Winter is here (brrrrrrr!) and to celebrate here’s a few ideas to enjoy the season with your family.

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, building snowmen, ice tobogganing and the opportunity to see ice sculpting. This three week event runs from Saturday 24 June to Sunday 16 July 2017.

Winter Heat Festival

Heat meets harbour with this popular winter event Winter Heat at Honeysuckle on Saturday 1 July, 2017 from 5pm to 9pm.If it’s similar to last year’s format, expect fire performances, food vendors, market stalls and live entertainment as well as  kids’ activities. Just be cautious with toddlers and young kids at Winter Heat as there are exposed firepits.

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. Or head to the movies to see some new releases

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.

Go see Disney on Ice

One of my 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 Frozen at Newcastle Entertainment Centre from June 22 to June 25, 2017! Yes, Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven will be skating around the ice.

Enjoy a hot chocolate

Warm up with a yummy hot chocolate from your favourite coffee or chocolate cafe.

Photo credit: Max Brenner

Photo credit: Max Brenner

Visit your local library or bookstore

With these colder night, curl up with a good book under a blanket and stay warm.

Whale watching


May to August is 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 between May and August. 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 Port Stephens a couple of years ago and experienced humpback whales breaching close to our catamaran.

Wallsend Winter Fair

The Wallsend Winter Fair is on Sunday 13 August 2017. 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 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.

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