Enjoy some winter holiday fun at Snow Time in the Garden. It’s back for 2022 at the magnificent Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin from Saturday 25 June to Sunday 24 July. Enjoy this winter wonderland with your kids.
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 and snowman making 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).
This year, there will be two ice rinks! Kids under 120cm can enjoy a smaller skating rink to build their confidence. The other rink is for more skaters with a larger rink for them to enjoy gliding around.
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).
In 2021, skating aids (Bobby Seals) were only available for children 6 years and under and cost $5 each, during their booked Ice skating session. Limited Seals were 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.
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 an added price)
There are additional rides and attractions that attract an additional cost including the Ferris wheel, carousel, tea cup and swing chair. Rides are $5 per ride or you can purchase a bonus 6 token pass for $25, tokens can be purchased at the rides booth. Height and age restrictions apply.
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 the 6 token pass as it works out 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
If you get hungry, there’s plenty of winter treats to keep the whole family warm. In past year, the food stalls have offered loaded fries, hotdogs, sausage rolls, pies, toasties, wood fire pizza, stuffed spuds, Greek food, Mexican food, desserts and donuts.
If you want to save money, be aware that 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 or after your visit. It’s a fun low-cost family food option and saves you spending money buying food in Hunter Valley Gardens. There is a picnic and play area as you come into the Hunter Valley Gardens complex from the highway.
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 25 June to Sunday 24 July 2022. 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: 2022 Prices: $35 for Adult, $28 for Senior, $26 for Child (4 – 15). Family Pass $110 (2 Adults +2 children). Kids 3 and under free.
Hunter Valley Gardens will be accepting Service NSW Vouchers (Discover & Family Vouchers) for general Garden entry and for the Snow Time in the Garden event. To redeem your voucher online, click on this link to get a discount – either $25 for Discover Voucher or $50 for Family Voucher. If you wish to redeem multiple vouchers you can do so by making multiple transactions, only 1 voucher can be used per transaction.
Note: If you’ve used your Discover and Family vouchers already, you can use your Entertainment Book to get one free admission when you purchase another.
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In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a local family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.