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32 Best Things to Do in Sydney with Kids

Sydney is a world-class city that’s right on Melbourne’s doorstep – and hence a fantastic place to visit with kids, even if just for a few days.

In fact, Lonely Planet considers it one of Australia’s Top 10 family-friendly destinations.

Sydney Harbour

If you have limited time here’s a short itinerary of where to play, eat and sleep in Sydney’s CBD and inner suburbs.

Hyde Park Sydney

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Things to do in Sydney with Kids

1. SEA Life Sydney Aquarium, Sydney

SEA Life Sydney Aquarium is a large aquarium exhibition featuring fish, sharks, jellyfish, penguins and more. The newest exhibition is ‘Day and Night in the Reef’ with tanks showing how the reef looks and behaves at different times of the day.

Buy direct entry tickets to SEA Life Sydney Aquarium.15975

SEA Life Sydney Aquarium, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 1800 199 657

Check off all of Sydney’s must-do attractions with The Ultimate Sydney Attractions Pass, which includes access to 2, 3 or 4 of these attractions – SEALIFE, WILD LIFE, Madame Tussauds and Sydney Tower Eye.

sydney aquarium

2. Madame Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds Sydney is a branch of the famous Madame Tussauds waxed figures museum in London. While I don’t think it’s worth visiting as a standalone attraction, when combined with multiple attraction tickets it’s a bit of fun for an hour or two if you have kids old enough to recognise the people or to operate a phone camera.

madame tussauds sydney

The waxworks are quite lifelike and positioned in various realistic backdrops. Baby 2.0 (6yo) is freaked out by most of them and refuses to go near enough for photos. Lady AB (8yo) has a great time taking selfies with various celebrities.

Buy Madame Tussauds Sydney Entry Ticket (Bar Code Direct Entry)15975

Madame Tussauds Sydney, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 1800 205 851

Check off all of Sydney’s must-do attractions with The Ultimate Sydney Attractions Pass, which includes access to 2, 3 or 4 of these attractions – SEALIFE, WILD LIFE, Madame Tussauds and Sydney Tower Eye.

madame tussauds sydney


3. Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Sydney

Wild Life Sydney Zoo is the third exhibition which is part of the complex containing SEA Life Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Sydney.

It’s a mostly indoor exhibition highlighting Australian animals, particularly the big five – kangaroo, koala, crocodile, platypus and wombat.

wild life sydney zoo

We find it quite crowded at certain points and you’re expected to visit in a particular order The enclosures are not very big and there are not very many animals.

wild life sydney zoo

As far as zoos go we much prefer Taronga ZooWild Life Sydney Zoo is a good option for a rainy day or if you’re an international visitor wanting a quick snapshot of Australian wildlife.

Buy Taronga Zoo Entry Ticket here.

One event that is very unique at Wild Life Sydney Zoo is the opportunity to have breakfast with koalas! You can buy tickets here.

Buy Wild Life Sydney Zoo Entry Ticket (Bar Code Direct Entry)15975

Wild Life Sydney Zoo, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 1800 206 158

Check off all of Sydney’s must-do attractions with The Ultimate Sydney Attractions Pass, which includes access to 2, 3 or 4 of these attractions – SEALIFE, WILD LIFE, Madame Tussauds and Sydney Tower Eye.

wild life sydney zoo


4. Sydney Tower Eye, Sydney

The fourth attraction that’s part of the multi-attraction pass including Wild Life Sydney Zoo, SEA Life Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Sydney is Sydney Tower Eye.

Sydney Tower Eye is Sydney’s tallest point and offers a birds-eye view of the city. To be honest the only real point of interest is the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in my view and as such Sydney Tower Eye is not really worth the entry fee unless you’re a first time visitor to Sydney.

Buy Sydney Tower Eye Entry Ticket (Bar Code Direct Entry)15975

Sydney Tower Eye, 100 Market Street 2000 Sydney +61 1800 258 693

Check off all of Sydney’s must-do attractions with The Ultimate Sydney Attractions Pass, which includes access to 2, 3 or 4 of these attractions – SEALIFE, WILD LIFE, Madame Tussauds and Sydney Tower Eye.

sydney tower eye

Find Hotels and Airbnbs in Sydney, Australia

5. Junior Adventures Opera House Tour

Every school holidays the Sydney Opera House offer a Junior Adventures tour just for families. It’s a 1-hour walk through of the famous building, with visits to various auditoriums, activities and photo opportunities.

It’s suitable for kids 4+ who are able to walk independently, have a long enough attention span and are able to engage with the tour guide.

Buy tickets for Sydney Opera House Guided Walking Tour15975
Buy tickets for Sydney Opera House Guided Tour and Dine15975

Junior Adventures tour, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 2 9250 7777

Sydney opera house tour

6. Chaos Lab: An Experience for the Whole Family, Sydney

Chaos Lab will be running from Friday 6 January – Sunday 1 October 2023 and is the perfect place to take the kids for some creative laboratory fun. There is a graffiti wall, a slime station, a ball pit and so much more. A ‘mad scientist’ will be your host and take you around the different rooms where kids can create, jump, play and have fun. Get your tickets to Chaos Lab: An Experience for the Whole Family here.

Chaos Lab: An Experience for the Whole Family, Harbourside, 2-10 Darling Dr, Sydney


7. Star Wars: Identities

Star Wars: Identities is a temporary exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. It uses the stories and characters from Star Wars to explore how people form personal and social identities, as well as including artefacts, costumes and footage from the films for Star Wars fans.  Full review.

Star Wars: Identities, Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St Ultimo 2007  Sydney 1300 364 001 

star wars identities


8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl’s famous book comes to life on stage with the musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The adventures inside Willy Wonka’s factory are wacky, funny and at times, truly magical. Full review.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell St, Haymarket NSW 2000, +61 2 9320 5000

charlie and the chocolate factory

9. Australian Museum

Australian Museum is a natural sciences museum in the CBD with a great fenced Kidspace learning and play area for under 5s. READ THE REVIEW.

Australian Museum, 1 William St Sydney 

Australian Museum

10. Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is the most beautiful zoo in Australia! Taking the ferry from Circular Quay to the zoo’s magnificent harbourside setting is a highlight, and that’s before you even see the African animals, splash in the water play area and enjoy the seal show. READ THE REVIEW.

Buy discount tickets for Taronga Zoo.
Buy discount tickets for Sydney Taronga Zoo Express Combo (Ferry Tickets, Zoo Entry & Sky Safari Cable Car)15975

Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman



11. Powerhouse Museum

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) or Powerhouse Museum is our favourite museum in Sydney. It’s an interactive science and technology museum with a whole permanent Wiggles exhibition sure to delight toddlers. READ THE REVIEW.

Powerhouse Museum Sydney - 7

Other reader tips:

Where to play in inner-city Sydney

12. Wulaba Park

Wulaba Park is a colourful playground in Waterloo with a huge slide and lots of climbing opportunities. Well worth a special trip with older kids. It’s one of Australia’s 40 best playgrounds. Full review.

Wulaba Park, O’Dea Ave & Amelia Street, Waterloo

Wulaba Park Waterloo


13. Tumbalong Park Darling Quarter

This popular CBD playground is huge and features water play and a carousel. It’s one of Australia’s 40 best playgrounds. Full review.

Darling Quarter Sydney


14. Prince Alfred Park

Prince Alfred Park features big grassy meadows, tennis courts, a small playground (with slides and swings set further away) and the Prince Alfred Park Pool.  The pool has a splash pad open at certain times and a lane set aside for water play.

Prince Alfred Park and Prince Alfred Park Pool, 105 Chalmers Street 2010 Surry Hills +61 2 9319 2727

prince alfred park sydney


15. Pirrama Park

At Pyrmont you’ll find Pirrama Park, a water play playground with wonderful harbour and ship views.

The park is inspired by its watery surroundings, with a giant whale embedded into the splash zone. There’s also a large sandpit area with a water pump, a challenging climbing frame, swings and accessible merry-go-round.

Work at the playground is by Fleetwood Urban, who have also worked at Pipemakers ParkWulaba ParkAtherstone Playground.

There’s a kiosk selling drinks and basic fare next to the playground and change facilities within the public toilet block.

The bus and light rail stops are very close by so there’s no need to scrounge for parking either.

Pirrama Park, Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009  +61 2 9265 9333

pirrama park

Other reader tips:

Where to eat in Sydney with Kids

16. A1 Canteen

Until recently Chippendale was not my radar for inner-city cool – I’ve always headed to places like Surry Hills, Redfern and Darlinghurst for the trendiest eateries and unique shops.

My first exploration of Chippendale is in search of A1 Canteen and I discover the other exciting eateries at Kensington Street.

The menu is Asian-influenced and high-ceiled space is cool and calm. The toilets are on the upper level so not really suitable for little kids or prams.

The window seating is perfect for people watching.

A1 Canteen, 2-10 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008 +61 2 9280 3285

a1 canteen


17. Spice Alley

Spice Alley is a collection of hawker stalls nestled in courtyard off Kensington Street. As most of the seating is outdoors and the food is casual it’s suitable for families who are looking for fast, cheap and trendy South-East Asian eats.

We discover Alex Lee Kitchen via Uber Eats and the kids request their Singaporean food delivery three nights in a row! I highly recommend their laksa, chicken satay and roti.

Alex Lee Kitchen, Spice Alley, Kensington Street, Chippendale NSW 2008 +61 2 9281 0822

spice alley chippendale


18. Brickfields

The closest cafe to our Airbnb is Brickfields, famous for their sourdough. The corner location offers up views of the bakers working in the kitchen while the front counter groans with cakes, tarts, pastries and of course bread.

Brickfields, 206 Cleveland St, Chippendale, NSW, 2008 +61 2 9698 7880

brickfields chippendale


19. Whisk and Paddle

Inside Prince Alfred Park and next to Prince Alfred Park Pool is the kid-friendly Whisk and Paddle cafe (formerly Meadow Cafe).

It’s a bright open space with a menu of cafe standards (highly recommend the blueberry pancakes), a few books and toys and best of all, just a hop skip and jump to the small playground so if you have older kids you can sit and enjoy your breakfast while the kids play.

There’s a kids menu, high chairs and change facilities in the public toilet blocks adjoining the cafe.

Whisk and Paddle, 105 Chalmers St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 +61 2 8065 6363

whisk and paddle sydney


20. Cafe Oratnek

In a leafy back street of Redfern you’ll find Cafe Oratnek, a terrace house transformed into a Japanese inspired cafe by former bills head chef Kenny Takayama.

While the cafe doesn’t have a kids menu or toys, the outdoor courtyard is lovely for wandering and there are high chairs if you don’t want your child wandering!

The most famous menu item is Katsu sandwich, a huge pork katsu between soft white bread with tonkatsu sauce and shredded lettuce. I also have a delicious soba noodle salad and don’t miss the AMAZING matcha brownie!

Prince Alfred Park is just across the road, with its grassy areas, playground and pool.

Cafe Oratnek, 4 Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016 +61 2 8394 9550

Cafe oratnek

21. North Bondi RSL

North Bondi RSL is surely the most upmarket RSL that I’ve visited! This multi-level building overlooks the most famous beach in Australia and offers cheap eats (especially if you’re a member) and huge portions.

There are high chairs, a kids menu and change facilities.

The North Bondi Children’s pool is perfect for a post-dinner paddle and play.

North Bondi RSL, 118-120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi NSW 2026 +61 2 9130 3152


22. MAAS Cafe

MAAS Cafe is part of the Powerhouse Museum/Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. But you don’t have to visit the museum to eat at the cafe and it’s a great inner city stop for families.

The airy cafe includes an outdoor terrace overlooking the courtyard, high chairs, kids menu, colouring-in activities and change facilities. The kids lunch packs are particularly good, with a choice of sandwich, chicken tenders or vegetarian quiche with fruit, a drink and a cookie.

MAAS Cafe, Level 3 Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007 +61 (02) 9217 0519



23. Opera Kitchen

A visit to the Opera House is a must-do for every Sydney tourist and there are several eateries underneath the sails that you can visit with kids. The Opera Bar is more upmarket, with more refined dishes, while the Opera Kitchen is more of a bistro affair for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both the Opera Bar and Opera Kitchen offer spectacular views of the harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Opera Kitchen Lower Concourse Level Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 2 9250 7032

sydney opera house


24. Food on Five at Westfield Sydney

While food courts are not normally high on my list of want-to-eat-places on the fifth floor of Westfield Sydney (on your way up or down from Sydney Tower Eye) you’ll find ‘Food on Five. It’s a food court with a difference.

Notable eateries include Din Tai Fung, Sushi Hon and PappaRich, with cuisines and dishes from all corners of the globe. The seating and setting are nice too, with huge floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city streets.

Westfield Sydney Food on Five, 5050 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia, +61 2 8236 9200


25. Three Williams 

Three Williams is a cool hipster warehouse cafe that’s also child-friendly! There’s no kids menu but Lady AB loves the crunchy French toast and then afterwards gets creative on the chalkboard. There’s pram access, high chairs and a change table in the disabled toilets and the staff are super friendly.

Three Williams 613a Elizabeth St, Redfern

Three Williams Redfern


26. Bitton Gourmet

Bitton Gourmet is a classic French cafe and providore with pram access, high chairs, kids menu, change table in the toilets – and a self-contained carpeted play room!

Bitton Gourmet 36-37A Copeland St, Alexandria

Bitton Gourmet Alexandria


Chefs Gallery is a huge Chinese restaurant with an open kitchen making noodles, dumplings and roti.  Pram access, high chairs, plastic cutlery and entertainment from the kitchen.

Chefs Gallery Regent Place, 12/501 George Street, Sydney

Chefs Gallery Sydney



28. Din Tai Fung

Find pram access, high chairs, kids cutlery, fast service and the best xiao long bao you’ll ever have. READ THE REVIEW.

Din Tai Fung World Square, Level 1, 644 George St Sydney

Din tai fung


29. The Grounds of Alexandria 

Fantastic, fresh and seasonal food in hip, unique surroundings. The kids will go nuts with the Secret Garden play space, delicious baked treats, excellent chocolate hazelnut milkshakes and farm animals.  READ THE REVIEW.

The Grounds of Alexandria 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria

Grounds of Alexandria

Other reader tips:

Where to stay in Sydney with Kids

For great family-friendly accommodation in Sydney I recommend searching for what’s suitable on Airbnb. It provides a home away from home experience and it’s easy to search for family-friendly accommodation in the location that suits you.


30. Airbnb 

We have previously stayed in Ultimo and Chippendale via Airbnb (unfortunately neither of these properties appear to be available any more). I recommend staying in the inner city with good access to family attractions and public transport, such as CBD, Surry Hills, The Rocks and Darling Harbour.

airbnb chippendale sydney

If you have a car then you’ll need to go further afield, as parking in the inner city may be hard to find.

airbnb chippendale sydney

airbnb chippendale sydney


31. Meriton Suites

Meriton Suites have spacious apartments and suites that are great for families. They are super comfortable and come with stunning views – but of course, it comes at a price. Keep an eye out for any specials for their properties in Sydney CBD.

Meriton Suites Sydney


32. The Grace Hotel

The Grace Hotel is an elegant Art Deco and historically significant hotel in Sydney’s CBD. While it’s not the most kid-friendly accommodation I’ve stayed in there are certain aspects of it which made our visit comfortable.


  • The location: It’s right in the heart of the CBD which means shops, restaurants, entertainment and public transport (Town Hall railway station and bus stops) are very close. For its location the rooms are very quiet.
  • The facilities: The hotel offers interconnecting rooms, free cots, free wifi, rooftop indoor pool (plus spa/sauna/health club) and comfortable king size beds perfect for bouncing on!
  • The service: As is befitting a 4.5 star hotel the service was excellent. Staff offered to assist us with luggage and to help me get kids out of the taxi.
  • The price: The hotel often has special deals – we stayed in half price rooms. This made it cheaper than other central Sydney Airbnb options.
  • The dining: The hotel has its own restaurant the Grace Brasserie which offers a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Downstairs adjoining the hotel (but not part of it) is Vapiano, a kid-friendly restaurant with pizza, pasta and salad. It’s not amazing but it is open for dinner at kiddie hour, convenient to the the hotel and cheap.


  • It’s on a busy corner block which means if you arrive by taxi it can be awkward unloading luggage and kids safely onto the narrow pavement. The Clarence Street entrance has steps, the York Street entrance has a small taxi rank for taxis to pull into.
  • The Deluxe Room (the most basic room) doesn’t have a bath, just a shower.

The Grace Hotel, 77 York St, Sydney

The Grace Hotel Sydney

How to get around Sydney

Bubs Taxi – a specialised taxi service with facilities for babies ie up to three rear-facing or front-facing car seats or use the Discover Cars to rent a car during your vacation.

Opal card – The electronic tap payment card is the only card you’ll need to get around on all public transport including trains, ferries, buses and light rail. Children aged 4-15 years must have their own child card.

Sydney with kids

My preferred way of getting around Sydney is by ferry. It’s an easy hop and off system, the harbour is breathtaking and it’s so relaxing (albeit a bit windy). The other option is by bike but I’ve not found an easy way to do that with kids. When I’m on my own I love to cycle around hip Surry Hills.

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Things to do in Sydney with Kids

This post contains affiliate links. If you book using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission to help keep the site useful and free for you! Thanks in advance – Joyce

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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