22 Jul 2020

School holiday fun at Darling Harbour that won’t break the budget

It's school holiday season and that means you'll need budget-friendly kids activities. What's on in Sydney's Darling Harbour that won't break the bank?
School holiday fun at Darling Harbour that won’t break the budget

Kids say they love the school holidays but it’s not long before they start getting bored!

Fill their time without breaking the bank with these fun and free (or almost free) activities in Darling Harbour.


Caterpillar Lane

Caterpillar lane is a truly unique playspace in Harbourside. 40 metres of interactive panels, climbing towers, games, slides, play cars, and classics like Tic Tac Toe and Cat & Mouse.

It’s suitable for children between 1 and 8, with three ‘sections’ of the caterpillar separated by activities designed for each age group. It’s safe, indoors, and free---and it has plenty of rest areas for parents to keep an eye on their kids in comfort!


Darling Harbour Children's Playground

Here’s a question for you: how much do you think it would cost for someone to get access to a playground packed full of climbing ropes, swings, slides, water jets and a 21-metre flying fox? The answer is: Nothing! It’s totally free at Darling Harbour Children’s Playground.

It’s a great spot to take the kids on a warm day and has activities suitable for children from toddlers right up to early teens. That said, we’ve spotted a few adults having fun with the water jets too---we won’t judge.


Darling Square Library

Darling Square Library has all the features you’d expect along with so much more. Younger kids will love the regular storytime and rhymetime sessions, while older children and teens can be challenged by a hands-on workshop in the Ideas Lab.

Of course, your kids can take their learning into their own hands with the 30,000+ items available for borrowing, including books, audio books, DVDs and magazines in a variety of languages. If you’re a NSW resident, most of this is free.



Every night at 6pm, something magical happens in Darling Quarter. Bright lights streak overhead, painting the dark buildings around the Village Greens with splashes of colour in a wondrous display of luminescent art. This is Luminous. On Friday and Saturday nights, control of the display is handed over to the public. It’s easily one of the most unique things to do in Sydney this weekend.

Your kids can simply use their fingers to ‘paint’ colours via interactive terminals on the Village Greens, letting them express their creativity with incredible results. Heading over on any other night is a good idea too, with a pre-programmed display from designer Bruce Ramus demonstrating what the installation is capable of. And the best part? It’s all free.


Chinese Garden of Friendship

The Chinese Garden of Friendship isn’t quite free, but it’s close. Admission is only $8 for an adult and $4 for under-12s---even less if you buy a family ticket. And what you get for that ticket price is incredible.

The Garden is filled to the brim with exotic plants, shimmering koi, and serene pathways. It’s a true inner-city oasis. The kids will especially love the daily fish feeding at 11.30am (currently paused due to COVID), and make sure to come along to one of the multiple tours that take place every day if you’ve got especially inquisitive minds in tow.