How to See Vivid Sydney With Kids: A Snapshot - Hope 103.2

How to See Vivid Sydney With Kids: A Snapshot

Keen to take your kids to see Vivid, but hesitating because you’ve heard about the crush of the crowds? Go early in the week! Here's some highlights.

By Clare BruceThursday 26 May 2016Hope BreakfastNewsReading Time: 3 minutes

Listen: Stuart Ayres, NSW Tourism Minister, chats to the Hope 103.2 brekky team about Vivid

Keen to take your kids to see the Vivid festival lights up close, but hesitating because you’ve heard about the crush of the crowds?

There is a way to get there that doesn’t require handcuffing your children to your side: go early in the week.

The famous Sydney festival of “Light, Music and Ideas” , starting this Friday (May 27) and running for three weeks until June 18, is expected to bring over 1.7 million people through the CBD. That means big crowds, particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Families with kids are encouraged to give Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights a try, and plan their trip around public transport.

Some Vivid Highlights For Families

A few of the festival highlights that kids will especially enjoy include:

The Vivid Light Walk
The Captain Starlight Light Rocket

Above: Captain Starlight’s Light Rocket will be on display at Circular Quay

The famous Vivid Light Walk is a trail of more than 60 light installations along the waterfront, taking in The Rocks and Circular Quay.

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A favourite includes the ‘Memory Frame’, where families can jump inside a giant photo frame for a portrait against the backdrop of the Vivid Lights on the harbour.

There’s also the 15-metre-high glowing Light Rocket of Captain Starlight from the Starlight Children’s Foundation, with its laser beam shooting from its nose into the sky. Walk inside the rocket to enter a miniature world of light, mirrors and sound.

The Garden Of Light

A tree lit up for Vivid at the Botanic Gardens

At the Royal Botanic Gardens, trees and plants will light up from 6pm to 11pm each evening, creating a magical forest-like environment.

Features light projections on rock faces and fig trees, an interactive installation called Sentiment Cocoon where light is used to express emotion, and the Cathedral of Light – an enormous 60-metre tunnel built from thousands of tiny sparkling LEDs.

Customs House at Circular Quay
Customs House lit up for Vivid

Above: Customs House will be lit up to tell a story.

One of Sydney’s finest heritage buildings, Customs House, is designed to be a hit with the kids at this year’s Vivid.

The building’s façade will be lit up by spectacular light projections, with a blue-tongue lizard taking viewers through a display called Sydney’s Hidden Stories.

Witches and wizards, gnomes and cockatoos, tree-people and fairies will feature in the adventurous display, concluding with a virtual visit to the lizard’s cozy, environmentally sustainable home.

Vivid Goes to Taronga Zoo

Vivid light sculptures Taronga Zoo

Above: A computer-generated depiction of some of the light sculptures Taronga Zoo

Some of the biggest, most technical lanterns of Vivid festival will be at Taronga Zoo, in the Be the Light for the Wild exhibition. It’s a collection of enormous, animal-shaped light and multimedia sculptures including the Asian elephant, echidna, chameleon, crocodile, cicadas, Corroboree frogs, and a funnel-web spider.

Interestingly, the zoo’s real-life animals have never been known to be troubled by unusual lights and sound in the 20 years the zoo has been hosting night-time events. The lanterns and light sculptures have been placed in public areas rather than close to animal exhibits, but some of the more curious critters are likely to stay outside to check out the fuss. You may get a glimpse of some live giraffes, Asian elephants and tree kangaroos while walking the light trail.

The zoo’s Vivid display will open from 5.30 to 9.30pm each night, and tickets are $17.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids/concession.

Public transport to the zoo is recommended. For more details see

Plan Using The Vivid App

To find out more about the hundreds of light exhibits, music performances and ideas events in and around Sydney, or to plan your own trail, download the Vivid app or check out the Vivid website.