What’s On At Darling Harbour This Summer

  • All Ages

By: Rosie Stevens, ellaslist
Dec 7, 2018

Got a brood of restless children that need entertaining this summer? Luckily, family-friendly Darling Harbour has plenty to keep the whole family occupied. From community festivals to international events to your favourite attractions, there’ll certainly be no inane wailing of “I’m booorreeeeddd” at Darling Harbour this summer. 

Here are our top picks of what’s on.

Day And Night On The Reef at SEA LIFE Sydney 

Fancy exploring the Great Barrier Reef without, y’know, having to actually go there? Here’s your chance! If your kids love the magic of marine life, they’ll fall head over heels for SEA LIFE Sydney’s newest exhibit. After a whopping $5million investment, the favourite family attraction are ready to take guests on a colourful journey of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef.

Experience the breathtaking magic and beauty of the world’s largest coral garden and the rainbow colours of tropical fish during the day, through to a bioluminescent ocean that glows under guest’s footsteps at night at this sensory masterpiece. Boasting state of the art technology, a 1.7 million litre display and over 500 creatures, it’s an interactive experience like no other. 

Night Owls Film Fest

Image: darlingharbour.com

Situated on Darling Harbour’s Village Green, Night Owls Kids Film Festival is back for the summer holidays, offering the whole family the chance to catch a free outdoor movie under the stars. The program includes some live kids entertainment, kid-friendly short films, a family feature film and an after-hours feature film for bigger kids on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re not up for packing your own picnic, there’s plenty of options at Darling Quarter! Check out the full film schedule here.

Moon Drops at Sydney Festival

Image: darlingharbour.com

As part of Sydney Festival, the city’s iconic celebration of summer, the whole family can experience weightlessness and float through the air at the super-fun ‘Moon Drops’ installation. It’s a moon-inspired mini-adventure, so slip off your shoes and enjoy some free silliness on the five bouncy ‘droplet’ pads! For more Syd Fest information, click here.

Cockle Bay Wharf Pedal Boats

Image: darlingharbour.com

There’s no better way to cool off from a hot summers day than in the comforting breeze of Sydney Harbour. Throughout January, you can hire a pedal boat from Cockle Bay Marina with half-hour bookings available from 11am-8pm, offering a unique and fun way for the family to navigate the harbour. 

Wiggles Concert on Australia Day

Image: maas.museum

If your kids are Wiggles fans (and let’s face it, whose aren’t), you’ll want to make sure you’re front and centre at Summer Playground, Tumbalong Park at Darling Harbour between 11 am and 3 pm on Australia Day. The Wiggles are performing their biggest hits as part of the Children’s Festival, which also features performances The Vegetable Plot, The Beanies, the Big Science show and workshops at the Circus Playground.

Star of the Show Ferris Wheel

Image: Robert Harding

If your kids love heights and fairground rides, they’ll love a trip on Darling Harbour’s (temporary) resident ferris wheel. For epic views over Sydney, it offers an enchanting opportunity for kids to see the city from a birds-eye view. But hurry! It’s only on until 28th February 2019, and we expect you’d be wheely disappointed to miss out.

Breakfast With The Koalas At Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Escape the crowds at this popular attraction and take some time out to get to know the adorable koalas in a more intimate setting. Kids under 4 go free, and you’ll get a delicious hot buffet breakfast plus lots of information from the informative koala keeper. You’ll also get a koala encounter—your chance to get a photo with one of the koalas to take home (the photo that is, sadly not the koala.)

Justice League At Madame Tussauds

On only until the end of the year, it’s your last opportunity to catch the Justice League superheroes at Madam Tussauds! Here you can join the mission to save the world alongside Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and the brand spanking new Aquaman (as portrayed by Jason Momoa). And if that didn’t sound enticing enough, remember that entry into Madame Tussauds Sydney is free for kids under 4—making it a complete no-brainer!

Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Want to escape the heat and catch a show with your crew? Monkey Baa, based in Darling Quarter Theatre is the perfect choice for young audiences. Taking to the stage for Summer is Ickypedia in January—a seriously silly show that will answer all of life's most unimportant questions. Boasting gross humour and a LOT of mischief with snotmonsters, bubble machines and toilet paper guns, Ickypedia offers a delightful mix of clowning and complete chaos that the whole family will enjoy. 

Kicking off at the start of February there’s also Monkey Play—a monthly playgroup that encourages kids 0-5 to explore the world around them through play-based learning and craft activities that specifically target the development of fine motor skills.

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum

Not technically in Darling Harbour but located close by, this innovative Star Wars exhibition is desgined for all ages and allows you to explore your own identity and learn about the forces that shape you through a series of interactive stations within the exhibition. Each answer you give will define a unique Star Wars character that you’ll create and meet at the end of the exhibition!

Image: ETB Travel News

Kids Cruise Free With Captain Cook Cruises

The perfect excuse for a day out on the water with the fam—one child aged 4-15 years cruises free with every paying adult using the code FAMILY. Choose from the Buffet Lunch cruise, the Hop On Hop Off Harbour Explorer, the Harbour Story and Harbour Highlights options for a fun day out that the whole family will enjoy. 

Image: darlingharbour.com

Darling Harbour Children’s Playground

Kids still got bundles of energy that needs using up, pronto? Look no further than Darling Harbour’s infamous playground—boasting a flying fox, water games, climbing ropes, slides, swings and a whole lot more!

Image: darlingharbour.com
Hero image: hashtag.darlingharbour.com

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