The 8 Best Kid-Friendly Museums In Sydney

  • Family

Whether you’re sheltering from the rain, escaping the stinking heat or just want to help kids get creative and use their imaginations, a family trip to one of our many awesome museums will do the trick!

Little ones are never too young to be introduced to a bit of art, culture and history, and Sydney is alive with unique and exciting places to explore. Make a date to discover some of the best kid-friendly museums in Sydney.

1. Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the best kid-friendly museums in Sydney
The MCA's creative kids and family programs are bursting with art-filled activities

Affectionately known as the MCA, Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art is one of our absolute favourite places to go - it is just so family-friendly! While we love their ever-changing schedule of fantastic exhibitions, they also run family tours and kid's activities to introduce mini creatives to art.

We recommend Art Safari or Art Baby for a perfect family day at the museum and the Bella Family program for families with special needs. They also have a great rooftop cafe with a view!

2. Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum
Explore galleries, join tours and enjoy creative crafts and free play at the Australian National Maritime Museum

It's Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology - but you might know it as the museum with the Endeavour replica out the front. At the Australian National Maritime Museum, your kids can get hands-on with Captain Cook's ship and relive his voyage to Australia.

The Darling Harbour museum presents a changing schedule of stimulating exhibitions including the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year photography exhibit, plus a host of family-friendly events like Seaside Stroller Tours, Mini Mariners and Kids on Deck.

3. Powerhouse Museum

The Lab Powerhouse Museum
Play, make, imagine and create at The Lab at the Powerhouse Museum

The Powerhouse Museum is the perfect place for inquisitive kids to have a hands-on, interactive experience. The museum boasts a unique and diverse collection of objects that spans history, science, technology and design with exhibitions and programs designed to engage children and young people. Plus, it's FREE.

Train buffs will love getting up close to Locomotive No. 1 and learning about New South Wales’ first train, while The Lab is a brilliant immersive multimedia space to expand your imagination and explore and digital technologies. Current exhibitions on show at the Powerhouse include over 130 guitars in Maton: Australia’s Guitar and a retrospective of Microcars.

4. Australian Museum

Nights at the Australian Museum
Nights at the Museum gives the whole family the chance to explore the exhibits, DJs and much more!

The Australian Museum, our leading natural history and culture museum, is back after a huge $57.5m renovation. The new-look museum boasts large, modern spaces improved amenities, a new Museum Shop, a second café and incredible exhibits and installations.

The Museum is opening its doors to the whole family on Thursday nights until 25 March 2021 for their epic Nights at the Museum program. You'll be able to explore all the wonderful exhibits, join museum tours, explore the fabulous Prehistoric Playground and much more. 

The museum's touring exhibition hall has almost doubled in size is currently home to the popular Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family installation. The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition is also on show in the Grand Hall exhibition space. Little dino lovers will have a roaring good time in the Prehistoric Playground!

5. Sydney Living Museums

Sydney Living Museums
Hear the fascinating story of the Hyde Park Barracks come to life

Known collectively as Sydney Living Museums, families are always welcome to explore the twelve gorgeous heritage properties under the SLM umbrella including Elizabeth Farm, Vaucluse House, Rouse Hill House & Farm and Elizabeth Bay House. Each boasts beautiful grounds and a story from Australia’s past at every turn, and there are always exciting activities on the calendar.

The Museum of Sydney has been transformed into Paradise on Earth with an immersive, multi-sensory exhibition and Hyde Park Barracks has a new Kids’ Activity Trail to explore the newly-restored landmark. The Justice and Police Museum is another intriguing venue to learn about Sydney's past and sometimes seedy underbelly. 

6. Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory
Learn all about the impressive Sydney Observatory features and their role in history

Set in beautiful gardens overlooking Sydney Harbour, the ever-enchanting Sydney Observatory never gets old for either little or big kids! The museum and education centre is an astronomy hub with famous telescopic domes for exploring the sky with experienced guides. At night, you could see stars, planets in the solar system, the Moon or even nebulae that are light-years away. By day you can observe the active Sun with special lenses.

7. Museums Discovery Centre

Museums Discovery Centre
Go behind the scenes at the Museums Discovery Centre

The Museums Discovery Centre is a storage collaboration with the Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums, bringing together exhibits and artifacts that explore the various collecting, conservation and research practices of our museums and reveals their hidden treasures through guided tours and events. 

The centre is home to millions of treasures, with hundreds on display for you to explore, and thousands more waiting to be discovered through booked tours of the deep collection stores. There are amazing permanent exhibitions as well as kids programs, and it is currently open every weekend, free of charge

8. The Rocks Discovery Museum

The Rocks Discovery Museum
A free museum full of interesting artefacts and anecdotes from The Rocks' vibrant past

If you find yourself around Circular Quay with the family, don’t forget to check out the Rocks Discovery Museum set in a gorgeous restored sandstone warehouse. The free, family-friendly museum tells the story of the historic Sydney precinct with thousands of years of history from pre-European days to the present on display.

There are four fascinating permanent exhibitions, plus a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts and fun, interactive audio and visual elements that bring the history of the area to life. Join a free daily guided tour of the museum and learn about the area's rich history.

Thanks to Hasbro: This article is brought to you in partnership with Hasbro Gaming our Supporting Brand Partner for the Unplug & Play Initiative.

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