Looking for something to entertain the little (and not so little) ones these school holidays? Sydney is packed with great activities that are fun for the whole family.
Step back in time on Cockatoo Island
The ferry ride from Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island takes less than half an hour, but it will take you back more than 150 years in time. Kids can explore the island’s past as a notoriously tough convict prison and a buzzing shipyard through a series of self-guided tours. Grab one of the map booklets from the Visitor’s Centre and head off on the Convict Clues or Ship Shape challenges, visiting historic sites, completing fun activities and answering hidden questions.
Get up close to creepy crawlies
Arachnophobes need not apply… The Australian Museum has more than 400 specimens on display for its Spiders – Alive & Deadly exhibition. As the name suggests, they won’t all be dried and mounted under glass. You’ll see plenty of live spiders on display too, like dangerous funnelwebs and redbacks, and harmless (but huge) tarantulas. Learn how spiders produce venom and silk, how they adapt to the changing environment and how they help scientists to create incredible new technology. Don’t miss the cobweb room where golden orb spiders are weaving the largest webs in the world.
Take in Sydney from above
Sydney Tower has been an iconic part of the skyline for more than 30 years and is still the tallest building in the city. Families (with kids aged over eight) can make their way up the tower for a one of a kind walk, 268 metres above the ground. SKYWALK is a 45-minute open-air tour around a glass-floored platform, giving stunning views over the city. And rest assured that you’ll be firmly strapped in the whole time. The experience also includes a 4D cinema show and access to the Observation Deck.
Indulge your sweet tooth
As the creator of Peanuts, Charles M Schulz, once said: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” We have to agree, so Sweet Addiction in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is the place to be this autumn. On display at The Calyx it takes visitors on an interactive journey through the botanic story of chocolate via chocolate plantations, ancient history, unique artworks, a Lindt-sponsored mill and a delicious chocolatier room. Plus there are plenty of delicious samples along the way.
Bring all hands on deck
The harbour is the lifeblood of Sydney and the Australian Maritime Museum gives a fascinating insight into our connection with the sea. There is a whole program of activities tailored especially for children that offer arts and crafts, interactive games, storytelling, dress ups and lots more. Primary school aged children can attend the Kids on Deck program and kids aged two to five can have fun with Mini Mariners. While you’re there, check out the magnificent replica of James Cook HMB Endeavour that’s docked at the wharf.
Enjoy all of these exciting activities from the comfort of nearby luxurious family accommodation at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, conveniently located in the heart of all the action.