A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
FREE activities and shows
There are many winter wonderland events on this year in the city and the suburbs with many charging fees for snow play and a number of other activities but this winter fest at Merrylands has all of its activities for free. In fact, the only thing you will pay for is any food or items from the market that you purchase.
Central Gardens is the location for this event and it comes to children courtesy of the relatively new Cumberland Council (one of the recent formations reducing the number of councils around greater Sydney), made up of the former Holroyd Council and parts of Auburn and Parramatta City councils. If mergers result in festivals of free fun then I'm all for them.
So what can one enjoy?
A giant play snow pit
Snow laser tag
'Frozen' jumping castle
Stage shows – including Winter Magic with the Trickstar and The Snow Queen (inspired by the musical 'Frozen', of course)
Craft making – a winter headband can be created to keep you warm as well as a fun mask or use your imagination in a recycled sculpture art workshop
Sporting workshops and activities – interact with netball, the Sydney Thunder Cricket team and the Western Sydney Giants AFL players; participate in the Go4Fun Program of health and active information or the Cumberland Girl Guides Adventures and camping display
Bark Busters – learn what to do if a strange dog approaches you
In the NAIDOC tent – try some boomerang painting and get your face painted; play traditional games; listen to some storytelling; taste some damper and bush jam in an interactive workshop; and connect with the educational table
Indigenous Dance workshop
The market – with school holiday craft packs, show bags, novelty toys, airbrush tattoos, handmade children's clothing, children's candle making and candles for purchase
Channel 9 giveaways
Yummy food stalls – choose from wood-fired pizza; chicken wings with both savoury and sweet toppings that include Southern Smokey BBQ, Glazed Honey Soy, Salted Caramel Popcorn and Nutella Chocolate; Turkish Gozleme with children's meal deals; Dippin Dots ice cream; Mini Donuts; and Mobile Cafe with the perfect hot chocolate
Suitable for children 0-12years, it's all on from 10am-2pm. Check the website here for show timings.
Parents can also complete a 'parent passport' (available at the Paton St entrance) and win their child a school holidays activity pack.
Central Gardens is a protected nature reserve of 12 hectares with two adventurous playgrounds, animal enclosures and an aviary making it a top spot for tots in western Sydney.
Bordered by Merrylands Road, Cumberland Highway and Paton Street, ponds feature with waterfalls and a spouting water jet, making it particularly picturesque. You'll often see wedding ceremonies and wedding photos being taken here.
There's also large, open spaces with shady trees, bush trails, tennis courts, an amphitheatre, picnic tables and benches, barbecues and amenities.
You can train it to Merrylands station then catch the free shuttle bus to the gardens or jump in your car and drive as there is free parking at and in the streets surrounding the gardens. You can also park for free at Merrylands Regional Park and then hop on the free shuttle bus to the gardens.
The shuttle bus will operate every 20 minutes, between 9.30am and 2.30pm.
So rug up and step into this playground of fun for some winter magic.