I've always said winter seems pointless without snow - a naive statement from a girl who doesn't have to shovel snow from her driveway every morning, right? Still, I long for the magic of snowfall in Sydney. While some claim they see the odd sago snowfall around the greater Sydney area, the blankets of snow I crave will not likely settle on my doorstep. Luckily, for those of us craving the snow, or who just want a reason to be excited about winter, there are winter festivals popping up around town. Add the magic of skating outdoors and you could almost believe there is snow settling somewhere in Sydney.
While summer may be known as the season of festivities, in recent years winter is turning into quite the rival. Festivals involving outdoor ice skating are becoming a winter staple and I have rounded up 5 across Sydney that you can enjoy this winter. Assemble with your loved ones for a day of wintry fun.
Better known for its gorgeous blue waters and white sandy shore, when you think of Bondi you imagine lazy days on the beach. Reimagine Bondi as the centre of a white winter. Already underway, Bondi Winter Magic includes a beachside outdoor ice rink, an Art Trail, and History Walks. The festival comes complete with a variety of entertainment and a Block Party. Capture a bird's eye view of the festivities from Bondi Vista. Bondi Winter Magic is free to wander around, however, if you are looking to skate or ride the Ferris wheel there are charges. Running from June 28 - July 28, click here for more information and prices.
2. Winterlight Parramatta The CBD of the west will also play host to a wintry affair. Winterlight Parramatta is back, July 5 - 21, just in time for the school holidays. Prince Alfred Park will delight by day and dazzle by night turning Parramatta into a whimsical sight. Winterlight will have an ice skating rink, ice slide and carnival rides. There will also be roving entertainment and a variety of different workshops for the kids (think circus school and arts and craft sessions). Winterlight is open from 11am - 10pm Sunday - Thursday and 11am - 11pm Friday & Saturday, and it's free! These late hours allow adults the chance to enjoy the ice rink once the kids have worn themselves out and taken their leave. This article has more information about Winterlight and ice skating, slide and ride prices.
Winterlight Parramatta. Photo courtesy of Winterlight Facebook page.
For those in the south-west, Winterland Campbelltown is back this year at Koshigaya Park from July 6 - 21, 10am - 10pm daily. Winterland really has thought of everything and is providing the main ice rink for those confident on their feet, and a kids-only ice rink (must be aged 2 - 12 years). Winterland is bringing the magic of snow to winter in Sydney, there will be a Real Snow Play area for the kids and it will light up in LED lights at night. For those who enjoy childlike fun, there will be a giant ice slide. Ride it fast or take it slow down the slide or compete with your friends in the dual lane. The festival will have an array of other wintry activities to enjoy such as an extravagant light show, Ferris wheel, roving entertainers and aerial acrobatics, kids workshops and an alpine winter market stall. There will also be fireworks one night (date to be confirmed). Entry to Winterland is free. For more information and prices for rides, read this article.
4. Winterfest Luna Park If you live on the north side, you haven't been forgotten, Luna Park is hosting Winterfest. Strap on your skates and enjoy the ice rink! Craving some snow like I am? There will be two snowfalls each session allowing skaters to experience the magic of snowfall in Sydney. Santa Claus will be in town at Winterfest and ready to take a photo. Access to all of this is included in your unlimited rides pass. Enjoy the festivities at Luna Park from July 5 - 22.
5. The Rocks Christmas in July Village If the thought of seeing Santa in July has got you craving all things Christmas then head out to The Rocks for the Christmas In July Village. You will feel like you're in the middle of Europe at Christmas (without the bone-chilling cold) as you browse the European wooden chalets selling Christmasy creations. The Rocks Christmas in July Village will up the ante this year with a mini ice rink. Add falling snow and twinkling lights by night and you will be in a world of enchantment. Enjoy the magic from July 11 - 14.
There are so many winter activities to enjoy this year and each festival also offers the magic of skating outdoors. Gather your loved ones for some unique, school holiday fun and make it snappy before the festivals are done!