Things To Do In Orange NSW With Kids (And Without!)

 

Things to do in Orange NSW with children

Collecting apples at Hillside Harvest

 

If you are planning a trip to Orange and looking for things to do in Orange which will suit you and your family, welcome!  You have just hit the jackpot.

I am pretty sure this is the most comprehensive post you will find on all the fun activities and places to visit in this lovely Central West city.

So read on … this is a very long post, you can hop about from section to section using the table of contents just here.

Happy researching!

 

heifer-station-farm-animals

Meet the farm animals at Heifer Station winery

 

Best Times of Year To Visit Orange

Well, many people would say autumn for the beautiful russet and golden colours and for the FOOD Week Festival in April. Others might say spring, particularly October when the Wine Festival happens.

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.

 

 

Where To Stay In Orange

I’ve written a post detailing our family’s fave places to stay, our personal recommendations plus ideas for finding bargains. Check out the Family-Friendly Accommodation in Orange post here.

 

Orange NSW Things to do with kids

View of the tourism and cultural hub from Byng Street

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

Cycling

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

DG Cycles website here

 

Things to do in Orange with kids Cook Park

Child playing in Cook Park in Orange, photo from Destination NSW (I haven’t taken any there yet)

Cook Park

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 on find here online.

 

Range things to do Lake Canobolas

Walking around Lake Canobolas on a sunny spring day

Lake Canobolas

Just a 10 minute drive from town, and on the way to Mount Canobolas is this lovely lake and recreation area.  You can walk around the lake in about 30 minutes, we are not fast walkers.  There are two fantastic playground, 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, it’s pretty weedy though.

There also a charming cafe, the Lakehouse, which is open at weekends, and more often in summer, though usually closed for two months in winter. Check times on the Lakehouse Facebook page here.

Lake Canobolas playgrounds Orange

The walkway across Lake Canobolas just near the car park. One playground is below to the right and the other on the far side, you can drive to that one too

Lake canobolas Orange things to do

Sculptures by the lake

Lake Canobolas Orange, things to do

There’s an abundance of flora and fauna to enjoy at www.facebook.com/thelakehouselc

 

Mount Canobolas things to do in Orange with kids

Mount Canobolas, seen from the Orange suburbs

Mount Canobolas

A drive out to the peak of Mount Canobolas provide sweeping views of the central West, there are beautiful walks up there too, plus vineyards and fruit picking paces, 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.

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 one very steep incline at the end. Not suitable for very young children.

 

things to do in Orange swimming pool

the 50m outdoor pool and diving oards at Orange Aquatic Centre

Swimming  

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.

Lake Canobolas things to do in Orange with kids

A chilly dip in Lake Canobolas

 

walks things to do in Orange

There are so so many gorgeous houses with beautiful gardens to see as you walk around the streets of central and east Orange

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 NSW fruit picking things to do

Dappled light in an Orange orchard

Fruit Picking

Orange has rich farmlands around it with orchards and farmlands 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

 

Hillside Harvest

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:

November-December
Cherries

January-February
Nectarines
Apricots
Peaches
Plums
Blackberries
Boysenberries
Figs

March- May
Apples
Pears

1209 The Escort Way Borenore NSW 2800

Phone: 02 6365 2247

Hillside Harvest website is here

 

 

things to do in Orange family gosling creek

Serene views at Gosling Creek Reserve

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.

things to do in Orange family gosling creek

Terrific for school aged kids! There are also balance beams and spinners, and toilets close by

 

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.

Orange Adventure Playground

Address: Yellow Box Way, Orange

Orange Adventure Playground video

 

Indoor Things To Do in Orange

heifer-station-orange-animals_9 things to do

Arriving at Heifer Station, my twins loved our visits. Me too.

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.

Heifer Station: The Most Family-Friendly Orange Winery

 

things to do in Orange with the family

Checking out the Art Gallery

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

 

 

Flip Out Orange

My kids always loved a visit to the huge Flip Out in Orange. It was never crowded when we visited, a great place to burn off some energy on cold or wet days.

Address:  Warehouse 2, Lot 502, Edward Street, Orange

Phone: 02 63602669

Flip Out Orange website here

 

 

Orange lolly shop Coronet Milk Bar

The Coronet Milk Bar: Definitely the favourite Orange shop for my kids and their friend

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

 

 

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.

Bissys Cafe

88 Warrendine Street, Orange

Phone: 02 6369 0666

Bissys Cafe website here

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.

cafes in Orange good for kids

Out in the garden area at Bissy’s Cafe

 

The Greenhouse of Orange

44 Sale St, Orange NSW 2800

Phone: (02) 6311 1899

The Greenhouse website is here

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.

 

 

Orange where to eat Byng Street Local Store

Byng Street Local Store, find fantastic meals made from fresh locally sourced produce at this Orange instituation

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

Byng Street Local Store website here

 

where to eat in Orange with kids

Getting ready for the crowds, Scrumptious is popular as it’s SO lovely

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

Scrumptious on Summer’s website is here

 

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 Delightful Cafes

Orange is heaving with cool cafes, here are some more honourable mentions.

cafes in Orange NSW things to do

Bills Beans, where to cool cats hang out in East Orange, 148 McLachlan Street

things to do Orange NSW cafes

Nimrod’s cafe at The Sonic, beautiful open space in a beautiful interiors and clothes shop, Coffee and a browse. 33-35 Sale Street

 

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 Chocolae 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

Lucknow

Just a 10km and 10 minute drive back towards Bathurst, Lucknow is a terrific wee village to explore, particulalry if you go on the weekend when the old gold mine is open.

There’s also an EXCELLENT lolly shop and a cafe called Two Fat Ladies, some aantique shops and a large boot and leather skins shop.

Read about Wentworth Mine at Lucknow here.

 

Millthorpe

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.

Read more about Millthorpe here.

 

Blayney

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.

Things To Do In Blayney With Kids

 

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.

Picking Mushrooms at Oberson: How To Guide here.

Read all about Oberon here.

 

Wellington Caves

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.

Things to do in around Orange day trips

Exploring vast caverns at Wellington Caves Complex

Things to do around Orange wellington caves

Information about the various cave tours, well run by expert guides

 

Things to do around Orange wellington caves

Twins deep underground, they found it quite scary at times but also deeply thrilling… and we all learned a lot about limestone caves.

 

Now then… what have I forgotten?

Have you got enough info here to keep you busy for a weekend or even a week?

We love Orange, it’s such an easy city to get around, with great stuff to do and rolling country all around. And food and wine…

Can I answer any questions for you?

Just ask away in the comments or on the Facebook page here.

Happy travel planning,

 

 

Posted on: June 9, 2018

Be first to comment