So what's a parent to do?
It's currently on at the Perth Convention Centre and while it will set you back $45 per ticket when you book online (plus booking fee) it is excellent value for money and suitable for children between three and twelve (although there were plenty of kids outside this age range).
Included in each ticket are 12 ride coupons, two coupons for the snow slide, one ice skating coupon and four adult rider coupons. This works out to be just $3 per ride for kids, which is only half what you will pay at the Royal Show.
Rides: there are ten rides including small and large bouncy castles, small and large teacup rides, dodgems, a mini roller coaster, mini ferris wheel, small and large spinning rides and the Dream Swinger, meaning there is a great mix of rides suitable for kids of all ages, and despite the pictures on the coupons, you can use them for any ride.
Food and drink: there are three permanent food vans on site fairy floss, churros and coffee and towards lunch a kiosk opens which sells hot food such as pizza, burgers, nuggets and chips and a range of baguettes, wraps and sandwiches. Two chicken and avocado baguettes and a nuggets and chips set me back $34 and they were big serves. You are also welcome to bring your own food and drinks.
There are two seating areas café tables near the food and a more lounge-like area in the centre of the area.
Anything else? Everything felt new and clean, from the quality of the rides (no broken lights or tatty fixtures) to the carpet (spills were cleaned quickly and there was hardly any litter around). There are toilets inside the Winterfest but no drinking fountains that I could see. Hardly anyone was masked but there was hand sanitiser dotted around the place. It's also quite dark, which I liked. There were no nasty overhead fluorescent lights, just lots and lots of coloured lights from the rides (warning some of them strobe a bit).
Opening dates and times: Schools Out Winterfest runs daily over the July school holidays until Sunday 17th. Book online to save $10 and chose an entry time from 9am to 3pm. You can stay as long as you want. We were there for 4 hours and didn't quite manage to get through all our coupons, but the kids (aged 4 to 12) all agreed it was a brilliant day.