Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city. Wrapped around Sydney Harbour, the Gardens occupy one of Sydney’s most spectacular positions. From the provocative rare and threatened plants of the world to the romantic rose garden, the themed garden areas show the diverse beauty of nature.
There are free guided walks every day from 10.30 am leaving from the Garden Shop. Each school holidays there are also ticketed events including koala trails, finding fairies, digging for grubs and you can even take your family on an adventure by torch light!
8. Ian Potter Children's WILD PLAY Garden
The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden was designed to cater for children of all ages and abilities in a dramatic landscape in which children are encouraged to run, jump, play, learn and discover the wild side of life, and provides children with the chance to get lost in the wonder of nature with dry creek beds, an artesian water play area, a bamboo forest, banksia tunnels, turtle mounds and Centennial Park’s first treehouse.
9. Sydney Park
Sydney Park offers 40-hectares of greenery a stone’s throw from the city centre. The main drawcard for kids is the adventure playground that will occupy them for hours. There’s also a large sand pit. If you have a little one learning how to ride a bike, Sydney Park’s cycling centre has a terrific course for kids aged 3-8. Kids can learn basic traffic and pedestrian rules on two wheels.
10. Cockatoo Island
For a short ferry ride, Cockatoo Island is worth a visit. Take step back in time with a guided tour through the UNESCO world-heritage-listed site, then grab some lunch and experience the beauty of Sydney’s biggest island.
11. Storytime at your local library
From sessions for babies and toddlers, to storytimes for preschoolers, school holiday programs, homework and after school clubs, there’s plenty for children of all ages at City of Sydney Libraries. The library network spans from the Northern Beaches, to the Western suburbs to Eastern Suburbs and beyond.
12. Sydney Harbour Bridge
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.
13. Observatory Hill Park
For a park with a million-dollar view, it’s hard to go past the one on Observatory Hill. A popular spot with locals, workers and visitors, Observatory Hill Park offers sweeping, panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge for free. It is nestled in the city centre.
14. Fairfield Adventure Park
Especially designed to provide a play space for kids of a variety of ages, the Fairfield Adventure Playground brings the “wow” factor in spades. The park opened in 2015 after a $1.4 million council investment. With the star attractions designed specifically for teens, this is a unique playground that provides a much-needed recreational space for older kids.
15. Cathy Freeman 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. It has now been transformed into a water feature that kids love to play under. It is located next to a shady playground and vast grassy field.
16. Green Square Library
The underground Green Square Library opened in late 2018. It features a water play area in the outside plaza, public artworks, dedicated kids’ zone with books and DVDs, vintage game stations for rent, a piano for hire, a sunken garden, kid-friendly cafe and take-home makerspace kits for kids aged 5+. The library also runs school holiday workshops and story time sessions.
17. Snorkelling at Clovelly Beach
Clovelly Beach is a small and tranquil beach located at the end of a narrow bay. The beach is popular with families and snorkellers. Concrete platforms and promenades have been constructed on both sides of the bay which are popular sunbaking spots. There are access steps into the water, making Clovelly Beach more like a large ocean pool than a beach.
18. Hyde Park
The park is full of art and hidden treasures, the sunken Sandringham gardens are a great place to spend a shady afternoon with the kids splashing about in the cool water of the central fountain feature. Explore the whole park before heading back into the bustle of the city.
19. Barangaroo Reserve