Get ready Canberra, the forecast is for snow at Garema Place. Although the children of Canberra would love it to snow in reality, it will be a powder machine that will be cranked up for the Winter Festival between 23rd of June - 17th of July. This Winter Festival will also be celebrated in Sydney, Fremantle and Brisbane at the same time, creating a winter wonderland in all of our scenic cities. Styled on European winter festivals, there will be an outdoor ice skating rink (with "snow" falling), markets, rides, music and entertainment for the whole family. Canberra has been celebrating Skate in the City in previous years, however 2016 will be the first time the Winter Festival comes to town - and it looks like it's going to be even bigger and better.
For those eager to get out onto the ice skating rink, book your day and time here, to confirm your spot on the ice. Sessions run for one hour and start from 10am daily (except for 9am on Sundays) and run to 7pm into the evening ( and until 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights). The price is $22 for an adult ticket, $8 - $12 per child depending on age and group tickets are available. A booking fee also applies. The price of your ticket includes skates and organisers recommend you bring an extra pair of socks, in case you need to fill up the boots. As you may fall over, a change of clothes is also recommended as the outdoor ice rink often has a thin layer of water in some parts.
If you have young children you can also hire hire a helmet and crash package ($9), as well as penguin stand up skate aid ($8). Select these options when you are ready to book. The penguin skate aids in particular look particularly helpful and fun for all ages to try.
If that isn't enough winter action, there will also be two thrilling rides for kids of all ages to enjoy. There will be the real snow Toboggan Terror and the Giant Inflatable Ice Slide - guaranteed to have the kids lining up for more. As well as this, there will be a range of live music, family entertainment and winter-themed games to play. To stay up to date with the latest, keep checking the Winter Festival Facebook page for the latest news and sign up to their newsletter for deals and promotions.
As the Winter Festival is based on European festivals, the food stalls will be delicious European fare to help you warm up from the inside. Fill up on tasty pretzels, German sausages and sauerkraut, curly potatoes on a stick and traditional dishes from a variety of countries. With the Winter Festival running for three weeks, there is ample opportunity to come back time and time again to taste them all.
Tickets are on sale now for this 3 week festival, so ensure you book your spot on the ice and then enjoy the festival atmosphere all day long. If you stay after dark, a Winter evening in Canberra can get into single-figures quickly, before you even step out onto the ice, so wrap up warmly and enjoy your skate in comfort.
After all the fun, why not take a break and enjoy the unique European festival atmosphere in the heart of the city. The best part of winter is the delicious food and hot drinks that warm you up from the inside - so get cosy, snuggle up and enjoy a Canberra winter at the Winter Festival 2016.