What to Do in Sydney in Winter When the (Vivid) Lights Go Out?

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May 27, 2015
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August 15, 2017

What to Do in Sydney in Winter When the (Vivid) Lights Go Out?

Ultimately Sydney | Winter Sydney Tours | Gourmet Food Tours Sydney | Sydney Walking Tours | Small Group Tours

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with yourself when you’re stuck in Sydney in Winter.

We don’t have the best weather here from June through till September, with a total lack of snow (for the past 181 years) meaning that  sledding and snow-ball fights are pretty much out of the question.

So, it’s no surprise that for more than 2 million Sydneysiders who attend the world’s biggest light festival each year, Vivid Sydney is the pinnacle of an otherwise chilly, flat season.

But now Vivid is over, and Winter is still here, what are we supposed to do for kicks in the Harbour City?  Bunker down on the sofa and slip into a Netflix coma until October?  Well yes, maybe a little – but there is so much more to see in Sydney in Winter than just your flatscreen TV…

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Sydney in Winter.

  • Ice Skating

Photo Credit: Bondi Ice Skating

The most famous venue (just metres from where the die-hards are still surfing) is the Bondi Beach temporary rink, but there are several other less-crowded options including a permanent indoor rink at Canterbury and more pop-ups at Cathedral Square (CBD) and Parramatta’s Winterlight Festival.

  • Pubs with Log Fires and Comfort Food

Sydney does pubs well, though ours tend to be more of the ‘sunshine in the beer garden’ variety.  For winter-friendly pubs with roaring fires and hot comfort food on the menu, we recommend Rozelle’s 3 Weeds, Paddington’s Lord Dudley as well as a cluster of cosy options in The Rocks including The Hero of Waterloo and the Lord Nelson.

  • Gourmet Food Tours

With our bikinis and boardies firmly in storage, Winter is the time to truly indulge – VIP-style.  Join us on one of our three fantastic food tours (including our brand new Sydney’s Hottest Precincts tour) this Winter and tick off loads of Sydney ‘must-eats’ in one day!  From truffled pasta to fresh-from-the-wok Vietnamese rice paper rolls, the delicious, warm antidote to a chilly Sydney day will be waiting for you at every destination.

  • Galleries and Museums

As an entertaining and feel-good indoor option, this one’s a bit of a no brainer and the galleries and museums of Sydney know it.  Throughout Winter they put on a fabulous array of exhibitions to suit all interests and ages… our favourite?  The Dino-Snore sleepover event at The Australian Museum in July.

Photo Credit: Holey Moley

This new indoor fun palace has recently opened in the old Newtown Social building on King St, and it looks seriously awesome.  Combining Putt Putt golf, arcade games and a COCKTAIL BAR, all in one cosy glitter-ball lit destination?  Sheer genius at only $16.50 a head.

  • Mulled Wine

What better way to warm up from the inside (and feel like you’re in a gorgeously ‘lost-in-time’ European village) than to drink something both heated AND alcoholic in the form of Mulled Wine?!   In one of those dark, cosy wine bars you feel guilty about frequenting when the sun is beaming down in December?  Here’s where to find Sydney’s finest this Winter.

  • Bushwalks and Parks

The flip-side of having a merely cold (and not snowy) Winter is that we often have mild days which are perfect for outdoor pursuits.  Take a hike on one of our nature trails,  ride your bike around Centennial park or simply grab a coffee and a book, and head to a sunny corner in your nearest green space to feel the benefit of all that unexpected Vitamin D!

Whether you DIY, or leave the experts (i.e. us) to handle the finer details, a day spent in the bracing air and epic views of the Blue Mountains is a rite of passage if you happen to be in Sydney in Winter.  Our day tour of the Blue Mountains bundles the very best of this stunning region into one relaxing day, with everything from fine dining to furry friends on the itinerary.

  • Watch a Live Game of Rugby

    Photo Credit: Newtown Jets

Even if you don’t consider yourself a huge sports fan, there’s something very exciting about joining thousands of spectators to cheer on your team (or their team) at a live ‘footy’ match, whatever the code.  If you don’t want to shell out big bucks on the tickets, look out for ‘second tier’ fixtures for Rugby League – tickets to the Newtown Jets well-attended home games are only $10!

  • Christmas in July Events

So old-fashioned they’ve now moved into the realms of the retro-cool, Christmas in July events demand few constants – the ridiculous patterned woolly jumper, the hot roast meal – and leave the rest to your imagination.  If you’d like to attend an organised event, check out this list of the best Yulefests in Sydney and surrounds…

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