Top Family Boxing Day Picnic Spots in Sydney
Mums & Bubs
After the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day, Boxing Day is all about rest, relaxation and recovery. So load up the esky with leftovers and chill out on a family picnic at one of Sydney’s great parks or beaches.
We’ve put together our Top Family Boxing Day Picnic Spots to help you make the most of the public holiday.
Victoria Park: Victoria Park is ideal for picnics. Relax in the large grassy areas, surrounded by a lake with waterbirds and take an afternoon dip at the Victoria Park Pool complex (open 7am-7pm Boxing Day), which features a 50-metre swimming pool and children’s wading pool. There's also an excellent playground with plenty of equipment ideal for children of all ages.
Prince Alfred Park: The award-winning upgraded 7.5-hectare Prince Alfred Park is a great spot with ample green space and loads of recreational options. There are new paths, benches and lights, new barbecue and picnic areas, fitness stations, basketball courts, tennis courts and a really sweet little children’s playground featuring beautiful, hand-crafted rides. There is the added bonus of Prince Alfred Park Pool with a splash deck for toddlers, new café, bleachers, umbrellas, sky-lit change rooms, shaded areas and landscaped space.
Nielsen Park: For most of us Sydney-siders, Boxing Day is synonymous with The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. If you’re keen for some yachting action, one of the best vantage points is Nielsen Park. It’s on the foreshore of the harbour and right alongside the start line of the race. Let the kids splash in the shallows of the netted swimming area and claim a picnic spot under the canopy of one of the many Moreton Bay Fig Trees. This park is BUSY on Boxing Day so catch the bus or just be prepared for a bit of a walk.
Bronte Park & Beach: Join the throngs of families and backpackers at beautiful Bronte Beach. You’ll catch a glimpse of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race here regardless, but if the winds are right, the fleet and all the spectator craft will pass by very close to the shore. The mood here is festive and while it’s crowded, you’ll always find a place to lay your picnic blanket. There’s a great playground for the kids to play in and the famous kid-friendly Bogey Hole to swim in.
Strickland House: You cannot beat the view from the grounds of this historic house. The imposing house isn’t open to the public but the stunning and extensive grounds give access to two small harbourside beaches and the Hermitage Harbour Walk, which runs from Rose Bay to Watsons Bay. There are great views of Sydney Harbour overlooking Shark Island. Perfect for picnicking!
Centennial Park: OUR TOP PICK! Join in the fun at one of Sydney’s favourite picnic spots. With 5 great playgrounds, plenty of shade, picnic tables, BBQs and of course, hungry ducks, geese and pelicans to feed, it’s easy to see why this lovely old park is a hit with children and adults alike. The Pantry, out the back of the Centennial Homestead, now even offers delicious, elegant and great value-for-money pre-packaged picnic hampers. We tried it out recently, and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough!
Parsley Bay: One of the most idyllic park-playground-beach combos in the East. This lovely and shady reserve leads into a beautiful, clean flat beach then into the most perfect wave-less shallow bay with protected swimming area which makes this reserve an ideal safe relaxing play spot for your little ones. There are no BBQ’s but plentiful picnic tables under the trees. The small car park fills up quickly so get there early or be prepared for a bit of a walk.
Glebe Foreshore Parks: Have a wander around the Glebe Foreshore Walk and take your pick of one of the beautiful waterside parks that it encircles - Federal Park, Jubilee Park, Bicentennial Park and Blackwattle Bay Park. There is plenty of space to settle in for a relaxed picnic or BBQ with the family and enjoy the great views of Anzac Bridge. The parks provide plenty of opportunity for both high energy recreation and lazy lolling about on lawns. There are kids’ adventure playgrounds, native wetlands, beaches and off-leash areas for dogs. The foreshore walk takes you to the Fish Markets, so if you’re feeling energetic reward yourself with a Boxing Day lunch of fresh seafood!
Lizard Log: Lizard Log is referred to as “Nature’s Wonderland”. Renowned for encouraging creative play and greater interaction amongst visitors and the natural bushland setting, it is an ideal place for a visit with the family. Plus- it was voted NSW’s BEST playground!
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah: Mount Tomah covers 28 hectares of rich acid clay loam. This fertile environment and the low temperature are perfect for showing plants from the world’s cooler regions and a wonderful place to picnic and explore with the kids!
Bicentennial Park: With so much on offer at Sydney Olympic Park, you'll be spoilt for choice at this park. Spread your picnic blanket at Lake Belvedere or under a shady shelter and take advantage of the free BBQs. Let the kids run wild at the adventure playground with its sandpit, slide, climbing frame, swings and shade sails. If it’s really hot they can coll off at the splashing fountains and water spouts at the water play area! See the incredible views from the Treillage Tower or take the bushwalking trail.
Blues Point Reserve: As far as views go, Blues Point Reserve has one of North Sydney’s best! Plus it has plenty of great picnic spots and a lovely little playground to keep the kids happy while you soak up the scenery.
Wendy’s Secret Garden: One of our family’s faves for a picnic. It’s quirky and quiet with something around every corner to delight children and adults alike. While there is no play equipment on offer here, the surprisingly large garden is lush and has amazing harbour views. There are no BBQs but picnic tables are scattered throughout the garden and all kinds of quirky statues and random objects add charm to this living work of art. Check out more of The Best Secret Gardens in Sydney.
Taronga’s Main Entrance Plaza: is a lovely spot for a family picnic and access is FREE. You can see some of the Zoo’s wildlife exhibits which are open to the public free of charge and best of all, you can take a FREE round trip on the Sky Safari where you’ll spot elephants, monkeys and of course, the unbeatable iconic Sydney Harbour view.
Chowder Bay: Located on the ever-popular Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walking track, this little cove also has a kids’ playground at Clifton Reserve and plenty of lovely picnic and BBQ spots. The surrounding park offers lots of space for running and a protected and netted beach perfect for an afternoon dip.
Manly Dam: If you’re after a more active Boxing Day, head to Manly Dam. You’ll find activities ranging from kayaking, swimming and fishing to water skiing and mountain biking. There are picnic spots, shaded tables and BBQs along the waterfront. The picnic tables are bookable so you don’t have to arrive before dawn to get a spot. Little lovers of nature will love the park’s easy Wildflower Walk and Nature Trail and there’s a good kids playground right on the shore of the dam.
Clontarf Beach: This is one of Sydney’s best spots for a family day out. It is a fabulous spot-right on the foreshore of Middle Harbour with BBQs, toilets, cafe and netted swimming area (in the harbour). There is also a well equipped and shaded playground with activities for both toddlers and older children and a toddler bike path around the sandy play area.
Winnererremy Bay Flying Fox Park: The Parkland here contains BBQs, picnic shelters, bike paths and a beach. There is plenty of open space to throw a ball or fly a kite-whatever takes your fancy. There’s also a first-class, fully fenced playground that caters for young children and a separate playground for older children. Of course, the oversized Flying Fox is the main attraction here.
North Harbour Reserve: A lovely park with plenty of shade, BBQ’s, picnic tables and bike track and shaded playground perfect for the under 10’s. This reserve is located on the scenic harbour foreshore walk that runs from Manly through to The Spit so perfect for burning off some of those Christmas kilojoules!
If you’re going for a family picnic, make sure you check out more of our awesome picnic guides:
How To Make A Perfect Picnic For Kids
Sydney’s 6 Best Picnic Spots + What Makes For A Great Picnic
Centennial Parklands Picnic Hamper Experience.
Sydney's Best Takeaway Boxes For Family Picnicking
More Great Sydney Spots For Families
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Oct 03 2016
I love to visit with family there