School holiday activities in Sydney for 2021

Your guide to entertaining the kids at home or out and about during the school holidays in Sydney.

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Family at beach in Sydney

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School holidays are what kids dream about all term long. This leaves you, the parent or carer, with the task of finding the best activities to keep them entertained. So we've searched high and low for the best things to do whether you're out and about, at home or on an exciting day trip outside Sydney.

Outdoor activities in Sydney for the summer school holidays

Plan a visit to Sydney's top wildlife attractions

If your kids love animals, treat them to a day out at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo or Taronga Zoo.

Learn how to surf

There's no better time to learn how to surf than during the summer school holidays. Sydney showcases plenty of impressive beaches where your little ones can hit the waves and learn a new skill.

Head out on a jet boat

Adrenaline junkies and water lovers alike will no doubt enjoy an adventurous jet boating experience on Sydney Harbour. Whether you want a packed day exploring Sydney or just need to fill in a few hours of fun, this is a great experience your kids will rave about.

Get out on the water with a kayaking experience

For a fun day out, set your sights on a kayaking experience on the water and explore some of the best hidden beaches that Sydney has to offer around Sydney Harbour and Manly.

Palm Beach Morning Kayak and Bushwalking Adventure
Palm Beach Morning Kayak and Bushwalking Adventure


Put the pedal to the metal with a go karting experience

Just because your little one is too young to drive on the road doesn't mean they can't drive around a race track. Ideal for older kids, go karting makes for a great activity when catching up with friends during the school holidays.

Double Karting Experience for Adult and Child
Double Karting Experience for Adult and Child


Discover Sydney's spooky past

If you're looking for something new and interesting to do during the school holidays, you can't go past a ghost tour. If your kids like a good ghost story, visit historical sites around The Rocks and experience spine-tingling paranormal activity.

See Sydney from above

There's no better way to get out and about with your kids than by seeing Sydney from the best vantage point. Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or flying over Sydney's best attractions is an experience your little ones will never forget.

Rise to the challenge of an escape room

Race against the clock with your teammates to solve exciting clues, riddles and puzzles, and make it to the end before the time runs out. This activity is perfect for kids who love problem solving.

Escape Room and Virtual Reality Adventure Combo
Escape Room and Virtual Reality Adventure Combo


Virtual Reality Escape Room Adventure
Virtual Reality Escape Room Adventure

At-home activities in Sydney for the summer school holidays

Sign up for a virtual class

Avoid having restless kids at home during the school holidays by signing them up for a virtual online class. Choose between individualised private lessons or group classes for a more interactive social experience.

Take a trip to the park

Keeping your kids active during the school holidays is a great way to ensure they're away from their screens and getting some fresh air. Planning a play date with your children's friends? A small gathering at a park is a great option. Whether you have a park close by or you want to venture out to find a new favourite, bring a bike, scooter or skateboard along and your kids will stay happy and occupied for hours.

Entertain the kids with a craft session

The school holidays are the perfect time to try something new. Take a break from Netflix and set up space in your house for your kids to delve into a creative project.

Grab the popcorn and settle in for a movie marathon

If you want to set up a cosy movie night with the family, streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix and BINGE offer unlimited shows and movies for your children to pick from. You can even set up parental controls on Netflix or set up a Netflix Kids profile to control which shows and movies your children can access.

Have fun with jigsaw puzzles, board games and card games

Completing a jigsaw puzzle or playing a board game is the perfect way to keep your kids entertained and their minds active during the school holidays.

Get creative in the kitchen

Kids love hands-on activities like cooking. Purchase a children's baking kit and get your little ones familiar with the kitchen. If your kids already have some cooking experience, there are plenty of kids cookbooks to choose from, so that your mini chefs can take the reins in the kitchen.

Play video games

If you have a gamer on your hands, it's likely they'll want to spend some time gaming with their friends during the school holiday break. Whether their console of choice is a Nintendo Switch, an Xbox or a PlayStation, there are plenty of classic and exciting new games for your kids to get their hands on.

Go camping under the stars

Travelling may not be on your list of things to do during the upcoming school holidays, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some quality family time on a budget-friendly camping trip in your own backyard or at a campground in Sydney.

Road trips you can take from Sydney during the school holidays

There's so much of New South Wales to see, and the school holidays are the perfect time to explore. For more inspiration, check out our guides on the best family holiday destinations in New South Wales and epic New South Wales road trips.

The Blue Mountains

Distance from Sydney CBD: 1 hour by car, or 2 hours and 40 minutes by public transport.

The Blue Mountains is a popular spot for hiking, bushwalking and lookouts. If your kids love nature and the outdoors, we recommend doing a day trip to the Blue Mountains during the school holidays.

Half-Day Abseiling in the Blue Mountains
Half-Day Abseiling in the Blue Mountains


Blue Mountains Guided E-Bike Tour with Snacks and Drinks
Blue Mountains Guided E-Bike Tour with Snacks and Drinks


Blue Mountains Explorer Bus Pass and Scenic World
Blue Mountains Explorer Bus Pass and Scenic World


The Central Coast

Distance from Sydney CBD: 1 hour and 10 minutes by car, or 2 hours by public transport.

Known for its pristine beaches, adventure parks and coastal walks, a day trip to the Central Coast is the perfect way to spend a sunny day.

The South Coast

Distance from Sydney CBD: 3 hours by car, or 4 hours and 40 minutes by public transport.

Along the South Coast, you'll find calm bays, good whale watching spots and plenty of surf beaches. For a relaxing day out during the school holidays, the South Coast is the place to go.

Zip Line Adventure and Treetop Walk In the Rainforest
Zip Line Adventure and Treetop Walk In the Rainforest

Guided Wildlife Tour in Glass Bottom Kayak
Guided Wildlife Tour in Glass Bottom Kayak


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Free school holiday activities in Sydney

  • Visit a library or museum, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art or the State Library of NSW
  • Have a picnic at Centennial Park
  • Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Learn about history at The Mint
  • Stroll through Sydney to see iconic attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge
  • Do a coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee
  • Watch the sunset at Observatory Hill Park
  • Spend a day at the beach

Need more ideas? Check out our 50 free activities to keep the kids busy these school holidays.

Events in Sydney for the summer school holiday

Sydney CBD

Observatory Hill School Holiday Program 7 January - 15 January. If you've got a mini Picasso on your hands, check out these fun, creative school holiday activities.

Sydney Dance Company School Holiday Workshop 4 January - 26 January. Whether theatre jazz, contemporary or ballet is your little dancer's style, there's a two-day workshop for everyone.

School Holiday Basketball Camp 21 December - 22 January. Keep your kids active with a basketball camp that will have them learning new skills and making new friends.

Inner West

School Holiday Stage Camp 18 - 22 January. Immerse your kids in a creative school holiday experience where they'll have an opportunity to improve their acting, dancing, singing and theatrical skills.Creative Writing Holiday Workshop 18 January. Budding storytellers will enjoy letting their imaginations run wild with this school holiday workshop that will let them hone in on writing great stories and learning new literary skills along the way.

Spring School Holidays at Art Est 11 January - 22 January. Choose from a variety of workshops ranging from pottery to cartooning and drawing for kids aged 5 and above.

Eastern Suburbs

Vaucluse Amateur 12 Foot Sailing Club Holiday Camp 7 December - 22 January. Try something new during the school holidays with a sailing camp for children aged 7 to 16.

Western Sydney

Tynker Coding Bootcamp: 8 - 19 January. If you've got kids aged between 5 - 9 who are interested in the world of tech and programming, pique their interest with a coding workshop. No prior experience is needed and small group sizes means that your little ones will have the undivided attention of their instructors.

FDA School Holiday Football Camp TBA. Whether you have a child who is new to the game or wants to improve their skills, a football camp is a great way to keep your kids active during the school holidays.

The Hills

Circus School Holiday Workshop: If you're keen to get the kids out of the house for a one-day workshop, Cirque de Kids will have them learning how to do aerial hoops, twirling and swing trips.

Intensive School Holiday Swim Program Runs throughout the school holidays. Get your kids ready for summer with daily swimming lessons at Carlile Swimming.

Frequently asked questions about Sydney school holidays

What should I keep in mind with COVID-19 when going out during the school holidays?

When planning your family's school holiday activities, remember to maintain good hygiene and social distancing. If you're planning to visit an attraction in an enclosed space, it's best to book in advance so you don't miss out.

Are all attractions in Sydney open?

Favourites including Luna Park, Taronga Zoo, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo are open during the school holidays.

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