We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do in Sydney and surrounds, including a long list of museums. Here is our recommendation for the top kid-friendly museums near us and also a bit further afield. When education is fun, you know you’re onto a winner!
Museum of Contemporary Art
140 George St, The Rocks
No, it’s not just for adults! The kids will get a great kick out of this fabulous museum and the adults will have just as good a time.
Cost: Free general admission
Australian National Maritime Museum
2 Murray St, Sydney
Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. Experience stimulating exhibitions and events that show Australia’s maritime history and connect the stories, objects, people and places.
Cost: Adult: $25, Child: $15, Concession: FREE, Family: $65, Child (under 4) & members: FREE
500 Harris St, Ultimo
Although often described as a science museum, the Powerhouse has a diverse collection encompassing all sorts of technology including decorative arts, science, communication, transport, costume, furniture, media, computer technology, space technology and steam engines.
Cost: Free entry
1 William St, Darlinghurst
Where nature, science & culture intersect. It is Australia’s first museum and has over 21 million scientific specimens and cultural objects in its’ collections.
Cost: Free general admission
1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point
This spectacular state-listed heritage site is home to Australia’s most accessible telescope domes, a 3D Space Theatre and the Sydney Planetarium.
Sydney Living Museums
Known collectively as Sydney Living Museums, there are twelve heritage properties in the group to explore. Each boasts beautiful grounds and a story from Australia’s past at every turn, and there are always exciting activities on the calendar.
From early gastronomy and home interiors to historic gardens, the great social divide, rural lives, crime and punishment the kids will find this as fascinating as the adults.
- Elizabeth Bay House
- Elizabeth Farm
- Hyde Park Barracks Museum
- Justice and Police Museum
- The Mint
- Museum of Sydney
- Rose Seidler House
- Rouse Hill House and Farm
- Susannah Place Museum
- Vaucluse House
- Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection
Museums Discovery Centre
172 Showground Rd, Castle Hill
Permanent exhibitions include displays of machines, technology, and transport, domestic appliances and toys, architecture and design, scientific instruments and specimens of animals, minerals and plants.
A visit to the MDC also provides you with a rare opportunity to learn about museum collecting, conservation and research practices.
Cost: Free general admission
The Rocks Discovery Museum
Kendall Lane, The Rocks
A free, family friendly museum which tells the story of The Rocks from pre-European days to the present. Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, the museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks – some of which you can even hold. The exhibits are filled with interactive fun, audio and visual elements to bring the history of the area alive.
Q Station Manly
1 North Head Scenic Drive. Manly
While not technically a museum, the walking tour and Ghost tour (for kids 8+) are both fascinating opportunities to explores heritage buildings to discover the stories of migrants through the 19th and 20th centuries.
Cost: $20 adult, $10 child, $18 concession
The Campbelltown Steam & Machinery Museum
86 Menangle Rd, Menangle Park
The Campbelltown Steam & Machinery Museum preserves the history of Australia’s working past and includes interactive displays of industrial, agricultural and steam machinery. They have two main “Field Days” a year in May and October where you can see the machinery in action.
Cost: Adults $12, children $6
NSW Rail Museum
10 Barbour Road, Thirlmere
Since 1975 the historic town of Thirlmere in Sydney’s southwest has been home to a significant rail heritage collection, including over 100 rolling stock items, associated with the history of the railways in NSW. Bring the whole family and enjoy a steam train ride every Saturday & Sunday at the NSW Rail Museum.
Cost: Train ride from $5, museum +train rides from $15
Royal Australian Mint
Denison Street, Deakin, Canberra
The sole producer of Australia’s circulating coins, custodians of the National Coin Collection and producer of beautiful collector coins. See how coins are made and mint one for yourself!
King Edward Terrace, Canberra
This National Science and Technology Centre is filled with hundreds of interactive science and technology exhibits. Kids can learn about Scince and Tech in a fun, interactive, and relevant way
Cost: $18.90 per child (4yrs +), Adults $24.50
National Museum of Australia
Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra
Australia’s stories come alive at the National Museum of Australia. The Museum’s stunning architecture provides an extraordinary place to explore the rich and diverse stories of Australia and its people. At Kspace, the Museum’s new interactive kids’ adventure game played in teams of 4, kids design a time-travelling robot and enter a Time Pod blasting them back to a mystery location in Australia’s past.
Early Start Discovery
Building 21 University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong
Inspire their imagination and curiosity at Australia’s first dedicated hands-on children’s museum – perfect for children (birth – 10 years) and adults to enjoy together. We wrote a whole article about it here.
Cost: Starting at $10
60 Squires Way, North Wollongong
Science Space is an interactive adventure for the curious mind. Over 90 exhibits, 5 dinosaurs, amazing science shows, NSW’s most advanced planetarium and infinite fun!
Cost: Tickets start at $12
Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
Howick Street, Bathurst
The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum permanently houses the Somerville Collection of fossils and minerals and features some of the finest and rarest specimens of mineral crystals and fossils from around the world. The collection contains over 5,000 objects and is presented together to give a stronger understanding of the development of life on Earth.