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Play on: our guide to Sydney after dark

As the days grow shorter and wearing socks to bed becomes an acceptable thing again, we’d forgive you if you’d rather spend your autumn evenings snuggled up at home than out and about. But hear us out: even in the cooler months, Sydney after dark is a vibrant buzz of opportunities to play, offering adventures for adults and kids alike. Here’s our pick of six of the best things to do in Sydney after dark.

1. Free fireworks at Cockle Bay

Want to kick your evening off with a literal bang? Catch the dazzling fireworks display over Cockle Bay, every Saturday from 9pm. It’s quite a sight seeing Darling Harbour painted in sparkles! And once the last glittery bits have faded away, keep the happy mood going by heading over to Timezone Haymarket: just a short hop, skip and jump to a whole host of exciting family friendly arcade games and after-dark entertainment options. We’re open until midnight, too: bonus!

Find out more about the Cockle Bay fireworks schedule here.

2. Celebrate Vivid Sydney

This iconic celebration of light, music, creativity, and culture has turned May and June into two of the most exciting months for Sydney’s nightlife. Vivid Sydney transforms the city into an after-dark wonderland of light displays, art installations, yummy food experiences and loads of fun activities for families and friends looking to connect, create, and have fun. This year’s Vivid Sydney theme is ‘Humanity’, and it runs from 24 May and 15 June – check out the Vivid Sydney program here

 3. Harbour Bridge walk – and climb!

Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night just hits different: the 360-degree views are more mysterious, the skyline glitters like diamonds, even the Sydney Opera House looks a bit more romantic… For an extra dose of adventure, why not try a twilight or night-time Bridge Climb? Yes, really: it’s a thing, and rather spectacular! Find out more about climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night here.

4. Explore the Chinatown Night Markets

Got the urge for some late-night shopping? The Chinatown Night Markets are open every Friday from 4pm to 11pm and offer loads of cool stuff to buy. But our favourite part of the Night Markets is the range of delicious Asian food that’s available – let the tasting (and overeating) begin! Find out more about the Chinatown Night Markets here.

5. Discover the stars at the Sydney Observatory

Sometimes, we just have to look up and take some time to marvel at the stars… And the Sydney Observatory is the perfect place to do so. This heritage-listed meteorological station and astronomical observatory will delight both serious stargazers and curious ‘what’s so cool about stars anyway?’ visitors – it’s a whole new world up there. Pre-book your Sydney Observatory stargazing adventure here.

6. Discover the meaning of fun at Timezone

When it gets a bit chilly outdoors, head to one of the iconic Timezone entertainment venues in Sydney – the perfect after-dark indoor activity destination for solo adventurers or groups of friends and families. Each Timezone is jam-packed with a range of popular arcade games and state-of-the-art entertainment offerings such as laser tag, bowling and bumper cars. Visiting a Timezone promises hours of play (and shelter from the cold weather!). Timezone Central Park and Timezone Haymarket are both located in the Sydney CBD area but find your closest Timezone here.

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