Sydney’s Top 10 Healthy Things To Do With The Kids

Sydney’s Top 10 Healthy Things To Do With The Kids

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So, we’ve made finding ways to entertain the kids a lot easier.  We’ve found ten outings to keep the monsters entertained and more importantly, engaged with something other than a screen. Many of the activities listed are opportunities to take a full day and really explore some of the great things to do around Sydney.

Centennial Parklands

Centennial Parklands really is a kid’s wonderland.  With so many options, it really does deserve a blog of its own (note to self!).  But for now, we’ll just list a couple of things available and you can download a map from the website, or the app to your phone, to check what’s happening each week.  Some of the activities include:

  • Cycling – with the Learners Cycleway for beginners and dedicated cycle lanes and pathways throughout the Parklands, this is a great way to maximise how much you see of the park in a day.
  • Horse Riding – The Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre offers park rides that can go for either a whole or half lap around the park. If the thought of a horse is a little too much for your little one, you can start with a hand-led pony ride.
  • Playgrounds – there are 5 playgrounds within the Parklands. Three are at Centennial Park, 1 at Queens Park and 1 at Moore Park.  Grab a picnic rug, something healthy to snack on and let the kids run riot while you kick back and relax.
  • Rollerblading – Not just a 90s fad, rollerblading is great exercise. Centennial Park’s Grand Drive is perfect for pulling on a pair of skates – it’s 3.6km of low gradient cycle way.  Don’t have a pair of your own?  No problems, you can hire them from Skater HQ.
  • Walking Tour – download the Nature and Wildlife Walking tour app and spend an hour listening to the audio commentary as you walk around. At least the kids will still have an electronic device to listen to!

Gordon’s Bay Snorkelling

An ideal spot for newbies to snorkelling, Gordon’s Bay in Clovelly has crystal clear water protected by an off-shore reef.  Keep a look out for starfish and anemones, gropers, spotted goatfish, cuttlefish and a baby shark or two (the nice kind…without huge teeth!).

Cycle Manly

Manly and the Northern Beaches are a great place to take the bike with a large number of dedicated footpath/cycleways available. The most popular ride is to North Head and once there, have a wander around the attractions including St Patrick’s Estate, North Fort, The Sanctuary, The Quarantine Station and access to Collins Beach.  Whale sightings occur June-July and October-November.

Royal National Park

Just 32km from Sydney City, the Royal National Park is 160 square kilometres of natural beauty to explore.  With over 100km of walking tracks available (ranging from 4.4km to 26km), as well as cycling, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing, there’s bound to be something for you to do when you get there.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

(8+ years)

At some point, if you live or visit Sydney, you should climb the Bridge. Children as young as 8 are able to take part, so long as they are over 1.2m in height and accompanied by an adult. The climb will take somewhere between 90 minutes and 3 hours, depending on the type of climb you choose. Admittedly, it’s not a cheap activity, but it’s definitely one to add to the list of life’s experiences, never to be forgotten.

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens is a great place to take the kids during the school holidays. It’s one of those places that you forget how peaceful and lovely it is, and when you get there, it all comes back to you. There’s plenty of walking to be done as you travel from garden to garden, learning about nature and science. And it’s one of those places where there’s trees to be climbed and grassy hills to roll on and good times to be had.

Penrith Whitewater Stadium

(12+ years)

Most Sydney-siders know that the Stadium was built for canoe/kayak slalom events for the 2000 Olympic Games. But did you know that it is the only man-made white-water course of its kind in the southern hemisphere?  This one is for the older school holidayers, with participants needing to be 12 years or older. Activities at the stadium include white water rafting (guided or self-guided) and white-water kayaking.  If you are looking for something different to do of an afternoon, this one is well worth checking out.

Sydney Olympic Park Archery

A number of school holiday programs run at the Archery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park.  One of the most popular is their Laser Tag.  The kids head to the outdoor battlefield with their laser tag equipment and hide behind blockade bunkers and walls trying to defeat their opponents in a number of different battles. Aged from 7 upwards. If your little one is more interested in the bow and arrow side of archery, they can start with the Little Archers Program for 7-9 year olds. For those aged 10+, they participate in the Kids on Target program.

Urban Jungle Adventure Park

Urban Jungle Adventure Park is for the adrenalin lovers in the family. A great day out for all members, the park is all about high ropes fun and aerial activities. There are four courses and over 50 activities. They range in height from 2m through to 6m and each course finishes with a flying fox to get you back to ground level.  Each course has been designed to get progressively harder, so no one will be standing around yawning. Entry to the park entitles you to 2 hours in the Adventure Park as well as access to the Aquatic Centre.  This way you can go for a climb and then cool down with a swim, on the slides or the rapid river ride.  Participants must be over 1.25cm high and there is an adult to child supervision ration of 1:4.

Treetop Adventure Park

Don’t fancy heading into the city to get your treetop walk on. That’s ok, Treetop Adventure Park has for locations to try your hand at touching the sky (Central Coast, Newcastle, The Hills, Western Sydney).  The self-guided rope courses allow you to get up close and personal with nature.  There are over 100 elevated obstacles including rope ladders, wobbly bridges, tunnels, cargo-nets and zip lines.  There are separate courses for children (3-9) and juniors/adults (10+).  Each session time is 2 hours.  This includes 30 minutes ‘gearing’ and training, with 90 minutes climbing time.  Children can complete the course as many times as they like during their session.

 

Today, our hustle and bustle lives makes it really easy to be busy doing ‘stuff’ but not actually do anything.  Can we suggest for these holidays, you make it your goal to take the kids at least one place new or do something that’s long been on your To Do list? Maybe even go for a ‘Sunday Drive’. No screens, just some old-fashioned “I Spy” and “Are we there yets?” to really recreate the atmosphere of our childhood.  We’d love to hear how you go.

Image: Urban Jungle Adventure Park, Central Coast Australia

Estelle Fallon

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