In the colder months, Sydney has a bit of an identity crisis. Without beach temps and t-shirt weather, what are Sydney-siders supposed to do with themselves?
But once summer rolls around, this city really comes into its own. From December through March, the calendar fills up with all kinds of festivals and parties. From live music in Taronga Zoo to catching a movie under the stars, here’s some of the best stuff to do in Sydney this summer.
Head to the Sydney Festival
Every year, Syd Fest takes over the city for three weeks with incredible music, theatre, art, and dance performances. This year, from January 8 – 26, there’s a host of awesome (and unique) events to check out, like the otherworldly Dodecalis Luminarium. Set in Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park, Architects of Air have created an inflated dome maze illuminated by coloured lights and patterns that is well worth the trip. Once you’ve satiated your senses there, be sure to head to the famous Spiegeltent on the 10th or 20th of January to catch a performance by Canadian crooner Orville Peck. Looking for something the whole family can enjoy? Brisbane legends Regurgitator are also set to perform as their kid-friendly alter ego, POGOGO.
Catch a film at an outdoor cinema
Sydney really embraces the whole ‘screen under the stars’ concept during the summer months. In Centennial Park, you can roll out a rug or reserve a bean bed to watch everything from Pulp Fiction to Frozen 2 on a huge inflatable outdoor screen. Over at Moore Park’s Entertainment Quarter, the luxe level gets taken up a notch with inflatable double beds on offer between January 17 and March 8 next year. Over in Randwick, the new Ritz Laneway Cinema will be screening classics and current releases in the laneway behind the theatre from now until the end of April. If you’re looking for the same experience further west, The Amphitheatre at Lizard Log, Western Sydney Parklands has a great outdoor cinema program too.
Climb aboard the Tram Party
For anyone in its construction path, The South East Light Rail has caused more than a few headaches over the years. When the NSW Government announced the project would be completed by the end of this year, many of us were sceptical. But none more so than the owner of The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room in the CBD, who promised to throw a huge free party at his venue if the Government came good on their promise. Alas, on January 21, The Morrison on George St is throwing one hell of a rager from 5pm, complete with free drinks and oysters as long as you RSVP.
Treat your eyeballs to Matisse & Picasso
If you’re looking to inject a little culture back into your calendar, The National Gallery of Australia is currently exhibiting the works of two of the greatest artists to ever live. Curated with artworks spanning over 40 collections across the world, feast your eyes on more than 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, costumes and prints by the iconic artists (and famous frenemies) Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. The exhib runs until the 13th of April, so keep this one in mind for a rainy day.
A gig at Twilight at Taronga
Kicking off on Friday, January 31 and running through till Saturday, March 7, 2020,
Taronga’s popular Twilight concert series boasts a pretty incredible lineup this year. Held in Targonga Zoo’s natural amphitheatre, you can catch Broods, Wolfmother, Paul Kelly and Mavis Staples (to name but a few) in a totally unique and quintessentially Australian setting. If you’re looking for a fun date night idea, may we suggest dusting off the spandex and grabbing tix to see ABBA tribute act, Bjorn Again, who are returning by popular demand. BYO picnic and good times.
Feast on bottomless tacos
How many tacos do you think you could polish off in a two-hour window? Head to any of El Camino Cantina’s four locations (Manly, Miranda, Entertainment Quarter and The Rocks) every Sunday this January and find out. For just $19 per person you can fill the tank with as many Cajun chicken, al pastor, beer-battered barra or mushroom street tacos as your stomach will allow.