These are some of the places around the North side of Sydney that make for a perfect day out with a toddler. We have a preference for the outdoors so you won’t see any shopping centers on this list – these are generally disaster zones for toddlers anyway! Crowds, mind numbing noise, flashing lights and tireless stimulation – sometimes I feel like laying down and cracking it. Toddlers are unabashedly open and honest about their feelings.
A hidden gem, this beach does not get crowded like Bondi or Coogee. It’s our favourite beach destination for sure, with its vast open views and rugged cliff backdrop. Critically, there’s always parking! If you live in Sydney you know parking is a premium and it seems like the parking fairy is always on strike. As if this place couldn’t get any better, there’s a rock pool.
Lane Cove National Park
This is where you can hire a row boat for the day, take an easy hike or picnic in the open spaces. There’s also a toddler-suited playground that’s always a hit. See our other article “The Weekend Toddler: How to Stay Sane and Keep Active” for more info on this one.
Bobbin Head, Mount Colah
Bobbin head boasts a massive gated playground that caters to all kids. There’s also large open picnic spaces, paddle boats for hire and an easy mangrove walk where you can poke a stick at plenty of crabs (probably don’t do this). There’s a gorgeous little café with great coffee/cakes and outside tables that are also within a gated area. To boot, we saw a “dinosaur” (goanna).
This is where you can take a nice long walk along the rocks (hand holding required). There are lots of shells to be terrorized and sea creatures to be observed from a safe distance – safe for them. There’s also hardly anyone on the beach should you want to have a picnic or take a swim in peace.
This was a real discovery. It’s in quite an obscure location past Hornsby but we were seriously impressed. You can wander through and see the international gardens which are really well set up. There’s a beautiful lake and green rolling hills, perfect for a picnic and a run around. It also has a fantastic playground.
Depending on where you live, these destinations are all within an hour’s driving distance and make an easy day trip. With lots of activities to keep both the adults and toddlers entertained they are well worth the effort.