The countdown to winter is here and the weather is getting cooler. Forget about enjoying hot weather down at the beach, pool and park. It’s now time to rug and enjoy winter. Here’s some ideas to enjoy the cold weather with your family in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter.
Bond with Winter Movie Nights
Enjoy some bonding time with the family! Make some popcorn and cozy up in front of the TV and watch some movies together.
Try Ice Skating
Embrace winter sports and try iceskating at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium in Warners Bay. Or if you prefer to watch others skate, take your family to watch a Newcastle Northstars ice hockey game.
Celebrate the winter solstice
Enjoy winter fun and fireworks at After Dark, an event to celebrate the Winter Solstice at this unique and family friendly After Dark activity in Maitland on Saturday 22 June. The evening comes alive with vibrant fire performers, hearty food and live entertainment. This celebration of the shortest day of the year will culminate in the spectacular PRDnationwide Hunter Valley fireworks display at 9pm.
Snow Time in the Garden at Hunter Valley Gardens
Enjoy all things winter without having to travel to the snow at Snow Time in the Garden at Hunter Valley Gardens. Your family can enjoy ice skating, playing in the snow, ice tobogganing and see ice sculpting. This three week event runs from Saturday 29 June to Sunday 21 July 2019 plus most activities are free once admission is paid!
Go see Disney On Ice
One of our favourite winter shows, Disney On Ice is an entertaining outing for the whole family featuring your favourite Disney characters. This year Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival at Newcastle Entertainment Centre from Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July 2019 (during school holidays) at Newcastle Entertainment Centre. The show features exciting moments from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Dory, Moana, Inside Out and Frozen and will leave the whole family with memories that will last a lifetime.
Enjoy a Hot Chocolate
Warm up with a yummy hot chocolate from your favourite coffee or chocolate cafe. Our favourites include Coco Monde on Darby Street, Estabar at Newcastle Beach and Chocolate Cafe at Wests New Lambton. If you don’t want to leave the house, make homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Go Whale Watching
June to November is official whale watching season and Newcastle and Port Stephens are on the whale migration route. It’s estimated that 10,000 humpback whales pass this region heading north. Hang out at Bathers Way to see if you can spot passing whales or join a whale watching cruise to get up close. We went whale watching in Newcastle last year with CoastXP and saw humpback whales up close. According to Dominic May from CoastXP, June and July are perfect months to spot them.
Go Winter Camping
Yes, it’s colder out there but choose warm sleeping bags or stay in a cabin or villa. It’s a completely different experience camping during winter. Wangi Wangi Holiday Park has community fire pits that you can toast marshmallows on. If this inspires you to consider winter camping, here’s a list of camping spots within 3 hours of Newcastle.
Celebrate Winter at the Wallsend Winter Fair
The Wallsend Winter Fair is on Sunday 11 August 2019. It’s a free family friendly day in the middle of Wallsend and features a grand carnival, amusement rides, live entertainment, market stalls and a lot of fun.
Visit the animals at Blackbutt Reserve
Take a trip out to Blackbutt Reserve and see the animals. Unlike in the height of summer, animal should be more active and easier to spot.
Visit your local library or bookstore
With these colder night, curl up with a good book under a blanket. Visit your local library, your favourite book store or visit a street library and find something to read.
Organise a board game party
Play boardgames with your family or host a board game party with your kids and their friends. Get them to each bring a board game.
Go for a hike with your kids
Winter is the perfect time to go for one of the many walks around the area. Yes, it might be cool but just rug up and enjoy the scenery. Our picks for winter walks include Warners Bay to Speers Point, Bathers Way, Blackbutt Reserve and Newcastle Foreshore.
Do some winter baking
When the weather cools down, it’s the perfect time to bake cakes or biscuit. You could even have a biscuit decorating party. Decorating cookies is almost as fun as eating them!
Visit a museum or gallery
On cold days, explore a museum or gallery that you haven’t been to before. There’s Newcastle Museum, Newcastle Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Maitland Regional Art Gallery or Fighterworld. No matter what your age might be, these museums have something for every member of your family.