The Best of Spring For Kids & Families 2016

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By: Serina Hajje, ellaslist

Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and Sydney is glowing with family activities. We’ve wrapped up the best of Spring this year, from festive fun to interactive shows, to plenty of free events and activities for the whole family.


Spring Festivals
Spring is also the season of many festivals and fetes happening across Sydney which make a perfect day out for the whole family. Gather the kids and enjoy the best Spring Festivals across Sydney.

FREE Shows by Polyglot Theatre – Seymour Centre
The Seymour Centre will keep your little creatures entertained this September school holidays with wildly fun productions and a program of roar-inspiring free activities. Enjoy a meal like no other, as your invited to make culinary delights from the forest ingredients around them at Forest Feast. Face hundreds of giant bread crumbs and three big insects, and figure out what the Ants want! The Owl’s Apprentice is an interactive solo show created by Jenny Ellis using a combination of shadow puppetry, hand puppetry and storytelling.

Festival Of The Winds 2016: 11 September
Australia’s largest kite flying festival is back at the iconic Bondi Beach for the 2016 Festival Of The Winds! Aussie and international flyers will showcase their wonderful handmade creations and the entire family will be invited to make their own at the kite-making workshops. There will also be plenty of kids activities and family entertainment with face painting, jumping castles, roaming performers, dance workshops, puppet shows, stage performances and a petting zoo!best spring festivals in sydney 7

The Smooth Festival Of Chocolate 2016: 10 & 11 September
Sink your teeth and satisfy your taste buds at the Smooth Festival of Chocolate. Entry is free with plenty of family activities like the interactive Just Desserts stand and live cooking demos at the Callebaut test kitchen.

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show: 23 – 25 September
Look forward to 150 local & international brands for you to shop from including, Chicco, Joie, iCandy, Baby Zen, Aden & Anais, Gro and many more at the Essential Baby & Toddler Show at the Entertainment Quarter.
There will also be advice from experts including Pinky McKay, live shows by Hi-5 (AND meet & greet), life-size Thomas & Friends and so much more.
Register NOW for your FREE ticket and save $20!

Sydney Rides Festival: 4 – 23 October
Enjoy the beautiful spring weather by hopping on your bike and exploring the festivities at Sydney Rides Festival. Throughout October families and bicycle enthusiasts are invited out to enjoy a range of exciting activities. From unicycle ballet, live music to dancing and free food this is a festival that has its own unique spin.

Sydney’s Best Bike Parks and Trails For Kids
Kids love to ride. It’s fun and super exciting for them. It’s give them freedom and builds their confidence. What’s more it gets them outdoors into the fresh air, gets them active and, once you’ve invested in the bikes or scooters and helmets, it’s totally free. But knowing where to go with your little learners or bigger riders looking to explore further afield is key. We’ve put together some of Sydney’s best bike parks and bike trails for kids according to their ability.

Ladybug Music Demo Class
Start tapping to wonderful tunes at Ladybug Music! The world of Ladybug Music offers fun and interactive experiences where kids (infant – 4yrs) and adults enjoy the funky, soulful and eclectic sounds of original Ladybug beats. Take home some free songs afterwards too – your kids will love them and so will you!

Speaking of warm weather, we’ve also found the most awesome FREE waterparks in Sydney. The kids can splash around in a safe, cool environment and you can watch from the shade.

Explore the Outdoors
Sydney is full of gorgeous walks that take you to mesmerising sights. With the weather nice and toasty, the kids will love getting out to appreciate the beauty of Sydney. And it’s FREE! Check out the Best Bushwalking Trails with Kids and our favourite pram-friendly walks in Sydney (perfect for families with kids of various ages).

best of spring_smooth fm festival of chocolate


SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium the world’s largest collection of all-Aussie aquatic animals that teaches interesting information in a kid-friendly way! Take a Behind the Scenes Tours and see the inner workings of aquarium, or hop onto the Glass Bottom Boat Tour and explore the salty waters in a whole new way. Shark Reef Snorkel takes place in a safe, see-through enclosure, giving kids and parents the chance to come nice and close to the beautiful inhabitants of the water. The new and interactive Do Like A Dugong experience allows you to walk amongst an underwater shipwreck while admiring the only pair of dugongs on display in the world!

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Right next door is WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and it’s bursting with fun experiences! Did you know you can explore the zoo from the air? WILD Flight lets you zoom past kangaroos, glide past princess parrots and the rest of the zoo inhabitants. Koala Encounters invites you to meet and even get up close to a cuddly koala and snap a few photos while you’re there!

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The Royal Botanic Garden is filled with kids activities and plenty of nice picnic spots! The brand new Calyx is a must-see for anyone who hasn’t visited yet and a perfect chance to see the Sweet Addiction exhibit.

Centennial Parklands
You can never get tired of going to Centennial Park, especially when they always have something new happening for families! Join the Swamp Monsters for Halloween and trick-or-treat their way through the five spooky activity stations. Or join Spotlight Prowls for a fascinating and surprising spotlight walk to see how the Park transforms when the sun goes down.

Spooooooooooky Seas at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Enter Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary’s Spooky Seas… if you dare! Under the deep dark spooky sea, boys and ghouls will explore the creepy side of the underwater kingdom and learn scary conservation facts just in time for Halloween.

best of spring_swamp monsters


Creative Activities

Darling Quarter – Project Five
Get your paints and brushes because Project Five is starting a series of kids’ urban art workshops. It’s perfect for kids aged 5-16 years, offering hands-on experience in urban art disciplines, including stencilling, wheat pastes, aerosol painting and more.

Chinese Gardens – Springtime Flower Pots
Set amongst the lush and serene Chinese Gardens, kids can make paper flowers and explore the significance of colour in Chinese culture. Best of all it’s FREE with entry ($12), and goes from Monday to Friday (excluding October 3) 11am-1pm.

best of spring school holidays_creative activities

Kids Shows

The Peasant Prince – Monkey Baa, Lend Lease Theatre
Our ellaslist explorer, Helena, took her two kids to The Peasant Prince and loved it! With a sold out season last April, the peasant prince is back on stage and dancing a beautiful tale of perseverance. Watch the children’s version of the iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, on Saturday 10 September for $29. The recommended age is 6 years and over. Get tickets HERE.

Jay Laga’aia – Monkey Baa, Lend Lease Theatre
One of Australia’s most renowned performers for children and the star of Play School, Jay Laga’aia ignites imaginations, both young and old, in this musical celebration of the power of play.

Spot – Seymour Centre
Our favourite cartoon dog is on stage for the first time in Sydney! Spot and his friends are off on an adventure to visit Spot’s dad Sam on the farm and meet the farm animals. But when they arrive all the animals are missing, presumed lost! Spot will need your help to solve this puzzle.

The Gruffalo – Seymour Centre
Join the clever little mouse on this delectable tale through the deep dark woods full of predators. The Gruffalo will delight kids 3yrs+ with this memorable and classic story.

Seymour Centre Presents Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo
Meet awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinos to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet! Erth’s dinosaurs are unmistakably ‘alive’ and mostly friendly in this fun, educational and unique performance that will delight all audiences from ages 5 years and up.

best of spring school holidays_kids shows_erth's dinosaurs

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo in Randwick
If you’re in the eastern suburbs, Randwick Town Hall’s Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo might be easier to see! Learn all about Aussie dinosaurs in this interactive and one-day show!

Ruby’s Wish at the Belvoir
Ruby’s Wish – an enchanting show overflowing with puppets, magic, beatboxing and exquisite performances. Ruby may not believe in fairytales but she certainly believes in wishes. Confined to a hospital bed, little Ruby has had to grow up far too fast. But when she is visited by Dot, a tongue-tied clown doctor, she finds a way to use her greatest asset: her imagination.

Celebrating its 50th birthday as a professional puppet company, The JERAL PUPPETS will be presenting three exciting programs at Puppeteria. See the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs, have a whale of a time under the sea with The Octopus’ Garden Party and be mesmerised by the retelling of Sleeping Beauty and The King’s New Clothes.

Kidtopia Festival: 7 – 9 October
Kidtopia – Sydney’s newest and coolest Festival for Kids (and their grownups) – brings the carnival to Parramatta for the October school holidays! Over three days, Parramatta Park will come alive with a smorgasbord of awesome family-friendly activities in a high energy artistic playground.

best of spring school holidays_shows_kiszlounge

Educational Activities

Sydney Living Museums
Explore the past at Sydney Living Museums. Earn Your Tucker by feeding the chickens, collecting eggs, sorting the grain and more! Or search for bush tucker plants with Aboriginal guides from Muru Mittigar at Bush Tucker Family Workshop. Take a guided tour where you pump the water, wind the gramophone and then create your very own hand-painted ceramic plate at Kids Creative Ceramics. For the full program go HERE.

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
The MAAS contains more than 250 extraordinary permanent exhibits that gives kids a brilliant hands on, interactive experience, and it’s FREE for kids under 16 years. From touching skeletons and large scale train models to watching beautiful clockwork performances, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy here.

best of spring school holidays_sydney living museums

Kids in the Park

Kids in the Park deserves its own category because it’s program and range of activities is amazing! Overflowing with over 60 creative, sporty and outdoor activities, you can visit everyday and do something different! With special activities running through the school holidays and many exciting yearly activities the kids will have a ton of fun.


Sydney’s Best Botanic Gardens

We just LOVE exploring Sydney’s many beautiful gardens with our little ones. There is something so very magical about our lush landscapes that makes them the perfect setting for imaginative play and a bit of nature loving! Whether the drawcard is a fabulous onsite cafe, playground, bird watching, bike trails or a scenic view, these are Sydney’s Best Botanic Gardens.

The Best New Playgrounds in Sydney

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to awesome kiddies playgrounds in Sydney. But there are some impressive new slides, swings and monkey bars in Sydney that will make even parents envious! Here are some of the best and brand spanking new playgrounds in Sydney!

Fruit Picking

There’s nothing quite like grabbing a bucket and walking along rows of trees or bushes to pick fruit! We’ve listed some wonderful places to fruit pick near Sydney!

Train Rides & Activities

Have a little train conductor in the family or just a simple Thomas the Tank Engine fan? Then choo-choose any of these train activities in our Top Train Rides & Activities for Kids In & Around Sydney.