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Top Picks for Father's Day Weekend in Sydney

Home > Sydney > Cheap | Exhibitions | Family | Father's Day | Free | Lists
by Lionel (subscribe)
Join me as I travel, play, eat, live and work in cities and places around the world.
Published September 2nd 2014
The best Free & Affordable ways to spend quality time with dad



Conventionally, Mother's Day gets all the hype and attention while Father's Day takes the backseat. However according to research firm IBISWorld, there will be more spending on dads this year in Australia for Father's Day. This means more cosmetics and grooming products, footwear, clothing and accessories, tools, hardware and electronics up to a tune of $731.7 million and an average of $51.60 by Australians on their dads. Some $176.7 million will be spent on Father's Day lunches and dinner alone. While buying a present is great, it can sometimes be nerve-wrecking to find stuff that meets dad's interests. Instead of the usual gifts and meals this year, here are my top picks which offer you and your family FREE and affordable ways to enjoy time with dad on Father's Day weekend in Sydney. Here's wishing your dad a very 'Happy Father's Day'.

For the 'Homes & Garden' dad

Australian Garden Show Sydney 2014

Australian Garden Show Sydney
Photo courtesy of Australian Garden Show Sydney


What better place to bring your 'Homes & Garden' dad than the 2014 Australian Garden Show Sydney at Centennial Park on Father's Day. There are lots happening to get dad all excited including a range of designer gardens by leading Australian and international landscape designers, spectacular floral installations and meeting with industry experts like Don Burke, Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Myles Baldwin. Best of all, you can get FREE admission if you're under 15 years so its just paying for dad's ticket. For more information on the event and ticketing, check out the website or phone 02 8302 3800

Dates: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm

Venue: Centennial Park, Centennial Park, NSW 2021 Centennial Park 2021

Cost: Adult $40, Children (15 18 years) $15, Senior $30

Website: www.australiangardenshowsydney.com.au

Museum of Sydney Homes of 1950s

museum of sydney
Photo courtesy of Sydney Living Museums


Take dad on a visit to the Museum of Sydney, where he can draw inspiration from the 1950s for his home designs and improvements on Father's Day. The 1950s was the great era of do-it-yourself home building in Sydney. There are architectural floor plans, vintage home publications and historical photographs that reflect the open plan design of that era and perhaps reflects dad's hope and aspiration as an owner builder. Free entry with admission. For more information, phone: 02 9251 5988

Dates: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm

Venue: Museum of Sydney, Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets Sydney 2000

Cost: Admission Adult $10, Child/Concession $5, Family $30

Website: www.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/exhibitions/dream-home-small-home

For the 'Adventurous' dad

Fathers' Day High at Sydney Tower Eye

sydney tower eye
Photo courtesy of Sydney Tower Eye


Instead of going for a walk in the national parks or on the beach with dad, take him to the highest walk in Sydney. The venue for the city's 'Yoga in the Air', the Sydney Tower Eye offers an unsurpassed view of the city from 268 metres above street level. To help you celebrate Father's Day this year, the Eye is offering all dads FREE admission if he is accompanied by a full paying customer and a special voucher on 7 September.

sydney tower eye
Photo courtesy of Sydney Tower Eye


You can also upgrade your visit on the day to SKYWALK and head outside for a 45 minute guided tour around the top of the Sydney Tower Eye. To treat your dad to a FREE adventure with heights and 360 degree panoramic views of the city below, simply download the Father's Day voucher here and follow the instructions. For more details on timing and pricing, phone: 02 9333 9222

Date: 7 September

Opening Hours: 9am 9:30pm

Venue: Sydney Tower, 100 Market Street Podium level Sydney 2000

Cost: Free for dad

Website: www.sydneytowereye.com.au

For the Artsy dad

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2014

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Photo courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales


Dad may not be in the running to win any of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes but he can surely enjoy the range of works and rub shoulders with fellow art enthusiasts and artists at this annual exhibition of significance to the local art community. First awarded in 1921, the Archibald Prize is one of the country's most prestigious and awarded to the best portrait painting. The best painting of the Australian landscape or figure sculpture is awarded the Wynne Prize, while the Sulman Prize is awarded to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media. Dad can also vote for his favourite portrait in the People's Choice award at the exhibition. For more information, phone: 02 9225 1744.

Dates: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm

Venue: Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road The Domain Sydney 2000

Cost: Adult $12, Family $34, Concession $10

Website: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/archibald-wynne-sulman-prizes-2014/

Go French at Museum of Contemporary Art

Annette Messager: Motion / Emotion
Annette Messager: Motion / Emotion / Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Instead of breaking the piggy bank for an art trip to France, take dad to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia for a FREE exhibition of works by internationally renowned French artist, Annette Messager. This exhibition is an initiative of the Embassy of France to Australia. Annette's is well known for her drawings, books, photography, sculpture and installations that employ everyday materials and objects. Dad will particularly enjoy the large kinetic installations with mechanical and inflatable elements and other works from the early 1970s to the present. You can also take dad on a FREE guide tour of Annette's exhibition on 6 and 7 September at 11am and 1pm or watch a FREE film screening at 2pm on 6 September picked by Annette. For more details, phone: 02 9245 2400.

Dates: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm

Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street The Rocks 2000

Cost: Free

Website: www.mca.com.au/exhibition/annette-messager/

For the 'Top Gear' dad

Auto Obsession at Powerhouse Museum

1917 Detroit Electric brougham town car
1917 Detroit Electric brougham town car / Photo courtesy of Powerhouse Museum


If you're looking for one of best and most affordable way to make your auto enthusiast dad who can't miss an episode of 'Top Gear' happy on Father's Day, then take him on a trip to see the extraordinary car collection at the Powerhouse Museum. Your dad will be amazed by over 25 restored and original historic cars out of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences' vault and the largest collection of Matchbox cars in Australia. Some of the highlights include NSW Governor Sir Roden Cutler's official car used between 1966 and 1981 and the super-rare, one of only 3 surviving Sheffield Simplex luxury tourer. Entry is FREE with general admission. For more information, contact the Museum at phone: 02 9217 0111

Dates: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm

Venue: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street Ultimo 2007

Cost: Admission $15 adult, $8 child/concession, $38 family

Website: www.powerhousemuseum.com

For the "Cultural' dad

moon festival market city sydney
Photo courtesy of Market City


With this year's Mid-Autumn Festival sharing the same date as Father's Day, this is a rare opportunity to celebrate both occasions at one of the city's iconic shopping mall. Market City, best known for its large Asian supermarket, Asian food courts and factory outlets, will come alive with its FREE Moon Festival on 6 and 7 September with a daily schedule of entertainment, food and shopping. Nova FM will present to help with games, prizes and giveaways.

moon festival market city sydney
Photo courtesy of Market City


The celebrations would not be complete without traditional Dragon and Lion dancing. This year, Market City has secured 2 of the country's best dance troupes, Jin Wu Koon and Chinese Youth League to deliver live performances including the traditional lion and dragon dances and dances on 3-metre high poles. For more information, phone: 02 92888900

Dates: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 10am - 7pm (Performances 12pm to 5pm)

Market City Shopping Centre, 9-13 Hay Street Haymarket 2000 Haymarket 2000

Cost: Free

Website: www.marketcity.com.au/events/e/moon-festival-2014-140823

For the 'Sightseeing' dad

Captain Cook's Fathers' Day Special Cruises

captain cook cruises sydney
Photo courtesy of Captain Cook Cruises Australia


If dad enjoys a relaxed cruise on the Sydney harbour with a enjoyable meal, then check out the Captain Cruises' Father's Day Specials for the family on 7 September. You can select the Breakfast Cruise at a special price of $45 for adults (normal $55) and only $10 for each child (5 to 14 years) accompanied by an adult. The Buffet Lunch Cruise offer sightseeing and seafood for adults at $65 (normal $77) and only $10 for each child (5 to 14 years) accompanied by an adult. The Long Lunch Cruise is held on the upper deck of flagship Sydney 2000 and features a 3-course lunch at $75 for adults (normal $88) and $57 for children (5-14 years). For details on departure times and locations, check out the website or phone: (02) 9206 1111

Date: Sunday 07 September 2014

Venue: Captain Cook Cruises, No. 6 Jetty Circular Quay 2000

Website www.captaincook.com.au/sydney-harbour-cruises/whats-on-in-sydney/fathers-day/

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Dad's Special Offer

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Photo courtesy of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium


Located on Darling Harbour is one of the world's largest aquariums with over 700 different species and 13,000 animals. During your visit to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, you can enjoy 14 different themed zones and see many popular marine animals like the dugong, little penguins, platypus, sharks and rays. To help you celebrate Father's Day this year, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is offering all dads FREE admission to the attraction if he is accompanied by a full paying customer and a special voucher on 6 and 7 September. To treat your dad to a FREE fun-filled day at the Aquarium, simply download the Father's Day voucher here and follow the instructions. For more details, phone: 1800 199 657

Date: 6 and 7 September

Opening Hours: 9:30am - 7pm daily (Last entry at 6pm)

Venue: Sydney Aquarium, 1-5 Wheat Road Aquarium Pier Darling Harbour 2009

Cost: Free for dad

Website: www.sydneyaquarium.com.au
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When: Father's Day weekend
Where: Various venues around Sydney
Cost: Free & affordable
Your Comment
Great ideas. Need a Melbourne list
by Jeni Wilson (score: 3|1831) 1484 days ago
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