Winterland Sydney is back again this year, and it's shaping up to be an extravagant winter celebration in Sydney. Koshigaya Park, Campbelltown, will host this wintry affair with an opening ceremony commencing at 5:30pm on the 5th of July, and from July 6th - 21st (also known as the school holidays for NSW), Winterland is open 10am - 10pm daily.
Winterland entrance. Photo courtesy of Winterland Facebook page.
In Sydney, compared to our European friends, we experience a fairly mild winter. Lakes aren't likely to ever freeze over which makes ice skating outside even more whimsical. Winterland will offer two pseudo frozen lakes for those who wish to skate. The main ice rink will have skate sessions starting on the hour and lasting 45 minutes each. The resident Winterland DJ will be sure to get the party on ice started. Adult tickets start from $22, children (5 - 15 years), $18 and toddlers under 5, $12. Family tickets start at $65. All minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult. All skate sessions include free skate hire. For those who need a helping hand to navigate the rink, there are penguins to hire for $8. Lessons are also available on Saturdays from 9am - 10am.
Ice skating for the first time can be overwhelming, so imagine ice skating for the first time as a little one. Winterland has thought of this and is providing a Kids Ice Rink for those aged 2 - 12 years. Sessions last for 20 minutes and will be held every half hour. The cost is just $15 per child. Parents can walk on the ice with their kids for free. Each session also includes free penguin use.
Ice skating at Winterland. Photo courtesy of Winterland Facebook page.
Enhance the winter magic for your kids with the Real Snow Play area, suitable for those aged up to 12 years. Parents can watch as their kids build snowmen or hide from catapulting snowballs. At night time the area will be aglow with LED lights. Access to the snow zone is $15.
If like me, you think it's snow fun at all that adults are restricted from Real Snow Play, there are other icy activities that you can enjoy. You can blast down the Genuine Ice Slide with the Toboggan delivering a thrilling ride. Or if you prefer to take it slow, the Snow Tube ride is the way to go. There is a dual lane slide where you can race your friends for the competitive amongst us. 1 ride is $4 or, 3 for $10.
Throughout the festival, you will find talented artists transforming blocks of ice into sculpted shapes. You can also enjoy a tantalising display of talent on ice with spectacular Ice Show Performances each Saturday at 5:45pm and thrilling Ice Hockey Demonstrations on Sundays at 5:45pm.
Winterland will provide a variety of rides. Bump and ride in the Dodgem Cars which have been specifically designed for the young ones to take a spin on their own, sans parents, on the mini track. Adults can soak in the nostalgia of The Carousel while children can ride in wonder. Ride the Snow Storm rollercoaster which promises family fun for everyone.
Take in a bird's-eye view of Winterland from the European inspired Ferris Wheel where families can ride together in fully enclosed gondolas. If you are at the festival after dark, take advantage of the Ferris Wheels' vantage point and enjoy the Extravagant Light Show. The park will be illuminated in a kaleidoscope of wintry colours, transforming ordinary shrubs and trees into magical ice forests.
As you wander through Winterland you will marvel at the tricks of the Roving Entertainers. Witness a Tree Top circus showcasing aerial acrobatics. There are also Free Kids Workshops to explore with crafting, colouring, snowman building and more.
Penguin helpers at Winterland. Photo courtesy of Winterland Facebook page.
Winterland will host Alpine Winter Market Stalls which will sell themed winter goods and offer fun for the little ones like face painting. Don't forget to eat amongst all of the excitement. There will be a European Food Village with a focus on new flavours. If you find yourself freezing up from all of the ice and snow, secure yourself an Open Fire Sphere. Defrost by the flames as you sip on hot cocoa or coffee and take a moment of solitude to soak in the magic of Winterland. You can even roast marshmallows over an open fire!
Winterland will also host a couple of quiet sessions which are designed to minimise sensory stimulation for those who may be sensitive to it. There will be no music, no flashing lights, no PA announcements, a sensory tent and free rides and skating for people with a disability and their carers. These sessions will be held on Tuesday the 9th and Tuesday the 16th of July from 8:30am - 10am. Bookings are essential.
Winterland will also have a Monster Family Fireworks display, time and date to be confirmed.
Entrance to the event is free. Only pay for what you eat or ride! Tuesdays offer Mates Rates where two can skate and ride for the price of one.