We’re in the final stretch of the year and silly season is almost upon us!
There is no shortage of incredible experiences out there to fill your cup and end the year on a high note. Together with our mates at AV1, we have curated the best of what Sydney has to offer over the festive season.
Whether you’re on the lookout for the hottest new restaurant in town, an outdoorsy day-trip, a luxury spa experience or an arty outing, we’ve got you covered with our end-of-year top 17 Sydney experiences.
1. Dine in style at Kiln Restaurant at Ace Hotel
Newly opened Kiln is a restaurant and bar perched atop Ace Hotel Sydney, 18 storeys above Surry Hills. Helmed by chef Mitch Orr, Kiln is rooted in contemporary Australian cuisine and something we’re calling Italian-ish, with nods to Japan and Southeast Asia peppered throughout the menu.
Focused on high-quality regional produce, meats and seafood, Orr showcases his innovative-yet-unpretentious approach to cooking, taking dishes in novel directions and gleefully destroying the high-low dining dichotomy.
2. Check out the Do Ho Suh exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art
South Korean artist Do Ho Suh is known for his large-scale sculptures and architectural installations, which address the often complex relationships between the body, memory and space. This is his first solo exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere, for the 2022/2023 Sydney International Art Series.
Spanning three decades, from the 1990s to now, the exhibition will present emblematic works across a wide range of media that include large-scale installations, sculptures, drawings, printmaking, and video works.
3. Soak up the view from Luke Mangan’s new restaurant inside the Sydney Harbour Bridge
BridgeClimb Sydney has teamed up with renowned Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan to deliver an exclusive dining experience within one of the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Launching this month, Luke’s Table at the Pylon will be situated on the Lookout level of the South-East Pylon, treating guests to iconic Sydney Harbour and city skyline views as they dine on a signature three-course dinner featuring premium quality, fresh Australian ingredients, paired with Penfolds wines.
4. Check out Sculpture by the Sea, back after two years
Staged on the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, Sculpture by the Sea is one of Sydney’s most popular events, with 500,000 visitors viewing over 100 sculptures by artists from around the world.
Held since 1997, this free public exhibition captures the imagination of Sydney and its visitors for three weeks each spring and is the largest annual sculpture exhibition in the world.
5. Feel the beat at Rekōdo Restaurant & Vinyl Bar
A nod to Japanese listening rooms, Rekōdo (Japanese for ‘record’) blurs the line between food, drink and music to create an immersive restaurant and vinyl bar with a Japanese bent. You’ll be in for dishes you can’t get enough of, cocktails you’ll want to order more of, and tunes you’ll want to stay all night for.
Now playing on Level 1 at Barangaroo House with a taste-making selection of top DJs playing all-vinyl sets, curated artists and more.
6. Get amongst it at Neon Playground by Chinatown
Chinatown will be up in lights for a one-of-a-kind street festival of art, lights, music, community and food from 15 October – 20 November.
Experience Dixon Street like you’ve never seen it before and check out inspiring art from exceptional Asian Australian artists, including: Chris Yee, Joy Li, James Jirat Patradoon, Juune (Timothy) Lee, Amy Wong, Steffie Yee and Jason Wing. Enjoy a bowl of Neon noodles, drink a glow-in-the-dark cocktail, paint and play with Sydney’s best street artists, learn the art of calligraphy, experience the grace of a tea ceremony, and try your hand at making dumplings.
Lose yourself in the lights… and in short, get your neon on!
7. See the Gucci Garden Archetypes Exhibition at Powerhouse Ultimo
The immersive, multimedia exhibition Gucci Garden Archetypes first held in Florence, is coming to Sydney’s Powerhouse Ultimo this month.
The exhibition invites you to explore a selection of advertising campaigns envisioned by Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele, and the various multi-sensory influences that define them, from music and art to travel and pop culture.
8. Do the “Yeah The Girls” Female Street Art Self-Guided Walk
Take a self-guided street art walk through Newtown and Darlington, discovering street art by some of Sydney’s best female street artists and works that celebrate important women, including Rose Strachen, Sharon Billinge, Shannon Crees, George Rose, Karen Farmer, Georgia Norton Rose and many others.
Starting at Redfern train station, the walk takes around two hours, covering approximately four-and-a-half-kilometres, and finishing close to Newtown train station. It’s suitable for all ages, and is on a mostly flat route so is both wheelchair and pram/stroller friendly, and there are numerous opportunities to support local businesses along the way.
9. Go on a Botanic Garden Scavenger Hunt
Urban Hunt trails are a popular series of cryptic adventures around Sydney that make for a fantastic outdoor activity to do with friends and family.
Discover secret spots, next-level scenery and heaps of fun facts as you solve 20 cryptic clues around the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden.Get your team together and enjoy the gardens like never before. Are you ready for an adventure?
10. Get pampered at Crown Sydney’s luxurious day spa
Relaxing and pristine surroundings allow guests to completely immerse themselves in their wellness journey, when visiting Crown Spa. Drawing inspiration from the serene landscape of Sydney harbour, the interiors reflect the landscape and vast waterways located around Crown. There’s an extensive menu of treatments to choose from including premium La Prairie facials and indulgent and you’ll also get to make use of the Aqua Retreat, guaranteed to leave you relaxed and glowing from head to toe.
11. Check in for staycation at Paddington’s chic new boutique hotel, Oxford House
Escape the everyday pace of life and bask in the comfort and aesthetic of an inner-city sanctuary, complete with Palm Springs-inspired rooftop pool and bar. Each one of Oxford House’s 57 rooms inspire a stay less ordinary where functional, considered design meets contemporary curiosity. Warm, sun-baked tones, an abundance of light and dynamically curated artworks combine to cultivate an uplifting energy, while thoughtful luxury touches such as Plush Double Rainbouu robes and Grown Alchemist bath amenities also await you.
12. Get your creative juices flowing at Outdoor Paint & Sip
Are you after something that is stress-free, fun and good for your mental health? Then get ready to paint and sip outdoors and get inspired by nature and the summer breeze – the perfect conditions for creating a masterpiece.
In this two-hour class, you will be painting your selected artwork while enjoying BYO food and drinks.
Your artist Robertina Varga will guide you step-by-step through the artistic process, making the classes perfect for beginners right through to more experienced painters.
Make it social and bring a group of friends or colleagues, or just bring yourself and meet other like-minded creatives.
13. Glam up for Moulin Rouge! The Musical!
Enter a world of splendour and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular…
Winner of 10 Tony Awards, Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza featuring over 70 songs including many of the iconic hits from the movie, as well as additions from Adele, Katy Perry, Sia, Beyonce, Rihanna and more.
14. Come From Away
The global phenomenon Come From Away returns to Sydney in November.
This Tony and Olivier Award winning musical tells the remarkable true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them all. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
15. Dine at the immersive performance Broadway Diner
Who said singing and dancing on the tables was made for wild party go-ers? At Broadway Diner, expect singing, dancing and table performances every night as your waitstaff are a star-studded lineup of talent who will be performing the night away as you enjoy delicious diner classics and fun vibes!
This American-style diner is full of amazing trinkets, neon signs and insta-worthy backdrops as well as mouthwatering burgers, loaded fries, thick freak shakes (of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety) and jazzed-up cocktails.
16. Have your dinner prepared by a world famous sushi master at Oborozuki
Sydney’s highly anticipated new fine dining Japanese restaurant, Oborozuki, has opened in Circular Quay with a special ‘one-week-only’ pop-up dining event hosted by world-famous sushi master, Takayoshi Watanabe.
Taking place 2-8 November, the week-long launch event will feature just 17 sittings with each sitting limited to just 10 guests. Following the one-off event, the restaurant and bar will officially launch its kaiseki and teppanyaki menus from Friday, 11 November.
17. Grab a seat at Open for Lunch
Open for Lunch Sydney will stretch along George Street from Park Street to Bridge Street and include a diversity of culinary experiences with live music and unexpected moments of city-stopping theatrics which will include Luke Mangan, Glass Brasserie, Mimi’s and Totti’s amongst other major Sydney chefs and restaurateurs.
Open for Lunch Parramatta will be located on the Commbank Stadium concourse bringing together food, entertainment and people with a three-course menu designed by Matt Moran.
Tickets for Open for Lunch will go on sale on 15 November.
A big thank you to our friends at AV1 for collaborating with us on this piece. Be sure to check out their clever Christmas gift guide for event planners too!