Top 10 Vivid Sydney 2023 with kids

Vivid Sydney 2023 with Kids

Vivid Sydney 2023 kicked off with a bang (fireworks galore!) last Friday evening and we were there!

I’ve been 3 times in the last few days, including once with my 5 year old) and have compiled my Top 10 Vivid Sydney 2023 with kids.

First the facts:

Dates: 26 May to 17 June 2023, although some of the ticketed events are continuing until mid-July

Where: Circular Quay, The Rocks, Walsh Bay, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, Darling Quarter, Central, Carriageworks, and the CBD

What: The usual Light, Music and Ideas, as well as the new, exciting Vivid Food

Why: It’s bigger and better than ever! Plus, we’re still making up for 2 missed years during Covid.


Here is my Top 10 with Kids, in alphabetical order:


There are several companies offering Vivid cruises. We chose the Captain Cook Vivid Light cruise which departed at 5.45pm, getting us to the Bridge just in time for when the lights turned on at 6pm. Captain Cook Cruises offers family-friendly Vivid Light cruises, exploring popular areas like Barangaroo, Luna Park, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Sydney Opera House sails. Escape the crowds, weather, and foot blisters while enjoying the complete Vivid Light festival experience from the comfort of the boat. It’s the ideal way to witness the light displays across multiple foreshore precincts.


  • 360-degree waterfront views from spacious indoor and outdoor decks
  • 60-90 minutes of relaxed cruising
  • Bar, where you can purchase drinks

Top tip: Captain Cook will advise you board 15-30 minutes before departure. We boarded 30 minutes before and found a lot of passengers had boarded already. Luckily we got the last table, but I’d recommend arriving at least 45 minutes before if you can.



Witness the power and harmony of the four elements – fire, air, water, and earth – in a breathtaking show. This spectacular production combines water shooters, flames, projection, and pyrotechnics, creating an essential stop on the Light Walk. Experience the elemental forces that shape our world, from the origins of our planet to the present. With stunning effects and an original soundtrack, Elemental showcases the awe-inspiring moments when these elements work together. Be inspired to restore balance within ourselves and the natural world. Don’t miss this 9-minute spectacle, with shows every 30 minutes from 6pm to 10:30pm.



Experience a captivating celebration of Australian interior design with “Inside Out.” Witness the transformation of Customs House façade into a canvas for beautiful hand-drawn wallpaper and fabrics. This animated journey showcases three decades of Australian décor and style, featuring iconic designers like Florence Broadhurst. Kids will love the vibrant florals and birdlife.



Ever since 2009 when Vivid Sydney began, the Lighting of the Opera House Sails have always been a Vivid highlight. And this year is certainly no exception. Experience the vibrant paintings of the late Australian artist John Olsen as they illuminate the Sydney Opera House’s sails. “Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened” captures Olsen’s lifelong fascination with Australian nature and landscape.



Embark on an immersive 360° experience through four stunning artworks at Vivid House. Journey across Australia’s majestic landscapes, witness the resilience of corals, explore mesmerizing oceanic photography, and take a psychedelic trip through Sydney’s hidden coves.

Experience a journey through Sydney’s hidden coves, captured in infrared. Fly above lush tree canopies and dive into mysterious caves and crannies.

Australian Oceans:
Dive into the depths with photographer Craig Parry and encounter the magic of Australia’s oceans. Witness a decade of his adventures capturing marine life, from seals and turtles to the legendary albino Humpback whale. Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring footage, surrounded by the ocean floor projected below your feet.

Escape into a hyper-real world inspired by Australia’s natural wonders. Soar over snow-capped mountains, serene valleys, and captivating sunsets before plunging into the depths of the ocean. This dream-like journey unveils native wildlife and stunning marine creatures, creating a magical experience.

Invincible Corals:
Discover the power and beauty of coral reefs. Projected onto Vivid House, these digital corals adapt and grow, showcasing their tenacity and strength. Witness these captivating structures that loom large, highlighting their resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Wildlife & Wild Places:
Join WWF-Australia on an epic adventure across the country and beyond. Encounter koalas in towering eucalypt forests, snorkel with turtles in the vibrant Great Barrier Reef, and observe whales in the frozen waters of Antarctica. This immersive experience highlights the beauty and fragility of these iconic animals and landscapes, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts. Support WWF’s mission by donating during Vivid Sydney to help rehabilitate and protect Australia’s wildlife and habitats. Together, we can ensure a thriving natural environment for future generations.



Experience Vivid Fire Kitchen, an immersive culinary event at Vivid House. Acclaimed local and international chefs will showcase primal cooking, while street food heroes and innovative restaurants serve up delectable dishes. Even the fussiest of eaters will find something they enjoy. The kids will love the hot chocolate bar, whilst adults sip on signature Fire + Ice cocktails and Mr Black espresso martinis.



Welcome to Vivid Kids, where the wild and wonderful world of children’s creativity shines bright. With their natural curiosity and tech-savviness, children offer fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. This year, 12 young artists, aged 7-14, will project their imaginative worlds onto one of Sydney’s oldest buildings. Collaborating with animators, these budding creatives bring their art to life, guided by the theme of ‘endangered species.’ Experience their inspiring visions of native species and be reminded of the importance of ensuring their survival.



If you’re heading to Vivid with the kids on a Saturday, make sure you start at Tumbalong Park and get there early. The evening kicks off at 5pm with FREE children’s acts, followed by a night of live music.

Remaining lineup:

Saturday 3 June: Junkyard Beats
Experience a groovy show by Junkyard Beats, using household items and rubbish to create a rhythm symphony through body percussion, drumming, dance, circus, and hilarious skits.

Saturday 10 June: Peter Combe And The Bellyflop In A Pizza Band
Dance along with Peter Combe, a legendary artist with over 40 years of experience, known for his classic hits and viral songs that get kids moving.

Saturday 17 June: Tiptoe Giants
Tiptoe Giants deliver empowering messages and teach skills through fun, catchy music. Their vibrant live show encourages individual expression and includes plenty of instruments and surprises.

Enjoy these fantastic acts and make lasting memories with the whole family!



Embark on a captivating adventure through Taronga Zoo with Wild Lights, an enchanting illuminated night trail. Australia’s incredible wildlife have been transformed into magical light sculptures. Discover giant illuminated versions of native animals, explore the entire zoo, and immerse yourself in the beauty of native flora and fauna at Nura Diya Australia. Whizz past fields of ‘fireflies’ and smacks of jellyfish and come face-to-face with larger-than-life interactive insects, from scary-but-magnificent spiders to cidadas, butterflies and more. This ticketed event offers two sessions each night: 5.30-7.30pm and 7.30-9.30pm. Cost: Adults $30, Concession $27, Children (4-15 years) $25, under 4s are free.



Experience the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest drone show. Journey through the wonders of our solar system, from the Sun to Jupiter, with surprising stops and visitors along the way. Look to the heavens for guidance, inspiration, and endless possibilities. Don’t miss the unmissable show ‘Written in the Stars’ above Circular Quay at 9:10 pm on selected dates (remaining dates are: 4 June, 7 June, 12 June and 14 June). Their website advises you arrive by 9pm to secure your spot, though we suggest 8.45pm to be on the safe side. Please note, the drone shows are weather-dependent, check Vivid Sydney’s social channels for updates.

Top Tip: we highly recommend watching the drone show from Circular Quay station or the Cahill Expressway if you can get a spot, for the best views. NB – the photo above was taken of the drone show from outside the MCA.

Looking for other events in Sydney?


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