The Australian Museum would have to be our favourite attraction to visit in the city, particularly during the week and it is a great option on a wet day. It is very reasonably priced and wonderful for kids and adults alike.
Most Child Friendly Museum in Sydney
Here are five reasons why we think this is the most little (and big) kid friendly museum in Sydney.
- Little ones are able to see most exhibits without being picked up.
- There are interactive features in the exhibits that the kids can use. Plus the museum items are interesting and presented in an engaging way.
- There are two dedicated areas that kids can explore, touch and learn in. Kidspace for under 5s and Search & Discover.
- Kids can eat while exploring the museum and there is a kid friendly cafe and kiosk on-site.
- There are plenty of baby change facilities, pram parking and space for the kids to be kids.
Our Favourite Parts
The best bits for us at the Australian Museum are the:
- Kidspace for under 5s;
- Dinosaur exhibit;
- Pop up touch and feel information booths, run by volunteers who are great with the kids;
- Search & Discover space; and
- Rooftop cafe, now called No. 1 William.
Located on level 2 near the lifts and toilets, is the Museum’s dedicated space for kids under 5. My Mr 3 and Mr 2 can happily play for at least an hour in there.
Kidspace is about 20m by 10m and has:
- five learning/ play ‘pods’ or cubby houses loaded with fun activities, toys, dress up and a range of other items to stimulate their imagination and encourage them to explore the natural world;
- lots of books and a reading area;
- light boxes;
- enclosed baby space;
- activity tables that change daily;
- pram parking;
- bottle warmer (just ask one of the staff); and
- Change and feeding space.
New! Free Educator-Led Activities on 2pm Monday to Friday
There is now a Kidspace activities program, with early childhood educators running games, storytelling and craft. It runs every weekday from 2pm for an hour and the activities change each day.
This is where we usually head first, particularly as at the moment the long gallery is being renovated. My boys particularly like the dinosaur dig box, make your own dinosaur program on the computer and watching the short film – though it used to scare them in the beginning.
Every Thursday there is a pop up information desk down the far end of the exhibit, near the digging for dinosaur box. A very knowledgeable and friendly volunteer/ staff member is on hand to answer your questions and tell you some interesting dinosaur facts.
Keep in mind that within the dinosaur exhibit there is a short dinosaur video that runs periodically, which may scare the kids and there is also the occasional roar that can frighten the kids.
Search & Discover
Also on level 2, Search & Discover has a wide range of resources, and researchers, to help visitors identify and find information about Australian animals, environments and Indigenous cultures. It has recently be updated and there is now a LOT more space and items for kids to explore.
General admission is $15 for adults and kids are free. This also makes it a relatively cheap day out. We have an annual family membership, which is very worthwhile if you go more then three times a year. It comes with a host of benefits, including access to a members only lounge with free tea/ coffee and books for the kids.
In 2017, it is the Australian Museum’s 190th anniversary, marking it significant role as the nation’s first museum. To celebrate, they are inviting everyone to spend their birthday at the Museum for FREE. Simply register here.
Getting to the Australian Museum
The Museum is located next to Hyde Park and the Cook and Phillip Aquatic Centre and Park. So on a nice day walking through either is a lovely additional thing to do. There is also a fenced playground in Cook and Phillip Park, which we are yet to explore.
The only real downside for us of visiting the Museum is the parking. They have a great promotional deal with Secure Parking at the Hilton Hotel where you can park for up to 3hrs for $15.00 and for more then 3hrs at a flat-rate of $20.00. This is VERY cheap for CBD parking on a weekday. The issue is the distance. Not so bad if you have a pram or stroller, but we don’t use either so it can take 20-30mins for us to walk there. Also, REMEMBER to get your parking ticket validated before you leave the Museum. We were half way back to the carpark last time and realised we hadn’t….made for a long trip to the car.
On the weekend, there are two carparks near the Museum that offer a all-day flat rate.
There is also metered street parking around the Museum which is sometimes possible to get on the weekend.
You can of course catch public transport but this makes our trip much too long. Be mindful that Museum station doesn’t have a lift if you are bringing a pram and there are stairs in Hyde Park.