Where to Find the Best Lights for Kids at Vivid 2017

  • Mums & Bubs

Tell them ellaslist sent you:

Vivid is one of the highlights of our city’s calendar, lighting up Sydney with dazzling and interactive light displays- and a whole lot for kids and families to enjoy too!

This year the fun begins on Friday 26 May and runs until 17 June, and is set to be bigger, brighter and bolder than ever! Before you head off, check out Vivid's list of the best family-friendly, age-specific light displays as well as some top tips on how to make the most of your night (or nights!) out: 

0 – 6 Years: Bubs to Pre-schoolers

Vivid Sydney’s youngest visitors can watch light and colour dance and animations come to life. They will enjoy interactive installations featuring giant friendly flowers, favourite animals and a fantastical fairytale world, where colours, sounds and forms change, simply by moving, touching or walking past something. Highlights include:

Dipping Birds (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney) – Just like the ‘drinking bird’ novelty toy perched on a glass, these brightly coloured, spindly legged, two metre tall birds bob up and down seeking a drink of water too, changing colour as they quench their thirst.

The Sunflowers (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney) – Kids will be delighted by this joyous creation. Charming, giant sustainable sunflowers welcome you with a bow as you walk by at night, using solar energy they harnessed during the day.

Never Ends (The Rocks) – A lone illuminated rocking horse on a platform four metre in diameter, waiting for a rider. Hop on for a ride into the night and everything changes as you create a fairy-tale setting.

Lights for the Wild (Taronga Zoo) – After the permanent zoo residents have retired for the night, the giant light sculptures of endangered animals take centre stage along an illuminated trail of interactive animal lanterns with crowd favourites including the Asian elephant and toothy Sumatran Tiger joined by new additions: Gorillagram, Pelican, Tasmanian Devil, a swarm of tiny buzzing bees and PJ, a 20 metre walk-through Port Jackson shark. (pictured below)


7 – 11 Years: Primary schoolers

Activities that tap into primary school aged children’s natural curiosity and sense of discovery through exploration and play include watching combat action with Australia’s best robots battling it out and making their own interactive creation by giving coding a crack. Youngsters will burn off energy at installations that challenge them to get involved, from jumping over cracks to swinging giant, colour-changing balls.

Don’t Step on the Crack (Alfred Street, Sydney) – You might have childhood memories of not stepping on cracks in the footpath, but never like this. Kids jump over illuminated cracks, cross boundaries and question what really lies beneath the surface.

Cradle (Customs House Square) – The coolest physics lesson ever. Kids can channel their inner Isaac Newton and give five giant illuminated spheres a gentle push so they swing back and forth, changing colour every time they touch.

{Kids/Code/Create} (27 May, 10am3pm, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo) – Presented by Code Club Australia, kids are inspired to create a project using code, light and music. Parents can learn what all the fuss is about, and give it a go too! Tickets can be purchased via their website. 

12+ Years: High schoolers

Pre-teens can interact with installations featuring favourite teen activities, including making music and playing video games. They can also get their hands of some of the coolest technology around at events featuring 3D printing, coding and robotics.

SYDNEYLAND (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, best viewed from Circular Quay) – Ooh snap! Paired with its very own geotag, teens can pose for a Hollywood-style Sydney selfie and share it with friends and followers via Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

MailboX (The Rocks) – Part video game, part post box: Posting a letter has never been this much fun. By interacting with MailboX’s game inspired design and tapping at different places, teens can help create anything from an emoji to a smiling koala.

Gen XI: Educating the Next Generation (28 May and 4 June, 9am4pm, Surry Hills) – Calling all budding change-makers, problem solvers and inventors! Learn to tap your imagination and turn it into tangible prototypes at this interactive one-day Vivid Ideas workshop for 14 to 18-year-olds. Tickets can be purchased via the website.

Rhodes: Creative (Rhodes) – Curious kids who enjoy creating cool things with the latest technology will enjoy this program of masterclasses, workshops, activities and talks on 3D printing, robotics, wearable art and tech. (Chatswood pictured below)

Future City, Smart City (Chatswood) – What teen doesn’t love a funky, retro-futuristic smart city? That’s what they’ll find in Chatswood, where the CBD is reinvented with ingenious, steampunk installations and light sculpture inspired by 19th-century steam-powered machinery. Follow a flight to an airborne, sustainable community, then return to earth and discover the submerged magic of Steampunk Waterworld and try to solve hidden light messages sent by Crossword.

Vivid's Top Tips For Families 

Visit early in the week – Monday to Wednesday are quieter compared to Friday and Saturday.

Visit early in the evening – Experience the wonders of Vivid Sydney when the lights go on at 6pm. Its lights on at 5.30pm at Chatswood and Taronga Zoo – ideal for taking in the lights, grabbing an early dinner and getting the family home for bedtime.

Visit more times for more fun – It’s impossible to see everything in one night. Plan your visit and travel to different precincts on different days.

Do Barangaroo & Darling Harbour in one go - On the city side, Barangaroo (South) and nearby Darling Harbour could be done in one night. Arrive by train at Wynyard, take the Wynyard Walk tunnel straight to Barangaroo (South) to experience Trapdoor (pictured below) and A Day in the Light, before journeying past the Australian National Maritime Museum which will be illuminated with the projection Inspire By the Sea, then arriving at the spectacular water theatre spectacle Magicians in the Mist.

Do Chatswood & Taronga Zoo separately - On the north side, Chatswood and Taronga Zoo are best done in separate visits. Send the kids ‘back to the future’ to learn about the steam punk era at Chatswood and grab dinner from one of the many food offerings. Head to the Zoo on another night to see giant animal multimedia light sculptures and make the most of one of the Lights for the Wild sessions. Tickets can be purchased in advance via their website. 

Visit by public transport – Leave the car at home (extensive road closures will be in place). Take advantage of extra bus and train services during the festival instead.

Visit a Vivid Information Booth and get an ID wristband for children – Wristbands are available at Darling Harbour, Customs House & West Circular Quay. Add your contact number and put them on your children’s wrists to make it easy to be reunited should you be separated at any time. Be sure to keep an eye out for Vivid Sydney’s friendly army of volunteers in their bright pink jackets, they can answer any questions or point you in the right direction.

Visit prepared – Planning your visit beforehand is simple with precinct and accessibility maps, transport options and activities available at www.vividsydney.com or through the festival smartphone app.

For more Vivid 2017 highlights and top tips, check out our guide.  





Reviews get lonely too

Be awesome and write a review