Ask any parent how they entertain their kids in Sydney during the wet days of winter and you’ll probably be met with a blank stare. Toy Story? Frozen? The thing is, even when it’s pouring with rain and cold, there’s plenty to do in this city. We often have glorious crisp sunny days and while the beaches aren’t suitable for swimming, they’re still lovely to visit. I love visiting Taronga Zoo with my girls and on a rainy day, nothing beats spending an afternoon at the Sydney Aquarium. There’s also a plethora of fabulous cafes to go to, many of which are child-friendly. Here’s my pick of where to go and what to do this winter…

The Boathouse, Balmoral Beach

When I first became a mother, we were living near Balmoral beach and I spent those early days pushing a pram up and down this lovely stretch, trying to get my newborn to sleep. My morning coffee at The Boathouse and the fresh sea air kept me sane. While we no longer live near this spectacular beach, I visit often. I’ll bring the girls with me and either get takeaway from The Boathouse and head to the playground located next to the café or sit on the family friendly deck. To check out the venue, see here.

Taronga Zoo

To be honest, I think I enjoy going to Taronga Zoo even more than my energetic toddler does. I adore watching Arabella’s excitement when she sees the animals we read about in books come to life. There are more than 4,000 animals to see, so make sure you give yourself enough time. There are also two new (and very cute) additions to the zoo: a gorilla baby boy and an Australian Sea-lion pup named Maximus. See here for more information.

Sydney Aquarium

I have to admit, I’m a little bit obsessed with sharks, so like the zoo, visiting the Sydney Aquarium is as much fun for me as it is for my daughter. Children over five can take part in a new activity called ‘shark reek snorkel’, which will bring them face-to-fin with some of the ocean’s most amazing creatures from the Great Barrier Reef including sharks, sawfish and an array of tropical fish. The exciting new Octonauts Zone is also now open. See here for more information.