My little family & I headed to Ballarat on Tuesday to check out their Winter Festival and we were not disappointed, it was so much fun. Ballarat is only an hour and half’s drive from Melbourne, we were lucky enough to head down in the fabulous Ford Escape which is the perfect car for family getaways.
Here is what we did…
The Art Gallery of Ballarat was our first stop. Founded in 1884, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest and largest regional art gallery in Australia and was the first to be built outside a capital city. Housed in a heritage-listed building, it features a permanent collection of colonial and indigenous artworks as well as a stunning contemporary display. The Art Gallery of Ballarat is free entry.
Then we headed to Kittely’s for a quick bite of lunch. Kittelty’s is located out the front of the Art Gallery. The kids loved the toasties and fairy cookies. And I had a delicious home made soup. They also had a selection of locally-made goods as well as locally-roasted coffee. Yum.
After lunch we checked into the Mecure Hotel Ballarat. Which is located opposite Sovereign Hill. We had a very spacious 2 bedroom apartment. It had everything families need, a full kitchen, bathtub, washing machine & dryer.
The hotel also houses Billy’s Bistro and Bar, where we enjoyed a full buffet breakfast the next day.
Then we walked over to Sovereign Hill, I have to admit I was almost as excited as the kids. There is just something about that old-world wonder. The kids loved the falling snow-flakes and the Christmas in July theme was lots of fun.
There is lots to do, we panned for gold, had a ride on the horse and cart, Josh and Ted went old school bowling while Emmy and I did some christmas crafts and watched a magic show. We even dressed up in olden day clothes and had a family picture taken. Then came the AMAZING Winter Wonderlights…
The pictures do not do justice of just how stunning this was. It all started at about 5.45pm, Main Street begun to sparkle with an amazing light projection show, it was truly magical. The Christmas (in July) theme continued with Christmas carols playing, snow falling and beautiful Christmas projections lighting up the gorgeous old buildings. The houses and trees in the other streets are also lit up, with beautful fairy lights, they looks absolutely gorgeous.
Before we headed home we went back in to town to check out more of the Winter Festival attractions. First we all had a go at Ice Skating and while it was fun, I can tell you none of us will be professional Skaters, he he.
The inflatable slide was a fave, I actually had to drag Emmy off it kicking and screaming because she just kept wanting ONE MORE GO.
The Ford Escape, perfect for young families.
Thank you very to much to Visit Ballarat for an amazing few day. The Ballarat Winter Festival runs from 1- 30 July.
For more info on heading to Ballarat check out http://www.visitballarat.com.au/winterlude