Sydney is a bustling Australian metropolis, home to around 4.5 million people and visited by nearly 10 million tourists (both domestic and international) every single year.
It isn’t hard to see why families choose Sydney for a holiday, with a range of attractions on offer.
What sets Sydney apart from other Australian cities though, are the attractions and fun activities available for travelling families at night.
Whether you’re interested in shopping, exploring Australia’s culture, getting a new perspective on the city or being entertained, there’s nothing missing from Sydney’s family friendly nightlife.
1. Chinatown Night Market
Sydney’s Chinatown is located in the south of the central business district.
Along with a range of traditional shops and Chinese-owned cafes and eateries along the stretch, it hosts the Chinatown Night Market every Friday.
Starting at 4pm Chinatown becomes a bustling pedestrian strip, with street wares and unexpected surprises abound.
Chinese snacks and desserts are served at a number of shops.
The closest station to Chinatown is Central Station.
Hours: Chinatown Night Market runs from 4pm until late every Friday.
2. Sydney Opera House
Second only to the Harbour Bridge as an iconic Sydney attraction, the Opera House is the perfect place to spend an evening in Sydney.
The architectural landmark offers a wide range of shows and performances, all of which can be booked online prior to the visit.
As well as the entertainment, visitors will find restaurants and bars with picturesque outlooks at this uniquely Australian attraction.
Alternatively, many tourists and locals simply stroll around the landmark, taking in the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour.
The closest station is Circular Quay, and visitors can walk through the quay area to access the Sydney Opera House.
Hours: Tours are available til 5pm. Optional dining is open til 6:30pm.
3. Sydney Tower Eye
The Sydney Tower Eye, located right in the centre of Sydney’s central business district, is an ideal location to get a great view of the city in the evening.
The observation deck offers 360-degree vistas of the city as well as informational panels on the view before you.
Visitors can make bookings online, and there is also a bar and restaurant in the tower.
Hours: Daily 9am-9pm
4. Sydney Tower 360 Bar & Dining
Located high up on the Sydney Tower, 360 Bar & Dining is the ideal venue for families looking for a classy meal at night.
The restaurant revolves and offers uninterrupted 360-degree views over Sydney’s skyline.
There is extensive range of Australian and international wine, cocktails and light snacks.
Hours: Dinner starts from 5:30pm with last entries at 9pm, closing at 11pm. It’s important to make a booking to guarantee the best seats.
5. Sydney Tower Buffet Restaurant
For a more casual dining experience, but with the same stunning views of Sydney, try the Sydney Tower Buffet Restaurant.
There’s no need to wait for your food.
The self serve buffet offers an extensive variety of freshly prepared local and international cuisines.
Be brave and try an aussie kangaroo or crocodile!
If you have kids, they’ll also be treated with fun activity bags to keep them busy.
Hours: Dinner is from 5pm to 10:30pm, with last seating at 9pm.
6. Sydney Tower Westfields
One of Sydney’s main shopping locations in the CBD, Sydney Tower Westfields (also known as simply Westfields by locals), is located on the corner of Pitt Street Mall and Market Street.
With six floors containing around 280 different shops and outlets, Centrepoint Tower Westfields offers a varied shopping experience.
Open until 9pm on Thursdays, visitors will find Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and many more high end brands inside.
Hours: Most shops open between 9am and 5pm, except on Thursday when shops open until 9pm.
7. Pitt Street Mall Shopping
Located at the centre of Sydney’s business and shopping districts, Pitt Street Mall is one of the busiest shopping precincts in Australia.
This pedestrian mall, which stretches for two city blocks, contains shopping centres, arcades and more than 600 specialty stories.
On Thursdays most of the retailers are open late (closing around 9pm), making it an easy way to spend an evening.
Hours: Shops generally open 9am-7pm; hours are extended to 9pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturdays.
8. Circular Quay Landmark Views
Circular Quay is one of Sydney’s most well-known harbour areas, and is a lovely location to explore after dark.
As well as being an ideal spot to view the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay is home to the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Along the well-lit pedestrian walkways of the harbour visitors will find shops, restaurants and bars, and all the gorgeous outlook of the city’s sights.
Circular Quay has its own train station. Alight here and head along the coastline towards the Sydney Opera House.
Hours: Most restaurants are opened daily til late.
9. Explore Darling Harbour
There’s almost always something happening at Darling Harbour, Sydney’s other main harbour area.
Darling Harbour is home to a number of cafes, bars, nightclubs as well as a shopping precinct where visitors will find a bowling alley and more fun entertainment.
Darling Harbour often plays host to local Sydney events, and the picturesque setting makes it easy to enjoy an evening.
The nearest station is Town Hall, but visitors can also take a ferry into the harbour.
10. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is certainly the best spot in the city to see the views at night.
Free to access, visitors need only climb the stairs onto the pedestrian walkway of the bridge for stunning views out of the harbour.
Sights include the Sydney Opera House and the many small evening cruises that light up the bay.
Circular Quay is the nearest station.
Visitors can alight here and walk towards The Rocks.
Close to Gloucester Street and Cumberland Street is a flight of stairs that climbs the bridge.
If you want the ultimate fun experience, join a small group tour and climb the bridge itself at night to get stunning views of Sydney.
11. Sydney Observatory Star Gazing
Visit the Sydney Observatory, located on Observatory Hill close to Circular Quay, for a nighttime attraction that never goes out of fashion.
Every day except Sunday, the Sydney Observatory runs night visits around 90 minutes long.
During this time visitors will experience either an evening telescope viewing session, or a full planetarium show, depending on the weather.
Sessions can be booked in advance, and times vary throughout the year.
Visitors can alight at Circular Quay and walk north along George Street to Argyle Street. From here, walk through the Argyle Cut and up the steps on Watson Road to get to the observatory.
Hours: Tour starts at 8:30pm or 9pm depending on weather.
12/ Luna Park Fun Rides
Sydney’s Luna Park has been a park of the city’s nighttime entertainment schedule since 1935, and although many aspects of the park have changed, the atmosphere remains.
A night out at Luna Park involves thrilling speed rides, antique classics, and stunning views of the surrounds on the park’s enormous Ferris Wheel.
There is also a range of other entertainment and eating options.
Milsons Point is the closest station, with Luna Park located just a short walk away along Alfred and Paul Streets.
Alternatively, get the ferry to Milsons Point Wharf.
Hours: Depending on seasonality, Luna Park is opened til 10pm or 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
13. Sydney Harbour Cruise
Take your family on a fun Sydney Harbour cruise to get another perspective of the city lighting up at night while having loads of fun.
All cruises will give you picturesque views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to night cruising including dinners, entertaining shows, yachts and unique tall ships.
Most cruises go for 2-4 hours.
14. Sydney Helicopter Ride
For families who want to see Sydney at night at the highest possible point, you’ll have to jump on a helicopter.
This fun 30 minute ride will fly above Bondi Beach and then head north towards Manly before heading into Sydney harbour to witness the iconic landmarks Harbour Bridge and Opera house at Sunset.
On board, you’ll have headsets to hear the guide’s live commentary.
You’ll be picked up and dropped off at your hotel as well.
Hours: Indicate your preferred timeslot and the nearest available appointment will be allocated.
15. History at The Rocks
One of Sydney’s most historic areas, The Rocks is located within easy reach of Circular Quay and the many antiquated buildings make it an interesting place to explore a night.
Visitors to The Rocks can expect to see lots of convict-era constructions, stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and lots of local entertainment.
A number of pubs and restaurants in the area are opened til late.
The Rocks is also the best location to take a photo of the iconic Opera House at night.
The closest station is Circular Quay. Alight here and take a short walk along the coastline to The Rocks.
Hours: Shops close at various hours with most pubs and restaurants opening til late.
These are the 15 best things to do for families in our opinion if you’re looking for fun in Sydney at night.
As you walk the streets of Sydney, it’s likely you’ll bump into other attractions and activities that open late.
Let us know if you have more recommendations for evening attractions and activities in the comments below.