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10 things to do with the kids these school holidays

From extraordinary emus to piles and piles of ping pong balls, make iconic family memories this April

Daniella Maryasin

1. A heartfelt tale starring two feathered companions: Edward the Emu

When: Saturday 9 - Saturday 23 April 

For: People ages 4+ 

Edward is bored with his lot. Being the only emu at the zoo has left him feeling glum and under the impression that the grass is greener in everyone else’s enclosure. Maybe being a seal or a lion, or a snake might be a better option in life for a lonely bird? Convinced that the other creatures are more popular, Edward breaks ranks and goes to find the fun and along the way, finds Edwina!  Come and follow the emus as they hilariously navigate their own feathered existential crises, seeking to find their place in the world. Meanwhile, unaware of the birds’ internal worlds, their human keepers are in hot pursuit to restore order to the zoo!

Top tip: Come and hang out before or after a show in the Western Foyers and taste an Emu cupcake! NB: No Emu's were harmed in the making of these delicious sweet treats! 

2. Be the first to see Australia's budding talent: The Street University Experience

When: Friday 22 - Saturday 23 April

For: People ages 12+ 

The Street University is a pioneering youth movement, comprised of hip hop dancers, MCs, singers and all-round entertainers.

For their debut at the Sydney Opera House, The Street University will feature a variety of young creatives including the award-winning dance troupe The Pioneers, the high-flying acrobatic stunt team, Dauntless Movement Crew (DMC), soulful vocalists Clarissa Mei & Montanah, Hip Hop lyricists Lxgcy, Vv and Element as well as the internationally acclaimed DJ Seb One + more!

Top tip: Travel to The Street University Experience fare-free! All modes of public transport across Greater Sydney will be free for 12 days during the April school holidays. Free transport runs from 4am on Thursday 14 April 2022 until 3:59am on Tuesday 26 April 2022.

3. Be dramatic: Edward the Emu Drama Workshop

When: Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 April 

For: People ages 5-8 

Explore the world outside the zoo just like Edward and Edwina.

Monkey Baa’s experienced Teaching Artists will lead participants in drama games and learning activities that explore the themes of Edward the Emu and teach them skills in improvisation and storytelling

Top tip: For a day out at the Opera House – also see the performance of Edward the Emu after or before your workshop. 

4. Tell your story: Shadow Puppets Workshop

When: Tuesday 19 April

For: People ages 9-12

Learn how to draw and design your very own characters and backdrops! Using different paper cutting methods, cast your drawings into animated shadows using various light sources and surfaces.

From storyboarding, paper puppet making and shadow play, this workshop will introduce kids to one of the oldest forms of theatre-making in the world - the traditional art of wayang kulit or shadow puppetry from Indonesia. Then end the day with a performance that the whole family will love!

5. Fling! Bounce! Drop! Scoop!: Ping Pong WoW

When: Sunday 10 April - Saturday 16 April

For: People ages 2-10 (but also for everyone)

This interactive installation has been designed to captivate and engage. It is a place where everyday objects spark boundless imagination and are a source of infinite fascination.

Created by The Ball Room Projects, Ping Pong WoW is the perfect family activity for children and their adults to play, learn and have fun together!

Top tip: Registrations are full for Ping Pong WoW however we find that there may be space available on the day. If you are heading to the Opera House, make sure to stop by - we will do our best to fit you in! 

6. Uncover mysterious secrets: Junior Adventure Tour

When: Saturday 9 - Sunday 24 April

For: Curious minds! 

Embark on a journey behind the curtain and discover how the magic of theatre comes to life on this one hour behind the scenes adventure filled with fun facts, crazy stories and guessing games. Walk away wide eyed with plenty of fun facts up your sleeve to share with your friends.

7. Tick this photo off your bucket list 

Before or after your show, don’t forget to take the ultimate Sydney Opera House photo of the kids on the Monumental Steps. Take in the majesty of the Sails from this vantage point and take home a lasting memory of your day out!

8. Have a bite by the harbour: Kid-friendly menus

Worked up an appetite? Stop by one of our relaxed harbourside restaurants for a delicious junior lunch, and even an adult version too (if that’s what you fancy). There’s plenty to choose, from kid meals for every taste at Opera Kitchen to your family favourites like pizza at Opera Bar

Or fancy a picnic? Make a day of it and grab a Kids Lunch Pack from Portside to enjoy wherever you please! The Royal Botanical Gardens are only a short walk away. 

9. Listen in: House Call podcast 

Are there any ghosts in the Opera House? Who is the biggest celebrity who has visited? Keep the kids entertained on the road with our latest season of Arty Farty podcast for kids – House Call answering questions kids want to know! Each episode is answered by people who make magic happen on stage and behind the scenes at the Opera House, and jam-packed with interesting stories and facts! 

10. Pick up a souvenir for your treble makers

Visit our shop at the Lower Concourse (or jump online) to explore our range of gifts and souvenirs including our playful kids collection of backpacks, coin purses, LEGO and colouring books, and much more!

Top tip: Settle in for storytime as Zindzi Okenyo reads Sidney Opera Mouse (thanks to our partner Mastercard) and then purchase your very own copy to read at home. 

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