Spring has sprung in Sydney and with the sun out it was a gorgeous day to explore one of Sydney’s many festivals: Art & About. It was just myself and the two girls (with dad away on a Bucks) and it was really nice to spend some time with them exploring the artworks.
First stop was Project Five, Volume Six at Darling Quarter. Project Five promotes inclusive, accessible arts and is the longest-running and most popular street art event in Sydney. The girls loved exploring the large scale artworks and each of them were happy running between them and taking photos (in between walking along the edge of the garden wall and testing the temperature of the water in the fountain!) Unfortunately, the Kids Urban Art Workshops that give “baby Basquiats the opportunity to dabble in urban art techniques” don’t start until next week so we didn’t create any art of our own this time but I would especially love to bring my four year old back to try that out.
Being the lone parent today I didn’t fancy trying to keep an active eye on two kids in the water play area or playground in Darling Quarter. The girls always run in different directions and, given the weather, the play areas were very busy. So, I decided to distract them with a ride on the Teacup ride- a special treat and one that both of them were really eager to experience. Both the girls looked completely exhilerated once the teacup started spinning around- my four year old especially- and it was one of those moments that you can’t help but smile watching them enjoy the experience.
After sharing a quick fruit salad we walked up to Pyrmont Bridge and were lucky enough to catch it just as the gates are closing in preparation for the bridge opening. The kids were fascinated watching the bridge open for the boat to sail under and then close again to allow us to proceed.
After a short walk up to Hyde Park we stumbled upon the Australian Life exhibition- a series of large scale reproductions of photos capturing aspects of life in Australia. Again, it was great to watch the girls discover the images.
Hyde Park is always a buzz of activity so there are always things to keep the kids entertained. Today, a bride and groom were getting their photos by the fountain, a lone bagpiper busked under the canopy of fig trees and a busker with a guitar gave the event some atmosphere.
We then discovered the Little Sydney Lives Exhibition in Sandringham Gardens. The gardens themselves are beautiful and there is a great outlook over to the Cathedral. We wandered around the exhibition and then the girls ran around the gardens exploring the fountain and chased each other up and down the staircases.
Final stop were the Neon Nomads – ten teepees lit up with hundreds of LED lights. Clearly, these would be much better to see at night… not on a sunny Spring afternoon!
I was starting to push my luck with the girls’ energy so we headed back to Darling Quarter for a snack from Taste Baguette on the picnic lawn before heading home.
Art & About Sydney proved to be a fantastic and free experience that kept us all entertained for about four hours. There’s plenty more on the festival program and it’s on until 12 October 2014 so check it out!