We can pretty much all agree that January hasn’t kicked off quite the way we’d all hoped. The self-imposed lockdowns so many of us have been in are undeniably serving a serious case of deja vu. But not to worry, if you’re looking for some outdoor respite, we’ve got you covered with a tonne of events happening this week sure to lift your spirits.
Kick back with Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown, catch an outdoor film by the beach at Flickerfest, or fill up on bottomless wings. Here's what's happening this week in Sydney, as well as the rest of the month too. Get planning!
What's On In Sydney This Week
Bottomless Wings At Winghaus
Winghaus, Circular Quay | Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm - 4pm
From the same Sydney-based hospitality crew that gave us The Bavarian and El Camino Cantina, Winghaus is an ode to the American cult of all things wings, beer and big-screen TVs. Since opening back in 2019, Sydney has fallen head over heels for their hefty plates of sauce-heavy American-style wings—think classic buffalo wings, fried wings (dusted in either chipotle or habanero powder), and boneless chicken tenders.
Now, Winghaus has brought back its bottomless wings weekends—meaning you can go deep on as many buffalo wings as you can handle for two whole hours. Served with celery, carrot, and blue cheese dip, the deal includes all-you-can-eat crunchy fries and bottomless cold beers. Yep, bottomless beers too. It will set you back $69 per person and includes your choice of sauce and rubs, ranging from mild to ultra-hot. Bookings are available here.
Bondi Beach Park | Friday 21 January – Sunday 30 January
Celebrating its 31st anniversary, Australia’s biggest short film festival, Flickerfest is back in Bondi from this Friday. Qualified by the Academy Awards and recognised by BAFTA, it’s the perfect opportunity to show off your elite film taste while basking in the final months of warm weather. Situated at the northern end of Bondi Beach Park, the area has been transformed into a cinematic oasis—featuring both an outdoor garden cinema as well as the renowned circus-themed Spiegeltent indoor cinema.
Aside from catching one of 200 of the best new short films, patrons will be able to head over to the pop-up garden bar situated along the beach for some pre and post-movie snacks and drinks. This Friday, catch the opening night gala showcasing Flickerfest’s highlights screening, followed by an after-party in the Festival Garden. For more information on the festival’s schedule and to book your tickets, head over here.
Tim Minchin "BACK"
Enmore Theatre | Tuesday 18 January – Saturday 22 January
Award-winning comedian, actor, composer, songwriter and director Tim Minchin is finally bringing his show BACK this week. Having sold out his national tour in record time and receiving outstanding reviews, the Tony Award-winner is bringing the show to Sydney’s very own Enmore Theatre.
After spending nearly a decade overseas contributing to internationally acclaimed musicals and televised comedy series, the homegrown talent has hinted he will be showcasing some of his best eclectic, iconoclastic material. Billed as a show of "old songs, new songs, f*** you songs", his long-awaited Australian tour is bound to book out stat. Tickets start at $81, and for those wanting to splash out on premium tickets—you’ll be spending money well, with all profits going to a charity of Minchin’s choice. For dates and to book tickets, you can find them here.
Sweet Summer Sounds
The Rocks | Thursday 20 January – Sunday 30 January
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday break might be over, but the City of Sydney is continuing the summer action with a free outdoor concert series called "Sweet Summer Sounds". Starting this Thursday 20 January, the ten-day live music event in The Rocks will be showcasing some of Australia’s best newcomer and established musical talents. Grab some of your mates and head over to catch artists including CLEWS, Haiku Hands, Kwame, and Telenova. Keeping in line with a true festival experience, you’ll be able to feed on burgers from The Cookout BBQ, falafels from The Urban Gypsy, and loaded hot dogs from Hot Dog Bite. There’s even a pop-up prosecco bar, making it the perfect location to sit back, relax and bask in the fleeting summer weather. Entry to the festival is free, and you can head over here to check out the program schedule.
Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown
Triple J | Saturday 22 January from 12pm
Australia’s favourite radio station is back this week with its iconic Hottest 100 Countdown. It’s no secret the event is a source of friendly competition amongst both voters and listeners. In light of the current omicron outbreak, it’s also a great way of staying social safely at home, by the pool, or at the beach. For those looking to head out, it’s almost guaranteed that every bar and pub around will be honouring the countdown. Uni students and those living in the Inner West might want to check out Hermanns Bar at Sydney University for their $24 ticketed party (which you can buy here). Don’t want the music to stop? This Friday Triple J will also be playing the hottest 200-101 hits this year, followed up by the top 100 of 2021 this Sunday on Double J.
What's On In Sydney In January
The Garden Social
Royal Botanic Garden | Thursday 6 January - Sunday 13 February
There's no denying Sydney has one of the prettiest harbours in the world—and finding a spot to sit harbourside and soak up that spectacular view is one of our favourite past times, especially on balmy summer nights with a cocktail in hand. It seems the good people at the Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain feel the same way, as they've brought back their ultra-popular sunset garden party, The Garden Social, for the second year running.
Running across Thursday and Friday evenings, and Saturday, and Sunday all day until mid-February, The Garden Social is free to attend and makes the most of those breezy views across the garden's green lawns and over to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. This vibey outdoor event features a solid roster of live music acts covering everything from jazz, soul, electronic and more, and this year, there's an immersive custom floral installation to make your way through, a dome bar pouring G&Ts and yuzu and blood orange sodas, and alfresco themed snacks to tuck into too. More info is here.
Bottomless Mussels And Fries At Rocker
Rocker, Bondi Beach | Wednesdays from 4pm
A mid-week feast is never a bad idea—so we'd like to draw your attention to Rocker's bottomless mussels and fries night. Happening each Wednesday from as early as 4pm, you can tuck into Rocker's signature Marinière mussels (a classic white wine, butter and garlic sauce), their spicy chilli and tomato mussels, or a fresh yellow coconut curry for something a bit different. Each comes with a serve of fries and a baguette and endless refills for a very cool $39 per person. Book your spot here.
Jazz January At Restaurant Hubert
Restaurant Hubert, CBD | Nightly
Restaurant Hubert already does plenty to entice us down into its Parisian-inspired dining room. The moody subterranean restaurant's candlelit tables, extensive wine list and consistently outstanding menu of classic French delicacies are enough to woo you, but now there's something more. To start 2022 in style, Hubert is adding a rotation of accomplished local and international jazz musicians playing live every night in January. Picture your weekend date over a martini, a shared chicken fricassée, and a couple of jazzy tunes serenading the night. Book a table here.
Wonderdome 360 Immersive Cinema Experience
Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park | Until Sunday 30 January
There are a few things we really missed in lockdown—and the experience of going to the cinema was absolutely one of them, even in spite of the copious amounts of Netflix, Stan, and Binge we consumed while stuck at home. Here to take your love of cinema to the next level is Wonderdome—a pop-up 360 immersive cinema, the largest of its kind ever to be seen in Australia.
It's made appearances at Coachella and Burning Man, and now it's here in Sydney for summer, using cutting edge "full-dome" technology for what is being described as an "extra-sensory" experience, "the future of cinema", and like "virtual reality, without the goggles". Showing at Wonderdome is a heap of stunning films made for the 360 screen—like Coral Rekindling Venus, which is a stunning Australian production written and directed by Emmy Award winner Lynette Wallworth; a David Attenborough narrated National Geographic film about flying dinosaurs titled Flying Monsters; and a Liam Neeson-narrated film called Dynamic Earth which explores the inner workings of Earth’s great life support system: the global climate. More info and tickets for Wonderdome are here.
Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park | Until Sunday 6 February
The extra-cute Pixar Putt mini golf course is back! It opened on Friday, and is here to stay all summer long for fun activity-filled date nights and catch-ups with mates. During the day there will be kids screaming and throwing sticky things, but the guys are running special after-dark sessions for adults called "Pixar Putt After Dark". Just rock up from 7pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for kid-free putt-putt action.
The course itself can be played as either nine-holes or 18-holes. Each hole is themed around a particular Pixar movie or character. Expect the usual motley crew of Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Nemo, plus a few left-of-centre choices. There'll also be a brand new hole dedicated to Disney-Pixar’s latest movie release, Luca. More details are here.
Sydney Lyric Theatre | Until Sunday 27 February
If you're yet to catch the cultural phenomenon that is Hamilton, we're telling you, you're missing out. After a months-long hiatus, the most talked-about show in Sydney is back and tickets are selling fast. From the raps to the choreography and the symbolism, it's an epic new approach to musical storytelling that totally deserves the hype—the show even broke box office records, so you know it’s going to be epic. Be sure to secure your seat and soak it all in before it leaves Sydney. Click here for more ticket information.
Matisse: Life And Spirit, Masterpieces From The Centre Pompidou, Paris
Art Gallery of NSW | Daily, Until Sunday 13 March, 2022
One of the summer's biggest blockbuster exhibitions has officially opened: Matisse: Life and Spirit at the Art Gallery of NSW. It's the largest collection of the seminal French painter's work ever to be shown in Sydney, with over 100 works on display covering Matisse's earliest breakthroughs to his later experiments in colour and a life-size rendition of the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, in the South of France, which Matisse believed to be the culmination of his life's work.
"These masterworks from the Centre Pompidou will reveal Matisse’s profound lifelong search to convey the vitality, joy, and energy of the world as he saw it, which couldn’t be more relevant to our audiences today," Art Gallery of NSW director, Dr. Michael Brand said. A total must-see and a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon this summer too. More information is here.
Doug Aitken: New Era
Museum of Contemporary Art | Until February 2022
Appearing as part of the 2021-22 Sydney International Art Series and exclusive to Sydney, this jaw-dropping survey of American artist Doug Aitken's work is an absolute must-see. Designed specifically for the MCA, the show is filled with the artist's key sculpture and installation works from the 1990s to now and is the sort of kaleidoscopic, immersive exhibition we need after lockdown. Expect to encounter vast multi-screen video works and sound-based art like Sonic Fountain II, which involves drips and jets of water pouring from the ceiling to create rhythmic drumming.
Underwater Pavilions is a live video piece and a collaboration with Parley for the Oceans that captures submerged geometric sculptures somewhere off the Californian coastline. Viewers are instantly connected to the vast expanse of the ocean. Finally, pieces like END/RUN (timeline), a mirrored sculpture, show off Aitken's love of light, reflection, and multiplication. The exhibition is now open with tickets starting at $22. Head over here for more.
Need more ideas for your week? We got you:
- Check out Sydney's best pubs, according to you
- Make a booking at Sydney's ultra-charming new French bistro and boulangerie
- Plan your next getaway at the best hotels in NSW right now
- Go for an after-work swim at one of these secret beaches
- Catch up on all the Sydney food news you missed
Image credit: Winghaus, Winghaus, Flickerfest, Haiku Hands, The Royal Botanic Garden, Wonderdome, Pixar Putt, Hamilton, Art Gallery of NSW, Daniel Boud