School holiday activities in Sydney this winter (2024)

Marie Stambe

Marie Stambe

Marie is an emerging writer who loves all things content creation. From her Italian heritage to her deep-rooted passions (fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and fun), Marie harnesses the power of personal experiences to write stories that are #relatable and easy to digest. Because who has the time?
Updated on Jul 10, 2024 · 13 mins read
School holiday activities in Sydney this winter (2024)

Now, they may not have extravagant theme parks or flashy resorts, but, NSW still knows how to have a good (and family-friendly) time. Once those school term dates wrap up, you won’t want to hesitate getting started.

Sydney itself is always chockablock with things to do – hence why its rental crisis is next level, thanks to everyone trying to squeeze in – but your family will also love everything it holds beyond the big city. And sometimes, escaping the thick of the buzz is just what a family needs.

Either way, get ready to pack your bags and prepare for a NSW school holiday with plenty of stories to tell. From free school holiday activities in the park to some bigger, fantastic events – this guide doesn’t miss a thing when it comes to the best school holiday activities.

Outdoor adventures

Family Fun at BridgeClimb, BridgeClimb Sydney

We don’t really need to sell this one – it’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge, after all BridgeClimb Sydney takes you 134 metres above sea level for breathtaking views of the city skyline and stunning harbour below.

You can hear fascinating stories about the bridge’s construction and Sydney’s history while snapping photos from vantage points accessible only to climbers. The perfect way to start of the NSW school holidays.

Tuff Nutterz, Centennial Park Venue

On July 11th, Tuff Nutterz is hosting a day of inflatable obstacle courses for the silliest kind of fun. We’re talking giant slides, tangled tunnels, and bouncy castles in a sprawling outdoor venue – it’s the perfect way to get some giggles out of their system.

Moore Park is another fantastic location for family fun, offering various entertainment venues like a bowling alley with escape rooms, Monster Jump for school holiday adventures, and Strike Bowling among other activities.

Bush Cook, Centennial Park

Another great activity happening at the same time (and yes, same place) is the Bush Cook, where experienced chefs teach essential bush cooking techniques while surrounded by the park’s natural beauty.

Your tiny chefs can learn how to make delicious meals using traditional methods and local ingredients, gaining practical skills that can be enjoyed during family camping trips or backyard barbecues.

Cultural and educational school holiday activities

Children’s International Film Festival 2024, The Ritz Cinema

From now until the 14th of July, the Ritz Cinema is bringing some film magic to NSW school holidays with the Children’s International Film Festival 2024. Showcasing a diverse selection of international films for your little ones, it’s definitely an event you don’t want to miss out on! After enjoying the films, consider visiting the Australian Museum for an immersive exhibit of Aussie wildlife through close-up images, videos, and interactive experiences.

James and the Giant Peach, Sydney Opera House

Who doesn’t love a classic Roald Dahl story? On July 5th, you and your little one can step into the whimsical world of “James and the Giant Peach” at the Sydney Opera House. Join James and his insect friends – including a friendly spider, ladybug, and earthworm – as they navigate challenges, discover friendship, and most importantly, celebrate the power of imagination.

Youth in the City, Town Hall House

On July 8th, the Youth in the City program is offering workshops, discussions, and activities tailored for kids aged 12 to 18, encouraging their creativity, leadership, and civic engagement. Kids will explore topics such as community service, environmental sustainability, and urban planning through hands-on projects and collaborative initiatives. Additionally, the Australian National Maritime Museum offers school holiday programs with interactive exhibitions, hands-on workshops, and educational trails for children and families.

NAIDOC in the Park, Centennial Park

Celebrate the culture, history, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at NAIDOC in the Park on July 14th, held at Sydney’s very own Centennial Park. This family-friendly event honors the spirit of NAIDOC Week with a vibrant showcase of Indigenous art, music, dance, and storytelling.

A Forest in the City, Sydney Opera House

On the 16th of July, the Sydney Opera House is offering up more than just scenic views of the harbour, but also a magical journey through “A Forest in the City.“ This experience invites families to discover the wonders of nature through interactive storytelling, enchanting puppetry, and mesmerising visuals – a setting where imaginations run free!

Fantastic Fairytales, Centennial Park

Step into the enchanting world of “Fantastic Fairytales“ at Centennial Park on July 17th. This family-friendly event invites your little dreamers to imagine themselves into classic fairy tales brought to life through interactive storytelling, puppet shows, and creative workshops.

Creative and crafty pursuits

Silver jewellery making

Calling all little creators… Unleash your creativity with a silver jewellery-making workshop at Pine Street Creative Arts Centre on July 8th. Designed for ages 12-17, this hands-on session in the NSW school holidays teaches your tiny jewellery enthusiasts the art of crafting unique silver jewellery pieces, including basic techniques such as shaping, soldering, and polishing under the guidance of skilled instructors. The best part is – you won’t be leaving empty-handed, or shall we say, unaccesorised!

Kids Pottery Class

Join a pottery class designed for kids during these school holidays in Neutral Bay and Bondi on July 9th. From shaping clay to decorating finished pieces, children discover the joy of working with their hands and creating unique ceramic artworks. Perfect for tiny artists and craft enthusiasts, this workshop encourages imagination and opportunity for accomplishment as kids can take home their handmade creations.

Wintery craft workshop family session, Kings Cross Library

Celebrate winter with a Wintery Craft Workshop at Kings Cross Library on July 11th. From snowflake decorations to cosy-themed artworks, creators can take part in hands-on activities that spark creativity and celebrate the magic of winter!

Messy Play Workshops, Mascot

Once the school term comes to an end, let creativity run wild with Messy Play Workshops at Mascot on July 12th. Designed for young children, these sensory-rich sessions encourage exploration and experimentation with various materials and textures. We’re talking finger painting, slime making, and sensory bins – the essentials for encouraging sensory development and imaginative play.

Manga comic book workshop, Darling Square Library

The Manga Comic Book Workshop at Darling Square Library on July 12th is the perfect activity for your little comic book-worm. Designed for ages 9-12, this workshop explores the art of manga storytelling, from character design to narrative development. Teaching essential techniques such as drawing manga-style characters, creating dynamic scenes, and crafting engaging storylines, this workshop is inspiring tiny artists to bring their ideas to life on the page.

Sports and active play

Le Ray Gymnastics School Holiday Camps for Kids

Looking for an action-packed NSW school holiday activity? Look no further than Le Ray Gymnastics Birchgrove School Holiday Camps! Le Ray is the most awarded Rythmic Gymnastics Centre, and promises to keep aged 4 and up screen-free and happily active.

From July 8th to July 11th, in Birchgrove and Croydon, your little gymnasts can jump, tumble, and swing their way into a world of fun this school break.

Family-friendly events and family fun

Darling Harbour Winterfest | Darling Harbour | 6-21 Jul 2024

Keep the kids and adults alike entertained with the magic of winter at Darling Harbour’s annual Winterfest, running from July 6th to 21st. This event transforms Darling Harbour into a winter wonderland with a plethora of activities for the whole family. Enjoy ice skating, snow slides, carnival rides, and fire performances amidst the chilly but festive atmosphere.

First up, there’s the Winter Gaming Zone where kids (and adults of course) can have fun playing classic favourites like Minecraft, Mario Kart, and Just Dance.

Next up is the Winter Slime Workshop, where kids can unleash their creativity, mixing and moulding their own slime masterpieces – but fair warning, keep the gooey fun away from their hair!

And after a day of active play, cosy up and enjoy screenings of thrilling winter sports films at the Winter Adventure Film.

Then, pick the beat back up and join the Winter Park Beats. Dance to the electrifying tunes of DJs and live children’s acts with Soul of Sydney.

Oh, and how could we forget the most fun attraction of all? The WINTERFEST Ice Rink Presented by 2DayFM! For all the little skaters out there, glide across the sparkling ice this winter, right in the heart of Darling Harbour. I mean, unless you’re a wall-grabber – in this case, grab a little penguin assistant and fake it till you make it!

And from July 18th to the 21st, each evening at 8:30 PM, grab the kids a hot chocolate and find the perfect viewing seat to watch Cockle Bay light up with Winter Skies Fireworks, a breathtaking display of lights, colours, and booming fire cannon blasts. It’s a spectacular way to end your day at Winterfest with awe-inspiring sights for the whole family.

Technology and STEM activities

Creative coding, Darling Square Library

Worried about your little one’s addiction to the iPad? Maybe they’re a little tech-wiz at heart. And we have the perfect school holiday activity for them! With Creative Coding at Darling Square Library on July 10th, kids aged 8-12, can explore the world of coding through fun and interactive activities. They will learn fundamental coding concepts and create their own digital projects under expert guidance.

And in case the 10th of July doesn’t work for you, Darling Square Library is hosting a Creative Coding Imagination Lab on July 17th too!

Robot battle, Darling Square Library

Or maybe robots are more their forte. So, sign them up for the Robot Battle at Darling Square Library on July 16th, where kids aged 8-12 can design, build, and program robots to compete in thrilling battles.

This hands-on workshop encourages problem-solving skills and teamwork while exploring the exciting world of robotics.

It’s also called robot battle…your kid is guaranteed to love it just based on the name.

Tinkering with Tools: Electronics & E-Waste, Reverse Garbage

Explore Electronics & E-Waste at Reverse Garbage on July 11th, where kids will learn all about electronics, sustainability, and creativity. They will tinker with electronic components and recycled materials to create innovative projects, helping them gain an understanding of environmental responsibility – it’s educational and fun!

Always-on school holiday activities Sydney

Sea LIFE Sydney aquarium

When in doubt, go for a walk among the fish. Featuring over 4,000 animals from over 300 different species – SEA LIFE aquarium challenges you to have a single dull moment. Especially when you stop by Pig, their rescue Dugong.

Your kids will love the Penguin Expedition Boat Ride, which is a world-first raft ride that lets you get up close to a colony of king and gentoo penguins.

And if your child’s favourite character from Finding Nemo is Bruce (much to your own concern), they have 13 species of shark including grey nurse sharks, wobbegong sharks, and epaulettes sharks.

VIP experiences are available including behind-the-scenes tours and on-ice penguin encounters.

Royal botanic gardens

Fancy a picnic? Or maybe just a family-friendly walk alongside Sydney’s stunning harbour views.

Theroyal botanic gardens offer bright and bursting flowers, tall and shadowing trees, and gorgeous spots to lay down and catch some sun when it gets chilly.

Bring along some games, fun prompts and activities for your family to play with for a particularly lovely day. You could get them to sketch all the amazing things they see, or take photos of their favourite flowers. It’s free fun! Walking through these gardens is the perfect way to slow down a little during these school holidays (yes, that’s important too).

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Artistic kids will have tiny love hearts in their eyes as they walk through the Museum of Contemporary Art. Daring colours, bold shapes, performance art, and interactive exhibitions make this art gallery a total delight for kids. (Even if they find some of the pieces confusing, they’ll at least be entertained).

During NAIDOC Week, they also have a free exhibit called “Blak, loud and proud” to celebrate the culture and identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This can be a great conversation prompt for you to talk about Indigenous culture with your kids, and instill appreciation and respect for First Nations people.

These winter school holidays, an exhibit called “Common Threads” invites kids to add to an ever-growing tapestry of moments at the museum; experimenting with soft materials such as string, yarn and fabric.

Taronga Zoo and Sydney Zoo

You know what will never get old? The zoo.

Whether you’re closer to the Tarongaor Western Sydney side of the city – there’s a vibrant, entertaining, and educational zoo experience waiting for you and little animal lovers.

Even the smallest moves from a chimpanzee will delight your little one, and they’ll likely end the day with a new favourite animal, plenty of cute photos on mum’s phone, and a cosy soft toy to remember it by.

Zoos are also a perfect opportunity for kids to learn more about the natural world and feed their curious minds when school isn’t around. It’s more important than ever for us to show our kids everything to love about the natural world, and why we need to protect it.

Cockatoo Island

Time to jump on a ferry and see Sydney from a different point of view.

According to the island’s website, “During the 60,000 years prior to European settlement, Cockatoo Island was a meeting place for Sydney’s First Nations peoples, who know it as Wareamah.”Cockatoo Island served as a fishing and hunting base for the indigenous Eora People. After settlement, it was the site of a convict gaol and eventually hosted educational institutions for boys and girls.

That’s a lot of history – and you can feel it while you’re there. Families can wander around historical landmarks with guided tours (or just by themselves), go camping, check out a heritage house, or just take in the stunning views and reflect on what Sydney might’ve looked like hundreds of years ago.

The Powerhouse Museum

If you’re after an exhibit that’s slightly more experimental, the Powerhouse Museum has an impressive range of programs.

From STEM-driven exhibits, creative studio workshops, family tours, and even a family Minecraft escape route (100% real), there’s a lot of hands-on and interactive entertainment to book these school holidays.

This museum is ideal for aspiring photographers, designers, directors, or engineers – tapping into the latest innovations in digital art and creativity.

There are a few different locations for the events, as there’s one in Parramatta (new), UltimO (the OG, but currently closed for heritage revitalisation), Castle Hill (new). and Sydney Observatory. The perk is being able to find one near you, the downside is making sure you go to the right place for the right activity.

Wrapping it up

The July school holidays might be a bit cold and rainy to spend days lying on Sydney’s beaches, but thankfully, there’s plenty more magic to enjoy.

And now you’ve got a whole lineup of activities to keep your family booked and busy!

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