ballarat winter festival

Ballarat Winter Festival: family highlights

Visiting Ballarat this winter for the Ballarat Winter Festival?  We have a few family fun things to check out while you’re in town!

When: 1-30 July, click here for the full program.


We traveled to Ballarat in early July to check out some family-friendly fun for those visiting during winter.

Ballarat is easy to access from Melbourne, being approximately a one hour and 20-minute drive from the city.  But be warned, there is much to do and see so one day probably won’t be enough time (so you might want to stay a night or two)!

Top of the list is Sovereign Hill’s Christmas in July Winter Wonderlights which happens daily at about 5.45pm.  It’s a great way to finish off a visit to Sovereign Hill.  Alternatively, you could get a pass out and return the next day (for free) and split your visit over two days.  Either way – don’t leave town without seeing the Winter Wonderlights!

We made two videos of our visit to Sovereign Hill.

Next, on your must do list for the Ballarat Winter Festival is a visit the Festival hub to get your skates on!  The sessions run for an hour and they book out fast so be sure to jump online and book ahead.  Ice Skating and the Ice Slide are only on during the school holidays.

And after burning all that energy we highly recommend the delicious pizzas at Forge Pizzeria a few metres up the road (and probably a good idea to book ahead as it’s really popular: (03) 5337 6635).

The Ballarat Wildlife Park is always a delight to visit and it’s a perfect half day activity (during school holidays there are daily animal shows and meet the keepers from 1.30pm-4.00pm – we loved seeing Crunch do a few jumps for us at the 3.30pm presentation).

For a family of 2 adults and 4 kids tickets start at $85 if you book online, or $95 at the gate.

Giant marshmallow roasting is an optional extra and if your kids up for it I highly recommend as they are seriously delicious!

After a full day of activity, we stopped for dinner at The Black Hill Hotel before we drove home to Melbourne, and it was delicious.

Of course there is much more to do in Ballarat – these are just a few highlights.  You might want to check out some of our Ballarat posts from past visits.

Disclaimer:  Meetoo traveled to Ballarat as guests of Visit Ballarat.  All views are our own.  All details were correct at time of publishing.