7 Summer Things To Do in Sydney That Aren't The Beach

The beach is great until you're a sand-covered mess sporting a third degree sunburn and obscure tan lines. Sydney's got waaay more to offer.

We've found a bunch of sand-free Summer activities and paired them with some great restaurants nearby. Think of us as your very own summer sommelier or something.

So grab ur shades and sunscreen, we're going on an adventure. You can leave your wallet at home tho, cause all of the restaurants along the way are on Liven. The future is NOW. 😎

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Moonlight Cinema + Calabur Cafe and Diner

Pick a flick, grab some tickets and head to Centennial Park to the Moonlight Cinema. What's showing? Feast your eyes on Johnny Depp in The Orient Express or James Franco in Murder On The Disaster Artist. Or, check out an advance screening of a new movie like Breathe, Paddington 2, and Pitch Perfect 3. For those that aren't partial to over-sequelled acapella films, you'll also find some classics like Dirty Dancing and The Breakfast Club.

What are we eating?
All sessions kick off at 8:30pm, so add a bar to the equation afterwards and you'll wind up with one killer date night. So - let's sneak on down to Calabur Cafe and Diner. Styled in the image of a 1950's New York Bar, expect sexy east meets west inspired cocktails, craft beer, a pretty great range of wine and Asian fusion tapas. Open til midnight Friday & Saturday, so you've got plenty of time.


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IceBar + Rabbit Hole

If you're particularly opposed to beach visits, make yourself explicitly clear by going to the one place closest to being the polar opposite of the beach. You heard it, you're getting an ICE BAR, Sydney! Just for one day though. Tickets are going at $65 dollars a head with a cocktail, wine and beer included. Here's to being sandfree and icy as everrrr. 😎

What are we eating?
Statement made. Time to heats things up a bit. We're thinking this will be best achieved with woodfired pizza and molecular cocktails. Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining brings you creative cocktails & snacks to share (hello there popcorn pork, pork belly bites and grilled halloumi.) Like Calabur, it's also in a basement. All great things happen in the basement (?).


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Village Pools + The OhBar Thai

Those on a strict beach hiatus need to swim and sunbake TOO. As part of the Sydney Festival, there's going to be a bunch shipping containers turned to pools and plonked right in the middle of the city. Bang! You just whipped yourself up an urban beach. Surround yourself with art experiences, live performances and sun lounges - not sand and swimming sea creatures. It's also free. Read more here.

What are we eating?
Once you've got your fix of sunlight, how about some Thai? Assuming you've got a change of clothes (😳 ) The OhBar Thai is always a wonderful idea - and it's just a short stroll from the Village Pools at the end of Hyde Park. Modern Thai cuisine & cocktails that reinvent your childhood favourites ( think bubblegum, yakult and popcorn). Sounds like a seriously good time.


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Chinese Garden of Friendship + N2 Extreme Gelato

If the Summer heat & sweaty sidewalk traffic has got you feeling a little angsty, it's probably time for you to channel your inner zen. Willows, waterfalls, lakes and hidden paths. Find a quiet space and watch some koi, or visit a teahouse for some Chinese tea. Once you leave, you'll probably have strength enough to survive the stress of ONE peer-pressured beach visit.

What are we eating?
Unfortunately, your newly found inner-peace probably can't do much to help you up with the heat on a 40 degree day. N2 Extreme Gelato on the other hand - they know a think or two about keeping it cool. Take a walk just across the road and grab yourself an ice cold liquid nitrogen gelato. 😛 What. A. Day.


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The Wharf Theatre + Casa Ristorante Italiano

Take some time off of your Riverdale binge and keep it cultured this Summer. Catch one of the many plays of the season hosted by Sydney Theatre Company. How about picking up a ticket or two to the world premiere of Lethal Indifference by Anna Barnes? Or Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story by Priscilla Jackman? Even if you're not so much of a theatre fan, the schedule is always pretty diverse! We're sure you'll find something you're into.

What are we eating?
Location, location! Look where you are. You're surrounded by fine restaurants - but few quite so fine as Casa Ristorante. Conclude your night with class at Casa for delicious Italian dining and A LOT of wine. A warm summer night, harbour side location and a glass of red. Now you're talking.


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Bondi Markets + Mad Pizza e Bar

If you're secretly feeling the beach vibes, but not actually being on the beach - here's a good one. From 10 'til 4 on Sunday pay a visit to the Bondi Markets, right on the shore of Bondi Beach. It's packed with goodies by up & coming designers, second hand threads, plants and snacks. Find and obtain the prettiest bunch of flowers and be on your way to wonderful food.

What are we eating?
Follow the beachy vibes allll the way to Mad Pizza e Bar. A gorgeous spot for Italian cuisine fit with cute hanging ferns, turquoise tables, water print walls and red checkered table clothes. Order a pizza, sip on an aperol spritz, and admire your new market finds. You're welcome.


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Bike Ride + Criniti's

Go and dust the cobwebs off that bicycle in the shed and take a leisurely cruise along Manly Beach. No bike? Take a walk, or maybe rent one out! You'll be able to watch the beach goers from a safe, sand-free distance away.

What are we eating?
Bet you've worked up an appetite, you budding cyclist, you! Criniti's serves up a ONE METRE pizza, so you can go ahead and treat yourself for all that hard work (or undo it all 🤔). There's also Ducatis sprinkled all around the restaurant, so you can consider the purchase of a bike that doesn't require all that tedious pedalling you just endured.


Important side note:
We are not as SALTY about the beach as this article may make it seem.

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