There comes a time in every parent or caregiver's life when they are pushed to their limit trying to lock in an activity that will keep the little ones occupied (and won't drive them insane with a Cocomelon-style soundtrack).
We've got your heart-racing, mind-boggling and eye-opening adventures for kids of all ages covered; here are the best things to do with kids in Sydney.
Best Zoos To Visit With Kids In Sydney
Taronga Zoo Sydney
Catch a ferry from Circular Quay across the sparkling harbour to one of Sydney’s biggest attractions that's open every single day of the year. Award-winning Taronga Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, and the whole family will have fun exploring the grounds, catching daily shows and riding on Sydney’s only cable car, the Sky Safari.
Sydney Sea Life Aquarium
Take a dive under the sea at the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium in Darling Harbour, where both kids and adults will become immersed in the journey across nine breathtaking aquatic zones. As one of the world’s largest aquariums, there are over 13,000 animals to discover—the new Great Barrier Reef experience is also unmissable.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
A smaller but equally as exciting enclosure is WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo located in Darling Harbour, where you’ll be able to spot and learn about some of Australia's iconic native and endangered species. Cue Tasmanian Devils, numbats and adorable koalas all in one convenient location.
Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park
Those wanting to get out of Sydney and visit a zoo with fewer glass barriers should head to Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park in Doonside. The zoo is smaller and far more interactive, giving kids the opportunity to get up close with some of Australia’s cutest native wildlife.
Best Outdoor Activities To Do With Kids In Sydney
Archery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park
Kids can tickle that Robin Hood fancy at the Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre. There are some awesome weekend and school holiday programs that kids and adults alike can get in on the action.
Biking In Western Sydney Parklands
Between Blacktown And Leppington
There’s plenty of room for everyone to play at the Western Sydney Parklands, which expand across 27 kilometres. It’s also perfect for bike riding, making it the ideal spot for the kids to have a crack sans training wheels (or not). For the little adventurers, Cecil Park also offers mountain biking and BMX racing grounds.
Centennial Parklands Horse Riding
Beginners and pros are all welcome to join in on the many riding trails Centennial Parklands has to offer. From riding lessons to show-jumping and leisurely meanders across the leafy park, there’s something for everyone.
Best Indoor Play Centres To Take Kids In Sydney
Planet Mino Kids Club
Perfect for littlies needing to burn some energy or host a party, Planet Mino Kids Club is the ultimate indoor playground (and they're about to launch a second location in Warringah Mall). Three internal levels, ball pits and an indoor volcano slide are all bound to produce some excited screams while parents can sit back with a cuppa at the cafe.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Good news for parents of kids who won't stop climbing the furniture—there is a tonne of indoor rock climbing centres in Sydney that are kid-friendly. Honourable mentions include Climb Fit Sydney, Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym and Northern Beaches Rockhouse.
Open 10am till 10pm daily, Entertainment Park Bankstown is guaranteed fun for everyone. 3,500 square metre indoor go-karting tracks, bowling lanes, virtual reality arenas and racing car simulators are just some of many fun activities up for offer.
Best Hands-On Workshops For Kids In Sydney
Children’s Workshops At The MCA
The Museum of Contemporary Art isn’t just for high-profile art buffs and kid-free adults—there’s actually an array of children’s workshops and school holiday programs that are basically always on.
Class Bento Kid-Friendly Workshops
Workshop and class guru Class Bento offers a whole section on its website of activities that are specifically designed for kids. From art workshops to guided meditations, you’ll be amazed by the range on offer.
Best Adventure Activities With Kids In Sydney
Kids over the age of eight and in need of something a little more exciting than Lego can join the adults on the famous BridgeClimb Sydney. Ascend as a family up the Harbour Bridge (aka the world’s largest steel arch) and take in 360-degree views of the spectacular harbour.
Raging Waters Sydney
With over 30 rides, slides and attractions, Raging Waters Sydney is the ultimate outdoor theme park destination to cool off during warmer weekends. A tonne of the slides also have relatively low height requirements, meaning everyone can take part in the action.
TreeTops Adventure Western Sydney
Provided the kids (or the adults) don’t have a fear of heights, a day at the TreeTops Adventure Western Sydney should definitely be on the family bucket list. Sessions run for just over two hours, and Junior Courses are even available for those aged between three and seven.
Sydney Tower Eye Skywalk
Taking you to the highest point in Sydney where you can catch 360-degree views of the entire city, the Sydney Tower Eye Skywalk is a 60-minute guided tour not for the faint-hearted of families. Kids won’t feel so small anymore, as they’ll be able to spot landmarks from as far away as the Blue Mountains.
Luna Park Sydney
Tick off an adrenaline rush as well as visiting one of Sydney’s most iconic attractions with a visit to Luna Park Sydney. In operation since the 1930s, the nostalgic theme park to this day is still beloved by both kids and adults. It’s also perched right on top of Sydney Harbour, so you can lap up the cracking views.
Best Museums And Galleries To Visit With Kids In Sydney
Australian National Maritime Museum
Located on the waterfront of Darling Harbour, the Australian National Maritime Museum hosts a range of Australia's largest and most diverse naval fleets—including a replica of Captain Cook’s ship the HMB Endeavour. Six permanent galleries, ongoing exhibitions and the kid-friendly Ripples Cafe makes it the perfect Sunday Funday activity.
Children’s Workshops At The Art Gallery Of NSW
Not only are children under five years admitted free into the Art Gallery of NSW, but the gallery offers activity sheets, specialised children’s trails and art labels—making the experience accessible for the whole family.
The Australian Museum
Showcasing the most fascinating parts of both science and nature, the Australian Museum regularly hosts new exhibitions that are almost always kid-friendly. Kids can get hands-on in exploring and learning about the world around them, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the adults learned a thing or two as well.
Best Gardens To Visit With Kids In Sydney
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Situated right next to the Sydney Opera House are the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, AKA the ultimate family picnic spot come a sunny day. Roam through the grounds and you might even learn a thing or two about some of Australia’s native flora. The gardens also regularly host a range of kids workshops and events.
Aside from the horse riding, the leafy grounds of Centennial Parklands make it a perfect inner-city location for family picnics and strolls. The park is also bike-friendly and offers an array of school holiday programs and workshops.
Best Historic Sites To Visit With Kids In Sydney
Just a short boat ride from Circular Quay, Cockatoo Island is renowned for its rich history of housing convicts—making it a perfect day trip to learn of Sydney’s settlement history. Kids maps and treasure hunt activities are also bound to make it feel less like a history lesson and more like an adventure.
Hyde Park Barracks
If you’re wanting to stay on shore, Hyde Park Barracks is a great option for families looking to brush up on their knowledge of Aussie convicts and penal settlement. Kids can plug in to a tailored audio guide and activity trail, and see how life was lived back then, trying out old hammocks and all.
For the little ones into all things tech and science, the Powerhouse Museum is a great place to immerse themselves in the workshops and exhibitions packed with loads to explore. There are also family-friendly workshops on offer regularly.
Sydney Opera House
The iconic Sydney Opera House is not only an attraction worth visiting in itself, but the institution also hosts an array of kid-friendly performances and productions throughout the year. Stay up to date with what’s on to see what works for the whole family.
Need ideas for keeping the kids occupied on a rainy day? Check out our wet-weather guide to exploring Sydney with kids here.
Image credit: Taronga Zoo, Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre, Planet Mino, Museum of Contemporary Art, TreeTops Adventure, Australian Museum, Hyde Park Barracks