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Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery Road, The Domain

(02) 9225-1744

Cost: Free, except for special exhibits

Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Every Sunday afternoon at 2:30, families can enjoy special performances on various topics, including art appreciation, dance and storytelling. During school holidays, the museum schedules storytelling and performances, often in mime or Aboriginal dance, for children aged 6-12. Children can also participate in occasional hands-on art workshops.

 

The Australian Museum

6 College Street

(02) 9320-6000

Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For children under 5, Kids Island is gaily decorated with a model hot-air balloon and features a slippery side and a shipwrecked boat with interesting cubbies to explore. The museum's dinosaur exhibit appeals to children aged 5-12. A Science and Discover Room, with microscopes, specimens and reference books, allows children to conduct their own "research."

 

The Powerhouse Museum

500 Harris Street

(02) 9217-0111

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The museum's many interactive displays are geared to peak the interest of smaller children. A NASA space station will entice their older siblings. Occasionally, the museum offers supervised children's activities from crafts to storytelling, free with entry

 

Sega World

Darling Walk, Darling Harbour

(02) 9273-9273 (note: this number is correct)

Admission charged.

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Children love the virtual-reality underwater trek and outer-space war games offered by this high-tech indoor theme park. Rides include  dodgem cars, a roller coaster, and a haunted house that lets adventurous children hunt ghosts with a ghost-zapper. An arcade is populated by over 200 video games, and the Magic Motion Theatre requires viewers to strap into their seats for a wild sensory ride.

 

Australia's Wonderland

Walgrove Road, Rooty Hill

(02) 9830-9100

Admission charged.

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with occasional later hours on summer Saturdays

Featuring more than 80 rides in seven "fantasy lands," Australia's Wonderland guarantees screams from the Space Probe, a free-fall plummet of 23 stories that reaches speeds in excess of 75 mph. Kids can cool off at The Beach, a manmade stretch of sand complete with waterslide.

 

Luna Park

Milson's Point

(02) 9922-6644

Hours: Rides open weekends and school holidays; call for seasonal hours

Built in 1935, modeled after Coney Island's Luna Park and set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour, this is an energetic amusement park that features a variety of classic rides. Visitors enter beneath the ghastly, grinning face of a painted clown, who has evolved alongside the park's collection of attractions.

 

Taronga Park Zoo

Bradley's Head Road

(02) 9969-2777

Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission charged.

Taronga lets children visit up close with some of Australia's most spectacular and exotic creatures - native koalas, of course, but also kangaroos, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and wombats.

 

Centennial Park

Oxford Street, Paddington

(02) 9331-5056

Cost: Free

Hours: Daily, but hours change seasonally

Rent children's bikes and rollerblades to help youngsters burn off excess energy in the park's beautiful setting. A nearly Equestrian Center offers horseback rides, and guided nature walks are available during school holidays.


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