15 March 2009

Enjoying your own city with the kids

Assuming you live in a city, of course - but you get the idea. One idea I am wanting to explore with our kids is to take some time during the school holidays and explore our own city as if we were tourists. Obviously I'm not going to the expense of staying in a city hotel - though there's some merit in doing that - but at least to explore the sights and sounds of home.

It is a curious thing that we often take our own city for granted. We go to enormous expense and time planning an overseas trip, while largely ignoring the things right under our noses. Sydney is a great city. It is beautiful, reasonably tidy and has much to offer overseas visitors: some of which we don't know anything about! 

So I have occasionally taken matters in my own hands. From time to time we visit the Art Gallery of NSW or the Powerhouse Museum, and we've been to Taronga Zoo. And obviously we've been to the Opera House (what must be one of the most photographed buildings in existence). I took The Bookworm on a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and my mum and I took the kids on a ferry ride to Watson's Bay for fish and chips by the harbour. We have explored Katoomba in the Blue Mountains with the kids - a freezing good time in winter.

But there's so much more than that. I'd actually like to do the hop-on hop-off bus tour around Sydney to see and hear about my own city. Also, we've never been to the Australian Museum (natural history) or Fort Denison (on an island in Sydney Harbour). It would also be nice to do some of the walks in the National Parks around the Harbour, or the beaches, or Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (about 10 minutes from home...!).

The city is only the epicentre - the surrounding areas are also possible options as well. We're surrounded by magnificent National Parks, wineries about an hour away, and the national capital - Canberra - only 2.5 to 3 hours away.

If you can't do the large scale overseas trips - and you may not want to, particularly with kids - then there's still a lot to be gained from considering a holiday closer to home. You might be surprised at just what hidden treasures are right on your doorstep.

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