The countdown to Friday is officially on, and we’re right here to help you figure out how you’re going to spend the next few days off. From Vivid Sydney and lively brunches, to artful exhibitions and lively stage productions, here are the coolest events in Sydney, guaranteed to supersize your weekend.
EAT & DRINK
One of Barangaroo’s top restaurants, 12–Micron are collaborating with globally renowned French Champagne House, Perrier- Jouët to deliver a dine-in-the-dark series to artfully combine gastronomy, music, art and light. Transforming their private dining room into a stunning light exhibition, the incredibly unique dining experience includes six courses, each expertly paired with Perrier-Jouët Champagne.
24th May- 15th June
Tower 1, Level 2/100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Darling Square will light up taste buds during Vivid Sydney with an installation by Motti & Smith and Belle Laide Events that will blur the lines between food, art and architecture. For three weeks Darling Square will be home to Blacklight, an illuminated and multisensory dessert bar led by Gelato Messina.
The ultraviolet dessert bar, located in a black cube, features collaborations with some of Sydney’s food and beverage heavyweights from Messina and DOPA, to Edition Coffee Roasters and Bubble Nini. Together, they have created a rotating menu of delectable glow-in-the-dark desserts – with four available each night during Vivid Sydney.
24th May- 15th June, 6pm-11pm
Darling Square- 60 Tumbalong Boulevard, Haymarket
Brightly-coloured and neon-lit El Camino Cantina in The Rocks is the perfect place to embrace the Vivid spirit. The Tex-Mex institution offers a range of daily dining deals, including $2 tacos on Tuesdays, 10-cent chicken wings every Wednesday and half-price fajitas on Thursdays. Happiness is delivered every weekday from 4pm to 6pm, with happy hour $7.50 margaritas, beer, wine and tequila. Guests who dine throughout Vivid will be gifted with a limited-edition, glow-in-the-dark sombrero.
24th May- 15th June
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Take your seat and watch the light spectacle unfurl across the Barangaroo Wharf, as you dine at The Butcher’s Block. Revel in a choice of five seasonally vibrant snacks inspired by the sights, sounds and colours of Vivid. From Sydney rock oysters and seaweed butter prawns, through to polenta chips, and a special Vivid-esque beetroot cured trout, you are in for quite the colourful treat.
24th May- 15th June
Shop 2/100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
If you’re heading to Darling Harbour to check out this years’ Robot SPACELand electro-automotive super-bots – billed as mind-boggling and epic in scale – then a pitstop to harbourside dining destination Planar is a must.
Famed for their inventive ‘theatrical’ cocktails, Planar’s talented mixologists have crafted an extra special, game-changing cocktail in celebration of Vivid – aptly named SPACELand Sphere. A powerful blend of vodka, rum, gin, peach liquor, blue curaçao, grenadine and lemon juice, high proof rum is ignited in the bottom of the glass, and the ingredients are served in a hollow sphere of ice which slowly melts into the glass.
24th May- 15th June
ICC Sydney, Shop C08, Ground Floor/14 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour
To make the most of Vivid, Saké Restaurant & Bar will open earlier than usual from 5pm. Serving up a delectable pre-lights menu between 5pm and 6pm, take your pick from Hiramasa kingfish, prawn shumai, grilled shiokoji chicken and chocolate mousse with sesame ice cream.
24th May- 15th June, 5pm-6pm
12 Argyle Street, The Rocks
If you’re looking for a spot to catch up with friends after a Vivid Ideas seminar, then head to Tayim in The Rocks. This Middle Eastern-inspired eatery has created a limited-edition cocktail- Yehi ‘Or with vodka, blue pea powder, vanilla, and prosecco. Meaning ‘let there be light’ in Hebrew, this visionary colour-changing cocktail transforms from a blue to pink hue with the addition of citrus. Better still, they will also be offering 2-for-1 on all their cocktails during Vivid from 5pm-7pm daily.
24th May-15th June
Nurses Walk, The Rocks
What do you get when you combine bottomless brunch and disco balls? Disco Brunch. For four Saturdays, between now and July, The Winery will be upgrading their bottomless brunch to include a side of boogie. Enjoy a two-course menu, paired with two hours of bottomless cocktails, along with live music and a killer dancefloor. Don your flares and fine tune your choreography for a brunch experience you won't forget.
Saturday 25th May, from 1pm
285A Crown Street, Surry Hills
Gelatissimo has released a limited-edition human and dog friendly gelato, Pawesome Peanut Butter. Made fresh in-store and vegan, this smooth and nutty flavour has been specially formulated so both you and your furry friend can treat yourselves this weekend.
Various locations around Sydney
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
Celebrating the legends that are The Cure, head to OAF for a night of classic tunes. With the DJ spinning everything you loved about the 80’s and 90’s, from New Order and Depeche Mode, to Bowie and Blondie, take a boogie down memory lane for the night.
Saturday 25th May
Oxford Art Factory: 38-46 Oxford Street, Sydney
Vivid Sydney’s dazzling Light Walk extends to Luna Park Sydney once again, which will see the iconic amusement park come to life with brilliant shapes, patterns and colours to light the promenade and rides. Roving street performers with LED light embellished costumes will set the scene for a fun and festive Vivid. The Ferris Wheel will form part of the installation ‘A Kaleidoscopic Tale’, as 3,000 LED lights will illuminate the ride every night.
24th May- 15th June
1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point
From colourful beginnings, The Imperial has been a fixture on the Erskineville nightlife scene since 1983 and invites patrons to "drink, dance, drag and dine." 'Explore Yourself Sundays' is a celebration of diversity and brings together everything that The Imperial is loved for; killer music, live entertainment and good times. Entry is free and the party spans across all three levels, with drink specials running from 5pm-7pm.
Sunday 26th May, from 12pm
35 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
Calling the old Kit & Kaboodle home, Saturday nights are for Boogie Mountain and their weekly party night Disco Dreams. A place to boogie to solid tunes, meet awesome people and sip on tasty tipples, Boogie Mountain is living up to its name. Party all night long to DJ's spinning house and disco beats.
Saturday 25th May
Level 2, 33-35 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point
Take advantage of the long summer with a killer Sunday session. A ritual that marks the end of the week in the best way possible: getting outside and soaking up the glorious weather, be it by the beach, in a beer garden, or on a rooftop. We’ve rounded up Sydney’s best Sunday session venues, so there’s nothing standing in between you and a spritz. Apart from Monday morning, of course.
Every Sunday, a rotation of Sydney's best Promoters and DJs throw the ultimate FREE Sunday Session on the Café del Mar rooftop. To keep you hydrated, there are drink specials and $25 cocktail jugs all day long.
Sundays, from 1pm
Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Rd, Sydney
FESTIVALS & MARKETS
If there’s one place in the world where inspiration shines bright, it’s Vivid Sydney. Returning for its 11th year, the world’s best light artists, music makers and brilliant minds will share their creativity with locals and visitors alike for 23 days and nights over May and June.
24th May- 15th June
Local fave, foodie festival Taste of Manly is back again this weekend for another year. Featuring some of NSW’s best beer, wine and spirit producers alongside local restaurants and eateries, take the whole weekend to sip and bite your way through the festival. This year there will be a pop-up restaurant on the sand, where diners can take a seat and taste Dad and Dave’s brews and Cuban Bowls from Mexican restaurant Havana Beach.
25th May- 26th May, 11:30am-5pm
There's something fishy going on in this autumn. Seafood lovers prepare to unite, casting its net this month is The Star's ultimate seafood festival, where world-class chefs will be cooking up a storm celebrating all the delights of the sea. From lobster and scallops to bass and Moreton Bay bugs, crustaceans of all kinds will be served up in exquisite form.
Chefs included on the bill run the gamut from Peter Robinson, Executive Chef at Flying Fish, to celebrity chef Luke Nguyen from award-winning eatery, Fat Noodle, who will be chopping, frying, searing and steaming endless iterations of the crustacean form. Be sure to arrive hungry and work your way around the cornucopia of fresh, fishy delights.
9th May – 23rd June
The Star Sydney- 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Kings Cross Flower Market
This inner-city market steps it up a notch every Sunday in an area that is already so bright and vibrant. Come Sunday, the iconic El Alamein Memorial Fountain is brimming with stalls chock full of fresh flowers. Let your inner-florist shine as you make your way through the markets, creating your perfect posy.
Every Sunday, 9:30am-2:30pm
Fitzroy Gardens, Macleay Street, Kings Cross
Head to the Tramsheds on Sunday for their weekly Growers Markets. Featuring a selection of seasonal produce, you can also check out their schedule of workshops and masterclasses with cheesemakers and chefs. Better still, there’s live entertainment and plenty of delicious cafés and restaurants for an afternoon bite and tipple.
1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
A luxury farm-stay cottage has just opened on Jamberoo Valley Farm, a working permaculture farm nestled in the green pastures of the New South Wales South Coast. Just two hours south of Sydney, this beautifully designed homestead boasts spectacular views of the valley right out to the ocean and offers the perfect getaway from the daily grind of inner-city living.
From $800 per night
185 Wallaby Hill Rd, Jamberoo
As one of Australia’s well-travelled tourist spots, Byron Bay comes steeped in adventure and charm. From spiritual healing to hikes and wildlife trails, to buzzing culinary hotspots, this free-spirited beachside gem really has it all. From whimsical Moroccan-style hideaways to spruced up Manhattan-inspired motels, take inspiration from our Insta-worthy edit of luxury hideouts in Byron, guaranteed to deliver on your next coastal getaway.
We may be biased, but Sydney really does have it all: a sparkling harbour, postcard-perfect beaches, a thriving food and cultural scene, and big-city sophistication. The city meets the sea in a beautiful way, and locals count themselves lucky to live here. While you could spend a lifetime exploring every nook, cranny and cove, if you’re entertaining out-of-towners or just
There’s no denying our harbour city is a visual feast for the senses, sometimes you just need to escape the buzz, even if it’s just for a few hours. If you’re keen to swap gridlock traffic for the big open road, take your pick of our favourite scenic drives just outside Sydney.
FITNESS & WELLNESS
Still procrastinating your New Year fitness goals? We're right there with you. Colder, darker mornings are not usually conducive to early morning workouts. So, if, like us, you can't face dragging yourself out of bed for a 5am run in the dark, we may have found the incentive to get you excited about fitness again. Introducing the 30-day Pilates Challenge from MPower Pilates. Designed to give your body a total recharge, this intensive plan encourages you to workout at least four times a week – although if you do sign up, you have unlimited access, so feel free to attend more if you wish!
As well as unlimited access to to all classes during June – mat, reformer and equipment – there will be two health and lifestyle workshops hosted by inspiring guest speakers, pre- and post-competition testing, nutritional advice, a goodie bag worth $250, plus you'll be entered into a draw for the chance to win their surprise grand prize.
Not for the fainthearted, this is a challenge after all, but as famously quoted by the founder, Joseph Pilates himself,
“In 10 days you will feel the difference, in 20 days you will see the difference, and in 30 days, you will have a whole new body”.
Where do we sign up?!
1st – 31st June 2019
Shop 7, 1-7 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach
Sydneysiders are spoilt for choice with places to sweat, stretch, and supercharge both the mind and body. Whether you want to walk out feeling relaxed or reinvigorated, Sydney’s studio circuit has you covered. From yoga and meditation centres to infrared saunas and holistic gyms, Sydney’s blissful wellness hangouts bring about a sense of balance. They’re health havens, where you can escape the demands of the daily grind, de-stress, and focus entirely on yourself. So, to help you achieve your inner zen, we’ve rounded up the best fitness and wellness centres in Sydney. Book in and bliss out…
When it comes to scenic walks, we Sydneysiders are spoiled for choice. From Palm Beach to Coogee, strap on your hiking shoes, hit the trails, and take in Sydney’s spectacular harbour and coastline.
ARTS & CULTURE
Samsung are returning to Vivid with their Electric Playground and Studio transforming Circular Quay’s First Fleet Park. Among the playground will be a sky walk offering an excellent vantage point of the Vivid lights, light slide, and much more. The studio, in collaboration with Instagram, will help you capture the perfect Insta-moment in front of the Field of Hearts installation, and there’ll be meet-and-greets with artist in residence, George Rose.
24th May- 15th June
First Fleet Park, Circular Quay
Tennessee Williams' classic play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is coming to the Sydney theatre stage at the end of this month. The esteemed cast lead by renowned Australian actor Hugo Weaving will bring to life this explosive tale of a Southern family on one hot night on the Mississippi Delta.
Monday 29th April-Saturday 8th June
Sydney Theatre Company, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
IN-Formalism witnesses the evolution of abstract non-objective art in Australia from 1968. The exhibition surveys the key generations of artists who have contributed to the ongoing language of abstract art. The exhibition presents these art works alongside a chain of references to the Liverpool area, revealing the influences of abstract non-objective art as broad and still constantly evolving.
18th May- 30th June
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre- 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula
Born in Normandy in 1887, Marcel Duchamp was one of the most original and influential artists of the 20th century who had his fair share of fans and critics. He was revolutionary. The Essential Duchamp opens in late April and is set to be the most comprehensive display of the artist’s work ever seen in the Asia-Pacific region. You’ll see 150 works from his six-decade career, including the iconic-slash-controversial piece, Nude descending a staircase, No. 2.
27th April – 11th August 2019
The Art Gallery of NSW
These three high-profile galleries showcase the work of 65 new and established Aussie artists who work in a diverse range of media. You can expect to admire a lot of contemporary art that’s not only intricate and complex, but also speaks to what’s happening in our world. We’re already fans of the Art Gallery of NSW’s selection, which presents 24 artists – 65% of whom are women.
Until 21st July
Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks