I am a kid at heart. I always enjoy a theme park, animals or a museum; and now that I have a daughter it is double the fun.
I will be taking three weeks off from blogging from the end of this week (heading off on a trip to Sri Lanka). So, in the meantime, I will leave you with some fun Sydney activities for kids and kids at heart to keep you all amused over the Easter break.
Royal Easter Show- who doesn’t love a show? The rides, the food and the show bags. The Sydney show this year is on 26 March to 8 April at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. It’s usually packed and can be quite expensive, but the free displays are pretty mind blowing and the wood chopping and other traditional show events (also free) are always entertaining. The kids will love the farmyard nursery, but I prefer the working dog demonstrations myself- how are they so clever?!
Taronga Zoo- a ferry trip to Taronga Zoo is a fun activity in itself. Although a little pricey to get in, a yearly pass may be worth the money if you plan to go more than once. Apart from the gondola ride and the free daily shows, there is also a kid’s area where farmyard animals and bush turkeys roam free through the park equipment and water play area. My favourite parts are seeing the elephants take their morning shower and the gorgeous views of the city.
Australian Museum- I went here late last year to see the Aztec exhibit. The display had a stamping activity (for kids) and iPad photo activity (for kids at heart). The rest of the museum was free, after paying for the feature exhibition, and is always free for children under 5. This includes a very scary dinosaur’s exhibition- they growl at you and I jumped ok?!- and a great little scientist area where kids can read, play and look through microscopes.
Royal Botanic Gardens- For a free and educational activity, a self-guided walk through the Sydney gardens is a great activity. They are iconic, waterside, beautiful and sometimes you will even find cockatoos feeding on the ground. There is also a Disney Fairy Trails app currently active where you can find and photograph cartoon fairies as you go- very cool.
Sydney Aquarium- not the cheapest, but great for a rainy day. The shark viewing tunnels are unique and the Great Barrier Reef display is very colourful. I love trying to spot the platypus and learning something new every time I visit. There is a touch pool for the little ones and dugongs, but no mermaids contrary to popular advertising- sorry to disappoint.
Museum of Sydney- with a very reasonable entry fee, this museum is at a historic location and not too large, making it easy to navigate. I recently went there to see the Towers of Tomorrow LEGO exhibition which was small but very functional with 4 large Lego troughs for kids to play in next to the awesome tall towers (like the replica Marina Bay Sands) that kids at heart will appreciate. The Lego exhibition is running until 12 July and look out for the Toys through Time display coming on 28 March- showing until 9 August.
Luna Park- for an alternative to the Easter Show (but probably just as expensive!), you can’t beat the location of Luna Park at Milson’s Point where you can gaze over the water at the Opera House, city and Harbour Bridge. The old English merry-go-round and dressed up characters such as Luna Bob are a favourite with kids of all ages. My personal pick is the mouse roller coaster where it feels like you are going to drop right over the edge into Sydney Harbour.
Australian Reptile Park- located one hour out of Sydney, this park has been around since 1948 and has an interesting history to go with it. I cringed at the funnel web milking demonstration, but the kids couldn’t get enough of it. The main attraction is Elvis the crocodile and the free range kangaroo area where an emu sneaked up on me. The dirt paths weave into the trees which lends to a nice bushwalk feel and there is a large play park for the little ones once they tire of the animals.
State Library- I went here last month to see the Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective exhibition. Lynley is the creator of the Hairy McClairy book series for children and the display was definitely designed with kids in mind- very interactive with TV, audio, drawing and book areas. The State Library itself is a beautiful old building with, funnily enough, lots of books. There is even a whole room filled with Don Quixote books. All exhibitions are free of charge and there is always some lovely photography on display.
The Beach- if the weather is good, the beach is the best free fun activity for kids and kids at heart. Water, sun, surf and sand castles provide hours of entertainment. I enjoy going to old favourites like Greenwich Baths and Boat Harbour on the South Coast; and discovering new beaches like Ettalong and Shoal Bay to the North. Just remember to pay attention to life guards and be sun safe.