I'm a freelance writer living on Sydney's north shore. I like tea, books and pop music. If I can combine these into a single activity I'm a happy man.
Top 5 Sydney Easter Attractions For Families
As March begins to wind down and brightly coloured foiled wrapped concoctions start to appear in the shops, our minds start to turn towards Easter. For some it is a deeply religious occasion, for some it means an excuse to overeat. Others see it as a guaranteed four days off work, and for many more of you it means "what the @$!ฃ* am I going to do with the kids?" Fear not, if you live in Sydney or plan to visit during the holidays Sydney is bursting at the seams with activities for the whole family that not only the kids will love, but will keep the adults entertained as well. Below is just a small selection of the best events over Easter in Sydney.
Without the Royal Easter Show Easter in Sydney, it wouldn't be well, Easter in Sydney. The show has been pulling the crowds in since 1823 and is the largest event in the whole of Australia (and the sixth largest in the world, fact fans). Often tagged as "where the city meets the country", this year is no exception. There are plenty of farm animals for the kids to meet as well as cats, dogs, rabbits and even reptiles and frogs.
Entertainment this year includes a rodeo, MotoX stunt bikes and Circus Circus, a new show from the famous Ashton's Circus.
Sideshow Alley will be as loud and proud as ever with new attraction Hollywood Horrors promising to take you on a spine-tingling trip to the dark side. Make sure you don't leave without the bane of all parent's life, the showbag. The top showbag for kids this year include ABC For Kids, Arnotts and Thomas The Tank Engine. Showbags start at $1 but be prepared to pay up to $25 for anything substantial.
The show is on from the 5th to 18th April and opens at 9:30am each day. It is held at Sydney Olympic Park. Pre-booked tickets include rail transport to Olympic Park station. Ticket prices are always controversial and this year is no exception. If you pre-book online, Adults start at $33.40 and children at $21.80. Rides are not included and you have to buy ride coupons on site. Coupons start at $1, all rides need at least 6 coupons for entry.
The size of the show makes it slightly overwhelming, so it's best to download a map before you hit the site.
Sydney Easter Parade If you can still move after overdosing on chocolate on Easter Day, get the kids outside and head to Hyde Park in the city for the Sydney Easter Parade. It kicks off at 2pm with an Easter Celebration in the park before 1,000 paraders wend through the city centre starting at 3pm. The route will be along Market, George and Park Streets and the best vantage point is on the corner of George & Park Street. Lots of colour, music and giant inflatables are promised. You have been warned.
If you want to actually appear in the parade, you can. Just register before 30th March on the website. After the parade, the celebrations continue back at Hyde Park with games, music and giveaways. Best of all, it's free!
The Sydney Easter Parade is on Sunday 8th April. It starts in Hyde Park in the city centre at 2pm. Nearest train stations are St James or Museum. For more information go to the website.
Museum Of Contemporary Art (MCA) Fancy a bit of sleuthing to while away the holidays? Get on down to the always fabulous Museum of Contemporary Arts in The Rocks and join the fight to defeat crimes against art. Contemporary Kids: Art Scene Investigation runs from April 10 15 and will be held in the Creative Studios. It is a fun filled detective adventure that all the family can take part in - find hidden secrets in artworks, ponder problems and solve mysteries. You also get the chance to make some family artworks. If you prefer your artwork a little more digital, drop in on April 1 for Digital Mess. Held in the brand new Digital Studio, kids can play with colour, shape and form to create artworks using the latest in touch screen technology.
The MCA is at 140 George Street, The Rocks. Nearest train station and ferry wharf is Circular Quay. Contemporary Kids: Art Scene Investigation runs from April 10-15, you can drop in anytime from 10:30am-4pm. Digital Mess runs on 31st March and 1st April, you can drop in anytime from 10:30am-5pm. Both events are free. More information visit the website.
The circus comes to Darling Harbour over the Easter long weekend in a four day, three night extravaganza. There will be performances in the Big Top along with more intimate side shows, street theatre and buskers throughout the precinct. A giant trapeze will be suspended underneath the Eastern Distributor, where aerialists will perform death-defying stuns. The Carnival of Dreams will be the "Tiny Top" of the festival and will feature magic, games and a coconut shy. Best of all, Hoopla is free during the day with only a small charge for events in the evening.
The Hoopla Festival is on 6th-9th April at Darling Harbour. Friday Sunday 11am 10pm, Monday 11am 6pm. Nearest train station is Town Hall or Wynyard. The festival is free, although some events will incur a small charge after 5pm. The full timetable and prices will be released soon. For more information, visit the website.
The Sydney Family Show
One Show over Easter not enough for you? If the thought of the Royal Easter Show being over for another year fills you with dread, never fear you can always head over to the Sydney Family Show.
Held at the Royal Easter Show's old home Moore Park, the Sydney Family Show runs a whole four days longer than its Royal sister. You might think a Show is a Show is a Show, but the Sydney Family Show has enough variety to make it an event worth going to. There are plenty of animals for everyone to ooh over, and if you like your animals to behave like they do on YouTube you will be in heaven with the Duck Fashion Parade (yes, ducks wearing clothes), the Pig Race and Pig Musical Chairs (tip: they're not very good at it). There are also pony rides and free snake and reptile shows.
The rides are not as bone shaking as the Royal Easter, however they are better value with a 5 hour unlimited ticket for a wide selection of rides starting from $30. Showbags abound, although details and prices have not yet been released. The adults are catered for at the Psychic Show which will be held on the Thursday 12th & Friday the 13th April. Friday is promised to be "very spooky".
The good news about this Show is that entry is absolutely free, which makes it much better value than the Royal Easter.
The Sydney Family Show is held at The Showring, EQ Moore Park. It runs from 5th 22nd April; open 10am-6pm Sunday Thursday and 10am-8pm Fri-Sat & public holidays. There are no nearby train stations but bus details can be found here. There are 2000 car spaces, parking is free for the first two hours before 6pm and rates vary up to $23 for the whole day. For more information go the website.