What do you get when you combine two small children with a whole lot of freshly made snow? Parents who quickly learn to duck. At least if they’re my children and, like us, you’re not into being pummelled by a non-stop onslaught of snowballs.
We’re in the Hunter Valley for a day of frosty fun as Hunter Valley Gardens transforms itself into a winter wonderland for their annual Snow Time in the Garden ice extravaganza. The event, which runs until Sunday July 14, promises more than a dozen arctic activities and events for all ages including tobogganing, live ice sculpting, husky dog racing demonstrations, a mechanical snow board, and the chance for this mummy to show off her (questionable) ice skating skills.
But before checking out all this icy action this family needs to fuel up with tasty Kransky Rolls and steaming hot chocolate from the Frosty’s Food Court market stalls.
Bellies satisfyingly filled, the 25 metre toboggan run seems like as good a place as any to start and Daddy quickly volunteers for slipping and sliding duties. Rafferty (5) hoots and hollers the whole way down but little Marlo (2) is less impressed and politely declines a second slide, instead toddling off to watch the “puppies” at the nearby husky dog demonstration.
Ice skating is a bigger success. All skates are provided free of charge, as are helmets for under tens and Bobby Seals (skating frames) to assist little skaters. Raffles and I zoom around the ice rink, and by zoom, I mean stumble and slip inelegantly. Marlo soon joins in but takes her chances with a ride-on Bobby Seal, lording it up happily as her mother slavishly pushes her around the ice.
It’s the snow play area that proves most popular with my little icicles. And it’s not only because they can build a snowman and dig and play in the freshly made ice. No, it’s because it is here where they get to brutally attack their mum and dad in a hail of snowballs. Our only hope of escape is the promise of face painting and the jumping castle in the Fairytale Garden.
There are more icy and exciting events happening over the next few weeks including next weekend’s extra special addition of a chocolate festival which, with demonstrations by celebrity chefs Adriano Zumbo and Fast Ed, should prove choc-full of fun.
For details on Snow Time in the Garden, The Hunter Valley Gardens Chocolate Festival and the full frosty program visit www.huntervalleygardens.com.au
Out & About With Kids Magazine editor, Aleney de Winter, is mum to two frequent-flying tiny travellers, son Rafferty 5 and daughter Marlo 2.