Family Day Trip: How To Plan A Sydney Day Trip With The Grandparents

Sydney has a lot to offer travellers of all ages, and that includes the grandparents! Thanks to the city’s accessibility and abundance of family-friendly attractions, you and your family may find yourselves spoilt for choice when it comes to family activities. For this reason, it’s imperative that you do your research and plan ahead of time to ensure that you make the most of your Sydney stay. 

Whether your family likes to hit the beach or you prefer to take your time wandering the Botanic Gardens with grandma and grandad, we have included a range of tips to suit any itinerary right below. Read on to help plan out your own Sydney family day trip. 

Mrs Macquaries Chair
Aerial view of Sydney Harbour with view over the Royal Botanical Gardens which is a wonderful place to visit with grandparents.

Local Community Events

If your grandparents are residing in retirement villages in Sydney, you could perhaps start planning your itinerary by looking for local community events or tourist attractions that are situated close to their residence. In fact, it’s common for retirement villages themselves to have a social calendar filled with events, so you might be able to align your Sydney day trip with a particular senior-friendly community day that the whole family can enjoy. 

If you have enough lead time, you might have success in ringing the retirement village admin office and letting them know your dates so they can inform you of what events will be happening during that period. Alternatively, you could find a local farmer’s market or other community event to attend so that your grandparents can immerse themselves in their wider locale alongside enjoying a day outside with family. 

Check Out The Galleries

Sydney is home to many art galleries and exhibition spaces, with a mix of classic, contemporary, and even Indigenous artists celebrated. By looking ahead to see what exhibitions are coming up, you may find there is an artist or era being showcased that may be of interest to your parents or grandparents. 

If a show does attract your eye, we highly recommend grabbing you and your family tickets well ahead of time to avoid missing out. It’s also worth noting that many galleries may even host senior days which could include free or discounted tickets for seniors and gallery tours with added resources for accessibility. 

And of course, any day out exploring an art gallery should always be accompanied by a lovely brunch. If you make a booking at a nearby cafe for coffee and cake before and after, then you can really extend your art viewing experience and share what you loved about the exhibition with the people you love most in the world.

Some great Sydney galleries to visit are the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Artspace, Carriageworks and so many more! Look ahead to see what exhibits are coming up to help inject a little extra arts and culture into your Sydney stay. 

Sometimes It’s The Journey And Not The Destination

When travelling with grandparents sometimes it’s not all about getting there but enjoying the journey with your pleasant company along the way. Heading to beautiful botanic gardens on the other side of the river in the Sydney CBD is always a great time, but the ferry ride to get there might be just as much fun, if not more. 

The same goes for those free-loop bus trips which take you to all the hotspots in Sydney at a leisurely pace. You may even find that hiring a car and taking your time through the city and the regional parts of New South Wales is a great way to slow down and really take in the sights at a pace that your grandparents will be sure to appreciate.

Avoid The Crowds

Your grandparents may not find large crowds as exciting as you do, so do your best to find some activities and destinations that are situated firmly off the beaten track. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to exclude those big, famous attractions from your trip itinerary, but perhaps you can visit them in off-peak times to avoid the crowds and chaos. 

After all, the last thing you’d want to do is have a stressful day trip around Sydney, so it’s well worth venturing to the spots that are still well-known but a little more unique. What kind of spots fall into this category? Believe it or not, but there are a variety of ‘secret spots’ across Sydney that even Sydneysiders may not have visited themselves, including attractions like the Auburn Botanic Gardens, Fairy Bower Pool in Manly, and the SS Heroic Shipwreck at Homebush Bay. 

On top of making plans to visit these ‘secret spots’, it will serve you well to do your own research and find out if there are any city events happening during your family day trip, just so you can work to avoid these additional hotspots and stay on the road less travelled. 

Central Accommodation

Finally, it’s well worth noting that if you’re travelling interstate with your grandparents or may be travelling a touch further away from their Sydney retirement village to drive them back in the span of one day, central accommodation is going to be invaluable when travelling to a large city like Sydney. Finding accommodation options that are as close to the CBD as possible will put you in the centre of the action, making travelling to and from attractions and activities in your trip itinerary as easy as possible for your grandparents and other older family members. 

Staying central will also grant you the freedom to keep your plans fluid, as not having to factor in travel time between activities can provide you with the luxury to explore places you may stumble upon or hear about on the fly. Of course, it’s still worth researching spots ahead of time to make sure that your grandparents will be comfortable there. Accessibility should always be a foremost concern when travelling with elderly family members. 

Another final benefit of central accommodation is that you’ll likely be able to enjoy transfers to and from the airport, as well as being able to take advantage of city hotel amenities. For instance, you can have your hotel concierge book reservations and activities for you that are close by, cutting out a lot of the self-management aspects of your holiday experience and allowing you more time to spend with your family. 

We hope this guide has brought you some great ideas for your upcoming family day trip in Sydney. As you can see, this city offers so much to travellers from all walks of life, so take the time to identify the activities that are perfect for you and your grandparents to enjoy together. In doing so, you’ll likely be able to enjoy a fantastic day out in Australia’s economic capital.

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