13 School Holiday Adventures To Have With Your Child In Sydney

It’s the beginning of school holidays in less than a week! Teachers are cheering and parents are groaning. Most parents are starting to think of some activities to do with their child that will be both engaging and fun.

Sydney is a great place to spend the school holidays with your children. I have complied a list of 13 treasures of Sydney that would offer lots of fun and engagement for all children and more importantly not break the budget.

  1. POWERHOUSE MUSEUM

pwerhouseLocated in the old Ultimo Power Station building adjacent to Darling Harbour, the Powerhouse Museum is the flagship venue of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). Its unique and diverse collection spans science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine, fashion and contemporary culture.

With a strong focus on creativity and curiosity, a range of 12 permanent exhibitions at the Powerhouse is complemented by a changing program of temporary exhibitions and displays. There are regular tours and demonstrations, performances, workshops, forums and other special events held throughout the Museum.

The Wiggles exhibition in the museum is carefully curated so that adults are as entertained as children. While children dive into free-form play or are engrossed with high-tech interactive exhibits, grown-ups will uncover the amazing rise of The Wiggles and what’s kept them strong for so long.

All your family’s favourites are here – there’s a room dedicated to each of The Wiggles and the things they love. Plus there’s Wags The Dog, Henry the Octopus, Captain Feathersword and Dorothy the Dinosaur.

Opening times

Open Daily 10:00am - 5:00pm

Cost

Adult : $15

Child (4-15yrs) : $8

Children under 4 : FREE

 2. SYDNEY OBSERVATORY

A visit to this spectacular state-listed heritage site, night or day, is a memorable experience. Sydney Observatory is home to Australia’s most accessible telescope domes, with modern and historic instruments to safely view the Sun and other stars, planets and astronomical objects. At 1.00 pm daily the historic time ball drops, just as it has done since 1858.

Other features include the Sydney Planetarium and 3D Space Theatre immersive astronomy experiences, and the new East Dome, which has a ground-level accessible telescope.

Address: 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point

Opening times

Open Daily 10:00am - 5:00pm

Cost

Day visits are free.

Regular 30 minute tours include the planetarium, 3D space theatre and telescope domes. These tours cost a small fee.

  1. Australian Museum

australianmuseumThe Australian museum has many exhibitions that children will be excited to explore. These exhibitions include, Dinosaurs, Birds and Insects, Minerals and Australia. A dedicated “Kidspace” area and “Search and Discover” area will keep children busy for hours.

Opening times

Open Daily: 9:30am - 5:00pm

Cost

Adult : $15

Family (2 adults + 2 children) : $38

Family (1 adults + 2 children) : $23

Child (5 -15 years) : $8

Children under 5 years : FREE

The Australian Museum is located on the corner of College Street and William Street in central Sydney, just across the road from Hyde Park and opposite St.Mary’s Cathedral.

4. Maritime Museum

 maritimeThe Australian National Maritime Museum began collecting maritime artefacts long before it opened its doors in 1991. The National Maritime collection contains a rich and diverse range of historic artefacts and contains over 140,000 objects.

Collection themes are based on Australian’s changing relationship with the maritime environment, its seas, coastlines and inland waterways, and aims to reflect the maritime history and contemporary maritime experiences of all Australians.

The museum aims to preserve, make available, develop and disseminate information relating to Australian maritime history and as a result each item in the National Maritime collection is digitised in our collection management database. A selection of these have been made available for members of the public to search.

 Treat the kids to a fascinating day of learning opportunities combined with thrilling adventure! Climb aboard real-life tall ships, warships and a submarine, engage in interactive displays, and take part in hands-on kids activities held during the week, on weekends and school holidays.

 Opening times

Open Daily 9:30am - 5:00pm

Cost

Adults: $27

Child (4-15 years old) : $16

Child (Under 4 years old): FREE

 5. Featherdale Wildlife park

 featherdaleYou can hand feed a kangaroo, wallaby or emu - or enjoy a face-to-face encounter with one of our friendly koalas - amongst one of Australia’s largest private collections of Australian native animals and bird life.

 

Featherdale’s facilities include:

  • Café
  • Souvenir shop
  • Shady picnic areas with BBQ’s

And it is ideal for young and old with the Park level throughout and baby changing and disabled facilities also provided.

Address: 217 Kildare Rd, Doonside NSW 2767, Australia

Opening times

Opening Daily 9:00am - 5:00pm

Cost

Adults $29.50
Child (3-15 years) $16.00
Student / Pensioner $23.00
Senior $20.50
Family (2 adults/2 children) $83.00
Family (2 adults/1 child) $69.00
Family (1 adult/2 children) $56.00

 6. Aquarium

 aquariumSEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers entertainment for young and old alike. Walk underwater through over 100 metres of glass viewing tunnels and see Australia’s marine life like never before! Come within inches of huge sharks, rays and turtles and see some of the remarkable marine and freshwater animals that Australia is famous for, such as the platypus, barramundi and Little Penguins.

As you walk around SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium you’ll be taken on a journey through Australia’s wide and varied aquatic habitats, from the southern river systems that make up the Murray Darling Basin to the colossal Great Barrier Reef in the north.

Opening times

Open Daily 9:30am - 7:00pm

Cost

Online Prices via Sydney Aquarium website

Adult (16yrs+) = $28

Child (4 – 15 yrs) = $19.60

(Under 4yrs = Free)

7. Taronga Zoo

tarongazooTaronga Zoo is just 12 minutes from the city by ferry, with breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour and free shows and keeper talks throughout the day.

There’s always plenty happening at Taronga Zoo.  With over 4,000 animals to see, over 20 keeper talks and shows a day, tours, events & concerts, there’s always a new reason to visit Taronga Zoo.

 Opening times

Open Daily 9:30am - 4:30pm

Cost

Adults $46.00
Child (4-15 years) $26.00

Child (Under 4 years)       Free

 8. Sydney Hyde Barracks

 hydeparkbarracks​This museum tells vivid stories about what it was like to be a convict, or to be an orphan shipped across the world to make a new life. You can lie down in a hammock, try on leg irons and convict clothes, find rats and the rubbish and treasures they pulled under the floor to make their nests, and hear stories about the people who have lived and worked here. Follow the ‘Rats’ Trail’ through the museum to collect historical clues and receive a stamp at the front desk.

 Audio tours are provided free with admission in English, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We also offer regular free guided tours, which take about 45 minutes.

Address: Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Opening times

Open Daily 10:00am - 5:00pm

Cost

Adults        $10.00
Child (Under 15 years)          $5.00

Family (two adults + two children)  $20

 9. Calmsley Hill Farm

farmCalmsley Hill City Farm is a farm based attraction, close to the heart of Sydney, a place where children and adults can enjoy a variety of exciting shows and exhibits. Get up close to a range of native and farmyard animals. Bring your own picnic lunch, or use our electric BBQ’s to cook your own lunch while you enjoy our beautiful grounds.

 Address: 31 Darling St Abbotsbury NSW 2176

Opening times

Open Daily 9:00am - 4:30pm

Cost

Adults $25.50
Child (3-16 years) $15.00

Child (Under 3)                FREE

  1. Jewish Museum Sydney

jewishmuseumVisitors to the Sydney Jewish Museum are fascinated as much by the story itself, as by the way it is told, with its emphasis on excellence of design and technology.

Within eight exhibition areas, visitors confront life-size sculptures and dioramas, examine original documents and newspapers, and interact with multimedia displays.

Free guided tours take place at noon on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Address: 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, NSW

Opening times

Sunday to Thursday = 10am - 4pm

Friday= 10am - 2pm

Cost

Adults $10.00
Child $7.00

 11. The Justice and Police centre

justiceandpoliceThe Justice and Police Museum was originally the Water Police Court (1856), Water Police Station (1858) and Police Court (1886). Restored to their 1890s character, the building’s heavy blocks of sandstone, spiked gates, winding steps and corridor of cells reinforce the museum’s themes of crime and punishment and law and order.

The museum features a magistrates court, a recreated police charge room and remand cells, a gallery of mug shots of Sydney’s early criminals and an array of spine chilling weapons. It also showcases weird and wonderful relics from notorious crimes such as the Shark Arm Murder, the Pyjama Girl Case and the Graeme Thorne Kidnapping, as well as many original objects associated with such legendary bushrangers as Frank Gardiner, Ben Hall, Captain Moonlight and Ned Kelly.

Opening times

Saturday and Sundays = 10am - 5pm

Cost

Adults $10:00
Child (Under 15 years) $5.00

Address: Corner Albert and Phillip Streets, Circular Quay, Sydney, NSW 2000

12. The Sydney Museum

sydneymuseumA modern museum built over and around the remains of Australia’s first Government House, the Museum of Sydney celebrates the people and events that have shaped the character and soul of this city. In 1788 Governor Phillip chose this site for his official residence. It quickly became the centre of the colony’s administrative and social life, and an important focus of first contact between the Gadigal people and the colonisers. The next eight governors also lived here, and as banquets and balls, the business of government and family home merged, the public and private lives of the colony’s leading citizens played out. Today, through a diverse and changing program of exhibitions and events, the Museum of Sydney explores the stories of this city from its origins to today, while the remains of the original building can be glimpsed through glass openings in the museum forecourt and foyer.

Opening times

Open Daily - 10:00am - 5:00pm

Cost

Adults $10:00
Child (Under 15 years) $5.00

Address: Cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney, NSW 2000

13. Live Concerts

 Most clubs put on concerts or children’s activities during the school holidays. They usually sell tickets for a lower price to make it affordable for parents. One example of this is Concord RSL. They are hosting a “FUNKY BUGS” concert on the 2nd July 2015 at 10:30am. The concert is aimed for children 1 – 12 years old and is 45 minutes in length.

Adult tickets:              $5

Child (1 – 15 years)   $10

Child (Under 1 year)  FREE

Purchase tickets through “Try booking” – www.trybooking.com

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I hope these 13 activities will help you enjoy some quality time with your children during the school holidays in Sydney.

Until next time …schoolholidays

Kelly Pisani

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20 Activities For The School Holidays That Will Keep Children Busy For Hours

Holiday activitiesSchool holidays can be a trying time for many parents. Not only does it mean having the children home for two or more weeks, eating them out of house and home but it usually involves listening to what seems like the endless whinging from their children claiming they are bored.

Unfortunately our society makes us believe that we need to spend money in order to entertain our children. We need to take them places, buy them the newest technology and arrange for many play dates for our child with their friends. I am hoping that I can dispel these myths with this blog.

Below is a list of 20 great activities that you could do with your child during the school holidays. You may get them started on one of these projects and then let them continue it. All these activities are engaging, inexpensive and help your child develop some of their skills.

1. Grass Head

grassheadFill stockings with soil and put some grass seeds in the soil. Tie a knot in the stocking and stand the ball of soil up the correct way. Your child can decorate their grass heads however they want. Over the coming weeks the grass will start to grow and your child can give their grass heads haircuts. Make sure the grass heads are put in a sunny position and are watered regularly.

2. Time Capsule

timecapsuleChildren can put anything they want in a time capsule that they can open at a later date (usually years later). They may write some things about themselves, about their life or about their environment. They may want to write it down, make a movie and save it on usb or do something completely different. Encourage them to be as creative as possible. They can decorate their time capsule and put it away for safe keeping.

3. Camp

camp indoorSet up some tents in the backyard and have a camping adventure while never leaving your house. You can cook your food on an open fire. (Always have parent supervision for this). You could get creative by making damper. If the weather is not good, why not put the tent up in the lounge room.

 

4. Create a flower garden

Flower gardenLet your child set up their own little garden in the backyard or on your balcony. Get the child to put their own little fence up and plant some flowers that they have chosen. They may want to paint rocks with the names of the types of flowers that they have chosen.

 

5. Magical garden

Magical gardenLet your child use their imagination and create a magical garden for fairies or elves. They can collect things on a walk that would suit a magical garden. Buy a couple of little solar lights to add to the magical element. Be as creative as possible.

 

6. Play garden

Play gardenSet up a garden that children can play in and get dirty. Put lots of gardening tools and buckets in the area and let your child loose in there.

 

7. Recycled furniture project

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are feeling a little more adventurous why not try up-cycling an old piece of furniture into something else. Your child can help with sanding, painting and decorating. There are many ideas on the internet and Pinterest.

 

 

 

8. Bird house

birdhouseHelp your child construct a bird house with anything around the house. Get your child to paint it and help hang it up in the backyard or on a balcony. They can add bird seeds and water. They could try and take photos of birds that use their little bird house.

 

9. Make play dough

makeplaydoughChildren love making things so why not try your hand at making play dough. There are so many recipes out there, some that use cooking methods while others require no cooking. Your child could read the recipe and complete all the steps with your supervision. The best part is, after they have made it, they can use the play dough to make other things.

10. Conduct Science experiments

flowerexperiementChildren love investigating how things work so allowing them to conduct experiments will keep them entertained for hours. There are many simple experiments that can be set up at home. My next week’s blog will consist of 20 easy science experiments that can be conducted at home to help develop children’s understanding of our world. Keep your eye out for it, if you are interested in this area.

11. Building with pop sticks

popstickcreationsPop sticks can be purchased from any discount shop. All your child will need for this activity are pop sticks and craft glue. You may give them ideas of what to make or leave it up to them. Ideas could include, towers, bridges, or houses.

 

12. Art Activities

ArtactivityLots of children love creating artworks. Why not complete this simple, yet effective hand art piece. Research other simple artworks that your child could have a go at.

 

 

 

13. Making a boat

BoatMaking boats is a time honoured tradition that many children enjoy on a regular basis. If your child has never experienced this, it is a good one to try. Collect lots of recycling items and get your child to investigate the best designs for boats through trial and error. If you do not live near a body of water, you could just fill up a large container or bath to test the boats. You could also have a competition to see which child can create a boat that sails the furthest or floats for the longest.

14. Making Catapults

catapultThis is an activity that boys tend to be drawn to. Children make simple catapults with the aim of pushing something through the air. They can continually change their design to get an object to go further. There are many designs on the internet that children can use for inspiration.

 

15. Making Pasta

makepastaCooking has always remained a great activity for children to be involved with. Creating pasta from scratch is an engaging activity for children. Pasta rolling machines are inexpensive these days. It is important that children learn how things are made as many of them only have an experience of eating food from packets on the shelves of supermarkets.

16. Using Tools

buildingUsing an old piece of wood, get your child to use tools to attach things on it. They could screw in a screw or hammer in a nail. The options are endless. The image above gives you some ideas of what they can put onto their wood.

17. Large painting

LargepaintingUsing a large piece of calaco, or old bed sheet, draw pictures on it and allow your child to paint it in what ever colour they want. Spread it out in the backyard and each child can be responsible for an area to paint. When it is finished, you could use it as a table cloth or cubby house roof.

18. Beading

beadingYour child can create a lot of things using beads. A great idea is a sun catcher. Attach strings to a branch and put beads on each. After each string has enough beads tie a secure knot. Hang the sun catcher up outside. Alternatively you could make a wind chime or jewellery.

19. Balloon bowl

Balloon bowlBlow up a balloon. Cover the bottom half with craft glue and put confetti or bits of scrap paper all over it. Allow it to dry. When it has all dried, pop the balloon and the bowl will be ready.

20. Paper Mache

papermacheThis messy play is loved by many children. Cover an object in your handmade glue, using flour and water to make the glue (and some salt to prevent mould). Put newspaper strips over the glue and continue the process until the entire object it covered. Allow to dry over night and do a few more layers the next day. Leave it to dry again. Your paper mache is now ready for painting. You could make a piñata or animal or anything else that your child is interested in.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and it has given you some inspiration for some activities to do with your child during the school holidays. Your child will be engaged in these activities and will develop so many skills and deepen their knowledge from completing them. These activities will keep your child entertained for hours while not ruining your bank account.

Thank you for continuing to share my blog. I really appreciate it. I would love to read about any great ideas that you have that have been tried and tested in your household for school holidays.

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

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