10 Free Activities For Kids in the Autumn School Holidays 2021

  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs

The Autumn school holidays are here and you’ve got over two loooong weeks to keep the kids entertained. We all know how expensive it is to keep boredom at bay so we’re here to help you save oodles of money. 

Here are our top 10 free activities for kids in the autumn school holidays that cover indoor activities for wet days, outdoor activities to enjoy the sunshine and kids eat free deals.

1. The Powerhouse Museum

the powerhouse museum is one of the 8 free activities for kids in the autumn school holidays
The Wiggles Exhibition is back at the Powerhouse Museum

General admission to the Powerhouse Museum is absolutely FREE - just visit the museum between 10am – 4.30pm and scan the QR to register. You can also pre-book your visit.

The Powerhouse is a treasure trove of unique and diverse collections and exhibitions that explore history, science, technology and design, and offers a hands-on, interactive experience. The much-loved family-friendly Wiggles Exhibition has reopened and includes loads of fun memorabilia from the new cast (Emma’s ballet shoes and Lachy’s teddy bear) as well as Captain Feathersword’s telescope and a Big Red Car you can hop in!

Where: 500 Harris St, Ultimo

See more of the Best Kid-Friendly Museums In Sydney.

2. Cockatoo Island

Mort's Dock Steam Crane
See a free demonstration of the heritage Mort's Dock Steam Crane on Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the home of a former penal settlement in the middle of Sydney Harbour overflowing with stories of charlatans, rogues, thieves and cut-throats – and they’re just the guards!

General admission to Cockatoo Island is free and there is plenty to explore. During the autumn school holidays, kids can travel back in time and see a free vintage steam crane demonstration.

Where:  Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour, 

3. Night Owls Film Fest

Night Owls Film Fest - A decade of unfolding stories
Night Owls Film Festival is celebrating a decade of unfolding stories this April

A free annual kids event in the vibrant Darling Quarter hub, Night Owls Film Festival is back and celebrating its tenth year this April.

The Northern Village Green will be transformed into an outdoor cinema showcasing an exciting line-up of free family movies from 1st to 18th April. Night Owls begins with 30-minutes of kids’ entertainment every evening at 5:45pm that will bring the precinct to life with energetic, interactive performances for kids, curated by the much-loved Lah Lah - and Lah Lah’s Big Live Band will make an opening night appearance.

With 12 nights of big-screen films including Peter Rabbit, The Addams Family, SCOOB!, Little Women and Ride Like A Girl plus enduring favourites like Despicable Me, Kung Fu Panda and RIO.

Darling Quarter also has free Friday kids yoga and Pete the Sheep workshops throughout the school holidays, plus one of Australia’s best free kid water playgrounds!

Where: Northern Village Green, Darling Quarter, 1-25 Harbour St, Sydney

4. Art Gallery of NSW

The free AGNSW children’s trail booklets encourage children to interact with art

If you have a budding artist or just a kid that loves to get their hands scribbling furiously, then they’ll love the Art Gallery! General admission is free and so are the permanent galleries and most exhibitions and events. For paying exhibitions, children under five are free.

Kids will be awed by the eclectic range of artworks and the sheer size of some paintings, and the AGNSW has a range of fun ways for them to interact with the exhibitions. The information desk on the ground level has the latest free family-focused offerings including activity sheets and children’s trails.

Where: Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney

5. The Rocks Discovery Museum

The Rocks Discovery Museum
This fascinating  free, family-friendly museum also offers guided tours and kids workshops

A free, family-friendly museum, The Rocks Discovery Museum, explores Sydney from pre-European days to the present in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse. Packed with thousands of years of history, the museum houses a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks – some of which you can even hold. The exhibits will leap out at you through interactive touch screens, audio and visual elements. Four permanent exhibitions have been developed in close consultation with the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council which share the history and stories of the area and the impact of European settlement. 

During these school holidays, you can also honour the ANZACS by making your own commemorative poppy in a free workshop, and there are free guided museum tours twice daily.

Where: Kendall Lane, The Rocks, Sydney

6. Australian Museum

Australian Museum
See the amazing, new-look Australian Museum absolutely free these holidays

The Australian Museum is back, bigger and better than ever before following a whopping 15 month, $57.5m renovation. General admission is free and the museum is packed with everything from sky-high T-Rexes for your dino-lovers to life-sized prehistoric animals and weird specimens from the insect world. Current exhibitions include Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year and 200 Treasures.

Children will love the Prehistoric Playground -  a brand-new stomping ground with hands-on activities where they can engage in creative play and interactive games. Kids can explore real fossils in the Fossil Lab, design their own dinosaur in the Paperassic Park space and make a paper plane, pterodactyl or helicopter out of a paper cup.

Where: 1 William Street, Sydney. Enter from the corner of William and College Streets.

7. Sydney Olympic Park

Blaxland Riverside Park
Sydney Olympic Park is a hub of free entertainment with creative activities and outdoor play spaces

From BMX riding to birdwatching, Sydney Olympic Park has a host of free games and adventures for kids of all different ages. Kids in the Park offers a huge range of school holiday activities with heaps of free and affordable things to do.

Sydney Olympic Park also has some incredible parklands and playgrounds to explore for a fun, free family day out including the action-packed Blaxland Riverside Park.

Where: Jamieson St, Sydney Olympic Park

Find more of The Best Adventure Playgrounds In Sydney.

8. Royal Botanic Garden

inBLOOM Exhibit
The spectacular inBLOOM Exhibit is on at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

A day out at Sydney's glorious Royal Botanic Garden has a world of wonder to explore. It has all the excitement of being in the centre of the city while offering up a lush 30-hectare oasis of natural beauty and tranquillity, and sensational views of the surrounding harbour - and it's all free! 

Enter a vibrant wonderland of over 20,000 flowers and see one of the largest vertical gardens in the Southern Hemisphere at the In Bloom exhibit at The Calyx. There are also guided walks through the gardens on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Sunday with knowledgeable volunteer guides. Entry for both of these events is by donation.

Where: Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney

Find more of Sydney's Best Botanic Gardens for Kids.

9. Sydney Park Cycling Centre

Sydney Park Cycling Centre
Sydney Park Cycling Centre offers free Balance Bike Clinics every day of the school holidays

Designed for little learners, Sydney Park Cycling Centre runs free Balance Bike Clinics every day during school holidays from 9am to 11am - you can just turn up and register with the instructors! You don't even need to bring anything, as bikes and helmets are provided, though you can BYO.

In the interactive outdoor class, kids start on balance bikes and move onto pedal bikes once they develop confidence and skills. They will also learn basic traffic and pedestrian rules on two wheels that they can demonstrate on the award-winning Sydney Park bike track. There is also a fabulous kids adventure playground nearby all set amidst 40-hectares of lush green spaces.

Where: 410-416 Sydney Park Road, Alexandria

Find more of Sydney's Best Bike Parks and Trails For Kids.

10. Where Kids Eat Free

Kids Eat Free Sydney
The best things in life are free kids meals!

Whoever coined the phrase there ain't no such thing as a free lunch clearly didn't know their way around Sydney! A host of cafes and restaurants offer Kids Eat Free deals and plate up thrifty family meals so you can enjoy some fine dining without breaking the bank!

These school holidays take advantage of the awesome family-friendly venues shouting children lunches and dinners and save yourself a pretty penny.

Find More Autumn Fun

Best School Holiday Programs
Best Easter Activities For Kids
Where To Go Fruit Picking In Autumn
Where To See Autumn Colours

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Mar 21 2017