2015 marks the 33rd year of Australia’s largest free Christmas concert and it looks to be another star-studded event. This year’s Woolworths Carols in the Domain is on Saturday 19 December 2015 and this year’s stellar line-up includes Samantha Jade, Johnny Ruffo, Dami Im, Adam Brand, Justine Clarke, Mark Vincent, Ky Baldwin, Jay Laga’aia, the cast of The Sound of Music, Georgie Parker, and The Wiggles!
The Lights of Christmas are beautiful 3D digital projections that illuminate St Mary’s Cathedral 75m high facade – and they’re back again for another year, running nightly until 25 December 2015.
This year the free Lights of Christmas show honours 2015 as the United Nations International Year of Light. The story is told in three parts: Light is Life, The Holly and the Ivy, and the Madonna and Child.
The nightly spectacle is accompanied by live choir performances from the steps of Sydney’s grandest Cathedral.
From now until 25 December 2015, take a nightly stroll with the family through Sydney’s central business district to observe a delightful array of light shows, festive installations, Christmas-themed decorations and interactive experiences.
Learn about Leafy Christmas Craft at the Royal Botanic Gardens or see a theatre production for children of the classic ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ … just two of the many wonderful activities happening as part of Sydney Christmas.
And don’t forget to pop into the historic Queen Victoria Building to gaze at its famed three-storey Swarovski Crystal Christmas tree and have photos with Santa in a whimsical, overgrown secret garden dripping with twinkling lights, flowers, feature birds and characters that will surprise and enchant. Then head outside to watch more festive light projections on Sydney Town Hall.
Come and have fun with all things Santa at Darling Harbour’s amazing Santa Fest, with loads of activities – many of them free! Enjoy free Christmas films at the Santa Fest Open Air Cinema, get lost in Santa’s Maze, and hop on board the Santa Express!
Take a ride on the delightful Star of the Show Ferris Wheel, snap a holiday selfie with the Crate Santa sculpture, and gather ‘round for Santa Fest Storytelling!
Jingle all the way to Sydney Tower Eye this Christmas and experience the magic of the North Pole in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. The Observation Deck has been transformed into Santa’s Highest Grotto – a Christmas wonderland 250 metres above street level – and kids can meet Santa and get a FREE photo!
There’s always plenty of fun going on at the Sydney Opera House! Like Babies Proms: Jingle Bell Jazz, on until 20 December. Share the joy of Christmas in this carols concert for children aged 2-5, with a jazz and calypso twist!
Sing along to your favourite Christmas carols, including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells.
Or how about The 3 Little Pigs? Full of memorable songs and silliness and that will have your little piglets squealing and giggling with glee, this new musical received rave reviews in New York and the West End and is on until 27 December.
There’s loads of things to entertain the whole family, right through the Christmas holidays!
Girls love the opportunity to don a pretty frock and get together with their ‘besties’ and what better way to have fun with friends than the Kids in the City High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney!
The menu includes ham and cheese sandwiches, dotty blue fairy bread, sparkling lemon meringue, lamingtons, mini sausage rolls, mini beef pies, seasonal jelly shots, a specially mixed ‘Out of the Blu’ mocktail, marshmellowy hot chocolate and freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Available daily, the Kids in the City High Tea costs $25 per child and bookings can be made by calling 02 8214 0300 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a must-see for Justice League fans and LEGO lovers! The Art of the Brick: DC Comics will entertain visitors of all ages. It features the world’s largest collection of DC Comics inspired LEGO artwork and sculptures, such as superheroes and villains including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Joker, who are all on display exclusively in Sydney, until May 2016.
Kids just LOVE Kids in the Park Summer Programs and, after more than 10 years of success, it’s on again at Sydney Olympic Park these school holidays! So get your kids offline and into some of the amazing fun activities!
Kids in the Park offers heaps of FREE activities and good-value options for less than $25 per child and runs from 19 December 2015 – 26 January 2016 (inclusive). Featuring more than 50 activities, Kids in the Park makes Sydney Olympic Park the official home of the biggest range of school holiday activities of any location in NSW.
For the full program, dates, times and more visit kidsinthepark.com.au
Dive into the depths of ‘Jurassic Seas’, meet the weird and wonderful creatures that have outlasted dinosaurs … and even feed a deadly Plesiosaurus!
Jurassic Seas is SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s newest zone! Despite the ocean covering 71 per cent of the world’s surface, over 95 per cent of it is still unexplored. Jurassic Seas takes you down into the depths of the ocean to see where all life once began and meet weird and wonderful living fossils and you can discover the prehistoric creatures that are still around today!
At Madame Tussauds Sydney, you can play a game of Wii tennis with Lleyton Hewitt, test your reaction and hand eye co-ordination on the batak or challenge your friends to putt a hole in one with Greg Norman.
There’s lots more interactive fun, or you can hang out with Taylor Swift, Ryan Gosling, Nicole Kidman and all the other celebs!
And remember to book online to save money … or choose the five attraction pass, which includes Madame Tussauds, PLUS SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye & Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary!
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is the place to get up close to Australia’s most loved and feared animals – from Koala Encounters to Kangaroo Walk-about, interactive displays, daily feeding session and keeper talks and enhanced walk-through habitats – there’s so much to see and do.
Experience WILD Flight – a self-propelled ride where kids and parents can experience flight through the aviary. Riders will see kangaroos from the sky, glide past Princess Parrots and other feathered friends and even take a daring journey above Rex, the zoo’s huge 5 metre crocodile!
Catch FREE movies under the stars at Darling Quarter for the annual Little Darlings Night Owls Kids Film Fest from 8 – 24 January 2016.
Together with the whole family, you can watch classics including Inside Out, Minions, Rio 2, Paddington and Maleficent!
Each night before the sun goes down, audiences will also be treated to a vibrant mix of live entertainment from 5.30-6.30pm.
Get down to Darling Quarter early to nab a good spot, relax on a colourful picnic rug and have a little boogie with the kids to some live music before the movies start!
Check out the program and start picking the nights to bring the whole gang along.
Adventure through the Garden to hear tales of brave plant hunters, derring-do and search for weird, scary and horrible plants! Enjoy interactive and dynamic stories told by professional storyteller Jo Henwood, and fun activities along the way.
Includes activity materials and booking is online is essential. For ages 6 –13 years.
The session time is 10.30 am to 12 pm and 12.30 pm to 2 pm from 8-16 January 2016. $16.50 + booking fee, Non-members $18 + booking fee.
January 2016 sees the return of the hugely popular Movies by the Boulevard, now in its 15th year. Catch some of the best films for FREE at Cathy Freeman Park.
Kids movies include Minions 2, Paper Planes, Pixels, Inside Out, Jurassic World and Cinderella. On kids movie nights there are plenty of great activities and fun kicking off at 5pm before the movie starts at 8.30pm, and a quality selection of food and beverages will be available to purchase from 6pm.
You can book your tickets now for great family fun to ride the 300 metres, (nearly 3 footy fields!) of slick vinyl. The ultimate slider pass includes upgraded tube to slide on and three hours to play. Slide the City is on from 15 –16 January 2016.
The event will also offer food trucks, a live broadcast from 2Day FM, refreshing icy summer treats and much more to keep you entertained all day. You don’t have to slide to enjoy the fun – spectators are encouraged to head down and check out the action.
During the Christmas school holidays, young Zoo explorers will be swinging around in the treetops, getting wet during some marine magic and giving a helping hand behind the scenes.
Now the age limit has been lowered, more kids will be able to take on the exciting challenge of the Zoo’s Wild Ropes course that snakes above the Australian Walkabout exhibits.
Junior tree-climbers as young as 8 years old can now pit their skills against 60 obstacles, all while overlooking Sydney Harbour through Taronga’s trees.
Until July 2016, be inspired by the spectacle of Sydney Harbour’s icons made in LEGO bricks. Under the glow of LEGO fireworks, discover minifigs at the opera, on a cruise, having fun at Luna Park and climbing the Harbour Bridge.
See how Ryan McNaught, Australia’s own certified LEGO professional has brought our beautiful harbor to life with remarkable LEGO models incorporating lights, movement and almost 1,000 minifigs. With plenty of loose bricks on hand, you can lose yourself in the glamour, fun and adventure of Sydney Harbour and build your own harbour icon in a sea of LEGO bricks.
For full details visit sydneylivingmuseums.com.au
Perfect for the summer holidays is the awe-inspiring Illawarra Fly Zipline Adventure!
You can experience the magnificent Southern Highlands rainforest like never before on Australia’s highest zipline. You can also experience what it’s like to walk high in the treetops and take in amazing views from the Fly Treetop Walk!
With two amazing eco-adventures to try out, a guided tour, visitor centre and cafe – there’s something for the whole family – just two hours’ from Sydney.
Kids visiting Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures these school holidays can become an official IFLY Rainforest Ranger by completing the new Ranger Trail throughout the attraction.
Featherdale Wildlife Park is just a short drive from Sydney and lets you and your kids get close to our native wildlife … in fact it’s the only place you can pat a koala!
There’s a range of different shows and talks each day and kids love the chance to feed the animals and get hands on with the cute and cuddly critters.
Dinosaurs Alive at the Australian Reptile showcases the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of geologic time millions of years ago.
Young paleontologists will also be able to participate in their own dino dig in the all new Dinosaur exploratory digging ground at Australian Reptile Park.
In its ninth year, the Christmas Lights Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens has become a family tradition for Australian families. With 1.5 million Christmas lights the event is quite a spectacular sight to see.
The largest Christmas lights display in the southern hemisphere, the lights will be dazzling until 26 January 2016 (excluding Christmas Day and night). Gates will open nightly from 6.30pm, with pre-lights entertainment, food stalls and amusement rides. The lights display will commence at 7.30pm.
These school holidays Hunter Valley Gardens will also be home to Australia’s largest animatronics creature display. This first of a kind event gives you the chance to get up close and personal with numerous giant animatronic creatures, from crawling bugs to a giant snail, praying mantis, centipede, a staggering T-Rex, and an enormous Stegosaurus, plus many more! The Mega Creatures will be on display from 2 – 26 January 2016.
Port Macquarie’s Billabong Zoo has opened its Africa Exhibit, a new home for cheetahs Warrior and Vongani, who – along with the red pandas, meerkats, snow leopards, penguins and a croc called Shrek! – are expected to be big drawcards this summer.
Visit billabongkoala.com.au for details
Throughout the summer holidays, and free with park admission, Wet’n’Wild will be hosting Cinema in the Sand – fun for the whole family with movies screened under the stars at 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights during from 1 – 23 January.
Catch great movies under the stars by lounging around on a deck chair or on a beach towel in the sand!
From 19 December – 26 January, enrol your kids at the new Octonauts Training Academy at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary and they’ll learn what it takes to become a member of the crew.
Through engaging hands-on activities, Octonauts cadets will master the specialities of their favourite characters. From being a brave explorer at Kwazii’s Rockpool to taking a close-up look at the underwater world in Dr Shellington’s Research Area – the fun training assignments will bring out the Octonaut in everyone!
Along the way cadets will learn amazing facts about the fascinating real creatures they encounter. There’s even chance to meet Peso or Captain Barnacles in person. Plus, with episode screenings and arts & crafts activities – it’s the ultimate event for Octonauts fans.
The largest theme park in NSW is action-packed and guaranteed to thrill every member of the family – from little ones to mum and dad! A whole day here in the school holidays is just the ticket for super summer fun.
Situated on the South Coast between Wollongong and Kiama, Jamberoo Action Park is just a couple of hours drive south of Sydney, why not combine a beach getaway with a Jamberoo Family Pass?
Across Sydney Living Museums’ properties during the summer school holidays, kids can step through time and make their own colonial bush huts, hunt and gather fresh produce to craft refreshing summer drinks, or direct and shoot their own blockbuster with clay characters.
Enjoy a family tour of one of the museums and historic houses … there’s something to suit every family, with locations at Elizabeth Farm, Rouse Hill House & Farm, Vaucluse House, Elizabeth Bay House and Meroogal.
For full details visit sydneylivingmuseums.com.au
Thredbo’s School Holidays Adventure Festival takes place at Thredbo resort from 24 December 2015 – 10 January 2016.
The festival line-up is inspired by adventure and the great outdoors, offering endless entertainment for every member of the family over the school holiday period. In Thredbo, the kids are guaranteed to get active, connect with nature and have the adventure of a lifetime as they explore the incredible Snowy Mountains region.
There’s too much happening to list, so visit thredbo.com.au and plan your mountain holiday fun!
It’s smiles and laughter all round, now the new multi-million dollar Tamworth Regional Playground in Bicentennial Park is open! The state-of-the-art facility caters for all ages and all abilities and has an amazing range of equipment.
The playground includes a bike track, junior and senior fitness circuits, embankment slides, dual flying fox, sandpit, rhythm wall, Touchwood Totems, spinner and climbing equipment. And the star attraction is the Skywalk – a 9.1m high structure with three giant slides and four towers … it’s the biggest in the southern hemisphere!