Here’s a grab bag of ideas for when you feel the kids need to get out and about into the fresh air and you need a few ideas.
Come on, mums and dads, let’s get out into the fresh air and run the kids into the ground.
This allows us to get them into bed earlier and to sit and enjoy a well-earned break/glass of wine/nanosecond of peace and quiet.
Here are 15 of our favourite ways of getting outdoors and doing something special in the school holidays. And, just for a bonus, most of them are free or pretty cheap.
1. See Australian animals in a bushland setting
Take a trip north to visit Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park . There are bush walks to do, Aboriginal carvings to see as well as lots of native Aussie animals.
Taronga Park Zoo is a less wild place to see all sorts of animals but still counts as outdoors. get the kids running around the great playgrounds or pay extra to do the ropes course.
2. Go whale watching alone the coastline
Yes you can often see whales from the headlands along Sydney’s coastline.
This video from Sydney Coast Walks shows you six of the best spots.
And on my post below, you can read more about the whale migration.
3. Hop on a horse
Not a cheap option, but horse riding is such a treat. There’s nothing quite like seeing the countryside, the beach or the bush from the back of a horse. Check out these posts for ideas on where to go horse riding in Sydney.
4. Visit the beach and swim in a rock pool
Free outdoor fun, well OK you may have to pay for petrol or bus fares to get there and sometimes parking can cost money, but generally a day out at the beach is a cheap affair.
Pack your bucket and spade, boogie board and budgie smugglers and head off to one of the more family-friendly beaches. Take the kids along to the rock pool if the beach has one and let them race around and generally wear themselves out.
Find a list of Sydney’s best family-friendly beaches is here.
5. Explore some of the Sydney Harbours pools
Do you know all the harbour pools and baths in Sydney? Can we highly recommend Northbridge Baths, Greenwich Baths, Balmoral Baths, Maccallum Pool at Cremorne Point, Redleaf Pool (aka Murray Rose Pool) and the Dawn Fraser Baths.
6. Visit a new playground
School holidays are a handy time to hop in the car and explore a new area and its playgrounds. You can find some fantastic destination playgrounds in Sydney. The top one for us at the moment is the new Fairfield Adventure Playground.
7. Climb through the treetops
Getting up under the canopy is a thrilling adventure. There are now several high ropes courses in Sydney. You can read about our visit to Tree Top Adventure Park in Western Sydney here.
There’s also a Wild Ropes course at Taronga Park Zoo, and a Trees Adventure course at Grose River Park in Yarramundi. Remember to book ahead at all of these places!
8. Visit a new outdoor swimming pools
There are SO MANY fantastic outdoors pools in Sydney, with lots of space to run around very often and pools for all age groups.
9. Whizz down a water slide
And thinking of pools… some of them have fabulous water slides. Plus there are a cuple of dedicated water slides. Find them all on the post below.
10. Go on a bush walk
You probably have your own favourite family-friendly Sydney bush walk. Here’s our family’s list of favourites. (Well, the kids often complain at the thought of it, but they’re happy once we get going.)
11. Take a boat trip on Sydney Harbour
On a sunny day, jumping onto a boat to explore the Harbour is such fun, and so beautiful too. Simplest is taking one of the many ferries that whizz about from one end to the other. You can have a more thrilling ride on a jet boat, or learn some history and some sailing skills on a tall ship.
12. Visit a new market
Sydney has dozens of markets, most held at the weekend. Find a list on the Local Market Guide website. Sydney’s major fruit and vegetable market is Sydney Markets in Flemington. There’s a wholesale section and a growers markets where farmers sell direct. There’s also the gorgeous Flower Market there.
Also, do check out the Blak Markets are held at Bare Island, La Perouse and in other places. The markets have food, crafts, workshops, culture, performances and workshops.
13. Kayak on Sydney Harbour
You can rent kayaks at various places on Sydney Harbour, you can also take tours. We know of kayaks being available at Lavender Bay, Mosman, Northbridge Baths, the Spit Bridge, Rose Bay, Lane Cover River and from Manly.
You can kayak from Manly to visit beautiful Store Beach, as one mum tells here.
14. Picnic outside – see playgrounds
Here’s also a handy list of great picnic spots from Time Out magazine.
15. Explore our three Botanic Gardens
Did you know there’s more than one Botanic Garden to explore in and around Sydney. Of course, the Royal Botanic Garden by the Opera House is a delightful spot to stroll, play and picnic. But there’s also the Australian Botanic Garden Mt Annan, near Camden and in the Blue Mountains the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mt Tomah.
All are well worth a visit. And did you know there’s a fabulous playground at the Mt Annan Botanic Garden?
Where’s your favourite outdoor place,