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Sydney

Kids’ Theatre Review: Brainiac Live

Brainiac Live

Live at the Sydney Opera House, for a short time only, kids who love science and explosions can catch the wildly entertaining show Brainiac Live.

Based on the British documentary TV show Brainiac: Science Abuse, the show is a fast-paced journey through a series of experiments that answer a question or challenge a common conception, or just simply makes a big bang.

Brainiac Live

Brainiac live is an action-packed hour of science on speed. Impressive explosions, loud rock music, high energy action and daredevil stunts are the perfect way to engage kids in science and remind them that chemistry, biology and physics are not only important, but also a whole lot of fun.

Brainiac Live

The show contains a lot of loud noises and music, so might not be suitable for sensitive kids. After the show I found out that there were earplugs that could be collected and used for free – it would have been good if they had been passed to us as we were walking to our seats however, as the noises were extremely loud during the show and we could have used them.

Brainiac Live

As the parent of a daughter, I was happy to see a woman in the cast of Brainiacs, even though she was a minor character. It’s important for girls to see women in careers in science to encourage them to dream of a career in the sciences themselves.

Brainiac Live

The cast are an engaging crew in general, and kept the kids highly entertained for the duration of the show. My very sensitive daughter was concerned that people were going to get hurt while conducting the experiments, so either think twice about taking super sensitive kids, or prepare them in advance that what they will see on stage is a performance, with no one in danger.

Brainiac Live

Brainiac Live
Duration: 1 hour
Suitable for ages 6+
Dates: Tuesday 16th January – Thursday 25th January, 2018.

 

Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point Sydney

You can reach the Opera House by:

Car – park in the onsite Opera House car park. For discounted parking, book online with Wilson car parks and check the Sydney Opera House website for any current promo codes.

Buses, trains and ferries – all service nearby Circular Quay which is an easy 5-10 min walk to the Opera House.

A huge thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us on this fantastic day. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

NSW Rail Museum: Things To Do In Southwest Sydney

NSW Rail Museum: Things To Do In Greater Sydney

Bring your locomotive-loving kids to get up close to trains at the NSW Rail Museum in the historic town of Thirlmere. Since 1975 this little town has been home to a large collection of NSW’s railway heritage, including over 100 vehicles that move on a railway including locomotives, railroad cars and more.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

Thirlmere is approximately 90km from Sydney in its southwest region, a town built with the arrival of the Great Southern Railway in 1863 to 1867.

The NSW Rail Museum is divided into three sections:

NSW Rail Museum Australia

The Main Exhibition Building  
This is the indoor building where you’ll find plenty to learn about life on the railways, their purpose and development and information on their engineering and design. Kids will love the interactive elements in this building, such as the train play table, colouring in, crafts and train carriages that can be entered.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

We enjoyed looking at ​the Governor General’s Carriage, which looks like a palace on wheels, the Prison Van, even though it freaked out youngest member out a tad, the Steam Machine which kids can pretend to drive, and the mail van, which led to discussions about how mail was and is delivered.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

In this building you’ll also find Steam locomotive E18; built in 1866, this is the oldest train in the collection.

Worker’s Walk
Linking the Main Exhibition Building to the Great Train Hall, this is where you can learn about the jobs that keep the railways running.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

The Great Train Hall
Here you’ll find the biggest collection of “rolling stock” (which means anything that runs over railway tracks) in Australia.

​Keep an eye out for:

6040 Garratt: The heaviest and most powerful steam train to ever turn a wheel in Australia.

Steam locomotive 1905: The first train to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Rail Pay Bus: Used to transport employees’ wages, some carriages are able to be boarded.

Roundhouse
Take a look at the trains being restored and maintained inside the Roadhouse.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

Special Events
Several times a year, the NSW Rail Museum runs special events (check their page to see what’s next), such as their Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine, Annual Festival of Steam and Summer Heritage Train Rides.

NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia

NSW Rail Museum
10 Barbour Road
Thirlmere NSW 2572
​Tel: 1300 11 55 99​
The NSW Rail Museum is open 7 days a week.
Hours: Open daily, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat & Sun 9am-5pm
nswrailmuseum.com.au

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney’s Best Playgrounds: Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands, Australia

The Western Sydney Parklands is a top spot for local families to stretch their legs and really enjoy the great outdoors. The newest park in the precinct, Bungarribee, opened in March 2017 – a 200-hectare recreational facility that gives locals plenty of wide open space to play, cycle, scoot, walk, run and even walk their dog at one of Sydney’s largest off-leash dog areas, the Warrigal Dog Run.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

At Bungarribee you’ll find plenty to entertain the family all day. The ultra-modern playground will be a total hit with the kids, with its 14-metre-high playtower, 50-metre-long flying-fox, giant and baby swings, water play area and sand pits.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

The playtower is unlike anything we’ve seen in a Sydney playground before, with multiple levels giving kids challenges to climb over and through various levels. It’s a great space for tweens to enjoy in particular.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Other facilities at Bungarribee include walking/cycling/scooting tracks, 20 barbecues, 13 picnic shelters (8 are available for hire, the rest are free of charge, on a first-come first-served basis), plenty of car parking (the area we parked had free all-day parking), large, clean bathrooms, and wide open fields to run around.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Personally, I thought the space was pretty good, but could use a few improvements:

  1. The park needs better shade cloths instead of the rather weird netting that was used.
  2.  The park has no all-ability features in it. I can’t understand why 15 million dollars was spent on a huge new park that excludes kids with disabilities.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Get more information on Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee here.

Bungarribee
Western Sydney Parklands
Entrance Intersection of Holbeche and Doonside roads, Bungarribee.

 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Kids’ Theatre Review: Operation Ouch!

Operation Ouch

Science-loving kids will highly enjoy this new show about the incredible human body, Operation Ouch!, based on the hit ABC Me series.

Twin doctors, Dr Chris and Dr Xand, have brought their incredible medical stunts and crazier experiments to Sydney in a kid-friendly live show.

Operation Ouch
The 75 minute show is packed with fascinating facts about the body, such as our ears, eyes, digestive system and brain. It’s education at it best – highly entertaining and informative all at once.

Operation Ouch

We went into the show with no knowledge of the TV program. While I do think it’s beneficial to watch the TV show first so you have a connection to the doctors and know what to expect, it’s not crucial to enjoying the performance.

Dr Chris and Dr Xand are extremely personable as well as smart, and it was really interesting hearing their stories about growing up, not being so good at school, and how and why they became doctors. I thought it was great for kids to hear from successful people how they overcame adversity to become professionals in a demanding field.

Operation Ouch

I also thought it was great for kids to see science presented from a kid-friendly angle but not dumbed down in any way. All the proper medical terms were used for each part of the body, and the experiments were equally interesting for adults as they were for the kids.

My favourite part of the show involved the doctors explaining how germs spread and the importance of vaccinations in an interactive and easy-to-understand way. We’ve been trying to explain this for a while to the 6-year-old, but it’s a lot of concepts that aren’t easy to visualise, so big props to Dr Chris and Xand for making the topic accessable.

 

Operation Ouch! is entertaining for the whole family – including the adults. The husband and I found it highly enjoyable to watch and both learnt a few things along the way, too!

Sydney Opera House

Operation Ouch!
Saturday, 6 January 2018 at 1.15pm and 3.45pm
Sunday, 7 January 2018 at 10am and 12.45pm
Show length – 75 mins
Suitable for ages 6+
Book your tickets here.

Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point Sydney

You can reach the Opera House by:

Car – park in the onsite Opera House car park. For discounted parking, book online with Wilson car parks and check the Sydney Opera House website for any current promo codes.

Buses, trains and ferries – all service nearby Circular Quay which is an easy 5-10 min walk to the Opera House.

A huge thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us on this fantastic day. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

To celebrate the release of an all-new Frozen featurette, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (in selected cinemas from December 26), Disney has partnered with Sofitel Sydney Wentworth in a magical range of Frozen packages for families to enjoy.

We were lucky enough to enjoy the Frosted High Tea, an elegantly themed high tea featuring French delicacies all beautifully created in white and blue.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Even the Soirée dining room has even been given a touch of Frozen, with a giant snowflake at the entrance and frosty, sparkly trees inside. Our place settings were delightfully icy too, with silver snowflake platters, sparkly napkin holders and a snowflake table decoration.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

We brought our own Anna and Elsa along, but needn’t have bothered as we were happily occupied with the Frozen activity pack while we waited for our high tea (it included a small and large colouring in book and pencils).

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Our high tea and drinks arrived quickly – Cheese chose an iced chocolate, which arrived in a tall glass the same size as my delicious iced tea.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

The Frosted High Tea includes:

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Sweet
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Elsa’s Frosted Macarons
Anna’s Blueberry Tartlet
Olaf Religieuse
Snow Meringue
Snow Ball Cookie
Vanilla Frost Cup Cake

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Scones
Housemade Scones (plain and raisin)
Cream & Blueberry Jam

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Savoury
Salmon Quiche
Bao Bun with Shrimp
Cucumber, Cream, Herb Sandwich

As vegetarians, our quiche and bun were substituted with a plain quiche and salad bun with avocado, tomato and cucumber.

Also included is your choice of Dilmah Teamaker’s Private Reserve loose leaf tea or barista coffee.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

The kid’s high tea is basically the same as the adult’s but at a lower cost, which makes this incredibly good value. Honestly, we could have shared this enormous amount of food between three people (and I did pack away several pastries to take home and share since we didn’t finish it!).

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

I particularly enjoyed the sandwiches, the part of the salad bun that Cheese let me eat and the panna cotta, while her favourites were the scones, meringues, cupcakes and, the star item, the adorable Olafs.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

I have to agree that they were the highlight item for me too, not just because they looked so incredibly cute that it was hard to eat them, but because they were absolutely delicious. Light pastry and fluffy cream inside, covered in sweet icing. Absolutely delicious as well as looking amazing.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth regularly runs themed high teas, and I always enjoy them immensely. I appreciate their incredible attention to detail with decorations, tableware and thoughtful activity packs for the kids. We have previously been to a Beauty & The Beast high tea and a Sleeping Beauty high tea.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Frosted High Tea
$65 per adult
$29 per child

The children’s high tea is available for children aged 3-12 years and includes a “Frozen” activity kit.

Upgrade your High Tea experience to include a glass of sparkling wine or champagne.

Available daily in Soirée 11am until 5pm. Offer valid 1 November 2017 – 31 January 2018. Bookings are required.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

The Sofitel is also running a special themed Christmas Day luncheon and “Frozen” accommodation package. 

Winter Wonderland Christmas Day Luncheon
The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is also holding a Christmas Day Winter Wonderland Luncheon in their historic Wentworth Ballroom. This magical Winter Wonderland celebrates Christmas traditions along with some very special guests all the way from Arendelle. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, a traditional Christmas feast with all the trimmings, a “Frozen” kids’ dessert buffet, visit from Santa, plenty of photo opportunities and a Frozen sing along.

Monday 25 December 2017, 12pm-2:30pm
Wentworth Ballroom – Level 3, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
$199 per adult, $129 per child (aged 12-17 years), $99 per child (aged 5-11 years), children aged 0-4 years are free.

Disney Family Fun “Frozen” Accomodation Package

The Disney delights continue with a Frozen-themed overnight stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. The package, which starts at $359 per night for a superior room, includes:

Buffet breakfast for two adults and one child, daily in Garden Court Restaurant
Complimentary dinner for children up to 12 years of age
Disney welcome gifts to take home, including a plush toy (choose between Elsa, Olaf or Snowgie), Frozen Night Light and Story Book

Offer available during the promotional period 1 November 2017 – 31 January 2018. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Accommodation bookings must be made 24hrs prior to arrival.

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney
(02) 9228 9188
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Frozen Packages

Thank you to the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and Disney for hosting us at this special high tea. All opinions and Elsas are our own.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum #Sydney Australia
This summer, the Powerhouse Museum is presenting one of the most incredible exhibitions Sydney seen: the innovative, playful and completely immersive Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park. Exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum, Future Park is the latest exhibition by Japanese art collective teamLab.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

The exhibition feature eight interactive light installations that respond to real-time interaction. A stunning blend of science and creativity, Future Park challenges visitors to dream up collaborative artworks in a playground for children and adult alike.

Future Park is broken up into the following distinct areas or activities:

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Sketch Town allows participants to create their own vehicle or building that, when scanned, comes to life on a massive screen as part of the town. Creators can interact with their designs or print them out to take home and create as a 3D model.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Light Ball Orchestra was a winner with us – two pits of large and small light balls that are suspended from the ceiling and rolling around loose on the ground. As we interact with them, they change colour, creating an ever changing brilliant light show.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Graffiti Nature – Mountains and Valleys was incredibly hard to photograph but looks incredible to the eye. A digital environment populated by visitor drawings of plants and animals, add your own creature and slide into the imaginary world filled with giant, colourful creatures that have come directly from your own imagination.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Hopscotch for Geniuses is one for the music lovers – or those of us who remember hopscotch from our own childhoods! This digital twist on an old favourite game changes the rules and transforms a standard hopping game into a pathway to create an interactive dance and musical symphony.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Connecting: Block Town! lets participants create their own townscape by moving physical wooden blocks on the table. As each block is moved, cars, trains and buildings appear in the landscape.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Sketch People gives visitors the opportunity to draw themselves or a completely new character and then see them move on a large screen right in front of them. The drawings interact with other drawings, forming relationships. Sketch people respond to being touched, so give yours a (gentle!) poke and see what actions you get in return!

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

A Table Where Little People Live was our other firm favourite installation. While it looked the least impressive from the outset – a dark room with pretty plain looking round tables – it was actually incredibly fun for us both.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

On each interactive screen tabletops, little people run around rather similar to the old computer game Lemmings. By placing physical objects on the table, visitors an interact with the little people, prompting them to jump, climb and fall accordingly.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

This activity really did provide outbursts of giggles as the little people responded in silly ways, and together we created bigger and crazier object towers to see what would happen to the little people (and these strange random cows that popped up!) next.

Just before the exit, kids can create their dream car of the future through Principal Partner Toyota’s global Dream Car design competition. The winning designer will travel to Japan to present their Dream Car to Toyota.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Future Park is an exhibition that absolutely has to be on your must-see list this summer. It’s engaging, creative, exciting, and, most importantly, fun! Cheese and I played together with each installation, and it was such a pleasure for us to spend quality time doing something we both enjoyed equally.

Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park
24 November 2017 – 30 April 2018
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007

Book online for a session taking place between 24 November–10 December and save 10% using the code FUTURE10.

Book your tickets online.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

19 Kid-friendly Restaurants 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 kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney – where the wee ones can eat and play while adults dine on fine cuisine.

Kid-friendly Restaurants in Sydney

The Picnic Burwood

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

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 order the very insta-worthy pavlova hotcakes while kids’ eyes light up to see the adorable “bear” dish of bear-shaped toastwith banana and blueberries.The Picnic is our constant go-to and is always on the list of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

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 Rosebery and Entertainment Quarter

Black Star Pastry, Rosebery, Sydney

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

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

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

Clover Cafe, Annandale, Sydney
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 Groundskeeper Cafe

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia
Around the corner from the bustling Top Ryde Shopping centre, you’ll find the Groundskeeper Café in Ryde 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. Adults will enjoy traditional dishes with a Middle Eastern twist.

Ryde Park, Sydney, Australia
Outside there is a shaded playground where kids can play within their parents’ view, and a new scooter/bike path has opened up within Ryde Park, too.

Get more info on visiting the Groundskeeper Cafe and Ryde Park here.

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

Three Williams Cafe #Redfern #Sydney via christineknight.me

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

The Grounds of Alexandria

Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

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.

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

The food is excellent: the popular “signature avocado” set a new standard in smashed avo brekkies when introduced a few years back. The Grounds is such a special place to visit that it is always right up the top of lists mentioning the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

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 Gourmet

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

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.

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

Bitton Gourmet can now be found at Oatley, too, where they have the same menu in a bigger venue with a backyard and play area for kids (photo above).

Get more info on visiting Bitton Gourmet Alexandria here and Bitton Gourmet Oatley here.

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

119a Mulga Rd, Oatley
Hours: Wed-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun-Tues 7am-4pm.
Website: bittongourmet.com.au/oatley

The Incinerator Willoughby

The Incinerator: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Willoughby, Sydney

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

Coogee Pavilion, Sydney

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 at McEvoy in Alexandria

Grandma's Little Bakery, Alexandria, Sydney

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 play space, that is!

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

Camperdown Commons

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

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

The Tramsheds

The Tramsheds, Harold Park, Sydney
Located at Harold Park, The Tramsheds is a must-visit for kids who are obsessed with wheels. The old Rozelle Tramway Depot, originally built in 1904, has been beautifully refurbished and given a new life as a hub for restaurants and facilities for local residents.

The full-sized resorted tram inside the Tramsheds is now part of the dining area for the Butcher & The Farmer cafe, so you can ask for a table inside and let your little one pretend to drive it while waiting for their babyccino to arrive.

Get more info on our visit to the Tramsheds here and all the kid-friendly dining options it offers.

The Tramsheds
1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
Hours: Daily, 7am-late
Website: tramshedsharoldpark.com.au

Vogue Cafe

The Vogue Cafe, #Sydney #kidfriendly via christineknight.me

While the Vogue Cafe sits inside busy Macquarie Shopping Centre, from the inside it feels like Wonderland. It’s an adorable, whimsical place, with a straightforward menu and fantastical shakes. Called “Magical Milkshakes”, they are topped with things like whipped cream, rice bubbles, pop corn and jelly snakes, with a chocolate and sprinkles rim.

The food is always delicious and the staff friendly. A small, enclosed play space has been a welcome addition to the cafe by families of younger kids.

Vogue Cafe, Macquarie Centre

Read more about our visit to the Vogue Cafe here.

The Vogue Cafe
109 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-6pm
Website: facebook.com/TheVogueCafe

Bills at Bondi

BIlls Bondi: #Kidfriendly #Cafes #Sydney via christineknight.me

When you want hotcakes, you go to Bills, even if you have kids in tow. What I really enjoy about Bills is happy and easy-going vibe. The friendly staff bring little ones coloured pencils and paper to entertain them while you wait for your brunch.

BIlls Bondi: #Kidfriendly #Cafes #Sydney via christineknight.me

Scrambled eggs or boiled eggs and toast soldiers will keep the little ones happy from the breakfast menu, or order a linguini, junior burger or schnitzel for lunch. Their French fries are also excellent.

Read more about our visit to Bills Bondi here.

Bills Bondi
79 Hall St, Bondi Beach
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat & Sun 7:30am-10pm
Website: bills.com.au

Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour

Fratelli Fresh, Darling Harbour

This big, bright and bold restaurant is an excellent edition to Darling Harbour, situated near the ICC building. The seating is casual – grab a table and order at the bar. There’s plenty for kids to look at, including the pizza kitchen and fresh pasta station, plus a games area (best suited for older kids) and house-made dessert and gelato counter. The kids’ menu is massive and has something to suit everyone, rather like the menu for adults. Keep an eye out for special kids eat free deals.

Fratelli Fresh, Darling Harbour

A few steps outside Fratelli Fresh is the excellent Darling Quarter playground.

Read more about our experience at Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour here.

Fratelli Fresh
2/14 Darling Dr, Darling Harbour
Hours: Daily, 7am-12am
Website: fratellifresh.com.au/venues/darling-harbour

The Tramshed Cafe

Tramshed Cafe Narrabeen lake

Hop aboard a beautifully resorted 1930s tram at this bright and cheery cafe on Narrabeen Lake. Not only is the tram excellent fun itself, the cafe serves up delicious Modern Australian cuisine and offers its youngest diners and excellent kids’ menu. A large playground is situated outside the cafe, and the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail starts directly behind the cafe, making it the perfect outing for families.

Read more about our visit to the Tramshed Cafe here.

The Tramshed Cafe
1395a Pittwater Road, Narrabeen
(02) 9970 7486
Hours: Daily, 7am-5pm
Website: thetramshed.com.au

The Cove Dining Co

The Cove, Sydney

The Cove Dining Co cafe is located inside the community hall of what was once the Abbotsford Nestlé factory site, a heritage-listed building. The dining room is spacious, with long tables, or choose alfresco seating on the outdoor verandah with a lovely view of the lush gardens surrounding the building and let the kids play while they wait for their meals.

The Cove, Sydney
This is one incredible family-friendly cafe, as evidenced by how accessible it is for strollers and wheelchairs, and provide use of highchairs, baby change tables, toys and colouring in equipment.

Read more about our visit to The Cove Dining Co here.

The Cove Dining Co
378 Great N Rd, Abbotsford, NSW
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-2pm, Sat & Sun 8am-3pm
Phone: (02) 9713 7896
Online thecovediningco.com.au

Daisy’s Milkbar

Daisy's Milk Bar, Sydney, Australia
This retro 1950s-style diner packs a sweet punch. Enjoy a delicious range of breakfast and lunch dishes, plus fancy milkshakes and their famous “Low Tea” (read more about the Low Tea here).

"Low Tea" at Daisy's Milkbar, Sydney, Australia

Kids will adore the cute decor, games and colouring in supplies that can be brought to the tables, and the pick and mix lollies at the counter.

Read more about our visit to Daisy’s Milkbar here.

Daisy’s Milkbar
340 Stanmore Road
Petersham NSW 2049
Ph: (02) 8065 3466
Online: daisysmilkbar.com

Jamie’s Italian

Jamie's Italian Trattoria Parramatta

The celebrity chef’s relaxed Italian dining chain is our go-to when dining with kids in Sydney’s CBD at night. The rustic menu, handmade pasta and antipasti bar appeals to adults, while kids get a fantastic dedicated menu that includes a cute little salad in a jar, and offers pasta sauce with hidden veggies. Colouring sheets and pencils are also on offer for tiny diners.

Jamie’s Italian
107 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 8240 9001
Online: jamieoliver.com

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

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

Where to find the best views in Sydney.

Travelling further afield? Get ideas on places to visit around Australia here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Best Indoor Play Centres in Sydney

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

Looking to entertain the kids when it’s raining and cold? Try an indoor play centre or indoor playground in Sydney.

Below you’ll find a list of the best indoor play centres in Sydney.

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

Nubo

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Location: Alexandria and Chatswood
Nubo is our favourite indoor play centre 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. For kids ages 7/8 and younger, Nubo is my number one pick for indoor play centres in Sydney.

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

Jungle Buddies

Jungle Buddies Play Centre, Five Dock via christineknight.me

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. An onsite cafe serves a good selection of healthy food. 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

Little Dynamos

Location: Alexandria
This outdoor-themed centre for kids features a a multi-level playscape, a cafe for snacks and an inflated jumping area. Little Dynamoes is a constant favourite among locals as it’s basically a huge kids’ indoor playground. There is a dedicated area for under 3s and free parking outside. The cafe serves a wide variety of well-priced food.
Website: littledynamos.com

Monkey Mania

Monkey Mania, SydneyLocations: Ryde, Bankstown, Entertainment Quarter, Casula, Gosford, Campbelltown, Penrith
Kids can run off steam climbing large play structures and hurtling down slides. We’ve been to Monkey Manias in various locations. They’re a good bet when you need to let kids run off steam!
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. It’s a great spot for when it’s cold and raining, as there is plenty of room for kids to run wild.
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. Wannabees is a great place for imaginary play and roleplaying, as kids can pretend to be firefighters, police officers, doctors, beauticians and more the Wannabees City buildings.
Website: wannabees.com.au

Little Rascals

Location: Brookvale
This indoor play space features enclosed climbing areas for both older and younger kids. Little Rascals is fully air-conditioned and features a giant three-lane slide, toddler zone for kids aged 4 and under, 300m2 climbing frame, fun ball zone, web climb, trampolines, spiral slide and a cafe.
Website: littlerascalsplayland.com.au

Lollipops Playland

Lollipops Penrith

Location: Penrith
There’s plenty of climbing and sliding to be had at this indoor playground designed for kids aged 1 – 11 year.  Lollipops Playland features a Multi level Play Frame, Free Merry-Go-Round, Bouncie Castle, Dedicated Toddler Area, Ride On Cars, Dress Up & Play Believe Areas. There’s also a cafe’ and seating area for adults to enjoy.
Website: penrith.lollipopsplayland.com.au

Image courtesy of Lollipops.

Monkey Bar Playground

Rhodes Waterfront Shopping Centre
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

 

The Best Trampolining Centres In Sydney

Sky Zone

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

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

Flipout Brookevale

Locations: Blacktown, Brookvale, Caringbah, Castle Hill, Penrith, Prestons, Punchbowl
There’s plenty of jumping to be had at these trampolining parks. The Flip Out chain is an excellent choice for an indoor play centre in Sydney West.
Website: flipout.net

Image courtesy of Flip Out.

Parkour

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 Play Centres

Inflatable World

Inflatable World, PeakhurstLocations: Blacktown, Campbelltown, Castle Hill, Liverpool, Miranda, Narellan, Mt Kuring-gai, St Marys, Peakhurst.
The biggest indoor inflatable playgrounds in Australia. Kids won’t want to leave this giant indoor fun park, with seperate areas for little and big kids and a wide range of inflated activities to try. There is an onsite cafe and plenty of supervision from the staff throughout the centre.
Website: inflatableworldoz.com.au

Cool Cats Inflatable World

Location: Randwick
Kids are kept active, entertained and challenged on their interactive inflatable games. A really popular spot with my daughter and school groups!
Website: coolcatsfun.com.au

Indoor Climbing Gyms

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

While kids aged 5-6 and over can generally have a go at any climbing gym on the easiest courses, these three facilities cater specifically to kids.

Sky Zone

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria
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. We’ve been climbing for years at both locations. Highly recommend.
Website: indoorclimbing.com.au

ClimbFit

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. Another gym I’ve been climbing at since pre-kids, it’s an excellent facility.
Website: climbfit.com.au

Image courtesy of Lyndon Marceau @marceauphotography

Peak Pursuits

Peak Pursuits Castle Hill

Location: Castle Hill
A bright, new climbing centre, Peak Pursuits features 10 high ropes course activities, 13 vertical activities, two “Leaps of Faith”, “Kung Fu Poles” and a big drop giant slide. Peak Pursuits also runs weekend climbing classes for kids aged 5-12 years old, who have no prior climbing experience.
Website: peakpursuits.com.au

Turbo Climb

Turbo Climb
Location: Bankstown
A brand new climbing gym inside Bankstown Sports Club, Turbo Climb, features 26 indoor climbing walls up to 10 metres tall, suitable for ages 5 and up. Race to the top of a magical beanstalk or climb a roaring volcano. Turbo Climb infuses a traditional indoor climbing experience with new technology and exciting innovations.

Website: turboclimb.com.au

Image courtesy of Turbo Climb.

 

Looking for more things to do in Sydney with kids? Head over here for countless ideas!

Find the best Sydney beaches for kids here

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!