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HUNTER VALLEY BLOG

With more than 150 wineries and cellar doors, 65 restaurants and 180 comfy accommodation places to stay, where do you start?

Follow our insider tips by the people who know best… the locals. We ask talented winemakers, chefs, farmers, brewers and journalists to blog about their favourite places and experiences in this fertile wine region.

Family friendly guide to the Hunter Valley these school holidays

The Hunter Valley is not just a playground for adults, but a playground for kids too - especially during the school holidays! Are you planning a trip with your tribe to Wine Country these Winter holidays? We have narrowed down a family-friendly list of must do experiences to kick start your planning. 

PLAY

SNOW TIME IN THE GARDENS - HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS

Every Winter, the spectacular grounds of the Hunter Valley Gardens transform into a magical Winter Wonderland for children of all ages. Snow Time in the Gardens runs from June 25 to July 24, so there is plenty of opportunity to play in the only snow in Wine Country. Slow down and relish in the excitement of building your own snowman or, make snow angels in the enormous synthetic snow play area. Get the adrenaline pumping on the whopping 45-metre-long ice toboggan slide or, take your skate skills to the massive ice-skating rink, whether it’s your first time or tenth time, this is a sure fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. Plus, the gardens will have their usual rides including the 25m high Ferris Wheel, merry-go-round, spinning tea-cups and plenty of delicious food and drink options.

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OUR ITALIAN TABLE – FAMILY PASTA MAKING

Enjoy a couple of hours of fun in this hands-on pasta class where you will learn the art of traditional hand rolled pasta, along with making seasonal sauces and Biscotti. Sit down together for lunch afterwards and taste your creation – who knows, maybe this could spark their inner chef and encourage them to take their new skills home!

 

GO KARTS GO HUNTER VALLEY 

Get the adrenaline pumping at the region's biggest, fastest and most exciting 4-stroke go kart hire track with a massive 850m long track! Challenge your friends and family to an epic speed race like no other in the latest specification RIMO Schumacher full sized Go karts from Europe. Junior and adult accompanied twin seated go karts are also available to ensure the little ones get a go at zooming around too.

HUNTER VALLEY CLASSIC CARRIAGES

Step back in time and discover the region horse are cart style these school holidays with Hunter Valley Classic Carriages. Book your Wild West Children's Adventure Tour in an authentic Wild West American Chuck Wagon, offering entertainment for the whole family with rope tying games, lassoing and an experiential fun Western theme! Hunter Valley Classic Carriages have several holiday specials on offer so be sure to check them out during your visit.

 

HUNTER FARM AND ADVENTURE CENTRE – HUNTER VALLEY

The Hunter Valley is rightly famous for its food and wine experiences and now you can add adventure to your Hunter Valley experience! The Adventure Centre at the Farm offers a range of exhilarating activities for the whole family to get involved. Trot through the vineyards horseback style and experience the vineyards and surrounding Brokenback Mountain Ranges from a new perspective. Or, step your balance and tech game up and experience the region via Segway! Archery, grape stomping and farm visits are also available on offer to keep you busy for the whole day.

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MINI GROWERS FAMILY FUN - MARGAN WINES & RESTAURANT

​Keep the kids busy during the Winter school holidays with the Mini Growers pop-up program at Margan Wines & Restaurant. Parents can relax and enjoy the Margan Hunter Hand Picked wine and food experience whilst the kids are learning and having fun. The Mini Growers experience begins with a supervised garden tour for kids only where they learn how to grow vegetables, feed chickens, compost at home and unearth garden secrets in a scavenger hunt. Mini growers also get to plant a succulent to take home and watch grow. After the garden experience, the Minis join you for their lunch of a snack platter, baked treat and drink. Bookings Essential - Click here to book.

 

HUNTER VALLEY WILDLIFE PARK

Give your family a day to explore the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park, located just 5 minutes from Cessnock. Your kids will love an opportunity for an up close encounter with a koala or wombat! Plus you can feed the farmyard animals, kangaroos or lorikeets. The zoo is not just home to native wildlife like Tassie devils and dingoes, you can see their very rare white lions, ring-tailed lemurs, meerkats plus a whole array of wildlife from around the world!

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PUTT PUTT & AQUA GOLF

Be sure to check out the Putt-Putt and Aqua Golf at the Hunter Valley Gardens. Whether it's your first time or tenth time playing, it is always guaranteed to be great fun for the whole family - plus you can win some epic local prizes!

 

AUDREY WILKINSON – WINE & WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE

Audrey Wilkinson have teamed up with Hunter Valley Wildlife Park to allow their guests an exclusive opportunity to enjoy two iconic Hunter Valley Experiences side by side. Start your day at Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard where you will be treated to an immersive premium seated wine tasting delicately matched with local cheeses. At the conclusion of your tasting, collect your entry tickets to Hunter Valley Wildlife Park and soak up the views on your easy 15-minute drive to the wildlife park*. Here you will see some of the worlds most endangered animals up close including; Lions, Giraffes, Meercats, Lemurs and of course Aussie favorites like Koalas and Kangaroos.

 

SCHOOL HOLIDAY EVENTS – CROWNE PLAZA HUNTER VALLEY

There's always so much to see and do at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, with activities aplenty for the whole family to enjoy. As one of the most family-friendly resorts in the Hunter Valley, their year-round kids club has an activities schedule that will keep the kids busy for hours, even days!

 
 

STAY

THE FAMILY GETAWAY PACKAGE - CROWNE PLAZA HUNTER VALLEY

Escape the daily grind and take the whole family on a Hunter Valley Adventure and stay at the Crowne Plaza Resort. With fantastic kid friendly facilities, plenty of onsite activities and rides to explore and a Kids Club – Crowne Plaza has your rest and relaxation covered. Crowne Plaza are currently offering a family getaway package which includes:

  • Accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children (up to 12 yrs of age) for two nights

  • Daily Buffet Breakfast package for 2 adults and 2 children

  • Children dine free from the children’s dinner menu only in Redsalt Restaurant or Lovedale Bar + Grill when accompanied by a paying adult.

  • Tickets for 2 adults and 2 children to visit Hunter Valley Wildlife Park (formerly Hunter Valley Zoo)

Some of the fun focused, child friendly activities taking place at Crowne Plaza over the school holidays include: 

cupcake decorating

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