If you are planning a trip to Orange and looking for things to do in Orange with kids, welcome! You are in the right place
I am pretty sure this is the most comprehensivearticle you will find about all the fun activities and places to visit in this lovely Central West city. But first…..
If you haven’t got any family accommodation in Orange booked yet, click through to this post detailing our family’s fave places to stay: Family-Friendly Accommodation in Orange
Or just click on this image.
So read on, no need to worry what to do in Orange, we have it all here… this is a very long post, you can hop about from section to section using the table of contents just here.
NB Also you might like: Road Trip: Sydney To Orange With Kids, Where To Stop
Contents of this post
- Where To Stay In Orange
- Best Times of Year To Visit Orange
- The First Thing To Do in Orange
- Outdoor Things To Do In Orange With Kids
- Orange Things To Do Indoors
- Where To Eat in Orange With Kids
- Half and Full Day Trips From Orange
- Orange Mobility Map
Best Times of Year To Visit Orange
But I say any time of year is good. Yes, winter can be, literally, freezing and summer can be rather hot. But there are many things to do what are enjoyable at any time of year.
And off peak is cheaper, let’s be practical.
The First Thing To Do in Orange
Get yourself along to the Orange Visitor Information Centre in the centre of town. It is in a very interesting building with a turfed roof. There’s a cafe here, the Orange Regional Museum, the Art Gallery, the Library and cool sculptures and fountain.
Orange Visitor Information Centre
149 Byng Street, Orange
Open: 9am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
There’s street parking on Byng Street or a car park, entrance is off Lords Place. This is a spacious visitor centre with heaps of free information, leaflets, maps and personable staff to answer any questions.
Then let the kids run around on the grass roof whilst you have a coffee, before a look around the Museum and Art Gallery. The joy!
Outdoor Things To Do In Orange With Kids
Bring the bikes or hire some and choose from easy shorter rides through parks and along the river, or range further afield past fields of alpacas.
The Visitor Centre can give you maps showing all the cycling options. You can find the Cycle Orange Guide online here.
Hire bikes from DG Cycles at Shop4/241 Lords Place
Phone (02) 6360 4040
Not a huge park but one with Victorian grandeur and great beauty, a walk around Cook Park is always a pleasure. You’ll find beautiful trees, a pond and some play equipment, plus a rotunda where bands can be heard.
Cook Park is on Summer Street at the western end. Read more on the Cook Park Heritage Walk brochure which you can pick up at Orange Visitor Centre. This is one of those simple things to do in Orange with family that will suit all and any ages.
Just a 10 minute drive from town, and on the way to Mount Canobolas, is this lake and recreation area. You can walk around the lake in about 30 minutes, we are not fast walkers. There are two fantastic playgrounds here, one with a great flying fox.
Children love playing at the small lake beaches, and running along the walkway which goes by the dam section. We have swum in the lake, great when the water level is high, a bit weedy when the water level is low.
There also a charming cafe, the Lakeshore, check opening times on their Facebook page here.
There’s an abundance of flora and fauna to enjoy
A drive out to the peak of Mount Canobolas provides sweeping views of the Central West, there are beautiful walks up there too, plus vineyards and fruit picking places, and cafes too, as you travel.
Mount Canobolas is 1,395 metres high and we’ve found snow up there. There are information boards explaining the unique flora and fauna of the area, as well as its historic significance. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Orange NSW with family.
The Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area has campgrounds too. Look at all the info on the NPWS website here, the Federal Falls walk is good, it’s a 4km loop, mostly easy but with some very, very steep sections. Not suitable for very young children.
Orange Aquatic Centre is a really terrific, spacious pool complex close to the centre of town. There’s a 50m pool set amongst lovely lawns, very exciting diving boards and indoor lap and leisure pools too. Top tip: Bissys Cafe is just a few blocks away.
Address: Hill St & Warrendine Streets, Orange NSW 2800
Phone: (02) 6363 3000
You can also swim at Lake Canobolas in summer, we have done this, the lake is a bit weedy though.
Walking Around Orange
Orange is built on a grid system and has some absolutely divine houses and gardens to stickybeak at.
A walk around the streets surrounding Cook Park is lovely, as is a walk in East Orange along Byng Street, Nile Street and Autumn Street.
Cafe hop from Bills Beans on the corner of McLachlan and Summer Streets at to the Nile Street Cafe admiring the roses in every garden as you walk: divine.
Orange has rich orchards and farmland providing a great variety of produce. Two of our fave places to pick fruit are
Huntley Berry Farm
Read all about this non-profit social enterprise and see photos on this blog post: Huntley Berry Farm.
This is a farm store and cafe where you can also pick apples and other fruit in season. It’s a 15 minute drive from town and a pleasant destination on a drive. You can pick:
1209 The Escort Way Borenore NSW 2800
Phone: 02 6365 2247
Picking Cherries In Orange
The main cherry season is November and December, sometimes lasting into January. Since the cherry picking is a short season and it varies, it is best to check the websites and Facebook pages of the growers. If the farmers are busy they may not update these but you will find current phone numbers on the websites and Facebook pages to check. Here are some to get you started:
Thornbrook Orchard, 39 Nashdale Lane, Nashdale NSW 2800 (about 8km out of Orange to the west.)
Biteriot, 448 Canobolas Road, Orange NSW 2800 (10km south-west of Orange, near to Mt Canobolas and Lake Canobolas)
There are some other growers too, these vary year to year. If you look at Orange on Google maps and do a search for cherry orchards more will pop up.
A full run-down on the top places to pick your own fruit around Sydney is here.
Gosling Creek Reserve Walks + Playground
This is a pretty reserve with easy walking tracks that are good for bikes, trikes and strollers. There are BBQs and picnic areas, viewing platforms over the reservoir and over wetlands. There is some excellent and exciting playground equipment with this amazing climbing frame.
Orange Botanic Gardens
Orange Botanic Gardens are right beside the Adventure Playground and make a lovely place to walk and run around. Follow the Country Walk to find many areas; a homestead garden, a billabong, native and exotic woodlands and a heritage rose garden and orchard.
Address: 1 Yellow Box Way, Orange
Orange Adventure Playground
This is a really large adventure playground, great for kids and young teens. I’ve written a post about it and made a little video which you can find here below. PS There is a cafe here.
Address: Yellow Box Way, Orange
Visit Borenore Caves
Just 17km out of Orange, past Hillside Harvest and on the same road as Heifer Station Wines, you will find Borenore Caves, officially known as the Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. There’s a huge open space here with BBQs, and a very short walk away is the impressive Arch Cave. NB Do wear good shoes and take a torch, ideally. Little kids can and do explore this cave but it might be a bit scary for some. It’s very beautiful though.
There’s a 7km walk to the gorgeous Verandah Cave, 3.5km there and 3.5km back, mostly flat and very pretty with just one hill to climb. On the way there is the long Tunnel Cave, but do be very careful, we went in with no torch and nearly lost our Dad down a deep hole.
The Falls Waterfall at Mullion Range
Drive around 17km out of Orange along Ophir Road and you will come to Mullion Range State Conservation Area. Park the car at the start of the Central Mines Trail and walk 400 metres to see the gorgeous The Falls Waterfall. We walked up to the top pool and had a very chill dip. This wouldn’t be possible except in drought, I think, see how different the waterfalls look on the NPWS website page, see below.
Check out more info on this page on the NPWS website.
Ophir Goldfields Reserve
Drive further on from The Falls to find Ophir Goldfield Reserve, you’ll know you are there when you come to this river crossing, it’s where Summer Hills and Lower Lewis Pond creeks meet.
Here you will find a campsite, BBQs and toilets and interesting boards telling the goldmining history of this area. There are short and longer walks to do with lots of old mining holes to check out. Be careful, do not go off the tracks as there are all sorts of holes to fall into.
I cannot find a good website with visitor info, but the information boards are terrific at the site.
There’s a good history of Ophir and its history on Aussie Towns here.
Here are a couple of photos of the longest tunnel we explored.
Orange Things To Do Indoors
Heifer Station Winery
By far the best winery to visit when you have kids in tow, there are farm animals to meet and heaps of space to run around. Read all about Heifer Station winery on this post.
Orange Museum and Art Gallery
On Byng Street, beside the Tourist Information and lovely cafe, you will find the Orange Regional Museum. This is a great size for kids, not too big and with many relatable objects The Paddock To Plate exhibition tells the story of the settlement of Orange and its food and wine story. You will hear about the regions indigenous people too, in their own voices.
Orange Regional Gallery is right alongside, with exhibitions from locals artists as well as travelling exhibitions.
Address: 149 Byng Street, Orange
The Coronet Milk Bar
Step back in time when you enter the magnificent Coronet Milk Bar on the main drag in Orange. No kids ever regrets a visit here. There are lollies galore, milk shakes, ice creams and very friendly staff. The Coronet is next door to Scrumptious on Summer, so you can have a coffee whilst the kids chose their lollies. Life is sweet.
Address: 142-8 Summer Street, Orange
The Odeon 5 Cinema
Orange’s multiplex cinema is just over the railway lines, William Street is off Byng Street. The cinema is close to Officeworks and other shops. You will find a good variety of movies there. The prices are lower than in the cities too.
Address: 43 William Street, Orange
Website: Odeon 5 Cinema website here
Where To Eat in Orange With Kids
Orange is positively busting with great cafes and restaurants. These are the ones I always recommend to families.
Spilt Milk Bar
45 Sale Street, Orange NSW 2800
Yes, start with the ice cream and gelato bar. Spilt Milk was super popular as soon as it opened and no wonder. It’s a fun spot with really yummy ice creams and gelato, what could go wrong!?
The Greenhouse of Orange
44 Sale St, Orange NSW 2800
Phone: (02) 6311 1899
This is one of the newest and most modern dining options in Orange… and there’s a large playspace for kids – hooray. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner you’ll find the best locally sourced produce at this relaxed yet stylish eatery. There’s a pizza bar, street food kitchen. I’ve only visited for food and coffee so far.
Byng Street Local Store
One of our family’s favourites for breakfast, Byng Street Local Store is modern, light and bright and often buzzing and busy.
Address: 47 Byng Street, Orange
Phone: 02 6369 0768
Scrumptious on Summer
This is probably my family’s favourite eatery in Orange, it’s so cosy and welcoming with a very healthy, hearty menu. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here, inside or outside if it’s warm. Or just pop in for a coffee and a cafe… and the kids will definitely want to visit the Milk Bar which is right next door.
This was the first eatery we ever tried in Orange (when we stopped on the way home after a visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo.)
The cozy atmosphere, warm homestyle meals and friendly staff have never failed us on many subsequent visits.
Address: 146 Summer Street, Orange
Phone: 02 6361 7200
88 Warrendine Street, Orange
Phone: 02 6369 0666
This cafe has space in and outside in the garden too. Many ingredients are grown in the garden and Bissys aims to use as much organic and local food as possible.
There’s a skate park and a small playground just across the road. The bowling club and the Aquatic Centre are very close too.
Bikes can be hired from Bissys and at weekends and in school holidays children can meet the cafe’s pet animals too.
208 Peisley Street, Orange
At the east end of the centre of Orange, this is a large cafe with the bakery within, you can see the bakers at work. there are coffees, fresh juices and all sorts of baked delights and light meals. Nice spot. Timed wifi available.
The Sugar Mill
1/86 Summer St, Orange
The Sugar Mill is in the Summer Centre shops, alongside the IGA, you can park right outside in the car park. This is the Orange offshoot of Millthorpe’s famous Old Mill Cafe and has the same range of scrumptious cakes, pastries and light meals. Wifi is available for customers, just ask for the password.
Orange Farmers Market
Held on the second Saturday of each month from 8.30am – midday, this is a real farmers market. You will find all the local produce for which Orange is so famous, plus artisan products from Orange and further afield within the Central West district.
Can I highly recommend the chocolate makers… and the wine…. and the nutritious and delicious hazelnuts from the local hazelnut farm? You’ll find around 60 stalls and 60 stallholders all keen to tell you about their produce, all for a gold coin donation to Rotary Daybreak.
The market is held at Northcourt, by the Art Gallery and Museum, on Peisley Street in spring and summer and early autumn. In winter is is held at the Orange Showground.
Check dates and location before you go on the Orange Farmers Market website here.
Five Other Kid Friendly Orange Cafes + Restaurants
Orange is heaving with cool cafes, here are some more honourable mentions.
Nimrods at 214 Lords Place, a cheerful small cafe with a rustic, healthy menu.
Simply Nile Cafe at 49 Nile Street in East Orange, right opposite the school my twins spent a year at in 2017- ideal spot.
Chateau du Chocolate at 220 Lords Place, yes a chocolate cafe, what can go wrong when you have kids!?
Good Eddy at 187 Lords Place, Orange, a small and groovy cafe with a clothes shop attached.
If you’re looking for wifi, check out my post on The Best Cafes with Wifi in Orange here.
Half and Full Day Trips From Orange
Canowindra: The Age of Fishes Museum
A 53km drive away through stunning rolling countryside lies the historic town of Canowindra (confusingly pronounced Can-owndra.) Did you know that there was a vast inland sea in Australia, long before the time of the dinosaurs? In 1956 large amounts of fossils from this era were found when a road was being built near Canowindra. This fascinating museum documents these famous fossils and explains the history of life on earth. It’s well worth a visit.
The historic main street of Canowindra has some fascinating old buildings, you do feel as if you have stepped back in time. Cafes to try include the Garden of Roses milk bar on the main street and Canowindra Trading Post on Ferguson Street, a large gift and homewares shop with a cafe and garden. The tourist information centre is part of the Age of Fishes Museum and you can pick up more information and maps there.
The closest village and scene of a few of the fun things to do around Orange, Lucknow is just a 10km and 10-minute drive back towards Bathurst, Lucknow is a terrific wee village to explore, particularly if you go on the weekend when the old gold mine is open.
There are also some antique shops and a large boot and leather skins shop.
This utterly delightful village is like a film set from the turn of last century. It’s 22km from Orange, about a 20 minute drive. There are delightful coffee shops and boutiques to explore, plus a fascinating farming museum which is open at weekends.
Just 35km from Orange, a 30 minute journey by car, is the town of Blayney. Check out our post below for fun stuff to do with kids there. Combine a trip to Blayney with a visit to Millthorpe on the way there or back.
Oberon Mushroom Picking
A couple of hours drive back towards the Blue Mountains is gorgeous Oberon, set in stunning rolling countryside. There’s plenty to explore here. We have only done some excellent autumnal mushroom picking.
This extensive cave complex is found 8km south of Wellington, just over 90km from Orange so a 1 – 1.5 hour drive. You go on a guided tour, we did the Cathedral Cave tour and would joyfully return for the others.
Check out the Wellington Caves Complex website here. It’s excellent, info on staying there too.
Orange Mobility Map
The Council has produced an Orange Mobility Map – click here to find it.
Check out the Family-Friendly Accommodation in Orange post here.
Also you might like: Road Trip: Sydney To Orange With Kids, Where To Stop
Now then… what have I forgotten?
Have you got enough info here to keep you busy for a weekend or even a week?
There are so many fun things to do in Orange NSW!
Can I answer any questions for you?
Just ask away in the comments or on the Facebook page here.
Happy travel planning,