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How to Sydney With Your Mum

How to Sydney With Your Mum

With an Indian summer in full swing and golden afternoons at their autumnal best, it’s a glamorous time to be in Sydney.

Given Mother’s Day is only heartbeats away, it’s also the best time to be partaking in the city’s best indulgences with your number one fan.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a round-up of the newest and most noteworthy happenings in Sydney -  tailored specifically to your particular Mum.

For Mums who are stuck in a rut…

The Sydney Observatory.

When one of the country’s most anticipated newly published authors asks if marriage is just a series of texts about where the children are until one person dies, it’s natural to assume that there are more than a few mothers around who could use a little refreshing.

Staring into the galaxy always provides a lovely dose of perspective and is, we think, quite the antidote. Sydney Observatory offers a night tour at 6.30 every night for $27, replete with telescope-enhanced star-gazing, although we must warn that children might be present.  The Langham is located conveniently nearby for some high-end, post-milky way mixology.

Akira Isaogawa at MAAS.

Alternatively, the Museum of Applied Arts and Science (formerly the Powerhouse) is hosting a retrospective of fashion designer Akira Isogawa’s work until the end of June. The garments are technical, surprising and, most importantly fort he worn out mother, very beautiful.  

If a proper cultural electric shock is required then might we suggest The National at The Carriageworks. Curated by the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art collectively, this evolving collection of contemporary art canvases all disciplines and will leave you feeling vampy, intrigued and invigorated.

For Mums who can’t sit still

Sydney is just the place for fidgety Mums with energy to burn.  At Point Piper Kayak & Sup Hire, you can wear her out with a paddle to Shark Island (20 minutes) or exhaust her completely with a trip to Neilsen Bay (hours). Pack a picnic (or, more realistically, let her do it)  and make a day of it. 

Tara Burke workshops

If she’s more of an indoor bustler, book yourselves in for a ceramics workshop with local hero Tara Burke – aka Tara Carbonara - and create matchy-matchy wobbly bowls and ikebana vases together. Cute.

Bradley Head to Chowder Bay Walk

Or there’s always that Sydney specialty: the long coastal walk.  Our current favourite is the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk which takes in zoo and opera house views, a lighthouse and plenty of picturesque bushland. If 8km return isn’t enough or you just want to give her a little surprise, you can continue another 20 minutes onwards to the nude bathing spot at Cobblers Beach.

For Mums with toddlers in tow

Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park

If there are shorter people in your entourage, all the better for you.  We consulted one of our regular yoga teachers, Jacqui Zhao, for this section and she recommends the following -especially as all of these are also adult-themed experiences:

  1.  The Ian Potter designed Wild Play Garden, replete with water park, in Centennial Park – and assures us this is conveniently close to excellent Nutella scrolls and coffee at Cook and Baker;

  2. Shuk – delicious Israeli food in Bondi and, more recently, Elizabeth Bay and very dog and toddler friendly

  3. Sydney Sea Planes Empire Lounge – babycinnos with REAL chocolate on top, every toddler’s dream views (planes taking off, ferries galore etc etc) and excellent proximity to a flying fox playground.

For Mums who are a little hard of hearing

Jardin St James

Noisy cafes, rowdy bars and uncarpeted restaurants are not for them. Instead take them for a little lunch at the glorious sanctuary that is Jardin St James – a civilised bistro set in the cobbled courtyard and cool and quiet crypt of St James Church in the CBD, run by elegant Frenchmen who will make your Mum feel extra belle.

The Ritz Cinema

After dark, take her to Sydney’s art deco jewel: The Ritz cinema in Randwick.  Independent and fully licensed, you can do what you’ve done a thousand times together but a thousand times better: watch a movie together over a glass of wine – but best of all for her, with volume at full noise.  If she’s a buff, skip the flicks and book yourselves in for Trivia Night on Mondays at the bar.

Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden

Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is just that: tucked away on the lower north shore (a picturesque ferry ride from Circular Quay) and littered with the artist's wife's artefacts and statues. If a slow and quiet stroll is the order of the day, this is just the place. 

For Mums who forget to take care of number one

Granted, most mother’s time is spent worrying about someone else. But for the ones who really battle with down time, there’s yoga.  If you can't make it Sorry Thanks I Love You yoga on Monday and Wednesday nights, try the intensely calming, womb-like experience in Redfern that is Humming Puppy: a yoga studio where practice is conducted in the dark, the room emits a hum of 7.83hz (the frequency of the earth itself) and the post-yoga coconut water is extra juicy.  It’s the home studio of our newest yoga teacher, Misch, and is the ultimate act of self-care.

For a more holistic relaxation experience, Sol Spa in Vaucluse offers every kind of mysterious treatment you could imagine. Organic scrubs and Chi Nei Tsang are just the beginning.  Follow it with some of the prettiest restaurant food in town at Botanica and watch your Mum scold you as you 'gram it.

For the ‘It’s 5 o’clock somewhere’ Mums

Employees Only

For Mums who just love a good drink and a pow-wow:

New York’s Employees Only has opened a Sydney outpost – albeit without secret phone box entry and cryptic secret passwords.  The drinks are solid and the vibe is buzzy.

Ten William in Paddington has a new chef which means if your chit-chats have a tendency to turn into D&Ms, you’ll be extra well catered for.


If it’s closer to breakfast than dinner time, there are few places more picturesque than Bondi’s Icebergs. May is a good time to go: the club is celebrating their 90th anniversary and the festivities include open days, charity swims and ice throwing – all of which make an amusing spectacle from the comfort of the bistro.

For brand new Mums

The George

If it’s their first ever Mother’s Day, not only do they deserve a trophy but they deserve some former contraband.  The torturous days of foregoing raw fish, booze and soft oozy cheeses are over. The newly revamped Waterloo watering hole The George, with natural wines by Sorry Thanks I Love You partner DRNKS is just the place to celebrate this victory. 


If a night time visit still seems a little audacious, there’s Mould: a cheese festival that celebrates every kind of cheese, brought to life by another Sorry Thanks I Love You partner: Bruny Island Cheese. 

Rivareno Gelato

Just as noteworthy (and pram-friendly) is Rivarena Gelato on Crown Street – the gelataria of Sydney chefs.  If you need proof, they’re collaborating with a handful of restaurants this month including Kylie Kwong, Lankan Filling Station, Italian diner Da Mario and Turkish eatery Anason to create new and tasty flavours. Ice cream makes even the shrillest infant cries better.

For visiting Mums


West Side Story on Sydney Harbour

If your Mum is in town, do the right thing and show her some harbour.   West Side Story at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair offers the trifecta: music, harbour views and fireworks.

Vaucluse House

If that sounds too chilly, Vaucluse House Tearooms is just uncool enough to be uncrowded, has mean water views, and serves a perfect scone. Mum's the word.