My second post of the year and both in the month of January. I am doing well or what?
Last year (2018) we were very lucky to score tickets to see Hunter Valley Christmas Lights Spectacular. Yes, for Christmas.. which we never got around to.. but we finally had a free weekend and did a very impromptu trip to Pokolbin last week!
The original plan was to just do a day trip, but Andy gets tired quite easily when driving these days so we decided on a mini #staycation instead. We booked a villa at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley; it was the first time staying with them and he honestly just enjoyed it so much. When checking-in the girls were gifted a 'Frankie the Frog' each, Isn't that sweet of the hotel?!I must admit that I was super impressed with the accomodation; it wasn't modern or anything, but the service and facilities were just spot on.
During the school holidays, they have free daily activities for kids at 10am which consisted of a merry-go-round, a little train ride on a mini track AND a larger train ride around the resort itself. The pool was a massive hit (as you'd imagine on a 35+ degree summer's day) and it was large enough to easily fit all the kids and adults that were staying there. When it was time to leave the pool the girls obviously didn't want to leave; but it was time for a shower, quick nap, some dinner and then getting ready to go see the Hunter Valley Christmas Lights.
So after having our dinner (which we ordered from the bar to eat in our room), we started making our way to Hunter Valley Garden for the main feature of our trip and was pleasantly surprised when we found out it was only a 5 minute drive away. A couple of quick tips if you're planning to go visit:
Food stalls and ATMs are available there if you wanted to have dinner there, make sure you bring a picnic rug as there's plenty of space to sit down to have a great feed
There are a few activities there for the kids ($15 for unlimited rides on the giant slide, ferris wheel, jumping castle etc.) so try to go a bit earlier if you're planning to let them enjoy some rides
If you want to just see the lights so try to schedule your visit around 8PM which is when it starts getting dark
Make sure you bring insect repellent!! There is a lot of water close by so there are plenty of mozzies lurking around
We made the rookie mistake of forgetting to bring any and had to kind of rush through all of it to try to avoid getting bitten, lucky the kids didn't get any bites but poor Andy did (oh welp).
Christmas Spectacular is still on this year until the 26th of January 2019, so if you've ever thought about taking the kids but didn't get a chance to last year, I definitely recommend it. We went the year before and I personally think it was better this time around.
Spoiler alert: our girls lost their minds when they found some My Little Ponies lights in the Fairy Garden!