Quiet Places To Take The Kids In Sydney
It may sound like an oxymoron to many parents but for some, finding a quiet place to take the kids can be a godsend. A calm corner in this busy, unpredictable city of ours can be a place for family mindfulness, reflection and inner-thought.
Whether your child has sensory issues or just likes to escape the overwhelming sounds of modern life, here are some special places to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
State Library of NSW
The library is an obvious choice for lovers of quiet time, where the only audible sounds are the turning of pages and the "shhh" from eager readers. The State Library of NSW is the most esteemed, leather-bound, first edition Pulitzer prize-winning library of the literary world with a history dating back to 1826. It’s unique because it is home to everything you could ever imagine, with more than six million items in its collection.
The library has been renovated with a host of inspiring new spaces, grand galleries and peaceful nooks, and everyone is welcome. Their beautiful Children’s Library is a space for families to explore and discover the best kids books from around the globe.
Check out our guide to Sydney's best libraries for more quiet time!
Chinese Garden of Friendship
Darling Harbour is anything but quiet, yet just a stone’s throw away you’ll find this serene, secluded garden where you’ll feel instantly at peace. The zen-inspired Chinese Garden of Friendship recreates the philosophy and harmony of a traditional Chinese garden with its waterfalls, lakes, exotic plants, pavilions and hidden pathways. Lucky koi carp swim in the lakes, willows sway in the breeze and a teahouse serves up soothing Chinese tea and dim sum.
Paddington Reservoir Gardens
Escape the bustle of Oxford Street and head below ground to Paddington Reservoir Gardens, a serene sunken garden with hidden walkways and history pouring out of every crevice. Talk to the kids about the hanging gardens of Babylon or the ancient bathhouses of Rome while quietly sitting amongst the original brick, timber and iron fixtures. Also, check out the super-secret Neild Avenue Maze nearby. This tiny hidden gem will have kids quietly plotting their own secret garden works of fiction.
Wendy Whiteley Secret Garden
It’s Sydney’s worst kept secret but we love it anyway! You will find the spectacular Wendy Whiteley Secret Garden surprisingly quiet most days. It’s rather unwieldy to enter, down a zigzag path with no steps, so it's not popular for families with young children. Nestle in with a book under a sprawling Port Jackson tree or have a nap under a shady Moreton Bay fig.
Sydney Jewish Museum
This important museum is dedicated to documenting and teaching the history and lessons of the Holocaust. Since 1992 the Sydney Jewish Museum has commemorated the lives of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, honouring the survivors and paying tribute to the "Righteous Among Nations". It is an understandably quiet place and one which will spark many significant conversations with your kids post-visit.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Whether you’re just enjoying the harbour views or wanting to learn more about science, gardens, plants and horticulture, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has got to be the most relaxing place in the CBD. Take a free guided walk, hop aboard the miniature train, purchase a plant from the native and exotic nursery or simply relax and enjoy the serenity.
McIver's Ladies Baths Coogee
The women-only McIver's Ladies Baths in Coogee also welcome young children with their mums. The quiet cliff-side ocean pools are a little oasis hidden amongst the hectic eastern suburbs beach set. It costs just $2 to enter, but make sure you bring coins to throw in the bucket.
These vast sprawling green spaces of iconic Centennial Parklands have plenty of quiet nooks to read a book under a tree and bask in the sunshine. The loudest noises come from the ducks as you feed them - or perhaps the squeals of delight from the fantastic Ian Potter Wild Play Garden. Take the kids on a mindfulness journey at the Labyrinth, a sandstone a pathway designed for quiet reflection and exploration.
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