20 School Holiday Ideas in and Around Sydney

You blinked and the school holidays have rolled around again, right?

We know how you feel, which is why we prepared this list of 20 things to do in and around Sydney. Being spring, we’ve included a couple of great outdoor options, including an historic bus and tram trip, and even an overnight camp – tents, marshmallows and all – in Centennial Park if you’re game enough!

But whatever you and your kids are into, you’re sure to find something of interest.

Park After Dark
Put up a tent, roast marshmallows over a fire, and spend a night in the great outdoors without leaving the suburbs.
Date: October 12
Ages: All ages
Where: Centennial Park
Cost: $69-$129
Website: centennialparklands.com.au

Take a Ride
Pack a picnic lunch and go back in time aboard a vintage bus followed by a tram all the way to the Royal National Park.
Date: October 4
Ages:
4+
Where: Sydney Bus Museum
Cost: Adults $30.00, children (4-16) $15.00, children are 4 are free, concession$15.00, family (2 adults and two children) $75; children under four go free.
Website: sydneybusmuseum.info

Acrobats Academy
Children of all skill levels can learn tips and tricks from real acrobats.
Date:
October 2-7
Ages: 5-12
Where:  The Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve
Cost: $20
Website: barangaroo.com

Costume Party
Kids can dress up as their favourite fantasy character and join in the Carnival of Games at the Wonderland Costume Party by Circus Solarus.
Date: October 2-5 and 8-12
Ages: 4-10
Where: Cathy Freeman Park
Cost:  Free
Website: sydneyolympicpark.com.au

Dance Camp
An introductory camp lets kids explore the foundations of dance.
Date: October 9-10
Ages: 6-9
Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Cost: $50
Website: casulapowerhouse.com

Zookeeper for a Day
Make friends with a variety of animals and learn about their habits, diets, and life in the wildlife park.
Date: October 5, 9-10, 12
Ages: 8-13
Where: Featherdale Wildlife Park
Cost: $199
Website: featherdale.com.au

Spot On Children’s Festival
Take your pick from five days of stage productions, drama workshops and interactive musical performances for kids.
Date: October 9-13
Ages:
2-10+
Where:
 Parramatta Riverside Theatres
Cost: $0 to $26
Website: riversideparramatta.com.au

Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Be inspired by the work of the 100 finalists showcased in the popular annual exhibition from London’s Natural History Museum.
Dates: Until October 14
Ages: All
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Cost: $20
Website: anmm.gov.au

Arts and Craft
Kids can let their creativity run wild at Event Cinemas in the city and suburbs which has movie-themed colouring-in stations and craft tables.
Dates: September 29-October 14
Ages: 3-13
Where: Event Cinemas, various locations
Cost:
Free
Website: eventcinemas.com.au

Creature Feature
Touch and explore maritime artefacts at the Cabinet of Curiosities, from a replica saltwater crocodile skull to ancient shark teeth.
Dates: September 30-October 14
Ages: All
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Cost:
Free with museum entry
Website: anmm.gov.au

Play World
An interactive event created by kids, for kids, which includes dress-ups, slime-making, gaming and YouTubing.
Dates: September 29-30
Ages: 4-12
Where: International Convention Centre
Cost:
$19.95-$24.95
Website: playworldaustralia.com.au

Garden Grubs
Kids can take part in a variety of garden activities such as planting, harvesting, outdoor play and nature meditation.
Dates: October 3-4 and 11-12
Ages: 6-12
Where: Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Cost:
$76.50-$115
Website: rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

Kid Couture
Children can create their own wearable fashion using paper, fabric and recycled materials.
Dates: September 29-October 14
Ages: 3-12
Where: Powerhouse Museum
Cost:
Free with admission
Website:
maas.museum

Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories
A story about a very tiny man with an enormous love for writing.
Dates: September 29-October 6
Ages: 8+
Where: Sydney Opera House
Cost: From $25
Website: sydneyoperahouse.com

What a Bat Life?
This interactive play will give children insights into the world of microbats and flying foxes.
Dates: October 8
Ages: 5-10
Where: The Wild Play Discovery Centre
Cost: $16
Website: centennialparklands.com.au

Big Bad Wolf
An unlikely friendship between a girl and a misunderstood fairytale character.
Dates: October 3-6, 9-10
Ages: 5+
Where: Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre; Riverside Theatres
Cost: $19-$29
Website: windmill.org.au

AT THE MOVIES

Christopher Robin (G)
The grown-up Christopher Robin meets his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to re-discover the joys of life.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PG)
A villian’s plan for world domination sidetracks five teenage superheros who dream of Hollywood stardom.

The House with a Clock in its Walls (PG)
A 10-year-old orphan goes on a quest to find the source of a mysterious ticking in the walls of his uncle’s enchanted house.

Not sure about the suitability or content of a movie for your kid? Check out commonsensemedia.org or kids-in-mind.com

IDEAS FOR HOME DAYS

Masterchef: Put the children in charge of dinner one night – maybe let older teens have a go at the BBQ – and prepare to be impressed!

Go Entrepreneur: Challenge the kids to raise some cash in different ways, such as doing odd jobs for your friends or family members, selling old toys or games, or running an old-school lemonade stand and encourage them to divide their profit into money for giving, spending, and saving.

Online learning fun: They won’t even know they are actually learning if you steer them towards sites such as National Geographic Kids, Wonderopolis or Code Monster.

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