooking, so please check the links provided before heading out.

Australian Museum

The fabulous Sharks exhibition continues, and the museum has had a face lift in the last year so if you have not been for a while it’s time to schedule another visit to the Australian Museum.

You will see…

  • Life-size shark models ranging from the 50cm Epaulette Shark to the 8m Whale Shark,
  • Augmented reality interactives where you can play with a Whale Shark or explore the contents of a shark’s stomach,
  • Real, touchable shark specimens from the Australian Museum collection,
  • Plenty of jaw-some stuff for kids and families!
Sharks Australian Muesum

The Australian Museum has several interactive experiences scheduled, including the popular Scientist for a Day.

Other options include:

  • Nature Photography Workshops: These immersive workshops offer kids the opportunity to learn how to take pictures of nature, including live insects, museum installations and parts of the garden. It is led by nature photographer Tom Covell for kids aged 5-8 years and 9-13yrs on the 27th and 28th of September.
  • Cool Sharks: Clay sculpting workshop – Learn all about sharks and then create your own out of clay in these school holiday workshops for children aged 5-8yrs and 9-13yrs on the 29th and 30th of September
  • Scientist for a Day: Mammalogist – Learn about mammals and see what it’s like to be a scientist in these full-day workshops for kids aged 8-12 years on the 4th and 5th of October.
Childrens area at Australian Museum

If you miss the boat on booking the special activities, you can jump back to the Age of Dinosaurs in this creative play space for kids of all ages. This area is free and does not require bookings.

Australian National Maritime Museum

Let them try being a director for a day! Photo Credit: Australian National Maritime Museum.

Along with its regular exhibits, the museum offers two hands-on, creative workshops for kids aged 8-14 years.

Whale Song DJ Workshop: This workshop on digital music making offers budding artists the chance to create their own marine-inspired songs and animated videos using underwater technology and to learn from scientists about how they use sound to monitor marine life.

Deep Sea Mystery Film Making Workshop: Participants will capture underwater footage and then learn film making techniques including scripting, directing, acting, prop-making and using green-screens to create their own mini movies.

Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
When: Every Day 10am – 4pm; NSW School Holidays 9:30am – 5:00pm
Cost: $65-75 and $130-160, respectively.
Bookings and more info here

Convict Trail at Hyde Park Barracks

If you have not visited the Barracks since it reopened last year, now is a perfect time.

A model of early Sydney

A special audio guide suitable for children aged 5-10 years will keep the kids entertained while they explore Sydney’s past. They solve puzzles using clues as they move through the collection.

Where: Macquarie Street Sydney
When: Open Thursday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm, closed Christmas Day and Australia Day
Cost: Child $10, Adult $12, Family $32. Members and children under 5 are free.
Bookings and more info here

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife Sydney

One of the main attractions at Sea Life Sydney is Pig the Dungog, followed closely by the cute penguins and of course the sharks!

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour.

Wildlife Sydney Zoo offers the chance to get up close to some of the less well known Aussie animals, like a quokka and a numbat. You can also meet Kofi the tree kangaroo.

Where: Lime Street Darling Harbour
When: Open 7 days a week 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (last entry 4:00 pm) during NSW school holidays. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays outside of the school holiday periods.
Cost: Single entry or multi passes available. Check for offers. You can combine these offers with your Dine and Discover vouchers.

Sydney Zoo

If you have not made the trip to Sydney Zoo at Bungarribee, put it on the list for these holidays.

Lions in Africa exhibit at Sydney Zoo, Bungarribee in Western Sydney.

The zoo is great for families with flat paths perfect for little explorers’ feet. Don’t miss the pride of lions and, of course, the cheeky meerkats.

There are several animal encounters you can book if you want something special.

Check out our detailed guide to all of Sydney’s zoos and animal parks here

Where: Sydney Zoo
When: Open every day from 9am – 5pm
Cost: $40 adults, $20 kids 3-15 years – These are online prices – it’s at least $5 a ticket more expensive at the gate.
More details here

Australian Reptile Park

Is your child crazy for reptiles? Head to the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast this school holidays! Learn all about the incredible ‘superpowers’ that these animals have.

Where: Somersby, Central Coast (30 minutes drive from Wahroonga)
More details here

Little Red Riding Hood

Meet all of your favourite characters- the hungry wolf, the sweet and innocent Red Riding Hood, and the huntsman as they tell this delightful tale set in the forest that is as enchanting as the story itself.

Where: The WILD PLAY Discovery Centre
When: Friday, 4th July 2023
Cost: $22
More details here

Get Active – Things to Wear Them Out!

Family Fun Challenge by AmazingCo.

I love all the activities on the AmazingCo platform but this one jumped out as a great way for the family to spend some fun time together working on a common goal.

Family doing AmazingCo Challenge
Use weekly clues to solve problems.

AmazingCo. offer family mystery picnics and family date nights.

AAMI’s Clanger Buster Clinics

AFLW GWS Giants stars Alyce Parker and Alicia Eva offer FREE training sessions to kids 12-16 years during school holidays.

School Holidays AFL
Learn new skills this school holidays

AAMI’s Clanger Buster Clinics will give the AFL champions of tomorrow the tools to sharpen their skills, improve their game and ultimately reduce their clangers on the field. [What is a Clanger? A clanger in AFL is an error made by a player resulting in a negative result for their side] AAMI hopes its support and delivery of the Clanger Buster Clinics will lead to continued growth in youth football – ensuring a solid base of future AFL and AFLW stars.  

Where: Gore Hill Oval, St Leonards
When: Tuesday 12 July 2022 from 10am to 1:30pm
Tickets here

Luna Park

Luna Park has reopened with brand new rides to entertain the entire family.

The old favourites have been spruced up and new rides are ready to go, there will be in place by the end of the year.

Family fun on the Tango Train

Pop into Wendy’s Secret Garden for a game of hide and seek before you head home. Or if the kids have any energy left, you could walk back to the city across the harbour bridge.

Where: Luna Park Milsons Point
When: Open daily during the school holiday Friday-Monday at other times of year
Cost: Day passes from $34 – $44, annual passes $199

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout

After being closed for the last year for renovation, the Pylon Museum will open for the school holidays. Climb 200 stairs (that should wear them out!) for amazing 360-degree views across the city. Along the way, learn more about the construction of the Harbour Bridge.

Bridgeclimbers from the Pylon lookout
Get a birds-eye view of the city

Where: Sydney Pylon Lookout
When: School holidays open daily
Cost: $19 adults

Archery at Olympic Park

Archery is perfect for improving hand-eye coordination and just a whole lot of fun too. The Young Shooters program at Olympic Park Archery Centre is a one-hour class suitable for kids over 7-9 years of age. For kids over 10 years, there is a Sharp Shooters program. Neither requires any experience.

Do you have a budding archer in your family?

They are also offering Laser Tag sessions and a combo pass for both activities will save you $$.

Where: Archery Centre, Bennelong Parkway Sydney Olympic Park
When:  Monday 3 – Sunday 16 July
Cost: $19.50 or $32 combo sessions*
More details here

Spotlight Prowl for Families

Ideal for families as you join and experience Rangers for a fascinating and surprising spotlight walk to see how the Park transforms when the sun goes down.

Where: Robertson Road Gates
When:  various dates from 5 MAY 2023 – 1 December 2023
Cost: $23 per ticket
More details here

For Foodie Kids

If your kids love to cook or enjoy eating out, these fun activities will be a hit.

Sydney Seafood School Kids Dumpling-Making Class

Dinner on the kids! (Photo Credit to Sydney Seafood School)

This class will teach little hands how to make Chicken and Chive Pot-sticker dumplings and Poached Prawn dumplings. After trying their creations, kids will take home their own recipe book and apron. Afterwards, consider a walk around Blackwattle Bay to the Tram Sheds for dessert.

Where: Sydney Seafood School, Pyrmont.
Cost: $75. Product code: KD21
More details here

Cake Decorating Classes

Enjoy family time at Novotel Sydney Central and indulge in sweet moments with a fully equipped cake decorating class conducted by the hotel’s Executive Chef. The kids can let their imagination run wild or explore their passion for cake decorating at this hands-on school holiday activity. 

kids school holiday cake making class
The kids can learn how to make you a birthday cake!

Where: Novotel Sydney Central
When: Friday, Saturday Sunday 1 pm to 2 pm during the school holidays.
Cost: $49 per child per session

It’s Par-Tea time – High Tea for kids

Treat your kids to a Par-Tea with the Novotel Sydney Central’s in-room kid’s high tea. Your kids will enjoy a range of sweet and savoury treats, plus a selection of hot or cold beverages including chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla milkshakes. The fun doesn’t stop there, the package also includes 2 activity packs and a Teepee Glamping pack.

Kids high tea
High tea in a teepee

Where: Novotel Sydney Central
Cost: Stay from $289 to book visit the Novotel website

Theatre in Sydney for kids

The Adventures of Cuddlepot and Snugglepie

See Cuddlepot and Snugglepie come to life! (Photo Credit Centennial Parklands Sydney)

This outdoor adaptation brings May Gibbs’ classic The Adventures of Cuddlepot and Snugglepie to life. Watch Cuddlepot and Snugglepie as they embark on an adventure to the big city to meet a human and see the friends and foes the meet on their way, including Mrs Kookaburra, Mrs Fantail, Mr Lizard, Mr Frog, Mrs Snake, Little Ragged Blossom and the Big Bad Banksia Man.

Presented by The Eaton Gorge Theatre Company and Centennial Parklands Sydney and adapted from the book Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs by arrangement with The Northcott Society and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Suitability – All ages, tickets required for all ages over 2.

Where: Centennial Park
When: 24th-27th, 29th-30th September at 10:30am and 2pm.
Cost: $22

The Gruffulo

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there?

Enjoy 55 minutes of songs, laughs and scary fun, perfect for kids 3+ and their adults.

Where: Seymour Centre
When: 30th Sept- 2nd October, times vary.
Cost: $41 (children under 12 months are free).

Free Things to Do during the School Holidays

Royal Botanic Gardens

Inside the Tide: Explore a marine dream of coral, kelp and coast with Inside the Tide! Step inside this spectacular world of aquatic delights in our new immersive exhibition.

While you’re visiting, let your kids explore the kid’s corner where they can discover life’s enchanting characteristics in the ocean. Activities include First Nations fishing, seagrass yoga and much more.

Where: The Calyx, Royal Botanic Gardens
When: Every day from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Darling Harbour Playground

Kids of all ages will enjoy a visit to Darling Harbour’s epic playground. With a massive climbing frame, a 21-metre flying fox and a bunch of swings suitable for all ages.

Kids Playground Darling Harbour
School holidays can see the playground get pretty crowded – arrive early if you can.

There are cafes and family-friendly food options surrounding the playground, making it easy to spend several hours here.

Where: 1-25 Harbour Street, Darling, Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour
When: Every day from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Camden Valley Inn

The Camden Valley Inn is hosting a series of free activities for kids this coming school holiday period.

Camden Valley School holidays
Credit: Hungerball 

From Monday 26th September, activities such as a magic show, lawn games, a Minions outdoor movie night, a reptile show and hungerball arena will be available for kids to enjoy for free. No bookings are required.

Where: 290 Remembrance Drive, Cawdor NSW 2570.

School Holiday Activities for Kids

The Monster Jump

Fun for all ages with over 30 exciting obstacles to keep any kid or kidult entertained! A monstrous inflatable obstacle course featuring 30+ exciting obstacles.

The Monster Jump

Where: Sydney – Entertainment Quarter (122 Lang Road, Moore Park)
When: 1st – 16th July 2023
More here

Park Science – Nature’s Superpowers

Did you know that airplanes are modelled after birds? Have you ever thought about how nature has inspired scientific innovation? Kids will enjoy the hands-on activities, and teamwork and use problem-solving skills to create their own nature-inspired inventions in this fun-filled, full-day program.

Where: The WILD PLAY Discovery Centre
When: Monday, 3 & 10 JULY 2023
Cost: $100
More here

School Holiday Activities for Teens

Alice in Wonderlands at the Grounds of Alexandria

Teens will find plenty of TikTok and Instagram fodder at the latest installation at the Grounds of Alexandria.

Join the Mad Hatter at the Grounds
Alice is in Wonderland

You will need to book a dine-in experience to guarantee access to the garden – it has been created for the restaurant and potting shed guests. There are two high tea options and the regular menus. See the link below for more.

Where: Grounds of Alexandria
When: 22-24 Apr
More details here

Day Trips for the School Holidays

Jump on the train or get in the car for a day trip. We have a bunch of fun day trips you can do on the train, but here are a couple of our favourite ideas.

Spring in the Blue Mountains

The mountains are a great day out for active kids. You can take the train or drive, either way, there is plenty to do when you get there from easy bushwalks to family friendly picnic spots

Blue Mountains family dining
Have dinner as the suns sets before your night walk.

The Blue Mountains Explorer Bus is free for kids and a great way to explore the mountains without worrying about parking! We have written a detailed guide to the bus here.

If you decide to spend the night, take the Katoomba Falls Night-Lit Walk 

Blue Mountains Katoomba Night Walk map
Paths and the falls are well lit on the Katoomba Night Walk

You can even see how many of these lookouts you can squeeze into one day.

School Holiday Dates in New South Wales

Below is a list of the vacation dates for this year and next so you can start planning. Please note many schools have school development days on the first day of each term. Private schools may have a week longer than these public school dates.

Autumn break:10 April – 21 AprilTBC
Winter break3 July – 14 July
Spring break:25 September – 6 October
Summer break:20 December – 5 Feubrary 2024

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