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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Ballarat Winter Festival 2019

This regional town is heating up winter with a road trip-worthy program of markets, ice-skating, art and food.
By Libby Curran
June 21, 2019
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Ballarat Winter Festival 2019

This regional town is heating up winter with a road trip-worthy program of markets, ice-skating, art and food.
By Libby Curran
June 21, 2019
  shares

If you're looking to escape Melbourne's grisly winter weather, even for a weekend, Ballarat might be just the place to do it. The regional town is dialling up the heat with a road trip-worthy winter program, stuffed full of cosy eats, activities and entertainment.

The Ballarat Winter Festival descends on the region from Saturday, June 29, till Sunday, July 21, promising to pull you right out of hibernation mode.

Kids big and little will be able to throw down moves on the pop-up ice-skating rink, which lands beside Ballarat Town Hall for the festival's duration. All skill levels are allowed to hit the ice, with bookable one-hour skate sessions. On June 29 and 30 and July 13 and 14, jump into the future at the Winteractive Arcade augmented reality exhibition. As well as checking out the latest and greatest tech gadgets, you'll have the chance to battle mates in a massive multiplayer game of Snake, a virtual reality drone racing game, or some old-school arcade favourites.

The inaugural Ballarat Activated ArtWalk will transform the city into an immersive gallery, navigated via your smartphone, while on July 6–7, The Design Exchange pulls together an independent marketplace of artisan wares, woodfire pizzas and pop-up bars.

And Sovereign Hill comes alive in the spirit of Christmas in July for its annual Winter Wonderlights program, featuring dazzling light projections, Euro-style winter markets and live entertainment.

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