Best Summer Events and Festivals for Kids and Families 2019-2020
Summer is when Sydney truly comes alive with three months of action-packed activities, festivals, events and water parks that the whole family can enjoy! We've handpicked some of the best things to do with kids during Sydney’s favourite season, and some of them won't cost you a cent.
Top 10 Summer Must-Do's
1. Sydney Zoo - This world-class zoo is going to be one of the hottest openings of 2019 and one of the best attractions in Western Sydney. You’ll be able to experience a unique, safari-like adventure, getting up close and personal with the animals in a whole new way. Opening on December 7, 2019. BUNGARRIBEE
2. Australian National Maritime Museum - This Summer, explore a prehistoric underwater world in The Sea Monsters exhibition. See real fossils from millions of years ago, gigantic replicas of ancient sea creatures and a 180-degree immersive video that puts you right inside the action. Plus, you can make your own monster with hands-on interactives and much more! DARLING HARBOUR
3. Skyzone Trampoline Park - Jumpy jump-jump-jump and fly! It’s not just the kids who get to jump their heart out. Also, check out the Endura obstacle course for your little warriors and the awesome Sky Climb arena. ALEXANDRIA
4. SEA LIFE Sydney - This Summer, kids can learn all about the Great Barrier Reef at the aquarium's newest exhibition. Explore life on the reef as an entire day is recreated. Plus, you’ll follow a colony of penguins on an immersive boat expedition. DARLING HARBOUR
5. iFLY Down Under - Keep cool and add indoor skydiving to your summer hit list. Get airborne and fly for the most exhilarating and rewarding experience imaginable this summer! PENRITH
6. Trees Adventure - Get your Tarzan on and swing from the treetops above the Sydney Blue Gums. It's a fun experience for the whole family! GROSE PARK
7. Calmsley Hill City Farm – You don’t have to drive for miles to escape the urban jungle for a taste of farm life. Calmsley Hill has a full-day program that invites the whole family into a real farmyard experience. ABBOTSBURY
8. Row A Boat - Get your weekend family adventure sorted and take to the water with a paddleboat, rowboat, stand up paddleboard, canoe, kayak or pedal boat! LAKE PARRAMATTA
9. Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney - Encourage the kids to get outdoors and into nature this Summer with a heap of awesome activities. There’s Lunar New Year at the Garden, Plants with Bite at the Calyx, a Teddy Bear's Picnic and loads more! SYDNEY CBD
10. Powerhouse Museum Space Exhibition - Discover life in a space shuttle, a Zero Gravity Space Lab and a unique Space gallery full of satellites, spacecrafts and images from outer space! While you’re there, visit the iconic Wiggles Exhibition before it disappears. PYRMONT
A BONUS ONE FOR ADVENTUROUS FAMILIES
Have you ever thought about taking the family to the Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth? It's incredibly family-friendly and makes for a road trip your family will never forget. Running from 17th – 26th January 2020, the event is jammed packed with concerts, activities, rides and more for kids of all ages. The 2020 Family Zone looks epic with a 26m high Ferris Wheel, boot camp obstacle course, a giant slide and more! Tamworth is a great town to explore with unique nature experiences, adventure playgrounds and of course the Big Golden Guitar.
A BONUS FESTIVE ONE JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
The Lights of Christmas: A magical event in the heart of Sydney at St Mary's Cathedral Square, the whole family will love this spectacular free sound and light show which encompasses the true spirit of Christmas. The show is on every night from Thursday 5th December until Wednesday 25th December, starting with a choir at 7.30pm and lights from 8.30pm until midnight.
Sydney Festival 2020
The city has magic in the air when Sydney Festival comes to town! From Wednesday 8th January to Sunday 26th January 2020, there is a jam-packed schedule of the most unique, creative and fun summer events, including theatre, music, cabaret, dance, art and more. This year's line up looks more spectacular than ever!
Top 5 Free Events For Summer
1. Little Darlings Night Owls Kid’s Film Festival at Village Green Darling Quarter. Enjoy a free film under the stars with a bumper program of family features from the classics to blockbusters, after-hours features and the Little Big Shots short films! Plus, there’s live entertainment each night. DARLING HARBOUR
2. The 2020 Australia Day Children's Festival will be jam-packed with Aussie-inspired activities like the True Blue Bush Games where you can throw a thong or chomp a watermelon! Run away to the Circus Playground and test your skills. or jump around with the giant bouncing kangaroos. Whatever you do, it will be a full day of family fun. DARLING HARBOUR
3. See the most beautiful and most deadly plant in the world in Plants with Bite, from the Venus Fly Trap (watch it snap!) to the Drosera just waiting to grab a bite with its sticky fingers. Look out for the Pitcher Plants, waiting to drown their prey, little bugs with honey in their pitfall trap. ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, SYDNEY
4. Treat the kids to dinner for free at one of these Sydney restaurants/cafes/bars. Yes, really, for free! VARIOUS
5. Begin Australia Day right by celebrating the world’s oldest surviving culture at the WugulOra Morning Ceremony in Barangaroo. Watch a special performance by Indigenous dancers and singers, sing along with the choral performance of the Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya-la (‘Let’s Sing Good Dreaming’). BARANGAROO
Best Outdoor Cinemas For Families
American Express Openair Cinemas is a celebration of summer, bringing the latest and greatest films to spectacular locations across Australia and New Zealand. This Summer head down to Bondi Beach, Pyrmont or Camperdown for a sensational night out with the kids (and even your dog)! Little and big kids alike will rejoice at screenings of family films Jumanji: The Next Level, My Spy, Dolittle, Spies In Disguise and homegrown gem GO!. Check out the full program here.
Pack a picnic and enjoy some cinema under the stars (with the bats above your head) at the Moonlight Cinema, it's a great choice for families with a program packed with family friendly choices, and some classic date night options too. But there are plenty more to choose from! Check out our guide to the best outdoor cinemas for families this summer.
TOP 10 Spots to Cool Down & Splash About
We all love a fantastic spot to cool off in summer. Here’s our top 10 that both the littlies and school kids will enjoy!
1. Darling Harbour Water Park, DARLING HARBOUR
2. Splasher’s Water Playground, SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK
3. Nurragingy Reserve Water Park, DOONSIDE
4. Parsley Bay Reserve, VAUCLUSE
5. Bundeena Beach, BUNDEENA
6. Little Manly Cove Beach, MANLY
7. Blaxland Riverside Park, SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK
8. Granville Water Park, MERRYLANDS
9. Greenwich Baths, GREENWICH
10. Bronte Beach, BRONTE
And here’s some BONUS Summer fun! Check out this list of the best kid-friendly beaches on the Northern Beaches, in South Sydney, around the Harbour, and we spilled the beans on Sydney’s secret beaches after-hours!
Check Out Our Free Summer Guide
If you're itching for more, you simply MUST check out our Digital Guide To Summer In Sydney With Kids. It's jam-packed with ideas to keep you going all summer long.
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