Whenever we have overseas visitors we are being told that Sydney is such a great place to raise a family. And we agree. It is not just the abundant sunshine, the long summers and the fantastic outdoor offers such as the parks and beaches, Sydney also has a range of great other options to keep the kids active, entertained or educated.
But what to do on a rainy day in Sydney? Don’t despair! There are quite a few options that you can try with the little people in your house, and they don’t necessarily have to be very expensive too.
The Powerhouse Museum for example is absolutely great for children! The Powerhouse is a science, design and history museum that is really first-class. For kids, there is the extremely popular Wiggles exhibition in the basement, where young and old can explore the story of the Wiggles, follow their successes and listen to the most popular songs. Plus, you experience the illusion of weightlessness in space and marvel at the gigantic steam engines. Outside, there is fantastic playground and a cafe. http://www.powerhousemuseum.com
Sea Life, the Sydney Aquarium, can get very busy at times, and it’s not particularly cheap but it has great displays and shows that any family will enjoy. The enchanting shark tunnel is probably the favourite amongst visitors, but I also like to spend time in front of the huge Great Barrier Reef window, and the kids like to have fun with the interactive rock pool. http://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au/
Forget the usual play centres – at Wannabees your child will be able to dress up and role play in different sets. This is so much fun! Be it fire station, post office or doctor’s office, your kids will love the realistic scenes and using the props. Plus, there is the usual play equipment, a climbing wall, and lots more. http://wannabees.com.au/
On rainy days cinemas are the logical option, and what better experience can you have than with the IMAX? Did you know that the Sydney IMAX has the biggest IMAX screen in the world? There are always kids friendly 3D movies to choose from, some of them educational. Finish it off with a frozen joghurt and your rainy weekend suddenly doesn’t feel so painful anymore. http://www.imax.com.au
Not far from the IMAX there is also N2 Extreme Gelato, a perfect place for kids! The idea here is to shock freeze the ice cream with liquid nitrogen, a process that causes lots of steam to rise up in the air. Flavours change regularly – not just kids will be happy here. http://n2extremegelato.com.au/
Little pirates, explorers and swimmers will have tons of fun at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Entry to the museum is free, but if you want to check out the boats you will need to purchase a pass. Outside on the ships there is lots of stuff to discover! The destroyer and the submarine are awesome and very educational. In fact, there is so much to see outside, it will easily fill the afternoon. http://www.anmm.gov.au
Since it’s raining anyway, have you thought about going ice skating? Ice skating is so big in the northern countries, the kids love it (growing up in Germany, I can attest to that)! Two great venues that I can suggest – depending on your location, the Sydney Ice Arena http://www.sydneyicearena.com.au/ and the Macquarie Ice Rink http://www.macquarieicerink.com.au/
Relatively new still in the concept of Flip Out – a giant hall filled with trampolines. We tested the Castle Hill venue not long ago and were delighted to see the kids having so much fun. While the little ones will be happy here, also teenagers will feel quite challenged and have lots of options to test their gross motor skills. http://flipout.net.au/
Is your child very brave? Need a challenge? Then let them fly… at the Sydney Trapeze School. Hobby acrobats will learn to swing to their hearts’ content, if they dare! https://secure.sydneytrapezeschool.com/
Kids’ dreams are made of lollies. And even better if these lollies come in lots of different colours. In The Rocks, Sticky is specialising in producing handmade lollies and rock candy, and if you are lucky you get to watch them do their job right in front of you, a great show for the little ones. http://sticky.com.au/
You think that parachuting is just something for adults? Maybe you are right, but this is where you should check out this crazy adventure: The iFly Experience. No jumping off planes required, you are experiencing the same free-fall feeling in a wind canal, a vertical glass tube. I am sure the kids would love it! https://downunder.iflyworld.com/
Just because the weather is miserable outside, doesn’t mean you can’t go for a family swim! The Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre is perfect for the little rascals – the water park is humongous and includes a water slide and a rapid river ride. This will definitely tire them out in no time! http://www.aquaticcentre.com.au
These are just some ideas that you can try with your kids on a rainy Sydney day. Remember, after every rain comes sunshine, and in the meantime we are going to make the best out of a bad situation!
If you know of any other great rainy-day destinations in Sydney for the whole family, comment below!