Child-friendly things to do in Sydney

Exploring Sydney with kids? Here are 8 of the best family outings this city has to offer.

By Fiona Wright
Whether you're tourists exploring this city for the first time or enjoying a staycation in your hometown, we've rounded up the best family fun days out in Sydney.

Taronga Zoo

Without a doubt, Taronga Zoo is a must-do for families with kids of all ages.
Catch the ferry from Circular Quay and make the most of the harbour views. Or you can take the car, as there is plenty of parking on site.
A sky safari runs from the bottom of the zoo, where the ferry comes in, up to the top where you can stroll back down the hill, checking out the animals as you go.
The zoo is home to many animals from giraffes, elephants, koalas, spiders, snakes and so much more.
Recently, the zoo announced the birth of three rare Sumatran Tiger cubs and they are due to make their first public appearance from late March.
The zoo also puts on a range of fun tours and activities such as the Wild Ropes course, or various ticketed animal encounter experiences.
Visit website for park entry prices and more details.
The giraffes enjoy one of the best views Sydney has to offer. (Image: Instagram)

Catch the Manly Ferry

The ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly takes 30 minutes and is an amazing way to experience Sydney Harbour.
Sit outside on the front deck and take in the views of the city skyline, Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Once in Manly, meander down the Corso, which is filled with eateries, pubs and shops. Then, enjoy a swim between the flags at Manly Beach or walk around to picturesque Shelly Beach.
On the walk, you'll pass Fairy Bower rock pool and once at Shelly Beach, you and the kids can go swimming or grab a bite at the beach cafe.
Visit website for more details.
The ferry ride to Manly is cheap way to cruise the harbour. (Image: Getty Images)

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a harbourside precinct a short walk from the CBD or a quick ferry ride from Circular Quay.
There are pubs, restaurants, a shopping mall and the kids will be entertained for hours in the large, free playground featuring slides, swings, a flying fox, climbing ropes and a splash park.
Darling Harbour is also home to Sea Life Sydney Aquarium (scroll down for more details), the Wildlife Park, and Madame Tussauds - buy a pass for all three attractions and receive a discount.
What else is there to do? Ride the ferris wheel, walk through the peaceful Chinese Gardens, check out the 9D Action Cinemas and the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Plus, every Saturday night spectacular fireworks light up the sky.
Visit website for more details.
Your little monkeys will love the climbing ropes at the large playground area. (Image: Instagram)

Luna Park

Luna Park's motto is 'Just For Fun' and that's what you and your fam can expect to have - from the dodgem cars and the big slides in Coney Island, to the wild mouse roller-coaster and the iconic carousel, there is a ride for every age and thrill factor.
A must-do is the Ferris Wheel. Hop in a carriage and float up 40 metres to enjoy the incredible views of Sydney Harbour.
Luna Park is located at Milsons Point, on the northern end of the city and getting to the theme park is easy - catch the ferry, train or bus or you walk across the Harbour Bridge.
Entry to the park is free and ride tickets are sold on height basis.
Visit website for park entry prices and more details.
The family will have smiles for miles at Luna Park. (Image: Instagram)

Head to the beach

There's a reason why Sydney's beaches are among the world's most famous - think Bondi, Manly and Palm Beach - it's because this coastline is simply stunning.
Aside from swimming safely between the flags at patrolled beaches, you and the kids can enjoy walks, beach-side eateries and rock pools.
In addition to our iconic top three beaches mentioned above, other notable ones to check out include Bronte and Coogee in the eastern suburbs and Freshwater and Collaroy on the northern beaches.
Visit website for more details.
Bondi Beach is world-famous, come and see it for yourself. (Image: Getty Images)

Featherdale Wildlife Park

If getting up close and personal with some Aussie wildlife is your idea of family fun, then a visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park it is!
Home to over 1700 native animals from more than 250 different species, here you will also find the largest collection of koalas in New South Wales, as well as kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes, echidnas, wombats, Tasmania devils and more.
Fancy meeting a koala? You can purchase a Personal Koala Encounter (starting from $25, excluding park entry fee).
For another quintessential Oz experience, be sure to pick up a $3 cup of kangaroo and wallaby feed and walk around the enclosures feeding and meeting these friendly marsupials.
Located in Doonside in Sydney's west, there is free parking on site.
Visit website for park entry prices and more details.
The look of pure joy when a young girl meets a baby deer at Featherdale Wildlife Park. (Image: Facebook)

Sydney Park

Imagine this: 40-hectares of greenery, an adventure playground, sand pit and a cycling centre a short distance from the CBD. Well, you can stop dreaming and start exploring Sydney Park.
Pack the picnic basket - don't forget the snags as there are BBQ's - and bring the family dog, as the majority of the park is an off-leash area.
The park is perfect for little ones learning how to ride a bike as the cycling centre's course is designed for kids aged 3-8 year-olds to learn basic traffic and pedestrian rules.
For more details visit the website.
The cycling course in Sydney Park is ideal for bike riders who are still mastering this skill. (Image: City of Sydney)

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Located at Darling Harbour, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is a must-see for ocean lovers, young and old.
Walk through the underwater tunnel and watch out for the sharks and sting rays swimming overhead, check out the many species of fish, pet some slimy critters in the touch pool, or check out the amazing dugongs - which as legend has it were mistaken for mermaids by early European sailors first arriving in Aussie waters.
One must-see attraction at Sea Life is the world first penguin experience - the Penguin Expedition Ride.
This immersive ride-through adventure allows guests to travel in a raft through a sub-Antarctic environment while watching as penguins slide across the ice and dive into the water.
For park entry prices and more details visit.
Go under the sea for an incredible marine experience at Sea Life Sydney. (Image: Facebook)