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Today we headed to North-West Sydney to check out the Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition which has a theme of ‘a friend in me’ and pays tribute to the many friendships from the Pixar movies.

BJ had just about had enough time chilling after Christmas and was ready to get on-the-go again and being big fans of Pixar/Disney movies we were keen to visit.  Fittingly we visited with close family friends and it was a lovely way of getting the two families together for the day.

Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition celebrating Pixar

We arrived soon after opening and had pre-purchased tickets so avoided the ticket queue at the entrance.   I definitely recommend pre-purchasing tickets to save time.

BJ was excited from the moment we entered the gates when he heard the familiar song, “you’ve got a friend in me.”  Seeing all his favourite characters in large sand sculptures only continued the excitement.  This is an exhibition for all ages.  Although children will love seeing their beloved Disney/Pixar characters, adults will appreciate the intricate work that has gone into the sculpting.

Monster’s University sand sculpture at Bella Vista Farm.

I can barely build a sand castle which impresses, let alone something as detailed as the sand sculptures we saw today.   The Monsters University sand sculpture was a stand out for the sheer number of characters which had been sculpted and the expression on each character’s face.

A sand sculptor at work. Bruce from Finding Nemo with Sydney Harbour in the background.

Being early on in the exhibition the sand sculptors could still be seen at work.  They are definitely a patient bunch.

Sand Sculpture of the characters from the movie UP at Bella Vista Farm.

The UP sculpture was one of my favourites.

The gang from Toy Story at Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition

BJ loves the Toy Story movies so he was thrilled to see more than one sculpture of the gang from the movie. Buzz and Woody certainly had a rocky start to their friendship and I can’t wait to see the next installment in the Toy Story series when it hits the movies (rumoured to be in 2017).

The exhibition covers many of the Pixar movies but I have purposefully left out photos of many of these as I don’t want to ruin all the surprises.  A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles, Brave, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Monsters University are all represented.

AJ helping her little mate with a coloured sand picture.

As with most exhibitions these days (that makes me sound old) there is an interactive element.  Kids love hands on activities.   AJ and our family friends did some sand art (there is an additional charge for these activities)  AJ was keen to layer coloured sands into a bottle and was quite chuffed with the end result.  The younger kids enjoyed doing the sand artwork.  There are different designs to choose from and the kids used the variety of sand colours to ‘colour in’ their design.  A top layer needed to be pulled off piece by piece which revealed sticky paper which the coloured sand stuck to.  There are some additional activities which are free including sand sculpting and tables with Lego for free play.

Our little mate enjoying the Digger that actually moves at the Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition.

A large sand pit (free) and coin operated diggers ($2 a turn) were a big hit with the kids.  I suggest taking your own sand toys if your child is likely to want to play in the sandpit as there were only a couple of spades available on our visit.

Not all the sand sculptures were completed so if you’d like to see all them I’d suggest waiting a week before heading to the exhibition.  It finishes 26 January so there is plenty of time to see it.

As an added bonus this Summer when you attend the ‘A Friend In Me – Celebrating Disney.Pixar’ exhibition you can also stay back to attend one of many beautiful outdoor exclusive movie screenings of a Disney.Pixar film in Bella Vista Farm park.  Read more here.


Getting around the Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition was easy.

Disabled parking is available opposite the entrance.

Disabled toilet facilities are available just outside the exhibition in the park (not at all far to walk)

The area where the exhibition is located is grassed and level.  We found it easy to get around with BJ’s wheelchair.

The sand sculpting for children and sand art are both set up on tables which are wheelchair accessible.  These were very popular so for ease I would suggest arriving soon after opening and perhaps doing these first.

There is food available for purchase but we packed a picnic lunch which we had in the grounds of the Bella Vista Farm.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed the space and we took some games BJ could play with the other kids from his wheelchair.

Carers accompanying a person with a disability will be admitted free of charge. Holder of a carers card not accompanying a person with a disability will be eligible for entry to the event at the concession rate

To read more about ticket prices and entry times head to the Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition website.

Lightening McQueen and Mater at the Sydney Hills Sand Sculpting Exhibition

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