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December 28, 2011

Australia With Kids - Sydney

Today, Ramona kindly shares her favourite things to do with children in Sydney.  Ramona’s blog, Learning Activities has lots of great ideas to enhance your child’s learning (including great printables) and ideas for even more fun things to do with children in Sydney. 

Hi,
I am Ramona from Learning Activities. I arrived in Australia 2 years ago and am just loving life here! We settled in Sydney over a year ago and have since been discovering all that this beautiful city has to offer! Which is just loads! It is going to take us forever to see everything which means there is never a dull weekend of wondering what to do. There is a great selection of things to do for dry and wet weather, so here goes...So far here are many of the great activities we have discovered:


BEACHES
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Balmoral Beach
Balmoral Beach is great for kids because it has places to climb and discover, bridges to walk over or under. In the photo above the children are running towards a little island that stands out on the beach. There is a bridge to get to it from the promenade which is a lovely walk in itself. It’s not a surfing beach therefore the water is calmer for swimming in.

CHINA TOWN
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If you are heading directly into the city, take a wander through China Town. You will find some great places to eat, lots of shops full of wonderful trinkets and goodies and maybe even a dragon or two!

FERRY RIDE
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You must of course go for a ferry ride, maybe to Manly and back. The reason being is that on your way back from Manly you get the most beautiful view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as you come round the corner of the headland past the Governor’s House on your left. Then take a wander around the harbour towards the Opera House. Or go in the opposite direction towards the Museum of Contemporary Art (which is free). Go a little further and you will reach my favourite part of Sydney, The Rocks. The Rocks is steeped in history, there is a little free museum in the pebbled back streets or even better do a ghost walk at night (but you will need a babysitter for this!)

MARKETS
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Frenchs Forest Organic Market
Every Sunday the Parkway Hotel is turned into a market full of fascinating stalls full of seasonal fruit and vegetables, homemade clothes, ornaments and knick knacks. For kids there are bouncy castles, pony rides and toy stalls. In the photo above my daughter spent her Christmas money on a parasol and fairy dress.
(Open every Sunday 8am – 1pm. Parkway Hotel, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086)

Paddington Market
This market at the end of Oxford Street in the city. It is great for finding things from yesteryear or something a bit out of the ordinary. There are a variety of food stalls, toilets and a little climbing frame for the children. It is popular and does get very busy though!
(Open every Saturday – 10am. 395 Oxford Street)


MUSEUMS

Australian Museum
Me and my children love the Museum! We walk to it from Circular Quay, across the beautiful Hyde Park with its stunning water fountains. The Museum is a great place for a rainy day or even better still maybe you fancy sleeping there overnight!
(Opening hours - 9.30am to 5pm daily (except Christmas Day) 6 College Street Sydney
NSW 2010 Australia)


Powerhouse Museum
Another great rainy day place to take the children. Lots of hands on, interactive displays to keep little ones intrigued and occupied. There is also a great building area called Zoe’s house where the children can pretend they are builders operating cranes, pushing train carts or filling the rubble shoot. If that doesn’t take their fancy there is always the Cogs playground to play in.
(Opening hours – 10am – 5pm. (except Christmas Day))

PARKS

Clontarf Park Reserve, Manly
A great place to take your children for a run around, meet other mums, have a coffee and just watch the boats sail by.

ZOO
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Taronga Zoo
The zoo is right on the edge of the water and therefore has some fantastic views of the sea and the city. It is a great day out! You can take a packed lunch for the kids or make use of the cafes and restaurants there. There is so much to see and do that you would want to spend the day there. My ‘must sees’ are:

The great Southern Oceans – with lots of opportunities to feel close to the underwater animals through huge glass walls, you will love this section!

Kids Zoo - a great place for the children to get close to bush turkeys, explore a barnyard, climb up into the sheds and play with the water mills.

Wild Australia – a walk through environment where you can spot kangaroos and wallabies close up.

You can get a ferry to the zoo from the Circular Quay. Because of it’s location the zoo is quite hilly and therefore you do get a good workout if you are pushing a pram/buggy/stroller. There is paid parking in the carpark provided or if you don’t mind a bit of a walk, there is free parking on the streets nearby.

Well I hope this gives you enough to do next time you visit Sydney, have a great time!

Have you visited Sydney?  What things do/did your children love to do in the city?

This post was first published in June 2010.  The links have been updated and the post republished.

8 comments:

amandab said...

We only had two nights in Sydney, midweek, a couple of years ao, and I have to say that with the the 18 month old Princess the monorail was a big hit! I don't know if it was just the word itself, but she loved it and couldn't stop talking about it.

She also had a great time at Wildlife World, and I really wish we had paid attention to the monorail passes, because I think you get discounts at various attractions with them. It's also cheaper if you get a multi pass, if you plan to also see the aquarium and Powerhouse museum, but we didn't have time.

Leanne said...

Great list, Ramona. I've bookmarked it for when we eventually get up there with the kids.

Ramona - Learning Activities said...

I haven't been to the Wildlife World yet but it is on my agenda for the next school holidays. The aquarium is a must see too, I forgot to recommend that one, the truth be told I had trouble knowing when to stop as far as recommending places to visit in Sydney. Thanks for reminding me Amanda! Thanks too for your kind comment Leanne.

Kristine said...

Thanks Ramona and Catherine,

We're off to spend a week in Sydney in July so I shall print this off to take with me. We are particularly excited about seeing the baby elephant and baby rhino and Taronga. Thanks for the good advice about it being hilly. Might have to hire a stroller for my older daughter.
Your daughter has beautiful taste I want a dress like hers for my little girl!

francesjones said...

Hi Ramona,
That would be a difficult list to write. Having grown up in Sydney myself and been all over it with my boys, you've done a great job.
Recently I took the boys on the train to Cabramatta to eat Vietnamese and my 6 yo wanted to go straight back the next weekend to eat the noodles.
http://radhika.posterous.com/viettub-all-aboard
We also love The Blue Mountains. There are so many lovely cafes and sights: http://francesjones.posterous.com/my-boy-119 http://francesjones.posterous.com/great-food-in-the-mountains http://francesjones.posterous.com/autumn-in-the-mountains
Recently we visited Selwood Science and Puzzles at Hazelbrook, which they loved: http://www.selwoodscience.com.au/index.php?UID=20100613104114112.141.150.43 http://www.bluemountainswonderland.com/client_detail.php?id=47&type_id=3
Their preferences have changed. When my 8 yo was about 5 and 6, we were constanly catching ferries to the Maritime Museum as his reward www.anmm.gov.au . We haven't been for years. Now they play soccer.
There are so many beaches and parks. The northern beaches are lovely and nearby Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park eg. Apple Tree Bay/Bobbin Head: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/NationalParks/parkFacilities.aspx?id=N0019
Recently my 8yo was sitting in an empty box and he'd set up a pretend computer. children imagination play joy they're crazy cute sometimes. Smile of contentment. That brought me more joy than any of the above.
Frances

Anonymous said...

Hi all! I'm from London but am living in Berlin at the moment.
Gotta like this place!


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[url=http://stephetteh.wordpress.com/]Barrater is my life[/url]

PlanningQueen said...

Lots of great ideas here - we always love a trip on the ferry!

aliah said...

Hello,

Nice Post..:-)
Thanks for sharing this post and keep posting such post here in future too.
Fencing Sydney
Thanks,