School Holiday Activities in Sydney: The Best for Summer 2023–2024

  • Mon Dec 04 2023 - Wed Jan 31 2024
  • Preschoolers
    All Ages
  • $0.00

School holidays in Sydney are upon us! The biggest, longest, and warmest holidays of the calendar are nearly here, so it's the perfect chance to think about how you're going to make the most of this beautiful season with the best school holiday activities in Sydney.

Counter the cabin fever with these fun, family-friendly school holiday activities throughout the summer school holidays.

School Holiday Activities in Sydney

1. Hive Festival at the Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery NSW Hive Festival
Noa Haim of Collective Paper Aesthetics HEART-board pyramid 2016, at 798 International Children's Art Festival in Beijing. Photo: Wei Guo

The Art Gallery of New South Wales' Hive Festival promises to be the ultimate school holiday activity for art lovers. Embark on an inspiring and experiential journey into a realm of art, music, performance, and play at this vibrant, free festival designed for children and families.

Join forces with designer and architect Noa Haim from Collective Paper Aesthetics to create a massive cardboard ‘beehive’, engage in hands-on workshops that will spark your imagination and dive into the enchanting world of storytelling.

Crafted in collaboration with Claudia Chidiac and in partnership with Blacktown Arts, the Hive Festival is a lively part of the Sydney Festival 2024. Get ready for two weekends of boundless fun and creativity!

Where:     Art Gallery of NSW and The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre
When:      13-14 January 2024 and 19-20 January 2024
Cost:        FREE

2. Blacktown Council

Blacktown Council School Holiday Activities in Sydney
Blacktown Council School Holiday Activities in Sydney

There is so much on offer to keep the kids entertained this summer, thanks to Blacktown Council's school holiday activities in Sydney. From a Christmas Science Show with Fizzics Education to a diverse range of Craft Workshops across multiple locations, Science Workshops, School Holiday Murder Mysteries, and beyond, there really is something for every child on offer with Blacktown Council this summer. 

The Kidz Blitz Holiday Program promises to keep your adventurers active and engaged throughout the school break, offering fun themes and water activities every day across multiple centres and locations. 

Where:     Multiple locations throughout Blacktown Council
When:      Throughout the summer school holidays
Cost:        Various depending on activity

3. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium And WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo promise to be an awe-inspiring experience for families this summer.

Enjoy interactive and engaging experiences at Darling Harbour's most iconic attractions. Kids will love exploring both SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, learning all about sea creatures and Aussie animals. Celebrate a Summer of Penguins this season at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, and step into a world of wonder with The Penguin Encounter*—your exclusive pass to an unforgettable meeting with the sub-Antarctic penguin colony (*note, this experience is for a minimum age of 14.)

With so much to see, do, and learn, it's an adventure your kids will cherish! Visit SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium or WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo for more information.

Where:   SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour
When:     Throughout the summer school holidays
Cost:       2-attraction passes for $65 per adult and $48 per child (free for under 3) Save over 30%

4. Australian National Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum School Holiday Activities
Australian National Maritime Museum

Dive into a world of maritime magic at Wonderwater, the Australian National Maritime Museum's summer highlight! From December to February, families are invited to immerse themselves in a sea of discovery and play.

Wonderwater features six exciting exhibitions, including the stunning "Ocean Photographer of the Year" and "An Underwater Life," celebrating the work of Valerie Taylor. Engage in hands-on activities at the Great Southern LEGO® Reef, wander through the interactive "Octopus Garden," and unravel the secrets behind Tim Winton’s "Blueback."

Enjoy live performances like "Il Tabarro" by Sydney Festival and the shadow play "The Sea is Still a Mystery." Don't miss the "Sea it All Film Festival," "New Beginnings Festival," and the mesmerizing "Rainbow, Mermaid, Fireworks" art installation.

Daily roving performances and a range of fascinating exhibits guarantee endless fun.

Where:     2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour
When:      22 December, 2023, to February 4, 2024
Cost:        Adult $25 Concession $20 Child (under 15) $15 Child (under 4) FREE

5. Calmsley Hill City Farm

Calmsley Hill City Farm
School holidays are the perfect time to visit Calmsley Hill City Farm!

Take a trip to Calmsley Hill City Farm this winter for an authentic, interactive farmyard adventure within an hour from Sydney.

With daily shows, hands-on animal experiences, and fun school holiday activities, you'll learn all about the native and farmyard animals, while spending a beautiful family day out in the countryside. The Calmsley Hill City Farm schedule is packed with entertainment including a cow-milking demonstration, tractor rides, a sheep-shearing show, hands-on patting and feeding, and much more. Plus, Calmsley Hill City Farm hosts fantastic, fuss-free birthday parties for little animal lovers if you're in the market for a school holiday party with clout! 

Where:    31 Darling St, Abbotsbury
When:     Open seven days a week throughout the school holidays
Cost:       Adult: $32 | Child: $17 | Under 3s FREE | Family of 5 $97
                Annual Pass: Adult $90 | Child $45 | Family $230

6. Harbour Trust

Harbour Trust
Harbour Trust offers some great options for school holiday activities in Sydney.

There are so many ways to enjoy the Harbour Trust’s visitor destinations in Sydney. These are a great source of exploration for kids and parents due to their natural beauty, fascinating stories, and incredible landmarks. 

North Head Sanctuary (Manly), Sub Base Platypus (North Sydney), Macquarie Lightstation (Vaucluse) and the precincts of Headland Park (Mosman) are amongst the extraordinary places protected by the Harbour Trust. They also look after Cockatoo Island / Wareamah, which is both a former shipyard and convict gaol. In fact, the island’s Convict Site is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List with 10 other convict sites nationwide! There are so many ways to explore these rich and vibrant areas—including tours, concerts, staycations and more. 

Where:     Museum of Contemporary Art, George St, The Rocks
When:      Throughout the school holidays in Sydney
Cost:        FREE

7. Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity

Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity
Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity

The Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity is hosting some seriously fun and engaging family activities during the summer school holidays, Drip Drop Play is taking over the centre!  Drip Drop Play is a joyful and calming sensory experience that encourages children to listen, explore, and play in an immersive colourful world of ice and water. Families are invited to enter a world of sound as you follow sound collectors Drip and Drop through different dimly lit environments of ice and water

This program is designed for kids aged 3-12.

Where:     Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity
When:      3 - 13 January 2024
Cost:        Standard tickets $10 per child | Adults do not require a ticket, but must accompany their child at all times during the event.

8. City of Sydney School Holiday Intensives

City of Sydney School Holiday Intensives
City of Sydney pools offer an incredible chance to hone your swimming skills during the school holidays.

Make a splash this school holiday with the Fast Track School Holiday Intensive Swimming Program, available at select City of Sydney pools. This program is an exceptional opportunity for your child to rapidly enhance their swimming skills and boost their confidence in the water. For more information and to secure a spot in this sought-after program, contact  The Ian Thorpe Aquatic CentreCook + Phillip Park Pool or Gunyama Park Pool.

Where:      All six City of Sydney Aquatic and Leisure Centres:
                  Cook + Phillip Park Pool - 4 College St, Sydney 
                  Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre - 458 Harris St, Ultimo
                  Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre - 17 Zetland Avenue, Zetland
                  Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool - 1C Mrs Macquaries Road, The Domain
                  Prince Alfred Park Pool - 105 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills
                  Victoria Park Pool - City Road (cnr Parramatta Road), Camperdown
When:       Enquire for swim intensive program dates
Cost:         Enquire for pricing details at the time of booking

9. Skate City Workshops At Marrickville Metro

School Holiday Activities in Sydney
Skate City Workshops at Marrickville Metro

Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre is hosting exciting activities this summer, especially during the school holidays. Kids aged 5-12 can join FREE Skate City Workshops in January, featuring one-hour sessions of flips, tricks, and ollies guided by experienced instructors. The rooftop pop-up skate park invites everyone to an open skate night on January 18, 2024, with Tommy Fynn and friends. This thrilling event offers two hours of FREE fun, showcasing various skate elements like ledges, manny pads, flat bars, banks, and quarterpipes.

Parents will love seizing the opportunity to complete their shopping or enjoy a coffee break while their kids indulge in the excitement of the rooftop skate park during the school holidays! Find out more and book at Marrickville Metro.

Where:   Level 4 Carpark, Smidmore Street Precinct
                Marrickville Metro, 20 Smidmore Street, Marrickville
When:    Skate City Workshop: 8 - 21  January 2024
Cost:      FREE | Bookings essential

10. WaterWorld Central: Inflatable Water Park

WaterWorld Central
WaterWorld Central

Dive into summer fun at Waterworld Central, Sydney's epic pop-up water park! Opening on January 6 at the Entertainment Quarter, it's a splash-filled paradise for families and thrill-seekers, available for just 3.5 weeks.

Experience the thrill of the towering Wave Slide, conquer the 80m X-Treme Tuber slide, race in giant Zorb balls, and let the little ones enjoy the Mini Paddle Boats in the Paddle Boat Pool. For young explorers, the Snow World Pool features a mini inflatable course with climbing, jumping, and crawling tunnels. Don't miss the chance to make a splash and create unforgettable summer memories at Waterworld Central! For more information visit WaterWorld Central.

Where:       Waterworld Central, Entertainment Quarter, Sydney
When:        6 - 31 January 2024 
Cost:          2 Hour Pass (5yrs - Adult) - $40
                   2 Hour Toddler Pass (Under 5 yrs. Includes 1 Adult/Carer - No Thrill Slides) - $40

11. Summer Of Dragons at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

Summer Of Dragons at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures
Summer Of Dragons at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

Embark on an extraordinary quest this school holiday with Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures' Summer of Dragons. Dive into a captivating world of knights, treasure, and mythical creatures, offering a unique and adventurous experience for families.

Follow the Interactive Quest Map to discover your dragon-rider destiny, capture fiery photo moments, and hone your knightly skills at the Flame Forge Training Grounds. Try the new Archery Experience, embark on a thrilling Zipline Tour, and access the Dragon Training Ground for engaging activities. Relax in scenic picnic areas amidst the rainforest and receive a special souvenir stamp to commemorate your epic journey.

For more information and to book, visit Summer Of Dragons - Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures.

Where:   Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, Knights Rd
When:    20 December 2023 - February 28th 2024
Cost:      Included in the Treetop Walk ticket
               Various prices for additional activities like Archery and Zipline Tour

12. BridgeClimb 

For the ultimate bucket-list experience, BridgeClimb has an unmissable special offer for the summer school holidays!

BridgeClimb is the ultimate way to see Sydney, and what better time to do it than during the school holidays? Scale 134 metres above water level and enjoy a unique, 360-panoramic perspective of the city you love. 

This summer, you can scale the iconic coathanger with your little thrill seekers and save 15% off Summit Day and Summit Insider Day Climbs with BridgeClimb's new Family Bundle tickets. Don't miss your chance to snap up the savings with BridgeClimb's Family Bundles. Book now!

Where:     BridgeClimb Sydney, 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks
When:      Valid for Climbs between 11 December 2023 – 30 January 2024 (excluding 25 December 2023 – 4 January 2024) 
Cost:        BridgeClimb Family Bundles start at $545.15 for one adult and two children

13. Ramses & The Gold Of The Pharaohs Exhibit Accommodation Package at Pullman Sydney Hyde Park

Ramses Package
Ramses & The Gold Of The Pharaohs Exhibit Accommodation Package at Pullman Sydney Hyde Park

Embark on an extraordinary journey into the life of Ramses II, with the exclusive Ramses & Gold of the Pharaohs multisensory museum experience at the Australian Museum. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this legendary pharaoh, featuring 182 priceless artifacts, some never before seen outside of Egypt.

Make your visit even more special with an overnight stay at the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, the closest five-star hotel to the Australian Museum. Your package includes tickets to the Ramses & The Gold Of The Pharaohs Exhibit, a delicious morning buffet breakfast at Windows on the Park, and superior accommodation Plus, little ones will receive a specially curated activity pack for added enjoyment. The Ramses & The Gold Of The Pharaohs Exhibit Accommodation Package at Pullman Sydney Hyde Park really is the perfect chance to experience the magic of history!

Where:     Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, 36 College Street Sydney
When:      From 20 November 2023 until 19 May 2024 
Cost:        Packages start at $359

14. House Canteen

House Canteen
House Canteen has plenty of school holiday activities to keep the kids entertained

Delight your kids during the school holidays with an interactive and captivating experience at House Canteen. They are offering special activity days featuring Dare Magician, who will provide FREE entertainment to all guests. So if you're after some delicious grub and free entertainment—look no further! 

Where:      Bennelong Point Lower Concourse, Sydney Opera House, Sydney
When:       House Canteen is open from 7.30 am until late
                  Kids' activities are available from 10 - 12 January and 18 - 20 January 2024 from 2 pm
Cost:         FREE entry for all | Kid's bento Box $22 | See the full House Canteen Menu

15. Sydney Opera House

School Holiday Activities in Sydney
Sydney Opera House is bursting with fun-filled school holiday activities in Sydney this summer.

There's no end to Sydney Opera House's school holiday activity offering this year, with family-friendly options to engage the whole family.

These summer school holidays, Meeting Mozart brings the mischievous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the Sydney Opera House stage, along with his wife and muse Constanze, and a string quintet, to take you on an enchanting musical journey. And if that doesn't sound like your thing, there's DOG MAN: THE MUSICAL, adapted from the beloved DOG MAN series of books by Dav Pilkey, coming to the Sydney Opera House stage this summer.

And if you're in need of an escape from the Summer sun, head to the Sydney Opera House for the Australian premiere of the London International Animation Festival for kids. The Playhouse has been transformed into a cinema for you and the family to enjoy the best of independent animation from across the globe. From stop-motion, claymation, 2D and 3D CGI, and everything in between, get comfy in your seats and ready to travel to faraway lands and mysterious planets.

Where:     Sydney Opera House
When:      Various throughout the school holidays
Cost:        Various depending on the event

16. House of WOW

House of Wow
A trip to House of WOW makes for an epic family school holiday activity in Sydney.

Escape the hot summer sun with a trip to House of WOW during the summer school holidays. Situated in the heart of Prestons, this venue is a paradise for thrill-seekers and fun enthusiasts of all ages.

Indulge in the thrill of bowling at the state-of-the-art Hyper Strike alley; test your climbing prowess on the Turbo Climb wall; watch your little ones explore the vast wonders of Monkey Mania, an expansive indoor play area. Dive into the realm of gaming with a diverse selection of arcade machines. Truly, there's something for every age and stage at House of WOW.

Where:     52 Bernera Rd, Prestons
When:      Throughout the summer school holidays and beyond
Cost:        Various depending on activity, visit the website for details

17. Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular

Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular
Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular

Immerse yourself in a magical world of light, colour and nature at the unmissable annual Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular.

Get ready to feast your eyes on the largest Christmas lights display in the Southern Hemisphere for 12 weeks throughout the festive season and summer school holidays. The gorgeous gardens will be alight with over four million twinkling lights, plus, you'll enjoy the roving entertainment, exciting amusement rides and a delicious range of food and drinks.

Where:     Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
When:      Friday 3rd November 2023 - Sunday 28th January 2024
                 Open daily from 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm | Rides from 6 pm to 10 pm
Cost:        Night Passes:
                 Adult $38 | Child  $28 | Family passes from $88 | Under 3s FREE
                 Day/Night Passes: 
                 Adult $55 | Child  $44 | Family passes from $129 | Under 3s FREE

18. Museum of Contemporary Art

MCA School Holidays
Family Space: Play with Chance, 2023, photograph: Jacquie Manning.

Step into a world of interactive fun at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia's family space, 'Play with Chance.'  Inspired by the stunning works of Tacita Dean, this free activity invites kids to explore art and nature by creating clay shapes every weekend and every day during school holidays. While there, explore Dean's captivating film installations, chalkboard drawings, and photography. An ideal summer holiday adventure for all ages! 

Where:     Museum of Contemporary Art, George St, The Rocks
When:      8 December 2023 to 3 March 2024.
Cost:        FREE

19. Monkey Baa Theatre

Monkey Baa
Monkey Baa

It's no secret that a trip to a show makes an awesome school holiday activity in Sydney. Kicking off with Possum Magic during the summer school holidays, Monkey Baa are setting up for an epic 2024 jam-packed with theatre and fun. Possum Magic promises to be a magical stage adaptation of the beloved Australian story perfect for kids aged 3 - 8 years old.

Where:     Museum of Contemporary Art, George St, The Rocks
When:      Throughout the school holidays in Sydney
Cost:        FREE

20. Taronga Zoo

Taronga Concert
Taronga Zoo Christmas Concert

Alongside their awe-inspiring menagerie of animals, there is plenty more to keep kids occupied at Taronga Zoo—a no-brainer of a destination for school holiday activities in Sydney!

Where:   Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman
When:    Throughout the school holidays
Cost:      $29 per adult, $24 for children aged 4-15, children under four FREE

21. Jamberoo Action Park

Jamberoo Action Park
Jamberoo Action Park

Get ready for spring and summer at everyone's favourite aquatic playground - Jamberoo Action Park! Jamberoo has rides for every age and stage, incredible wave pools with their own beaches, rock jumps, bobsleds, a chairlift, mini golf, and their very own Jamberoo Express.

There’s something for everyone, including Billabong Beach which caters specifically to the little ones with ankle-deep water, slides, water spouts, and a smaller bucket on a soft surface surrounded by shaded banana lounges for mum and dad to keep watch. Thrills await at Velocity Falls—so thrill seekers are catered to as well! 

Where:     Jamberoo Action Park, 1215 Jamberoo Road, Jamberoo
When:       Saturday 23 September 2023 - Sunday 28 April 2024 | 10 am - 5 pm 
Cost:         From $59.00 per person

22. Puppeteria

Puppeteria puppet shows for kids make for a great school holiday activity in Sydney.

With its long association with puppetry, Jackie and John Lewis' company, Jeral Puppets, has been performing professionally since 1966.

The Jeral Puppets have plenty of exciting performances taking place during the spring school holidays from an extensive list of shows; including Alice In Wonderland, RumplestiltskinThe Little Mermaid and more. Tickets for Puppeteria's shows can be booked online by visiting

Where:     Puppeteria Theatre, 12H Denawen Ave, Castle Cove.
When:      5 October 2023 - 29 Jan 2024 | All shows start at 10.30 am.
Cost:        Admission is $13 per child and $15 per adult.

23. The Best Kids Shows in Sydney

Circus 1903
Catch one of the best kids shows in Sydney during the summer school holidays!

Sydney is loaded with incredible theatre performances for all ages, and this summer is lining up to be a blockbuster one!

From Circus 1903 to Possum Magic and plenty in betweenthere's a kids' show happening these school holidays in Sydney to appeal to all thespians!

Where:     Various theatres across Sydney
When:      Throughout the school holidays in Sydney
Cost:        Various depending on the show

24. Museums of History New South Wales

School holiday activities in Sydney
Immerse yourself in history this summer at the Museums of History New South Wales.

School holiday activities in Sydney represent the perfect chance for kids and families to explore our city's fascinating history through fun and unique museum experiences and programs at Museums of History New South Wales (formerly Sydney Living Museums).

Museums of History New South Wales has 12 historic houses, gardens, and museums under their helm, brought to life through a dynamic and diverse program of exhibitions, events, and tours, so your family can experience our unique past in a fun, interactive way.

Elizabeth House and Vaucluse House are hosting Convict Kids workshops this summer, offering kids the chance to discover what life was like in colonial times for a convict servant.

Where:    Various Museums of History New South Wales locations 
When:     Throughout the school holidays in Sydney
Cost:       Various - see programs for prices



Get ready for some excitement as Paramount Players reveals the long-awaited trailer for the film adaptation of the MEAN GIRLS musical, which will be in cinemas on January 11, 2024.

This much-anticipated movie, originally rooted in a novel, celebrates its origins by bringing the acclaimed Broadway musical—an adaptation of the iconic film—into the cinematic spotlight. The trailer provides a sneak peek into the production, set to the catchy beat of Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Get Him Back,’ offering a surprising twist from the movie's original score. Stay tuned for a cinematic experience that brings the magic of MEAN GIRLS to a whole new level!  Watch the trailer here.

Where:   Cinemas throughout Sydney
When:    From 11 January 2024
Cost:      Various dependent on cinema

26. Botanic Gardens of Sydney

Botanic Gardens of Sydney
Botanic Gardens of Sydney has plenty to capture kids' imaginations during the school holidays in Sydney.

There is so much to engage, entertain, and amuse young learners of every age and stage during the summer school holidays at the Botanic Gardens of Sydney. There's a Wind in the Willows Production, Sunset Spotlight Tours, Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tours, Sunny Succulent Garden visits, and a whole lot more. 

Where:    Botanic Gardens of Sydney:  Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah
When:     Various dates throughout the summer school holidays
Cost:       Various dependent on activity

More Summer Adventures

Sydney's Best Playgrounds By The Water
The Best Lighthouses In & Around Sydney
Sydney's Best Ocean Pools

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