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5 ways to make the most of the Ballarat Winter Festival

Eat & Drink

Rug up and embrace the cold as the Ballarat Winter Festival returns across the school holidays. There’s plenty of winter-themed events, activities and entertainment to warm hearts, souls and bellies.

Held over three weeks (24 June – 16 July) there will be something for everyone to enjoy – from ice skating to disco anthems and fire jousting; to getting cosy with kangaroos and your favourite Christmas in July event.

Here are some of our top picks from this year’s Ballarat Winter Festival program.


Get your skates on as the ever-popular Ballarat Winter Festival pop-up ice rink returns to the heart of the city, offering child-friendly, sensory and disco-themed skating sessions across the Festival period. Each session goes for one hour and tickets are on sale now.

Ballarat Ice Rink


Sovereign Hill’s iconic Christmas in July-themed spectacle returns with a new shimmering light and projection show; falling snow; warm mulled wine; delicious gingerbread treats; pantomimes and theatre shows; hands-on Christmas-themed arts and crafts; and visits from St. Nick. As the sun goes down, share in the wonder as Sovereign Hill ignites for Winter Wonderlights. Tickets are on sale now.

Be sure to check out Late Night Wonderlights – the 18 plus event with all the snow, lights and winery delights of Sovereign Hill’s iconic winter event but with some twists.

Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill


Each winter, The Design Exchange market brings together a curated line-up of amazing independent designers, artists and creators. Discover artisan foods, talented musicians and celebrate small businesses in one of Ballarat’s beautiful heritage buildings, the Mining Exchange.  


Every winter famed Kryal Castle celebrates Knights of Fire;’ telling the fighting story of Snow Queen Neva’s battle to save the kingdom. Watch a spectacular fire joust; be spellbound by flaming swords; create magical potions; learn to sword fight and axe throw; partake in Knight School; and enjoy live performances that tell the story of Snow Queen Neva’s survival. 

Knights of Fire at Kryal Castle


Returning for 2023, Beyond Dark celebrates the season and embraces the moody darkness. Warm your bones by the open fire and shake off the cold on the dance floor. Expect an eruption of art, music, performance and more.

For the full program visit

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02 Jun 2023

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.


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