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5 best activities for families at Vivid Sydney 2024

Vivid, Sydney’s spectacular light festival is back from May 24 to June 15, 2024! Discover all the family-friendly highlights of this year’s theme: ‘Humanity’. 

See the harbour light up during Vivid Sydney. Image Destination NSW
See the harbour light up during Vivid Sydney. Image: Destination NSW

1. Vivid opening night: First Light 

The festival will kick off on Friday May 24 with First Light, a moving Calling Country ceremony and performance celebrating the Gadigal people. This year’s event is a tribute to the Wiyanga—ancestral women celebrated as healers, nurturers, and leaders; the perfect theme to unite Sydney in a spirit of welcome and care. 

The ceremony will be broadcast across the Light Walk on opening night, and if you can’t be there in person, don’t worry — the highlights will be played every night of Vivid before Lights On. 

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A father and his daughter at the Vivid Sydney festival. Image: Destination NSW

2. The brilliant Vivid Light Walk 

This year’s event will also feature the 8 kilometre Vivid Light Walk. Stretching from the Sydney Opera House to Central Station, it is set to transform the Harbour City into a brilliantly illuminated canvas. Look out for the colourful neon bird installations that guide you along the path!

Lightscape at the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Global Rainbow beaming out from atop Sydney Tower Eye, and Love is in the Air drone show are three must-see stops on the Light Walk. In Nest, giant, elegant cranes dance in the air at BarangarooKids can stand in front of the glowing, AI-powered Poem Booth to have a delightful (and often quirky) poem written just for them. 

A family enjoying Vivid Sydney. Image: Destination NSW
A family enjoying Vivid Sydney. Image: Destination NSW

3. Music and dance: Vivid Kids at Tumbalong Park

While there’s plenty going on that will appeal to families, Vivid Kids at Tumbalong is a stand-out. From 5pm to 6pm each Saturday during the festival, Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour will be hosting free kids’ entertainment featuring The Quokkas, electrofunk tunes by The Vegetable Plot, First Nations dance sessions with Buuja Buuja Dance and The Beanies from ABC Kids.

Children enjoying the Under the Harbour light projection on the Customs House building in Circular Quay during Vivid Sydney 2019. Image Destination NSW
Children enjoying the Under the Harbour light projection on the Customs House building in Circular Quay during Vivid Sydney. Image: Destination NSW

4. Hika Rakuyo light show at Cockle Beach  

Also taking place at Darling Harbour is Hika Rakuyo, a Japanese-inspired light show featuring Australian native flora. The eight-minute display at Cockle Beach uses seasonal nature imagery to reflect on the transience of life and the environment (while also providing an awe-inspiring spectacle over the water to entrance even the youngest viewers). 

A family at Vivid Sydney © Destination NSW
A family at Vivid Sydney © Destination NSW

5. Life in Another Light at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium 

Life in Another Light is an interactive digital exhibition at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium designed especially for families. Delve into an underwater world of bioluminescent sea creatures, and be prepared for a thrilling encounter with a (projected) giant shark!

For more information and tickets visit vividsydney.com

Best family hotels to see Vivid Sydney 2024

Book your accommodation to take in the sights of Vivid 2024:

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – Floor-to-ceiling windows mean nothing stands between you and the view! Splurge on an Opera Suite or Full Harbour Suite on the top two floors for the ultimate Vivid experience. 

Sydney Harbour YHA – The rooftop terrace has panoramic views over Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, which will be illuminated with vibrant artwork every night.  

Hyatt Regency Sydney – This Darling Harbour hotel has rooms with waterfront views and a rooftop bar for the grown-ups. 

Oaks Sydney Goldsbrough Suites – While not directly on the waterfront, Oaks hotels offer plenty of perks for hassle-free family holidays, making this a great base for a family Vivid experience. 

More: Sydney’s best kid-friendly hotel options 

family fun package at the four seasons hotel sydney - a family friendly hotel in australia
Family accommodation with Sydney Harbour views at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

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