Sydney / Lifestyle / Things to Do in Sydney: Your Ultimate January Guide

Things to Do in Sydney: Your Ultimate January Guide

Your ultimate guide to what’s on in Sydney this month
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From charity drives and pumping music festivals to lively market days and foodie feasts, Sydney has plenty to keep you occupied throughout the summer. Avoid FOMO with our top picks of things to do in Sydney throughout the rest of January.

BUSHFIRE DISASTER RELIEF

With the fires continuing to burn across much of the country, it's time to get together and do what we can to support emergency services and Aussies in fire-affected areas. Donate money to your local Rural Fire Service brigade, contribute to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, or support WIRES to keep our native fauna safe – every little bit counts. If you are looking to donate goods and services rather than cash, head to GIVIT where you can find what is needed.  

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The Rook (Credit: Jasper Avenue)
Australian Venue Co

From now until 1st February, Australian Venue Co will be donating $1 for every schooner and $2 for every pint of Furphy sold in their NSW venues  ̶  think The Winery, Untied and The Rook, to just name a few. Funds raised will be donated to the National Bushfire Disaster Appeal, which has been established by Bendigo Bank & Salvation Army to support all communities impacted by bushfires across Australia.

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Primo All-day Breakfast in Bed Café

Primo, Australia’s largest manufacturer of deli meats, is calling all bacon enthusiasts to indulge in an all-day bacon pop-up café. Guests of the café will be able to enjoy an all-day breakfast in bed with an impressive bacon spread (from maple bacon waffles to breakfast weave bacon tacos) and relax with bacon essential oils and face masks while listening to the soothing sounds of sizzling bacon. Plus, you get a pair of take-home bacon PJs! All proceeds from the ticket sales are being donated to Foodbank. 

17th-18th January

$20

The Studio, 2/85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery

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Gelatissimo

This Saturday, Gelatissimo is supporting Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis by donating $1 from every scoop sold at all 48 stores across the country. Every dollar raised will be donated to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal, with the Gelatissimo team hoping to reach up to $50,000 on the day.  

Saturday 18th January

$1

Various locations across Sydney

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ARIA Restaurant
Solotel Group

The owners of the Solotel Group, the Solomon Family, along with Matt Moran are supporting Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis through a series of donations and in-venue fundraising opportunities, launching from Friday 10 January. 

Solotel’s pubs and bars are hosting a Bushfire Relief Hour on Friday 17th January, with all proceeds from food and beverages sold between 5 - 7pm on the day being donated directly towards the bushfire appeal. Participating venues will span 21 bars and pubs across Sydney.

The group are also introducing a Bushfire Relief Dish or Drink on each of their menus. Launching Friday 10th January through to Sunday 9 February, 100% of proceeds from a single highlighted menu item at Aria, Bea at Barangaroo House, Chiswick Woollahra, Chiswick at the Gallery, Chophouse Sydney, and North Bondi Fish will go directly towards the Rural Fire Service.

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Gelato Messina

The gelato legends over at Messina have set up their own bushfire appeal to help with the disaster recovery. By donating a minimum of $10 you go into the running to win one of ten golden tickets, which grants you free Gelato Messina for a year and one of their epic gelato cakes for your birthday.

From now until Friday 17th January, 5pm

From $10

Bondi, Circular Quay, Darling Square, Darlinghurst, Miranda, Newtown, Parramatta, Penrith, Rosebery, Surry Hills, The Star and Tramsheds

Merivale

Justin Hemmes, leader of hospitality giant Merivale, has set up a donation portal through the company’s Facebook page to encourage staff and patrons to give generously to the RFS. Kick starting the appeal with a $500,000 donation of his own money, he hopes they can reach $1 million.

In addition, Merivale's ivy will be hosting a bushfire appeal concert with some of Australia's biggest electronic act taking the stage. At ivy on Sunday 12th January, kicking off at 2pm, catch Aussie legend FISHER take the stage with Little Fritter and Rich Penny. Tickets cost $50 and all proceeds from the day will be donated to help those on the front lines.

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Applejack Hospitality

To help in the appeal, Applejack Hospitality and their suite of venues have set up a range of fundraising initiatives and events over the next month to support the Salvation Army Disaster Fund and Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery. 

On Monday 13th January, 100% of profits from coffee sales at Junes Shoppe and Table Sixty will be donated, and on Tuesday 21st January SoCal will host an All You Can Eat Taco fundraising event ($40 per person) with 50% of sales being donated.

At every venue they have set up a 'tips for bushfire relief' jar and allow patrons to add $1, $2 or $5 to their final bill to contribute to the donations.

Good Pair Days

Wine curators Good Pair Days are doing their bit to help with the giant rebuilding task that lays ahead. They have purchased wines from fire-affected Adelaide Hills wineries for a special 'Bushfire Support Box', with all profits from these packs to be donated to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. 

From $90

Empty Esky

A way to help towns long after the donations have stopped rolling in, the Empty Esky Bushfire Recovery encourages Aussie's to book a road trip this year. In an effort to help the locals and businesses in fire-affected towns get back on their feet, the Empty Esky movement is all about visiting the towns, staying the weekend and buying from their shops, growers, producers and restaurants.

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Bopp & Tone

Cool CBD hangout Bopp & Tone is hosting a Bushfire Benefit next month and 100% of the ticket sales will be split between the Salvation Army Bushfire Disaster Appeal, Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery, and WIRES. Expect a shared feast, delicious drinks, entertainment, and an opportunity to enter their prize raffle and silent auction.

Saturday 1st February, 7pm 

From $150 per person or upgrade to a VIP Booth for $900 (5 tickets at $180 each) 

60 Carrington Street, Wynyard

Young Henrys
Young Henrys
Beer for Bushfire Relief

This Saturday, local Sydney breweries will be taking part in the Beer for Bushfire Relief to raise money for the country’s firefighters and affected communities. This adds to an anticipated 70+ initiatives across Australia. Inner West’s own local tour company Hop, Grape & Grain are throwing in the transport to help supporters get from brewery to brewery responsibly, for a donation of you choice.

Leading Sydney breweries including Young Henry’s, Frenchies Bistro & Brewery, One Drop Brewing, Sauce Brewing Co, Wayward, Batch Brewing, Sydney Brewery and Rocks Brewing Co have confirmed participation on the day, offering karma kegs and tree planting to help raise funds. 

Saturday 28th January, 12pm-8pm

Inner West, Sydney

EAT & DRINK

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Chinese New Year, Duck & Rice

To celebrate the year of the rat, decadent restaurant Duck & Rice has created a special Chinese New Year banquet menu. Available for four or more guests, the menu of nine dishes includes delicacies like dim sum, crispy eggplant in sticky caramelised sauce, steamed QLD coral trout with soy and ginger dressing, and Cantonese roast duck. Plus, dinner bookings on Saturday 25th, Friday 31st January and Saturday 1st February will enjoy live lion dance performances.

From Friday 24th January- Sunday 9th February

$88 per person

Level 7, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney (Inside Westfield Pitt Street Sydney)

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Master Splinter, Bancho
Lunar New Year, Bancho

Chinatown cocktail bar Bancho has launched an exclusive menu of cocktails to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The funky menu includes a berry and gin mix called Master Splinter, a baiju and lychee blend titled Ox Rider, Good as Gold combines citrus flavours and vodka, finishing off with a creamy red bean and Japanese whisky cocktail named Red Fortune.

From now until Saturday 1st February

10 Thomas Lane, Haymarket

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Good Fortune Dumpling, Din Tai Fung

To celebrate Chinese New Year 2020, Din Tai Fung is releasing an indulgent, limited edition red and gold Good Fortune Dumpling. Available in-store between the 23rd January and 9th February 2020, the dumplings are filled with decadent wagyu beef and black truffle and topped with the finest edible gold leaf flakes for a glistening finish. The red and gold colour combination represents lucky colours in Chinese culture, with red symbolising good fortune and happiness, and gold for good luck. 

23rd January- 9th February

From $9.80

Various locations around Sydney

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Bottomless Lunch, Park House

Sitting pretty on the Northern Beaches, local institution Park House is now home to the newest bottomless feast. Grab the gang and enjoy two hours of bottomless bubbles, rosé sangria and Furphys plus a delicious three-course sharing feast. Now that’s our idea of a weekend well spent!

Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm - 3pm

$65 per person

2 Park Street, Mona Vale

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Untied
Frozé Your Way, Untied

This summer, Sydneysiders can step into a tropical paradise in the heart of Barangaroo and cool down with Untied’s ‘Frozé Your Way’. The self-service Frozé Bar offers guests the choice of six refreshingly fruity frozé flavours, allowing them to experiment on their own cocktail with an unlimited number of nostalgic sweets from the showstopping DIY Garnish Wall. Those who are looking to unwind as the sun goes down on Sydney’s Harbour can opt-in for a two-hour bottomless session from Thursday-Sunday for $39pp. 

From $12

Lvl 4/400 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

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Margarita Mansion, Bungalow 8 (Photo credit: Jasper Avenue)
The Margarita Mansion, Bungalow 8

Bungalow 8 is giving Sydneysiders a taste of a Mexican paradise with the launch of the Margarita Mansion. Guests will be transported to a Mexican beachside haven with white curtained cabanas, the ideal spot to unwind in and enjoy the waterfront oasis with one of six different natural fruit flavoured frozen margaritas. The Mexican fiesta takeover will serve up flavoured frozen margaritas, bottomless taco brunches, a roaming Guac Cart and live entertainment throughout the summer. 

3 Lime Street, Sydney

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Lock in Your Next Sunday Session

When the sun's shining on a Sunday, it’s un-Australian not to make the most of it. We may be a bit biased, but when it comes to Sunday sessions, Sydney has it covered. So, to help you round off the week in style, we bring you the best bars in Sydney for an all-out Sunday session, so there’s nothing standing in between you and a spritz. Apart from Monday morning, of course. 


MUSIC, NIGHTLIFE & PARTIES

American Express Lounge at Qudos Bank Arena

From Elton John to Backstreet Boys, this year's line-up at Qudos Bank Arena is one not to be missed. Catch your favourite musicals –  The Wizard of Oz Arena Spectacular (January 25th) is firmly at the top our list – theatre, rock gods, pop kings and queens and sporting events, on this year's eclectic roster

For the full VIP experience, stop by the American Express Lounge. A private area lounge experience designed for card members and their guests to enjoy an extensive range of food and drink options prior to the show, away from the busy crowds. To gain entry into the American Express Lounge, all you have to do is show your American Express Card!

Click here to find out how to become an American Express Card Holder 
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Summer Weekender, Opera Bar

To celebrate summer, Sydney’s favourite waterside venue, Opera Bar, is throwing a three-day Summer Weekender party over the January long weekend. Kicking off on Saturday, Opera Bar will be offering spectacular views, Aussie-inspired food and drinks, live music, surf vibes, giant Jenga and a chance to nab the best spot in the house. Actually we mean the city. 

25th-27th January

Free entry

Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House, Sydney 

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Harpoon Harry (Photo credit: Elise Hassey)
House Party #10, Harpoon Harry

Keep Sydney Open, Picnic and Harpoon Harry are celebrating the end of Sydney’s lockout laws with a very special House Party at Harpoon Harry this weekend. Tim Sweeney from WNYU’s ‘Beats In Space’ will be playing a three-hour set, alongside a cast of local legends and Picnic regulars.

Aside from marking this major win Sydney, 10% of all revenue on the night will be donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service and WIRES. In addition, all the artists will be donating 10% of the their performance fee and donation buckets will be available on the night.

Saturday 18th January, from 8pm

From $27.54

40-44 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills

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Australia Day Weekend, The Squire’s Landing

Located waterfront in The Rocks, The Squire’s Landing offers some of the city’s best views from their harbourside forecourt. Join them on Australia Day for plenty of James Squire brews on tap, an Australian reptile show, live music, a BBQ lunch menu plus front row seats for the evening fireworks.

25th-27th January

Free entry

Northern end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay West, The Rocks

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So Frenchy So Chic

Likely to be the fanciest music festival this summer, So Frenchy So Chic is a picnic-concert-garden party hybrid that ticks all the Francophile boxes: Champagne, cheese and crêpes, a fantastiqueline-up of French artists and games of croquet. It’s a family-friendly affair too, with face painting and flower crown making to keep the tots entertained.

Saturday 18th January, 1pm-11pm

Tickets from $93 (free for children)

Bicentennial Park, Glebe

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Seadeck Season 4

Sydney's Seadeck returns to Sydney Harbour for a summer filled with sundrenched weekend parties. In what promises to be another massive season, prepare to boogie all day with spritz in hand.

Saturdays and Sundays, from 2:00pm

From $30 (+BF)

Darling Harbour, Wharf 9, The Promenade, Sydney

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Live Music Around Town

In the mood for some tunes? You’re in luck, because Sydney’s live music scene is strong. There are brilliant venues dotted all over the city and surrounds, from huge theatres and pubs to underground bars. Sit back and soak up the atmosphere at these eight live music venues.

MARKETS & SHOPPING

Buy From the Bush

For your next online shopping binge, switch your internationally shipped order for a bunch of goodies from the country. The Buy from The Bush campaign aims to connect shopping-savvy city slickers with small businesses, artisans and crafters from rural Australia. By buying from the bush, you’ll invest much-needed dollars into local regional communities and help combat the negative impact of the drought.

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Surry Hills Markets

The place to find a bargain, Surry Hills Market is all about handmade, second-hand and recycled goods. A market that showcases local creative talent, Surry Hills Market is where Sydneysiders go to for vintage, antique and cutting-edge designs, as well as market staples such as pre-loved books, beauty products and bric-a-brac.

First Saturday of the month, 7am to 4pm

Free entry

Shannon Reserve, corner of Crown and Collins Street, Surry Hills

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Kirribilli Markets

In the shadow of Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge, Kirribilli hosts two different markets each month – the Art, Design and Fashion Market and the General Market. It’s a great place to discover emerging fashion designers and artists and browse through second-hand goods and artisan produce.

Art Design and Fashion Market: Second Sunday of the month

General Market: Fourth Saturday of the month

Free entry

Alfred Street South, Milsons Point

FITNESS, SPORT & WELLNESS

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Bouddi National Park, bouddi
Get Hiking

When it comes to scenic walks, we Sydneysiders are spoiled for choice. From Palm Beach to Coogee, strap on your hiking shoes, hit the trails, and take in Sydney’s spectacular harbour and coastline.

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Fall in Love with a Good Beach Read

As we prepare for endless summer days, it’s time to revisit (and possibly re-stack) the bookshelf of beach reads. To help revive your novel collection for holiday mode, we’ve curated a list of the best book curators in Sydney. 

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Set Your Year’s Resolutions

New Year's resolutions. Love them or hate them, we all secretly have goals and challenges we want to accomplish or overcome by the year's end. Whether they're health-focused, self-improvement driven or financially motivated, the turn of the New Year delivers the promise of bigger and better things to come. To safeguard your goal-kicking success, we've delved into the most common resolutions and simplified what you need to do to tackle them in 2020.

ARTS & CULTURE

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Comedy Night, SoCal Neutral Bay

The Funny Flamingo Comedy Club at SoCal Neutral Bay is back for 2020. Featuring a host of new comedians, more jokes and big laughs – gather the crew for another round of side-splitting comedy. Headlining on Monday 20th January is world-travelling British comedian, Christian Elderfield, and he will be joined by MC and host for the evening Sean Michaels, and comedy stars Edan Lattimore, Anthony Locascio, Floyd Alexander Hunt, Wiley Jay and Fletcher Love. 

Monday 20th January, from 5pm

From $10 per person

1 Young Street, Neutral Bay

Sydney Festival

Every year, like clockwork, Sydney Festival reminds us of just how culturally diverse and lively this city is – and 2020’s edition is set to take it up another notch. The three-week festival kicks off on the 8th of January, with a steady stream of music, theatre, dance, opera, visual arts, think tanks and family events. It’s going to be big. In true Sydney Festival style, the schedule features a mix of Aussie and international talent, which not only introduces new names to the world but also gets people buzzing about the event. 

This year, in aid of the bushfire fundraising effort, Sydney Festival will host a one-off concert. The Sydney Festival Bushfire Appeal, hosted on January 11that The Metro Theatre, will play host to Regurgitator, Custard, Dan Sultan, The Neptune Power Federation, Polish Club and Art vs Science, all in the name of supporting the fire-affected communities.

8th-26th January

Various locations across Sydney

St George Open Air Cinema, Mrs Macquarie’s Point
St George Open Air Cinema, Mrs Macquarie’s Point
Westpac OpenAir

Sydney's uber-glam outdoor cinema is set to return this month, with a whole new roster of alfresco cinematic fun. As well as some of the latest blockbuster hits, you can dine in style at the onsite restaurant, with chef Clayton Wells bringing his renowned A1 Canteen restaurant to the foreshore. Meanwhile Biota’s James Viles will be bringing his celebrated fare on selected nights to The Lounge. Look forward to a delicious selection of paddock-to-plate fare served with a side of spectacular harbourside views. Notable mentions include Bombshell, Ford V Ferrari and Little Women

Various showings running from 8th January – 21st February 

Tickets from $40 each (plus booking fee)

Fleet Steps, Royal Botanic Garden off Mrs Macquaries Road

Moonlight Cinema
Moonlight Cinema
Moonlight Cinema

Kicking off at the end of November, Moonlight Cinema will be back in full force until March. Picnic-lovers, wine-guzzlers and movie buffs unite annually in Centennial Park for films beneath the stars. A casual affair, bring your own basket of goodies, picnic blanket and even a bottle of wine. (Yes, BYO wine!) Otherwise get in early, snap up a beanbag and order movie snacks from the food trucks. Heaven.

28th November 2019 29th March 2020

Centennial Park, corner Carrington Drive and Broome Avenue, Paddington


Looking for more things to do in Sydney? We have plenty to keep you entertained. From Sydney's best new restaurants and bars, to cosy pubscafés and late-night cocktail haunts, here's all you need for a weekend in the city. 

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