Community Events All Across Sydney on Saturday 26th January 2019
Australia Day is the last public holiday before getting stuck into a new school year, so why not make the most of the day? Especially when it falls on a Saturday this year and you don't need to worry about getting up early the next day! We've put together a list of the most family friendly Australia Day events happening in every corner of Sydney.
Have we missed listing a terrific event in your neck of the woods? If so, join the conversation and leave a note in the comments...
If you've always wanted to take the kids into the city to see the fireworks and celebrate on the Harbour, Australia Day is a much better time to do it than New Years Eve. There is live music from Australian artists and water shows at the Opera House and Circular Quay starting from 6:30pm, but best to get there a few hours earlier to get a good spot, You can watch the ferrython and go on board the tall ships between 11 and 4pm, and the fireworks kick off at 9pm.
You can also start your day earlier with younger kids from 11am at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour for the Summer Playground. The Wiggles are performing at a ticketed concert (which is now all booked out) but there are also other children's bands following them and plenty of other entertainment such as the 'True Blue Bush Games' with thong-throwing and watermelon-eating competitions. There's also the free playground and water play area for the kids to enjoy at the Darling Quarter.
Photo c/o Australia Day Council of NSW website
The official family friendly festivities will close at 3pm and the Darling Harbour fireworks display isn't until 9pm, so you may prefer to head home in the afternoon and watch the fireworks on TV.
Dee Why Beach is the best location for Australia Day festivities in the Northern Beaches, with inflatables for the kids to climb, a BBQ breakfast, live music and camel rides on the sand. Similar celebrations are also happening at North Narrabeen and Newport.
And of course, you can jump in the surf at Dee Why, or if you prefer, go to one of the pool parties at Warringah and Manly Aquatic Centres.
From 12noon onwards, join the celebrations in the Hills Shire's most beloved historical farm and parklands. Highlights will include a performance by Hi-5 at 4:45pm, rides all day, sheep shearing, street food, lamington making, face painting, garden games, a photo booth, and of course fireworks to complete the day, at 9pm.
Winner of the longest celebration on Oz Day would have to go to Parramatta. Parramatta Park will be open for a full programme of events from 6am until 9pm.
Photo c/o Australia Day Parramatta Facebook page
It starts with the hot air balloon display from 6am - 9am, the Big BBQ and kids entertainment from 10am, live music and rides throughout the day, and finishes with the second biggest fireworks display in Sydney (after Sydney Harbour), at 9pm.
Held at Jamison Park, this event is being held from 3-8pm and Penrith Council has made sure it won't be too hot, by having a misting tunnel and water play areas to help everyone stay cool. There's also lamington making, games, face painting, inflatable volleyball, scooter and skateboard Demonstrations, live music, an appearance from Peter Rabbit and a traditional Aussie BBQ.
Once the festivities finish up at the park, you can head over to Penrith Panthers for their fireworks show at 9pm (although Panthers will also be hosting their own event during the day which starts at 2pm, if you want to arrive earlier).
If you prefer to spend your Australia Day by the pool, Wet 'n' Wild Sydney are open. Besides the slides, they are also hosting throng throwing competitions, a DJ playing near the wave pool, ice cream and snow cone trucks, and there will be lucky door prizes to win.
From 2:30pm, families can head to Marrickville to enjoy activities such as a jumping castle and slide, the Magic Yellow Bus, food stalls airbrush tattoos and rides. Bring a picnic blanket and stay for the fireworks at 8:45pm.
Two locations in the Sutherland Shire will play host to Australia Day celebrations this year, Cronulla Beach and Blaxland Oval, Illawong in the Menai district.
Cronulla will have live music from 12.15pm to 9pm entertainment, including Christine Anu and Rai Thistlethwayte from Thirsty Merc, plus kids can go for a swim anytime they like.
Entertainment starts a little later at Illawong from 4pm, but there is more to do for little ones, such as giant games, putt putt golf, table tennis and a bubbleologist who will create giant bubbles to play with!