Can I let you in on a tiny secret? Lately I’ve fallen completely in love again, in love with the city in which I live. I’ve always had a soft spot for it, but lately? Lately it’s been something a little different. Utter city love.
So what do I put this down to? To be honest, I think it’s coming up for some air after years of intense little people parenting. There are countless joyous, beautiful moments that have shaped the person I am today and I’m incredibly grateful for, but there are also moments when it’s a bit of a slog.
While my kids are still pretty young and certainly still need me a lot, things have become a bit more flexible these days. With that flexibility, opens up a more doors in what I can do with my kids, (five hour car trips for weekends away are no longer the prison sentence they once were.)
So what’s this got to do with falling in love with my fair city? Well with the kids, we’ve been playing. Mostly during the weekends but occasionally we also cut loose the military precision of a week day afternoon as well. They are the perfect age for having little adventures fuelled by imagination and nature around them, and living in this stunningly beautiful city by the sea that I’m totally in love with? Well we don’t have far to go.
Here are 3 of some of the best family friendly places to visit in this fair city.
1. Centennial Park
Why you should go? Nature calls
It’s well established by now that kids often don’t get outside enough, Nature Deficit Disorder, it’s most certainly a thing. Antidote? A really simple bike ride or scoot around Centennial Park. Climb a tree, let growing young bodies drape themselves around the top branches of a tree. Go wandering through the swamp, look for possums and marvel at the fruit bats. Run down hills, leap from rocks to rocks, play soccer, fly a kite, collect things, tip toe through the forest- if you are quiet enough you might see a tiny fairy.
Ignore the designated kids playgrounds in Centennial Park, the whole 189 hectares is one beautiful playground just waiting to explored.
2. Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery
Why you should go? Social outing
Cost? Whatever you choose to eat, or just go for a little wander around the medicinal garden that is part of the grounds.
Cafes. We live in a very cafe culture time. Whether you have kids or you don’t have kids, there’s a good chance cafes factor into your life. Coffee obsessed some might say. I’d say well yes, yes I am! Sydney is lucky in that there are countless different types of cafes to choose from. From tiny holes in walls with stools to perch on, to family friendly places with resident animals to entertain the kids. Whatever your coffee cafe wish is, Sydney is bound to grant it.
Cafes also play an important part in being an almost extension of the increasingly decreasing back yard for many families. I could go on and on about the social importance of cafes in big cities, however lets stick to the what’s what, and Kitchen by Mike it is. There’s cake, there’s coffee, and there’s lovely tables overlooking the garden, which is perfect for the kids to explore in.
3. Hornby Lighthouse, Watsons Bay
Why you should go? Imagination kick starter
Hornby Lighthouse is located in the Sydney Harbour National Park, this place doesn’t feel like you are in the city of Sydney. I’ve always had a soft spot for light houses (thank you Enid Blyton) and if this place with its old fortress, cannons, red and white light house, and rocks to leap from, doesn’t ignite a multitude of possibilities for the kids imagination, I would say go seek out some Enid Blyton books quick sticks.
Perfect place for family picnic, a swim at one of the nearby beach coves and a cracking spot to watch the sun go down.
Three very different places to hang out with your family in this beautiful city of Sydney. One for the banishing of any Nature Deficit Disorder niggles, one for a social outing (importantly added coffee for the adults) and one to kickstart little imaginations.
Now the question is…what shall we do next weekend?
This post is part of Voices 2015 and #shareaustralia
Wow, in all my visits to Sydney I’ve never seen Hornby Lighthouse. What a knockout with those crazy stripes! Checked out Kitchen by Mike’s website and it looks incredible – everything they offer would be perfect as a stand-alone venture, but to have it all in the one place is pretty enticing. Their book looks good too (but oh dear, can I justify another cookbook purchase)??
Thanks for the window into your city. Lovely photos, as always!
Thanks Saskia. It’s hard to go wrong with a cute red and white light house.
Kitchen by Mike is such a lovely space, the food is awesome, the setting makes you want to hang our for an afternoon, (plus it’s attached to Koskela and The School!) As for another cookbook purchase, I hear you, oh I hear you.
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Great post Brydie, I have only had a few brief trips to Sydney in my adult life and I loved it and would go back tomorrow if the planets would just align! Kitchen by Mike sounds and looks lovely. I think I could happily spend a day or two just visiting cafes and bakeries in the big city! Your free suggestions are great too…especially for families. Happy days to you x
PS there is another big cafe with gardens etc that I have read about and now the name escapes me. It always looks gorgeous in reviews and photos, do you know the one I mean?
The Grounds you are thinking of Jane. It’s very, very popular for every kind of person, and rightly so it’s beautiful in there. The queues are loco though!
I hope those planets align for you one day, I’d love to take you round to some of our awesome cafes and bakeries.
Yes, The Grounds, I knew you would know!
It’s true that years of intense parenting cause you to see little of your surroundings as you bury yourself in the getting through of every day. Lovely for you to be at that stage where you are coming up for air. Getting outdoors and into non-structured playgrounds is so good for children and it’s something we enjoy in this family too xx
Non structured playgrounds are the BEST.
(ps. Was telling my kids about your little fella the other night, telling them what an awesome runner he is.)
Watson’s Bay — r-e-a-l-l-y? Gosh that’s been done up since I was young (which leaves plenty of time for doing up).
Stunning stunning stunning first photo of Centennial Park Brydie.
Oooh what was it like before Rose? It’s gorgeous. I love that area.
Oh I love this, and totally understand the feeling of coming up for air again 🙂
Sometimes it feels brief, but it’s definitely there 🙂 (Was thinking about you this week lovely.)
Thanks Brydie, a few lovely ideas to add for our next trip to Sydney….we’re also thinking about riding bikes in Lane Cove National Park, which apparently has good paths…
I haven’t ridden in Lane Cove before only walked Beck. I know Kuring-gai is also lovely and would be great (I would think) for bikes too. So many lovely places to explore.
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Some lovely ideas Brydie. When we lived in Wollongong we loved driving up to Bundeena and catching the ferry across to Cronulla and back. Not exactly free, but I don’t think it would be that expensive if you packed a picnic for the day. Prob a good idea with little ones to check on the water conditions. The waves can get quite high. xo
Bundeena is absolutely beautiful and I haven’t been there nearly enough Julie.
Centennial Park – try and go on one of the car free days, if you’re in the area. It makes a difference.
You should be paid for this excellent travelogue Ms Cityhippyfarmgirl. I want to visit Sydney now!
Wow – that’s fabulous. You make Syndey look amazing.
I love Sydney too. It’s gorgeous. I took my kids bike riding today. It’s kind of a big deal, involving a 3 bike rack and a 40 minute drive. It was the first time they’d both been old enough to ride the river bike track and it was heaven. A good age 🙂