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the Parent’s Guide TO VIVID SYDNEY 2018

Nikki Yazxhi

This year Vivid Sydney is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary, which is set to be the best and brightest one yet. To help you enjoy your nights out, we’ve put together a guide that will help you and the kids move in and around the city, seamlessly and safely…

4 top tips for exploring Vivid Sydney with the kids {and staying sane} are:
1. Don’t try and do it all in one night – go a few times! Given there is so much to see, split your Vivid Sydney experience into a few trips. Perhaps spend one night at Taronga Zoo, one at Chatswood and one seeing the highlights of what the city has to offer.
2.Get in early. Lights are on between 5:30pm and 6pm, depending on which precinct you’re visiting, so why not come in early to capture the “lights on” moment.
3. Take public transport. Some roads will be closed so take advantage of the extra public transport running during the festival.
4. Come prepared. Pack snacks, and dress warmly. Additionally, visit www.vividsydney.com or the Vivid Sydney app to scope out what you would like to see ahead of time.

+ here’s our must-go-to / see with the kids guide {that you will love too}:


Wobbelees entices visitors into play with four oversized roly-poly toys that, when pushed or knocked or nudged off centre, return themselves to an upright position. When pushed, the Wobbelees wobble from side to side changing colour and making sounds each time it tilts.

The Garden of Sweeties
The Garden of Sweeties invites families and children to learn more about how solar panels, luminescent powder and mechanical energy can be used as a source of renewable energy. The installation takes a playful approach to entice interaction by presenting its components in the form of sweets, lollipops and striped candy canes scattered across a green corner of First Fleet Park.

Harmony Valley – Rainbow of Peace & Trees of Friendship
Harmony Valley – Rainbow of Peace & Trees of Friendship is comprised of a set of large inflatable sculptures that reference Japanese ‘kawaii’ culture where the use of exaggerated cute aesthetics elicits and heightens emotions of nurture, playfulness and vulnerability. Visitors are invited to interact with the sculpture by forming a human chain that connects with each end of the rainbow. That simple act of connection rewards participants by activating the sculpture, which springs into life with new sounds, animations and brilliant pulsing light.


The Octopoda
Hanging above Hawker Lane, the Octopoda invites audiences to become part of his tentacle percussion ensemble.  Featuring eight tentacle drums, each activates a unique display of colour and light animating the Octopoda’s musical mind. Inspired by steampunk themes, when all eight drums are playing together Octopoda will dazzle audiences with his mechanical moves and rhythmic light display.

Light Market
Head to the Light Market for dinner, a brightly coloured market built from months of Chatswood’s recycling, cleaned and constructed with exciting light displays. Think Star Wars cantina meets Brazil meets repurposed relics and baubles!
Also watch out for; the lie detector that gives you a drink based on your answers to three questions, and seats around Chatswood that you can sit and have a conversation with as they tell you how they are feeling.


Taronga Zoo – Lights for the Wild
Ticket prices from: Adult $20.95, Child (4-15yrs) $16.95, 0-4yrs free
Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo is shining a light on conservation and the wonders of wildlife this year. More than 100 artists, animators, musicians, technicians, electrical engineers and lighting designers have worked to create a display of more than 219 light sculptures throughout the grounds of Taronga Zoo Sydney that showcase some of the most stunning but endangered wildlife from ocean, bush and forest habitats.


Aqueous is an interactive landscape of meandering pathways of light. Reflection and shifting colour and light react to audience participants as they run and walk along the pathway. The design of Aqueous is based on three different shaped modular platforms that connect like puzzle pieces in endless combinations of layouts.


The Spirit of Fun
The Spirit of Fun celebrates the history and magic of Luna Park. Visitors enter a world where smiles and laughter rule, where the impossible becomes possible and where everything is better when decorated in lights. See the city lights from the Ferris Wheel, take in a show or enjoy the silent disco and street performers.


As the sun sets, Barangaroo’s waterfront becomes an illuminated promenade inspired by water, earth and fire. Barangaroo glows under layers of light and sound that evoke the surrounding waterways. If you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of birds and the sea.

Fantastic Oceans
Fantastic Oceans brings to the surface of Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay a story from the underwater world. Water features come to life as jelly fish in a fantastic display of colour; special fountains emulate corals and deep-sea flora; lasers ripple like waves of the ocean or etch the silhouette of creatures from the deep. Moving-head lighting technologies emit bright beams of light skyward — like glistening shards of sunlight piercing the surface of this fantastic underwater world.

National Maritime Museum
While in the Darling Harbour precinct, visit the Australian National Maritime Museum. Projected onto its iconic rooftop, BBC Earth and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II takes us into the fascinating world beneath the waves. This spectacular projection guides us on a journey to the deep at the most crucial time in our ocean’s history.

about: Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas and now the largest event in Australia. For 23 days – from 25 May to 16 June 2018 – the event places a spotlight on Sydney and reinforces its position as the home of light, creativity, cutting edge music, engaging conversations and the exchange of new ideas. The festival is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency. In 2017 Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.33 million attendees and injected over $143 million into NSW’s visitor economy. For more information visit www.vividsydney.com


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