Last week we got our winter woolies on and drove up to Sovereign Hill to see the Winter Wonderlights, which is part of their Christmas in July celebrations. We went last year and we were both super excited to go back and see it all again.
Late morning we met up with my bestie Mel and her two girls, aged 7 and 10. All three girls were pumped and raring to go, so we got straight to it.
We booked in for an underground tour of the old working mine, and while we waited we went to the Hope Bakery and scoffed pies and dead horse for lunch, perfect for a cold wintry day!
And then the first ‘snow’ fell (no it’s not real, it’s made of some bubble-type-liquid which doesn’t leave you sticky!). With wide eyes the girls danced around in it and so did we. There’s something magical about snow falling on you, it just makes you smile and wave your arms around!
Next stop was the old-fashioned lolly shop for some raspberry drops, a right of passage for anyone who goes to Sovereign Hill. They really are the BEST boiled lollies EVER. And I dare you to challenge me on that one… Although the new salted caramel drops are pretty damned good too!
So off to the mine tour we went. Warning, it’s really dark as you go into the tunnel, like you-can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face kinda dark, but it only lasts about 90 seconds and it’s over before you know it. It’s a great educational tour and the girls couldn’t believe that people actually work underground like that, and that they got to see real gold.
After the tour we stopped in at the Victoria Theatre to watch ‘Little Red Robin Hood’, a hilarious hybrid of two tales in the woods. It was very amusing but I think us big kids laughed more than the girls did, ha!
After the show, we sat outside the theatre and waited for night to fall. That’s when the Winter Wonderlights show begins. All along Main Street the buildings and shops are transformed with the most amazing light projections accompanied by a gorgeous festive soundtrack and a huge snow fall.
The team behind White Night Melbourne have created an incredible show, with different themes which dance across the facades. There’s snowflakes, gold coins, candy canes, lollipops, flowers, birds, stars, old-fashioned dresses, butterflies, monkeys, toys, drums, patterns, Christmas decorations, and so much more. It really is a feast for your eyes!
And talk about photo opportunities, wow! There are so many gorgeous scenes with the most beautiful colours. And with the snow falling on you, the whole experience is like nothing else. Mel’s girls loved it and for us, it was even better the second time around. It really is hands down the best family event.
With the tickets also came free entry the next day (such a bonus!), so we went back to pan for gold. And BINGO, we struck it rich! Haha, not really but Ava was stoked that we came home with a glass bottle filled with little flecks of gold which she’ll be taking to school when Term 3 starts back.
So, now that I’ve been twice, here are my top tips if you’re planning to go:
– Rug up properly, we don’t have thermals so we both wore stockings under our jeans.
– Don’t wear nice clothes (especially shoes) as it can get muddy.
– Definitely do a mine tour, the kids LOVED it and it’s ace to learn stuff too while you’re having fun.
– You MUST visit the Lolly Shop and buy some raspberry drops (they are THE BUSINESS!). Oh and now they have salted caramel drops too. Drooling!
– Check out a panto at the Victoria Theatre, just as much fun for the big kids with all the expected innuendos and more (insert winking emoji here!).
– Take photos of the kids up against the light projections, and then frame them for family presents. Oh and take videos so the kids can look back at them and relive it all over again!
A huge thank you to the folks who run Sovereign Hill, we loved every minute of it. So if you’re thinking of going, the Winter Wonderlights is on until Sunday 30 July. You can find out more here.