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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

How to Spend One Perfect Sunday in The Rocks

See out the weekend with live music, free art exhibitions, yoga and al fresco cocktails.
By Jordan Kretchmer
November 27, 2020
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How to Spend One Perfect Sunday in The Rocks

See out the weekend with live music, free art exhibitions, yoga and al fresco cocktails.
By Jordan Kretchmer
November 27, 2020
  shares

in partnership with

UPDATE: January 12, 2021 — The Rocks Picnic has been postponed until further notice. We'll be sure to keep you updated with further information and dates. 

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With the weather looking up, the sun setting later and vibrancy returning to the city, there's never been a better time to plan a full day out in The Rocks, especially on a Sunday. The historic precinct is well known for its sandstone terraces and bustling markets, but there's so much more to do in this slice of old (and new) Sydney when you know where to look. We've partnered with The Rocks to help you plan a bumper day out in the area, packed with art, music, good food and excellent views.

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Person leading a yoga class at The Rocks

Anna Kucera

9.30AM – STRETCH IT OUT IN THE PARK

Kick off the day with a salute to the sun or two at one of the free Yoga in the Park sessions. Every Sunday, you can move through an energising-yet-relaxing stretch and flow class, all with views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. You'll need to BYO mat and book ahead to secure your spot. As a bonus, each free class includes a voucher for a free coffee from one of the nearby cafes.

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10.30AM – GET YOUR CAFFEINE FIX

After your stretch session, we recommend hitting up one of The Rocks' best laneway cafes. The Fine Food Store has been tapping out beautiful brews and hearty brekkies since 2004 and, if you're dining in, you can take advantage of its bottomless batch filter for $8.50. Or, head to ASLAN Coffee Roasters, which offers up its own St Peters-roasted beans, including single origin and on-tap nitro coffee.

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11AM – STOCK UP ON PICNIC ITEMS

It's now time to hunt down everything you need for an easy-going Sunday arvo picnic. Brooklyn Boy Bagels has a market stall in The Rocks every Sunday, so make a beeline for its boiled bagels and try not to eat them all before lunch. Keep an eye out for the tasty cured meats by Backa Sydney, also at the markets, as well as fresh organic pickles from Rita's Farm. More of a sweet tooth? Make sure you check out the new store from Tokyo Lamington, where the classic Aussie sponge cake gets an upgrade in flavours like thai milk tea, yuzu meringue and black sesame.

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Four friends having a picnic in the Rocks

Anna Kucera

MIDDAY – HEAD TO THE PARK

Now you've stocked up on snacks, it's time to take a seat in First Fleet Park, where you'll find live music every Sunday afternoon. Local musicians serenade park-goers with acoustic sounds, and there are park games, too, like an oversized snakes and ladder game, so you can channel your inner kid and challenge your friends to a battle while enjoying the ambient tunes.

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Installation view of 'Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop' by Anna Kucera

2PM – DIVE INTO THE MCA

Now you're fed and feeling good, take in some culture. The Museum of Contemporary Art's three current exhibitions offer respite from the city and insights to the exhibiting artists' unique practices. Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop is a major survey of the Australian Chinese artist's career and it's free to check out. Anywhere but here: MCA Primavera Acquisitions draws on the gallery's collection of works by young Australian artists who've previously participated the annual exhibition Primavera, while Connections is a snapshot of First Nations art centred around the ways we interpret and interact with the world and each other.

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Anna Kucera

3PM – GET SOME RETAIL THERAPY

It goes without saying that The Rocks Markets should be your first port of call. The long-running markets brings together unique makers, craftsman, artists and collectors showcasing their goods from 10am–5pm every Saturday and Sunday. Afterwards, browse the standalone boutiques, such as Aesop for beautifully made skincare products and the Eloise Panetta pop-up for botanically dyed garments and accessories.

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Alana Dimou

4PM – HEAD TO THIS ROOFTOP

The Glenmore is a favourite with locals and visitors alike for its top-notch views of Sydney Harbour, including the Opera House. As there are almost no tourists in town, you'll have an even better chance of snaring a prime rooftop position for some afternoon brews. There's plenty of local and craft beers on tap, and a full menu of pub classics like chicken parmigiana and beer battered fish and chips.

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Alana Dimou

6PM – FINISH WITH A COCKTAIL

Cap off the day with a cocktail at Doss House. The cocktail bar is one of 19 bars and restaurants participating in The Rocks' new al fresco dining pilot, which allows venues to sprawl out into the streets, activating laneways and allowing punters plenty of room to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat (or both). The Doss House's extended outdoor area makes the most of Unwins Courtyard. Here, you can enjoy charcuterie platters complete with smoked wallaby, Bay of Fires cheddar, local honey and the wild boar salami, alongside an old-fashioned or a glass on wine, all amongst the historic sandstone buildings.

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The Rocks Picnic runs from 10am–3pm every Sunday over summer. Find more details, here.

Top image: Anna Kucera

Published on November 27, 2020 by Jordan Kretchmer

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