Cool Yule Darling Harbour: It’s snowing in Sydney!

  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs
    Parents Only
ellaslist COVID-19 update: Please note that all the information on the website is correct at the time of publication. Please check the relevant website before visiting a venue or destination for the latest COVID-19 information. ellaslist is not responsible for any cancellations or closures.

By: Maxabella, ellaslist explorer

It’s not really snowing in Sydney, but it might as well be. Darling Harbour has practically gone artic this month with the Cool Yule festival offering ice skating, snowman making, magical snow forests and snow-inspired slippery slides.

Perfect for All Ages

Our happy family tried the lot last weekend and we had an awesome day out. With three kids aged just-turned seven, nine and 11, it can sometimes be hard finding entertainment that they all enjoy together. This wasn’t something I ever thought about when they were little, but now we are often faced with my older son feeling sidelined while my daughters have a good time. This was not the case at Cool Yule – it really was a good day out for everyone, including me and the husbie.

Cool Yule Snow Pit

The highlight of the day for all three kids was definitely the Cool Yule Snow Pit – something I really didn’t see coming, considering that a field of icy snow was competing with an ice skating rink, a giant inflatable slide and an even bigger ferris wheel. It just goes to prove that sometimes the simple things are the best.

The snow pit is basically just a large pit full of snowy ice. Initially I was a bit sceptical, but the kids loved every second of their snow session, making mini snowmen, rolling snow balls and sliding with happy abandon across the ice.

Snowy Curiosity

Afterwards the kids had all kinds of questions to ask about snow and ice and water, so it became a rather educational experience with me having to Google information about the water cycle and all. In the end we popped into the free (with our snow pit ticket) Amazing Artic Adventures display at the National Maritime Museum where Ernest Shackleton himself guided us around the exhibits. Very cool indeed.

Stars of the Show

For me, my day was made by the beautiful Stars of the Show ferris wheel ride. Such a pleasure to be high above busy Darling Harbour, watching seagulls float by our carriage and enjoying the city from a brand new angle. Even better were the fantastic staff who operated the ferris wheel. They were all so friendly and enthusiastic. I mean, in my experience it’s a rare thing indeed to find a single carnival ride operator who seems to be having fun, let alone a whole team of them. So for me the ferris wheel ride felt like a gentle pause in the middle of an otherwise action-packed day.

Getting our skates on

After our blissful ride we then attempted some skating moves on the ice rink with all of us failing spectacularly. You can hire a cute little penguin friend to help guide you around the ice but unfortunately they didn’t have one big enough for me! We visited on a Sunday, but I aim to go back Monday to Saturday to watch one of the Stars on Ice shows to see how it’s actually done.

Winter Wonderland

The walk through the Frozen Forest definitely helped us all cool down after our hot and heavy skating session. It’s a charming spot, filled with bright white trees and foliage, pretty lights and even a snowfall or two. It really felt like we were in a magical winter wonderland and it was the perfect photo op to capture the magic of the day.


  1. Book your sessions online
    That way you can plan out your day to fit everything in. It was really busy when we were there and we didn’t book in advance so we had a bit of a wait between ice rink and snow pit sessions.
  2. Leave plenty of time to get places
    With Tumbalong Park currently under construction (the playground is open, don’t worry!), the Cool Yule areas are spaced out around the rest of Darling Harbour. It’s a good 20-25 minute walk from the rink to the slide.
  3. Dress in layers and take a change of clothes
    It’s a good idea to have a few pairs of warm socks that the kids can pop over their hands in the ice pit. Their ‘gloves’ will get soaked through quickly, but you can swap them out for a dry pair every now and then to keep little hands warm.

Cool Yule Freebies
Check out The Coolest Freebies at Cool Yule Darling Harbour

More information about Cool Yule and Book Tickets

For more of Maxabella’s adventures visit –






Jul 06 2015

This festival is too cute!! The snow pit went down an absolute storm with our little ones and there were much older kids and adults having an absolute ball :) def worth a pop down.