Families on the North Shore are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do, so it’s easy to fall into habits and visit the same places over and over again! We’ve put together a list of five of the most out-there new things to do (some that are only around in the next few months!) so pop these in your calendar and make a date to have some new experiences with the kids!
1. Squirrel Monkey Exhibition at Taronga Zoo, Mosman
If your kids already go wild for the animals at the zoo, the new Squirrel Monkey exhibit will take their excitement to the next level! The clear glass display lets you watch the cute critters clamber around the trees and ropes, and in mid-December the immersive aspect opens so you can wander along a boardwalk while the monkeys swing and chatter above you! Then spend the rest of the day visiting your favourite animals, like the giraffes, elephants and the ever-popular meerkats.
- Cost: Adults $41-$46, children $23-$26
- Address: Bradley’s Head Road Mosman
- More info: Taronga Zoo website
2. Connect with Everything at Museum of Contemporary Art, Circular Quay
Taking the kids to an art exhibition can be a big ask. The artworks can go over their heads, and walking through the large galleries can be tough on little legs- and of course, loud kids and serious art critics don’t always mix. But Connect With Everything is the perfect kid-friendly exhibition. There’s a FREE family room where kids can create paper art works and an interactive exhibition which uses their movement and sound to create line drawings. But inside the gallery is where the real magic happens, with a whole exhibit of LED lighting. Wander through a huge, hypnotic room lit with hundreds of blue bulbs, while a cosier room is set with dim red lights has slouchy beanbags so kids can lie back and gaze at the wonder above. Other attractions that will fascinate include an aquarium full of live fish powering more lights and walls of colourful, blinking rainbow colours.
- Cost: Family room free, adult $22, child free (conditions apply)
- Address: 140 George Street, The Rocks
- More info: Museum of Contemporary Art website
3. Spotlight Prowls at Centennial Parklands
One for families with kids aged five and up, the Centennial Parklands Sydney runs walks after sundown where kids can ‘spotlight’ animals like brushtail possums, microbats and tawny frogmouths and the grey-headed flying fox. Running through December, January and February, the tours are led by park rangers who also are equipped with ‘bat detectors’ to help find the flying creatures in the dark!
- Cost: $19 per person
- Address: Centennial Park, Robertson Rd Gates
- More info: Spotligt Prowl Website
4. Little Darlings Night Owls Kids Film Festival, Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour runs many programs for kids under its Little Darlings banner, and the Night Owls Film Festival is one of the best! The program shows FREE movies suitable for all members of the family, plus some crowd-pleasing superhero flicks. The January program includes a massive 26 feature films and 17 short films, like Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Kung Fu Panda 3, Zootopia and Pan. Plus, for older kids, there’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Wolverine, Iron Man 3, Thor 2: The Dark World, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- Cost: Free
- Address: Darling Quarter, 1-25 Harbour St, Sydney
- More info: Little Darlings Night Owl Facebook
5. The Beach Art Installation at Barangaroo
Great for bigger kids, and teenagers The Beach is a crazy art installation immersive experience made of 1.1 million recyclable polyethylene balls, poured into a pit to make a 60-metre wide ocean! You’re allowed to ‘take a dip’ in any of the ticketed sessions in January (all-ages ticket session or the 18+ only sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings) or just turn up and try your luck!
- Cost: Some ticketed sessions for $15, or otherwise free
- Address: The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve, Hickon Road
- More info: The Beach Website
What cool and crazy things are you doing with the kids this summer? Comment below with any other ideas!