The Best of Vivid For Kids

Vivid Sydney starts today and its expected to be even bigger and brighter this year with new precincts such as Barangaroo included for the first time.  A trip to Vivid is a fantastic family event and we’ve put together a handy guide to the best age appropriate installations to help make planning your visit a little easier …


Dipping Birds (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney) Just like the ‘drinking bird’ novelty toy perched on a glass, these brightly coloured, spindly legged, two metre tall birds bob up and down seeking a drink of water too, changing colour as they quench their thirst.

Dipping Birds is inspired by toys our parents enjoyed.  It comprises two large abstract birds with colour changing lights, each over two meters tall, standing in a body of water.   As the birds dip their beaks into the water, they gradually change colour from head to toe and after one bird has ‘soaked up the colour’ it straightens up, leaving the pond in a different light and the other bird repeats the action.

The Sunflowers (The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney)This is a really joyous installation.  It’s a light sculpture assembling a harvest of potted sunflowers along a walkway and each visitor is welcomed with a bow.

It uses solar panels to harness energy from the sun during the day and store it in batteries embedded into the flowers: and at night the stored energy is used to brighten LEDs in the petals and to facilitate the ‘bowing’ movement.

Never Ends (The Rocks) Never Ends features an illuminated rocking horse on a spring, just like we see in playgrounds.  When visitors hop on its back something magical happens — everything changes and the lights on the platform spring into action, creating a fairy tale setting.

And this one’s not just for the young, the young at heart can enjoy it too as it can support the weight of an adult.

Lights for the Wild (Taronga Zoo)When the sun goes down the Zoo comes alight with giant light sculptures of endangered animals along an illuminated trail of interactive lanterns.  As well as favourites from last year, there’s a whole new cast of characters and surprises to enjoy

Primary schoolers

School aged children have loads to enjoy at Vivid this year where the installations are tapping into their natural curiosity and sense of discovery.

Don’t Step on the Crack (Alfred Street, Sydney)We’ve all played the game were we walk along the footpath avoiding the cracks, but this installation takes it to a new level. The kids will love jumping over the lit up cracks, lines and obstacles and everyone will wonder “just what lies below”.


Cradle (Customs House Square) Cradle is physics in action showing the transference of kinetic energy in a massive Newton’s Cradle inspired piece with five hanging illuminated spheres on a giant frame.  Visitors can push the spheres to see them swing and change colour.

{Kids/Code/Create} Powerhouse Museum – Presented by Code Club Australia, kids are inspired to create a project using code, light and music. Tickets must be purchased in advance, check the website for times and bookings.


SYDNEYLAND (best viewed from Circular Quay) – SYDNEYLAND spells it out in lights — bright, loud and fun, beaming across the harbour — 10 monumental illuminated letters, one word: ‘SYDNEYLAND’, for all to see.  It’s the perfect spot to pose for a selfie and it even has it’s own geotag so visitors are encouraged to share their snaps on social media.


MailboX (The Rocks) – Introduce the younger generation to the joy of mailing an actual letter in this fun installation designed to “inspire the community to start exchanging written words again”.

MailboX combines game-design principles with with current advances in computing and LED lighting technologies in an interactive display where a tap triggers various different responses in lights and content. And it’s different each time!


Gen XI: Educating the Next Generation (Surry Hills) – This is a 1 day workshop designed specially for teens.  Whether your teen is an aspiring young entrepreneur or a budding change-maker, this programme will take their creative problem-solving skills to the next level. Tickets must be purchased via the website.

Rhodes: Creative (Rhodes) – The suburb of Rhodes joins Vivid this year with a program of masterclasses, workshops, activities and talks that focus on 3D printing, NAO robotics and wearable art and tech. Find out more and book at the website.


Future City, Smart City (Chatswood)  Steam Punk is where it’s at and teens will love this funky, retro-futuristic smart city installation at the Concourse, Chatswood.


Author: Laurice Klaire

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