40+ of the Best School Holiday Activities in Sydney
Updated 15 January 2023
Our 40+ Sydney school activity activities cover indoors, outdoors, underwater and everything else, with free and value-focused fun things for kids aged 3 or 4 to 12 to 13.
- Take the stress out of the school holidays with our guide to over 40 activities that will keep you busy for the entire December and January break. We’ve ordered them by activity so you can shortlist what’s close to (and what the kids would like to do) quickly.
- Many of the ideas we suggest are either free or inexpensive, so you can have fun without breaking the bank. Family passes are offered widely, decreasing the cost. What’s on offer for kids is, arguably, fantastic, and a definite benefit of living in Sydney.
- If you want to save even more, consider purchasing annual passes for certain attractions. These passes often pay for themselves after just a few visits, so your kids can enjoy themselves as often as you allow.
- This is the first edition of this guide, please contact us if you would like to have a suggestion included – our team would love to hear from you.
Sports and Swimming Pools
- Bondi Iceberg’s: This picturesque beach swimming pool is a cheap school holiday activity, with admission starting from $6 for kids, and family passes bringing down the cost further. There is also a bistro to enjoy.
- Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre: This indoor aquatic centre offers plenty of fun events, obstacles and pools for kids to enjoy. Entry starts at just over $6 with family passes available. They also offer a school holiday program.
- Circus Arts at Olympic Park: Olympic Park hosts circus arts and circus intensive workshops during the holidays. Learn how to tumble, trapeze and be more flexible with this workshop.
- Tuff Nutters: This inflatable obstacle course is packed full of fun for kids at Olympic Park. Whilst you’re here, you can also enjoy the aquatic centre for an energetic family day out.
Explore Sydney’s Surrounds
- Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters: Interactive aquarium experience that allows kids to get up close with life underwater. From snorkelling to shark encounters, Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters offer something for everyone.
- Hunter Wetlands Centre: Hunter Wetlands Centre is a significant conservation area tasked with protecting endangered wildlife. You can canoe, ride your bike, dipnet and enjoy the playground here. There are also a wealth of events during the school holidays.
- American Bison Experience: Located just outside of Newcastle, this farm experience allows kids to feed American Bison. Feed these friendly giants hay and carrots with this special family day out.
- Inflatable World: Climb, duel and parkour your way through the Inflatable World. Parents are welcome to join in too, so this is an activity the whole family will enjoy.
- Hunter Valley Zoo: Hunter Valley Zoo is a fun day trip for families. Engage with zookeepers, listen to wildlife talks, feed some animals and enjoy a barbeque at this zoo.
Attractions Kids Love
- SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium: Get up close and personal with underwater creatures at SEA LIFE. With 12 themed zones, there’s plenty to see. See sharks, turtles, fish and other sea creatures in their element at SEA LIFE.
- WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo: Perfect for younger littlies, this small zoo offers echidnas, sugar gliders, koalas, kangaroos and other animal encounters to enjoy.
- Western Sydney Treetop Adventure Park: Test yourself and get adventurous with over 100 obstacles, including rope ladders, tunnels, cargo nets, ziplines and more to traverse. Explore Sydney’s treetops and immerse yourself in the Australian wildlife with this unique experience.
- Luna Park: Enjoy adrenaline-filled rollercoasters, ride the Ferris wheel and explore Luna Park’s attractions today. Luna Park is a historic amusement park that offers some of the city’s most iconic harbour views and is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.
- Penrith Whitewater Stadium: An epic day trip located an hour west of Sydney, this manmade river attraction allows your family to experience whitewater rafting. Take on the Olympic-sized rapids today and Penrith Whitewater Stadium.
Gardening and Harvesting
- Australian Botanic Garden: Home to various stunning flora, this beautiful Botanic Garden offers a perfect space to explore during the school holidays. Come here for a picnic, walk, or enjoy an activity surrounded by nature.
- Royal Botanic Garden Sydney: Located near the harbour, this stunning park offers free guided walks, numerous tours and a school holiday program. Hike, picnic and explore this beautiful park, and enjoy picturesque views of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Centennial Park: Expansive green spaces and unique biodiversity make this park a must-visit for any Sydneysiders during the school holidays. Hike, bring a ball to play some sports or picnic in this bespoke park.
- Chinese Garden of Friendship: This is a more relaxed space; this is the perfect place to kick back and relax with your family. Explore the beautiful fauna and have a picnic in peace here.
- George and Sue’s Cherry Farm & Produce: Located only two hours from Sydney, this fruit-picking experience is tremendous fun for the whole family during the summer. Pick delicious cherries fresh from the trees at this farm during the cherry-picking season. However, you’ll need to go early – they get picked out season after season so it’s something for early December.
Zoo and Animal Park Deals:
- Taronga Zoo: Taronga Zoo is one of Sydney’s most premier zoo offerings. Home to over 4,000 animals and open 365 days a year, Taronga Zoo is a must-visit during the school holidays. Annual passes are available.
- Featherdale Wildlife Park: Feed the wildlife and see the Australian animals in their natural, outdoor bush environment today. Featherdale Wildlife Park is perfect for animal-loving kids or if your family is looking for a different, more personal animal encounter. Annual passes are available.
- Mogo Wildlife Park: Located near Batemans Bay, this wildlife park offers animal encounters, Stay ’n’ play, and plenty of exotic animals to check out. Explore some of the unique beaches nearby when you check out Mogo Wildlife Park. Annual passes are available.
- Symbio Wildlife Park: Exotic animals reside at Symbio Wildlife Park, including cheetahs, red pandas, meerkats and more. On 16 picturesque acres of beautiful gardens, Symbio Wildlife Park is the perfect day out. Season passes are available.
- Sydney Zoo: Located in Bangarribee, Sydney Zoo is open 365 days a year and offers animal encounters, wildlife experiences and more. See tigers, zebras, monkeys, and various exotic animals in person at Sydney Zoo today. Entry starts at $39.99 for an adult, which includes free parking. Annual passes are available.
Arts & Crafts
- Museum of Contemporary Arts: This attraction celebrates the artwork of living artists worldwide. There are plenty of activities to enjoy, and this museum offers creative learning experiences for kids.
- Young Artists Workshops: Available in Sydney, these workshops allow talented young artists to explore a wide range of mediums.
- School Art School Holiday Classes: This iconic arts school offers a variety of school holiday experiences for you and your kids to enjoy. Highly affordable, these courses run throughout the year.
- Art Gallery of NSW: Located within walking distance of the city centre, this free attraction allows families to explore the imaginative world of art creatively. There are guided tours available, and school holiday activities are run often.
- Julie Peadon Art: Unique fine art experiences for kids. Julie Peadon Art offers fun school holiday workshops that allow kids to experiment with different art mediums.
General Fun Stuff
- Australian Reptile Park: Behind-the-scenes, animal encounters, exhibits and more are offered at Australian Reptile Park. Located an hour outside of Sydney, there are over 2000 animals to visit here.
- Catmosphere: This Sydney cat cafe offers a bespoke dining experience with lovely kitties. Eat yummy food and snuggle with cute cats at Catmosphere.
- Go-Karts: Go-karts are plenty of fun for the entire family. Hyper Karting, Extreme Indoor Go Karting and Spitfire Go Karts are all epic tracks to race on.
- Museum of Sydney: Experience the story of Sydney and its people during the school holidays. With family-friendly programs and exciting exhibitions available year-round, this is a fun day out for your family.
- Australian National Maritime Museum: Explore Australia’s maritime history and wide range of vessels at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Entry is free to basic exhibits, and school holiday activities are available.
- Australian Museum Summer Holiday Program: Win tickets and experiences with the Australian Museum. Their membership program offers a variety of fun competitions for kids to participate in during the school holidays.
- Rush Hour Australia: The ultimate fitness course and competition for Sydney kids, run out of Parramatta. Rush Hour Australia offers a unique school holiday sports fun camp experience.
- Darling Harbour Competitions: The Darling Harbour often hosts school holidays competitions. Check their website for more details.
- Hello Sydney Kids: This website shares plenty of competitions that kids in Sydney can enter during these school holidays. It updates every holiday, so check back regularly to see what’s on offer.
School Holiday Programs
- Sydney Metro School Holiday Programs: Designed with primary-aged students in mind, Sydney Metro’s free school holiday program encourages kids to participate in STEM. Parents are welcome to join in. Some of the offerings include stop motion animation, Minecraft, colouring and bridge building challenges.
- Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW: From pirate days to skateboarding, coding classes and more, this exciting school holiday program offers full and half-day programs to enjoy. Your kids can enjoy a variety of events with this program, and it caters for primary aged children.
- Nutty Scientists: Offers school holiday workshops that combine fun with learning. Children get to learn STEM through play with Nutty Scientists.
- Motiv8Sports: Offering two-day Olympics camps in Turramurra for your children to enjoy. This fun-filled competition encourages perseverance cooperation and keeps kids active.
- Bop till you Drop: Performing arts program for Sydney school holidays. It is located in Mosman and Gladesville.