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We packed the kids into the car on Monday night and headed into the city to see the Vivid Festival.  We have visited every year since the festival started and in my opinion it is a must-see event in Sydney.

Sydney Opera House – Vivid

Sydney Harbour dazzles with light projections on some of the city’s most iconic buildings including the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Museum of Contemporary Art.  The city comes alive with an electric atmosphere with adults and children equally mesmerised by the projections.  It is rare to find something for the whole family and the best thing is that it is absolutely free.

The MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) had the crowds attention at Vivid


The giant illuminated rabbits were a hit with families at Vivid

The Vivid trail covers a large area including Martin Place, Darling Harbour and the Rocks.  We only saw a small portion of the light installations and hope to explore it further before the festival ends.

Strictly Sydney is another dance floor

If you have seen photos on television or in a post like this, don’t think you’ve “seen” Vivid.  You need to experience the festival in person.  The music, the family atmosphere and the changing projections cannot be experienced through still photography, no matter how good it is.

The Opera House shines brightly during Vivid

The festival has become more interactive this year with hands-on activities.  Our kids liked a luminous xylophone which when played activates the lights in the box under it.  In the Rocks there are lights elevated which change colour when visitors clap loudly and disco dance floors were extremely popular with everyone in the area beside the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The luminous xylophone at Vivid Festival


The dance floors are not accessible but BJ enjoyed watching everyone get their boogie on

I was thrilled to find that there is a reserved viewing area for people with mobility issues or visitors using a wheelchair.  At festivals like this people are often so dazzled by what they are seeing they become unaware of those around them, leaving those using a wheelchair without a view.  Near the Opera House you will have an unobstructed view which is priceless.

Reserved area Vivid Festival – look no crowd

My tips

  • Visit early on a weekday evening – lights go on at 6pm.
  • We drove into the city and had no problem parking at 6pm.  We parked near Pier One.
  • Parking stations in the area are also a good option and cost around $25 for the evening
  • Public transport is the recommended way to get into the city on the weekend in particular as there are many road closures.
  • Disabled unisex toilets are available at each set of portable bathrooms and at Circular Quay
  • Take advantage of the unobstructed views near the Opera House in the reserved area for visitors using a wheelchair or with mobility issues.
Reserved area for people with a disability at Vivid Festival
  • The event is popular so be prepared for crowds but it is worth it if you can take this in your stride.
  • Use the Vivid Festival website to plan your trip to the city
BJ wasn’t so sure about his Koala friend at Vivid

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