Much like New Year’s Day, birthdays after twenty-one and the majority of Sundays, Boxing Day can have a weird anti-climatic vibe that is best not left to fester. Boxing Day is made more so confusing being a public holiday with voluntary retail trading—there is no way of knowing what will and will not be open. Luckily, The Urban List have sniffed out all the best Boxing Day spots and activities to help you beat those post-Christmas blues.
Sydney Hills Water Wonderland
What could better than a waterborne jumping castle? Sydney Hills Water Wonderland is ticking boxes, even as an adult. The world’s largest inflatable water theme park is coming to Bella Vista Farm Park for a month starting Boxing Day. Fork out a mere $25 per ticket for this thing, making Water Wonderland an affordable family option (unless you’ve reproduced excessively, that is). Be sure to book online to avoid a tantrum, with different session times available from 10am-7pm every day.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Boxing Day is host to two great Australian sporting events: the Boxing Day Test and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. For Sydneysiders, nabbing a spot on a boat to watch the maxi yachts and local sailors compete for the start line is the Boxing Day dream. For just $45 (early bird), secure yourself a spot on a ferry departing from either Circular Quay or Manly Wharf to watch the race. Get in the spirit with the live race commentary and pack yourself a picnic to eat onboard.
Doorly and Set Mo at Chinese Laundry Boxing Day Night
The party never stops at Chinese Laundry, with UK producer Doorly manning the decks this Boxing Day. His sound is predominantly old school block party, jamming nearly every electronic genre under the sun into a single seamless set. A rock solid crew of local talent will step up in support, including Sydney duo Set Mo. Finish off your Boxing Day effort with thrash in Chinese Laundry, with tickets just $17.50 at early bird prices.
The Yacht Club at Watsons Bay
Drinks in the sun is perhaps the best way to spend your Boxing Day, preferably overlooking the harbour from the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Maybe catch a glimpse of Wild Oats from your vantage point on the top balcony—which you cleverly secured by getting in super early. Live DJs will continue long into the night, including sets from MINX and Olympic Ayres. General admission tickets to The Yacht Club party are $30 per person. Get yours here.
The Oaks, Neutral Bay
The Oaks can always be counted on for a good time. Situated in the heart of Neutral Bay, work your way through the levels until you get to the Cue and Cushion bar for spot of pool. Not your jam? Set yourself up for a long session in the Garden Bar, pleasantly shaded by the enormous oak tree. Tackle a mammoth tomahawk steak, just cause you can, or go light with shared plates in the Garden Pavilion.
The Glenmore Hotel, CBD
Given its harbour views, getting a seat on the rooftop bar is likely to be competitive. The Glenmore is surprisingly unpretentious, serving cocktail jugs on the roof and most of the usual favourites on tap. The unassuming pub-fare is reasonably priced, considering the location. Try the epic twice-cooked Glenmore fries with horseradish mayonnaise.
The Sheaf, Double Bay
With its somewhat shady, open plan beer garden, our pick is The Sheaf in the event Boxing Day is a scorcher. There is plenty of space to eat, drink and revel—useful in the event your extended family are still lingering. The classic pub-fare is solid and Pimms is available by the jug.
The Henson, Marrickville
Give back to the community and enjoy the recently revived The Henson in Marrickville. This is now a truly family friendly joint, complete with a rumpus room, pinball machine and ball pit (!!!). With everything locally sourced and supplied, it comes as no surprise that you’ll be drinking Young Henrys and eating from a ‘paddock to plate’ inspired menu. The taco selection is hard to go past and vegetarians are exceptionally well catered for. Try the KFC haloumi burger with coleslaw, iceberg lettuce, tomato, smoky BBQ sauce and chips.
Public House Petersham, Petersham
Fingers crossed the sun is out so you can enjoy Petersham’s new Public House beer garden, open from 12-10pm on Boxing Day. Continue the spirit of giving knowing that a schooner of select beer goes directly to an Inner West non-profit. Sparrow and Vine wine is on tap and beers are on heavy rotation—expect to see only the best and craftiest beers on the market. Food is lovingly created according to the ‘from scratch’ philosophy: The Barnyard Command wood fired pizza with ham hock, pineapple and roasted garlic feels fittingly festive.
Where else will you be spending your summer? In Sydney's best beer gardens of course!
Image credit: Daryl Kong at The Henson