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18 August, 11am - 3pm

Living Laboratory - a free Outdoor Festival of Science

Join us for a huge outdoor event to celebrate the environmental sciences!
Explore the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to get hands-on with science experiments, explore behind-the-scenes, visit state-of-the-art science facilities and use scientific equipment! 

Download the full program here!*

Plus don’t miss the Closing Party for Wild Thing exhibition at Lion Gate Lodge, part of Living Laboratory where we'll be celebrating all the feathered, fluffy, scaled, and slimy creatures within the Botanic Gardens with a range of activities for the whole family, including meeting Australian animals, Food with Friends Cafe, face-painting, and more.


18 August, 11am - 3pm


Lawns near the Learning Centre
Closest Garden Gate: Woolloomooloo Gate.


Public transport recommended. Limited parking available on Mrs Macquaries Rd

Living Laboratory festival celebrates all the environmental sciences, kicking off from 11am on the lawns at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Set between our NSW Herbarium with over 1.4 million specimens, and our Plant Clinic and Nursery, the festival will have stalls, talks, demonstrations and scientists for you to meet and ask your burning questions. Whether you’re a home gardener or a budding scientist there will be something for everyone. Bring along the whole family for a day of discovery. Free event with ticketed aspects.

  • Living Laboratory village with Royal Botanic Garden scientists and hands-on science stalls
  • Free science talks and demonstrations
  • Food trucks and stalls
  • Free behind-the-scenes tours
  • Children’s activities including fossil-making, face-painting and science experiments
  • Free Plant Explorer activities with Macquarie University students
  • “Wild Thing Exhibition” closing party

As well as providing stunning horticultural displays in spectacular locations, the Botanic Gardens are a place where our world-leading plant scientists are embracing some of the most critical challenges facing humanity today.


Food and beverage
Food vans will be on site for your morning coffee, lunch or afternoon ice cream so you can fuel up and get serious into your science all day long.
Plant sales
Visit the Growing Friends stall for a wide range of potted plants including many plants propagated from the Garden’s living collection. Ask these experienced gardeners your questions about successful planting and propagating a huge variety of plants.
Face painting
Especially designed for Science Week… join the que for a free cheek print or hand designs (small items only, designs strictly limited).

*Program subject to change


Scientists available for interview.
Media opps behind the scenes in laboratories, herbarium both before and on the event day. Science Communication Officer: Vanessa Fuchs, Vanessa.fuchs@bgcp.nsw.gov.au, 0438 892 594


This event is supported by the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Inspiring Australia as part of Sydney Science Festival in National Science Week.