Family time: 24 hours in the city

Was it really this time last week that Rob and I escaped a night without the kids? Where does a week go? Fast forward a week and now it was time for some wholesome family time. It’s been a BIG year for us all. Rob has been the busiest he’s been in a long time, with lots of travel. We now have this crazy toddler running around, the big two have worked hard all year at school and sport and while we are all exhausted, when we were offered a quick city escape as a treat for the girls, we jumped at the chance.


The Holiday Inn Old Sydney kindly offered us a great package to entertain us all: a night in a King Harbour View Room, dinner & brekkie in the Playfair Terrace Restaurant and then some passes to The Aquarium and Madame Tussuards…lots of fun!

We arrived yesterday afternoon on a very hot Sydney day filled with seemingly endless drunk people at Christmas parties and a very still and humid afternoon.

Mags made herself right at home.

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The hotel rooms are on the smallish side (especially for 5 of us) but had lovely views out to the harbour, Opera House, Bridge and all the boats and cruise ships coming and going.

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We ventured out for an afternoon walk and a chance to let Mags get a nap in as she was delirious. a 4.30pm nap never works out well for anyone, but we had dinner to get through. Daisy and Harps were particularly impressed with all the brides to look at, and of course see where their beloved Sammy died in Dance Academy.

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Once Mags passed out we got a chance to have a icy beer at one of the many pubs in the Rocks (so many Christmas parties and bad middle aged men in Hawaiian shirts!) before heading back to the hotel for dinner. We ate the restaurant in the hotel (nothing fancy in terms of decor) but a great menu and tasty food. I was especially happy with the kids menu where there was not a nugget in sight!

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The 4.30pm nap paid off with Maggie being an angel throughout dinner, eating the lot and how nice it was to sit and have a long chat with the big two, with Rob, it seemed like an eternity since we had done that.

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After dinner there was a rooftop swim in the pool for the big two while I tried to convince Maggie it was time for bed. She was not convinced and finally collapsed around 10pm!


Breakfast was the standard buffet (that my girls ADORE and completely demolished) before checking out and heading to Darling Harbour. Well played on the kids rug in the foyer, girls were happy why we checked out and collected the car and didn’t destroy the joint. Well played indeed.


We were early to arrive for Madame Tussauds & the Aquarium but there were less crowds and a happy toddler which in turn made ME happy!

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My little country mice love this kind of thing. It’s cheesy and touristy and they LOVED every minute. Mags was particularly keen on the FISSSSH FISSSSSH. Me too! Me too! And entirely pissed off she couldn’t jump in and join them. Toddlers hey?

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There was also a great new penguin exhibition at the Aquarium worth seeing. 24 hours later we are home, a little weary but three happy girls who got to see and do lots of fun things. It still amazes me that my girls can’t remember our life in Sydney, and that something like this seems like a big deal. Huh.


You can check out details of where we stayed and played here:

Holiday Inn Old Sydney
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Madame Tussauds

Have you played tourist in your own city lately?
Kids love it too?

We were guests of the Holiday Inn Old Sydney and were given family passes to the Aquarium and Madame Tussauds.


  1. Looks like such a fun weekend and while the hotel room may have been a little small at least they allowed you all in one room and didn’t use the fire hazard excuse. Accommodation can get very expensive once you become a family of five and hotels want you in two rooms and not as much fun when you’re separated.

  2. What a lovely thing to do – sometimes we all need a change in scenery to give ourselves a bit of a break from the usual home life. I am so excited that we are taking the Little Mister to Sydney for the first time next year. I can’t wait to show him where his mummy hangs out every year for her birthday (accidental tradition) and where his grandparents are going to be living soon x

  3. Beth, did you know that there is a Dance Academy movie in the works?

  4. Love the new penguin exhibit at the aquarium!

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