Last hoorah for the summer on Australia Day weekend
This year, the Australia Day weekend is a 3-day weekend. The Monday following Australia Day is a public holiday. For some, this is a chance to escape the city. For others, though, the city is the place to be, and for good reasons. Over the 3 days, here's an itinerary which will suit the whole family, and is friendly on the budget.
Day 1: Saturday
Sydney Festival runs from 9-26 January, and if you have not checked out its various activities and attractions yet, today is a good day to do that.
First stop is Sacrilege, a life-size inflatable jumping castle for people of all ages. It is the work of Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, and is located at Hyde Park North, next to the Archibald Fountain.
Sacrilege, the Stone Henge as life-size inflatable jumping castle
And if that is not enough for the day, head on to the Sydney Festival website for a variety of things to do and see.
Day 2: Sunday
Australia Day. Today marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Sydney Cove, New South Wales in 1788. Governor Arthur Phillip first raised the Flag of Great Britain at that site. Indigenous people, on the other hand, call this day the 'Invasion Day' and is not a reason for great celebration. This article is not meant to have political signification, however, and Australia Day is celebrated by Australians and non-Australians alike. For immigrants, it is usually the day they swear allegiance to the commonwealth and become Australian citizens, while those citizens already, particularly those born in Australia and did not have to swear an oath to obtain citizenship, have the option to participate in affirmation ceremonies.
For the vast majority, however, Australia Day is a celebration of the Australian way of life, and that means barbies and beaches. The Havaianas Thong Challenge is on again, and it would be fun to witness this event. Head on to Bondi and join the attempt to break the world record, or if that is too late now because it requires registration, you can just relax, sit back and enjoy the sun.
With little kids in tow, Bondi might not be a good idea. Fret not, there's an all-day entertainment hosted by Jimmy Giggle at the Hyde Park. It will be graced by 9.00am – Blinky Bill, Bob the Builder, Blinky Bill, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Angelina Ballerina, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, The Octonauts, and at 3.00pm, yes, The New Wiggles! Check out the Australia Day website for details.
Day 3: Monday
The Sydney Festival runs until Australia Day only, but don't think for one second that there is nothing interesting happening elsewhere. It may be good to wind down at this time after a couple of days of activities, particularly that school is about to start again. Winding down, however, need not be bland. The Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is on from 24 January to 9 February, and the Lunar Feasts is back! Check out the participating establishments at the Sydney Chinese New Year website and satisfy your palate.