We’ve uncovered some extra-cool family activities that are definitely step above going to the zoo. Again.
Nurture childlike curiosity at Nubo, Alexandria
Forget the over-stimulating colour schemes and questionable hygiene of your average play centre. Every element of Nubo (‘cloud’ in the universal language Esperanto) has been beautifully designed to foster pure play and family connection. There’s a library with reading nooks, building room full of construction toys, and an active room with climbing frame and slides! The innovative play space also hosts parties and educational workshops in cooking, coding, art and music. Nubo’s purposeful design allows you to really interact with your children as they play. Otherwise, you can observe them from a safe distance at the on-site café.
Pick your own fruit at Anderson Farm, Hawkesbury River
Did you know that only an hour or two out of Sydney are a variety of produce farms open to the public? A day trip to a fruit-picking farm is a fun way to teach your kids on where the food they see in the supermarket really comes from. We recommend Anderson Farm in Sackville North, where you can pick sweet mandarins or juicy oranges straight from the tree between May and December. Entry is free for kids and getting there does require catching a ferry across the Hawkesbury River – but that’s an especially exciting part of the trip for little ones!
Share a meal at Sydney’s coolest cafés and pubs
Eating out without plastic placemats, colouring-in books and cartoons blaring from big-screen TVs can feel like a luxury. But there are many chic eateries in Sydney that both parents and children can enjoy. The Grounds in Alexandria has farm animals and an enchanting outdoor garden area for kids to run free – leaving you to savour their single-origin coffee (which is hand-roasted on-site) and deliciously rustic dishes. The Henson in Marrickville was refurbished with families in mind, adding an enclosed (tick!) playroom with ball pit and climbing ramp. Another pub, The Newport in the northwest, boasts a kids gymnasium with giant Connect 4 and magnetic scrabble board; keeping your tots active and entertained as you tuck into a gourmet pub lunch. Not least is Camperdown Commons, with its large open grassed area decked out with picnic rugs and umbrellas. The little ones will love exploring the huge vegetable garden and play gym.
Start ‘em loving culture from a young age
If you want your children to grow up with an appreciation for art and music, some of Sydney’s biggest cultural institutions frequently host kid-friendly events. The Museum of Contemporary Arts offer gallery tours for families; their ‘Art Baby’ sessions end with mat playtime on an artist-created multisensory blanket. Introduce your toddlers to classical music at one of the Sydney Symphony or Sydney Youth Orchestra’s regular family concerts. Or encourage your kids’ creativity expression at the Monkey Baa Theatre Company playgroup. If all the activities of the monthly theme doesn’t tire them out, the close-by Darling Quarter Children’s Playground sure will.
Escape to the country at Berridale Farm, Blue Mountains
Why limit your adventures to one day? Make a weekend of it at the gorgeous Berridale Farm in Blackheath. Once supplying Sydney’s finest restaurants with organic fruit and veg, this 20-hectarce estate is now listed on Airbnb as a bushland retreat that everyone in the family will enjoy. It boasts seasonal orchards, vegetable and herb gardens, plus fresh eggs daily from the farm’s chickens. Your kids will forget all about the Blue Mountains chill when they roast marshmallows over the fire pit, or see alpacas across the paddock! The best part? The fully renovated farmhouse has 4 bedrooms – making it the perfect location for sharing farmyard fun with another family (or two).
What’s your favourite thing to do in Sydney with your family?