There are countless ways to enjoy a family escape in Sydney. The Harbour City’s harmonious balance of natural beauty, contemporary culture and enticing attractions make it one of Australia’s best holiday destinations for travellers of all sensibilities. Children will adore the expansive parks and sun soaked beaches, while mums and dads will appreciate the endless options for world-class dining experiences and family-friendly entertainment.
While there is no one way to plan the perfect escape to Sydney, these are some of our favourite places to start:
Spend a Day at the Taronga Zoo
Located a 15-minute ferry ride across the harbour, a visit to the Taronga Zoo offers the perfect combination of entertainment and education. Animal lovers will delight in the zoo’s extensive program of up-close encounters, where visitors can cuddle with meerkats, feed giraffes, get up close and personal with African elephants and more. When it’s time for lunch, Taronga Zoo offers plenty of onsite dining options – we would recommend ordering a takeaway from The View and enjoying a alfresco meal overlooking the beautiful Sydney harbor.
Explore the Museum of Contemporary Art
While it might like a daunting venue for a family day out, The Museum of Contemporary Art offers child-friendly programs that encourage little ones to get inspired. ArtPLAY, a long-running MCA program, occurs around once a week and invites parents and children to create art and create reflective of a current in-house exhibit. Otherwise, wandering through the museum’s collection of strange, wonderful and thought-provoking works is a mutually enjoyable way to introduce young ones to the art world. In fact, the Museum of Contemporary Art even offers a helpful guide on how to talk to children about art to peruse before your visit.
Take in the Fresh Coastal Air During an Iconic Walk
The coastal walk that links Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach is iconic for a reason. The 6 kilometer return trip takes trekkers past some of the most breathtaking seaside views in all of Sydney, and the opportunity to dip into the ocean several times along the way certainly doesn’t hurt. The walk is classed as easy, and with a fully paved path and plenty of spots for toilets breaks, it’s ideal for families with children of all ages as well.
Dive into the Region's Aboriginal History at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Learn about the region’s traditional landowners – the Gadigal people – with an informative and interactive tour through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Led by a First Nations guide, the Aboriginal Heritage and Harbour Tour offers stories of the Gadigal lifestyle, traditions, and use of land, while an Aboriginal Bush Tucker tour teaches visitors about traditional bush ingredients and their many uses.
Enjoy a Live Performance at Any One of Sydney’s Theatres
With dozens of iconic venues in and around the city, Sydney plays host to an incredible number of live performances and musicals every year. It’s easy to find a show that everyone will appreciate; from harbour-side operas for the sophisticates to joyous family-friendly favourites that transcend the limits of age (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Wicked will both grace Sydney stages this year).
Take a Family Surfing Lesson at Bondi Beach
For visitors from further afield, a surf lesson at one of Australia’s most recognizable beaches is an unforgettable family experience. With Bondi’s beginner-friendly swells and instructors at various surfing schools trained to assist all participants of all ages and levels, even total novices will feel at ease. Many schools even offer private family lessons for a flat fee, making the afternoon all the more memorable.
Enjoy a Scenic Ferry Ride to Manly
One of the best ways to really see Sydney? A ferry ride through the Harbour and over to beautiful Manly. The 30 minute journey takes commuters past the icons and out towards the rugged coastline before landing at charming Manly Harbour. Once there, there is plenty for the family to enjoy. Wander along the esplanade, dine on fresh fish and chips or simply lounge in the sun on Manly Beach. Aim for a return trip at sunset for some seriously spectacular visuals.
Find the Best Gelato in Sydney
It’s nearly impossible to walk through a Sydney suburb without passing a gelato shop that someone, somewhere has touted as the best in the city. From nationally acclaimed stalwarts like Messina, to neighbourhood shops such as Mapo Gelato and Ciccone & Sons, sampling at least a scoop a day is a task easily fulfilled. Make it a point to try as many possible can before deciding on a family favourite before the end of the holiday. This guide may help.
Enjoy a Family High Tea at InterContinental Sydney
Introduce the little ones to an afternoon of sophistication with a memorable family High Tea. Set amongst the historic arches of Sydney’s original Treasury Building of 1851, InterContinental Sydney’s afternoon tea offers a dedicated children’s menu. While mum and dad enjoy a glass of Australian sparkling and organic Mayde Tea alongside three tiers of artfully prepared high tea classics, the children can choose from a mocktail or juice to go alongside their special selection.
Ready to book your family holiday to Sydney?
Explore the Harbour City from InterContinental Sydney’s prime Circular Quay location. Learn more about our exclusive Family Getaway offer at the link below.