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Things to do in Perth in winter for the young and young at heart

By the Experience Perth Blogger

Monday, 29 May 2017

Winterworld Hillarys

Do you have great memories of Hillarys Boat Harbour with the family? If not, it's time you started! And if you do, it's time to relive the classics and some new options with your loved ones.

If you're looking for things to do in Perth in Winter, then consider the kids activities at Hillarys Boat Harbour or the surrounds. From Winterworld to AQWA, a ferry to Rottnest Island or the nearby Kids Wonderland, come explore what's on offer. For those young or young at heart, there's some exciting attractions to keep you busy over the next few months. 4 things to do in Perth in winter with family activities at Hillarys Boat Harbour and the surrounds:

1) Winterworld Australia

Sorrento Quay Boardwalk presents Winterworld Hillarys, at Sorrento Quay Boardwalk Ampitheatre for the first time, from Saturday 24 June to Sunday 16 July. For 23 days, you'll have the opportunity to ice skate over the sparkling water on the breathtaking Sorrento Quay Boardwalk Amphitheatre - ocean views on one side and cosy, covered family area on the other, with multiple delicious food and beverage options. This outdoor ice-skating and spectacular winter wonderland for all ages boasts the protection of the amphitheatre from the elements, whilst allowing you and your little loved ones to skate under the stars. Create your own frozen experience!

So, put on the winter woollies, embrace the elements and enjoy the magic of winter these July school holidays for this unique chance that provides a wide range of activities for young and old. The snow fun has been extended throughout the centre including custom designed winter inspired shop windows by local visual artist Desiree Crossing, to snowflake fairies, and tonnes of winter fun to be announced. Local businesses are getting into the spirit and offering winter specials too, so why not make a full day or night of it. There's snow many things to do at Hillarys Boat Harbour!

Skating sessions start 8:30am daily. There are specially designed sessions for nurturing the smaller skaters and custom made double bladed ice skates perfect for little ones, with child friendly penguin skating aids to add extra stability for the tiny tots. But don't be fooled, this guarantees fun for the entire family, with the rink accessible to all, including wheel chairs and 'wheely friendly' sessions throughout the season. And there will be plenty of late night skate sessions for that perfect date, or a fun night out with your friends and loved ones. Session times run Sunday to Thursday from 8:30am - 9pm (with the last session at 7:45pm), and Friday to Saturday from 8:30am - 10pm (with the last session at 9pm).

Or why not grab a coffee or hot chocolate, to warm up after, at one of these locations along the Sunset Coast on the way home. Else, it's also available in Fremantle, and follow the website link to the Facebook page, or the website link under the Buy Tickets page, to purchase tickets for Hillarys as well.

Tickets are available for purchase from the Box Office at each venue at an increased price. So, it's recommended to get in quick! As sessions sell out in advance, tickets for the ice-skating are available for pre-purchase online. And if you get your skates on quick, and glide into Winterworld Hillarys between Saturday 24 to Friday 30 June Under 5's will be FREE and everyone else $15+ BF (which saves up to $9 per skater). Otherwise, General Ticket Prices are available online from 8am Monday 22 May with Under 5’s $5 (+BF), 5-15 years $15 (+BF), 16+ $24 (+BF), Family (2x 16+ and 2x 5-15 years) $62 (+BF), and Penguin Aids $10 (+BF). So, don't be stumped for things to do in Perth with kids. You may even want to consider a sneaky weekender or getaway somewhere nearby like Quality Resort Sorrento Beach.

Vist AQWA this winter


Open daily from 10am to 5pm, AQWA is a great place to visit in winter, as most exhibits are indoors, which works well whatever the weather. And if you visit during school holidays, be sure to look out for special competitions and promotions often available. Families usually like to visit in the mornings, and are encouraged to make a full day of it. Entry is an all-day ticket, so why not get in early, have lunch at the Café, then enjoy the nearby grassed area outside AQWA Perth or visit the Hillarys Boat Harbour beaches, playgrounds and the Sorrento Quay shops, before returning in the afternoon to see more. This should help give you some ideas on what to do at Hillarys Boat Harbour for a full day of fun!

There's free colouring in "Spotto" activity sheets as you enter AQWA's Shipwreck Coast or download the "Follow Sweep" app to create your own story, as you undertake an underwater interactive journey. Ages 2-5 years can enjoy storytime daily at 11:45am in the Coral Reef for child friendly fun filled laughter and discovery with an AQWA Ocean Guide. AQWA offers all the facilities families need, including high chairs and bottle warmers at the Café, plus pram access and other benefits.

Or the bigger kids might prefer the touch trail through the regions including interactive elements, or educational chats at the Discovery Pool. Gently hold starfish or stroke a shark, using an underwater viewer. The Coral Reef exhibit and divers cleaning the exhibits are also a favourite amongst the kids, along with the tunnel and conveyor belt through the Shipwreck Coast exhibit with the sharks, stingrays, turtles and fish.

There are also optional extras from the Adventure range including diving and snorkeling in the exhibit for those 15 years and older (which are limited but run daily at 1pm and 3pm), or Behind the Scenes tours for those 12 years and over at 11am Thursday and Saturday (which are limited and require 2 days pre-booking). Additionally, experience the excitement of sleeping under the sea with a night of exclusive tours and marine activities for those aged 7 to 12 years with Public Shark Sleepovers available during the school holidays on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and private Shark Sleepovers all year-round Monday to Thursday upon request. From movies to craft, dinner and breakfast Friday July 14 is the Shark Month Special from 6pm to 8am the next day (kids only).

Remember for entry to AQWA, under 4's are free! Mums with bubs can try the Off-Peak Ocean Pass, valid mid-week (outside public and school holidays) for 50% off standard entry prices (with the 4 Ocean Pass visit entries equating to around $13.75 per visit). Also, AQWA's Family Day Pass saves nearly 20% off standard entry prices, whilst an AQWA Family Ocean Pass enables you to save another $10 on your second and third visit, with your fourth for free! For more information visit here for further details, booking and contact information, and for additional articles on AQWA click here. Or if fishing is more to your family's liking, visit here for some good spots in Hillarys Marina and beyond to bond, or try a Sunset Coast Self Drive itinerary for more ideas.

Winter fishing on Rottnest Island

3) Ferry to Rottnest Island

Still looking for things to do with kids in Perth? Well how about taking the Rottnest Fast Ferries from Hillarys Boat Harbour. You can book and enquire more here with prices and packages to suit you. Or, you can also catch Rottnest Express from Fremantle, if you're travelling back down along the coast, with booking options here. From Segway Tours on Rottnest, to adventure activities and accommodation options on Rottnest, there's plenty to keep kids and adults of all ages entertained.

Learn more about the attractions of Rottnest here whether you're into bike rides, sports, water activities, or outdoor adventure. And don't forget the wildlife viewing opportunities, including Quokkas. The kids will love you forever! If you can't pack it all in one day, then follow this link onto the Rottnest Island website for more overnight stay options, from camping to winter escapes, and school holiday activities. You can't say there's not plenty of things to do with kids in Perth!

4) Kids Wonderland Perth

Just over 20 minutes' drive from Hillarys, is the Kids Wonderland 2017 event, held at Hertha Reserve, Cedric Street Stirling. Under the big top, this specialty attraction operates from Wednesday 5 July to Sunday 9 July. Sponsored by the City of Stirling, it proudly supports The Starlight Children's Foundation and Uni Camp For Kids.

With multiple sessions per day, children from 2 to 12 years of age can enjoy giant dinosaurs, a huge selection of rides, live shows and more. This one-stop shop over the July school holidays can see your kids enjoy building a modular city with Bricks4Kidz, versing you in GameVault™ (the only travelling mobile game theatre), meet a T-Rex, milk a cow at the Brownes Milking Station, or discover what it feels like -192 degrees below zero with the SCITECH Live Experiments Show.

Parents can retreat to the City of Stirling Parents Oasis, or watch your kids enjoy the carnival. Kids cost $25 (+BF) for 3 hours of unlimited rides, the mix94.5 Silent Disco, Crayola Colour Castle, Fossil Dig, PerthNow Gaming Arcade, Laughing Clown or Shooting Gallery, plus popcorn and more! Whilst adults cost $12 (+BF) and can ride with the kids where suitable, or enjoy the food and beverage area. Though rides aren't suitable for those under 2, they are free with a paying child and adult. Buy online for the above savings, else adults are $15 and kids are $30 at the gate. Visit this link for more information and access to the website, where you can pre-purchase tickets.

Well enjoy the winter wonderland that is Perth over the coming months! And if you're looking for more ideas try this link for other family fun, events and festivals around Perth. Otherwise, experience these further great attractions if you want to book out your calendar!

Whatever you choose, enjoy your Perth winter activities, and make sure everyone subscribes to the Experience Perth newsletter for more tips on things to do in Perth during winter.


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