Weekends were created to inspire spontaneous smiles, new friendships and fun-filled adventures. Every weekend deserves a Weekend Note. Discover more by subscribing or clicking the 'Like' link at the end of the article.
Sydney's NYE fireworks are Australia's best beginning to a new month and a new year of fun, free things to do. Summer celebrations continue as school holiday activities, gallery and museum exhibitions, Australia Day events, footy and cricket in the backyard or beach and music in the park are enjoyed during long sunny days. If Boxing Day bargains have drained your savings, you can still enjoy these free activities and events.
Thursday 26 January from 6pm to 9.15pm Spectacular Fireworks at Darling Harbour. From 6pm, enjoy Indigenous music and dance, dragon boat racing and inspiring stories from NSW Australian of the Year recipients. At 9pm, complete your celebration of our national day with an exciting display of fireworks fused with a digital light and sound show.
Thursdays 1pm - 3pm Community Gardening at the Reg Murphy Community Centre 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point. Get green thumbs as you help create a delightful indoor community garden, making friends with the locals and relieving the stress of modern life. You'll learn about the best indoor flowers and plants and how to make them thrive with beautiful colours and fragrances.
Saturday 14 January 2017 from 8pm to 10pm Symphony Under the Stars at the Domain. Enjoy classical music beneath the night sky with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing works by Adams, Mozart, Elgar and more. Bring a picnic hamper and join your friends for an open-air evening of bliss. There are also pop-up stalls serving snacks, meals and drinks.
Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 4pm Designing Bright Futures at the Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst. Our best and brightest are on display as the University of NSW's top art and design students showcase their exciting new creations. The exhibition features interactive and spatial designs using a mix of jewellery, textiles, graphics and everyday objects. The students have shared optimistic solutions for our future, including ethically and culturally considered textiles, mental health focused wearables and a therapeutic dementia aid.
Weekdays 9am - 6pm Chairs in Squares. Chill out in one of a 100 candy-striped deck chairs arranged in Sydney Square at Town Hall, Wynyard Park, Paddington Reservoir, Harry Jensen Community Centre and Llankelly Place. Unlike the Titanic's deck chairs, these are perfectly safe places to relax during lunch at the cafe tables or read the free books provided by City of Sydney Libraries.
Tuesday 10 January 2017 from 2pm to 3pm Heroes & Villains craft challenge at the Emanuel Tsardoulias Community Library, New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. 5-12 year-olds can test their special powers, revealing superhero personas with their own mask, shield and custom items to dazzle villains into surrender. Click here to book.
Saturday 7th, 21st at 10am - 3pm Design your own Yoga Mat at 157 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach. Yoga mats in the usual pastel tones of lavender, green or aqua are functional but everyone has them. Add a splash of creativity to your yoga session with a custom design. Brainstorm your idea, sketching onto paper or a digital graphic then join a free 1:1 workshop to learn the steps to make design your yoga mat. Book at Disrupt Sports.
Sundays, 9am to 10.30am Heartfulness Meditation at the Glebe Town Hall, 160 St Johns Road. Find a few moments of peace with meditation focused on experiencing more compassion, kindness and love in our busy lives. Enjoy an optimistic glow as you learn the simple steps to make meditation a part of your life.
Mondays, 1pm to 3pm Recipe Swap at the Reg Murphy Community Centre, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point. Discover the best local afternoon tea recipes then experience cook and enjoy the new dishes, making new friends and enjoying new flavours.
Mondays, 8.30pm to 10pm Comedy Night at the Coogee Bay Hotel. Cosy up with your friends for a chuckle at some of Sydney's funniest comedians. Stay for dinner with a side-order of cracking comedy with 2-1 specials. Book at Dirty Thunder.
Tuesdays, 6.30pm to 8.30pm Play and Script Readings at Mr Falcon's, 92 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. Everyone has a book inside them. Why not turn it into a script? Take the first steps to bring your inner-novel to life on stage or the big screen with these play and script development readings. Bring your script or simply enjoy the readings. Book at The Queen's Move.
Each Saturday and Sunday at 11am Yoga in the Park at the Jessie Street Gardens (next to the Cafe Court and Macquarie Place in Circular Quay). To celebrate the opening of this new green space in the city, enjoy a vinyasa yoga session in the sunlight. All ages can join in, but bring a mat or towel and sunscreen. Arrive a few minutes early to sign-in and receive special discounts to the surrounding cafes and restaurants. Book your free yoga session here.
Australia Day at 10am Festival Village at Hyde Park. Recharge on our nation's birthday with eats, beats and treats on the grass. Hyde Park is licensed for the event so you can enjoy a cool wine, beer or cocktail as you listen to cabaret in the Spiegeltent or bend reality in the house of mirrors.
Friday 6 January from 5pm to 3am Grandmaster Flash at the Soda Factory, 16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills. Celebrate the start of the weekend with the founding father of hip hop, showcasing his pioneering DJ skills of cutting, mixing and switching beats to create immersive sessions of sound. Arrive before 8pm for free entry to hear the first hip hopper to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Each Friday evening Twlight Food Fair at Civic Park in North Sydney. Unwind after the working week with a picnic in the park, watching the sunset over the city while enjoying international flavours and tunes from the pop-up food stalls and live bands.
Each Saturday and Sunday at 11am EXIT at the UNSW Galleries, Corner of Oxford Street and Greens Road, Paddington. As millions of people migrate to new homes across the world, French artists have captured the data of their journeys, creating EXIT, a dramatic visual representation. You're invited to the Australian premiere to consider the social and economic reasons for these migrations in an immersive, 360-degree exhibition using data transformed into a world map, revolving in space.
(by Darling Harbour)
Thursday 26 January 2017 from 11am to 12pm The Wiggles Concert at the Tumbalong Stage in Darling Harbour. Practise your Hot Potato, Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Fruit Salad, Go Santa Go and Henry the Octopus in the Wiggles' first concert for 2017.
Saturday 28 January 2017 from 8pm to 10pm Symphony Under the Stars at the Crescent, Parramatta Park. Enjoy classical music beneath the night sky with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing works by Adams, Mozart, Elgar and a special performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Bring a picnic hamper and join your friends for an open-air evening of bliss. There are also pop-up stalls serving snacks, meals and drinks.
Friday 20 January from 5.15pm to 7.15pm Batman film screening at the Emanuel Tsardoulias Community Library, New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. 7-12 year-olds can join the caped crusader on his crime fighting adventures against the Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, and the Joker in the original 1966 film. Cheer for Batman and Robin as they Kapow, Bam and Biff the baddies. Click here to book.
Saturday 21 January from 8pm to 10pm Opera in the Domain. Enjoy the midsummer night's dream with Australia's finest operatic stars serenading you beneath our own starry night sky. They'll perform the most famous arias from Carmen, The Barber of Seville, The Pearlfishers, La Bohθme, La Traviata and more, ably supported by the Australian Opera Orchestra. Share tasty treats and refreshing beverages from the pop-up stalls lining the Domain during this special annual event.
Saturday 28 January 10am - 12pm Beekeeping Workshop at the Cottage in the Graveyard, Camperdown Cemetery, Church Street, Newtown. Learn the basics of beekeeping with European and native bees, their honeycomb hives and how to harvest your own sweet honey. Click here to book.
Thursday 26 January 2017 from 12.30pm to 12.45pm Red Berets, Qantas A380 and Red Berets over Sydney Harbour at Port Jackson. Watch Australia's best civilian stunt fliers, the Russian Roolettes, performing high precision aerial manoeuvres at over 250 km/h in their Yakovlev Yak-52s. They'll be joined by a mammoth-sized Qantas A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world. Its double decks can carry over 850 passengers but thousands more will watch it sail over Sydney Harbour. The spectacle in the sky will conclude with the Aussie Army's Red Berets parachuting into Sydney with giant Australian flags and coloured smoke trailing behind them.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 3pm to 4pm Indoor Table Tennis at the Pyrmont Community Centre on the corner of John and Mount Streets. Grab a paddle for a hit and a chat at one of 4 table tennis tables. The games are open for all ages but watch out if Forrest Gump arrives. He's a pro.
Tuesdays 7.30pm Music Trivia at the The Royal Albert Hotel on 140 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills. Test your Molly Meldrumesque skills with a series of melodic brain teasers, hosted by Pat McKenzie and Jakson Gray. Settle in with a $10 burger for dinner.
Thursday 26 January from 1pm to 1.30pm Tall Ships Race at Bradleys Head, Mosman. Watch the tall ships of Australia's history sail into Sydney, led by the 19th century rigger, James Craig. The fleet will drop anchor in the Overseas Passenger Terminal so you can get a closer look from 2pm.