July in Sydney is very cold indeed but if you’re planning to be a couch potato for the foreseeable future, we have some ideas to help stave off the blues and keep you (almost) distracted from the freezing temperatures. Whether it’s treating yourself to tasty treats at a winter market, indulgent experiences or strapping on those ice skates for a seaside adventure, there’s heaps of fun to be had in Sydney this month. Highlights include the return of the Bastille Festival, dazzling shows like the Beauty And The Beast musical and the magical Yule Ball Celebration. There’s a lot to love this time of the year so don’t miss out. Here are some exciting things to do this July in Sydney.
1. Frenchify your life at the Bastille Festival
One of Sydney’s most popular winter festivals is back this July. The Bastille Festival returns to town from July 13 to 17 and there’s a lot on the cards. For starters, expect a lot of cheese — 10 tons to be precise, and even more wine thanks to their 1.4-kilometre wine-tasting tour around the Harbour. Plus live bands, DJs, street performances, live drawing and fire artists will bring the entertainment as you enjoy the food and festivities. Check out the full program here.
2. Get a taste of magic at the Yule Ball Celebration
The long-awaited Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration is finally coming to Sydney this July. Potterheads can look forward to a magical celebration filled with dreamy lighting, stunning decor, snow and a super festive atmosphere that is ideal for the whole family. There’s also performances, music, themed food and drink and even a Yule Ball Market so don’t miss out.
3. Check out the National Indigenous Art Fair
The National Indigenous Art Fair is returning to Sydney Harbour Foreshore on July 1 and 2 during NAIDOC Week. As an ode to this year’s theme ‘For Our Elders‘, the First Nations art market will feature a vibrant program of music, dance, food, workshops and much more. The fair will also include 25 stalls from the popular Blak Markets with a range of goods on offer including jewellery, gifts, homewares and more. Head here for details.
4. Get cosy at these winter markets
Sydney’s amazing market offerings don’t stop when the weather outside is slightly frosty. This month, you can shop from the newly relaunched Cannery Markets held at a warehouse-style space or head to Cronulla for a beachside market experience. Check out the full list here.
5. Discover Wynyard Station’s unused tunnels
Vivid Sydney might be over but Dark Spectrum, is still illuminating the unused tunnels under Wynyard Station and you can enjoy the spectacle until July 16. The 900m immersive experience combines perfectly choreographed light displays, music and technology to deliver a visual feast for visitors. There’s also robots, lasers and all the lights. Read more about it here.
6. Be blown away by Lightscape at the Royal Botanic Garden
The multi-sensory Lightscape experience has returned to the Royal Botanic Garden with all the lights, colours and sounds. Go on a 2.1km journey through the garden and see glowing tree canopies, vibrant flowers and beautiful, tunnels in this highlight event. Get more info here.
7. Shake it off at an Atlantis-themed silent disco
Love dance, loathe crowds? Head to Sea Life Sydney’s epic silent disco where you can let your hair down in the company of tropical fish, sharks and stingrays. The vibey, adults-only event will take you on a journey through the mythical underwater lands of Atlantis on Friday, July 7. Grab your tickets here.
8. Get frisky at Blanc De Blanc
Blanc De Blanc is back in Sydney for a third round of risqué fun, fearless acrobats and more. The adults-only experience is an excellent night out with aerial stunts, fancy costumes and a whole lot of dancing. Catch it at the Grand Electric until July 30. Grab your tickets here.
9. Get enchanted by the Beauty and the Beast musical
It’s been a long wait but Disney’s Beauty And The Beast Musical has finally arrived at the Capitol Theatre. Expect stunning new sets, costume designs and state-of-the-art technology breathing new life into the classic tale. The musical features a stellar all-Australian cast and tickets are now on sale. Grab them here.
Steve McCurry is an established contemporary photographer whose work has won numerous accolades. Photography lovers now have a chance to witness his work up close through the ICONS exhibition. This exhibition is a tribute to McCurry’s career and showcases a collection of over 100 images that you can experience while listening to audio descriptions from 42 selected exhibitors who will narrate the stories behind these stellar photos.
Tickets are selling out fast, grab yours here.
11. Shop from a one-day-only vintage market
The Round She Goes vintage fashion market is returning to PCYC Marrickville on Saturday, July 8 with 70 stalls filled with accessories, clothes, handmade jewellery and more. Also expect to find treasures from high-end brands including Jean Paul Gaultier, See by Chloé, Alquema, Prada, Christian Dior and Carla Zampatti. Entry is just $4 and you can grab your tickets here.
12. Kick back with a Wizardry High Tea
Magic is definitely in the air this July and Shangri-La Sydney is joining in with an exclusive Wizardry High Tea. The Grand Ballroom at the luxury hotel is getting a magical makeover complete with decor, perfectly brewed teas and potions and a themed menu from July 1-16. Get more info and ticket details here.
13. Enjoy mulled wine and French movies at this outdoor cinema
It’s not just food and wine that you enjoy at the Bastille Festival this July. The team behind the beloved event is also bringing back Le Mulled Wine Cinema where visitors can enjoy harbour views, classic French films like Amélie Poulain and La Vie en Rose and drink mulled wine to their heart’s content. Find the full program and ticket details here.
14. Have heaps of fun at the Bondi Festival
The Bondi Festival returns from June 30-July 16 with a variety of exciting events on offer. There’s a Ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, an ice rink by the beach and options to eat, drink and play along the iconic Bondi Beach. Plus there’s First Nations music, and a First Nations food truck slinging delicious food throughout the event. Get the details here.
15. Check out this huge Marilyn Monroe Exhibition
A blockbuster Marilyn Monroe exhibition is making its way to Sydney Town Hall with over 200 single pieces of personal artifacts on display. There’s handwritten notes, letters and a number of personal possessions which will give fans a deeper insight into the icon’s life and career. You can get your tickets for the exhibition here.
16. Get slurping at the Sydney Ramen Festival
Did you know there’s a giant Ramen Festival in town? It’s on for six weeks and some of the city’s finest ramen restaurants have come on board for it. Rising Sun Workshop, IIKO Mazesoba, Gumshara, Rara Ramen, Rara Ramen and Butter are just some of the many Sydney favourites dishing out amazing variations of ramen. Find all the info you need here.
Attend one of Sydney’s beautiful Candlelight concerts and get lost in a number of familiar tunes this June. Tickets are available to tribute shows to Queen, Coldplay, Joe Hisaishi and more.
🕯️Candlelight Orchestra: Best of Hans Zimmer
🕯️Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen at The SMC
🕯️Candlelight: Tribute to Coldplay at the SMC
🕯️Candlelight: Tribute to Taylor Swift at the SMC
🕯️Candlelight: Best of Joe Hisaishi
🕯️Candlelight: Best of Anime Soundtracks at the SMC
🕯️Candlelight: Tribute to Pink Floyd
🕯️Candlelight: A Tribute to Beatles on Strings
18. Drive out of town for the Kiama Winter Festival
Keen to get out of the city? Australia’s most livable town, Kiama is hosting its very own winter festival by sea and it sounds like a fab day out. Ice skating by the ocean, cosy igloos, food trucks and entertainment are on the cards from July 7 to July 12, the Kiama Harbour Foreshore and Blowhole Point. Read all about it and start planning your day trip from Sydney here.
19. See the Demon Barber of Fleet Street in action
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is coming to the Sydney Opera House this July with a serving of greed, lust, and vengeance. Expect blood, gore and more in this giant production by the Victorian Opera and New Zealand Opera. Grab your tickets here.
20. Dig out your Blue Suede Shoes for the Elvis Musical
The appetite for Elvis Presley is still strong and fans can now look forward to an epic musical featuring 40 of his most iconic songs including Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, Burning Love and Good Rockin’ Tonight. The Australian premiere will open at Sydney’s State Theatre and you can grab your tickets here.
21. Get spooked at Luna Park in the Dark
Luna Park is powering down from July 12-15 for a series of after-hours activities. Experience unlimited rides all night with views of the city skyline, delicious food offerings, roaming entertainment and street performers. Grab your tickets here.
22. Go on a ghostly candlelit tour of Old Government House
Love getting spooked? The Old Government House in Parramatta is hosting ghostly night tours every month throughout winter and it’s guaranteed to give you the creeps. This month the tour takes place on July 21 with snacks and hot drinks afterward. Read all about it here.
23. See the highly anticipated Tina — The Tina Turner Musical
Get working on your Nutbush City Limits routine because the long-awaited Tina Turner musical has taken over the Theatre Royal. The musical premiered in London in 2018 to widespread critical and commercial acclaim; it tells the story of the singer’s humble beginnings in Tennessee to her meteoric rise to global fame and a comeback story like no other. Grab your tickets here.
The Magician’s Cabaret is super popular for its extravagant shows and excellent dinners. There’s no other show in Sydney quite like The Underground Burlesque Experience or La Belle Rose—Sydney’s longest-running cabaret show. Grab your tickets before they sell out.
25. Fill your bags at the Blacktown Drive-In Markets
Love your weekend market strolls? Check out the Blacktown Drive-In Markets, located at the Skyline Drive-In, Sydney’s last remaining drive-in theatre. There’s over 200 stalls on-site and you can expect everything from cheap eats and drinks to excellent vintage bargains. Read all about it here.
Walking through the Blue Mountains never gets old. On this guided tour, you’ll be accompanied by an astrophysicist who will answer all your questions and witness the beauty of the world heritage site after dark. Get all the details plus tickets here.
Ever wondered what it’s like to dine in complete darkness? If science is to be believed, it can elevate your dining experience to a whole other level of deliciousness. A sensational new experience at Capriccio Osteria is putting this to the test with a blindfold and a surprise menu for guests.
28. Go whale watching around Sydney
The whales are back and you can get a look at these majestic creatures right here at home. From Palm Beach to Manly, check out the best spots to see whales in and around Sydney here.
29. Enjoy a steamy soak at the Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool
It’s the coldest month of the year so if you’re keen to beat the cold, head out of town to the picturesque Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool in NSW. Located in the Kosciuszko National Park, you’ll find two pools at the venue, heated to a consistent 27 degrees all year round. Plan your trip here.
A Magical Soirée, by Bruce Glen combines fantastic stories with fascinating magic tricks to leave audiences in awe and wonder inside a heritage building. Grab your tickets here.