Enjoy some winter holiday fun at Snow Time in the Garden. It’s back for 2021 at the magnificent Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin from Saturday 19 June to Sunday 18 July. Enjoy this winter wonderland with your kids.
JUNE 26 UPDATE: All guests from Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong are asked to follow the current stay-at-home orders. HVG will provide all guests from these areas a full refund or the opportunity to change their booking to a later date. Guests visiting from other areas must follow all the NSW Government guidelines and wear protective face masks while entering the venue. If you are feeling unwell stay at home and get tested.
Here at Newy with Kids, we’ve been to Snow Time a few times and we want to share some of our best tips to enjoy your day at Hunter Valley Gardens. Snow Time wraps up all the fun activities of winter like ice skating, tobogganing, snowman making and snowball fights in one fun day.
Originally from Canada, I’ve had enough snow and ice to last me a lifetime but still want to share the fun of winter with my daughter without having to drive to the snowfields. So Snow Time in the Garden is an easy and convenient way to have some winter fun in the winter school holidays.
Check the weather forecast for Snow Time in the Garden
There are lots of outdoor activities like snowman making and snowball fights so pick a day where it’s forecasted to be sunny. (We’ve been to Hunter Valley Gardens in the rain before and it’s not fun).
Choose a day when it’s not too busy at Snow Time in the Garden
If you can, visit during the week. In previous years, it can get busy on weekends with lots of visitors from Sydney and Central Coast driving up to Snow Time in the Garden.
Book into ice skating first
If you want to go ice skating, I recommend getting tickets as soon as you arrive at the Snow Time Play Zone area as on busy days, sessions can book out quickly. You’ll want to try ice skating on this giant ice skating rink.
In past years, you need to obtain tickets for each 20 minute session of ice skating at the nearby kiosk. All equipment is provided such as ice skates and helmets (for kids under 7).
Start getting your skates organised about 10 minutes before your session start time. You’ll need it to to get skates and helmets on and then line up to be one of the first in line. (There’s a range of sizes in the skates and for young kids, there’s skates that buckle on to their shoes).
Skating aids (Bobby Seals) will be available ONLY for children 6 years and under and cost $5 each, during their booked Ice skating session. Limited Seals available.
It’s a lot of fun skating but we found 20 minutes is a sufficient amount of time to skate before getting tired.
Have fun on the ice toboggan
A highlight of Snow Time in the Garden is riding a mega ice toboggan along a 45 metre ice slide. This ride features large inflatable tubes for parents and kids to go together or single smaller ones for kids who want to go by themselves. Just be prepared – you’re positioned backwards on the tube to improve safety.
It’s lots of fun and you’ll find that you can’t do just one slide. You’ll end up going back for more like we did.
Build a snowman in the snow area (but pack extra clothes)
The Snow Time Play Zone is always a hit with the kids. This area has been enlarged in recent years so there is plenty of space for families to get in the snow and have fun. (Bring gloves or mitts if you have them so that little hands don’t get cold. If you have snowsuits, they’re ideal).
Buckets, spades and eyes and noses for snowmen are provided by Hunter Valley Gardens so you can build snowmen.
Be prepared for kids to get wet. I suggest bringing snow suits or a set of spare clothes just in case. One year that we went, I was so relieved that I had packed extra clothes as my child manage to get herself soaked especially when the snow started to melt into deep puddles.
Throw some snowballs
For kids who want some more snow fun, the Snow Ball Challenge area is next door and is the site for some awesome snowball battles including parents who got in on the action.
Walk through the snow cave
Spot Arctic creature animatronics like polar bears, penguins and sabre tooth tigers as you walk through the giant snow cave.
Enjoy the rides (for as added price)
There are additional rides and attractions that attract an additional cost including the Ferris wheel, carousel, tea cup and swing chair. You can buy tokens or buy an unlimited play wristband (single use token $6 and unlimited rides wristbands $20.
There are height restrictions.
- Ferris Wheel: Children below 120cm must ride with an adult.
- Carousel: Children below 105cm must ride with an adult (adult must stand next to child).
- Tea Cup: Children between 95cm – 120cm must ride with an adult, 120cm and above may ride alone.
- Swing Chair: Children between 110cm – 120cm must ride with an adult, 120cm and above may ride alone.
Children must be supervised at all times. If kids meet the height requirement and enjoy rides, get an unlimited play wristband as it works out much better value for money
The flying Swing Chair will get your adrenalin pumping as you fly 12 metres above the ground. Just don’t go on it too many times repeatedly or you will feel nauseous!
Slow things down on the Ferris Wheel and see the Gardens and beyond from 25 metres up in the air.
There’s also a beautiful carousel which was custom made in Italy specifically for Hunter Valley Gardens. It’s perfect for younger kids.
Enjoy some food
The Garden Terrace Café is open daily from 9am to 5pm and will offer a range of winter treats to keep the whole family warm. In the food stalls located in the event area, you can enjoy loaded fries, hotdogs, sausage rolls, pies, toasties, wood fire pizza, stuffed spuds, Greek food, Mexican food, desserts and donuts. You can’t bring external food into Hunter Valley Gardens but you can have a picnic or BBQ in the park near the HVG Shopping Village prior to entering Hunter Valley Gardens.
So for those like me who like winter activities without too much hassle, check out Snow Time. The event gets better each year.
It’s a fun family day out with lots of things for parents and kids to do together. With all of the activities on offer, it offers great value for the ticket price especially as you can tour the gardens afterwards as well which we did.
Snow Time at Hunter Valley Gardens runs from Saturday 19 June to Sunday 18 July 2021. Most of the activities are FREE after paid Garden entry. Daily activities include ice skating, toboggan, snow time play zone, roving entertainment and snow cave. Check the website for specific activity times.
Admission: 2021 Prices: $34 for Adult, $25 for Child. Family Pass $105 (2 Adults +2 children). Kids under 3 free.
Hunter Valley Gardens will be accepting Dine and Discover vouchers until 31 July 2021. You can use your Dine voucher at the Garden Terrace only and the Discover voucher for Garden entry and event entry tickets only for tickets purchased at the gates. Alternatively, you can use the Discover voucher for rides tokens or unlimited wristbands. Vouchers can be used 7 days a week until 31 July 2021. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/HVG_Dine_Discover
Note: you can use your Entertainment Book to get one free admission when you purchase another.
Need more ideas for family fun in the Newcastle region? Check out Top 15 things to do in Newcastle with kids.
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