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School's Out Winter Fest

Home > Perth > School Holidays | School Holiday Activities | Indoor | Fun for Children | Family
by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Storyteller. Find out more at
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The July school holidays are traditionally the toughest, especially in these COVID-y times. The weather is unreliable, there's no distraction like Easter or Christmas, and many of the major outdoor attractions are closed.

So what's a parent to do?

Schools Out Winterfest Perth July 2022
The ice skating was the highlight for everyone

Three words: School's Out Winterfest.

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.

Schools Out Winterfest Perth July 2022
Your $45 ticket gives you access to 15 different rides and activities

Just to be clear, adults do not need to buy tickets to enter – only kids – and each child's ticket includes the four adult rider coupons so you can either accompany your smaller child on the rides, or challenge your older child to a go on the Dodgem Drifts or Dream Swinger. Either way, it's a great system, especially for the majority of parents whose sole job is to hold the bags and take photos while their kids have a great time.

Schools Out Winterfest Perth July 2022
Held inside the Perth Convention Centre, it's protected from the weather and easily accessible

What do you need to know?

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.

Schools Out Winterfest Perth July 2022
Popular with the older kids

Snow and ice: the big attraction is the ice skating rink, much larger than I expected and generously laden with pretty coloured 'penguins' (skating aids) for anyone who needs a bit of stability on the ice. The skates are in good condition and there are plenty of seats for changing. Your session isn't timed so you can stay on the ice as long as you want, but when it gets busy, you may need to queue to get in if the rink has reached capacity. Kids under 4 need to be accompanied by an adult (free) but if adults want to skate, they will need to purchase an additional ticket for $12.

The snow slide is made of real snow

There is also a snow slide, a dual lane icy slide where the kids slide down in inflatable tubes. You get two passes for this, which is good because it's over quickly and the kids love it. You might also spot Anna and Elsa wandering around and every hour on the hour, there is a snowfall display.

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.

Schools Out Winterfest Perth July 2022
The central seating area

Timing and queues: Winterfest opens at 9am each day and closes at 5pm (last entry 3pm). We arrived a bit after 10am and it was perfect. Queues were always less than 5 minutes and it never felt rushed or hectic. By noon, there were plenty more people, queues stretched to ten minutes but it's an enormous room and there was always plenty of space. The longest queues were for the Dream Swinger, dodgems and ice skating, so maybe hit those first.

Sideshow Games: I hadn't been expecting quite so many games, from rabbit shooting to the clowns, at least half a dozen dotted around the exterior of the room. These are not included in the ticket price and you need to purchase tokens (6 for $35 or 10 for $55) which can also be used on the rides if you use all your vouchers. There is also a showbag van.
Schools Out Winterfest Perth July 2022
It's cold. Dress warm.

What to wear: it's cold inside. You've been warned. The air conditioning is on to make sure the ice rink doesn't melt, so make sure you dress appropriately. But the fact that it's indoors means you don't need to worry about the weather.

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.

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*Shannon Meyerkort was invited as a guest
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Why? Excellent value for money, full-day fun for kids
When: July school holidays, 9am-5pm
Where: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Cost: $45 (plus bf) when you book online, $55 at the door
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