Sydney – VIVID

Paris may very well be called the city of lights and that is all fine and good but move over Paris – there is a worthy contender for your title. Year on year the VIVID festival is bigger, better and adding new attractions, subtracting some others. My kids love it. If you are from out of town and been looking at an excuse to visit Sydney, this would be the excuse I would use.

It can be really crowded and as such careful planning is required. The organisers are well aware of the congestion and the bottlenecks of people. Each year they have been trialing new ways to spread people out and ensure maximum enjoyment for all. They are getting there.

2013 – we caught the ferry in, walked around Circular Quay and then caught the ferry home.

2014 – we stayed in a hotel in Darling Harbour and thought we could  view the lights and laser display from there. We had a 8 month old and a pram so we were trying to avoid the crowds. We actually parked at Kirribilli and caught the train in on the last night and went to see ‘the real lights’ upon request of my son. We got off at Wynyard and having seen Martin Place we walked to Circular Quay before getting back on the train and heading back to the car.

2015 – I caught the ferry in on a Tuesday night with the children and met my husband at Circular Quay. We walked from the Quay around under the bridge and through the Rocks. Back to Circular Quay and home.

This year VIVID is coming to the Zoo. We are planning to see VIVID at the zoo and we have purchased a harbour cruise to look at the lights this year. I am sure we will also have to do ‘the real lights’ walk. My 8 year old has very defined ideas of what is ‘seeing VIVID’ and I think the buildings surrounding the quay are a must with the Martin place buildings being requested. We feed the children before dark and with jackets and scarfs on. (although being Sydney last year I carried all the jackets as it was so warm)

Try to avoid the weekends if you have small kids and the suits (office workers) tend to go for a beverage after work and then stroll around. If you want to discover the best things each year, I recommend following the Facebook page as they tend to pick out the crowd favourites and post photos.

Frequently asked questions is worthy of a read if you haven’t previously been. You’ll love it but plan it carefully to avoid the worst of the crowds. Honestly, it’s a festival you will enjoy. If your planning to visit over a weekend, I recommend Sydney Harbour YHA -you can come and go as you please from here. If you prefer something a little more upmarket, I would pick the Mantra on Kent. An apartment is so much easier in my mind for families.


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