Get your skates on and glide into the Parramatta Winterlight festival.
Break out your warmest jackets and boots and head to Prince Alfred Square in Parramatta for Winterlight from July 5-21. The frosty 17-day festival offers all kinds of wintery fun, from glowing carnival rides to mulled wine, plus the all-important ice rink.
The icy set-up is undoubtedly the star of the show. It’s a great spot to skate with the kids during the dedicated family sessions or go on an old fashioned date under the twinkly fairy lights in the evenings.
This year, they’ve organised a few special themed nights at the rink. On Thursday, July 11, you and your boo will be zooming around the ice before you cuddle up for a free silent movie. The following week, the festival will be painted in neon colours for the evening of July 18, so wear your brightest whites and get your face painted to make the most of the shiny UV lights while you skate.
Beyond the ice, there’s a wonderland of activities to explore. Gaze out across the glowing festival as you ride the Ferris wheel, grab a toboggan and rocket down the 30-metre ice slide, race on the dodgems and merry-go-round, or learn fun new skills at the free festival workshops. Jokesters of all ages can learn circus tricks and creative kids can make luminous paper lanterns or perfect their shadow puppetry skills.
Each night at Winterlight will also feature the Bamboozled Cabaret Shows, which span circus, comedy, vaudeville and acrobatics. Feeling famished? Warm up those bellies with mountain feasts at the Alpine Food Village.
For the first time this year, Market Street will come alive with stalls offering
of artisan products from Parramatta and Greater Sydney. Marketgoers will be able to browse and purchase unique locally made products, including clothing, jewellery, candles, pottery and artwork. The Parramatta Night Markets at Winterlight are on July 8-11, 5-9pm.
If you want to make the most of your festival spending money, head to the square on Mondays for unlimited skating sessions and rides for just $35. The same deal is running on opening night – Friday, July 5 – and on Tuesdays, bring a buddy for the two-for-one skating and ride deals. You can buy tickets to all this chilly fun today.