Things To Do With Kids During The Summer School Holidays

  • Preschoolers
    Kids
    Teens
    Family
ellaslist COVID-19 update: Please note that all the information on the website is correct at the time of publication. Please check the relevant website before visiting a venue or destination for the latest COVID-19 information. ellaslist is not responsible for any cancellations or closures.

Bursting with Christmas cheer, hot weather and a tonne of options for things to do, it’s no wonder that the summer school holidays are many families' favourite time of the year. Here’s our round-up of some of the best things to do during the upcoming break.

Amusement Parks and Attractions

1. Jamberoo Action Park

Jamberoo Action Park
Treat the whole family to a day of splashtastic fun at Jamberoo Action Park!

 

A summertime trip to South Coast gem, Jamberoo Action Park includes giant water slides, giant funnels, mini-golf, race in go-karts, a lagoon to float about in and a gondola that will take you sky-high. For the younger members of the family, you can spend some time at Billabong Beach—a special, heated themed area just for young children.

Jamberoo's DIVE-IN Movies will return to Saturday nights throughout the 2020/21 Summer School Holidays. The movies commence at 6:00 pm and are free on the day with any entry admission paid. The summer's line-up includes Back To The Future, Secret Life Of Pets 2, Paddington, E.T and more.

Where:    1215 Jamberoo Rd, Jamberoo 2533
When:     14 December 2020–24 January 2021
Cost:       $65 per adult at the gate, $55 online, kids $55 at the gate, $45 online

2. Luna Park

Luna Park Countdown Carnivale
Don't miss out on all the fun at Luna Park's Countdown Carnivale, your last chance to ride before the revamp begins!

 

Luna Park Sydney’s Countdown Carnivale is on in the lead up to January 26th! The Carnivale signifies your last chance to ride, bump, swing and slide until July, while the epic renovations take place. Join in the Carnivale spirit with park entry, unlimited rides and the Luna Park funtastic parade for just $50 per person! 

Where:    1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point
When:     26 December 2020 - 26 January 2021 
Cost:       $50 per person plus credit card fees. Kids under 2 years of age and 85 centimetres are free.

3. Merlin - visit SEA LIFE, WILD LIFE, Madame Tussauds or Sydney Tower

Sydney Merlin attractions
Whether they're into animals, sea animals, waxworks or epic city views—Merlin's range of city attractions has you covered for the summer school holidays. 


Go Beneath the tides and explore the rocky world below at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, meet the adorable Aussie 6 pack and explore Kangaroo Walkabout in the heart of the city at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, experience Sydney’s ultimate viewpoint at Sydney Tower Eye or take the TikTok challenge at Madame Tussauds Sydney. Whatever you and your family are into, Merlin's attractions are a surefire hit with kids!

Where:    Various locations
When:     Throughout the summer school holidays
Cost:       Check each attraction website for specific costs.

4. Lands Edge Foundation—New Adventures For Locals

Lands Edge Foundation
The Lands Edge Foundation's new adventure programme provides the perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful NSW coastline.

 

This summer, not-for-profit outdoor experience provider Lands Edge Foundation is launching a new adventure programme in three beautiful locations along NSW’s coastline: Chowder Bay in Sydney, Black Beach Reserve in Kiama, and Seven-Mile Beach in Gerroa.

Land’s Edge will be offering a variety of outdoor experiences, from guided kayaking, snorkel and SUP trips that explore Chowder Bay – natural bushland just 5kms from Sydney’s CBD – to a variety of expeditions in the Illawarra region. Lands Edge offers the perfect opportunity for families to get out in nature this summer—and if you don't see an activity you want to do on the list? Simply get in touch with Lands Edge and they'll be happy to organise private activity sessions for you. 
 

Where:    Chowder Bay, Kiama and Gerroa
When:     28 December 2020 - 31 January 2021
Cost:       Check the website for specific costs.

5. The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

Entertainment Quarter Sydney
Sydney's Entertainment Quarter is entertainment central these school holidays.


If you're looking for a venue that has all of your school holiday entertainment needs in one spot, you can't go past the Entertainment Quarter (EQ). Moore Park's ultimate entertainment venue is bursting at the seams with school holidays activities and entertainment for all interests. From water fun to movies, kids' bungee jumping, indoor play centres, family restaurants, and even a film school, the Entertainment Quarter really is the destination for fun these school holidays. 

Check out their full schedule of school holidays activities here.  

Where:    Entertainment Quarter (EQ) 220/122 Lang Rd, Moore Park 
When:     Until 26 January 2021
Cost:       Various

6. Parramatta CBD: Summer Nights

Parramatta CBD Summer Nights
There is so much fun waiting to be had in Parramatta's CBD during the summer school holidays!

 

Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 situation across Greater Sydney, City of Parramatta’s upcoming Summer Nights event program has been postponed. Please stay tuned for announcement of new dates.

This summer, Parramatta's CBD will come alive with activity, entertainment and a whole lotta fun for their Summer Nights sessions. Over the space of 20 summer nights during the school holidays,  4 destinations in the Parramatta CBD will be offering the rhythmic sounds of live jazz at Parramatta Square, an open-air cinema and all the trimmings at Prince Alfred Square, rooftop roller skating plus arcade games and more at Eat Street Car Park Rooftop, plus back-to-back Australia Day concerts at the World Heritage-Listed Parramatta Park. Basically, there's something for everyone!

Where:    Various locations across Parramatta CBD
When:      Various from 7th - 26th January 2021
Cost:        Various, from FREE to $30.

Museum Fun

1. Sydney Living Museums

Sydney Living Museums
Offering the perfect chance for families to live history as opposed to just learn about it, Sydney Living Museums are a must-visit during the summer school holidays 

 

Sydney Living Museums cares for a group of 12 historic houses, gardens and museums in NSW. These museums are brought to life through a dynamic and diverse program of exhibitions, research and events such as walks, talks and tours so that your family can experience Sydney’s past as if they had lived it themselves. The summer school holidays are the perfect chance to visit one of SLM's locations. Our picks would be Vaucluse House, The Museum of Sydney or the Justice and Police Museum

Where:    Various Sydney Living Museums locations 
When:     Throughout the summer school holidays
Cost:       Various

2. MCA Family Tours

MCA Family tour things to do during summer school holidays
A great activity for the artistically-minded, the MCA is an ideal excursion to encourage creative thinking.

 

The perfect day out for artistic families, the work of Australian Chinese artist, Lindy Lee is being showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia until the end of February 2021. The MCA is offering an intimate and interactive family tour, with all ages welcome. The show is a great opportunity to engage with the history of art, culture and identity in the artist’s largest survey exhibition to date.

Where:    140 George Street, The Rocks
When:     2 Oct 2020 – 28 Feb 2021, Tuesday–Sunday10am–5pm
Cost:      Tours cost $40 Family ticket, $32 MCA Members

Visit Animals

1. Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park

Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park summer school holidays
Mini zoologists will be in their element at Featherdale Sydney Wildlife park this summer!

 

Want to see Australia’s unique wildlife in a natural bush setting? Situated on 7 acres of natural bush setting and home to the world’s largest collection of Australian native animals, at Featherdale you are able to get up close and personal with over 2,200 animals from more than 330 different species.

Where:   217-229 Kildare Rd, Doonside NSW 2767
When:    Throughout the summer school holidays 
Cost:      Adult (ages 16+): $35, Child (3-15 years old): $22

2. Mogo Wildlife Park

Mogo Wildlife park
Mogo Wildlife Park offers some unforgettable up-close experiences with their resident animals!

 

With a diverse range of personal animal encounters on offer at Mogo Wildlife Park, it's a must-visit for any animal enthusiast, and the summer school holidays are the perfect time to go. You can choose from feeding a Tiger, Lion or Red Panda. Alternatively, you could meet a Rhino or Emperor Tamarin. You may prefer to play with their Meerkats, sit with the Squirrel Monkeys or enjoy a Primate Island Cruise. It's a difficult decision, but the memories will last a lifetime! 

Where:   222 Tomakin Road, Mogo, NSW
When:    Throughout the summer school holidays 
Cost:      Adult (ages 16+): $35, Child (3-15 years old): $22

3. Calmsley Hill

Calmsley Hill
There's so much to see and do for the whole family at Calmsley Hill City Farm!

 

If the closest your little city slicker has been to a farm is a petting zoo at one of Sydney’s urban markets or fairs, then a visit to family-friendly Calmsley Hill City Farm these summer school holidays is an absolute must.

Located in Abbotsbury, 40 minutes out of Sydney, the farm is a place where the whole family can get up close to a range of native and farmyard animals – you can do everything from milk a cow to feed a kangaroo! There is even sheep shearing, tractor rides and a stock whip show to keep you and the littlies entertained.

Special Offer - mention 'ellaslist' and you get two kids for the price of one when accompanied by a paying adult. Offer lasts until the end of the school holidays.

Where:   31 Darling St, Abbotsbury NSW 2176
When:    Throughout the summer school holidays 
Cost:      Adult (ages 16+): $27.50, Child (3-16 years old): $15.50

4. Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo
The perfect day out for kids of all ages, Sydney Zoo is brimming with activity this summer!

Sydney Zoo is the city's hottest destination for some animal fun this summer—offering a huge range of amazing animals to see and some seriously roar-some activities for kids of all ages! Home to all your favourite exotic and native animals, Australia's largest reptile and nocturnal house and an aquarium, Sydney Zoo is the perfect family day out. They've recently welcomed two new elephants, a bull shark, three meerkat pups and a penguin chick! Meaning there's no end of things to see and do. The added bonus of no hills or steps makes it perfect for prams.

Where:    700 Great Western Highway, Bungarribee 
When:     Summer school holidays 2020/2021
Cost:       Adult - $39.99. Child – $19.99. Concession - $29.99. Infant (0-2 years) - FREE. Save up to 15% when you buy online.

Go For A Splash

1. Belgravia Pools

Belgravia Pools summer school holidays
Kids will love blowing off some steam and keeping cool at one of Belgravia's pools!

 

Looking for a great way to cool off in the heat or somewhere indoors for those balmy wet days, then why not visit one of these top Sydney pools. Each aquatic centre offers a range of other facilities and services, including full-size gyms, indoor courts, fitness classes, massage/physiotherapy treatments and a cafe!

Check out Ian Thorpe Aquatic CentreAndrew (Boy) Charlton PoolCook+Philip Park PoolVictoria Park Pool and Prince Alfred Park Pool

Where:   Various locations (see above.)
When:    Throughout the summer school holidays 
Cost:      Check each web page for location-specific costs.

Performance Fun

1. Mimi's Symphony

Mimi's Symphony
Escape into music for the afternoon in this gorgeous tale about Mimi the magpie!

 

Join children’s entertainer Justine Clarke and conductor George Ellis for this beautiful children’s concert, Mimi's Symphony.  The main character, Mimi the Magpie will encounter different animal gangs, learn how to survive in the suburbs and ultimately bring everyone in the park together. Through this engaging and lively story, kids will meet the sections of the orchestra as they come together in a joyous symphony!

Where:     The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood 
When:       20 January 2021 10am - 11am and 1pm - 2pm
Cost:         $26

2. Sydney Festival 2021

Sydney Festival 2021
A festival of culture and creativity, Sydney Festival also caters their program to kids.

 

One of Australia’s largest cultural celebrations, Sydney Festival will bring the city together with a thought-provoking program line up of more than 140 events across three weeks from January 6 – 26 2021. As well as a huge range of inspiring talks, panels and workshops for adults, Sydney Festival is also catering to kids and families. Check out the highlights of the program here.

Where:    Range of locations throughout Sydney
When:     6th - 26th January 2021
Cost:       Range of prices, see the event page for specifics.

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 favourites 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 And 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

Other Fun Ideas...

  • Do you have a little monkey who needs to get out of the house these school holidays? Visit Australia's biggest tree ropes courses at Trees Adventure Grose River Park or Trees Adventure Nowra Shoalhaven Park this Summer.
  • Illawarra Fly is leading a Gruffalo Spotters Trail available every day of the school holidays using the free Gruffalo Spotters 2 App!
  • Learn to skydive with iFly Downunder inside their giant glass tunnel. 
  • Try your hand at Mini Golf at Pittwater Golf Centre
  • Download and print your very own PuzzleTrails with everything your family needs to follow self-guided, mystery-themed Sydney walks with fun facts along the way.

More Summer Inspiration Here:

Best Things To Do with Kids When It's Stinking Hot
Awesome Summer School Holiday Programs and Activities For Kids 2020-2021
Sydney's Best Kid's Indoor Play Centres for Rainy Days and Summer Heat

Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!

 

Reviews