How to entertain your kids in Sydney this Winter
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.
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.
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.
Powerhouse museum & Sydney Observatory
It’s pouring with rain. Cabin fever is building. Energy levels are rising. There’s nothing inspiring about being stuck inside with your children on a wet day. My advice? Head straight to the Powerhouse Museum and take part in one of the many engaging workshops for kids like Dig it (a hands-on simulated archaeology dig for groups of inquisitive children). Or attend one of the many events such as Paper Planet (as the name suggests, you’ll be making amazing paper creations) or the Mini-Astronaut Saturn Party Day. In August, don’t miss the inaugural Sydney Science Festival 2015. If you’re looking to build your child’s imagination, head here. See here for more information.
During winter, Sydney is blessed with sparkling winter days. Rug up and head to Bondi beach. Renowned chef Bill Granger opened his third café in Bondi late last year and the ricotta pancakes are phenomenal. I did take my toddler for breakfast here and despite ending up on the floor wiping it down with baby wipes, we had a fun time. Depending on the ages of your children, start your morning with breakfast at Bills then go for a walk down to the beach. Check out the menu here.
For little boys, this might just be the most exciting thing they do all winter. Darling Harbour’s Madame Tussauds has just opened their new interactive Marvel Super Hero Zone, featuring the world’s most popular Super Heroes including as the stars from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron film. See here for more information.
Fox Studios/Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
On a Wednesday or Saturday, the EQ Village Markets (open from 9am to 2pm), are my favourite place to visit with my children. There’s coffee and fresh flowers for me, and everything from a petting zoo to a bouncy castle to a huge playground for the kids. Basically, everyone is entertained. If it’s raining, there’s an indoor play centre called Monkey Mania, and a painting centre called Plaster Painting Studios. Find out what else is on at EQ here.
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