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INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Family Guide to the Art Gallery NSW Kids Activities 

There’s FREE kids activities year round at the Art Gallery of NSW


Yes, free activities for the kids, all year round.

The wonderful people at the Art Gallery of NSW know that the way into the hearts and minds of children (our next generation of thinkers, doers, innovators, and makers) is through hands-on creative art activities and so that is what they provide.

Take a look at all the fun things to do at the Art Gallery of NSW with kids below. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

photo - art gallery nsw kids alphabet books

History of the Art Gallery of NSW 

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is the most important public gallery in Sydney and one of the largest in Australia.

The Sydney Art Gallery held it’s first public exhibition upon opening in 1874.

Nowadays, it plays host to the Archibald Prize, and is much loved as a destination for art and culture buffs. 

photo art gallery nsw kids activities

Guide to Art Gallery NSW Kids Activities

There’s ALWAYS a bunch of fun art activities for kids at the State Art Gallery of NSW. 

Specially designed family activity areas are set up throughout the gallery near current exhibitions.

These offer FREE hands on art activities and experiences for kids of all ages, inspired by the Artists showcasing their views on the world, or current local events and festivals such as Chinese New Year, as well as exhibitions by the traditional custodians of the land. 

Some activities are drop in, while others require bookings in advance.

All materials and instructions are provided for each art project.


Image credit: Art Gallery of NSW

Drop in and Make Sessions at the NSW Art Gallery for Kids

Drop In and Make sessions give kids the opportunity to do things like:

  • making pattern play inspired by symmetry, or the random fall of paper where kids use magnetic shapes to create their own playful patterns.
  • making paper “Pups” made from paper, to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dog 
  • play with bold colours, letters and numbers to tell your story
  • weaving artwork of magical colours and textures
  • creating rainbows and unicorns
  • play with light and shape to design a colourful pattern of petals and leaves.

Drop in sessions of NSW art gallery children’s activities run for 3-4 hours during the middle part of the day, from around 11am to 3.30pm. 

You’ll find them every Sunday, and during school holidays too. 

Activities change regularly. Check the board by the entrance door and desk for today’s offerings. 

RELATED: Ultimate List of the Best Things to do in Sydney with Kids

pen spiral toy by nsw art gallery fb

Image credit: Art Gallery of NSW

Art Club for Kids at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

At this Australian art gallery, there’s also: 

  • Art Club 2020 for children aged 9-13 years.
  • Kids Club 2020 for children aged 5-8 years.

These monthly art classes are a hands-on session where kids can learn different mediums and techniques (one focus per session) to develop their artistic abilities.

Kids will also have time to explore the gallery, expand their art knowledge through question and answers with the workshop leaders, be inspired by current exhibitions for their own work. 

Bookings essential on 02 9225 1878. 

Sundays at 10.30am, 1pm, 3pm

Fees per workshop (All materials supplied):  

  • $45 non-member
  • $35 member

Note: Please arrive at the Member’s Lounge at least 15 minutes before sessions start. 

Tours for Tots Program at the AGNSW

Families can also join in the popular Tours for Tots program for children aged 3-5 years at a small cost. 

This program for young kids (and their parent or carer) runs on the last Tuesday and Thursday of most months.

Each month, children are encouraged to explore, investigate, play and make art based on a different theme.

Book Tours for Tots at the Art Gallery of NSW here.

photo - art gallery nsw archibald prize for kids

Details of the Archibald Exhibition Sydney 

Australia’s most extraordinary art event

The Archibald Prize held  is arguably the most well-known art competition in Australia, but like us, you might be unaware what that actually means.

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes is an annual exhibition eagerly anticipated by artists and audiences alike.

Archibald Prize 

The Archibald Prize is the prize awarded annually to the best portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’.

You’ll see portraits of politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

Wynne Prize 

The Archibald exhibition is part of a bigger competition/exhibition.

It also features the Wynne prize for best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours or for the best example of figure sculpture by Australian artists.

Sulman Prize

Plus, there’s the Sulman prize for best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist prize.

ben quilty painting of margaret olley pic

Margaret Olley by Ben Quilty

The Archibald Prize Winnings

The Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921 after the receipt of a bequest from J. F. Archibald, the editor of The Bulletin who died in 1919 and is worth $100,000!

Entries in the Archibald Prize competition are also eligible to be considered for:

  • Packing Room Prize – value $1500
  • ANZ People’s Choice – value $3500

Take a look at previous Archibald Prize winners here.

The Archibald Prize exhibition is a ticketed event.

Children under 5 are free.

The Archibald Prize 2020 exhibition dates are to be announced. 

Art Gallery of NSW Kids Entries for Archibald Prize

Can children go to the Archibald Prize exhibition at the Sydney Art Gallery?

Children are most welcome to view the exhibition and the gallery provides an activity booklet for kids to work through as they meander in and amongst the artworks on display.

Be sure to point out the Young Archie entries created by Australian kids.

Who knows?

Your budding artist might want to enter next year!

salad by jasmin schreiber

Image credit: Jasmine Schreiber via Unsplash

Art Gallery of NSW Cafe & Restaurant

Wondering where to eat at the NSW Art Gallery in Sydney? 

Visit the stylish cafe and restaurant on site.

Foodies will delight in the well-presented food and menu choices. 

Expect to pay slightly more than normal for the cultured atmosphere!

Cafe at the Gallery

Find casual relaxed eating at the light-filled cafe on Lower Level 1. 

Fill your tray with a selection from the cake cabinet, freshly brewed coffee and tea, light snacks, sandwiches, salads and hot food to boot.

Chiswick at the Gallery

Book a table at the elegant Chiswick restaurant on the ground level. 

The menu features plenty of locally grown and sourced fresh produce of the season, much of which comes from the Gallery’s kitchen garden (found on the terrace outside lower level one). 

Eating here is a delightful way to complete your visit. 

photo - art gallery of nsw bookshop

The Art Gallery of NSW Shop

Do be sure to pop into the Gallery Shop.

There’s a bucketload of unique Australian souvenirs including:

  • books
  • scarves
  • diaries
  • toys
  • magnets
  • posters
  • postcards
  • miniature artworks, and more.

(We ADORE the NSW Art Gallery shop!)

photo - art gallery for nsw childrens books

THE INSIDE SCOOP: NSW Art Gallery for Kids

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in AUD dollars, unless otherwise stated

Where is the NSW Art Gallery in Sydney?

The Art Gallery of NSW is on the eastern side of Sydney’s CBD, next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain. Find it just down the road from St Mary’s Cathedral.

Address: Art Gallery Rd, The Domain 2000, Sydney, Australia
Telephone: 1800 679 278
Website: Click here

Opening hours

  • Open daily 9am to 5pm
  • Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Entry fees 

  • General admission to the Gallery (including the permanent galleries and most temporary exhibitions) is free
  • Most exhibitions and events including tours, talks, music and film are free

Admission fees apply to some major temporary exhibitions. See What’s On here.

Statue outside Art Gallery NSW

Image credit: Gordon Makryllos via Wikipedia CC BY SA 4.0

How to get to the Art Gallery of NSW

By Train: St James and Martin Place stations are both about 10 minutes walk.

By Bus: Bus 441 departs from the York Street side of Queen Victoria Building and drops off near the Gallery.

For more information about public transport options, times or disruptions, contact the Transport Infoline on 131 500 or

By Bike: Bike racks are available at the Gallery’s main entrance.

PIN art gallery of nsw kids

Art Gallery of NSW Parking

Looking for parking near NSW art gallery? Here’s your best options. 

No.1: Street Parking near Art Gallery of NSW 

Paid street parking is available on Art Gallery Road, Mrs Macquaries Road and other streets around the Gallery.

No.2: Sydney Art Gallery Parking Stations

There are several parking stations near the Gallery.

The closest is the Domain Car Park

Map- Sydney Art Gallery of New South Wales 


Toilets: Yes

Wifi: Free Wifi available throughout the gallery to instagram your pics

Toadstool Rating: AGNSW

art gallery of nsw for kids review

Looking for More Things to Do in Sydney This Weekend? 

Click the blue links for more Sydney city attractions

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