Vivid Sydney™ has truly become one of our beautiful city’s most enchanting and amazing festivals! With Vivid Sydney™ drawing over 1.7 million people in 2015 it is clear that its an event that is not to be missed. But how achievable is Vivid Sydney™ with small children? Is it possible or even worth it at all? My answer is YES and I’d like to share with you some hints and tips that have worked for us when visiting Vivid Sydney™ over the years.
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, “Vivid Sydney is family friendly and jam packed with fantastic fun programming and importantly for parents, most of the festival is free and available for all to enjoy. There’s so much to see, do, discover and be entertained by, it is the ultimate family excursion that entertains the little ones and turns grownups into kids at heart.”
Now your equipped with the info and list of attractions, its time for the practical planning!
Start your night early, lights go on at 6pm in the city and 5:30pm in Chatswood and Taronga Zoo.
Don’t try and conquer the whole festival in one go! There is so much to see so why not go a couple of times.
If your planning on doing dinner in the city then think about booking a restaurant or pub ahead of time. We have eaten at pubs in The Rocks before and found it to be a great location to start out Vivid Sydney™ adventure.
Pre-book a car park. Take the stress out of finding a car park when you arrive, it will set you up for a great night!
Consider parking over in Kirribilli or Milsons Point and walk across the Harbour Bridge. It sure makes for a spectacular view.
Check out other locations that Vivid Sydney™ is taking place such as Taronga Zoo and Chatswood.
Dress warm – it does get very cold and sad, cold kids are not fun at all.
Pack the kids PJ’s. The last thing you want to do after a late night is wrangle the kids into their PJs when you get home. Have them in the car or put them on under their coat so that when they nod off in the car on the way home (fingers crossed) you can pop them straight into bed.
Wear gumboots or shoes that can get muddy. Over the years many of the attractions have been on grassy areas and when thousands of people wander through them the ground becomes extremely muddy!
ID your kids. Its dark and busy in the city during Vivid Sydney™ and its very easy for kids to loose sight of you, so make sure you write your mobile number on their arm (not hand incase they wash them) or use an ID band with their details on. It is also important to explain the type of people you want them to find if they get lost. For example: a police officer or security guard. ID wristbands are available at the information booths located at Darling Harbour, Customs House and West Circular Quay.
Don’t be afraid to use a backpack lead for little ones. Whatever your opinion on these are, trust me in that Vivid is one place you’ll be thankful that you did it.
Take the pram if you must but know that the crowds make it rather challenging to get through with it. A front/back carrier is much easier if you can do it.
Be prepared to queue for some attractions.
Why not go during the week when its less busy?
Take your camera. Watching their little eyes light up when a building comes to life with lights is just priceless!
Pack some glow sticks for the kids – Make it fun and bring the lights to their little hands! Why not add another element to Vivid, after all its all about the lights!
2017 Vivid Sydney™ 26th May – 17th June
Highlights for Families
Family friendly highlights include Vivid Ideas’ Rhodes: Creative in Rhodes, including the Human Friendship Robot Ball, where kids can learn, interact and dance with humanoid robots called ‘NAO-bots’. Get the whole family swinging with Vivid Lights at Freedom of Movement at Dawes Point, an interactive, larger than life set of humble swings that combine the wonder of motion with colour, light, sound and performance.
Vivid Music presents two of the kids’ favourite activities mashed-up for a two week long free festival: the Silent Disco Ice Skating Rink in Central Park combines a live DJ set played through individual headphones with the magic and excitement of ice skating.
Here is a list of highlights and their appropriate age groups:
0 – 6 years (Bubs to Pre-school Age)
Dipping Birds (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney)
The Sunflowers (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney)
Never Ends (The Rocks)
Lights for the Wild (Taronga Zoo)
7 – 11 years (Primary School Age)
Don’t Step on the Crack (Alfred Street,Sydney)
Cradle (Customs House Square)
12 years+ (High School Age)
SYDNEYLAND (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, best viewed from Circular Quay)
MailboX (The Rocks)
Rhodes: Creative (Rhodes)
Future City, Smart City (Chatswood)
I hope these tips make Vivid Sydney™ a magical and fun experience for your family and not a night you’d rather forget.
Have fun and create great memories!
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