What's on for the school holidays

Get the kids out in Sydney these school holidays, with a list of some of the great things to do and see in the city.

Sydney Olympic Park

Kids in the Park winter 2018 means kids of all ages can escape the cold with loads to do indoors as well as out, with 50 activities including free options and a variety of good-value and affordable fun to choose from.

Hosted at various locations across Sydney Olympic Park, the Kids in the Park winter program will run every day of the school holidays, from Saturday 7 to Sunday 22 July.

The program offers something for all young superstars including free Sport Star and Dance Star, through to young gymnasts showing the Gym Sports program what they have got!

Bicentennial Park will be the home to activities for those young, inquisitive and creative minds featuring The Writing Workshops directed by Russell Prize winner, Dr Bernard Cohen. For all young science lovers Fizzics Education will boast more than five workshops for budding scientists to get their hands dirty at Gross and Gory workshop, their minds running wild with the Rockets and Space program and so much more.

Kids can pick-up new techniques (and friends) at a scope of activities like Basketball: MyHoops, Soccer: Wanderers in the Park and Netball Captain’s Class to name a few.

Up-and-coming filmmakers can sharpen their skills at the Digital Filmmaking Workshop and Kids in the Park Film Festival, or kids get amongst Splasher’s Water Playground with an indoor heater letting them swim, splash and slide this winter.

Kids in the Park winter includes regular favourites including free activity options such as Lakeside Birdlife, Waterbirds Origami, Walk and Squawk, Heritage Hunt and The Amazing Chase bike race, as well the and BirdLife Discovery Centre. 

For those overwhelmed by the array of choice, drop into the Kids in the Park Fun Hub at the Armory Wharf near Newington Armory, a one-stop information shop for all of your school holiday fun. Speak to the friendly Sydney Olympic Park staff while the kids enjoy craft, music and sports activities.

While kids enjoy play-time, parents and carers can put their feet up and watch or wonder off for a meal or coffee available at many nearby cafes with parking and public transport facilities nearby.

The Park offers water-play areas, free barbeque facilities, picnic pavilions, look-outs, walkways, playgrounds, cycling tracks, a bird hide and a mangrove boardwalk and a range of indoor facilities ensuring the weather won’t stop all the fun these school holidays at Sydney Olympic Park.

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Bursting with live performances, interactive installations, incredible outdoor adventures and wondrous workshops, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre’s annual Way Out West (WOW) Festival returns this school holidays on Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 July.

From the side-splitting circus antics of the Trash Test Dummies’, to virtual reality and 3D scan workshops, and even a performance that takes place inside a giant bubble, the WOW Festival returns in 2018 with a smorgasbord of activities and entertainment to keep energetic kids, and their parents, engaged all day long.

The WOW Festival encourages artistic explorations in all forms. Theatre, dance, music, literature, food, yoga, workshops and free family fun all come together in this astounding program guaranteed to inspire joy, creativity and curiosity.

The 2018 WOW Festival program features more than 200 chances to experience 35 events and 33 workshops, spread across 11 spaces in and around the Centre, over four days.

The Powerhouse has curated a festival where the majority of activities are free, so effectively you could come to the Festival pack a lunch, stay for the entire day busy with activities and not spend a cent.

For the first time ever, older kids can join in on the WOW Festival action with T-Zone, a dedicated space for 13-15 year olds. T-Zone will feature a stack of events including a roller skating rink, live music program, themed selfie space, 80’s makeovers, and even Parkour workshops.

Here are just some of the highlights of this year’s WOW Festival:

Family Shows

Come and party with stars of ABC KIDS Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band as they celebrate their 10th birthday at Casula Powerhouse. It’s an hour of singing and dancing fun, full of Lah-Lah hits and laughs, and you’re invited!

Winner of 2017 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People, Dignity of Risk is a new contemporary performance the fuses movement and dance with the personal stories of young adults to explore way we see ourselves and the perception we have about others.

Join Dr Hubble for a funny and slightly educational journey into the world of bubbles in Dr Hubble’s Bubble’s. There will be big bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, square bubbles and even an explodabubble!

WOW Festival will premiere a new piece of work by award winning theatre company Urban Theatre Projects, Talk Show Hypothetical. A group of 12 year olds from western Sydney were selected to be a part of this performance. They have been given a hypothetical situation and must grapple with an abstract concept on stage. Come hear what they have to say.

Interactive Installations

Casula Powerhouse’s Turbine Hall is transformed into a chaotic cacophony of colour and sound with artist Rosie Deacon’s Moving Forrest. Trees will spin as kids crawl through this wonderful world, discovering creatures and animals in hidden corners and playing with the vines that run from tree to tree.

In the Marsden Gallery exhibition Reflections of Industry & Nature artist Steve Jannar from Liverpool Art Society has painted some of the wonderful natural areas around Sydney.  Kids can enjoy the artworks by the talented artist as well as try their hand at guessing which trees and plants are included in the smelling station or which birds are on the soundtrack.


Welcome to MAKE: a buffet of collaborative art making for kids and their grown-ups. In MAKE participants are invited to participate in a smorgasbord of activities designed to encourage art and play including, funky felt making, edible jewellery design and giant still life drawing.

Joseph O’Farrell (JOF) in collaboration with Shopfront Arts Co-op welcomes kids and parents to the best dance party ever – but you only have 10 minutes to dance. And dance you will. 10-Minute Dance Parties are a crazy celebration of art and colour, costume and community, and the universal nature of dance!

Experienced home barber Charles Lomu and his team of barbers will take kids through the art of urban style barbering and braiding in a series of workshops called Urban Hair Salon.

Wow also have a range of contemporary art workshops taking place each day of the Festival. Kids can try their hand at clay art, poster making, painting, portraits, drawing and more in these crafty workshops for little ones.

Outdoor Play

Casula Powerhouse has its very own garden and since 2017 it has been growing all sorts of vegetables. The garden is loved and looked after by Lauren who invites kids to join her in a fun program of activities including: painting fence paling that will then be erected around CPAC’s veggie garden, pot planting and decorating, and even a garden and food making workshop where kids will pick their in season vegies and take them to Bellbird’s kitchen to make a yummy dish!

There’s also the wonderful WOW Festival outdoor program where young and old can explore, create, imagine and do everything from daily morning yoga classes, to enjoying story time and playing in a pop-up play space provided by Reverse Garbage!

This is just a tiny taste of a program bursting with creativity and play.

Fratelli Fresh and Bavarian restaurants

Rockpool Dining Group’s Fratelli Fresh and Bavarian restaurants are adding a little magic to the winter school holidays, with a jam-packed schedule of fun-for-all activities and family-friendly dining deals.

Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour, the most recent addition to the Fratelli family, is an ideal destination for family outings. The vibrant Italian food and dining emporium is located below the International Convention Centre Sydney Theatre, adjacent to the Darling Park kids’ playground and water fountain wonderland. A fantastic and free school holiday program at Fratelli Darling Harbour is filled with a rotation of magic shows, face painting, workshops and cooking classes, including kids’ pizza masterclasses and gelato decorating.

These activities run from Saturday 7 July to Friday 20 July and include balloon twisting on Mondays, arts and crafts workshops on Tuesdays, and a reptile show on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, the restaurant will host a playful gelato decorating class, Fridays will see a magician perform wonderful and wacky tricks, while kids will be taught to make their very own pizzas in carefully curated pint-sized masterclasses. 

An expansive kids’ menu, also available at Fratelli’s seven other locations, features cheese and tomato pizza, fish fingers, fritto misto and aioli, nonna’s meatballs in tomato sauce and variety of gelato flavours. Every day between Saturday 7 July and Sunday 22 July, children under 12 can eat for free from the kids’ menu from 12pm and 3pm, at all Fratelli locations. The offer entitles up to four children to eat free with a full-price paying adult.

Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour has a spectacular dessert counter, which is a huge drawcard for family outings. Treats include tiramisu, cannoli, panna cotta, biscotti, banoffee torta, and all 16 flavours of Fratelli’s famous house-made gelato. Customers can choose one scoop, two scoops, three scoops and family friendly tubs in 500ml and 1-litre sizes.

Meanwhile, The Bavarian and Munich Brauhaus have ramped up their family-friendliness this winter, inviting kids to eat for free every day of the week from Monday 25 June to Friday 31 August between 11am and 3pm. The deal allows one child under 12 to eat for free from the kids menu with a paying adult.

A diverse kids, or “kinder,” menu features mac n cheese balls, chicken schnitzel, The Little Brat hot dog, grilled cheese sandwiches and a classic selection of haus-made gelato in a trio of flavours: chocolate crumble, vanilla and strawberry. Families can also head down to The Bavarian and Munich Brauhaus for free face painting on Sundays.

Other Fratelli Fresh restaurants are located at Alexandria, Bridge Street, Crows Nest, Entertainment Quarter, Macquarie Street, Walsh Bay, and Sydney Westfield. The Bavarian can be found at Castle Hill, Rouse Hill, the Entertainment Quarter, Chatswood, Bondi, Manly Wharf, World Square, Miranda, Penrith and Parramatta. The Rocks is home to Munich Brauhaus.