Top Free Things In Sydney For Families
Sometimes taking your kids out constantly can put a strain on your wallet. But, your kids’ joy and adventurous spirit shouldn’t come at a heavy price. From activities that help kids connect to nature, to finding educational activities that are fun and informative, Sydney has quite a few free family activities for everyone.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
The walk will take you through the beaches of Tamarama, Clovelly and Bronte, showing off stunning cliffs and rock formations as well as the hauntingly beautiful Waverley Cemetery. The walk is too long for little ones and don’t feel obliged to do the whole thing; walking by one or two of the beaches is fun and more than enough for everyone. You can stop at one of the beaches; Bronte and Clovelly have an excellent cafe and playground that suit all ages. And of course, the beach is waiting for you…
Malabar Headland National Park Western Walking Track
The stunning 1.15km track provides public access to Malabar Headland, which re-opened to the public in 2018 for the first time in 100 years, and creates a circular loop by linking with the coastal National Parks Wildlife Service Boora Point Walking Track. Find out more here.
Pram/Bike Friendly Walks
The Bondi to Coogee walk isn’t very pram or bike friendly. One of our lovely explorers has found a pram/bike friendly walk in each region. Enjoy!
Bushwalking trails with Toddlers and Preschoolers
If you really want to explore the outdoor and want to encourage your little one too, then try out these toddler and preschool friendly bushwalks!
Royal Botanic Gardens
A botanical and cultural oasis that’s perfect for a picnic and an afternoon of imaginative play amongst the almost mystical bushes.
This stunning ground features pockets of different natural lawns and ponds. You can find a bike track and playground near the main entrance, a pond of ducks and swans who are more than happy to be fed and spacious fields where you can kick around a ball. Several BBQs are left around the park for you to use for free as well as picnic tables.
The spring/summer lineup of Sydney markets and festivals is pretty impressive, so make sure you clear your calendars for free entertainment and free fun in the sun with the family.
Orange Blossom Festival - Saturday 14 September at Castle Hill Showground.
Manly West Carnival - Saturday 21 September at Manly West Public School.
Pyrmont Food & Wine Festival - 28-29 September at Pirrama Park, Pyrmont.
Park Feast - 28-29 September at Bella Vista Farm, Bella Vista.
Night Noodle Markets - 11th to the 18th October, Hyde Park, Elizabeth St.
The Hills Food & Wine Festival - Sunday 13 October at Bella Vista Farm, Bella Vista.
Crows Nest Fest - Sunday 20 October at Willoughby Road, Crows Nest.
Norton Street Italian Festa - Sunday 27 October at Norton Street, Leichardt.
Double Bay Street Festival - Sunday 3 November at select streets in Double Bay.
Beaches for Toddlers & Preschoolers
The more popular and crowded beaches of Sydney aren’t always the best for little ones. Check out these beaches that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like the salty waters of Sydney’s beaches, but luckily there are quite a few water playgrounds that house cafes and seats for parents. See Sydney’s best free water parks for kids.
Nestled amongst are beaches are some extraordinary and fun rock pools! They’re not just great and safe for swimming but it’s also a chance to observe the animals that shuffle between the crevices of the rocks. If there are shells stuck on the rocks, you can crack them open with a rock and hand feed it to the fishes. So, head to one of these rock pools!
If you have snorkel and mask, rush off to these beaches and learn about our marine life.
Source: Giles Baths Coogee by Carlos Silvestre
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. Kids will be awed by the sheer size of some paintings. There are heaps of free art activities too! From ‘Drop in and Make’ sessions to Youth Week, kids are guided to learn about different art styles. See their free activities here.
Bring your little bookworm along to Haymarket on Friday mornings and discover the many benefits of reading (or just listening to) a second language through storytelling, rhymes, music, singing and craft activities for preschoolers.
The Rocks Discovery Museum
Explore Sydney from pre-European days to the present in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse. It 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.
The Powerhouse contains more than 250 extraordinary permanent exhibits that gives kids a brilliant hands on, interactive experience. From touching skeletons and large scale train models to watching beautiful clockwork performances, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy here.
Sport, Art and Music Activities
Free film-themed arts and crafts activities at Event Cinemas
If you're headed to the cinema these school holidays (we have our eyes on Angry Birds 2 and Dora and the Lost City of Gold!) Event Cinemas have a program of free art activities so kids can make take-home artworks as a memory of their day out at the movies. From making bookmarks, hats, masks and more, the arts and crafts activities are themed to the family films showing during the school break. Find out if your local Event Cinemas is offering this free activity.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
On 28 & 29 September 2019 The MCA will host a free weekend of inclusivity-focused tours, films and workshops, Art is for Everyone, to celebrate the Museum’s commitment to access, diversity and inclusion. Developed in collaboration with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) there will be events specifically tailored for people with sensory disorders, disability or access requirements.
Kids in the Park at Sydney Olympic Park
During the school holidays Sydney Olympic Park offers an amazing schedule of activities for kids, some of which are completely free! Go on bike trails, check out amazing artworks at ARTEXPRESS in the Armory, try a BMX and Mountain X or go on a clue trail. Find out more here.
Concerts at Sydney Uni
Introduce your child to the playful chords of a piano, the tingling tunes of flutes and booming beats of drums. During the academic year, free classical music concerts are held by Australia’s premier musical training institution. It’s a rare and wonderful experience, so see their schedule here.
Sydney is adorned with oodles of free public art, take a look at our guide and go on a discovery adventure! There's also a free sculpture exhibition in a cemetery (Sept-Oct 2019) and of course, the biggest one for the year, Sculpture By The Sea in October 2019.
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