On Sundays, we like to go on adventures. Public transport is unlimited at $2.50 (mega-deal!), and so, if the weather is nice, we often decide on someplace to go on a ferry, which is obviously the cruisiest way to get around in this fair city.
This Sunday, it was a glorious summer day, and I had a vague idea about maybe doing two or three stops around the Harbour, starting with a “quick” play at the Summer Playground at the Sydney Opera House, inspired by this post over at Adventure, Baby.
Never mind multiple stops. We ended up staying all day.
Through January, the Opera House forecourt is set as a festive hub with something for all ages.
Hushpuppy particularly loved the “loose parts play,” which was simply a collection of rocks and wooden pieces. Over the course of a couple of visits, she made an art installation with them and then, later in the day, went to work returning them all to the little hut she’d found them in hours earlier. This little section seemed to be particularly enchanting for kids about her age.
We stepped inside the foyer to take a peek at the current Creative Play (the Opera House hosts a Creative Play activity every school holiday). This one was a light and shapes display, which could be manipulated by moving your hands or body near the screens. Older kids really seemed to be enjoying this one, but Hushpuppy actually found it scary. We tried it three times throughout the day, and she backed away from it each time. Based on that, and the kids we did see playing with it, I’d probably recommend this one for 4+.
The big hit of the day was the large sand pit, which was stocked with plenty of sand toys. Lawn chairs perched all around the faux grass yard, so it was easy for us to drag a couple of chairs into a relatively shady spot and supervise her sand pit play from there. Luxury accommodation for all of us!
An outdoor restaurant and bar kept us well-nourished. We shared a pizza ($18), which was nice and gooey from the outdoor pizza oven, if a little on the bland side. No complaints about the drinks – including the jugs of water provided, which were needed on this quite warm day.
We were also entertained with music throughout the day. The best was the Hot Potato jazz band who came out and did a lively set on yard. We also saw a children’s performance and a lovely, mellow singer-songwriter.
For me, the day was reminiscent of one of the long, glorious Sydney days we used to spend with friends at a beach or Harbourside restaurant in our pre-child days. Only this time, I got to share it with this one. The best of all worlds.
The Summer Playground activities are all free and open to the public and run through 31 January.