Vivid is beautiful and it is also manic! You will find most eateries full to the brim, especially on the weekends. So arrive early and perhaps check out one of these places for a family dinner before you brave the crowds, otherwise you may end up sitting in the gutter eating your Maccas!!
Circular Quay & surrounds
We had a quiet drink here before we boarded our Vivid Cruise. The outdoor area is perfect for families as there is the beautiful view to see, as well as space for kids to wander around. It is also enclosed, with a bouncer on the gate, so your little people do not have much chance of escaping. We were there from about 4pm - 5pm, and whilst it was busy it wasn't too crowded. There were quite a few families too. They have a menu for kids, just ask for it at the bar.
You will find this cafe on the top floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art. It has great views over the harbour and is very family friendly. During Vivid they will be open from Wednesday - Sunday evenings until 9.00pm. They have a kids menu, high chairs, space for prams and also excellent toilet facilities.
Always a reliable option, City Extra is open 24 hours, so therefore you can eat here whenever you want. However I did notice that when we walked past about 4pm on Saturday that they were getting busy, so get there early! They have high chairs, a kids menu and some room for prams as well as reasonably fast service. And the best bit is that you can book a table!!
So this dining precinct is relatively new and it is home to loads of great places to eat with kids! You can either do take away or dine in and our favourites are Four Frogs Creperie, Din Tai Fung, Schnitz and of course dessert is at Gelato Messina!
The Governors Table
Located in the front of the Museum of Sydney, this stylish restaurant is offering up a very well priced kids menu at night time for Vivid. For adults they have a fixed menu in place (main course + glass of wine $32.00). You can book a table online and there are fab loos here to!
There are quite a few of these around the place, especially near the Harbour Bridge. They offer all sorts of international cuisines, but the problem I find is that there is no where to sit and later in the evening the queues for food is huge. So be prepared to make friends with some cold concrete.
Ribs & Burgers
This is our go to place for a decent feed in a very comfortable environment when we are visiting The Rocks. They have a kids menu, high chairs, plenty of room for prams and the service is friendly and efficient. They are also open from 11am until late so you can have dinner at any time you choose!
Hidden up in The Rocks, this Italian restaurant has been dishing up pizza and pasta to tourists and locals alike for many, many years. You can book a table and as they are open from 11am each day, so you can have a family dinner as early as you like.
Pancakes On The Rocks
Always a good choice with little people, this family friendly restaurant serves up pancakes in all forms. They have a cute kids menu, high chairs and you can book a table! They also have a restaurant in Darling Harbour if you would prefer to eat on that side of the water.
Located at Barangaroo South, this dining precinct is home to quite a few eateries offering up all sorts of different cuisines. The Canteen will be open only on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5.00pm - 9.00pm. The space is laid back and pram friendly and a great place to keep warm. During Vivid there is live music, games for the kids and colouring-in to entertain them while you eat. Some great places to grab a bite to eat are:
Darling Harbour & surrounds
This Italian inspired restaurant is located right near the Darling Quarter playground. Their food is hearty and served fairly fast. They have a kids menu to satisfy the little bellies of your young folk and are fully licensed.
Pancakes on the Rocks - Darling Harbour
Located in the Harbourside Shopping Centre, this venue is always popular kids!
We are big fans of Bungalow 8 - they always have some sort of cool kids deal happening. And during Vivid, they are offering free kids meals for anyone going on a cruise from Darling Harbour! They have high chairs, a kids menu which doubles as an activity sheet, as well as loads of space for prams.
Martin Place Bar
This is normally the hang of fancy pants suit type of people, but during Vivid they are open from 5pm for an early dinner and are welcoming of families. There are couple of items on the menu that kids could share like Fish & Chips or the Schnitty & Chips.
Everyone is saying that Taronga Zoo is the best place to take kids this year to see Vivid. You do have to pay an entry fee and apparently the food is limited.The family behind Kid Bucket List have written an awesome review of it, so make sure you take a read before you go. Otherwise eat at home, or stop into somewhere along Military Road for a quick dinner. The Four Frogs Creperie would be a good choice. We have eaten at their Randwick restaurant, and they are so very welcoming of families.
This Italian restaurant has a great kids menu and is the perfect place to fill your belly before or after you see the lights as they open at 4.30pm for dinner. Make sure you book before you go.
This is our favourite burger chain in Sydney. The kids meals all come with a such a cool little kids pack here, and their burgers are brilliant!! They are fully licensed and service is normally very speedy, which makes this place an easy dining option for the family. You will find Grill'd at The Concourse on Victoria Ave.
Lid n Jar
Also located on Victoria Ave, this is a delightful cafe which is open until 10.00pm each day. They have kids meals, high chairs and friendly service, so fuel the body here before you fuel the mind at Vivid.