Last week we headed down to Sydney with our one year old. Despite the fact my husband and I lived in Sydney for many years, we never lived there with a baby! So we went on a bit of a mission to find some great things to do with our little one year old toddler that we’d all enjoy!

We adored the Sydney Sealife Aquarium and loved having a picnic by the harbour. You can’t go past the beaches for some good free fun too!

If you’re heading to Sydney with a toddler, here are my top picks for entertaining a toddler in Sydney while making the most of your holiday!

1. Taronga Zoo.

Yes, a bit obvious but it’s number 1 for a reason! A 1 year old has just reached that age where they know animals are alive. Animals are fun and cute and different. My little girl squeals and flaps her arms until she is allowed to pat every cat and dog she sees on our morning walk. She’d pat the ducks and birds too if she could catch them, so any adventure where she can see lots of animals is top on our list of fun times. The zoo is fabulous for little people who can’t get enough of animals. Your toddler will also enjoy the ferry ride over!

Hot tip – if you have a little cheap stroller, bring that instead of the pram, that way you can carry it when they don’t want to be sitting, but you still have a stroller to push them in when it gets too much.

2. The Grounds in Alexandria.

There’s a pig named Kevin Bacon and kids are invited to help feed him on Tuesdays and Thursday. Plus there are always gorgeous little farm animals around for the kidlets to enjoy!

Hot tip – get there early if you want to avoid crowds.

3. The Sydney Sealife Life Aquarium.

Right down in Darling Harbour, when we were in Sydney last week, we took our little 1 year old to the aquarium and she had a blast! She loved watching the fish swim around in the tanks with all their beautiful colours. She went nuts over the fairy penguins and watched the stingrays in wonder. They also have an Octonauts kiddy section and a fun little touch pool where little ones can feel the starfish, coral and other creatures of the sea. Fun stuff!

4. The Sydney Wildlife Zoo.

Next door to the Sealife Aquarium is the Wildlife Zoo. Not quite as good as Taronga, but its better to visit in bad weather and it’s a little more convenient if you’re short on time.

5. The Powerhouse Museum.

So many touchy feely, sound making, light flashing, moving part exhibits to explore. From Babies to adults, there’s something for kids of all ages!

6. The Botanic Gardens.

We had a little picnic down on the harbour front under a gorgeous big tree. Our little koala loved crawling over the soft grass. She was particularly taken by a rather curious ibis who decided it wanted our lunch as much as we did. The koala had a ball trying to catch it.

7. Beach baby – and by that, I mean all of them!

I find the quieter beaches like Tamarama or the Northshore beaches a bit more family friendly than the crowds at Bondi. Manly also has a lovely little sheltered cove near the ferry terminal with soft sand and no waves, great for the really little ones. My 1 year old had a ball in Manly picking up handfuls of sand and dropping them down the back of my shirt. Yay!

8. Gather on the Greens Café in Camperdown

So this one is a little obscure, but its a little café in Camperdown near the RPA Hospital, they have picnic blankets you can take into the lovely park the café fronts and they’ll bring your order out for some picnic-ing fun.

9. Bubbabar in Leichhardt.

Their slogan is ‘give mummy a break’…. who doesn’t love that!! Take a bus or light rail from the city over to Leichhardt in Sydney’s Inner West and you can go to this different and surprising café! It’s a ‘playcafe’ where they employ people whose sole job is to entertain your child. There are costume characters, a library full of books for little people and a whole toddler and kids menu! Best thing, it’s free entry! They have 3 sessions a day where your kids can participate in toddler friendly activities while you sit back and relax. There’s a small minimum spend so your child can participate, but a coffee and cake will get you there. Totally worth it!!

10. Ride the Ferry.

It’s something to do with the splashing water and moving scenery but our little koala loved travelling across the water. Just be careful to not let them climb over the edge!

What’s your favourite toddler activity? SHARE with us in the comments below.

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  • The Zoo is always an awesome place for kids of all ages.


  • Just looked up Bubbabar and it’s permanently closed. Such a shame as I think my little girl would have had fun here.
    Thank you for the list. Had forgotten about the powerhouse so will need to book in a visit soon.


  • I hope our borders stay open so we can do all these amazing things


  • We are visiting Sydney in a few months with our Daughter so this is a great itinerary


  • We’ve been thinking about a trip to the Zoo & Aquarium, so thanks for theses little tips we’ll definitely look into it soon now.


  • I’m planning a trip to Sydney with the kids. I’ve always wanted to go to Taronga zoo.


  • Sydney is always a great place to visit – nothing better than a ride on the Sydney ferries or maybe the Hovercat or whatever it’s called these days. Great fun.


  • Sounds great, lots of fantastic ideas.


  • the ferry would be cool too. i would like to visit there!


  • the zoo is always a winner. i am glad to see that this is a great list of things to do there!


  • Lke hd


  • I love the zoo, can’t wait for my son to be old enough to appreciate it.


  • I’d add some fantastic playgrounds to this list. Sometimes it’s just nice not to drop a ton of money and go and have a picnic and let the kids play. We love these parks: Blaxland riverside park, Putney park, Winnererremy Bay park, King George park constellation playground, Grant reserve playground in Coogee.

    • Thanks for the list of playgrounds too!


  • Thanks for the Sydney list – always love extra ideas.


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