Victoria’s Coolest Winter Festivities

Sovereign Hill Winter Festival at night

Louise Baxter

Posted July 05, 2021

Warm up at these cold-weather festivals and activities around the state.

Winter is that magical time of year when everything cold is new again. Whether enjoying the natural beauty of regional Victoria or dusting off the thermals at pop-up events in Melbourne, there’s a little something for everyone in 2021.

Note: In Covid times, we know things can change quickly, so it’s best to double-check details close to the date.

Winter Night Market, Melbourne CBD

The much-loved night trade at Queen Victoria Market has become a Wednesday winter tradition for many Melburnians.  The Winter Night Market is a wonderland of street food, shopping, live music and hot drinks – did someone say mulled wine? The open-air sheds naturally get chilly, so rug up – and keep an eye out for a spot near the fire pits.

Update: This year’s event was scheduled to launch on 2 June but was postponed due to Covid. Organisers say to stay tuned for more information, though – set to run until 25 August, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the fun. 

WinterWild, Apollo Bay 

Described as “the dark heart of the Otway Coast”, WinterWild is a celebration of music, nature, performance, food, art, and fire over two weekends in August. 

The program, running from both 13-15 August and 27-29 August, includes live bands, a comedy showcase, a classic piano concert, live cemetery tours, yoga, and the dynamic, mystical bonfire event, The Dogwatch.

Ballarat Winter Festival, Ballarat

Ballarat really turns on the charm in winter. There’s a whole program of events for the family, including an ice-skating rink, trout fishing, local dining specials and a children’s show featuring jousting knights and a Snow Queen. 

 For a truly wonderous winter experience, head to the Winter Wonderlights at historic Sovereign Hill. It’s a full Christmas in July experience, complete with a dazzling light show, theatre and delicious treats.

The Ballarat Winter Festival runs from 28 June to 18 July.

Snow Play at Lake Mountain, Marysville 

Just two hours from the Melbourne CBD, Lake Mountain is the closest snow to the city and makes a great day trip with your friends or family. The alpine resort has a range of activities, including tobogganing, snow play, snowshoeing, laser skirmish and a flying fox, and you can rent equipment and attire on site.

 The season runs until 30 September. 

Igloo in Winter Village Melbourne

Get your eskimo on at Melbourne's Winter Village in the CBD.  Image: Visit Victoria. 


Winter Weekends, Port Fairy

This beautiful small town, “where the river meets the sea”, is the backdrop for a wholesome festival of food, art, stories, wine, environment, music and culture in winter. Winter Weekends has stages and stalls, walks and talks, tours and workshops, and a wealth of activities to enjoy the natural beauty and town charm. 

 There are still two weekends left for the 2021 program: 9-11 July and 23-25 July.

The Winter Village, Melbourne CBD

 Among the unexpected turns of the last 18 months, an igloo in Federation Square doesn’t seem strange; in fact, it looks like a whole lot of fun.

The Winter Village has returned to Melbourne for the second time, decorating the Skyline Terrace with an igloo village, ice skating, snow showers, and a pop-up bar and kitchen.

 The festivities are open seven days a week until 29 August.

East Gippsland Winter Festival, East Gippsland

The inaugural East Gippsland Winter Festival is a three-week program of pop-up events and winter feasts showing off this scenic region.

 Running until 11 July, the festival includes tours, workshops, tastings, art installations and classes, markets, and much more at locations from the Gippsland Lakes to the High Country.