Having moved to the Margaret River Region we like to try and get out and about at least once a week to explore and have some quality family time. But when the weather channel say’s it feels like eight degrees outside, the only place you really want to be is at home and under your doona. Although this sounded like a pretty good option, I did a brief internet search anyway and found the site aroundyou.com.au which had a great calendar feature so I could find out what was on in my area that weekend. I found the Bridgetown in the Winter festival advertised and am so glad I did because Sunday was the first day of their Winter Wonderland which also coincided with the Bridgetown River Markets which are held fortnightly.
Bridgetown is around a hour and a half drive from most coastal towns in the region, mainly due to the winding but beautifully scenic roads that meander through the bush and forrest hills and valleys to the heart of the town nestled on the bank of the Blackwood River. As the Market is only open from 8am-12pm we went there first as it was already 11am. The Market is held at the southern end of the town near the Bridge at River Park. I really liked that there was a playground in the middle of all the stalls because I was able to promise the kids some time on this after they walked around with us. I am not sure if it is because it is Winter, but the market did not have all that many stall holders, although there was a bit of variety in their wares from fresh fruit and veggies, to bric a brac, handmade items, soaps jams and olive oils.
I bought 10 lemons and limes for $2 and some other fresh veggies which I was happy with and the kids enjoyed looking at the handmade wooden toys at another stall. We decided not to spend the $5 each at the sausage sizzle store and opted to go back to the car and eat some chocolate cupcakes I had baked especially for the road trip earlier that morning. The kids were so cold that they actually opted to not play on the playground, but were also just too excited to get to the Winter Wonderland at the Town Hall. Whilst sitting in the car we also got a glimpse of some of the competitors racing along the Blackwood River in the Sunnyside Sprint which was also being held there that weekend.
After our snack we took the short drive from the park into town, finding parking behind the Town Hall. Being the day after the official opening of the festival the kids were excited to see some left over snow that had been dumped near the car park as part of the previous nights festivities. After handing over our gold coin donations we made our way into the main hall which had been transformed with white plastic sheeting, pine trees and fairy lights to create a magical winter wonderland.
The kids were in awe as we walked around the space looking at the toy train, playing with the sticker wall, writing a wish for the wishing tree and their favourite playing in the snow globe. Even I got in there and all I can say is be prepared to have the white plastic snow appear at home when you get changed as it got into everything!!
Across the hall, craft activities such as watercolour painting, create a pet rock or pine cone, play dough and a sensory rice and toddler area were set up. It was all indoors which was fantastic for this time of year.
Once we had enough crafting we headed out to explore the main street of the town stopping for pies and sausage rolls at the bakery. The kids loved looking through Christmas Lane at the Christmas shop, and hubby enjoyed looking at all the Marvel Brand collectors items at a store nearby, and we drooled over the lollies at the lolly shop before making our way down to Rotary Park where the Winter festival fun continued.
Advertised as a teens zone the festival had set up a bubble soccer game, soccer snooker, a giant chess game, twister and a giant kerplunk game. So needless to say we all including us parents had some fun. I will say the playground here had something for most ages as well which was great and the kids were able to play on all the equipment as the sun made an appearance while we were there.
All in all it was a great day and I am looking forward to visiting again next year!
If you would like to go the Winter Wonderland at the Bridgetown Town Hall it is running until the 10th of July between 10am and 3pm. Visit their website Bridgetown in the Winter for more details.