School Holidays in Sydney: Winter 2024

If you are wondering how to spend the upcoming winter 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.

This page contains affiliate links. You can find our full disclosure policy here.

School Holiday Ideas

The Autumn School Holidays run from Monday 8 July to Friday 19 July 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+ 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.

Consider a combo pass – great value in the holidays

Powered by GetYourGuide

Half Price Entry To Sydney’s Most Popular Family Attractions

Four of Sydney’s most popular attractions are offering 50% off kids’ entry during the July 2024 school holidays. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney and the Sydney Tower Eye are all included in the special. The offer is available for tickets purchased online only so be sure to book online before you go.

When: 24 June – 21st July 2024
Tickets: Discounted tickets can be purchased online here: for SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium; WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo; Madame Tussauds; and Sydney Tower Eye.

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.

Buy you pass now and skip the queue

Powered by GetYourGuide

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
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.

Lunaverse, which includes, Dream Circus & Sonic Neon 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 12, July from 4:30pm- 6pm
Where: Robertson Road Gates, Centennial Park
Cost: $24.50 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

GURUWIN: Sharks of Sydney Harbour by ERTH Theatre

GURUWIN captures the mysterious underwater world of the Sharks Harbour. ERTH Visual & Physical Inc. visual theatre makers & puppeteers present a live poetic documentary with puppets that brings to land the sea life that has called Sydney Harbour home from the prehistoric past to those that still do today.

When: 22-23 June, 29-30 June, 17 – 21 July 10:30am-3:30pm (40-minute sessions)
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum.
Who: Recommended ages 4+
Cost: $20 general admission OR $12 add-on with See It All Ticket. Bookings essential.

Kids on Deck: Wild Wonders

Adults can join in on this activity, which includes making art, playing dress up or undertaking experiments. Art activities include: create your own critter pom-poms, decorate a whale mobile, weave a ghost net jellyfish sculpture, or create something new from recycled bottle caps, e.g. bubble wands and carabiners. 

When: Daily during school holidays from 10:30am – 4pm (drop-in sessions)
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum.
Who: Suitable for ages 4 – 14 yrs. + accompanying adults/ parents/carers
Cost: No booking required. Entry included with paid admission.

Sneaky Sharks Activity Trail

Follow the trail and try to spot the elusive elasmobranchs (sharks, rays and sawfish) hidden in the museum galleries. Learn ‘fin-tastic fun facts and uncover splendid shark-related objects’ while learning about everyone’s favourite big fish. If you complete the trail, you’ll also receive a prize. 

When: Daily during school holidays, 10am-4pm
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Who: Suitable for all ages
Cost: Free. No booking required.

School Holiday Workshops and Classes

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

CREATIVE WORKSHOP: Reporting Live in the Wild  

This workshop is inspired by the Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, giving kids the opportunity to create and star in their own imaginative TV segments. They’ll also get the chance to learn how to drive an underwater drone and capture unique underwater footage as well as techniques in green-screen, scripting, directing, acting and filmmaking.

When: 17-18 July 10am – 4pm (2-day course)
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Who: Suitable for ages 8 – 14   
Cost: $165pp. Bookings essential.

CREATIVE WORKSHOPS: Cockatoo Island Photography Adventure

This photography workshop takes participants to Cockatoo Island for the day, where they’ll learn skills in using Digital SLR cameras and photo editing techniques. Afterwards, photos will be printed & exhibited in a special exhibition in the museum. 

When: 9 + 11 July from 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Who: Suitable for ages 8 – 14
Cost: $100pp. Bookings essential.

Underwater Drones: Open Age Workshop

Explore below the surface of the harbour like an ocean superhero with our newest underwater drones. Have fun testing your gaming skills by challenging family and friends to see who’s the best U-Drone Pilot. Underwater drone sessions include a private workshop with our ocean-science educators and access to amazing underwater footage highlights to keep and share.

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays during school holidays; 12pm, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 3pm.
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Who: Suitable for ages 8+
Cost: $30 general admission. No booking required.

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

Performance & Theatre for kids

Mada’s Magic Marvels

Children aged five and up, along with their adult friends, are invited to step into the magnificent realm of illusions at Mada’s Magic Marvels, a live and interactive magic show.

The Sydney Spiegeltent transforms into a playground of trick and wonder, offering a show that will leave you mesmerised! Everyday objects will materialise, vanish, and transfigure in mind-boggling ways, creating a truly immersive experience the entire family will treasure.

Mada’s Magic Marvels

Mada is searching for a young apprentice from the audience to assist him with a jaw-dropping illusion on stage. Bring your magic-loving tribe for the chance to be part of this unmissable moment!

Dates: 17 – 21 July 2024, 3-4pm
Where: Sydney Spiegeltent, The Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Rd, Moore Park
Tickets: $23 – $35

ERTH’S Dinosaur Zoo

Step into a thrilling adventure where bugs and ancient giants come to life! Meet the mighty Australovenator, a fierce predator from QLD, Australia, and other fascinating creatures from Earth’s past. 

This interactive show blends Aussie humour with scientific wonders, captivating families with the magic of palaeontology. Whether watching from afar or daring to get close, children and the young-at-heart are sure to be amazed. Join us for a journey through time and discovery, where learning meets excitement!

When: 16-20 July 2024
Where: Carriageworks
Tickets: Kids $20 Adults $30 Conc $25

The Gagliardies – Our Family is a Circus!

An all-new family circus show brimming with cheeky antics fit for the whole family. Expect high-flying aerial acts, spinning plates, throwing knives, and a mix of comedy juggling, magical illusions, and delightful clowning.

The show also serves as a passing of the torch from mum and dad, Lil Tulloch and George Le Couteur, to their young clown in training who is eager to run away with the family circus!

When: 11- 21 July
Where: Sydney Spiegeltent, The Entertainment Quarter
Cost: Tickets from $29

High Teas and Foodie Fun

Disney On Ice High Tea

Disney On Ice are presents Road Trip Adventures at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park this school holidays. To coincide with this Novotel Sydney Olympic Park will be offering a very special high tea experience.

Indulge in a delectable assortment of themed treats and delicacies inspired by your favorite Disney characters. Enjoy ‘Dory’ white chocolate mousse tart, ‘Frozen’ mini cupcakes, ‘Mickey Mouse’ sandwiches, and ‘Goofy’ chocolate scones with Chantilly cream and jam.

Mickey Mouse sandwiches

Choose from a variety of freshly brewed teas and beverages, accompanied by mouthwatering desserts, a decadent chocolate fountain with fruits and marshmallows, and complimentary face painting amidst a charming Disney-themed setting.

When: 17 – 21 July, 1pm – 3pm
Where: Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Disney Themed High Tea – $55 per adult*, $45* Accor Plus adult, and $20* per child (aged 6 to 16 years old). Booking Link.

Free Things to do during the School Holidays

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.

Winter 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 bushwalk, check out our guide to the walks in the Royal National Park

Snow Time in The Gardens

Hunter Valley Gardens brings Snow Time back in 2024. A trip to the snow without leaving the state and at a fraction of the cost, activities include Ice Skating, Giant Ice Toboggan, Superslide, Swing Chair, carnival rides and of course, the ability to play around in the Mega Snow Play Zone.

Where: Hunter Valley Gardens, Broke Road, Pokolbin, NSW, 2320.
When: 29 June – 28 July, Snow time activities hours from 9:30am-4pm (last entry at 3pm); Amusement rides from 10am-4:30pm (last ticket sale at 4pm).
Entry: $40 Adults, $30 Children (4-15; 3yrs and under enter free); family pricing available. Find more information, here.

School Holiday Dates in New South Wales

Below is a list of the holiday 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

Have questions about things to see and do in Sydney?
Head over and join our Facebook Group and we will be happy to help

Leave a comment