10 Free or Inexpensive Things To Do in and Around Lane Cove During 2024 January School Holidays

During school holidays, parents feel like taxi drivers and ATMs.  Here are 10 ideas that will not break the bank, and all happen in or near Lane Cove.

Lane Cove Library and Willoughby City Council Libraries

There are also plenty of free craft activities, ozobot workshops, and much more in January 2024 – find out more here.

If you can’t find anything you like at the Lane Cove Library,  check out some of the fun kid’s activities at the Willoughby City Library here.

An example of one of the free workshops at the Lane Cove Library in Jan 2024

The Alcott – Craft Activities


Under the Sea Home HQ Artarmon

For some sea-rious fun these summer school holidays join Home HQ Artarmon an for ocean of excitement Under the Sea

JAN 20 + 21 + 25 / 11AM – 2PM

  • Summer Sea-son Workshops
  • Meet Marina the Mermaid
  • Greet Shivers the Pirate
  • Coral-ful Hair Braiding
  • Sea-themed Kids Tattoos
  • Sea the Schedule https://bit.ly/3viZSE2

Cost: Free
Dates: Jan 20, 21 and 25 January 2024
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Address: Home HQ Artarmon, Lower Ground, opposite PetStock
Website:  homehq.com.au
Event Booking Link:  Book Here (note the first two sessions on Saturday 20 Jan 2024 are booked out but there are other sessions available)


Eden Unearthed – Every Day during Jan 2024

Eden Unearthed showcases 30 stunning installations in the open-air garden gallery at Macquarie Park.  It’s the largest privately-funded exhibition of its kind in Australia.

Eden Unearthed spans over 2.5 acres, and visitors can fully immerse themselves in the beautiful gardens and be inspired by the artworks. Each artist has an interview linked to a QR code at their work, so you can hear in their own words about the installation. It’s a unique opportunity to learn directly from the artists themselves.

The exhibition is free, but you must register.

Grab a coffee, walk around the artwork, and ask your kids to pick their favourite piece of art.  There is also a children’s playground.

Eden Gardens – Storytime in the Gardens – Tuesday 23rd January 2024

Meet author Ashling Kwok on Tuesday 23rd at 11am as she tells us the story of Butterfly Girl during our Storytime in the garden.

Ashling Kwok as she tells us the story of Butterfly Girl a charming and sensitively illustrated book about friendship and making space for animals, even in an urban environment. Olivia, who loves butterflies, has to leave her home in the countryside and move into a city apartment. Feeling lonely without her fluttering friends, she realises she needs to transform her bare balcony if she wants her friends to visit — and that turns out to be a great way to meet her new neighbours!

Book your free spot here.

Contact Details

Address:  307 Lane Cove Road (cnr Fontenoy Road), Macquarie Park
Website: www.edengardens.com.au
Facebook: @edengardensclub
Instagram: @eden_macquariepark

Rock Drop

This is a great idea.  Your child paints a rock and then drops it in a local park.  You then post a picture on a special Facebook page.  All the details are here.

Feed the Ducks at Burns Bay Reserve

Pop over to feed the ducks at Burns Bay Reserve. But make sure you don’t feed them bread is not good for ducks and they should have a variety of food such as:

Sfd (Safe for ducks)

  • Cracked corn
  • Wheat, barley or similar grains
  • Oats
  • Rice (cooked or uncooked)
  • Birdseed (any type or mix)
  • Grapes (cut in half)
  • Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
  • Chopped vegetable trimmings or peels
  • Duck pellets

Nsfd (Not safe for ducks)

  • Bread
  • Chips
  • Crackers and biscuits
  • Popcorn
  • Sugary food – sweets, chocolateSource:  The Guardian


Pack a Picnic and Head Off to a Local Park or Playground

Check out our local parks and playground here.

Some of ITC’s top spots to picnic are here.

Mindarie Park is very popular for picnics (and it has its own cafe).

The newest park in the Lane Cove Council area is Wadanggari Park. It was opened in September 2023. Wadanggari means ‘banksia’ in Sydney Indigenous language.

Wadanggari Park includes:

  • Adventure-style playground, inspired by a banksia
  • Natural turf
  • Plaza
  • Passive nooks
  • Picnic settings
  • Accessible picnic settings
  • It seamlessly connects to St Leonards Library, St Leonards train station, Coles, retail and the 300-space underground car park (two hours free parking).

Parking is available (2 hours free) in an underground car park which you enter via Christie Lane and Lithgow Street St Leonards.

Creative City Mummy is a local mum who has an Instagram page dedicated to fun things to do around Lane Cove (and other parts of Sydney) – see children’s adventures at the park below (follow her for some other suggestions).

Have a Devonshire Tea at Carrisbrook House

Carisbrook remains the oldest surviving house in its area, its fabric largely intact. It was bought in 1969, by Lane Cove Council, which maintains it. The Heritage Council of NSW placed a permanent conservation order on the house in 1981.

Lane Cove Historical Society has furnished the house to the mid-Victorian period with an extensive collection of antiques and hand-worked household utensils. Guided tours, public programmes, film and photo shoots and other special events are also arranged by this society.

Carisbrook’s magnificent gardens and grounds still run down to Burns Bay, connecting the house with the river, which was such a vital element in settlement and transport in its earlier days.  You and your family can tour the museum or just drop in for Devonshire tea on a weekend open day.  ITC was volunteering at Carisbrook House on an open weekend, and families enjoyed the scones!!   A Devonshire Tea costs $15.00 per person, and you get scones, jam and cream, and a pot of tea or soft drink.

You and your family can tour the museum or just drop in for Devonshire tea on a weekend open day.  ITC was volunteering at Carisbrook House on an open weekend, and families enjoyed the scones!!   A Devonshire Tea costs $15.00 per person, and you get scones, jam and cream, and a pot of tea or soft drink.  The next open day is Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January 2024.

Ferry Trip to Cockatoo Island from Greenwich

You can visit Cockatoo Island from the Greenwich Wharf.  Ferry information is here.
You can take your own food and drinks, and there are water filling stations.  With kids, you might just want to do a trip where they check out the free talking object tour – details here.



Just taking the ferry into Circular Quay and back is also a fun thing to do with kids.  Details here.  You can also take a ferry into Circular Quay at Huntley’s Wharf – details here.

The Putney Punt

Yes, this is not in Lane Cove, and a bit further away than we would normally suggest, but Creative City Mummy suggested it is a fun day out for kids.   Wangal Reserve near the Putney Punt is a lovely playground – read a review by Ryde District Mums here.



Nearly every house in Lane Cove is located near a bushwalk.  In the Cove has trekked over quite a few of them and we now have a dedicated section on our website for local bushwalks and playgrounds.

Some Other Ideas

Here are some other quick ideas:

  • Play Tennis – List of Lane Cove Tennis Clubs and tennis practice walls here.
  • Go to the Lane Cove Library Kid’s section.
  • For younger kids, the Blackman Park bicycle track is fun, with a flying fox and other play equipment.
  • Test out the tree sculpture at Central Park Longueville – further details here.
  • Try out Riverglad Reserve and Hunters Hill – the kids can take scooters and bikes – further details here.
  • If your kids are aged 10 to 16, they may want to do some activities at Synergy Youth Centre, located under the Lane Cove Aquatic Centre – open Monday to Friday between 12 pm and 5 pm. School holiday activities are here.

School Holiday Activities

If you want to book your kids into some school holiday activities during the School Holidays, you can find a list of school holiday activities here.

The guide includes the following activities:
  • Golf
  • Sailing
  • Sewing
  • Intensive swimming sessions
  • Pottery
  • Tennis
  • Coding
  • Martial Arts
  • Dance Camps
  • Jujitsu Camp
  • Self Defence camp
  • School Readiness
  • Maths
  • All Abilities group programs
  • Craft
  • Music Camp


Also it is about time to think about term time activities.  It’s never to early to start booking your term time activities.  We have put together a list of some local activities for babies, pre-schoolers, primary school students, tweens, teenagers/secondary school kids – in other words something for everyone.   Read our article here.