The Times Australia

The Times

Holidays & Travel

Vivid Sydney

  • Written by Madeleine Clark

You're never too young to soak up the soul of the city. Vivid Sydney is the perfect place to let the kids' creativity and imagination run wild as they explore a live canvas of light, music and ideas. Taking over the city from 27 May to 18 June, Vivid Sydney will be diving into what makes Sydney tick. It's a time to inspire little hearts and minds to learn more about our people and our place.

Here are the top tips to make the most of the Vivid Sydney. You'll be creating bright memories for the whole family.

What to do

Wild Lights at Taronga
The city's favourite family destination shines even brighter during Vivid Sydney, when gigantic, illuminated animal figures will encourage children and adults alike to have hope for a healthy planet. Best to book tickets in advance. 

Vivid House, Darling Square
Delight in this 360-degree sensory extravaganza where art and music collide to create an unforgettable series of 3D walk-through experiences.  

Halo, Darling Harbour
Families are invited to make their own music at this innovative and interactive installation that brings fellow festival-goers together in a shared moment of spontaneous creativity.   

Sydney Infinity
Darling Harbour: Bring the whole family to enjoy the largest liquid and light spectacle ever seen in Australia. This superscale, 360-degree experience over the waters of Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour will create a truly magical experience not to be forgotten.

Bump in the Night, Darling Harbour
Wander through this beautifully illuminated campsite, where peaceful snores can be heard coming from the tents. But be careful – any noise you make could wake the sleeping campers inside, or the chorus of animals (both native and mythical) around you.  

Tunes to get the little one's dancing 

Vivid Kids @ Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour
Vivid Sydney presents delightful free programming for kids every Saturday night from 5pm-6pm in Tumbalong Park. Don't miss family-favourite acts like The Vegetable Plot, Teeny Tiny Stevies and Play School legend Justine Clarke.  

Tumbalong Nights, Darling Harbour 
Let the littlies get their groove on with free music every Wednesday to Saturday night during Vivid Sydney. There's a mix of Australia's top musical acts and local up-and-comers, with the family-friendly Hot Potato Band, Mama Kin Spender + Kee'ahn and Haiku Hands + Ajak Kwai taking to the stage from 7pm.   

Vivid Music at Central Station
Jump on the train with all the family to Vivid Sydney and get off at Central Station. Before you hit the Light Walk stop by the music stage on Central Station Grand Concourse and delight in brass bands, folk music and traditional Hungarian Romani-Gypsy tunes.  

Where to refuel 

If you're looking for breakfast on the run, grab coffee, juice and delicious French pastries or baguettes from La Renaissance, on Argyle Street. The cake menu is exceptional and there are options for all dietary needs.  

Belles Hot Chicken, at Barangaroo, has something for the whole brood — the kids will love the chicken tenders and mac and cheese, and parents can enjoy natural wines and Belle's famous Chicken Sandwich. 

An Aussie icon, The Glenmore on Cumberland Street is a great dinner spot and offers a fun atmosphere and views of the spectacular Sydney Opera House. The kid's menu includes favourites such as popcorn chicken and fish and chips, while grown-ups can choose from elevated pub classics.  

You'll find the 'world's most Instagrammed cake' — the exquisite strawberry watermelon cake — at Black Star Pastry, in The Galeries on George Street. It comes in slices or you can order a small or large cake for celebratory events. Or go against the grain and make your selection from the luscious cake range. 

For an after-dinner treat, head to Gelato Messina at Gateway at Macquarie Place facing Circular Quay, for outstanding ice-cream. 

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