Best Places To Take Kids On Rainy Days These School Holidays

  • Family

By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

Aussies know only too well about muggy, rainy, thunder-storming days smack bang in the middle of Summer. Kids on school holiday break don’t want to slow down just because of a little rain- so that leaves parents in Sydney with the question: where can we take them and what can we do with them?! Lucky for you, ellaslist has some great ideas no matter what part of Sydney you’re from.

Travel The World

Wonders Of The World
Escape the rain with everybody’s favourite toy: LEGO! Check out Ryan “The Brickman” Mcnaught’s mesmerising new exhibition, ‘Wonders of the World’. Ryan is the only certified LEGO professional in the southern hemisphere, and he has built the likes of the Great Wall Of China, Empire State Building and Arc De Triomphe totally out of LEGO for your enjoyment. Escape from the rain by journeying to the world’s masterpieces….
Where: ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre, 14 Darling Dr, Sydney
When: 20 December 2016- 5 February 2017; viewing times are 90 minutes
Cost: Junior (4-16yrs) $25, Adult $35, Under 3 go FREE


No Umbrellas Needed At The Museum

Early Start Discovery Space
One of the most educational yet FUN places for Sydney kids to hang on a rainy day. This January, they are offering a HEAP of school holiday workshops for kids including story times and craft sessions (some of which are FREE). Highlights of the space include the 14 interactive zones like the Tummy Tour where children learn through play.
Where: University of Wollongong, Building 21, 101 Ring Rd, Keiraville
When: Holiday workshop timetable available here; from 3-29 January 2017
Cost: Check website for details

tummy tour

Powerhouse Museum
There are a range of free and paid activities for kids at the Powerhouse Museum in January 2017. Fill a rainy day with Exploring Ancient Lives and learn about Ancient Egypt’s mummies, or learn new skills with Animated Cartoon Creator, Masterclass In Game Design, 360 Video Movie Making, Stop Motion Extravaganza and Little Computer Scientist workshops.
Where: 500 Harris St, Ultimo
When: Times and dates available here
Cost: Check website for details


Museum Of Sydney
Sand + LEGO = a winning combination! Although a trip to the beach is out of the question in the rain, you can still get sandy at the Museum of Sydney’s Sand In The City exhibition! Roll up your sleeves, get digging and create something amazing with an extremely interactive exhibit celebrating our beautiful beaches. Kids eat free at their on-site restaurant The Governor’s Table whilst this exhibition is running, too!
Where: Phillip St & Bridge Street, Sydney
When: All Summer Long
Cost Exhibition is free with museum entry


Indoor Play Centres That Are A Cut Above The Rest

Ultimate Sydney
The huge 2500m2 site includes multiple play areas, trampolines, party rooms and a café. Highlights include the foam pit, rock climbing wall, slides, mazes & the soft play area. They cater to all ages and abilities, and has so much to do that children will burn off all that energy that can build up during rainy school holiday days. Read our review of Ultimate Sydney here.
Where: 5/1B Redbank Rd, Northmead, 2152
When: Monday – Friday- 10am to 9pm ( close at 6pm if no bookings ), Saturday- 9am to 9pm & Sunday- 10am to 6pm
Cost: Visit their website for more information


Uber bright colours, fried foods and utterly awful coffees are a thing of the past with this new play centre with a difference. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into heaven with Nubo’s soft wooden floors, white and blue colour scheme and tranquil nursery rhymes playing in the background. The highlight? Two metal super slides is the focal point of this ‘pure’ playtime. Read about our experience at Nubo.
Where: 2/160 Bourke Rd, Alexandria
When: Daily 9am-5pm
Cost: Kids under 2 (weekdays) $8.50/hour or $25.50 unlimited per child ; Kids under 2 (weekends) $12.50/hour or $37.50 unlimited per child. Kids over 2 (weekdays) $10/hour or $40 unlimited per child ; Kids over 2 (weekends)$15/hour or $50 unlimited per child


Wannabees Family Play Town
Some EPIC indoor fun. You’ll find new miniature worlds in here where kids can dress up in costumes, go shopping and fill their trolley at the grocery store, try their hand at being doctors and firefighters, check out the police station- at Wannabees, it’s all about children having fun in their very own adult world!
Where: C1/1-3 Rodborough Rd , Frenchs Forest
When: Mon – Tues: 9.30 – 2pm, Wed – Sun: 9.30am – 5pm
Cost: Check out their website for details


Tried And Trusted

Nothing keeps the kids entertained for a few hours in rainy weather like a movie. These summer holidays, there are some super exciting flicks for the whole family to enjoy. Find your happy place with Trolls, sing-along with Disney’s new princess Moana, or celebrate Australia at Red Dog: True Blue. We made a list of the top movies to take kids to see these summer holidays, with trailers included so you know what to get excited for.


Something You Might Not Have Considered

IKEA is a mesmerizing place for both kids and their parents- families can spend hours here getting lost in the exciting displays and labyrinth of a layout. Leaving kids in the ball room for some uninterrupted browsing time is an experience parents relish and children smile over.
Where: Rhodes, Marsden Park & Tempe
When/Cost: Visit their website

The Airport
Sydney Airport is a great place to spend a rainy day- little plane lovers can literally watch and be in awe of planes for hours! Grab lunch in the food court, have a shop around, and enjoy the view of falling rain from behind the big glass windows. Visit their website for more information.


Give Your Animal Loving Little One A Critter Fix

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Enjoy the best the water has to offer without getting a drop on you! Now is the best time to visit SEA LIFE- during school holidays, kids can follow a Pirate Treasure Hunt! Read clues and learn interesting facts, or get your hands wet in the interactive Discovery Rock Pool- this one is always a hit with the kiddies. The best part? If your child dresses as a pirate between 17 December and 29 January, they receive FREE entry with a full-paying adult!
Where: West Esplanade, Manly
When: Daily; 9:30am – 5.00pm (last entry 4.30pm)


WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Unlike most zoos, WILD LIFE has a mixture of outdoor AND indoor displays, making it another great rainy day venue! They offer a heap of great animal experiences including getting hands on with a python, koala breakfasts and gliding through the air above the critters with WILD FLIGHT.
Where: 1-5 Wheat Rd, Darling Harbour
When: Daily; 9.30am-6pm
Cost: Visit their website for details


A Little Rain Won’t Stop Us From Swimming

Despite the rain, your little ones will still be hot these summer school holidays and desperate to splash about in some water! We made a list of Sydney’s best indoor swimming pools so you can give kids the summertime fun they crave despite what the sky looks like. Our favourite? The Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre! Splasher’s Water Playground is the highlight, with indoor water fun that is truly on another level. Kids can play with water slides, tipping buckets, water cannons and play structures from 10am-7pm during the summer months.


For more wicked water parks, family festivals and thrilling playgrounds, get your FREE digital ellaslist Guide To Summer NOW!