August Festivals and Things to Do!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, as we swing into the final month of winter! But here are the top things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town for the month of August! Puffy jackets are optional this time…….

Dog Lovers Show- 3 – 4 Aug

1 Showground Road, Sydney Olympic Park

Like the Easter show, but a 2 day show just for pooch lovers! Come to the Sydney showground to meet over 800 breeds of dogs, from non-insta stars to your four-legged insta favourites! Also expect workshops, lectures, doggy performances, K9 merch, and if you feel like taking a puppy home! – Go for it at the dog adoption zone! Kennels open from 9.30am – 5pm, tickets are running out fast!

For more info and tickets, click HERE!

 All Holden Day- 3 – 4 Aug

Hawksbury Showground, Clarendon

One show! One weekend! One make! Holden! All types of Holdens, both stock and custom, will be on display on 4 Aug- representing every era of Australian Holden manufacturing! Aside from the lion-badged vehicles, there will be a parts swap meet, trade stalls and food stalls! $5 Adult entry, kids under 15 go free! Vroom. Vroom.

For more info, click HERE!

Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival- 17 – 25 Aug

Auburn Botanic Gardens, Chisholm Road and Chiswick Road, Auburn

With a tag-line of “A festival all about food, flowers, and feeling good”? I’m sold! For nine days in August, the Auburn Botanical Gardens will play host to the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival! Witness these rare flowers in full bloom – with each of the 9 days with its own theme/entertainment!? Something for the kids, something for the seniors, something for everyone! Gates open 9am – 5pm!

For more info, click HERE!  

Paddington Markets– Every Saturday

395 – 435 Oxford Street, Paddington

Throughout the month of August, all plates of food at the Paddington Market food court will be $5! Get your tummy filled as you stroll around the stalls. And remember, a portion of all proceeds go to worthy causes in the local area! Stalls open for trade from 10am till 4pm! Be there!

For more information, click HERE!

Private Dining at Sea life Sydney Aquarium – bookings open 14 days in advance

1 – 5 Wheat Road, Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour

You’ve seen the ‘Bachelor’ dating scenes, a solo table set in an iconic venue? Here is your chance to dine like no other at the Sydney Aquarium! Your table for two set-up in one of 6 reef zones (of your choosing), treated to a private 45 min guided tour beforehand, cocktails on arrival, and a 3 course dinner (with 2 hour drinks package) while you dine alone, with only the aquatic life watching on! Costs range from $450 – $550 per couple, new available dates are released 14 days in advance every Wednesday morning.

For more info and dates, click HERE!

The Spanish Cat– Anytime

Level 2, 70 – 72 Bathurst Street, Sydney

We started with dogs but we end with cats! Spanish Cats, that is – a Spanish language school in da City! If it’s travel which is calling you, or you just want to exercise your mind! Then give the Spanish Cats and their native speaking teachers a go in teaching you Spanish- the language of passion! For $269 per course, you can be transformed into your very own Don Juan or female equivalent in no time! Después de ti.

To sign-up or for more info, click HERE!

July Festivals and Things to Do!

How cold is it!!!! And #Reclaim the streets! (for city residents, now that Vivid is finally over!) But here are the top things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town for the month of July! Puffy jackets are essential for all outdoor events!

Skating AT Cathedral Square– 28 Jun – 21 Jul

St Marys Cathedral forecourt, St Marys Rd. Sydney      

You see it on all the American TV shows when it’s winter, people gracefully skating on frozen lakes. But now you too can skate gracefully in Sydney at one of the most unlikely venues ever! St Marys Cathedral forecourt? On a huge ice ring, novice and non-novice, old and young, will be gliding their way across the ice from day (10am) to night over 3 weeks in Jun-July! Stay warm by purchasing hot drinks from vendors, and embrace the winter cold with this unique activity! Tickets can be purchased online or at the gates, ticks range from $9 to $27 pp.

For more information, click HERE!

Bondi Feast– 9 Jul – 20 Jul

Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach  

Just because it’s not beach weather, don’t write-off Bondi beach as a winter destination! Bondi Feast is back again, over 10 nights there will be shows and shows of home-grown theatre, comedy, cabaret and circus artists for you to feast on! Pretty much something for everyone!

For more information and to check-out the line-up of acts, click HERE

Bastille Festival– 11 Jul – 14 Jul

Circular Quay, Sydney

Don your beret and tri-coloured scarf and head on to Circular Quay for the annual French Festival, centred around Bastille Day (14 July). Experience a French Christmas at precinct 1 Argyle St.; get some French fusion food into ya at precinct 2 First Fleet park; if you prefer the French food classics, head to precinct 3 Customs House; and if you want to take something home with you, make a final stop at precinct 4 East Circular Quay for a French produce market! So come on down in something warm and with a healthy appetite. Bon Appétit! 

For more information, click HERE!        

Gladiator Games Holiday Fun– 17 Jul

Johnson Park, Constitution Rd, Dulwich Hill NSW

Lost for ideas to keep the kiddies entertained during the school holidays? Why not expose your kids to brutality, bare-knuckle fighting for survival!? Jks, Jks. Gladiator Games Holiday FUN (emphasis on the word FUN) is a 3 hour fun fitness activity morning for kids. It’ll involve running, swerving, jumping, kicking, crawling, throwing and catching! Heaps of FUN if your kids are the active types! All kids must be aged in-between 5 &12, early bird fee of $40 pp.

For more information and to sign your kids up, click HERE

Carriageworks Winter Night Market– 19 Jul

Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St. Eveleigh NSW

From 5pm (Friday 19 Jul) Carriageworks will play host to 50 of Sydney’s finest restaurants, bars, and producers, who will be presenting menus inspired by the theme ‘Wild’ using natively and locally sourced produce with the focus being on using the entire ingredient. The night will also include live music and cooking demonstrations! Entry fee $10 pp.

For more information on which restaurants will be participating and ticket details, click HERE!

Cocktail Classes– 20 Jul

The Dymocks Building, 7/428 George St. Sydney

Are you starting to question, can my mixology skills surpass the ability to make myself a killer martini? If this thought has crossed your mind, it’s time to take a 4 hour course in Cocktail mixology- presented by the Sydney Bar School! In a purpose built bar (Saturday 3.15pm), you’ll be taught the latest techniques to make the hottest cocktails in town! And at the end of the four hour course you’ll end up with a certificate of completion for Cocktail skills! Not too shabby for a Saturday arvo’s work, imagine the stories you’ll have for your colleagues when someone on Monday asks you how was your weekend! $100 pp and all participants must be 18+.

For more info, and alternative course dates and times, click HERE!    

June Festivals and Things to Do!

We’re on the cusp of the end of the year……. financial year that is, so here are the top things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town for the month of June!

Vivid Sydney- 24 May – 15 June   

Various Sydney locations

Vivid Sydney is no longer just a festival of lights, lightening up some famous Sydney landmarks. But now it’s a full-on 3 week festival of lights, music and enlightenment (ideas)! For the kids, there are naturally the pretty lights; for the party goers, there are the live music acts; and for the deeper thinkers among us, there are lectures and seminars to attend! So Vivid Sydney isn’t just a one-off shuffle around the city gazing at pretty lights, but an event which you can hit once, twice, three times! As there are so many elements to it, it’ll have you coming back for more! Most attractions are FREE, but some will have an entry fee. Lights on every night during the festival from 6pm till 11pm.

For more information and event dates/locations click HERE!

PBR Monster Energy Origin- 1 June

International Convention Centre Sydney- 14 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour

Yeehaw! Ride ’em Cowboy! If you’ve ever dreamt of watching a rodeo- cowboy attempting to stay astride a bucking bull (as realistically, where would you go to see something like that?), ponder no more, as the Cowboys are coming to town! Catch NSW and Qld’s best cowboys, ride for state pride in this one-night-only showdown!

The hooves will hit the dirt at 7.30pm, for more information and ticket details, click HERE!

Sweet Street- 27 June

Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, the Rocks

Sugar fiends beware! Sweet Street is back for its 6th year! Check-out the line-up of dessert artisans who will be serving up on the night! – Anna Polyviou, Adriano Zumbo, and the creators behind Blackstar Pastry, Butter and Koi Dessert Bar! – just to name a few…….. Further details and tickets will be on-sale soon. Keep an eye out for developments on the Shangri-La web-site.

French Kids Cooking Class- Saturdays (see available dates)

Bona Vista Avenue, Maroubra          

Ok, the class title is slightly ambiguous i.e. is it a cooking class only for French kids? Or is it a kid’s class to learn how to cook French food? But it’s for the latter, if you have 6-12 year olds who would like to learn how to cook Mum & Dad a 3-course French meal, this class is perfect for your little ones! Instead of dropping them off at Saturday sport, drop them off at 9am (finishes at 11am) for their petite cooking class. Merci Madam et Monsieur. $60 per child per class, a small investment on potential future returns- if they become a Michelin acclaimed Master Chef! And once they’ve graduated from this class, your 6 year old can then take-up the wine pairing course….. Jks, Jks.

For more information and dates, click HERE!

I’m Free Walking Tour- Everyday

Town Hall Square- George Street (in-between St Andrew’s church and Town Hall)

Do you have overseas friends or family coming to visit? Or you’re a Sydney local but just want to know more about your city? I’m Free Walking Tours might be just the thing for you and your family if you’re looking for an affordable day out! Walking tours set-out twice a day, everyday rain, hail or shine  (10.30am, and again at 2.30pm) from Town Hall Square (just look for the guides wearing bright green ‘I’m Free’ t-shirts). The tour is 2.5 to 3 hours in duration and will explore all the historic sites, prominent landmarks, and point out the renowned restaurants and hidden bars along the way. The tours are FREE (or feel free to pay whatever you feel the experience was worth), and enjoy a day out in downtown Sydney!

For more info and a list of all the sites the walking tour will cover, click HERE!

Sydney Sustainable Markets- Every Saturday  

Taylor Square, Cnr Oxford and Flinders Street, Darlinghurst

If you think just because you live in the inner city, there is no way you can get your hands on fresh farmers’ market-like produce, then think again! The Farmers’ Market in Darlinghurst makes available: organic produce! Coffee! In-season fruits! Ready to eat foods! & flowers! Come find it at the Sydney Sustainable Markets from 8am – 1pm, every Saturday.

For more information, click HERE!   

May Festivals and Things to Do!

We’re rollin’ now! We’re so deep into 2019 that we’re entering the darker/colder months of the year! But no matter, there are so many things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town to help us through the shorter and colder days. Here are my top pics for Festivals & things to do for the month of May!

Mothers’ Day Perfume Walk- 12 May

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs Macquarie’s Road. Sydney

Pamper your mum (or any special woman in your life) with this unique opportunity to spend Mothers’ Day afternoon (2pm – 5pm) in the Botanic Gardens! The time will be spent understanding the mystique and mist behind perfumes, whilst exploring the most fragrant flowers found in the gardens. The session will be run by world famous perfume consultant Katherine Du Peloux Menage, before taken on a guided walk of the grounds led by Mary Threlfall (once worked for fashion and fragrance houses). The experience includes afternoon tea on the Foundations & Friends terrace. Cost: $50 pp for Foundation & Friends members, $60 pp for non-members.

For more information and to book tickets, click HERE!

Mould- A Cheese Festival- 24- 25 May

Carriage Works, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh  

Are you a fan of fermented milk?! Then the return of Mould- a Cheese Festival might peak your interest?! 4pm-8pm Friday (and 2 4 hour sessions on the Saturday) Australia’s best Artisan Cheese producers will be showing their wares with over 50 cheeses on offer covering the entire Cheesy spectrum! Tickets will include access to all cheese tasting stands, cooking demonstrations, masterclasses, and a bar will be stocked with wine, whisky, beer, ciders and sake for purchase. Cost: $48.62 pp.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click HERE!

Vivid Sydney- 24 May – 15 Jun

Sydney & surrounds

A 23 day festival of lights (72 events), music (139 events), and ideas (77 events), to say it’ll be an illuminating time in Sydney in May-June is an understatement! See Sydney’s urban spaces in a different light! Treat your ears to contemporary music performances at the Opera house, other large venues, and small bars! And challenge your mind at Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of innovation, creativity and creative communities! Something for every part of your being! Cost: events are both FREE and paid.

For more information and to check-out the Vivid Sydney event guide, click HERE!

A Taste of NZ- May

Ground Level, Radisson Blue Plaza Hotel, 27 O’Connell Street, Sydney

Have you ever wondered what New Zealand cuisine is? And if you’d might like it? Now you can find out for yourself, without even needing to hop onto a plane to cross the ditch! In May (all days, 5pm – 10.30pm) you can try a NZ inspired menu, paired with New Zealand wines! It might just change your opinion in who has the freshest produce in the Southern Hemisphere! Cost: Various.

For more information and to book a table, click HERE!

Make A Tablet Case/Small Clutch Workshop- May

190 James Street, Redfern

Do you have it all?! The usual stuff from retailers no longer interest you?! Or you might be all about experiences than about stuff?! However this workshop might be the thing for you! Make your own one-of-a-kind tablet sleeve or clutch handbag from premium grade Italian leathers and a choice of different thread colours! In the 4 hour workshop Victoria White will guide your class in how to cut your own leather, marking out and chisel punching out your stitching holes, setting hardware, waxing your threads, burnishing your edges, and hand stitching your leather using traditional leather saddle stitch! Class sizes are between 1-6 people. Cost: $280 pp, a little bit steep but you’d happily spend that on a designer clutch, but now you’re the designer and you’re hand making a piece which only pleases you!

For more information and to book, click HERE!   

Festivals & Things to Do- Chinatown Night Markets- Fridays 4pm-11pm

South Sussex, Little Hay and Dixon Streets

Just like Asia…….without the stifling humidity! Would be my description of Sydney’s Chinatown’s Night Markets– this feeling was emphasized when a Cantonese couple floated past us pushed along by the tide of people. What we heard was “this is just like Hong Kong” uttered in Cantonese before they were carried away- our people currents taking us in opposite directions.

The Chinatown Night Markets is mainly along the 2 pedestrianised blocks of Dixon Street between Goulburn and Hay streets, with spill-overs onto South Sussex and Little Hay streets. The pedestrian corridor is lined on either side with stalls selling ‘stuff’ (can they be the same stallholders from nearby Paddy’s Markets?) and food stalls selling Asian street food which you can hopefully easily eat on the move.

A fortnight ago when we were foraging for food we had explored the Chinatown Night Markets, but at the time everything seemed too crowded and we had in mind a sit-down meal. Tonight, stuck for a dining idea we decided to put up with the crowds and grab what had grabbed our attention last time, the Roti and Chicken satay sticks from Mamak’s street stall, and the Curry puffs from the stall next to them.

Roti Telur (egg roti)- $9.00, and Chicken satay sticks (6 pieces) – $13.00.

Unfortunately the curry puff stall from a fortnight ago, weren’t there tonight- I bit back the urge to ask neighbouring vendors if they knew what happened to them, using hand/arm gestures to depict the width of the stall, the height, and point to the empty spot and do a large dramatic shrug for the universal language for ‘where can it be?’ But I gave up on the seemingly fruitless attempt as quickly as I thought of it. So we settled on a light evening meal tonight.

Street food ought to be consumed while walking the street markets, but hey! That ain’t our thang- sauces dribbling down the arm. So we took them home to eat on proper crockery.

In a meal which consisted purely of appetisers, we started off with the Chicken satay (maybe Mamak should source shorter bamboo sticks as the meat only took-up half of the bamboo real estate). Two pieces of grilled chicken on each skewer, dipped in tasty peanut sauce.

And the egg roti were cut into quarters, quite thick by roti standards and it was accompanied by 2 sauces – a Sambal and a curry which was heavy with the taste of dried fish. When placed into your mouth the fish flavour was putting up a commendable competition with the egg flavour of the Roti, to be the stand-out flavour in your mouth!

Surprisingly we were satisfied from our meal, eating skewer, Roti, skewer, Roti, and skewer- and with the left-over sauces we found something bland around the house to dip it in- sock anyone?

Chinatown Night Markets- each Friday night from 4pm till late. With the days getting shorter and colder, visiting the Night Markets in late autumn-winter is the perfect time! In the colder months, having bodies pressed up against you is less irritating than in the summer evenings! Agreed?

April Festivals and Things to Do!

One quarter down, only three to go! And thankfully April is a short month with Easter and ANZAC day, meaning that there are more days in the month to spend with family and friends than at work! Brilliant! Here are my top picks for festivals and things to do in Ol’ Sydney Town for the month of April!

2019 Australian Athletics Championships- 1 – 7 April

Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre, NSW

The granddaddy of domestic Athletics is the annual Australian Athletics Championships- for juniors and opens, both able and para competitors, in all Track & Field disciplines! Watch over 3,500 competitors compete in the purest form of athleticism, trying to run as fast as they can, jump as high, throw as far, walk as quickly as….. You catch my drift, it’s ‘man’ vs self! Tickets can be purchased via the Athletics Australia web-site, and if you still think you have it in you to pull out a quick 100M time, entries are made through your member association.

For more info on the Championships, click HERE!    

Sugarcane Sunday Rum Festival- 14 April

Macquarie Place Park/Customs House, Circular Quay, NSW

Do you need the excuse of a rum festival to justify drinking from 1pm – 8pm? If your answer is YES! Then step-right up! Sugarcane Sunday Rum Festival is just for you! Pull on a Hawaiian shirt, and with coconut shell cup in hand, check out the rum market at Macquarie Place Park, have a chat with rum producers, sit in on a few masterclasses, or just head directly to the Customs House bar for island food, cocktails and some reggae-mon! Cost: $60 pp, pass enables access for 4 hours (either 1-4pm or 5-8pm), to taste test at over 100 stalls in the Rum market and a FREE kitsch cocktail on arrival. Imagine how you’ll feel the next day on Monday for work!!

For more information and tickets, click HERE!

Juggling Workshop- any-time on request

Prince Alfred Park, Charmers Street, Surry Hills, NSW (or a location of your choosing- within a 5Km radius of Surry Hills).

Have you ever wanted to impress your work colleagues, youth group, or that ‘Special someone’, by taking their computer mouse, wallet, stapler, stress-cube, sippy mug and tossing them all up into the air, handing them hand-to-hand as everyone looks on in amazement and jealousy?! This day-dream sequence can be your reality! Only if you join one of Stepan Novikov’s 1.5 hour workshops, he claims that the most uncoordinated individual will be juggling like a pro by the end of the session! Hours 2-3 introduces flaming torches, chainsaws, bowling-balls, and live chickens….. Jks Jks. Cost: $40 pp (class size 1-6), and you can book him for parties, group lesson, team building events etc.

For more information, click HERE! Um, when you finally get your mouse and sippy mug back of course.    

Sydney Royal Easter Show- 12 – 23 April

1 Showground Road, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW

Parents! You have exactly 3 weeks to save up for the Royal Easter Show! Where country meets the city-slickers, come out for the agricultural competitions, the cute baby animals, be a child again and hop on some rides, demolish a Dagwood dog or two, and be a good dad/mum and lend a hand by holding onto all of your kids’ show bags…. Just keep one hand free so you can still pull your wallet out each time your child offers up their palm for $$$s. And if you get bored, at least you’ll have a front-row seat to watch the demolition….. I mean…… rennovation of Stadium Australia! Um, I think I’ve just snuffed out the flame in so many respects…. Cost: At the gate Adults $43, Child $27, and Concession $33.      

For more info on the show, click HERE!

The Great CP Egg Hunt- 20 – 21 April

Dickens Drive, Centennial Park, NSW

If your kids are too young for the big boys and girls show out at Olympic Park (us locals refer to it as the OP), why not come on down to Centennial Park for the Great CP Egg Hunt! The park will be transformed into an Easter village with market stalls (clearly for the parents), a kids disco (clearly for the kids), animals (that’s for all ages), and the centrepiece of the event- the ACTIVITY TRAIL! Kids will follow a trail to earn stamps which will go towards their chocolate treat, before meeting the Easter Bunny! Targeted at 3-8 year olds, all kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times- make sure you hold onto their melty chocolaty hands plz! Cost: $17.70 per child, purchase of tickets online and session bookings is essential! Accompanying parents go free, but you don’t get a chocolate nor hug from the Easter bunny. Aww.

For more info and booking details, click HERE!

ANZAC Day Dawn Service- 25 Apr

Martin Place, Sydney, NSW

If you’ve never been up pre-light for an ANZAC Day Dawn Service, you’ll have to one of these days! The service commences at 4.30am at the Cenotaph at Martin Place, honouring the fallen- who gave their lives to ensure our enduring freedom!

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor do the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we

Will remember them.” (Laurence Binyon, 1914).

We will remember them.

For more Dawn service information, click HERE.