Top Free and Cheap Things To Do In Sydney On A Budget

  • Toddlers
    All Ages

While we’re spoilt for choice in Sydney in terms of things to see and do, many of them come with a hefty price tag, especially for families! Here are some free and cheap things for you and your children to do when your budget is running low.

Make A Date With The Playground

At ellaslist, we love all things playgrounds - fenced playgrounds, playgrounds by the water, sensory playgrounds... you name it. Playgrounds are a good old fashioned way to get the kids working off some of that energy, breathing in the fresh air, plus you can seriously save some dollars.

If you're looking for a new playground, have you tried Oatley Park Adventure Playground? The new nature playground is massive on the eyes and massively entertaining for the kids. 
For a great playground near you, check out our wrap on the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Oatley Park Adventure Playground

Make A Splash

Who doesn't love heading outdoors for a refreshing splash in summer! Checking out these FREE water parks in Sydney including at Darling Quarter, Blaxland Riverside Playground and Putney Park, is an absolute must when the temperatures start to soar.

Indoor pools usually charge entry fees, so, if the weather permits, why not take your kids to an amazing rock pool or ocean pool? Try to spot a mermaid lurking in the Bronte Bogey Hole or spot a crab scuttling around the rock pool at Freshwater. Take this opportunity to allow your children to explore the natural world. Priceless.

Granville Water Park, Merrylands

Gone Road Trippin’

If you fancy a drive, pile the kids into the car and go check out amazing waterfalls just out of Sydney that will take your breath away. From trickles to cascades, bask in these beautiful flowing waterfalls and create lasting memories. If you just fancy plodding along in your car, having a screen-free day and seeing some new sights and exploring, we’ve got you covered with road trip guides to Palm Beach, Kangaroo Valley, Upper Blue Mountains and Minnamurra Rainforest.

upper gledhill falls
Upper Gledhill Falls via Andre Distel Photography

Pack A Picnic

A beautiful day or evening calls for a family picnic! Some of our favourite picnic spots include Centennial Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The best part? You can bring all of your favourite snacks, and some games for the kids to run and play with. Hours of enjoyment and family bonding are made easy with our guide on top picnic spots in Sydney for families.

Picnic Spots In Sydney

Soak Up Some Culture

While some galleries and exhibitions require tickets that can sometimes cost an arm and a leg, did you know that there are heaps of great galleries and museums you can go see for free?
The Australian National Maritime Museum’s “Free Galleries” ticket allows adults & children to view the permanent galleries for free, and the same goes for the Museum of Contemporary Art. Gaze into the beyond with free entry during day visits (10 am-5 pm) at Sydney Observatory, or learn about some Aussie history at The Rocks Discovery Museum and take advantage of their free admission policy. At Sydney Living Museums you can enjoy 12 different museums, and children under 5 are free. Or if you become a member you all get free entry to all of the museums and historic houses, plus discounts, offers and more. Find out about membership here.

museum kids
Museum of Art & Applied Sciences

To Market, To Market

Whether it's snagging a bargain or just browsing through the trash and treasure, have a family day at the markets.  Whether it’s Bondi on a Sunday, Glebe, Paddy’s Markets or Paddington (just to name a few), there’s something so wholesome and spirited about getting down to your local market day. If you’re hungry, check out a local farmers’ market and stock up on fresh and nutritious ingredients for a lot cheaper than your local grocery store. 

Sydney Farmer's Markets

See Sydney By Foot

Great West Walk

Exploring stunning Sydney by foot is an adventure unlike any other, and what better time to do it now that the new Great West Walk is open! The impressive 65-kilometre track runs from Parramatta all the way to the Blue Mountains, taking in some of Sydney's most spectacular sights. While we don't suggest attempting the whole walk with little ones in tow (it takes 5 days to complete!), we do recommend picking a little slice of the walk to try with the family. If you're looking for more walking tracks for kids in Sydney, check out our top picks. 

Some More For Good Measure

Eating Out: If you still want the service and experience of dining out but are on a budget, here are some awesome family-friendly restaurants and cafes where kids eat free- so your bill will be a little more easy to swallow!
Have A Cooking Day: Cooking with kids doesn’t have to be a messy, expensive nightmare! There’s a 2-ingredient chocolate cake you can make with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge, and a brownie pop recipe that only requires 1 bowl to work some delicious (and cheap) magic.
One For Mums: Are you a mum that needs a little bit of R & R? Have a relaxation or remedial massage at the Australasian College Of Natural Therapies student clinic: Appointments are super cheap and supervised by fully qualified professionals, so you’re in good hands.
Wander Around The Grounds: The Grounds Of Alexandria is a beautiful place for families to wander- check out Harry Trotter, the new resident pig and his farmyard pals, fresh flowers, cool industrial design…and maybe even a very special treat like a homemade lemonade or a cronut.

The Grounds of Alexandria

Check Out Some More Cool Stuff On ellaslist

The Best Bike Tracks For Kids
Australia's Most Incredible Rainforests
The Best FREE Things To Do On The Northern Beaches

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