Sydney, the vibrant capital of New South Wales, is one of the biggest cities in Australia and a fun-filled destination for all ages. From vast parklands to fun amusement parks, there are plenty of free events and family activities in Sydney. Take a look at the free things to do in Sydney with kids to plan your fun family holiday.

1. Luna Park

Luna Park is one of the best free activities in Sydney for kids. The nostalgic amusement park has a wide variety of rides, games and activities for all ages. While you have to pay to ride the rides, many of the activities and games are free, and you can enter and walk around for free. If you do decide to pay for the rides, be sure to pack a lunch for everyone and enjoy a picnic to keep the trip budget-friendly.

2. Royal Botanic Gardens

If you’re looking for free things to do in Sydney with kids, the Royal Botanic Gardens should be high on your list. You can spend hours exploring the unique plants, succulents and herbs with the kids, or sit down and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine. The park has a vibrant tropical greenhouse with exotic blooms and plant life. If you want more in-depth information about the plant collections, you can book a free tour with an expert guide.

View of abstract sculpture on a grassy hill at the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens

3. Centennial Park

Centennial Park is an expansive city park that’s great for family activities for kids in the city. You can play sports or walk around nature trails to see native wildlife. The park is a popular spot for bird watching as well. Centennial Park also hosts family fun days and family activities on a regular basis, so you can take part in fun free activities in Sydney for kids.

4. Nicholson Museum

The Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney is a wonderful educational experience for kids. The museum boasts a vast collection of antiquities from Australia and other cultures, such as ancient Greece and Egypt, the Near East and Italy. In total, the museum boasts over 3,000 artefacts from the ancient world. There’s also a LEGO play area for young children. The museum offers special exhibitions and workshops as well, so you can enjoy free events for kids in Sydney.

5. Bondi Beach

The iconic Bondi Beach is one of Sydney’s most famous attractions and perfect for family activities for kids in Sydney. You could spend the day lounging on the sand while the kids play in the shallow, calm waters, or watch for frolicking dolphins in the distance. The beach is also perfect for beach volleyball and other activities, as well as watersports like surfing and windsurfing. There are a number of cafes and restaurants nearby for a quick bite after your day in the sun.

View overlooking Bondi beach and lush vegetation

Bondi Beach

6. Sydney Bridge Climb

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the city’s main attractions that draws visitors from all over the world. In addition to seeing the bridge from afar, visitors also enjoy the thrilling bridge climb that takes you to the top for spectacular views. The BridgeClimb tour has a fee, but you can walk to the top of the Pylon Lookout to take in the views on your own. If your kids are too little for the bridge climb, you can take the pedestrian walkway across the bridge for a unique perspective on the city’s skyline.

7. The Rocks Discovery Museum

The Rocks Discovery Museum is one of the most intriguing museums in the city and ideal for young children. The museum focuses on the history of the area from before European settlements to modern day with immersive artefacts and exhibits. The museum is free to attend and offers tours with in-depth information about the exhibits.

8. Art Gallery of NSW

The Art Gallery of NSW is one of the city’s most popular attractions and a must-see for art lovers. Some notable collections in the museum include an Asian art collection, works from aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Australian artwork. The gallery is free to visit and boasts numerous permanent exhibits, rotating exhibits and events, so there’s always something to do for a fun day of learning and sightseeing with the kids.

View of a statue through an arched doorway in the Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW

9. Australian National Maritime Museum

Located in Darling Harbour, the Australian National Maritime Museum is a fascinating museum with a range of exhibits on nautical history. Kids will love exploring the boats, ships and submarines the museum showcases, and you can provide an educational experience with the many exhibits and demonstrations. While the museum usually charges a fee, the first Thursday of every month is free. The museum hosts special exhibitions and events as well, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s happening during your stay.

10. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Located within a stunning art deco building, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia showcases a range of contemporary masterpieces from Australian and International artists. The museum is free to visit, and during school holidays, there are family activities you can enjoy for free or with a small donation. You could also attend special events and exhibitions that showcase particular works or movements, and the exhibits on the First Peoples of Australia are particularly valuable for children.

Ready to plan your family holiday?

Sydney is a vibrant city with a lot of things to do, making it ideal for a family holiday with the kids. Whether you enjoy the free events, festivals, attractions and experiences on this list or explore other options like whale watching cruises, wilderness tours, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Taronga Zoo or Wild Life Sydney Zoo, you’ll never run out of things to do in Sydney. There are plenty of fun adventures and activities in the outdoors as well, so you can get some exercise and get your kids out into nature for an unforgettable experience.

With so much to see and do on a budget, you can create lasting memories with the kids in this exciting city without spending a fortune. Check out Expedia to browse deals on Sydney holidays and things to do in Sydney for the whole family to plan your family trip and make the most of your time in this wonderful city.