This is the first part of my series on Vivid 2016.
If you live in Sydney, it’s likely you’ve encountered Vivid. Vivid is a festival of lights, music and ideas.
Even if you’ve never been, you probably recognise some of the more popular displays that return every year, like the lights and images projected over the famous Opera House or the colourful displays over Customs House at Circular Quay.
This year, the Vivid lights displays are in more places than ever, including Martin Place, Circular Quay, Royal Botanical Gardens, Carriageworks, Central Park and Taronga Zoo!
Seeing as Nick (my boyfriend) and I decided to go out on the first night of Vivid, we chose to visit Central Park first. Compared to the busier areas of the festival like Circular Quay and Martin Place, Central Park was still alive and buzzing without being so busy that you can’t enjoy the views. We started the night at Coco Cubano (on the bottom level outside the shopping centre), which is a great place to warm up with dinner and drinks before braving the cold to see the lights. As soon as you walk outside towards the mall, you’ll see the lit up stairway leading towards to rest of the lights. There are glowing lights next to the stairs, a silent disco with an illuminated boombox, and beautiful displays of art over buildings, as shown below.
A highlight of the night for me was the silent disco.
The silent disco was put on by Silent Sounds and involves dancing on a silent dance floor with the music coming from a pair of wireless headphones.The DJs in the boombox control what’s played on the headphones, which have 3 different channels playing different styles of music, and part of the fun is looking around the dance floor to see which channels are getting the best response and changing your headphones to match! The disco runs on from 5.30-9.30 on Fridays and Saturdays for the extent of the vivid festival (27th May – 18th June). The music varies from modern hype songs to old classics, so there’s sure to be something to get you dancing. A few songs we heard included Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus, Put Your Hands Up by Fatman Scoop, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye. The last song we listened to on Friday’s session was Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ – which was a great note to end the night on.
Before leaving, we couldn’t walk away without a dessert – so we opted for The O.G. (original glaze) at Doughnut Time. Other good dessert options at Central Park include Anita Gelato and Max Brenner.
If you’ve never tried Doughnut Time and are a fan of doughnuts, they’re definitely worth a visit before ending the night. My personal favourite is the Butternut flavour, a brown butter glaze with pistachios.
To sum up, with the great restaurants, drinks and desserts nearby – setting aside a night to see everything Central Park has to offer as part of Vivid is definitely worth your time.
Follow me on social media for updates on the rest of my vivid series, the next blog post in the series will be up next week – so remember to check back soon!