School Holidays in Sydney: Autumn 2024

If you are wondering how to spend the upcoming Autumn school holidays in Sydney, l am here to help guide you through the myriad of options. As a Sydney local with years of experience exploring the city with my own kids, and now my young grandkids, I I have curated a list of family-friendly activities that are not only enjoyable but also enriching. We have included everything from kid focused live theatre to outdoor fun to wear them out.

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School Holiday Ideas

The Autumn (Term 1) School Holidays run from Monday 15 April to Friday 26 April 2024

From mornings at the park or playground to picnics and perhaps some national park walks, it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors but remember to slip, slop, slap especially in the middle of the day when it can still be warm.

When the weather gets too cool or wet plan a visit one of Sydney’s 20 plus museums and galleries with many offering special school holiday activities, some for little or no cost. It’s worth remembering that these usually require booking so get in quick.

Talk to the animals

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!

This school holidays why not learn more about the penguins on Sea Life’s, Journey to the Antarctic! You can board the penguin boat ride, which is included with your admission or book one of the special penguin experiences.

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.

When: Open 7 days a week 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (last entry 4:00 pm) during school holidays.
Where: Lime Street Darling Harbour
Cost: Single entry or multi passes available. Check for offers.

Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo at Bungarribee has some great stuff planned for this school holidays.

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.

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

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

When: Open every day from 9am – 5pm
Cost: $40 adults, $19.99 kids 3-15 years – These are online prices – it’s at least $5 a ticket more expensive at the gate.

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.

Australian Reptile Group Central Coast
Aerial view overlooking the koala enclosures at Australian Reptile Park on the state’s Central Coast.

Where: Somersby, Central Coast (30 minutes drive from Wahroonga)
Cost: $48 adults, $30 kids, $135 families (2 adults, 2 kids)

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 clues to solve problems.

AmazingCo. offer family mystery picnics and family date nights.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout

Step back in time to relive the magic of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Discover authentic artifacts and immerse yourself in a fresh virtual reality tour at the museum, with a special emphasis on the rich history of one of Australia’s most renowned symbols. Ascend the 200 steps to reach the pinnacle and indulge in breathtaking panoramic vistas of Sydney and its surroundings, offered by the city’s original observation point situated 87 meters above the sea.

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

When: School holidays open daily from 10am to 4pm
Cost: Adults $24.95, Kids (4-13 years) $12, Students $16

Luna Park

Luna Park has rides to entertain the entire family. Hit up one of the old favourites or try out some of the nine newer rides.

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.

Dream Circus is also on throughout the holidays

When: Open daily during the school holidays, Friday-Monday at other times of year
Cost: Day passes from $34 – $75 annual passes $199. Tickets here


Experience the magic of twilight wildlife at Centennial Parklands. As evening falls, the park becomes a haven for nocturnal animals, including a large population of grey-headed flying-foxes, along with brushtail possums, microbats, and tawny frogmouths.

Embark on an enlightening spotlight walk guided by expert Rangers. This adventure gives you a rare glimpse into the nighttime world of these fascinating creatures, showing a different, more mysterious side of the park as darkness descends.

When: Friday 5, 12, 19 April from 6.15pm- 7.15pm
Where: Robertson Road Gates
Cost: $23 per ticket

Catch and Release Fishing

Get ready for a fun day out at the Sydney International Regatta Centre! Every Tuesday, families and friends can enjoy ‘Catch and Release’ fishing with barbless hooks. Join other fishing enthusiasts from 9 am to 3 pm. First-timers will get a quick guide and paperwork done.

Volunteers are there to help find the best fishing spots and share stories. Learn about responsible fishing and the nine fish species in the scenic Penrith Lakes. Don’t forget your fishing license, rod, reel, barbless hooks, and bait like corn, bread, or worms (no live bait).

When: Every Tuesday, 9am – 3pm
Where: Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith Lakes
Cost: Free, but a fishing license is required (get yours here)

Museums and Exhibitions


Step into the world of Ramses the Great at the Ramses & Gold of the Pharaohs multisensory museum experience, exclusive to Sydney. This exhibition showcases 182 priceless artefacts, including the stunning sarcophagus of Ramses II, one of the most remarkable royal coffins from ancient Egypt.

Ramses Australian Museum

The exhibition even offers a virtual reality experience where kids can virtually tour Ramses’ incredible monuments, like the Abu Simbel temples and Queen Nefertari’s Tomb.

This is a great introduction to ancient history for kids with so many incredible artefacts, from sarcophagi to animal mummies, exquisite jewellery to royal masks, and ornate golden treasures from the tomb.

When: 18 November – 19 May 2024
Where: Australian Museum
Cost: Adults $43-52, kids $29-34 Family tickets available.


The Ocean Photographer of the Year exhibition is a stunning collection of over 100 photographs that offer both beauty and contemplation.

Ocean photography 2023 winner
The winning entry by Jiaing Cai

This exhibition gives a comprehensive view of ocean life, with drone, land, and underwater photography. It includes remarkable wildlife encounters, breathtaking seascapes, and artistic interpretations of the connection between humans and the ocean.

When: until May 2024
Where: 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Cost: Adults $25 Children 4-15 years $15 under 4 years free


Got a budding artist in the family. Inspire them with the work of this year’s ArtExpress exhibit. Showcasing the work of the best of last year’s HSC students it’s always interesting. 

When: till April 21
Where: Art Gallery of NSW l Entry: Free 

School Holiday Workshops and classes

From the local library to the city’s museums and galleries the school holidays is a great time to explore or develop a new passion. Here are just some of them.

Ocean Superheroes – Australian National Maritime Museum

Join “Ocean Superheroes,” for a fun and educational event on every day during the school holidays

You can get creative by making cool octopus hats, puppets, soft sculptures, and awesome badges. There’s also a chance to see recycling in action with our plastic recycling machine, turning marine debris into new, useful items. Plus, have a blast with water play and boat racing in our outdoor area. You can even dress up as your favorite sea creature or relax in our coral reef reading zone.

Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
When: from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. No need to book, just drop in!
Cost: free

Australian Museum – Egyptian treasures

To coincide with the fabulous Ramses II exhibition, the museum will offer a number of supporting programs this school holidays.

There is plenty that kids will love about the Ramses II Exhibition

Delve into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian wealth as you embark on a journey to uncover its secrets. Join artist and scientific illustrator Celia Curtis, in a fun workshop where you’ll not only learn about Egyptian riches but also craft your own treasure box to take home.

Where: LG, Patricia McDonald Education Rooms
When: Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April, 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm
Cost: $56 Members, $65 non-Members

Scientist for a Day: Archaeologist

Get ready for an exciting hands-on experience where you’ll discover the secrets of ancient artifacts! Dr Field will take you on an amazing journey into First Nations archaeology. You’ll get a glimpse into her daily life as an archaeologist and learn about her fascinating work.

During this experience, you’ll do activities just like a real archaeologist. You’ll piece together broken objects, look at old toys and tools, and understand the careful work that goes into finding out about the past. Plus, you’ll get a special behind-the-scenes look at our collections lab. Suitable for kids 9-12 years.

Where: Education Rooms 1 and 2 (Level UG)
When: Tuesday 16 and 17 April, 9.30am
Cost: $120 Members / $150 non-Members

Convict Kids at Elizabeth Farm

Come along to our hands-on workshop where kids can learn about the life of a convict servant in colonial times.

Kids, get ready to roll up your sleeves and put your muscle power to use. There’s plenty to do – making beds, setting tables, crushing herbs, and more. Work hard, and you might just earn a special ticket of leave, just like the convicts did!

At the end of the workshop, everyone can enjoy a tasty treat of historic barley water and a biscuit. Please remember, adults need to stay and supervise the kids participating in the workshop. Tickets are required for both children and adults.

When: TBC
Where: Elizabeth Farm
Cost: $15 or $12 for members

Kids gardening classes at Chiswick

As part of the class, children will learn about our “insect hotel”, butterfly drones, worm farm and so much more. Following the class, families are invited to head into the restaurant for lunch with a kids eat free offer. 

Kids can join a free kitchen garden class at Chiswick.

No bookings are required. See the menu here

When: Monday 22 & Wednesday 24 April, 11am – 12pm
Where: Chiswick, 65 Ocean Street, Woollahra

Performance & Theatre for kids

A Midsummer Night’s Dream 

Prepare for laughter and enchantment as feuding fairies, eloping lovers, and a madcap troupe of actors bring Shakespeare’s beloved comedy to life under the stars in a magical woodland setting.

When: 9-28 April
Where: Belvedere Amphitheatre, Centennial Park
Tickets: $35-$100 available here 


Exploring every aspect of rotation, 360 AllStars bridges the street and elite in an electrifying urban circus. Featuring World Champion and World Record-holding athletes and artists, it’s a stunning fusion of street culture sure to leave audiences exhilarated.

360 AllStars Credit: supplied

Backed by award-winning musicians and captivating video projections, 360 AllStars promises an auditory and visual feast.

When: 19th April – 22nd April 2024, Friday 7pm, Sat. 11am & 2pm, Mon.11am & 1:30pm
Where: Riverside Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta
Tickets: Members $29-39 | Non-Members $38-$44.50 | Vacation Care $22 each


Meet mad scientist Magnus Danger Magnus in KABOOM! As part of this year’s Comedy Festival this scientist’s antics entertain way more than any science class could! 

Experience an extraordinary fusion of explosions, experiments, laughter, and audience engagement in a 60-minute science extravaganza!

When: 17-28 April
Where: Sydney Spiegeltent l Tickets $23 – $99


The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australia’s National Youth Circus, proudly presents their latest national tour, “Tempo.”

The Flying Fruit Circus

When a renowned conductor arrives to lead their latest symphony, only to find the orchestra missing, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus kids step up to save the day! With stunning aerial acts and meticulously choreographed acrobatics, “Tempo” seamlessly blends traditional knockabout humour with awe-inspiring feats.

Suitable for families of all ages, this production promises magic, slapstick, juggling, balancing, acrobatics, and breathtaking aerial displays intertwining with the melodies of a concert grand piano.

When: Friday 19 April – Monday 22nd April 2024
Where: Riverside Theatres Parramatta
Cost: Members tickets $29-$39 | Non-Members Tickets $38-$44.50 (suitable 5 years and over)

Polar Bear &  Penguin 

An unlikely duo: a Polar Bear and a Penguin, meet and embark on a journey of friendship, discovering how to adapt and thrive in a world undergoing rapid change.

Meet Polar Bear and Penguin Credit: Ste Murray

Written for children aged 5 years and over, this Irish play stars John Currivan & Paul Curley.

When 20-24 April
Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House l Tickets from $35

I Wish… 

Gravity defying acrobats, plenty of laughs and a celebration of what makes us different. Performers embody various identities – from astronauts to unicorns, and beyond. Through their exploration of emotions and uniqueness on stage, they highlight the beauty of individuality.

I Wish credit Andrew Beveridge
I Wish… credit Andrew Beveridge

Designed by Patch Theatre in collaboration with Gravity & Other Myths for primary aged students 4-8 years old I Wish…  is the perfect short theatre performance for youngsters.

When: 12-21 April
Where: Playhouse, Sydney Opera House l Tickets $25-39

Potted Potter

Potted Potter returns to Australia by popular demand for its fifth national tour, after enchanting over a million fans worldwide. This global hit Harry Potter parody has delighted audiences everywhere, including a Las Vegas residency.

Nominated for the Best Entertainment and Family Show Olivier Award, it ambitiously compresses all seven Harry Potter books into seventy uproarious minutes and introduces a real-life Quidditch game, a fresh addition for Australian fans.

Regardless of your familiarity with horcruxes and Hufflepuffs, this comedy by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner promises laughter for all, from six-year-olds to Dumbledore’s age.

When: 9 – 21 April 2024
Where: Seymour Centre 

Free Things to do during the School Holidays

Youth Week (Sydney City COuncil)

Sydney City Council have put together a great program for young people 12 to 24 years that includes gaming, basketball, 3D printing, skateboarding, cooking and more.

Check out the full range of offerings here

When: 11-21 April 2024
Where: Customs House, Darling Square, Paddington, Redfern and more.

Kung Fu Panda at Darling Harbour

Darling Square hosts Kung Fu Panda 4 celebrations every weekend across the School Holidays. Enjoy a scavenger hunt, kids kung fu classes, meet Po, fire dancing, and live DJ sets. Jack Black returns as Po in the hilarious new film, adding excitement to the event.

Kung Fu Panda at Darling Square

Join the hunt for the dragon warrior, participate in free kung fu classes, and take selfies with Po. Live DJs play on Friday and Saturday evenings, with mesmerising fire dancers every Saturday. Free admission to all activities.

When: Weekends between April 13 and 28 2024
Where: Darling Square
Cost: Free admission to all activities.

Movement Festival at Darling Harbour

Get the kids out of the house and burning some energy with a great range of free events. These events don’t need registration, just turn up ready to have fun.

  • Awesome Aerobics: a 45-minute high-energy dance party that transports kids back to the 80s with the hottest hits and authentic aerobics moves. Kids can don their fluro sweatbands and legwarmers, while parents can join in for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. When: 13, 15, 17 Apr, 11.15am – 12pm.
  • Kids Yoga & Drumming Workshop: This 45-minute session combines yoga poses with rhythmic drumming, inviting children to explore accessible rhythms and traditional dance while learning yoga postures. This workshop celebrates individuality, encouraging kids to unleash their inner drummer and yoga master. When: 14 – 17 Apr, 10-10.45am.
  • Body Beats and Percussion: this session, suited to primary aged kids, will have them tapping this toes, and swaying their hips to the sounds of a live saxophone. Renowned tap dancer Hilton Denis will lead a rhythmic journey, demonstrating how every step and clap creates a fun and exciting musical beat, teaching all about the power of body percussion! When: Mon 15 Apr, 12.30-1.30pm.
  • School Holiday Disco: Prepare to groove to live performances by the incredible Zindzi and the Zillionaires, along with DJ Kid Kenobi spinning a killer mix of 80s classics, 90s hits, and a sprinkle of early 00s favourites. Feeling competitive? Enter the epic Parents Dance Competition and show your kids how it’s done on the dance floor.
    When: Sat 13 Apr, 5-8.30pm

Parliament House Tours

During the school holidays, engaging tours of NSW Parliament House will be held every weekday at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Highlights of the one-hour tour include the chance to sit in the Speaker and President’s chair and hear directly from staff who work in the chambers when parliament sits.

parliament house Sydney school holidays tour
Parliament House tours for kids

If you would like to spend more time at the Parliament of NSW and are looking for a bite to eat, visit the Public Café or Strangers’ Restaurant, which overlooks The Domain, a lush green space in the Sydney CBD

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.

Convict Trail at Hyde Park Barracks

If you have not visited Hyde Parks Barracks since it reopened a few years ago, 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, 10 am – 5 pm, closed Christmas Day and Australia Day
Entry: Free

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 

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

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.

Autumn 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 sun 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 and this year unique experience is on offer at Scenic World when they will open the doors at night for the first time ever.

Paths are well lit on the Katoomba Night Walk

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


A train ride to Cronulla, a quick jaunt across Port Hacking on the little green and yellow ferry and a short stroll from the wharf and you will arrive at the Jibbon Aboriginal Carvings at Bundeena.

Rock carvings at Bundeena
The Rock carvings at Bundeena are well signposted

This is a fun day out for school age kids with some easy bushwalking and the possibility of whale spotting off the sandstone cliffs nearby. If you fancy a longer bush walk check out our guide to the walks in the Royal National Park

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:15 – 26 April 14 April – 24 April
Winter break8 – 19 July7 – 18 July
Spring break:30 Sept – 11 October29 Sept – 10 October
Summer break:23 Dec – 30 Jan 202522 Dec – 26 January 2026
Source: NSW Department of Education

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