Okay, so winter can spell hours and hours indoors, translation—destruction of the furniture, tormenting of pets and unwanted parental harassment! Are your kids climbing the walls? Are you climbing the walls?
Relax parents, we have you covered for the winter months with some brilliant things to do in Sydney with the kids. Both indoors and out here are some of the best winter ideas for the little angels (devils)—have some fun and drink your morning coffee in peace!
Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS)
This prestigious film school is the only Australian institution to make The Hollywood Reporter's list of the top 20 film schools in the world. Over the winter school holiday periods it runs workshops for kids aged five to 17 in filmmaking, digital animation, claymation, movie make-up, game design, TV and radio presenting, and much more. As far as kid-friendly activities in Sydney go, AFTRS will keep young minds firing and imaginations sparking. Budding Hitchcocks line up here!
Powerhouse Discovery Centre
We all know that the Powehouse Museum is, well, awesome. For kids it's a must among things to do in Sydney. But, like most museums, only a small part of its collection is exhibited at any one time. At the museum's state-of-the-art Castle Hill storage and preservation facility there are a whopping 50,000 more objects to discover. Go behind the scenes of Australia's largest and most diverse museum to see some of the objects rarely on display. Play like Indiana Jones—awesome.
This beautifully restored historic structure sits at Sydney's northernmost point at Palm Beach and is well worth the scenic trip and relatively easy, kid-friendly ascent to get there. You'll be greeted at the top of Barrenjoey headland by one of the most breathtaking views of Sydney; it's perfect for whale-watching or to capture panoramic views of Broken Bay, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the Central Coast. So enjoy the great outdoors and one of the best child-friendly activities in Sydney. Call (02) 9472 9300 to check the availability of lighthouse tours on the day.
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
This isn't just another aquarium, Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is conservation in action and will have the kids enthralled, fascinated and awestruck. Aside from the awesome undersea animals to view—a multitude of elegant grey nurse sharks, giant stingray and turtles in 'Shark Harbour'—the aquarium is also home to 'Penguin Cove', a little penguin breeding habitat and one of the last remaining in mainland Australia. From June is the best time to view these little cuties out and about, Happy Feet here we come.
Flip Out Australia
Okay, so who doesn't like letting loose on a trampoline every now and then? Flip Out Australia offers one of the most fun things to do in Sydney with indoor trampolining for adults as well as kids in state-of-the-art centres all over Sydney from Brookvale to Penrith. They offer Ninja classes for kids, which teach them the flips, tricks and agility of a Ninja without the fighting or you can just opt for a casual visit to jump, bounce and somersault a winter's day (or two) away.
Sydney Cooking School
With chefs crossing the line into celebrity stardom, aspiring kids can get in on the action. Sydney Cooking School offers kids' cooking classes over school holiday periods, pizza and pasta classes and Mini MasterChef classes. In a highly kid-friendly activity in Sydney for children aged from six up to 18, they learn to prepare and cook dishes for each meal of the day, do some baking (eg. banana and coconut bread), learn how to poach eggs, make pizza pasta and so much more. The teen classes extend to even more complex dishes such as paella, dumplings and ice-cream. Yum.
Wannabees Family Play Town
Role-playing is an important and fun part of being a kid and Wannabees Family Play Town recognises this. It's the only play centre of its kind in the country featuring not only a giant soft climbing structure, six-metre rock-climbing wall and café, it also houses a mini-town of 15 attractions where kids can be whatever they want. There are fire and police stations, a supermarket complete with trolleys and groceries, a hospital, gym and even a TV studio. It is many hours of guaranteed, child-friendly fun in Sydney, that's great for kids' fertile, wild and vivid imaginations.
Sydney Ice Arena
Right, so winter in Sydney isn't exactly a snow-covered wonderland where you can rug up and take to a frozen lake in a muffler and skates. Far from it, yes, but ice-skating is a fun and kid-friendly activity that will never die. Billed as "Australia's premier ice-skating facility", Sydney Ice Arena in Baulkham Hills features an Olympic-sized ice arena, café overlooking the ice rink and lake, and major ice shows, public skating sessions, lessons and figure-skating. There's something enduringly romantic and old-school about ice-skating—and it's fun the whole family can enjoy together. The perfect way to round out our things to do in Sydney with the kids winter hit list!
Image credit: Averie Cooks