With four whole days at your disposal this Easter long weekend, why not spend them being a stranger in your own town? There are plenty of things to do in Sydney – art exhibitions, special pop-ups, Easter egg hunts – so plan a staycation and settle in.

Go to the show

Whether you’re in it for the show bags, the puppies or the Dagwood Dogs, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is the family tradition with something for everyone (unless you are some kind of puppy-hating monster). Enjoy such once-a-year treats as the cheeseburger pie, watch the Yandiah Spinners and Weavers turn freshly shorn wool into a jumper and scream your head off on the Alien Abduction Ride.

April 12 to 23; Sydney Olympic Park

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Plan an art escape

Scenic Walkway

Organise a day-trip to the Blue Mountains to Sculpture at Scenic World where, for the eighth year running, the Jurassic rainforest has been transformed into a lush art gallery. The natural environment plays host to 37 works of art by leading local and international artists. Scenic World offers incredible views of the World Heritage-listed mountains with a scenic railway, an elevated walkway and a vertiginous cable-car – add sculptural works and installations and it’s hard to know where to look first.

April 12 to May 12; Corner Violet Street and Cliff Drive, Katoomba

Come face-to-face with whales

At the Australian Museum’s Whales | Tohorā exhibit, you’ll be able to get hands on with the ocean’s largest mammal. Walk through the life-sized heart of a Blue Whale, touch the rib of a fin whale, see the 18-metre skeleton of a Blue Sperm Whale and learn more about the whale-riding stories and traditions of Māori culture. The exhibition is open daily from 9.30am-5pm.

Until April 28; 1 William Street, Sydney

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Get crafty

Wayward Brewery

In industrial buildings all over the Inner West of Sydney, passionate brewers are crafting bespoke ales. Take yourself on a self-guided walking tour to take in such brew-pubs as Wayward Brewing Company in Camperdown where the furniture is pre-loved, the pizza comes from down the road and the beer has character. Mosey on to Marrickville where Batch Brewing Co resides in a former panel-beaters workshop. The mainstays are IP and American pale ale (the owners are both from the US) and more experimental options include Elise the Milk Stout (made with lactose) and Our Kind of Blue (a blueberry wheat ale).

A short distance away is Willie the Boatman, located in a bright white warehouse in St Peters. Food trucks serve the snacks while on tap are the Albo Corn Ale; the Black Bunny made with dark malts, coffee and chocolate; and the Marrickville Lager (designed to go with everything from burnt snags or Vietnamese).

Nerd out with R2-D2

Star Wars fans can view over 200 original costumes, props, models and artworks up close as part of the temporary exhibition on now at the Powerhouse Museum. R2-D2, BB-8 and the Millennium Falcon are all there and every guest will get to build their own unique Star Wars hero at special interactive stations. May the force be with you.

Until June 10; 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

The Great Centennial Park Egg Hunt

This is not a mere hunt, it’s a quest – and the object (finding as much chocolate as possible) is about as important as it gets for the under-10 set. At Centennial Park last year, more than 1000 little cocoa-addicts ranged over the 360 hectares gleefully locating the booty at the Great Centennial Park Egg Hunt. There’s a trail map with challenges for a self-led expedition and it’s sponsored by Cadbury – so you might have to nick a couple of the eggs just to make sure they’re OK. Book ahead – this event is popular.

What to Do in Sydney this Easter Long Weekend

Sat 20 and Sun 21 April; Centennial Parklands, Centennial Park

See treasures from Taipei

The collection of art and artefacts at the National Palace Museum in Taipei spans 5000 years of Chinese history. In a rare event, a series of 87 paintings, ceramics, carvings, calligraphy, bronzes and more from the collection are now on display at the Art Gallery of NSW. It’s the first time the collection has travelled to the southern hemisphere and organisers say it’s unlikely to be seen in Australia again.

Until May 5; Art Gallery Road, Sydney

Have a sugar hit

Sugar Republic

A house made of cookies, a bubblegum ball pit and a birthday cake you can leap out of are just some of the displays you’ll find at Sugar Republic. The temporary ‘dessert museum’ has taken over the sixth floor of Myer George St, offering many an Instagram opportunity throughout its 12 sensory rooms. Sweet as.

Until May 20; Myer George St 

Get a crash course in the ballet

You’ll see three shows for the price of one at Verve, a multi-act dance performance from a trio of Australia’s top choreographers. The Australian Ballet production features Alice Topp’s renowned Aurum, Stephen Baynes’ Constant Variants and Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow, all presented in the one 120-minute sitting. 

Until April 25; Sydney Opera House

Get cultured

If you’ve always played around with the idea of going to the opera, the novelty of the Handa Opera performance of West Side Story on Sydney Harbour might just sway you to take the plunge this Easter. Positioned at Fleet Steps on Mrs Macquarie’s Point, this outdoor event is held against the backdrop of the city, complete with views of the skyline and a full array of pop-up restaurants and bars. The opera itself is an incredible display of engineering, performance, set and costume design and theatrics (the fireworks integrated into the performance are spectacular). Take advantage of the various casual and fine-dining eateries and watering holes at the venue from 5pm before the performance starts at 7:30pm.

Until April 21; Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney

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