Top Kid-Friendly Picks In The Sydney Hills District
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
If you are a local family or just wanting to explore Sydney further, use this as your guide to planning a fun day out full of exciting activities in the Sydney Hills District. With thrilling parks and playgrounds, delicious family-friendly restaurants, fun family events and exciting animal adventures, a day in the Hills won’t disappoint.
Parks & Playgrounds
There are some awesome parks and playgrounds in the Sydney Hills! Check out the brand new playgrounds (yes not one, but three!) in the Gables Box Hill precinct. They are just the cutest. Our other top picks are the Fred Caterson Reserve in Castle Hill which is a large multi-sports facility covering 58 hectares! You’ll find soccer fields, tennis courts, a BMX track, kid’s playground and a remote control car track. The Marramarra National Park in Canoelands is one of Hawkesburys best kept secrets- get in the Aussie spirit with bushwalking, camping, or check out some Aboriginal heritage sites. The Rouse Hill Regional park is a top pick for locals and their dogs, with swings, slides, a maze, playhouses and a rope bridge for kids to play on. Check out Wiseman’s Ferry Park for a bite to eat at the kiosk, a picnic, and electric and wooden BBQ’s.
Rouse Hill Regional Park via National Parks
Animals Parks & Farms
Animals lovers will feel at home in the Hills, with plenty of animal experiences on offer. Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside boasts the world’s largest collection of native Aussie animals, with more opportunities to get hands-on than regular zoos. Young children will adore the Farmyard where they can pat sheep, goats, bunnies and pigs as well as holding a children’s python! The Koala Park Sanctuary in West Pennant Hills hosts koalas, roos, dingoes, wombats, echidnas emus and other birds in 10 acres of lush rainforests, eucalyptus groves and native gardens. Our top pick is the Golden Ridge Animal Farm where kids can have a total farm experience milking cows and feeding baby animals from bottles. Simply adorable! The Rouse Hill House and Farm is another favourite, where you can get a glimpse into the life of a rural NSW family from generations ago. On weekends, kids can also tour the farm to feed chickens, collect eggs, pump water for watering cans and throw horseshoes, just like the farm hands in the 1800’s.
Golden Ridge Animal Farm
If you find your family hungry on a Tuesday, head to the Castle Hill RSL for Kid’s Day Tuesday! The new courtyard will feature face painting, balloons, and clowns, and the best part? It’s free! The Fiddler in Rouse Hill is in Irish pub with a kids playground, games room, and ice creamery! Arthur Street Cafe in Baulkham Hills is kid-friendly, has a delicious menu, kids menu, high chairs, change tables, and play area with toys.
Source: Castle Hill RSL
Peak Pursuits in Castle Hill offers some cool, climbing fun! Activities include a SkyTrail ropes course – a first in Australia, vertical activities, Leap of Faith, Fun walls, Big Drop Slide, Giant Spider Web and more. Activities are designed with varying degrees of difficulty and are themed for fun to bring joy and laughter to participants of all ages. Sydney Ice Arena in Baulkham Hills is an Olympic sized arena overlooking the water where you can ice skate, take a lesson, play ice hockey, or boogie down at the Friday and Saturday night skating discos! The Castle Hill Indoor Sports Centre is there for all your multi-sports needs including indoor cricket, netball and soccer, as well as a ball pit, jumping castles and an indoor play centre for under 5s. Lollipops Playland in Castle Hill is the leading indoor play centre in The Hills- kids can wear themselves out with jumping castles, a foam balls canon, suspended walk bridge, speed slides, bouncy slides, teacup rides and just about everything else. For playtime with an educational twist, check out the Powerhouse Discovery Centre- a storage facility of millions of treasures from Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum where you can check out special exhibitions and be given a guided tour with a heap of insight into the museum’s vast collection. And finally, it's hard to go past Sydneys' Ultimate Family Fun Centre in Northmead.
Source: Ultimate Family Fun Sydney
Some Fun Family Events
Sydney Hills Lunar Festival: A fusion of flavours, cultures and traditions takes over the Hills in one of the cultural highlights of the calendar. In 2017, the celebrations at Bella Vista Farm include fireworks, dragon, lion and fan dances, street performers, stilt walkers, cultural performances, drumming, fruit carving and a HEAP more.
Australia Day: Celebrate our great nation with an epic party at Bella Vista Farm- there will be live music, roving performers, rides, face painting, balloon twisting, a pop-up kids library, sheep shearing and working dog displays, fireworks & loads more!
Castle Hill Farmers & Fine Food Market: On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, hunt and gather some of the freshest produce available in The Hills. It’s a great spot to grab breakfast, so remember to bring your appetite.
Galston Valley Railway: (hero image) On the 2nd Sunday of every month, check out this awesome mini railway complete with BBQ and picnic facilities. Ride behind scale model locomotives on over 1 km of track in a bushland setting- and the best part? Children go FREE!