Family Fun Day Sunday Destination: Parramatta

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Sydney’s public transport system, but the Family Fun Day Sunday tickets are certainly one of Sydney Train’s saving graces. For $2.50 per person, your family can enjoy unlimited travel all day Sunday in Sydney, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra areas, by train, bus, ferry and light rail. Such a great deal.

Here’s the first of a series of posts I will do to give you some ideas for where to take public transport with the family on a Sunday.

PARRAMATTA

From the inner west, we take the train to Circular Quay. There’s always plenty to see at Circular Quay- buskers line the wharfs and it’s great fun to take the time to wander along and watch some of the entertainment on offer.  The Parramatta Rivercat leaves every hour from Circular Quay and travels past Darling Harbour, Cockatoo Island and down the Parramatta River past Sydney Olympic Park and finally, to Parramatta. The kids love the constantly changing scenery on the Rivercat- it’s a great way to make the journey part of the fun of the day.

When you get to Parramatta there are loads of options:

Events & activities

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There are always different events and festivals on in and around Parramatta. Check out the Discover Parramatta website for what’s on. From 25 June -12 July Parramatta Winterlight will feature a a giant outdoor ice rink. From 10am each day there will be themed stalls, free winter activities for children, as well as an assortment of food outlets serving up all your favourite wintery treats.

Explore Parramatta Park

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The World Heritage Parramatta Park is only a short walk from the Rivercat stop. The 85ha park has a 3.2k walking/cycling circuit great for kids with scooters or bikes and two large kids playgrounds. There is a range of self-guided walking tours ranging from an Aboriginal Landscape Trail to one that explores the Park’s Monuments and Historic Sites but I personally love just heading in and exploring on our own. There are BBQs onsite and plenty of space for picnics and a couple of on-site historic buildings with cafe/restaurants and a Tea-House.

Catch a Matinee

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If a show is more your style, the Riverside Theatre often has great family productions with matinee showings. Upcoming shows include Mary Poppins, Erths Dinosaur Zoo and Snugglepot & Cuddlepie (although the latter two do not have a show on Sundays).

Grab a Bite

When tummies start to rumble, head back into the town centre to the newly opened Jamie’s Trattoria. Situated on Centennial Square, Jamie’s Trattoria is more casual than it’s sister restaurant Jamie’s Italian in the Sydney CBD, but it doesn’t lack any of it’s style or taste. It is perfectly set up for a great child-friendly experience, with high chairs, child-size cutlery and fantastic children’s menus presented in the form of photos on a viewfinder.

Photos of the kids meals can be seen on the view finder so kids can make their own selection
Photos of the kids meals can be seen on the view finder so kids can make their own selection

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Heading Home

After a full day in Parramatta, grab the Rivercat back to the city again to grab some gorgeous views of the Harbour Bridge and the city as you arrive back to Circular Quay.

An old photo of me and my oldest when she was only one
An old photo of me and my oldest on the Rivercat when she was only one
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