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14 Things To Do In Sydney This Summer If You Hate The Beach

Fun in the sun doesn’t need to involve surf and sand.

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1. Go to lawn bowls.

Dress in your country club best and head to an outdoor bowling green for some ocean-free fun. Marrickville Bowlo, The Greens in North Sydney and Bondi Bowls are spots that take the food and beverage components of their operation just as seriously as the bowling - not that you need to take the latter all that seriously.

2. Swim at one of Sydney's amazing outdoor pools.

theoldclare / Instagram / Via Instagram: @theoldclare

If you can't stand beaches because of the sub-par facilities and the fact you can't go without getting covered in sand, head to one of Sydney's many outdoor pools instead. The Andrew Boy Charlton lap pool in Woolloomooloo, the rooftop pool at the Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale and the iconic Bondi Icebergs pool all have beautiful views.

3. Wander through the MCA.

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Get in touch with your creative side and head to the Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks. "My Pretty Little Art Career", a major survey exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Grayson Perry, runs from December 10 through to May 2016. Once again, the museum have also teamed up with Future Classic to host gigs on the Sculpture Terrace, on selected Sundays throughout summer.

4. Take a brewery tour.

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A collaborative effort between beer fanatics and local breweries, Dave's Brewery Tours host beer-focused experiences around Sydney, involving tasting and talking to producers about the craftsmanship behind the beverage. There's a "Northern Exposure" tour around the northern beaches, "Hipsters & Hops" around the inner west, and three-hour weekday tours to three different craft beer locations around Sydney, with pick up and drop-off from Central Station.


5. Go to the Finders Keepers markets.

The Finders Keepers markets showcase all things art and design, and are held biannually in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They're coming up on Friday December 11 and run 'til Sunday December 13 at the Australian Technology Park. Entry is only $2, which gives you even more license to let loose on the 200 independent creative stalls. Ideal for some quirky christmas present shopping.

6. Head to an outdoor gig.

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There are no shortage of concerts and festivals around Sydney throughout summer. The Flaming Lips are playing for free on January 9 as part of Sydney Festival's Summer Sounds in The Domain series. The following day, FBi Radio are throwing a party at Carriageworks "celebrating all things Sydney" with performances from a string of local DJs and bands.

7. Check out the Streets of Barangaroo.

The brand new Barangaroo precinct is setting itself up as one of Sydney's best dining hubs. "The Streets" are home to both casual cafes and fancier eateries, from Bourke Street Bakery to a pop-up from world renowned chef Rene Redzepi of Noma fame. If you grab takeaway, sit in Barangaroo Reserve park by the water and soak up the sun. There are also complimentary 30-minute walking tours that offer insight into the history of Barangaroo, the minds of its architects, and what's still to come for the development.

8. Explore the Art Gallery of NSW.

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Still feeling artsy? "The Greats" exhibition, running until February, features the best imports from the National Galleries of Scotland, including works by Monet, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. To correspond with the works, the gallery is also screening European cinema classics twice a week until February 7, for free.


9. Catch a movie at an Art Deco cinema.

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Movie theatres are air-conditioned sanctuaries on stifling hot days. The Art Deco Palace Cinema in Leichhardt just opened a terrace prosecco bar in time for summer. Head there in the afternoon for a Sunday session before an evening movie. You also have the makings for an ideal date night with all the nearby Italian eateries.

10. Or catch a movie outdoors.

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Once again, Sydney will play host to a number of outdoor movie theatres this summer. Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas are popping up in the inner west until December 12 and in Bondi until February 28. The Moonlight Cinema will also be returning to Centennial Park from December to March, screening current box office films with the odd classic thrown in for good measure.

11. Or even head to the circus.

Also part of the Sydney Festival lineup, circus La Verità are coming to town. The Switzerland-based troupe specialise in an alternative blend of acrobatics, dance, acting and clowning that they call "theatre of the caress". The inspiration for their latest show is an illusive backdrop that Salvadore Dali created for the 1944 ballet "Mad Tristan". If the combination of clowns and surrealism sounds a little creepy to you, rest assured that it's suitable for ages 7 up.

12. Play at Arquitectura de Feria, Parramatta's pop-up carnival.

Aquitectura de Feria is an eclectic fairground of sorts. Created by a European family of artists, the travelling installation will land in Parramatta in January. Don’t expect any old rides though, there’s a hand-cranked ferris wheel made out of recycled objects and a bicycle powered carousel.

13. Go to the zoo, not just for the animals.

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Every weekend from Thursday 28 January to Saturday 12 March, the concert lawns at Taronga Zoo will play host to a series of twilight performances from a diverse lineup of artists, such as Courtney Barnett and Birds of Tokyo. Tickets also include half price, same day entry to the zoo so you can visit the giraffes while you’re at it.

14. Take a hike. Literally.

There are plenty of beautiful walks to take around Sydney. It's a win-win activity, as you work on your fitness at the same time as seeing some amazing sights. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, day trip to The Royal National Park.