Not going to lie! It was a frigid start to our visit to Snow Time in the Garden at Hunter Valley Gardens today. But warmly dressed in lots of layers and beanies, we braved the low temperatures to check out the first day of Snow Time in the Garden.
We weren’t disappointed. Personally, I love this event as it 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.
Compared to last year’s event, this year’s event is much larger with new activities. It’s also longer in duration running for three weeks from 25 June until 17 July 2016 including the July school holiday period. Best of all, the activities are all free after you pay admission.
One of the first things that we saw as we entered the event area was the 12 metre high HVG Super Slide. This is brand new for Snow Time and is a massive 35 metres long. Kids and adults get to slide down this fun ride using a slide mat. However, it’s only for those 120cm and above so my daughter missed out by an inch.
However, she was placated after going ice tobogganing instead. The ice tobogganing area has been expanded this year from 25 metres to 40 metres and is super fast and super fun.
There are large inflatable tubes for parents and kids to go together or single smaller ones for kids who want to go by themselves. 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. However, be prepared for long lines if it’s busy.
And then it was onto the Snow Time Play Zone which was a hit with the kids. This area has been doubled in size this year so there is plenty of space for families to get in the snow and have fun, Buckets, spades and eyes and noses for snowmen are provided.
There were lots of snowmen being built around the snow area. This one is my favourite!
Be prepared for kids to get wet. I suggest bringing snow suits or a set of spare clothes just in case. I was happy that I packed extra clothes as my child manage to get herself soaked especially when the snow started to melt into deep puddles.
For kids who want some more snow fun, the Snow Ball Challenge area is next door and was the site for some awesome snowball battles including parents who got in on the action.
It was then time for our booking at the ice skating rink. 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 10).
I recommend getting tickets as soon as you arrive at the Snow Time Play Zone area as the sessions book out quickly. We got our tickets and had to wait an hour before getting on the ice.
Start getting your skates organised about 20 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. This ensures that you can get one of the Bobby Seals (skating frames) before they all get snapped up. We had lots of fun ice skating in the undercover marquee and we found 20 minutes is a sufficient amount of time to skate before getting tired.
After skating, we headed to the inflatables. This year, the opportunities to jump around have increased dramatically. There are now three massive inflatables including a jumping castle and 2 fun obstacle courses.
There’s also the Giant Snow Globe.
Keep an eye out for winter animals around the gardens. These are the growling polar bears and reduced a few kids to tears.
The live ice sculpting with Kenji Ogawa was a hit with the crowds today. Using tools and a chainsaw, he carved out art pieces out of ice blocks. He’ll be performing every weekend during Snow Time in the Garden.
So for those like me who like winter activities without too much hassle, check out Snow Time. It really is a fun winter wonderland that the whole family can enjoy. It was a fantastic family day out with lots of things for parents and kids to do together. With all of the activities on offer, I felt that it was great value for the ticket price especially as you can tour the gardens afterwards as well which we did.
*** If you can, visit during the week. It was really busy today from noon to 3pm with lots of visitors from Sydney driving up to Snow Time in the Garden***
Snow Time at Hunter Valley Gardens runs from Saturday 25 June to Sunday 17 July 2016 from 10am to 9pm. All of the activities are FREE after paid Garden entry. Daily activities include ice skating, toboggan, super slide, snow time play zone, snowball challenge, inflatables, face painting and giant snow globe. Check the website for specific activity times. Weekend activities include live ice sculpting and snow dogs on show.
Admission: $30 for Adult, $24 for Child. Family Pass $99 (2 Adults +2 children). Kids under 3 free. Note: you can use your Entertainment Book to get 1 free admission when you purchase another.
Disclosure: The Mummy Project received free tickets for review purposes. However all opinions are my own.
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