Adventure, baby!

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

12 Kid-friendly Cafes in Sydney (that parents will enjoy too)

Kid-friendly Cafes in Sydney, Australia

Having a kid these days doesn’t mean your foodie adventures have to come to an end. Spectacular Sydney is serving up plenty of delightful choices for families to take their mini-gourmets to enjoy fancy babyccinos along with a perfectly smashed avo. Check out my top cafes in Sydney for kids to eat and play while adults dine on fine cuisine.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

The Picnic Burwood

The Picnic at Burwood is a whimsical elevation of the humble outdoor dining experience. The outdoor cafe is located inside a pavilion in a park in Burwood, a few metres from a large, fenced in playground. The menu is delightful and delicious. Adults can roge on the very insta-worthy pavlova hotcakes while kids’ eyes light up to see the adorable “bear” dish of bear-shaped toast
with banana and blueberries.

Get more info on visiting The Picnic Burwood here.

The Picnic Burwood
Burwood Rd & Park Ave, Burwood
Hours: Tue-Sun 8am-4pm. Closed Mondays.
Website: facebook.com/Thepicnicburwood

Black Star Pastry, Rosebery, Sydney

Black Star Rosebery and Entertainment Quarter

The home of delicious pastry such as the famous watermelon cake as well as quiche that tastes like heaven, Black Star’s Rosebery and Moore Park cafes are perfect places to take the kids to appreciate the finer tastes in life. Both have large seating areas with plenty of tables and space for strollers, and the Rosebery one has a nice little set of toys for kids to play with while they’re munching their way through some of the best cake in Sydney.

Get more information on visiting Black Star Rosebery here.

Black Star Pastry
C1, 85-113 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm Sat & Sun 8am-4pm

210 Bent St, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
Hours: Mon-Thur 8am-5pm, Fri & Sat, 8am-8pm, Sunday 8am-4pm
Website: blackstarpastry.com.au

Burnt Orange, Sydney

Burnt Orange

The Burnt Orange cafe is housed in an historic sandstone manor overlooking Sydney Harbour. Adults are spoiled for choice with an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, while kids can enjoy fine dining of their own with options such as the crumbed whiting fillets with chips, pasta spirals with fresh tomato sauce or mini organic cheeseburger with chips served with a smartie cookie and a choice of fresh orange juice, strawberry or chocolate milk for $15. Next to the dining area upstairs is a gorgeous boutique store filled with kids toys and clothes.

Get more info on visiting Burnt Orange here and on their amazing high tea here.

Burnt Orange
1109 Middle Head Rd, Mosman
Hours: Daily 8:30am-5:30pm
Website: burntorange.com.au

Clover Cafe, Annandale, Sydney
Clover Cafe

A cheerful little cafe on Annandale, a part of Sydney with loads of young families. A kids play area with sturdy toys keeps little ones entertained while their parents enjoy their baked eggs and fresh juice. While the breakfast menu is light on kids meals the lunch menu has a choices such as the every-popular toastie.

Clover Cafe
78 Booth St, Annandale
Hours: Daily, 7am-3pm
Website: facebook.com/CloverAnnandale

The Grounds Keeper Cafe

Around the corner from the bustling Top Ryde Shopping center, you’ll find the Grounds Keeper Café, a popular spot for families serving up Middle Eastern Food. Kids have a playground that opens into a large park. Kids enjoy their own menu section, called “The Little Groundskeeper”, including simple dishes like eggs with bacon with toast, a ham and cheese omelette with toast, pancakes with strawberries and a ham and cheese toastie.

The Grounds Keeper Cafe
Ryde Park, 30 Argyle Avenue, Ryde
Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs & Fri 9am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8am-4pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Website: groundskeepercafe.com.au

Three Williams Cafe #Redfern #Sydney via christineknight.me

Three Williams

A cafe in the trendy part of Redfern, Three Williams is a delightful surprise for families looking to dine in the area. A peek inside the entrance into the cavernous underground cafe reveals plenty of space. Kids love to race up and down the ramp intended for disabled access, that leads them straight to a giant chalkboard and small play area. The food is fantastic and the staff extremely kind towards their youngest guests.

Get more info on visiting Three Williams here.

Three Williams
613a Elizabeth St, Redfern
Hours: Daily, 7am-4pm
Website: threewilliamscafe.com

#thegrounds #alexandria; #kidfriendly #restaurants, #alexandria #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Grounds of Alexandria

This cafe is constantly rated one of Sydney’s best for a very good reason. The Grounds of Alexandra is a cornucopia of whimsical delights. From the farm animals (meeting the famous pig, “Kevin Bacon” is a must) to the play area, fountain and rambling paths leading through gardens and lanes bursting with flowers, statues and tiny creative details, the external grounds at The Grounds is, in itself, worth a visit alone. The food is excellent: the popular “signature avocado” set a new standard in smashed avo brekkies when introduced a few years back.

Get more info on visiting The Grounds of Alexandria here.

The Grounds of Alexandria
7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-9pm, Friday 7am-10pm, Saturday 7:30am-10pm, Sunday 7:30am-9pm
Website: thegrounds.com.au

Bitton: #kidfrindly #cafes #alexandria #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Bitton Gourmet
Ask for a table out the back next to the small toddler play area when dining at Bitton Gourmet with littles. Adults enjoy the delicious French-Australian cuisine while the kids love that they have somewhere to play while waiting for their scrambled eggs. We love their all-day breakfast menu and the can-do staff who are always happy to help in anyway they can.

Get more info on visiting Bitton Gourmet here.

Bitton Gourmet
36-37A Copeland St, Alexandria
Hours: Wed-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun-Tues 7am-4pm.
Website: bittongourmet.com.au/alexandria

The Incinerator: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Willoughby, Sydney

The Incinerator Willoughby

A popular cafe for families on Sydney’s North Shore, the cafe is inside old incinerator that has been given a new lease of life. Outdoor tables and grassy areas give kids plenty of room to roam while their parents enjoy “Have it your way” free range eggs and Ti Tam milkshakes. A nearby playground provides a convenient place to let kids run around if there’s a wait for tables.

Get more info on visiting The Incinerator Cafe here.

The Incinerator Willoughby
2 Small St, Willoughby
Hours: Sun-Thurs 7am-4pm, Fri & Sat 7am-4pm, 5pm-10pm
Website: theincinerator.com.au

Coogee Pavilion, Sydney

Coogee Pavilion

Head to the back of the Coogee Pavilion to find a paradise for kids and their parents. Giant games of Connect Four and Scrabble, building blocks, board games and a colouring table entertain the kids, leaving adults free to enjoy a well-deserved drink. The wood-fire pizzas are our fave dishes to order.

Get more info on visiting the Coogee Pavilion here and on the perfect day in Coogee here.

Coogee Pavilion
169 Dolphin St, Coogee
Hours: Daily, 7:30am-12am
Website: merivale.com.au/coogeepavilion

Grandma's Little Bakery, Alexandria, Sydney

Grandma’s at McEvoy in Alexandria

One of our go-to kid-friendly cafes in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, Grandma’s Little Bakery serves up home-style cooking and baking in a cosy, friendly environment. Their concept is “bringing together flavours & loved recipes from real Grandmas & Grandpas from all over the world”, which I found very sweet. Try their famous Shakshuka (2 eggs served on a hot pan, olive oil with added ingredients like feta or spinach, served w/ Bread). A standard all-day breakfast menu plus soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries are also on offer. Kids adore getting their milkshakes and juices in the bear-shaped mugs – if you can tear them away from the playspace, that is!

Grandma’s Little Bakery Alexandria
140-142 McEvoy St, Alexandria
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-4pm
Website: grandmas.com.au

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

Camperdown Commons
Order a meal from acre, the sustainably-focused eatery at Camperdown Commons, while the kids play nearby. Diners can choose between a large, sit down restaurant and bar, container with takeaway coffee and snacks and a casual outdoor area on the terrace or lawn area outside. Many of the ingredients in the dishes come directly from the pocket gardens onsite, making the dining experience very literally farm-to-table. Families will particularly love the outdoor area with its interactive kids’ play space and chicken coop where rescue hens from battery farms now live a life of luxury.

Get more info on visiting Camperdown Commons here.

Camperdown Commons
31a Mallett Street, Camperdown
Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm–3pm, 5pm–10pm, Fri-Sun 8am–3pm, 5pm–10pm
Website: camperdown.commons.com.au

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney’s Best Cafes: Black Star Pastry, Rosebery

Black Star Pastry, Rosebery, Sydney

The darling of the Sydney pastry world has to be Black Star Pastry owner Christopher Thé. His iconic strawberry-watermelon cake really put Black Star on the map, resulting in a long line out of his original Newtown store that would stretch down the block.

Black Star Pastry, Rosebery, Sydney

While the Newtown store is filled with character (you can read about it here), it’s also very small with minimal seating. The Rosebery store is like a warehouse: light and bright with plenty of tables.
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery, Sydney
There are also some toys for kids to play with while their parents are swooning over their cakes and croissants.
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery, Sydney
We always order the strawberry-watermelon cake because it would be a crime not to. The cake is comprised of two layers of almond dacquoise, fresh whipped cream, watermelon, strawberries and red grapes. It’s light and refreshing and incredibly more-ish.
Fun & Food In #Newtown: #BlackStarPastry via brunchwithmybaby.com
I also love the orange cake with Persian fig. It’s topped with cream-cheese icing, figs, pistachio and rose petals and is delicious.
We usually have lunch when we dine in and enjoy Black Star’s pies and quiches. The coffee, from specialty roaster Little Marionette, gets a big thumbs up from the hubby.
Black Star Pastry Rosebery #Sydney #Australia via christineknight.me Black Star Pastry Rosebery #Sydney #Australia via christineknight.me

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Black Star Pastry
C1, 85-113 Dunning Avenue,
Rosebery NSW 2018
Prices: $
Phone: (02) 9700 7686
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm Sat & Sun 8am-4pm
Get Directions

Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney Guide: Tips For First-time Visitors

Sydney Guide: Tips For First-time Visitors

Welcome to Sydney! I’m thrilled you’re visiting my hometown. Sydney is a beautiful, safe city and there’s so much to do. This Sydney guide will help you navigate the city and enjoy your visit.

How to get around

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. If you’re in Sydney for a few says, buy an Opal card to use public transport – the one card gives you daily travel caps and enables you to use all four transport systems, plus lets you use the $2.50 per person Sunday cap. Taxis and Uber in Sydney are expensive so walking plus public transport are your best options.

Driving in Sydney

To see a lot of Sydney and its surrounds, it’s advisable to hire a car. International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in NSW. Note that all speed limits are strictly enforced with cameras and it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.

When to visit

Sydney is the perfect year-round travel destination due to its temperate climate. It does, however, get extreme heat in summer (December to February). While the average maximum temperatures are around 26°C (78.8°F), it can reach over 40°C (104°f) during this time of year. Summer is also the most humid time of year to visit, with average humidity of 65%.

Winter (June – August) average maximum temperatures are around 16°C (60.8°F). Sydney’s highest rainfall is between March and June.

National Emergency Services

The national phone number for all emergency services in Australia, including ambulance, fire and police, is 000. You can dial Triple Zero within Australia from any fixed line, mobile phone, pay phone and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. If you have a GSM digital mobile phone, you can also dial the international standard emergency number 112.

Hotel Review: The Langham Sydney, Australia

Where to stay

For a short stay, hotels in the CBD particularly around Circular Quay and The Rocks will make it easy to get around as they’re close to public transport as well as main attractions. Darling Harbour is also a good choice particularly for families. My fave hotel to stay at is The Langham Sydney in The Rocks.

For longer stays try renting a house or apartment on Stayz.com.au or airbnb.com.au.

Get hotel rates in Sydney from Booking.com or find special up-to-date deals below.



Booking.com



Booking.com

 

Things to do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House Day pack via christineknight.me

Free things to do in Sydney

The best things to do with Kids in Sydney

The best beaches in Sydney

Exploring Sydney

Best high teas in Sydney

8 of the best animal experiences in Sydney

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Best Indoor Play Centres in Sydney

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

For those days when it’s raining and cold, here are a few easy, indoor options to entertain the kids!

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Nubo
Location: Alexandria (opening soon in Chatswood)
Nubo is our favourite play space in Sydney. The purpose of Nubo is to let kids explore, create, rest and wonder. Each section of the centre focuses on a different purpose and activity that matches it, resulting in a space looks more like a children’s museum than a traditional play gym.

Get more info on visiting Nubo here.
Website: nubo.com.au

Jungle Buddies Play Centre, Five Dock via christineknight.me

Jungle Buddies
Location: Five Dock
Jungle Buddies at Five Dock is a huge, clean and bright play centre. The climbing structure is massive, with plenty of nocks and crannies and levels to keep kids entertained for hours. The equipment is all extremely clean and new, which is an added bonus for me and my hatred of dirty sticky things.

Get more info on visiting Jungle Buddies here.
Website: junglebuddies.com.au

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Sky Zone
Locations: Alexandria, Miranda
Australia’s premiere trampolining features more than 117 interconnected trampolines. Kids can also tackle 30 different climbing challenges at Sky Climb. Little kids can try the “Little Leapers” session where they can bounce safely without bigger kids around.

Get more info on visiting Sky Zone Little Leapers program here.
Website: skyzone.com.au

Flip Out
Locations: Blacktown, Brookvale, Caringbah, Castle Hill, Penrith, Prestons, Punchbowl
There’s plenty of jumping to be had at these trampolining parks.
Website: flipout.net

Little Dynamos
Location: Alexandria
This outdoor-themed centre for kids features a a multi-level playscape plus a foam ball arena. There’s also a cafe for snacks.
Website: littledynamos.com

Monkey Mania
Locations: Ryde, Bankstown, Entertainment Quarter, Casula, Gosford, Campbelltown, Penrith
Kids can run off steam climbing large play structures and hurtling down slides.
Website: monkeymania.com.au

Chipmunks Playground & Cafe
Locations: Bankstown, Macquarie Centre, Prospect, Villawood
The Chipmunks play spaces feature large climbing structures made from soft equipment.
Website: chipmunks.com.au

Ultimate Family Fun Centre Sydney
Location: Northmead
Enjoy 2500sqm of fun including over 750sqm of trampolines, a massive foam pit with a climbing wall at the back, the largest indoor play centre/jungle gym/soft play setup in Australia (split into 0-5 years and 5-12 years), dodgem cars and a party room.
Website: ultimate.sydney

Wannabees Family Playtown
Locations: Frenchs Forest, Hornsby
In the Wannabees child-sized city, kids can discover what they want to be when they grow up.
Website: wannabees.com.au

Little Rascals
Location: Brookvale
This indoor play space features enclosed climbing areas for both older and younger kids.
Website: littlerascalsplayland.com.au

Lollipops Playland
Location: Penrith
There’s plenty of limbing and sliding to be had at Lollipops!
Website: penrith.lollipopsplayland.com.au

Monkey Bar Playground
Location: Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre
A free play area that is enclosed on three sides featuring a mini obstacle course for toddlers and two spiralling towers with a tunnel that runs over the top of an escalator.
Website: rhodeswaterside.com.au

Australia Academy of Parkour
Kids will be bouncing off the walls literally as they learn the art of parkour.
Locations: Tempe, Pyrmont, Chullora
Website: aapes.com.au

Inflatable World
Locations: Blacktown, Campbelltown, Castle Hill, Liverpool, Miranda, Narellan, Mt Kuring-gai, St Marys, Peakhurst.
The biggest indoor inflatable playgrounds in Australia.
Website: inflatableworldoz.com.au

Cool Cats Inflatable World
Location: Randwick
Kids are kept active, entertained and challenged on their interactive inflatable games.
Website: coolcatsfun.com.au

Climbing Gyms

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

While kids aged 6 and over can generally have a go at any climbing gym on the easiest courses, these three facilities cater specifically to kids.

Sky Zone
Locations: Alexandria, Miranda
As well as trampolines, Sky Zone has an excellent space called Sky Climb, where kids can tackle 30 different climbing challenges. All the climbs at Sky Zone have an “auto belayer” which means the rope system is automatic and doesn’t require an adult to be clipped into the harness and lower them down to the ground again, which is the case at the majority of climbing gyms. For that reason alone, Sky Zone is our fave place to climb in Sydney.
Website: skyzone.com.au

Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym
Locations: St Peters, Villawood
While both locations have a designated kids’ climbing area, the Villawood gym has a much larger area than St Peters. Both locations have at least one party room. Villawood has several tunnels for kids to climb and crawl through.
Website: indoorclimbing.com.au

ClimbFit
Location: St Leonards
Kids as young as 4 years old can experience indoor rock climbing at Climb-fit, using their designated kids area, crawling through the Groove Tube or holding a birthday party in the party room.
Website: climbfit.com.au

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Ice Skating Rinks In Sydney

Where To Go Ice Skating In Sydney

Ice skating is so much fun for kids and adults alike. Kids can enjoy a public skating session at any of these rinks, as well as joining a learn-to-skate program from an early age (most programs start at age 4).

Ice Skating Canturbury, Australia

Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink
Sydney’s best value rink hosts a wide variety of public sessions plus learn-to-skate classes and disco events. At this Olympic-sized rink, parking is plentiful, unlimited and free. We love their learn-to-skate lessons because they are drop-in for a bargain price of $17 for a 30 minute group lesson plus 1 hour practice session directly after the lesson (other rinks may offer a 30 minute practice session, a free practice session at another time or none). Facilities also include a heated canteen, coin-operated lockers and disabled access toilets. The ice rink also offers birthday parties, school holiday clinics and learn-to-skate programs plus disco nights and special holiday events.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney

Macquarie Ice Rink
Located in Macquarie Shopping Centre at North Ryde, this ice rink has the added bonus of being a place to skate and shop at the same time. Macquarie Ice Rink has general public sessions as well as offering term-time and school holiday learn-to-skate programs, an all-day mega skate session with unlimited skating from $20, live DJ sessions, and soccer bubbles on ice. Macquarie Ice Rink has recently had a multi-million dollar renovation and is looking very nice as a result! They offer group bookings and birthday parties, and will validate your parking ticket so you can get an extra hour of free parking. After skating, head to Vogue, our fave cafe in the shopping centre, for lunch. More info on Vogue Cafe here.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Image courtesy of Macquarie Ice Rink.

The Ice Zoo Alexandria
While the Ice Zoo has the traditional public skating and learn-to-skate sessions, it’s also the place to try some added fun on ice such as ice fitness classes and live DJ nights with light shows. The Ice Zoo has a wide range of facilities and programs on offer, including adult and kids learn-to-skate classes, disco on ice, birthday parties, hockey development classes for kids aged 5 and up and the popular “Snow Play” $15 sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays for kids aged 6 and under to experience snow all year ’round. The Ice Zoo also has penguin skate aids for hire and free parking.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Penrith Ice Palace
Western Sydney’s Olympic-size ice skating centre has state-of-the-art facilities and programs including general public skating sessions, figure skating clubs and lessons, children’s birthday parties, synchronised figure skating and learn-to-skate programs. Penrith Ice Palace also offers Penguin Skate Aids for hire, 2.5hr weekend skate sessions, the ice sport Broomball, kids’ birthday parties, Friday night disco sessions and ice hockey. Car parking is available in the car park or on the street.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Liverpool Catholic Club Ice Skating Rink, Sydney

Liverpool Catholic Club (LCC)
The LCC Ice Rink offers public skating sessions, learn-to-skate programs, penguin skate aids for hire, ice disco sessions and playgroup sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays for kids aged 2-6. The $13 session includes lessons, games and snow play, small chips and a poppa, plus parents can hop on the ice for an extra $4. There’s plenty of free parking available in the LCC car park. Members pay a discounted rate.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney’s Best Playgrounds: Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

This brand new playground in Waterloo is a joint venture between the City of Sydney and property developer Meriton, as part of their residential development plan for the area. As you can see from these images, Wulaba Park is situated right in the middle of high rise housing developments. Having lived in this area ourselves previously, it’s wonderful to see more play spaces for kids opening up for the community.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Wulaba Park features an exciting playground designed by a landscape architect in conjunction with Sydney artist Nuha Saad. The result is an elegant design that is quite beautiful to look at with soaring lines and bold colours.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

The name of the park, “Wulaba” is an Aboriginal word of the Gadical people meaning rock wallaby. Until the development of the early 20th century, Waterloo was the largest swamp in the area and home to many rock wallabies. Nowadays, the park is a place for human wallabies to hop around and burn off some energy.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Waluba Park features a giant mega slide, a tall climbing tower, tunnels for kids to run through, nets and ladders to climb and a swing set on a soft-surface floor. The 4,000sqm of outdoor space also features a landscaped picnic and bbq area, bike tracks and handball and table tennis courts.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Our verdict

While we loved the design and Cheese found it incredible inviting, there wasn’t overly much for her to do there and she wanted to leave sooner than we had expected. The park isn’t fenced so parents have to keep an extra close eye on littlies, and there is very little shade. No shade clothes have been built into the park, and the trees are new and small.

Bathrooms: One toilet with baby change facilties
Cafes: None – you’ll have to walk to the nearby shopping complex in Zetland
Parking: Limited but do-able. We parked at the Zetland shopping complex and walked over.
Public Transport: Bus stop nearby. Nearest train station is Green Square.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo
54–60 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean at the MCA Sydney

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Sip my Ocean is a brand new exhibition by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, exclusively on display in Sydney. Pipilotti Rist is known for her experimental video art and multimedia installations where she uses video and sculpture to immerse viewers in colourful projections.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

As viewers weave their way through the exhibition, they pass through a series of rooms, each set up to project light and video onto the walls, floor and objects. Pillows and beds on the floor invite the viewer to sit or lay down and watch the kaleidoscopic presentations.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

The exhibition is an excellent choice to introduce children to contemporary art. They can sit, watch and engage with the exhibition and take from it their own interpretation, be it a symphony of light and colour, or a delightful array of images, many of them from nature.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

In one room, the work called 4th Floor to Mildness invites viewers to lie down on one of 18 beds and look up at two large panels on the roof where underwater images of plants, limbs and sea glass are projected. It’s an experience that feels very much like being underwater.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia
The highlight for us was the piece of light art called Pixelwald (Pixel Forest), which imagines a TV screen exploding in a room. The pixels are represented by lights hanging from the ceiling that twinkle and surge in response to music.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia
In the adjacent National Centre for Creative Learning, kids can experiment with mirrored light and projections in the free drop-in art space “Sundays with Pipilotti”. Note: You do not need a ticket to the exhibition to visit the drop-in space.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean at the MCA Sydney
5 November 2017 – 18 February 2018
Adults: $22

Concession: $17
Youth: $12 (Children and young people aged between 12 and 18 years)
Family: $56 (Valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children. This ticket is for families with children ages 12–18)
Children 12 and under are FREE.
Buy tickets here

Sundays with Pipilotti
Free entry
Open every Sunday during the exhibition*, 10.30am – 4pm
Location: National Centre for Creative Learning, Level 3
*Exceptionally on 10 December the space will close at midday

Hungry? Check out the MCA Rooftop Cafe and Sculpture Terrace.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s Centennial Park, the newly opened Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is designed to connect children with nature and engage all five of their senses.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, AustraliaInside the Garden, children can indeed run wild and explore the environment which includes around 12,000 plants, a water play area featuring 11 water jets and mist machines, a 7-metre tall treehouse with a bridge leading to it and slide leading down, a 10-metre tunnel, a bamboo forest, a sand pit, and, our favourite, a wide open space with logs and rocks for climbing and branches for building teepees or cubby houses.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

The Garden was created for children aged 2 – 12, of all abilities. Within each of the “spaces” of the garden there are plenty of ways for kids to engage with their surroundings regardless of their age or background. Every section of the Garden has been created in a way that it is a blank canvas that is open to interpretation by the child to project their own imagination onto, and create their own world and games inside.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

We visited the Garden on its opening weekend and it was absolutely packed, which is understandable. It’s a delightful place with a lot of attention to small details such as trails for kids to run down and a forest of bamboo that they can disappear into.

While the garden is a decent size it’s not massive and it wasn’t big enough to cope with the amount of people who visited when we were there. Plants were getting trampled and even ripped out by kids (where were their parents???? I have no idea!!), and the line to get up into the treehouse and slide back down again was so crowded it looked unsafe for littles to get involved.

Hopefully when its newness has worn off the Garden will have less less people there on a regular basis so it’s able to be a safe and enjoyable environment for the little kids it was designed for.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

We spent the majority of our time in the garden building a cubby house made out of the big sticks that are provided and decorating it with rocks, bark and ferns we found lying around. Unfortunately the greenery had been ripped off plants by other kids before we arrived – we used it to decorate since it was already on the ground, but did tell Cheese that we don’t rip branches off trees.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Entry to the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is free. There is a van serving coffee, drinks and snacks inside the garden plus excellent bathroom facilities.

Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden
Centennial Park
Hours: The Garden is open daily, 10am-5pm. 
Where to find the Garden: Located in Centennial Park, off Grand Drive and adjacent to the Education Precinct.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sculpture By The Sea 2017

Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia

It’s time for the 21st annual Sculpture by the Sea, the largest free to the public sculpture exhibition in the world. This year in Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea runs from 19 October – 5 November 2017, along the cliff top walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

While the majority of the sculptures are not able to be touched, each year there are several that are designed to be interacted with by visitors, be it walking through them, on them or climbing over them – the placards in front of the sculptures let people know which ones are able to be touched and which ones are too fragile.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

This year we found that there weren’t any interactive sculptures like in previous years sadly, but still some that could be crawled through and touched.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

Please enjoy the photos of this spectacular exhibition, and scroll down to the bottom for tips on attending.

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Tips for attending Sculpture By The Sea

  • Go early, like 6am early. Last year we arrived at 7am and it was perfect. This year we arrived at 9:45am and it was absolutely packed.
  • Parking is a nightmare. Go early and look for a spot around Tamarama or Bronte.
  • Bring lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. The sun is brutal on the walk and there is no shade.
  • Bathrooms are located at Tamarama Beach, Mark’s Place and Bondi Beach.
  • Food is also located at Tamarama, Bondi and Mark’s Place. In 2017 there is a new fast food service at St Mark’s Place serving basic breakfast food from 7am-10am like granola, fruit salad, croissants and quiche, and, from 10am, pies, sausage rolls and quiche plus burgers, gnocchi and fries. There are also sweet treats and drinks including freshly squeeze juice. Kids meals: nuggets and chips, tuna wrap, ham and cheese toastie.
  • The walk is not stroller friendly at all. If you cannot bring your child in a baby carrier, walk/drive to Mark’s Place – it’s the only stroller accessible point of the walk.
  • Try for dawn or sunset for pictures with truly stunning light and less people around.
  • There are two kids’ playgrounds on the walk – one at Tamarama Beach and one at Mark’s Place.
  • Week days are much less busy than weekends.
  • Keep an eye on small children. Not only is the walk crowded, it runs along the cliff tops where there are no guard rails or barriers to stop children from falling over the edge.
  • Not all sculptures are designed to be touched. Please respect the signs and only touch those that are designated for interaction.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Photography tip: It might look like we were pretty much by ourselves on the walk but this was thanks to careful shooting and editing. For pics like these, be extremely patient and wait until other people leave the frame, or step around them and find an angle with no-one in it. If you can’t do either, then crop in close.

Sculpture By The Sea

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Best Things To Do In Sydney With Kids

The Best Things To Do In Sydney With Kids #sydney #australia #familytravel

Sydney is a kid’s playground! There are literally so many things to enjoy with children that it will take you an entire childhood here to discover them all. If you’re visiting for a day, a week, a month or are a local, here you’ll find a multitude of things to do with kids in Sydney.

In The City Centre

The Rocks

The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
Visit the place of the first European settlement in Australia, as well as the traditional home of the Gadigal Aboriginal people in the Rocks. Wander the cobblestone streets, enjoy panoramic views of Sydney Harbour including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and take a look at a few of the heritage sites and buildings in the area.

There are over 100 historic sites and buildings, the oldest house being Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816.  Drop by the Rocks Discovery Museum, a free museum located inside a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse with an interactive kids corner upstairs, or grab one of the best scones in Sydney at The Tea Cosy (their kids’ Devonshire tea is adorable and delicious).

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour

The world’s tallest steel arch bridge connects the northern suburbs of Sydney with the CBD. Take a stroll over the Sydney Harbour Bridge – the two access points to the pedestrian walkway are up Cumberland Street in The Rocks in the CBD and near Milsons Point train station in the north. If you and the kids are feeling energetic, climb 200 stairs to the Pylon Lookout for stunning views (admission fees apply).

Observatory Hill Park and the Sydney Observatory

Observatory Hill, Sydney, Australia
Located in The Rocks, the hill is is a gorgeous spot for a picnic with a view, as well as being home to the Sydney Observatory, a heritage-listed museum and public observatory. Sydney Observatory runs and family tours and activities throughout the year which are perfect for mini star gazers.

State Library of NSW

State Library of NSW Australia

It’s free to wander into Australia’s oldest library (it was established in1826) and check out their exhibitions which include, at time of print, the touring May Gibbs: Celebrating 100 Years exhibit. The library also runs free activities for kids during school term for under 5s and school holidays for older children. Check out their calendar to see what’s on when you visit.

Powerhouse Museum

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

Located in the old Ultimo Power Station building adjacent to Darling Harbour, the Powerhouse Museum is the flagship branch of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences ((MAAS) in Sydney.

#Wiggles #Exhibition at the #PowerhouseMuseum #Sydney #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

The museum’s collection encompasses science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine, fashion and contemporary culture.

Locomotive No. 1, the first steam locomotive to haul a passenger train in New South Wales, is a popular drawcard just inside the museum’s entrance, as is the ever-popular interactive Wiggles Exhibition.

Throughout the year the Powerhouse Museum hosts temporary exhibitions plus a wide range of kid-focussed activities and workshops with a strong focus on science and coding, particularly during the school holidays. Check out their calendar for upcoming events.

Australian Museum

Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia
When it opened in 1897, The Australian Museum became the first museum in Australia, with an international reputation in the fields of natural history and anthropology. The museum’s dinosaur exhibition, containing 10 complete dinosaur skeletons and eight life-sized models is very popular with kids.

Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia

The Australian Museum also runs family-focussed programs year round for kids aged 9 months and up. School aged kids always have a large range of science-based activities to choose from during the school holidays – last holidays we painted fossils and cracked geodes with a hammer, as well as meeting the museum’s giant puppet dinosaur, Bruno.

The dedicated Kidspace area is a hit with littles aged five and under (as well as the slightly bigger kids who still like to sneak in!). Check our the museum’s calendar for upcoming events.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain

Roytal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

The gardens and Domain are gorgeous all year round. Wrapped around Farm Cove just south of the Sydney Opera House, the gardens, which were established in 1816, occupy one of Sydney’s most spectacular waterfront positions.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens runs plenty of family and kids’ programs all year ’round (check their calendar for upcoming events) but we have the most fun practicing cartwheels on the shady lawns, watching eels in the pond and climbing rocks and trees.

The Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Stroll through five levels of masterpieces including an extensive collection of Aboriginal art, European masters, Asian art and visiting exhibitions. The general galleries at the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) are all free to enter.

The Art Gallery of NSW for Families via christineknight.me

Children can use online booklets to explore artworks or download free audio tours that have been created just for kids. The AGNSW frequently runs free activities for kids on Sundays and school holidays.

Museum of Contemporary Art

MCA Cafe via christineknight.me

Wander through galleries of exciting modern art from leading Australian and international artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Grab a coffee at the rooftop cafe and sculpture terrace and enjoy the stunning harbour view.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney via christineknight.me

The MCA runs lots of free and small donation activities for kids throughout the year too, from their monthly Sunday Family Fun Days to a drop in activity room and school holiday crafts.

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a performance venue on Bennelong Point, well-known for its distinctive series of “shells” covering the roof. The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

The Sydney Opera House offers a great program of shows for kids of all ages (check their calendar beforehand) and it’s usually possible to get last-minute tickets.

Sydney Opera House Day pack via christineknight.me

The Junior Adventure Tour also takes kids behind the scenes on a family-friendly tour of the Sydney Opera House. If there aren’t any shows on, it’s still fun to walk around the outside, including up the famous steps, and inside the box office area to take a peek.

Get more info on the Junior Adventure Tour.

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island and step back in time at one Australia’s World Heritage-listed convict sites. Bring a picnic lunch and scooters for the kids, who will also enjoy the free Convict Clues Challenge.

Get more info on a day at Cockatoo Island.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia

Australia’s oldest park is located in the centre of Sydney’s CBD. Divided by the major traffic artery Park Street, in the northern section you’ll find the Archibald Fountain and various themed gardens, while the southern section is home to the ANZAC Memorial building and visitor centre and the pool of reflection. Hyde Park is the perfect spot for a picnic or just a rest under one of the many large fig trees that give the park shade.

Barangaroo

Barangaroo Sydney via christineknight.me

Sydney’s newest harbour precinct is the result of a transformation from a disused container terminal into a stunning 22-hectare waterfront destination. Pack a picnic lunch and sit on the hill facing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or unleash the child within and roll all the way down to the bottom. Kids will adore climbing the large rocks around the waters edge or scooting up and down the wide path. Check the Barangaroo calendar for upcoming events.

Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye, Australia

Sydney’s tallest structure and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere is also a great spot to take kids. The Sydney Tower Eye – which you might hear locals call Centrepoint Tower, AMP Tower, Westfield Centrepoint Tower or Sydney Skytower rises 309m in the sky, giving visitors a birds-eye view over Sydney. Little ones will enjoy peering out of of the telescopes on the enclosed Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck while older visitors can step outside as part of the SKYWALK experience (an additional cost). Get more info here.

Darling Harbour and Pyrmont

Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

A recreational precinct in Sydney where you’ll find waterfront restaurants, wildlife, tall ships, one of the best playgrounds in Sydney and plenty more to entertain the kids in this one neighbourhood. During school holidays there are usually plenty of free activities for kids, too. Check their calendar for upcoming events.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) is Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. Grab a free ticket from the front desk for admission into the permanent indoor galleries and under 5s play area “Mini Mariners”.
Australian National Maritime Museum

For entry into our fave spot, the “Kids on Deck” craft area, visiting exhibitions and the ships, a paid ticket is required. The ANMM runs lots of programs for kids  all year round including live shows, “Mini Mariners” for kids aged 2-5 and the cabinet of curiosity that contains all kinds of wonders for kids to touch, like the tooth of a blue whale. Check their calendar for upcoming events and look out for when Bailey, the museum dog, is scheduled to make an appearance.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Australia

Get up close to a more than 700 species of Australian aquatic life in 12 themed zones at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. An impressive 13,000 animals live in the aquarium in six million litres of water, including dugongs, rays, tropical reef fish and sharks. A popular exhibit is Penguin Expedition, allowing guests to sail past a colony of King and Gentoo Penguins on a boat ride.

Get more info on Penguin Expedition and on SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

Image credit: Sydney Aquarium

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Meet iconic Australian animals at Wild Life Sydney Zoo. This small zoo is the perfect size to take young kids, and is easy to navigate with a wide, flat path, perfect for strollers. Get up close to the Cassowary, echidna, sugar gliders, koalas and kangaroos, plus a giant croc!

Get more info on Wild Life Sydney Zoo.

Madam Tussauds Sydney

A wax museum where visitors can take a selfie with Barak Obama in the oval office, or shake it off with Taylor Swift. Aussie legends like Steve Irwin and Ned Kelly are also photo-ready.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney, Australia

A calming place to let kids wander past waterfalls and exotic plants, through pavilions and up hidden pathways. Count the koi carp swimming in the lakes, try Chinese tea in the teahouse and dress up in traditional Chinese costumes* at the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
* For an additional fee

Image credit: Destination NSW

Darling Quarter Playground

A Day In The Darling Quarter #darlingharbour #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

The most centrally-located Sydney playground features a 21-metre flying fox, water play area with pumps and buckets and plenty of slides, climbing structures and swings. It’s a must for kids visiting the city.

Get more info on the Darling Quarter Playground.

Yum Cha at Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Take your pick from carts brimming with dim dum, dumplings, noodles and spring rolls. Yum cha is one of the most kid-friendly dining experiences you can have, and the Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant is the place to try it.

Get more info on Yum Cha at Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont here.

Pirrama Park Playground Pyrmont

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me
This beautiful playground in Pyrmont has shiny, well-designed equipment, a water play area, sand pit with shade cloth, new, well-maintained bathrooms (including baby change facilities) and a cafe with shaded seating. Street parking is available.

Get more info on Pirrama Park Playground here.

In Sydney’s North

Wendy Whitley’s Secret Garden

Wendy's Secret Garden, Sydney via christineknight.me

A serene spot in Lavender Bay, the garden was created in 1992 by Wendy Whiteley, wife and muse to artist Brett Whiteley, following her by then ex-husband’s death.

Wendy's Secret Garden, Sydney via christineknight.me

We love Wendy’s Secret garden. It’s a really special space for kids to follow the weaving pathways through lush foliage and discover little secrets hidden in nooks and crannies.

Get more into on Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation that supports wildlife conservation. Opened in 1816 overlooking Sydney Harbour, the zoo is home to over 4,000 animals; Australian native wildlife plus rare and endangered exotic animals. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo for a scenic 12 minute voyage, then catch the Sky Safari, Sydney’s only cable car, to the top of the zoo.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Zoo highlights include the QBE Free-Flight Bird Show that features spectacular birds flying against the stunning Sydney Sydney Harbour, the new Tiger Trek exhibit and Lemur Forest Adventure where visitors can walk into the lemur enclosure.

There are two excellent playgrounds at Taronga Zoo, one at the Lemur Forest Adventure and the other at the farm animals section.

Nutcote

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Nutcote is the house of renowned children’s author and illustrator, May Gibbs, creator of the Gumnut Babies. The house is now a museum dedicated to Gibbs’ life and work. While parents and older kids will enjoy reading about the history of the property and author while walking through the museum, littlies will love darting around the gardens and spotting Gibb’s characters and dressing up as a gumnut baby.

Get more info on visiting Nutcote.

Luna Park

Luna Park Sydney

Located at Milsons Point right on the waterfront, Luna Park is a superbly restored 1930s amusement park. Particularly popular is Coney Island, an old-school funhouse that has been entertaining families for almost 80 years.

Get more info on visiting Luna Park.

North Sydney Olympic Pool

North Sydney Olympic Pool

This pool, located next to Luna Park on the waterfront, has the best views in Sydney! Swim with the iconic Sydney Harbour as your backdrop. The North Sydney Olympic Pool features an outdoor 50 metre pool, toddler pool and baby splash pool, plus an indoor 24 metre pool, wading pool and spa.

Image credit: Kajo Merkert; Destination NSW

In Sydney’s Inner West

The Bay Run

The Bay Run, Sydney, Australia
Walkers, runners and cyclists all enjoy the Bay Run, is a 7-kilometre-long path that encircles much of Iron Cove. The scenic path runs right on the water front and is an enclosed loop which makes for an easy start and finish location. Popular places to begin are King George Park, Leichhardt Park or Callan Park. If your kid is into cycling or scooting, this is a gorgeous place to take them. There is a playground right off the path where it passes Leichhardt.

Ballast Point Park

Ballast Point Park, Sydney, Australia

Located at the very tip of the Balmain peninsula, Ballast Point Park was once home to local Aboriginal tribes before European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. The park’s indigenous history is recognised in a dual name – Walama – which means ‘to return’. The 2.6-hectare park opened in 2009 with several design features that highlight its history. Ballast Point Park has stunning harbour views and is a popular picnic and barbecue spot for families.

Newtown street art, cafes and playground

Newtown Graffiti via Christineknight.me

Catch the train to Newtown Station and wander the streets of one of Sydney’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods. Walk down alley ways to discover works of art painted on buildings around almost every corner, grab a bite to eat on King Street and let kids run off steam at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. There is an excellent gated playground in the park.

Get more info on seeing street art in Newtown.

In Sydney’s South West and West

Blaxland Riverside Park

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

A gorgeous spot for families with one of the biggest playgrounds in Sydney set among three hectares of rolling hills and big open spaces. The playground caters for kids of all ages and abilities with a fantastic water play area (the largest outdoor water play facility in NSW), moving play elements, high and steep landforms and hidden and confined spaces. There’s a double flying fox, mega-swing, tunnel slides, scramble wall, spinning play disk, Viking swing and a multi-level tree house to be discovered and enjoyed.

Get more info on Blaxland Riverside Park.

Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

Explore Australia’s unique plant life at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, a 416-hectare botanical garden located in Mount Annan, between Campbelltown and Camden. The wide, flat paths are a delight to follow as they weave in and around the garden areas, as are the grassy hills to roll down!

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan has free entry, picnic shelters, barbecues and a playground with an excellent flying fox, making it the perfect outing for families.

Get more info on visiting the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

Featherdale Wildlife Park

The Best Place To Meet A Koala in Sydney
A privately-owned zoo in Doonside, near Blacktown, Featherdale Wildlife Park specialises in Australian native wildlife and birds, as well as reptiles and marsupials.

Get more info on visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Calmsley Hill City Farm

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

The place to introduce city kids to a farm! Calmsley Hill City Farm has plenty of farm animals to get up close to, plus tractor rides and interactive shows such as sheep shearing, a small playground, picnic area and cafe.

Get more info on visiting Calmsley Hill City Farm.

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown Sydney

Watch a movie under the stars at Sydney’s last remaining drive-in movie theatre. Introduce kids to the movie experience of a bygone era complete with a Happy Days-style diner, spiders and choc-tops. The gates open at 5:30pm, with parking allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Tune your car’s FM radio or bring along a portable radio to hear the movie. Before you leave home, check session times for what’s on.

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park

The site of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games is now a monument to sporting legends and a peaceful parkland. Visit Cathy Freeman Park to see the Olympic Cauldron that was used throughout the games and has been transformed into a water feature that kids love to play under in summer, located next to a shady playground and vast grassy field.

To get there: Take a 30 minute train trip from Central Station to Olympic Park Station or a ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre


While adults will enjoy swimming in the same pool that Ian Thorpe won his Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, kids will go wild over the water slide, Splasher’s Water Playground that caters for kids aged toddler and up, and Rapid River Ride that caters to all ages. Comfortabley heated to 26 degrees, the Aquatic Centre is year-round fun.

Get more information on visiting the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

To get there: Take a 30 minute train trip from Central Station to Olympic Park Station or a ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.

Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park, Sydney, Australia

A fave for families with its wide expanses of undulating hills, plenty of shade and picnic spots. Bicentennial Park is a beautiful location that combines mangrove wetlands with 40 hectares of gentle hills, meadows, lakes, playgrounds and picnic shelters. Driving to this park is the best option but parking can also be a challenge so arrive early.

Parramatta

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

The second oldest city in Australia, Parramatta was founded in 1788 – the same year as Sydney. Walk up Church street to discover its vibrant, multicultural food scene (Jamie’s Italian Trattoria is particularly kid-friendly), or walk along the river to discover the city’s rich history.

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

Two excellent playgrounds in Parramatta are the Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park, which features tall slides and a sand play area, and James Ruse Reserve Playground with its climbing structures and undercover water play area.

Parramatta Park

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park: The best of southwest Sydney for families

This World Heritage Listed park is a must see. Gazetted as a People’s Park in 1858, Parramatta Park been a place for locals to enjoy for over 150 years. It’s also home to Old Government House, a historic site and museum and Australia’s oldest surviving building.  Parramatta Park also features wide open spaces with shady trees for picnics, a large formal rose garden, a creek and two playgrounds. Get info on upcoming events in Parramatta Park.

Domain Creek Playground Parramatta Park

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park: The best of southwest Sydney for families
The largest and most modern playground in Parramatta Park, the Domain Creek Playground is nature-based and features mazes made from branches and wires, water pumps and sand diggers, a flying fox and sunken trampolines.

Get more info on visiting Domain Creek Playground.

Western Sydney Parklands

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

An urban park and nature reserve located in Sydney’s western suburbs, the Western Sydney Parklands contains various parks and attractions that are perfect for families to enjoy.

Plough and Harrow

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

This popular picnic spot is surrounded by bush and features a playground, cafe, high ropes course and wide open spaces for kids to run free. The playground’s hamster wheel is particularly popular!

Get more info on visiting Plough and Harrow.

Lizard Log

Lizard Log, Sydney, Australia

A nature-themed playground with a bush setting, Lizard Log also features walking and cycling tracks plus barbecue stations.

Image credit: Western Sydney Parklands Trust

Treetop Adventure Park

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Adventurous kids will adore getting up high in the gum trees with the Treetop self-guided rope courses. With rope ladders, wobbly bridges and zip lines to navigate, it’s the perfect place for kids to test their problem-solving ability as well as push physical boundaries. Kids must be aged three and older to participate, with the children’s rope course designed for ages 3-9. Treetops Adventure park is located at the Plough and Harrow park.

Get more info on visiting Treetop Adventure Park.

Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY

Wet 'n' Wild, Sydney, Australia

Cool down at Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY, a water theme park filled with over 40 slides, a zone dedicated to kids under 5 and a sandy beach. Popular with younger kids is the Nickelodeon Beach water splash park area that features characters like Dora, Spongebob and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Get more info on visiting Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY.

Image credit: Havewheelchairwilltravel.net

Bungarribee Park

Opened in 2017, Bungarribee is a 200-hectare recreational space that features walking and cycling tracks, 20 barbecues, 13 picnic shelters and a playground with a climbing tower, flying fox, plenty of slides, swings and a water play area.

In Sydney’s North West

Golden Ridge Animal Farm

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Designed especially for children to get close to farm animals, at Golden Ridge kids can hold baby chicks, ducklings and rabbits, milk a cow and bottle feed baby lambs.

Get more info on visiting Golden Ridge Animal Farm.

In Sydney’s East

Nubo Play Centre

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
A play centre like no other in Sydney, Nubo is an innovative and educational play space that is designed to spark children’s creativity and imagination. Connect with your children as they explore the library, art studio, dramatic play room and ball pit. There’s even a rope climbing structure with slides and a cafe serving healthy food.

Get more info on visiting Nubo.

Watson’s Bay

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

Located at the southern head of the entrance to Sydney Harbour, Watson’s Bay is a very popular place for families to spend weekends. It features stunning Sydney Harbour view, gentle waves on the shore that are perfect for kids to paddle in, a massive park with a shaded and gated playground, plus the iconic Doyle’s fish and chips. Catch a ferry from Circular Quay for the ultimate family day trip.

Get more info on Watson’s Bay and other Sydney beaches.

Bondi to Bronte Walk

Sculpture By The Sea #Bondi via christineknight.me

This 6km return walk will take you past some of Sydney’s most breathtaking scenery. Starting at the iconic Iceburgs Dining Room and Bar at the south end of Bondi Beach, the walk winds south along the rocky cliff face past Tamarama to Bronte Beach.

Start at either end and either walk or take a bus back to the starting point. There are plenty of cafes and facilities at Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte Beach, or you can bring a picnic lunch. At the halfway point there is a playground for kids to enjoy. Note: the path is too rocky for a stroller and runs along a sheer cliff face so take older kids or babies in carriers.

Sydney Park

Sydney Park, Sydney Australia

A 40 hectare green space near St Peter’s, Sydney Park was built in the space once occupied by Bedford Brickworks – the chimneys of which have been left and are a feature of the park that can be seen from some distance away. Features of the park include a large playground on its western side, the Sydney Park Cycling Centre on its northern side, winding pathways over hills for walking and cycling, wetlands, a kiosk and bathrooms.

Get more info on Sydney Park.

Centennial Parklands

Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Consists of 360 hectares including Centennial Park, Moore Park and Queen’s Park. The Parklands are listed on the NSW Heritage Register.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

The largest of the three parks that make up Centennial Parklands, Centennial Park is one of Australia’s most famous parks, and a haven for inner city families to ride bikes, horses (there are several horse riding stables located in the park as well as pony ride on weekends), picnic, play and explore. The park features ponds with ducks, formal gardens, statues, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

The brand new Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden opened in Centennial Park in October 2017. The 6500sq m nature-based play area features a 7m-high climbing tower, wooden bridge, water play area and an open play area where kids are encouraged to use sticks and natural materials to make their own shelters, artworks and games.

Get more info on visiting the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden here.

Moore Park

Entertainment Quarter Sydney via christineknight.me

This park consists of 115 hectares of  open spaces and playing fields, including the ES Marks Athletics Field, an 18-hole public golf course and golf driving range, tennis courts and netball courts.

The Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park has plenty for kids to do, from plaster painting, a Hoyts movie cinema, Monkey Mania play centre, Strike Bowling as well as two partially shaded playgrounds with excellent bathroom facilities.

Queen’s Park

Queens Park Shed: #kidfriendly cafes #Sydney via christineknight.me

A 26-hectare urban park with panoramic views and natural sandstone cliffs. Queen’s Park has an excellent gated and partially shaded playground for kids next to a kid-friendly cafe, Queen’s Park Shed (read more here).

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Bounce it out with more than 117 interconnected trampolines at Sky Zone, Alexandria. Kids can also tackle 30 different climbing challenges at Sky Climb.

Get more info on Sky Zone’s program for toddlers, Little Leapers, here.

Waluba Park, Waterloo

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

A beautifully designed and landscaped park featuring a mega slide, three-story climbing tower, swings, picnic and BBQ area and bike paths.

Get more info on visiting Waluba Park here.

In Sydney’s South

Symbio Wildlife Park

#Symbio #Wildlife Park via brunchwithmybaby.com
Home to hundreds of animals including a koala breeding sanctuary, reptile house and a Sumatran tiger, Symbio Wildlife Park is a great family outing particularly for little kids thanks to its relatively small size. The kangaroo paddock with roaming roos happy to be pat and pose for photos is a particular favourite.

Get more info on Symbio Wildlife Park.

Early Start Discovery Space

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

Australia’s only dedicated children’s museum is located on the campus of the University of Wollongong in Sydney’s south. The Early Start Discovery Space is designed for kids aged 12 and under and features 14 interactive spaces designed to spark the imagination as they build, create and explore through play. A particular hit is the Tummy Tour, where kids can imagine themselves as a piece of food and crawl through an inflatable digestive system.

Get more info on visiting the Early Start Discovery Space.

Royal National Park

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia


The Royal National Park is one of the oldest in the world. Established in 1879 the park spans 160 square kilometres and makes for the perfect family day trip with plenty of spots for picnics, bbqs, bushwalking, swimming, fishing and whale watching. There’s wildlife to discover and Aboriginal heritage to explore. Enter the park by car, ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena or a tram from the Sydney Tramway Museum in Loftus.

Get more info on visiting the Royal National Park.

Wattamolla Beach

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

A popular spot for families in the Royal National Park, Wattamolla is the name of a cove, lagoon, and beach. It’s an absolutely stunning spot with a flat lagoon for kids to swim in, a waterfall and a beach with rocks to climb on.

Get more info on visiting Wattamolla.

All Around Sydney

Libraries

City of Sydney Libraries

Visit local libraries across Sydney to spend a few hours perusing books in quiet children’s areas. There are 11 public libraries in inner Sydney alone, with many offering activities for kids. Find an inner Sydney library and what’s on.

Aquatic centres

On hot days, head to the pool! The following aquatic centres around Sydney have family-friendly facilities.

Sydney CBD
Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic Centre
Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

Inner West
The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre
Leichhardt Aquatic Centre

South West
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

North Shore
Lane Cove Aquatic Centre
Willoughby Leisure Centre
Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Northern Beaches
The Warringah Aquatic Centre

North West and West
Ryde Aquatic and Leisure Centre
Ripples Leisure Centre, St Mary’s

South Sydney
Hurstville Aquatic and Leisure Centre
Sutherland Leisure Centre

Playgrounds

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me
As well as our favourites which are listed above, you can find a playground near you using this excellent map by the City of Sydney.

Beaches

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Sydney has over 100 beaches to explore! From bustling surf scenes to tranquil bays, there is a beach for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Get tips on the best beaches in Sydney to visit, from iconic Bondi and Manly to hidden gems like Parsley Bay, and plan which beaches are on your hit-list.

The entire NSW coastline is full of spectacular beaches. Take a look at this list and plan a road trip to visit as many as possible.

Ice Skating Rinks

Ice Skating Canturbury, Australia

 

Ice skating is the perfect activity for both super hot and cold, rainy days. Get the full list of ice skating rinks in Sydney here.

Indoor Play Centres

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
For those days when it’s raining and cold, it’s an easy option to entertain the kids!

Get the full list of indoor play centres, inflatables worlds and trampolining centres here.

Tips on visiting Sydney

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

How to get around

Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. If you’re in Sydney for a few says, buy an Opal card to use public transport – the one card gives you daily travel caps and enables you to use all four transport systems, plus lets you use the $2.50 per person Sunday cap. Taxis and Uber in Sydney are expensive so walking plus public transport are your best options.

Driving in Sydney

To see a lot of Sydney and its surrounds, it’s advisable to hire a car. International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in NSW. Note that all speed limits are strictly enforced with cameras and it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.

When to visit

Sydney is the perfect year-round travel destination due to its temperate climate. It does, however, get extreme heat in summer (December to February). While the average maximum temperatures are around 26°C (78.8°F), it can reach over 40°C (104°f) during this time of year. Summer is also the most humid time of year to visit, with average humidity of 65%.

Winter (June – August) average maximum temperatures are around 16°C (60.8°F). Sydney’s highest rainfall is between March and June.

National Emergency Services

The national phone number for all emergency services in Australia, including ambulance, fire and police, is 000. You can dial Triple Zero within Australia from any fixed line, mobile phone, pay phone and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. If you have a GSM digital mobile phone, you can also dial the international standard emergency number 112.

Hotel Review: The Langham Sydney, Australia

Where to stay

For a short stay, hotels in the CBD particularly around Circular Quay and The Rocks will make it easy to get around as they’re close to public transport as well as main attractions. Darling Harbour is also a good choice particularly for families. My fave hotel to stay at is The Langham Sydney in The Rocks.

For longer stays try renting a house or apartment on Stayz.com.au or airbnb.com.au.

Get hotel rates in Sydney from Booking.com.

Looking for more things to do in Sydney? Find out the best things to do in Sydney for free here.

Things to do beyond Sydney with kids

Scenic World: Blue Mountains

Sand Dune Quad Biking in Newcastle

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo

Things To See & Do In Bathurst

Bathurst With Kids

The Best Things To Do In Sydney With Kids #sydney #australia #familytravel

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Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!