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Boxing Day boredom busters

The feasting is over, presents have been played with and come Boxing Day your kids start to get restless. Keep them entertained with these five ideas for fun in Australia’s harbour city.

Family of four in a movie theater smiling

Boxing Day is generally a day for families to recoup and recover after the excesses of Christmas, but with so many businesses and services closed for the day, you may want to do a little planning to avoid the “I’m bored” catch-cry from your kids! Below are five fun family activities that will entertain your Sydney-based brood.


Shop till you drop

It’s no surprise that shopping is top on the list for a lot of Australians come Boxing Day. Thanks to Premier Barry O’Farrell, retailers in New South Wales no longer have trading restrictions on Boxing Day. This means more shops will be open, there’s a high chance there will be better discounts on offer and the crowds that usually converge on the big department stores will likely be dispersed among a broader range of retailers.

But if the idea of taking your kids to the sales is enough to make you want to freeze your credit card forever, why not try to make a game of it?

Older kids can be given a small allowance for the day to spend as they will. Try to get them interested in math by offering a “bonus” — an extra $20 or a day off chores, for example — to the child that gets the best discounts on their purchases.


Sydney to Hobart

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, or the Bluewater Classic, is a 630 nautical mile yacht race that starts in Sydney on Boxing Day.

Hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, this fun event is a Boxing Day tradition in Sydney. Each year on Dec. 26 the Sydney Harbour foreshore is lined with people waving farewell to the competitors as they head across the Tasman Sea.

You can watch the start of the race in a number of locations across Sydney, including the headlands from Rushcutters to Watsons Bay and the northern shore vantage points of Cremorne Point, Bradleys Head and Clifton Gardens.

Take a picnic and secure a spot early for a relaxing day watching the maxi yachts as they navigate the harbour and keep the kids interested in the race all the way to New Year’s Eve by following their progress live with Rolex.


The Baggy Green

For many families, cricket is a Boxing Day ritual not to be missed. If your kids are into cricket you’re in luck — this year Ricky Ponting will farewell the Sydney Cricket Ground with a Big Bash game against the Hobart Hurricanes on Dec. 26. Ticket prices start at $42.50 for a family of four and can be purchased through Ticketek.

You can also catch the Boxing Day test match — Australia vs Sri Lanka — on TV live from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. You could make a day of it with some cricket ground snacks (think mini burgers, hot dogs, corn chips and popcorn) and wickets set up in the backyard for a quick game during intermission.

Of if you would really like to tire the kids out, head to your local park or beach for a friendly family game. Don’t forget to pack some snacks, plenty of suncream, water and hats for everyone.


The big screen

If it’s too hot for cricket then your next best bet is to head to the movies. There are some fantastic movies being released this Boxing Day so grab your kids and head on down to your local cinema to enjoy some air-conditioned comfort.

From the drama of Les Miserables and The Hobbit, to the fun-filled animations of Wreck-It Ralph and The Rise of the Guardians, there really is something for everyone this year.

You can let older kids pick their own movie to watch with a friend — a couple of gift vouchers given at Christmas should cover any Boxing Day boredom woes.

For younger kids, a movie day at home could be just the ticket. Let them help make their own favourite movie snacks, pile up a heap of cushions and pillows in front of the TV and let them watch to their heart’s content!


Beach or bush

Boxing Day is the perfect day to get a head start on your New Year’s resolution to get more active with either a bushwalk or a day spent at the beach.

Bondi Beach is no longer the domain for lonely backpackers intent on keeping the Christmas booze flowing through their veins. Waverley Council has made the beach an alcohol-free zone so it’s a perfect spot for a picnic with the kids.

near a national park?

Why not pack up all those Christmas leftovers for a family picnic? Grab a ball, some snacks and a pair of good shoes and enjoy all the beautiful things the Australian bush has to offer.

If you’re really keen, you could even combine the two with a bushwalk to the beach in the Royal National Park, or an easy stroll along the coast from Bondi to Bronte.

More New Year musings

The hottest New Year’s Eve destinations around the world
Fun, kid-friendly ways to ring in the New Year
Kylie Minogue to bring in the New Year

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