Welcome to a Winter Wonderland

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

There’s no need to spend a fortune and travel hours on windy, slippery roads to take your family to the snow this year. Give them a taste of a white winter by heading to a cool new event in the City of Casey.

The Big Freeze is a family winter festival which will run over the July school holidays at the Cranbourne Racecourse.

Event director Anna Brown said she came up with the unique experience with a little help from her own children.

“Without a doubt, my kids are the inspiration behind the festival. We want to experience the joy of the snow, but without having to buy new outfits, figure out how car chains work and try predicting a sunny winter’s day,” she said.

“Most other Australian states now have snow events for kids, and it’s long overdue that Melbourne families get this option as well. There is so much fun to be had over the cooler months and we want to be the first to embrace the cold and celebrate all the things that people love about winter – throwing a snowball, building a snowman, warming up with a hot chocolate. Getting wet and cold with your kids, all while having a giggle, is what makes great family memories. And that’s what The Big Freeze is all about.”

The festival has been in development for over two years, and Anna has been putting in a lot of long hours to make it perfect.

“I usually start my day about 4am to try and catch up on emails before the rest of the day is filled with meetings and phone calls. Nights are usually reserved for working on marketing, the website and so forth,” Anna said.

“There’s also a lot of extra work this year that we won’t have to do into the future, but we are working very hard on building strong foundations. I’ve also got an amazing team behind me and it wouldn’t be possible without their constant support and dedication.”

And the hard work has paid off, with so many exciting zones on offer for the entire family to enjoy. A visit to The Big Freeze begins in the winter forest, complete with showers of falling snow. The winding path ends at the life-size inflatable snow globe photo booth where cameras are waiting to capture the perfect family photo.

Hidden behind the scrub, the snow village will provide hours of fun for the youngest attendees as they get to play house, shop, run a cafe and lock up some ‘crims’ in the town jail.

There’s a free play snow pit, where children can build a snowman, throw a snowball or make a snow angel.  When the kids are ready to warm up, they can explore the other festival zones which promote activity, creativity and imagination play.

The entertainment stage will feature performances including The Big Freeze’s own snow princesses and an extensive list of kids’ workshops.

The staying active zone will keep the kids busy, with younger visitors able to complete their superhero training. Ski and Snowboard Australia Little Shredder’s program will give families the chance to try snowboarding, while arts’n’crafts and construction play will provide a quiet, creative space for families.

Bookings can be made on www.thebigfreezefestival.com.au

It is imperative that families reserve their snow pit session time when booking.

“We will be quite strict on how many people enter the pit for each time slot so that everyone has an enjoyable experience,” Anna said.

“Your ticket provides access for the entire day – we recommend arriving early and enjoying some of the other activities before hitting the snow so that you’re not late for your session. We also have a daily timetable on our website that will help you plan your visit.”

Anna said the response from the community has been overwhelming, with many sessions sold out on the first day of ticket sales.

“We have had an amazing response from the Casey community so far, and if that support continues and we can make year one a great success, we plan to make The Big Freeze an annual event for the region.”