Boy, is it cold! The cool kids down under are chilling through one of the coldest winters this year while others are cheering and dropping jaws in tank tops at World Cup events. We’re lazy and fuzzy under the blanket in front of the heater that is on almost 24/7. Winter is not just coming, it’s here!
Yes, fireplace, mulled wine and UGGs sound like the perfect cold season remedy at this point; but you know what else is great? Skiing and skating, winter roasts, art festivals, bonfires, Christmas in July and many other awesome winter activities that are going on across the land! Here are just some examples:
Enjoy food, family fun, and Christmas lights in 1851
Image: Ballarat Winter Festival, Ballarat, VIC
Experience how the old timers spent their winter during the Gold Rush in Ballarat, with one of the featured events happening at Sovereign Hill—Winter Wonderlights. The snowy town in the mid-1800s gets lit up in dazzling projections every evening during the event while visitors can participate in all sorts of activities or simply enjoying a throw-back to the (very) old days. Apart from gold digging, the popular pop-up ice-skating rink returns to the Ballarat city for two weeks, and two weeks only!
Warm it up with torches and apple ciders
Image: Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival, Huon Valley, TAS
Again, revisiting the past to celebrate what we have today, the Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival will have you dressed up in a pagan tradition, wassail at apple trees and gather around for a bonfire ceremony rooted in the Tasmanian aboriginal history, before you celebrate the harvest feasting on grill and roast, drinking cider and more cider, and singing and dancing through the three-day event.
Hit the pubs in your ugliest festive jumper
Christmas jumper parties, Perth, WA
There’s a time for everything. And our Aussie summer Christmas’ normally have us peeling more layers off than we put on. But our Christmas in July is the best time to show off your grandma’s love to your mates at pubs across Perth (such as Durty Nelly’s or Mosman’s in Fremantle) when you compete for the ugliest but most awesome Christmas jumper.
A piece of winter fun for all age groups
Image: Bathurst Winter Festival, Bathurst, NSW
If ciders and pubs aren’t on your list of an ideal winter family time, take a look at the kid-friendly program of the Bathurst Winter Festival. Ice Age Movie PJ party, Dinosaur in the Dark Torchlight Tour, if these don’t speak to your inner 12-year-old self, they speak to your 6-year-old kids. There are also Christmas lights, an ice-rink and all the elements that guarantee a great family outing.
Everything arty, funny and groovy
Image: Darwin Fringe Festival, Darwin, NT
Think of a whole community getting together for some winter warmth and laughter through the arts. The program of Darwin Fringe Festival is as diverse and inclusive as the State has to offer. Events encompass theatre plays, comedies, dances, circus, music, cabaret and many more. From local talents to national artists, they are keen to provide a not-so-cold-winter full of heart-warming vibes.
Other stuff about this eventful winter…
De-light-ful surprises for a casual winter evening walk
Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Fitzroy, VIC
The hip and cool projection works scattering along Gertrude Street in Fitzroy will not be lighting up this hipster district of Melbourne again this year. Yet it surely is something to look forward to for 2019 winter as numerous associations and the local community are looking into gaining more support for their returning annual 10-day art fest that always offers delightful and eye-catching projection art for the passers-by on Gertrude Street.
Art, but dark
Dark Mofo, Hobart & surrounding areas, TAS
By the time this article is published, the majority of the Dark Mofo events would have finished. Yet some awesome time-limited exhibitions are still on until late July. If you haven’t heard about Dark Mofo, dubbed one of the greatest art-related festivals in Australia, then the name of the title should give you a little hint— it’s dark and bold. Just typing “awesome” in the same paragraph with Dark Mofo has me feeling almost out of place. But it’s awesome.