Vivid Sydney: Kids Guide By Age


Whether you’re a Vivid veteran or a first-timer, Vivid Sydney has even more in store for families in 2018! Walk with dinosaurs, enjoy a record number of  light installations, and explore new locations. Here’s our guide to the best family-friendly things to see and do.


Best family fun for ages: 0-5 years

 ‘Octopoda’ at Vivid at Chatswood –Last year’s crowd favourite, the Octopoda, returns to invite kids into becoming part of the tentacle percussion ensemble of a remarkable steampunk creature. As kids play the drums, individual tentacles flash and animate rhythmically to the beat. When all the tentacles are activated, the octopus’ brain animates in a surge of pulsating light. The music making doesn’t stop there with Junkyard Beats at Chatswood Mall giving kids the chance to create their own musical tunes at an interactive installation created entirely from collected junk! Chatswood

• Electric Jellyfish, Museum of Sydney – Venture inside the spectacular dome and pluck, bounce or wobble electric light rings to create your own light and sound jellyfish – and watch it float across the surface. Museum of Sydney. There’s also a ‘zazzling’ electric jellyfish at Vivid at Chatswood, where you can walk amongst its tentacles! Vivid at Chatswood

There’s also a ‘zazzling’ electric jellyfish at Vivid at Chatswood, where you can walk amongst its tentacles!

Be The Light for the Wild, Taronga Zoo – The Zoo lights up with giant, interactive animal lanterns  ranging from the magnificent Asian elephant to the brightly coloured Corroboree frog.  Families can interact with the larger-than -life lanterns which change colour and make sound in spectacular fashion. Taronga Zoo, Mosman

Sydney’s Hidden Stories at Customs House – A blue -tongue lizard leads a journey through  enchanted forests with witches, snakes, cockatoos, gnomes and gumnut fairies in an awe – inspiring projection on the grand sandstone façade of Customs House. Customs House, Alfred Street, Circular Quay

Aqueous, Royal Botanic Garden –By day, the surface of Aqueous will reflect the sky, audience, and surrounding environment. The mirage of shifting colour encourages a moment of play, leading to profound contextual, connected community response in the space. At night, Aqueous will animate and glow in full illuminated interactivity, engaging individuals or groups in collaborative play. To interact with the platforms one must engage actively within the sculpture by stepping, running, jumping, or playing along the pathway. These user-based interactions alter the light and colour of the sculpture. Royal Botanic Garden


Best family fun for ages: 6- 10 years

• Spectrum, Circular Quay – The kids can put their own creative stamp on this interactive light sculpture by  tilting a line of multicoloured rods to form unique colour and pattern combinations. The Rocks • Shadow Wall – Your shadow has never looked so bright! Watch your shadow come to life as a multicoloured silhouette as the interactive walls mirrors your movements. Circular Quay

Dress Circle, Circular Quay – The kids haven’t coloured in like this before. Add colour, light and patterns to the Circular Quay skyline using a 3D, touch -sensitive model – and see your creation light up Vivid Sydney in real time. Circular Quay

IMPOSSIBLE Voyage, The Rocks  – Take an interactive ride to strange and mysterious lands as one of  Sydney’s oldest buildings is transformed into an imaginary vessel. Create a unique family  journey as the light art responds to  your movements, transporting you through changing  landscapes. Cadman’s Cottage, The Rocks

• Silent Disco  – Sshhh! Central Park – The kids can burn off energy dancing to music that you don’t have to  listen to! They simply pick up a set of headphones, select an audio channel and hit the dance floor with music only they can hear . Central Park (Friday and Saturday, 6pm – 9:30pm)


Best family fun for ages: 11- plus

Laser -Dragon Water -Theatre, Darling Harbour – Big action for big kids. Four video -projected water -screens, 56 fountains,  22 flame jets and 10 powerful lasers create awe -inspiring forms and effects  including ferocious dragons and laughing clowns on the waterfront at Darling Harbour.  Darling Harbour

Sound Bubble, Circular Quay – A huge, transparent, inflatable cube with an artificial brain senses when  visitors approach and reacts by sending out colourful light patterns and sound effects. The  bigger the crowd, the grander the display. Circular Quay

U- Tube, Circular Quay – Your family can leave a mark at this interactive sculpture, literally. You’ll form coloured shapes on the wall and leave an imprint by pushing your face , hands or whole body against the surface. Circular Quay • Robowars returns – for one day only . Robots big and small and built by hand from metal, power tools and toy parts battle it out in an epic showdown on 5 June. Circular Quay

Top tips for families to enjoy Vivid Sydney:

  • Go early in the week – it’s quieter  Monday to Wednesday ; and  busiest on Friday and  Saturday
  • Arrive early in the evening – before the crowds grow and kids grow tired
  • Come back – don’t try and fit everything into one visit
  • Take a snap of your children in their outfits on the night in case they get lost; write phone numbers on hands.
  • Travel by public transport – leave the car at home and take advantage of bus, train and ferry services
  • Come prepared – plan your visits beforehand. Precinct and accessibility maps are found at the Vivid website

Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, which for 23 days – from 27 May to 18 June 2016 – transforms the Harbour City with its colourful creative canvas. Full program at www.vividsyndey.com 


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