Sydney Town Hall is much more than a pretty façade. Its cascading stairs, lovingly remembered by many as a meeting or late night hangout spot, have seen more than a century of all types of people and events. From Queen Elizabeth II, to Amy Johnson – the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930 – to KISS, to Lady Gaga, the list of luminary visitors rolls on. On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June, peek into the town hall’s grandiose halls, fascinating artefacts and surprising social history. Here’s a taste of the free, kid-friendly events planned for the day:
With its grand, ornate halls, Sydney Town Hall was home to many a ballroom competition throughout the years. But the silks and sequins don’t stop there – many women have fond memories of making their debut at the town hall.
In memory of the 1886 Juvenile Ball, dance instructors will take visitors through ballroom dancing basics. Drop-in dance lessons will take place throughout the day.
A floor full of flowers
In 1938, around 200 women volunteered to create a floral work of 1 million roses in just over 12 hours to raise funds for local kindergartens and the war effort. The flowers were donated by Sydneysiders, but also people from around the country and overseas, including Fiji, Java and Singapore.
Join others in making hundreds of delicate paper flowers to create a huge 6 by 5 metre floral carpet.
Dress your best
In August 1886, the Mayoress of Sydney hosted 800 children for a fancy dress ball in the vestibule, with kids dressing up as mini versions of Julius Caesar, Napoleon and others.
Kids are welcome to come dressed up, or select from the period costumes available on the day.
Best in show
From dogs to cats to snakes, Sydney Town Hall welcomed the fanciest of show pets to compete.
Sydney Town Hall still has some cute tales in store. Kids are invited to search for clues hidden in the building’s architecture to unveil surprising animal stories.
Amy Johnson was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. In 1930, she greeted a roaring crowd from the Sydney Town Hall portico.
Get involved in a paper plane throwing competition with a difference. Create your own aircraft to see how many ‘miles’ it will fly to reach one of the 16 destinations where Amy landed, before arriving in Sydney.
We Love Sydney Town Hall is on 25 and 26 June. Check out the full program.