When it comes to school holidays, activities or breaks with the kids, often the choice can leave parents confused and faced with decision paralysis. It’s our job here at Social101.com to make booking activities as seamless as possible. Check out our Winter What’s On guide for Sydney for 2023 below:

Useful apps

There are several apps around at the moment which can help take the headache away such as Kidsbook and Kidly. These catalogue activities, products and services surrounding a specific area based on specific interests and budgets. I know it’s helped me out on more than a few occasions!

When it comes to a break away, the pressure can be somewhat higher. How long shall we drive, is there much to do when we get there..? The list goes on.

I personally like to book short stays no more than 2-3 hours’ drive away from home on the Northern Beaches and then research what’s going on at that time, and any must-see activities.

Here’s some of my top pics for short stay staycations which make the most of time off and squeeze the most out of your stay.

Wollongong (80km south: 2 ½ hours’ drive from Sydney)

So much to see and do in Wollongong planning ahead is key. We love staying at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. The central accommodation has recently undergone a multi-million $ investment and upgrade and it really shows. With a selection of six F&B options in the hotel alone, it’s well worth a stay.

If you fancy venturing outside of the hotel (which is highly recommended) there’s so much to see and do, our top tips to warm up in Wollongong are:

For those looking for an experience filled with adrenaline, Hangdog Wollongong is the perfect pick for thrill-seekers of all ages offers. Guests can choose from a selction of activites including indoor rock climbing and Australia’s highest and steepest indoor slide.

For rainy days when the kids just want to have fun, budget-friendly Revolution Laser is the perfect choice to steer away from the grips of inflation.

We’re all about providing experiences which lean into all budgets, so we’re thrilled to be able to share with you a code to secure $15 off a Treetops Adventure Nowra climb! Leave hibernation behind and embark on a treetop journey like no other. Prices start at just $32. Don’t miss out on this limited-time offer. Use code ‘WARMUP’ when booking between 17th July – 31st August 2023.

Illawarra Fly has you covered for any nocturnal members of the fam with the exhilarating After Dark Zipline Tours. Guests can enjoy the stunning sunset from the Treetop Walk followed by a tour of the twinkling fairy lights through the forest.

It’s Whale watching season during the winter months, so there’s literally no better time to book a tour with Jervis Bay Wild Cruises. Guests are invited to witness the amazing whales accompanied by dolphins putting on the one of the best shows which nature can offer.

You can find out more about all that Wollongong has to offer to warm up in Wollongong this winter are here.

Hunter Valley (2 ½ hour drive North of Sydney)


Snow time in the Hunter (until 23 July 2023)


One for all the family, kids and big kids alike are sure to have a memorable time as they slide, skate and play at Snow Time in the Garden.

Guests are invited to enjoy a fun-filled day of frosty activities at Hunter Valley Gardens Snow Time in the Garden, which runs until 23 July.


A truly special event, specifically for those who have never seen the snow (like my little one hadn’t), ticket holders build a snowman or create a snow angle in the mega snow pit (just don’t forget your gloves!). There’s also a giant ice toboggan which is 45 meters long, and a massive ice-skating rink to frolic in (Tip – spaces are limited, pick up your skating session passes from 9:30am in the event area to avoid disappointment.)

For those looking for more fun outside of the snow-based activities there’s a selection of amusement rides for an extra cost, roving entertainment throughout and plenty of soul warming food and warm beverages to boot.


Snow Time offers a delicious range of food and beverage options, including the Snow Time Café and various food stalls open during the event.

Tickets start from $ and $38 for adults. There are also family passes available, which provide discounts compared to individual tickets.

For more information and to book tickets, head here to book: https://www.huntervalleygardens.com.au/events/snow-time-in-the-garden/#tickets

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