It is easy to spend half a day at The Big Freeze Festival and be entertained throughout.
It's always hard to know what to expect from something completely new to Melbourne. The Big Freeze Festival at Cranbourne Racecourse is one such new event that I found hard to envisage. After an enjoyable afternoon spent at The Big Freeze yesterday, the KidTown clan left well and truly impressed.
What is The Big Freeze Festival all about?
The Big Freeze Festival is Melbourne's first indoor experience, dedicated to winter fun. While snow play is the main attraction to the festival, this is merely the tip of the iceberg (pardon the pun) of what your little icicles can enjoy over the course of the day.
The festival itself is open from 9am to 5pm, that said, you need to book in for your 25 minute 'snow pit' session time. Be aware that many snow pit slots are selling out, so you need to get onto that quickly by booking online so you don't miss out.
We had a 3pm snow pit session time booked in, and arrived at the festival for 2pm to check out the other activities on offer. In all honestly, I think we should've arrived earlier, because there is so much to do.
Snow ball toss
There's the giant snow globe for photograph opportunities, a snow village with fun cubby houses (interestingly enough, a favourite with my two kids), a snowfall forest, food trucks, winter crafts, an inflatable slide, a snow ball toss and snow pit in the first 'room'.
Cubby house play
Move into the second 'room' and you've got the Little Shredders snowboarding come'n'try, live performances, LEGO play, brick building with KickBricks, a superhero training academy and fun workshops. While we didn't see any during our visit, I believe there are opportunities to meet husky dogs throughout the day, too.
Tips for snow play at The Big Freeze Festival
The snow play pit is topped up regularly with fresh ice blasted up into the air to make snow (much to every child's amusement). There are buckets, shovels and rakes to craft a snow-castle or just have a bit of fun with the cold stuff.
We took snow gear with us; boots, jackets, hats, gloves. That said, due to the warmth of the indoor event, it isn't as cold as I thought it would be, and some kids only wore only t-shirts! I would suggest bringing your snow gear anyway, and then you can decide what to wear during your snow pit session. I did see quite a number of kids completely soaked through - bring a change of clothes just in case!
Embrace and enjoy the winter school holidays with The Big Freeze Festival
Considering this is the first year The Big Freeze team have organised an event of this scale, I congratulate them for making it work, and offering families of Melbourne the chance to embrace and enjoy the winter school holidays.
- $28 children age 2-12 years
- $16.50 for toddlers 1-2 years who will be entering the snow play zone
- $16.50 for children over 13 and adults
Reduced entry fee after 2pm $19/$12
The Big Freeze will run from Saturday July 2 to Sunday July 10 at Cranbourne Racecourse, Grant Street, Cranbourne. There is FREE parking available on site.
The Big Freeze’s charity partner is Mums Supporting Families in Need. The Festival is encouraging families to bring any unwanted toys, books or clothing and place them in the donation bins at the festival entrance.