Queenstown Winterfestival - Kids Picks

Tue, 7 June 2016

When it comes to winter, there is no better place to celebrate the season than in Queenstown. The festival is steeped in history – 2016 will be its 42nd year.

What began in 1975 as a great excuse to have a party has now evolved into a ten day extravaganza of Queenstown’s unique culture and community, with plenty of family activities thrown in.

Kids’ events are organized to take place outside of school hours and during Festival weekends, inviting the youngsters to get involved with as many events as possible.

Here are the big kid friendly picks during this year’s Winter Festival.


Where: Village Green

When: 10am-10pm daily

If the Village Green is the Winter Festival heart, the American Express Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is the soul! Get your skates on, show off your moves or let the kids have some fun while you’re enjoying the surrounds and what’s on offer. It is a true Winter Festival rite of passage!


Where: Earnslaw Park

When: Friday 24th June 5.30pm (Fireworks 7pm)

Cost: Free

‘Winter Starts here’ so come and kick start your Queenstown Winter Festival with a bang at the American Express Opening Party and Fireworks. Earnslaw Park and Lake Wakatipu will light up as the entertainment and fireworks gets you in the festive mood.


Wrap up warm, grab something hot and tasty from the food stalls and celebrate the official open of the 2015 Winter Festival!


Where: Streets of Queenstown

When: Saturday 25th June 12pm

Cost: Free

Locals and visitors alike agree that Queenstown is a magical place, especially in winter. This year the theme for the parade is ‘Winter Wonderland’. The American Express Street Parade brings colour and fun to the streets of Queenstown with a parade of floats created by individuals, businesses and community groups.


Where: American Express Winter Wonderland Ice Rink

When: Tuesday 28th June 12.30pm

         Wednesday 29th June 6pm

Cost: Donation

Queenstown Ice Skating Club is performing Stars on Ice!

Come and watch local celebrities team up with Club members to skate a routine to assist the Club raise funds. Great entertainment for all the family!


Where: Earnslaw Park

When: Thursday 30th June 12pm

Cost: Free

Think your canine has what it takes to be the ruler of all barks?

Bring them along to the DB Export Dog Barking Competition and earn the title.

The rules are simple: if a dog doesn’t bark on cue, their owner has to get down on all fours and bark on the dog’s behalf. Now why wouldn’t you watch that!


Where: Coronet Peak

When: Saturday 2nd July 12pm

Watch the fun races or bring your kids up to enjoy the Macpac Treasure Traverse with the chance to win some fantastic Macpac children’s ski gear for the season ahead.

There will be fun and giveaway on the deck at lunchtime, so nab a seat and enjoy!


Where: Alpine Aqualand, Queenstown Events Centre

When: Saturday 2nd July 6pm

Cost: Standard pool entry

Enjoy watching Inside Out from the warmth of the leisure pool, or stay dry and watch it from the poolside. Meet Paddles, the polar bear mascot!

  • Kids' Big Snow Dig

Where: Remarkables Park Shopping Centre

When: Sunday 3rd July

         Little Kids (0-7yrs) 12pm

         Big Kids (8-12yrs) 12.20pm

Kids love snow and ice-blocks, so let’s mix it up! Keep them busy while they dig away in fresh snow from the mountain, to find their treasure at the Remarkables Park Shopping centre.

Don’t forget to pre-register the kiddies in this one!


Where: Streets of Queenstown

When: Sunday 3rd July 4.30-8pm

Cost: Free

The Auckland Airport Community Carnival is the Winter Festival finale and is all about celebrating Queenstown and the diverse communities that live here.

Grab a map and take in the huge range of what is on offer, including plenty of fun children’s activities.


Don't forget Queenstown is super cold during Winterfest - Pop in to Rockies to get snow jackets, pants, thermals and accessories so the kids can enjoy it without getting cold!

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