The Best FREE Things To Do With Kids In Sydney These Winter School Holidays

  • Kids
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By: Lisa Wolff & Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

Can you believe it’s school holidays time again! We love the winter break as Sydney comes alive with exciting festivals and snowy fun. It’s cold outside so it’s a good time to explore all the amazing indoor options for kids or wrap up warmly and visit a new playground. You don’t always have to spend money to keep your kids amused – here are the best FREE things to do these Winter Holidays.

1. Frozen Fun at the Winter Festivals

These school holidays, keep the kids entertained at little or no cost at the fabulous winter festivals across the city. Most of these events offer FREE entry but you do have to pay for activities, such as ice-skating, rides and food. Kids and families will adore the exciting atmosphere, and will be quite happy with a hot chocolate treat while enjoying the free entertainment. Check out our full list of Winter Festivals here.

2. Playground Pleasure

You may just not have the time to take the kids to the playground during the school term. So take advantage of the school break and explore a new playground. There are some amazing new adventure play zones that have recently opened that are perfect for older kids. Check out our reviews of Birriwa Reserve in Mount Annan, Wulaba Park in Waterloo and Fairfield Adventure Park. And once you’ve played here, visit our pick of some of the best playgrounds in Sydney, or the big and new Bungarribee park and playground. 

3. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Keep warm inside the fantastic MCA, where entry is free- the perfect place to introduce little ones to the arts! They have a huge range of exciting kid's and family programs too, which can be enjoyed for a mere $5 donation per family, so won't break the bank. At Contemporary Kids during NAIDOC week, kids can make art with a range of natural and found materials, as well as ARTplay where kids will play with fancy dress, singing and play exhibition-themed games. The rooftop cafe is well worth a visit, too. 

4. Australian Museum

We could return again and again to The Australian Museum. It’s packed with everything from sky-high T-Rexes for your dino-lovers, to life-sized prehistoric animals and weird specimens from the insect world. For the under 6’s, you can’t beat Kidspace, a mini zone with heaps of hands-on activities. The top-floor café is a great spot for lunch or why not take a picnic to nearby Hyde Park if your little ones still have the energy to run around! Easy to get to by bus or train and FREE for children under 16 years – this is a winning day out!

5. The Powerhouse Museum

It’s one of our all-time favourite things to do on a rainy day and best of all, The Powerhouse Museum is FREE for under 16 year olds! With over 250 exhibitions, plus loads of hands-on, interactive activities for toddlers through to teens, it’s easy to spend half a day here, especially with a stop at the playground and lunch in their kid-friendly café. The highlight? The FREE and newly refurbished Wiggles Exhibition featuring an interactive Big Red Car and memorabilia from the new cast including Lachie's teddy bear and Emma's ballet shoes.

6. Art Gallery of NSW

If you have a flowering artist or just a kid that loves to get their hands scribbling furiously, then they’ll love the Art Gallery! Admission is free, and so are the permanent galleries and most exhibitions and events. If you can stop them from touching the artworks, kids will be awed by the sheer size of some paintings. During the July 2017 holidays, they're offering FREE poetic blossom workshops for kids running during gallery hours, as well as many more arts and crafts opportunities. 

7. The Rocks Discovery Museum

At the Rocks Discovery Museum, explore Sydney from pre-European days to the present in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, which houses a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks – some of which you can even hold. History will leap out at you through interactive touch screens, audio and visual elements.

8. Australian National Maritime Museum

Pirate or sailor enthusiasts will love browsing through the Maritime Museum as it captures our ocean voyages with fascinating artefacts, lively exhibitions, fun activities for kids and even the chance to board ships! You can get the Free Galleries Ticket which covers the permanent galleries and the under 5s play zone Mini Mariners Play! Read our review of school holidays at the Maritime here.