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13 Nov 2019

Best things to do outdoors in Sydney this summer

Sydney is one of the best cities in the world all year round but it is really something special in summer as there is always so much to see and do. Our botanic gardens are no exception!

Throughout summer the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah have some great events and activities catering for adults through to seniors, kids and families.
We have hand-picked the best things you can do this summer from Sydney Harbour to the mountain tops.

Get festive

December kick starts the festive season and we are celebrating Christmas with a themed markets on Sunday 15 December at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. The Garden’s monthly Eat Shop Love Markets will be transformed with roaming carollers, Santa photo booth, kids’ activities, Christmas crafts and more.
As a part of our Sustainable Living Series, Merchant & Green will teach you how to make your own Christmas Wreath at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. In this two hour class we will cover all the basics of wreath decorating, including weaving and wire work. The class is suitable for beginner level and ages 16+.

Woolworths Carols in the Domain also returns for its 37th year of this star-studded Christmas celebration. Come early to enjoy fun and activities from 12 noon or at twilight for the main event, at a family-friendly time of 7.45 pm.

Christmas Markets at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

Get cultured  

Sydney has a rich, cultural and significant history that makes up the fabric of our great city and we have some great tours available to tell these stories.
You can’t go past the Aboriginal Heritage Tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. The tour is 1.5 hours in length and you will learn all about the Cadigal people – the traditional owners of the Sydney city area. Eat Australian Bush Foods as you walk, talk and explore plant uses, culture, artefacts and more.

Learn more about all the different talks, tours and workshops on at the Garden here.

Aboriginal Heritage Tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Get on the road  

We know how hard it is to plan a road trip that will please everyone, so we’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you. See a different side to the Blue Mountains by visiting the beautiful Bells Line of Road which retraces a pathway used by the Aboriginal Peoples of the area before colonial settlement. 

Bells Line of Road is jam-packed with places to see and things to do. The pit stops we’ve chosen for you are all centred on this historic road, which weaves its way through fertile farmland, quaint towns and cool climate Gardens.
Whether you’re looking for fun ways to keep the kids happy, dramatic scenery and day tours, or a romantic weekend retreat, Bells Line of Road is your passport to the perfect getaway only 90 minutes’ drive from the city. Find out more here.

Blue Mountains Road Trip

Get the best NYE seats  

Ring in 2020 with the perfect position on Sydney Harbour to see the best fireworks display in the world. The Sydney Garden offers five spectacular events to suit every person, family and budget.
The Domain also has a first in best dressed public viewing area which opens to the public at 10 am on New Year’s Eve. Find out more about each of the events here.

New Year's Eve at the Gardens, Sydney

Get the kids to an outdoor theatre  

If your kids love a show or theatre don’t waste the summer away indoors when we have some great new outdoor options to choose from. Teddy Bear’s Picnic kicks off the season on Sunday 1 December at the Sydney Garden. Bring along your teddy, favourite goodies and a picnic blanket to enjoy a morning of interactive game and songs. If you miss it don’t worry, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan will host the show also on 16 February.
I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas is a hilarious Christmas story with two cheeky elves, Elfis and Elvin, visiting the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney on 23 December. They will have the whole family laughing and singing as they battle the harsh Aussie environment to make sure Christmas happens.

The Garden is also hosting the Sammy and Shellie – Pirates and Mermaids Garden Theatre Show on 13 & 14 January. This outdoor theatre takes a look at the world of underwater plants, otherwise known as algae, and teaches kids the importance of oceans. Even better is that we recommend kids dress up as their favourite pirate or mermaid for the show!

Samme and Shellie Outdoor Theatre Show

Get to an outdoor gig 

There is nothing better than attending an outdoor gig in summer and we host some of the most popular outdoor music festivals on the Sydney calendar. 
Don’t miss Sydneysider’s fave New Year’s Day event held in the Domain, Field Day, headlining some huge international names including Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, Disclosure and Antony & Cleopatra. View the full lineup here.

Field Day in the Domain, Sydney

Find out more

There is so much to see and do this summer in Sydney. Find out more what's happening in our botanic gardens here:

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