14 free things to do with the kids these school holidays

School holidays are right around the corner and we’ve got a great line up of FREE events that are going to save you money and keep the kids entertained. We’re here to make your life easier so you can enjoy a stress free holiday.

Here’s 14 free activities to see you through the spring break and make sure you check out our full Kids in the Park activities.

All you need to do now is sort out which activity to fill your day with!

  1. Riverside BirdLife

Love birds? Then check out this great pop-up activity by the river at Blaxland Riverside Park and learn about the different bird species around the Park.

Here you have the opportunity to ask all the important question. What do they eat? How do they move about?

  1. Operation Art

With more than 800 artworks by students throughout NSW, celebrate the creative talents of our young people at our unique riverside setting.

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Image courtesy of Department of Education

 

  1. Heritage Hunt

What do sheep have to do with the safe storage of ammunition and explosives? You may be surprised! Newington Armory holds many memories, interesting anecdotes and fascinating stories that make it a much treasured heritage site today.

Search for “sheep” across the Armory and collect evidence that will help tell the story of why sheep were kept at the former depot.

  1. Bike Trails

Did you know there are over 35km of safe cycling pathways in the Park? Bring your own bike or hire one to go for a ride and see Olympic icons, spectacular parklands and areas of cultural heritage along the way while discovering our hidden gems including lookouts, bird hides, wildlife refuges, mangrove boardwalks, shipwrecks and outdoor art.

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Image courtesy of Mark Watson

  1. Sports Stars and Dance Star

The always popular stars return with a chance to get involved either with your favourite sport or maybe try out your dance moves.

Learn new skills, play games, get involved, be a star!

  1. Birdlife Discovery Centre

Follow the trail to the BirdLife Discovery Centre, at the edge of Newington Nature Reserve and learn about the beautiful birds that share your backyard as well as those feathered friends who visit Australia for different seasons.

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Image courtesy of John Irvine

  1. BMX and Mountain X

Off-road bike bandits, test your skills on 250 metres of meandering track, with wicked downhills and flying dirt jumps!

Whether you are a beginner or a pro,bring your crew and show off your moves.

  1. Brickpit Ring Walk

Have you met Sydney Olympic Park’s special resident, the Green and Golden Bell Frog? This endangered beauty has made a home in the Park’s historic Brickpit.

Take the award-winning Ring Walk around the Brickpit ‘pond’ to discover its history and the evolution of the Green and Golden Bell Frog’s habitat.

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Image courtesy of Kraig Carlstrom

 

  1. Clue Trail

Ready for an adventure? We’ve got 6 different Clue Trails for you to choose from.

Whether you want to ‘Fly High’ or follow the ‘Path of Champions’, unravelling the clues will help you to discover more about Sydney Olympic Park.

  1. Crack The Code

Become an explorer in the Newington Armory heritage precinct. Use a compass to navigate yourself around the Armory and collect the clues along the way.

Once you’ve reached the end, it’s time to decode the secret message.

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Image courtesy of Paul K Robbins

  1. Disc Golf

Watch out for that tree! If you love outdoor games but find golf frustrating, try disc golf with a frisbee.

  1. The Amazing Chase

Challenge yourself and your friends as you ride in an amazing chase around the park. Use map grid references to find locations, then solve the puzzles set for you at each pit stop.

Hire a bike or bring your own.

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Image courtesy of Paul K Robbins

  1. Walking Trails

With 640 hectares of man-made and natural attractions and over 35 kilometres of walking trails, you can escape the surrounding city’s bustle to relax and free your mind with a choice of scenic walks.

  1. Walk and Squawk

Come for a walk around the Armory with our BirdLife Discovery Centre volunteers to meet some of our feathered neighbours and learn their calls as well as a secret about each bird.

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17 years since the Olympic Games and we’re still growing

It has been 17 years since thousands of athletes made their way to what would be known as the “best games ever”.

Today, Sydney Olympic Park continues to develop and deliver benefits to the community with the greatest Olympic success story of all time, as no other Olympic venue has thrived as much as the Park.

Residents, workers, students and visitors are enjoying sporting facilities, entertainment, exhibitions and events as well as open green space, playgrounds and cycleways every day.

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Drone image of Sydney Olympic Park. Image courtesy of Ethan Rohloff

The Olympic legacy still lives on in the athletes who train and compete here every day, with one of our own success stories, three time Olympic Games and three time Commonwealth Games diver Melissa Wu, crediting the Park as the place it all began for her.

“Sydney Olympic Park is special to me because it’s where I saw diving for the first time. I was instantly drawn to the sport and whenever I was at the pool as a child, I always looked forward to watching the divers train. Seeing them train and watching the Sydney Olympics on TV inspired me to take up the sport of diving and Sydney Olympic Park is where it all began for me.”

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Olympic diver Melissa Wu. Image courtesy of Alchetron

Friday 15 September marks the 17th Anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and to commemorate this great date we will be lighting the Olympic Cauldron.

Celebrate with us on Friday and head to Cathy Freeman Park from 4pm to 8pm to see the Olympic Cauldron in all its glory with some of the Park’s most successful athletes including diving and swimming champions, players from the Sydney Kings NBL team and players from the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball.

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Olympic Cauldron. Image courtesy of Paul k Robbins

You can also win an amazing prize pack including a night stay at Novotel Sydney Olympic Park by following these simple steps:

  1. Follow Sydney Olympic Park on Facebook or Instagram
  2. Share your favourite celebration picture with #LoveSydneyOlympicPark on Instagram or in the Facebook post thread. Double your chance to win by sharing your pic on both networks!
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Australian swimmer Kurt Herzog helps us celebrate 17 years in the Park.

We’ll see you at Cathy Freeman Park for all the anniversary fun!

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Threatened species at Sydney Olympic Park

The 7th of September is Threatened Species Day, which marks the anniversary of the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger in Hobart Zoo in 1936.

Sydney Olympic Park has a rich biodiversity of over 400 native plant species and over 250 native animal species. It includes over 200 species of native bird, 7 species of frog, 10 species of bat, 15 species of reptile, many native fish, thousands of species of invertebrates, and protected marine vegetation such as mangroves and saltmarsh.

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Green and Golden Bell Frog

This high species diversity and abundance in the geographic centre of a large and modern city contributes to Sydney Olympic Park’s high ecological, aesthetic and educational values.

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Saltmarsh. Image: Jon Irvine

Many of the species and ecological communities dependent upon the Park’s habitats were once widespread in Sydney but are now uncommon in urban areas. These are of conservation significance at a local, regional, state, national or international level. The Park currently supports three endangered ecological communities, three threatened plant species, three resident threatened fauna species and several threatened migratory fauna species such as migratory birds that travel to the Park from as far as Siberia and Alaska. The Park’s habitats also provide a stepping stone for nomadic or migratory animals moving between urban habitats, and a drought refuge for waterbirds from western New South Wales.

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Bar-tailed Godwit

Find out more on the amazing plants and animals at Sydney Olympic Park.

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Style your life in the Park with Lifestyle

Ever heard of our Lifestyle program?

There are currently 7,000 members signed up and enjoying a great range of benefits including everyday discounts, access to member activities, as well as discounted and free admission into events held at Sydney Olympic Park.

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Since 1 July alone, every Lifestyle member received free admission into:

  • Arsenal FC vs Sydney FC blockbuster
  • 7 x NRL and AFL matches
  • Sweet Expo Sydney

Lifestyle is here to enrich the quality of life for local workers, students and residents. Members benefit from discounts at eateries and retailers around the Park, as well as, exclusive member activities to socialise, revitalise, get active and learn. These activities include Lunch League sports competitions, a monthly coffee club, trivia, guided walking tours, professional development seminars.

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Have you been you missing out?

There’s so much on offer, so don’t waste another minute and become a Sydney Olympic Park VIP NOW!

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Another year, another smiling child

Back for its 23rd year, Operation Art brings 796 artworks from 910 students across 254 NSW schools to Sydney Olympic Park.

We have invited guest blogger, Lisa van den Dolder who is the Project Officer for Operation Art, to provide a special insiders view on the amazing program that continues to bring smiles to sick children’s faces year after year:

“Each year, students throughout the state use their passion for arts to transform the lives of sick children in hospital. With very few guidelines and limitless possibilities, students from Kindergarten to Year 10 are able to express themselves through colours, lines and shapes with the sole purpose to motivate and sooth patients in hospital.

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One of the many artworks on display this year. Image: Department of Education

From the moment you walk into the exhibition, Newington Armory Gallery positively radiates from the walls; the emotion packed paintings fill every corner and tell their own story. This is just the beginning for over 700 children who have spent hours perfecting their works of art, as for many, these artworks will make their way to various hospitals across NSW and give sick children an extra boost of brightness and positivity to fight their illnesses.

The teachers of these students believe this gives them the opportunity to “foster their learning of giving to others who are less fortunate than they are” and it is “creating art for a purpose”.

For the students, it is “seeing other people’s artworks helping the community” that resonates with them most.

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One of the many artworks on display this year. Image: Department of Education

Operation Art, an initiative of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in association with the New South Wales Department of Education and in collaboration with Sydney Olympic Park Authority, involves school students from Kindergarten to Year 10 in all NSW schools creating artworks for children in hospital. Operation Art is made possible by the generous support of ANSTO and will be open daily from 9 September to 29 October, 10am to 4pm, at Newington Amory Gallery in Sydney Olympic Park.”

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#S(TEAM)-ING Home in National Science Week

This National Science Week with support from Inspiring Australia and the kinetic energy of Fizzics EducationSydney Olympic Park is putting the Team into S.T.E.A.M and bringing Greater Western Sydney (which includes our special piece ‘GPOP‘) right into the heart of the Sydney Science Festival.

Why here? Sydney Olympic Park is a place built, managed and being further developed through STEAM principles and innovative practice, with a focus on sustainability and liveability. The growing working population of the Park evidences a wide range of STEAM careers amongst employers such as Sydney Sports Incubator, Samsung, Thales NRMA, Western Sydney University and NSW Institute of Sport. The Sydney Olympic Park Authority itself has a diverse staff working in a range of STEAM specialisations: From ensuring water quality in the Aquatic Centre to advancing water recycling technologies around the site…..from lighting the public domain to environmental conservation, economic modelling, landscape architecture and town planning….from arts and cultural education program delivery to major event management.

So the scene is set for something special – a new National Science Week event in the geographic heart of Sydney that taps into the lingering achievement-atmosphere of the ‘best games ever’ and the forward thinking of the Master Plan 2030. Enter The Innovation Games – a free family fun day full of hands-on science, sport and technology action. On Sunday, 20th August, the town centre of Sydney Olympic Park will be an interactive expo of live shows, daring demos, crazy creatures and the latest gadgets….

The Drone Zone with One Giant Leap is set to take off, driving some much needed public awareness around safe drone use to make it fun for everyone. Professional pilots will be flying demos throughout the day and CASA will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice.

An engaging line-up of stage presentations will cover everything from mozzies with Dr Cameron Webb to zombies with Kelly Simpson to Dr Karl’sfamous theories on belly button fluff! Fizzics will be making a few bangs with their big science shows and we are also screening some of the best of the Scinema 2017.

Through the Yulang on the way over to ANZ Stadium will be a range of cutting edge interactive displays from SamsungSydney Sports IncubatorNRMAAustralian MuseumUTS Graduate School of Health, UNSW and Young Scientists of AustraliaAutonomous ShuttleChildren’s Discovery MuseumEcohortBeardsOn for Conservation, Australian Herpetological SocietyRoyal Botanic Gardens Seed BankCleanawayRocknCrystalsOhmboy and Sydney Olympic Park Authority’s Ecology and Heritage teams.

Sports fans, Sunday brunchers, Park residents and die hard geeks can all stride down to Cathy Freeman Park to exercise both the body and mind. The NRL – a fantastic supporter of this inaugural event – is inviting people to kick the physics out of a footy and compare sprint speeds with a radar gun (so bring a friend for some healthy competition!). ACPE will also be there with some engaging sports and movement education. Test your accuracy at spear and boomerang throwing with the #Murama Indigenous Youth or sit in the weaving circle for a yarn about culture.

A unique feature linking all opportunities for learning and fun at the event will be our Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt, a location-based gamification of place in the style of Pokémon Go. In this case the discoverable avatars asking curly questions and setting all sorts of onsite challenges will be none other than our friendly NRL home team the Bulldogs. Around the event people will be racing for answers, posing for tricky selfies, nutting questions and collecting as many ‘Quantum tokens’ as they can store in their inventory. There are some awesome Golden Ticket prizes to be won including Grand Final tickets and a stay at the Novotel. Plus, hundreds of people are going to swipe themselves free coffees, posters and copies of Adam Spencer’s new book Time Machine. Download the free app Metaverse – Go Explore to play on the day and as our mate @Mrsalakas founder of #aussieEd says: Bring your phone fully charged!

So its an experiment of sorts….but one with all the right ingredients for success, not the least of which are the passionate people and thought-leading agencies who are collaborating to put this together. Special shout-outs to Jackie Randles of Inspiring Australia, Ben Newsome and Holly Kershaw from Fizzics Education and Vanessa Barrett of RBGS who together have more connections than the mob (can I say that?) and enough ideas to sink a think tank.

Join us Sunday 20th August at Sydney Olympic Park 11:00am to 3:30pm for The Innovation Games and connect with us through #innovationgames @olympicpark_syd  #natsciwk  #ssf17

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A city-shaping project with huge community benefits

Recently, our friends from Sydney Metro dropped by to talk to the Park community about the Sydney Metro West project.  This is an important city-shaping transport project that will have a huge benefit for Sydney Olympic Park, so we thought we should share the information boards that were on display during the drop in sessions.

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Boards for Sydney West

The Metro team want to hear from communities, industry and business groups about this important project:

  1. Complete the online survey
  2. Visit the Sydney Metro website for more information

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