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Embrace the cold at the Ballarat Winter Festival

Visit Ballarat

22 Jun 2021

Filed underFamily Friendly

Celebrate our city’s signature season with an array of events and activities at the 2021 Ballarat Winter Festival this 26 June until 18 July.

Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights is on again, giving visitors a chance to experience the historical living museum unlike any time of the year. By day Sovereign Hill delights, but when the sun goes down it really shines.   

With a dazzling light show, full theatre program, hands-on kids’ activities and more, Sovereign Hill delivers a Christmas in July like no other. 

Ballarat Winter Festival’s ice-skating rink

The ever-popular ice-skating rink will return for another year against Ballarat’s beautiful heritage streetscape in the heart of the city, between the Town Hall and Myer. Experience the thrill of gliding across the ice to great tunes and disco lights in the all-weather marquee.  

With all day-skating, the ice rink will open daily from 9am with child-friendly sessions that include a 9am sensory session every Thursday. Skating sessions occur all day until 8.30pm, with disco sessions offered on Fridays and Saturdays from 9-10pm.   

Tickets to skate are snapped up quickly so book early at at to make the most of this Winter Festival icon. Patrons will be required to scan the QR code upon entry and follow the latest COVID-19 restrictions.   

Snow Queen Neva at Kryal Castle

Kryal Castle will ignite your imagination with Knights of Fire and Snow Queen Neva these winter school holidays.   

Watch the spectacular ‘fire’ joust, be dazzled by flaming swords and fiery tricks in a festival of flames, be enchanted by Snow Queen Neva and journey through the chamber of the Dragon Labyrinth.    

The Ballarat Wildlife Park will not be hibernating this winter with guests having the chance to see Honey Bun, a rare and special Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat.    

Ballarat Wildlife Park

The park will launch a unique new and thrilling Sumatran tiger encounter this winter with Satu, a critically endangered tiger. Learn how to make a difference toward saving this amazing species and take home a fun conservation gift bag.   

Brand new self-guided tours of the park will also be available, with digital QR keepers sharing interesting facts about some of the park’s iconic species.  

Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney launches the Ballarat Winter Festival with representatives from the Ballarat Wildlife Park, Sovereign Hill and Kryal Castle at Renard

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney said there were many great reasons to visit Ballarat all year round, with the Ballarat Winter Festival showcasing the wonderful ways our city embraces the cooler months.  

“With the Ballarat Design Exchange, a clothes swap and upcycling workshop at the Ballarat Mining Exchange, to art exhibitions and book signings, winter workshops that include candle-making, painting and A Taste of Truffles Experience, there is plenty to enjoy these school holidays,” Cr Moloney said.    

“We are thrilled to welcome back visitors from Melbourne to our city for the Ballarat Winter Festival and we hope to see the city buzzing with visitors and locals alike getting out and supporting local businesses.”  

Rug up and embrace the cold as Ballarat transforms into a winter playground with a myriad of experiences to warm your heart, soul and belly.     

For further information on events and activities throughout Ballarat Winter Festival, visit


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.