Top 5 free things to do with kids in Sydney

Sydney is well known as an expensive city, but here are five things you can do that the kids will love … and they won’t cost a cent.

A kid on the Opera House's steps.
  • Jetstar
  • October 2018

The second you arrive in Sydney opens in new window, you know you’re on holiday – that bridge, that harbour, those beaches. If you’re packing the kids up for a Sydney getaway, here are some fun things to do. Best of all, they’re free.

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Darling Quarter

Play at Darling Quarter

Darling Quarter is a cultural precinct in Darling Harbour with restaurants, entertainment, free events and other activities. Best of all is the Darling Quarter Playground. Within easy walk of Chinatown or Town Hall, this is truly an oasis in the city. Kids can go wild climbing, running, swinging and splashing in this vibrant, state-of-the-art play area that features clever water canals for kids to kick off their shoes and socks and explore. There are also giant slides and a flying fox to boot, so tired parents can have a rest while the kids burn off some of that extra energy.

Powerhouse Museum

A powerhouse of art and science

The Powerhouse Museum is a wondrous clash of art, science and pop culture, where you might find an exhibition of Star Wars figurines or men’s fashion or Minecraft or Astrophotography! It’s an engaging, interactive experience encouraging kids to be creative and see that art and science is all around them. Every month there are workshops for children aged 3-5 years (MAAS Minis) and even younger (MAAS Tinies for babies up to 2-year olds) that use play-based learning to ignite their curiousity and creativity. Admission is free for kids under 16, but adults are still an affordable $15.

If you and your kids love a bit of astronomy, the Sydney Observatory is completely free to visit during the day.

Walking Sydney Harbour Bridge

Walk the bridge

Yes, the view (and the vertigo) must be unbeatable from the crest of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but a much cheaper option that needs less safety equipment is simply to walk across the bridge and enjoy the views along the way. It’s an easy, flat walk along the pedestrian path and just a bit over a kilometre long. If you’re heading north out of the city, Luna Park on the other side of the bridge might give some added incentive for the little ones to make the trek – it’s free to go in and wander around, though you will have to get your wallet out if they want to go on the rides.

Artful amusement

It’s never too early to introduce your kids to the wonderful world of art, and Sydney’s MCA in The Rocks area right on the harbour, is the ideal spot. It’s free admission for the whole family and they have some fantastic activities for kids. There’s the weekly ARTplay for under-5s, with games and activities themed around current exhibitions. There’s also Art Baby, art tours designed for you and your baby, and Art Safari where kids aged 3-5 years can journey through the latest exhibition.

Sydney's MCA

Poke around Paddington Markets

Paddington Markets have been around since the early ‘70s, setting up every Saturday on Oxford Street and showcasing local fashion, jewellery, crafts and tasty homemade treats. There’s live music too, and kids will love the colour and festive atmosphere of this long-running weekend institution.

Ready for your Sydney family adventure? Check out our cheap flights to Sydney!