‘What are we going to do today?’ – it’s a familiar question to most parents experiencing the ‘school holiday syndrome’ (a condition that can leave mothers and fathers feeling exhausted and severely traumatised).
We all love spending quality time with our kids but, when condensed over several weeks of 24/7 contact, it can also be demanding and draining.
So why not plan ahead and schedule some fun events and daytrips for the vacation time? This also means you can challenge your children to research the places you are going to visit, and maybe draw up a schedule or prepare a ‘look book’ to be filled in while you are there.
Here are some thoughts about things to do in Sydney with little (and bigger) kids during those long holiday weeks:
Sometimes the most obvious things turn out to be the most fun. A trip to this iconic beach is always popular with kids during the school holidays. To keep things interesting (and if it’s not too cold), why not surprise them with a surf lesson?
Couridjah Corridor walk
This 7km trek (only one way!), takes around four hours and is fairly challenging. You will, however, be rewarded by spectacular views of the Thirlmere Lakes and Hawkesbury sandstone cliffs as you climb through eucalypt forests and unspoilt wetlands.
Documentaries for free
The fantastic IMAX at Darling Harbour has a special offer running throughout the school holidays. When accompanied by a paying adult, children can watch documentary films like ‘Humpback Whales 3D’ and ‘Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D’ completely free of charge on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Perfect for a rainy weekend!
‘Escape’ games are already hugely popular in Europe, Japan and the United States, and now they’ve hit Sydney. Teams of 2-5 participants take part in exciting interactive challenges, finding clues to solve puzzles and riddles within a limited amount of time. Scenarios include ‘Robbery at the Cottage’, ’Extortion in the Dockyard’ and ‘Murder in the Pub’. If you ever fancied playing detective, then here’s your chance.
Let’s go with LEGO
Is your son or daughter a budding architect or car designer? Why not find out! Bricks 4 Kidz are offering half day, all day, and two day winter school holiday workshops where children work together in small groups. They’ll be using specially created Bricks 4 Kidz models, and LEGO Technic pieces such as gears, axles, electric motors, and much more.
As they fashion their own designs not only are they having a great time, but they are also learning about science and technology.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
A trip to this wonderful attraction should be on every family’s list for the school holidays. You will encounter sharks, stingrays and walruses, to just name a few. What a great way to educate children about the beauty that lies beneath the seas.
Snow in the Hunter Valley
Yes, there really is. For three weeks (ending 12th July), the Hunter Valley Gardens will become a winter wonderland of snow, sparkling lights and fun activities, including ice-skating, husky racing and tobogganing.
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
This is not for the faint hearted, nor is it an experience likely to be forgotten in a hurry! As you ascend the iconic structure, 134m above the ground, you will be rewarded with exceptional, breathtaking views of the harbour and surrounding landscape.
Open every day of the year and home to many fascinating species of animals, this great Sydney zoo is always a hit with kids of all ages. Lots of different shows and events take place throughout the day, from the ‘Seal Show’ to ‘the Little Penguin Talk’, where children can learn more about animals and their habitats.
There’s also the exhilarating ‘Wild Ropes’ adventure course where kids get a chance to swing through the trees like a monkey.
Toys Through Time
Do you remember those dark and distant times when there were no video games? If so, you might enjoy taking your children to this exhibition about toys from the past, from rocking horses to train sets. Reminisce to them about how times have changed, and listen to them moan and groan about how old you are – ah, bliss!
With so much on offer, Sydney is truly one of the best cities to share with your kids during their school holidays.