What's Happening for Kids

Activities, Exhibitions & Vessels

  • Activities


    We offer an exciting program for the whole family with kid’s activities held on weekdays, weekends and during the school holidays. Kids and adults can also climb aboard our vessels including a real submarine and retired warship, and roam the museum’s expansive exhibition space.

    Click on the links below to find out dates, times and ticket information for each event.

     James Cameron - Challenging the Deep


    Opens 29 May 2018

    Discover science, technology & exploration..

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    © Qing Lin - The Insiders

    Closes 14 October 2018

    Reconnect with nature through the magic of photography.

    Sail The Seven Seas

    A young boy and girl climbing through the submarine HMAS Onslow


    Climb aboard our historic fleet to feel what life at sea was really like.

    Kids on Deck

    Young boy with a craft paper fish

    10am-4pm Daily During School Holidays 

    A fun-filled activity space with arts and craft, games, and dress ups.

    3D Cinema

    Oceans 3D post image with seal dolphins and fish

    Daily: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm (check availability first) 

    See Oceans 3D: Our Blue Planet.

    Touch the Cabinet of Curiosities

    A young boy investigating Antarctic objects on the cabinet of curiosity.

    Daily 11am and 2pm, Sundays 11am and 2pm during term

    Touch and discover curious scientific objects and specimens.

    Creative Workshops

    Kids in front of a green screen

    11 July

    Get hands on with a photography or Music Video workshop.

    Family Torchlight Tour

    Join our Torchlight Tours. A boy and girl with torches on HMB Endeavour

    Thursday 19 July

    Join an after-dark tour of the HMAB Endeavour 

    Deep Sea Sensorium

    2 female circus performers at the museum

    Daily 12.30am & 2pm, except Saturdays.  30 mins

    Journey into the world of strange & wonderful deep sea life.

    Meet Bailey the Dog

    Bailey the Dog, Assistant Director, Seagulls

    Daily, roving between 2.30-3pm

    Meet the adorable Bailey, our assistant director of seagulls as he takes his afternoon walk. *please check availability on the day

    Eat at Yots Café

    Burger and chips at Yots cafe
    Open 9.30am–5pm, Monday to Sunday

    Kids are covered at Yots Cafe or the Kiosk.

    A young girl doing craft in Kids on Deck
  • Exhibitions


    Set the kids free in the museum’s massive 3700 square metres of exhibition space! Explore our permanent and special exhibitions about Australia’s unique connection to water and the stories, objects and people that link us all together.

    A little sailor girl with a blow up world globe above her head

    Mini Mariners Play space

    Welcome to our brand new interactive gallery and play space for kids under five. Children will take an imaginative journey from the 'sandy seashore' to 'under the sea' with free-play games, activities and displays specially designed to stimulate their growing minds and inspire their curiosity.

    Mannequin on display along with various suitcases at the museum


    Get assignment help on the First Fleet and convict ships with this fascinating exhibition. The kids can see images of a ship from the First Fleet, and personal items such as diary excerpts, clothing, precious mementos and shipboard souvenirs from travellers who have journeyed to Australia as convicts, immigrants or war brides.

    Family of four walking alongside the Welcome Wall at the Australian National Maritime Museum

    Welcome Wall

    Is your family among the 6 million people who have migrated to Australia? Let the kids search for their surname on the museum’s Welcome Wall. This special tribute stands in honour of all those who have migrated from countries around the world to live in Australia.

  • Vessels


    Kids love our historic ships and vessels - including the HMB Endeavour (replica and part-time pirate ship), a warship and a real floating submarine.

    The museum has one of the largest floating historical vessel collections in the world. Safely docked at our wharves, kids can climb on board to explore life at sea.

    The museum's navy destroyer HMAS Vampire at the museum wharf

    Destroyer: HMAS Vampire

    HMAS Vampire, Australia's largest museum vessel, is the last of the country's big gun ships.

    Important tips

    • Kids must be accompanied by an adult
    • Some vessels have a height minimum of 90cm - HMB Endeavour Replica, Submarine HMAS Onslow and some visiting vessels – ask at the desk. (Unfortunately smaller children cannot be carried on these vessels.)
    • Be prepared to get physical. Most vessels involve some climbing, steps, crouching and navigating confined spaces.
    • No high heels. Flat shoes with enclosed toe recommended.
    Endeavour in full sail on open waters

    HMB Endeavour

    The Australian-built replica of James Cook's HMB Endeavour is one of the world's most accurate maritime replica vessels. When you come on board you may wonder whether James Cook and his crew have just stepped ashore somewhere on their voyage.

    HMAS Onlsow in the water next to Action Stations at the museum with the city in the background

    Submarine: HMAS Onslow

    Venture into the secret world of submarine warfare on HMAS Onslow. It's still close to operational condition, so if you go on board listen out for the diving alarm! HMAS Onslow is currently in drydock and is not available for visit. Onslow will reopen to the public on 4 March 2018

  • Lighthouse


    Various vessels and a lighthouse on the waterfront of the Australian National Maritime Museum

    Built in 1874, the museum’s historic Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse is 22 metres high and located on our stunning waterfront overlooking Darling Harbour.

    • The lighthouse is open every day (except Christmas) and guided tours run daily. You can check times at the ticket desk in the museum foyer when you arrive.
    • Kids of all ages are allowed to climb to the top when accompanied by an adult (small children can be carried). The stairs are narrow and winding making the climb a great adventure!
    • Once you get the top the views are magnificent – perfect for selfies and family pictures.
    • Learn about the lighthouse’s history (it was originally a working lighthouse in Townsville, Queensland) and get a close up look at the amazing clockwork and kerosene mechanism from 1913.
  • Photo Gallery

    Photo Gallery

    A young boy building a boat in the Going Places exhibitionA girl & boy using an interactive in the Going Places exhibitionTwo girls in front of a photograph in the Beautiful Whale exhibition3 young kids in playing in Kids on DeckA boy doing craft in the Kids on Deck spaceA girl doing craft in the Kids on deck spaceCraft items to make a whale mobileA Narwhal puzzle from the Kids on Deck spaceA male story teller with a young girl in a life vestA male storyteller in front of an audience of childrenA women with 2 small girls at the touch trolley in the museumA women with 2 small girls at the touch trolley in the museumA whale mobile in the Kids on Deck spaceA young girl showing off her finished whale mobile in the Kids on Deck space