Don't get cold feet and stay inside this winter. Let Winterlight Parramatta entice you outdoors in the depths of winter from July 5th - July 21st, coinciding with the next NSW school holidays! The heart of Parramatta CBD will transform into a frosty kingdom with an alpine food village, amusement rides, entertainment and Sydney's largest open-air ice skating rink. Complete with canopies of twinkling fairy lights and illuminated rides at night, Prince Alfred Park will delight by day and dazzle into the night. Entrance to the festival is free. Enjoy unlimited skating and riding for $35 all night long on opening night, Friday 5 July, 5pm - 11pm.
Each day there will be skate sessions dedicated to the kids providing a safe learning space for those finding their feet. Kanga helpers will be at the ready for that extra balance assistance. The ice skating rink is wheelchair accessible and wheelchair users can book into any session. The event recommends booking a morning session from Monday - Thursday if quiet sessions are preferred. Furthermore, the Winterlight 7NEWS Ice Skating Rink will provide quiet times at the 12pm sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. These sessions are dedicated to those who are sensory sensitive and music will be lowered and smaller crowds expected at these sessions.
Winterlight may be perfectly timed for the kids to enjoy during their school holidays but it also provides frosty fun for the adults too. Trade the nightclubs, or bring your secret dance sessions out in spectacular frozen fashion, for a dance session on ice on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as 7NEWS Ice Rink gets the party started with a live DJ.
Skate sessions are 45 minutes and cost from $23 per adult and $18 per child under 14. Children between 3 and 5 years cost from just $9 online. Kanga and protection packs are an additional $10 each. Enjoy unlimited skating and rides from $35 per person with the Monday Madness tickets from 1pm - 5pm each Monday. Take advantage of 2-for-1-Tuesdays and enjoy deals on ice skating, amusements rides and food.
Ride the Ice Slide for just 2 coupons per person. It is 30 metres long and guaranteed to delight even the frostiest riders. You can also ride the illuminated ferris wheel, guaranteed to delight by day or by night. There will also be carnival rides including a magical Carousel, Music Trip, Cars 4 Kids, Rockin' Tug, and Winterlight's coaster ride. All rides are 2 - 4 coupons. Single coupons are $2, 10 for $20, 20 for $38 and 30 for $54.
If you've ever wanted to run away and join the circus, you will have your chance to test your skills at the Circus Playground running each weekend of Winterlight and on Wednesdays 10th and 17th of July from 12pm - 4pm.
Stretch your imagination and create your own shadow puppet show at the Shadow Puppet Workshop that will run 12th - 14th of July.
Feast on the culinary delights of comforting winter warmer dishes at the Alpine Village. Don't ice-olate yourself in your office if you work in Parramatta - there will be lunchtime specials each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm - 3pm to entice you outside on lunch hour. From Wednesday - Sunday take a long lunch or indulge in a leisurely dinner and tune into the sounds of local musicians as they take the stage at the Village Sessions.
Winterlight will provide roving entertainment from Snow Queens on stilts to Fire Dancers, Pop Art the fluoro duo, Lady Bug stilt walkers, Anabuloos stilt walkers and Solar Bugs stilt walkers. These curious performers will help to transform an average city block into a whimsical wintry wonderland.
If skating under a canopy of stars while being serenaded by talented musicians sounds a little bit romantic to you, maximise the romance on the themed Date Night, Thursday 11th of July, 5pm - 10pm. Request your favourite love songs and skate hand in hand while the DJ plays your song. A silent cinema will also play for event goers for free, providing that perfect excuse to snuggle up with your loved ones under a blanket and with a bucket of warm, buttery popcorn. A Caricature cartoonist can draw you and your love providing you with the perfect memento of your special night. For those who still want to prove their love, then head to Love Lock Gate and add a "couples padlock".
If all of that makes you squeamish then skate right past July 11th and try for the themed night on July 18th: Winterlight Neon Night. Skate under UV lights in your brightest ensemble and enjoy the thrill of even your teeth glowing in the dark. There will also be neon face painting that will give your photos that extra pizzazz.
Book your tickets online to secure your preferred time and date - have an ice day out!
Some tips for the event:
There is plenty of public transport options, Prince Alfred Park is close to bus stops on Victoria Road and only 10 - 15 minutes walk from Parramatta Train Station. Plan your trip on public transport here. There is ample parking nearby for those who prefer to drive. Winterlight provides detailed information on how to get to the event and information on accessibility parking.
Your ice skating ticket includes free skate hire, just be sure to bring a pair of thick, long socks, to protect your feet from the cold and wet.
Always arrive at sessions 15 minutes early.
Winterlight strives to include everyone. In doing so they support the Companion Card program. Meaning, patrons who require assistance from a carer or companion, a second ticket will be supplied for free for these cardholders.