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Best Winter Activities For Kids In And Around Sydney 2022

By: Phoebe Ackland, 14 June 2022

From festivals and exhibitions to ice skating and snowman building, Sydney and its surroundings will once again sparkle with wonderful winter events for the whole family this year!

Here are ellaslist’s top picks for things to do with families this winter.

Best Winter Activities For Kids and Families

1. Escape to a YHA Eco Property

Blue Mountains YHA Eco Escape
Enjoy a cosy, green getaway at the award-winning Blue Mountains YHA.

If you're planning a family getaway this winter, make it a green one! YHA has a collection of incredible eco-friendly escapes dotted all along the east coast helping to make travel sustainable and affordable for families.

From the ancient caves and scenic railways of the Blue Mountains to the stunning Morning Bay in the Ku-ring-gai National Park to Australia's eco-conscious heartland of Byron Bay, get inspired by YHA's East Coast Eco Properties and reduce your ecological footprint this winter.

2. Calmsley Hill

Calmsley Hill winter activities
A trip to the farm promises plenty of fun for the whole family this winter!

An ultra-engaging and interactive day out, there is so much to do at Calmsley Hill City Farm. You can try your hand at cracking a stock whip, look at the adorable baby animals, take a rocky ride on a tractor! You can bring your own picnic lunch, or use our free electric BBQs to cook your own lunch while you enjoy our beautiful grounds. Take-away food can be purchased at the Farm House Cafe. There are plenty of daily shows, including cow milking and working dog shows - with extras taking place on busy days to help spread the crowds.

Where:        31 Darling Street, Abbotsbury
When:         Open 7 days a week | 9am - 4:30pm              
Cost:           Kids – $15.50 (3-16 years) | Adults – $27.50 | Family - $82.50 (2 adults, 3 children) | Under 3s – FREE

3. Snow Time in the Garden returns to Hunter Valley Gardens

Snow Time at Hunter Valley Gardens
Experience snow just 2 hours from the city at the Hunter Valley Gardens!

Hunter Valley Gardens celebrates the return of their coolest event - Snow Time in the Garden, where the whole family can enjoy icy activities surrounded by beautiful display gardens!

Hunter Valley Gardens transforms into an icy adventure full of fun and frosty activities for children of all ages. Kids will glide on the giant ice-skating rink, slide down the mega ice toboggan and build a snowman in the man-made Snow Play Zone. There's also the 25-metre Ferris Wheel, speedy Swing Chair, traditional Venetian Carousel and the new twisty Tea Cups to experience for thrillseekers throughout Snow Time. Plus, you can warm up with a delicious range of hearty food and beverage options from the Garden Terrace café and various food stalls afterwards! 

Where:    Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
When:      Saturday 25 June to Sunday 24 July 2022
Cost:        Adult (16yrs+) $35; Child (4-15yrs) $26; Family passes from $90.

4. Bondi Winter Festival

Bondi Winter Festival
Indulge in some serious winter vibes at the world's most famous beach this winter!

Bondi Festival transforms the iconic beach into a winter playground by the sea - brimming with colour, activities, fun, arts and a whole lot more. The festival is an all-ages adventure zone that bursts into life every winter at the world’s most famous beach.

The event brings families and culture vultures to experience local delights and international sensations! The arts program is set alongside epic things to do like the Bondi Festival Ice Rink and Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel. Get your tickets.

Where:       Bondi Beach
When:        Friday 1st - Sunday 17th July 2022 | 10am – 9pm daily
Cost:          FREE with some paid events

5. Bathurst Winter Festival

Bathurst Winter Festival
Escape the city and soak up some serious winter charm at the Bathurst Winter Festival this year! 

Promising tonnes of fun for all ages during the winter school holidays, Bathurst Winter Festival truly has something for everyone—both day and night! Entertainment will range from light shows, rides, ice skating, signature food events, market stalls, live music and more. There's also the highly exciting Kids' Day, with its daytime disco and cool activities, and Pets' Day, where you can bring your furry friends along for pet-friendly activities!

Where:    Bathurst town centre - Kings Parade, Russell Street
When:     Saturday 2 - Sunday 17 July 2022
Cost:       Children 3 - 14 years: $8 | Adults (15+) $12 | Skating aids $8.

6. Sydney Living Museums

Museum of Sydney Songline
Experience the immersive multi-sensory Songline at the Museum of Sydney.

Sharing history and culture across 12 intriguing historical venues, Sydney Living Museums will come to life this winter with a dynamic and diverse schedule of activities. A program of fun and fascinating events, including a multi-sensory digital installation at the Museum of Sydney, Mobile MESS workshops at the Hyde Park Barracks, NAIDOC week celebrations at Rouse Hill Estate and a collection of kids trail adventures, will take you on a unique journey through Sydney's past.

Where:      Sydney Living Museums has 12 historic houses, gardens and museums.
When:       Sydney Living Museums are open all year. Check venues for winter activities.
Cost:         Admission costs vary | SLM Membership provides free entry for one adult and up to four children for $75.

7. Holey Moley and Strike Bowling Winter School HoleyDays Offers

Holey Moley and Strike Bowling Winter School HoleyDays Offers
Have a ball with these Holey Moley and Strike Bowling School HoleyDays Offers!

Let the good times roll at Holey Moley and Strike Bowling with these heartwarming  Winter School HoleyDays Offers. Rally the troops and tee up for a multi-sensory game of putt-putt at one of the craziest mini golf courses you have ever seen! The unique Holey Moley Golf Clubs are vibrant labyrinth full of their famous pop culture-inspired holes for you to putt your stuff and beat the cold weather boredom! Every day before 4pm during the school holidays, kids can get 9 holes for just $10. Better still, bring the whole family for just $40. Then, lace up your shoes and keep the kids warm, dry and entertained by hitting the lanes at Strike Bowling. Score $10 bowling per child before 4pm all school holidays, or take the family for $40.

Where:  Holey Moley and Strike Bowling venues throughout NSW
When: Saturday 2 - Sun 17 July 2022 | Before 4pm daily.
Cost: Kids mini golf - $10 per child for 9 holes; Family mini golf - $40 for 9 holes | Kids bowling deal - $10 per child; Family bowling deal - $40.

8. Crane Day at Cockatoo Island

Crane Day at Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour
Don't miss this special event on Cockatoo Island!

Surrounded by spectacular Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island is the perfect place to let off some steam these school holidays! Crane Day is on Saturday 9 July and visitors to the island can step back in time to an era when steam power was king. Catch the ferry and head to the island’s Dock’s Precinct to see one of the island’s mighty 'Iron Giants' in action. There will be FREE demonstrations of the lovingly restored No. 2 Travelling Steam Crane throughout the day (at 10am, 12:30pm and 2pm) and you will learn all about its former glory from a volunteer heritage crane specialist. 

Cockatoo Island will also be hosting its fascinating, family-friendly World War II Shipyard and Convict Precinct Tours.

Where:  Cockatoo Island, Fitzroy Dock
When:   Saturday 9 July 2022
Cost:     General admission and crane demonstration FREE | Tours from $16 per person

9. The New Hijinx Hotel Alexandria

Hijinx Hotel and Holey Moley Alexandria
Score points in the adult-sized ball pits at Hijinx Hotel.

A brand, spanking new interactive game experience has just launched in Alexandria set within a quirky New York-style hotel where you play, but don't stay! Hijinx Hotel is a theatrical wonderland housing a myriad of challenge-room sets, with each set consisting of 5 immersive rooms and making up a 30min experience. Each room within a set is designed for 2-6 players, and your group must score as many points as possible within 4 minutes, before moving on to the next room within your allocated set. Rubik's cube, Hoops and giant piano musical games are just the beginning of this quick-play adventure! Whether you're trying to score points from the adult-sized ball pits, or scrambling to make up words from giant lettered cubes, these rooms will require teamwork to get as many points as you can in a short amount of time.

Alongside Hijinx Hotel is an all-new Holey Moley Golf Course with 27 incredible, larger-than-life mini golf holes across three incredible courses including some never before seen pop culture MEGA holes!

Where:  75 O'Riordan St, Alexandria
When:   Opening 17 June 2022
Cost:     Adults: $25 per person, per set | Under 18s: $20 per person, per set.

10. Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park

Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park
Get up close to the animals at Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park.

Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park is an animal adventure playground, perfect for a winter's day! Home to the largest collection of Australian native wildlife in the world, they offer a range of exciting and memorable encounters where you can get closer than ever to some of Australia’s most unique and amazing wildlife, including koalas, wallabies and kangaroos, dingoes and more. Snap a selfie with a quokka, meet Max on the Croc Deck or help feed a penguin family. Get a Featherdale passport on arrival and stamp your passport at all the native animal destinations.

Where:     Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park, 217-229 Kildare Road, Doonside
When:      Open every day | 9am - 4pm daily
Cost:        Adult (ages 16+) $35; Child (3-15 years old) $22 | Annual Family Three-Park Pass from $130.

11. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
 There's so much to explore at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney!

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will be abuzz with exciting outdoor events and activities to warm up the winter school holidays! Discover an enchanting natural wonderland of fascinating tours, immersive exhibitions, outdoor theatre and hands-on workshops. 

Get creative at the Gardens with Luminous Eco Lantern Making, meet Detective Bill Brushtail and help solve the Case of the Missing Habitat or learn about our First Nations peoples on the NAIDOC and Bush Tucker Tours. Take a twilight adventure on the Ghostly Garden Tour, let little ones go wild at Garden Grubs and explore a spectacular seascape at Inside the Tide.  There’s so much happening for kids at Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney all holidays.

Where:  Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney
When:   Various sessions throughout the July school holidays
Cost:     Starting at $14 per person | Inside The Tide entry by donation

12. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

World Of Colour at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Immerse yourself in a World Of Colour in Darling Harbour these holidays!

Staying warm and dry these winter holidays doesn't make them any less exciting! A World of Colour is coming to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney to brighten your winter school holidays. Fly and dive into a vibrant world of creation at two awesome venues in the centre of Sydney, and embark on an amazing interactive adventure where you can create your very own free adventure booklet.

Venture through SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and experience the vibrant inhabitants of the magical underwater world. Get up close to Sydney’s only sub-Antarctic penguins, snap a selfie with a shark and meet Pig the Dugong.  Right next door at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, learn all about the colourful creatures that call Australia home and get up close and personal to the ‘Aussie Big 5’. Plus, you can buy a 2 Attraction Pass and save over 35%.

For a full day of adventure without leaving the city, top it off with some famous fun at Madame Tussauds! Nestled between WILD Sydney Zoo and SEA LIFE, this family-friendly attraction will leave you star-struck.

Where:    SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium & WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Darling Harbour, Sydney
When:     7 days a week during the school holidays | 9:30am - 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Cost:       Child (4-15yrs): $41 for 2 attractions. Adult (16yrs+): $58 for 2 attractions

13. Sydney Zoo

Don’t miss the chance to get up close to our majestic animals at Sydney Zoo
Get up close to so many incredible animals at Sydney Zoo these holidays!

A must for animal lovers, Sydney Zoo is set within the natural nirvana of Western Sydney Parklands and is home to an abundance of exotic and native creatures, only 40 minutes from the city. There will be so much to see and do over the winter school holidays including animal encounters, the popular Mini Zookeeper For a Day program and the return of the giant Ferris wheel with the best view in Western Sydney.

WDon;t miss your chance to walk through the NEW koala habitat and get closer than ever before to their cute colony! There are brand NEW animal encounters with amazing elephants, adorable meerkats, majestic camels and many more, plus you can experience the thrill of hand-feeding a lion, tiger or giraffe.  

Where:    700 Great Western Highway, Bungarribee.​​​​​​
When:     Open every day | 9am – 4pm
Cost:       Online: Adult - $39.99; Child - $19.99; 2 and under - FREE

14. Burra at the Australian Museum

Burra at Australian Museum
The Australian Museum is opening a new learning and play space and entry is FREE!

An exciting new state-of-the-art learning and play space is launching at the Australian Museum just in time for the holidays! Take an immersive journey as the Burra (eel) weaves its magic amid Western science and First Nations knowledge. Trace its incredible migration along estuaries and rivers, across rockpools and out to sea and follow the life cycle of this surprisingly resilient fish. Kids can engage in a hands-on experience, exploring the giant burra, sensory walls and interactive play zones, in a truly unique experience in the heart of Gadigal Country. 

Celebrate the Opening Weekend Celebrations and pick up weaving techniques with Aunty Daniella and Uncle Steve, enjoy shell craft with Aunty Vivienne and spear demonstrations with Marty Mason, and tune in to the Gadhungal Murring’s Dharawal language workshops. Following the launch, the Burra education space will be open permanently.

Where:   Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney
When:    Launch weekend - Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July 2022 | 10am - 2pm
Cost:      General admission including Burra is FREE

15. Entertainment Quarter

Entertainment Quarter
The Entertainment Quarter is bursting with family-friendly activities all winter.

The Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park will be abuzz with fun things to do throughout the winter holidays. The family-friendly precinct has everything you need for an action-packed day out including a host of venues kids love! Hit the track at HyperKarting or catch a flick at Hoyts EQ. Have a ball at Strike Bowling or raid the arcade at B Lucky & Sons. Get crafty at Plaster Funtime or hit the slopes at Off-Piste. Plus, there's a range of dining options, the weekly EQ markets, two outdoor playgrounds and so much more.

Where:    Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road, Moore Park
When:     Open 7 days a week during the school holidays
Cost:       Various | See individual venues for prices.

More Winter Ideas

Cosiest Cabins To Stay At This Winter
Sydney's Best Indoor Swimming Pools for Kids
Kids Classes You Can Now Access Online & Live Stream

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