Hit up The Winter Village, Federation Square, Melbourne for Ice Skating, Igloos & Snow Falls!

This winter, the top level of Federation Square’s carpark is transformed into The Winter Village. It’s time to skate, sip, feast and play!

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

The Winter Village Melbourne is a magical winter wonderland open from Thursday 13 May until Sunday 29 August 2021. It’s a pop-up winter event where you’ll find an ice skating rink at Federation Square, twenty-four private igloos and even regular snow falls (at 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm)!

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

It’s like a miniature European winter village, with views looking back onto the winter Melbourne CBD skyline and gumtrees of Birrarung Marr.

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

Igloo dining federation square

The highlight of the village is the igloo dining, where you can choose from two delicious package options with winter-themed food and beverages, all of which are delivered to your igloo door. The private igloos fit two to five people for exclusive use for 1 hour 45 minutes.

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

The Standard Package is $49 per person and the Premium Package is $69 per person. Both packages can be made vegan for the same price. The main difference between the Standard and Premium package at this Melbourne winter wonderland is that more drink options are included in the Premium Package. The Standard Package menu includes a sparkling, wine or beer per adult whereas in the Premium Package you get to choose an Aperol Spritz or Hot Espresso Martini with choc fudge sauce, berries, brownies, marshmallows, cookies.

Note all children 3-12 years old hanging out in the igloos must dine on a package ($15 for kids) and be accompanied by an adult.

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

If you’re concerned that the outdoor igloo is going to be cold, don’t worry. They are decked out with comfy armchairs, soft cushions and blankets. There’s no heating but once it’s zipped up it actually gets very warm – we have to open up some vents to cool down!

The Winter Village Federation Square 16 22

The igloos (when zipped up) are also waterproof so it won’t matter if it rains. It’s a cosy (and I swear, nap-inducing) space to hang out after a hard hour on the ice!

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

If you don’t want to dine in the igloo then a pop-up kitchen is serving up giant pretzels, fried chicken, mac and cheese bites and much more. There are some vegan and gluten-free options and the same $15 kids menu.

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

ice skating federation square

The Winter Village also has a small ice skating rink. The Federation Square ice skating tickets must be purchased separately and sessions run for 45 minutes, on the hour. Skating is suitable for kids 3+ years and all tickets include skate hire and helmet. Kids under 5 must be accompanied by an adult on the ice.

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

If you want safety gear like elbow and knee pads or kangaroo skate aids, these can be booked for an additional fee (though the skate aids seem to be a free-for-all during our session).

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

This year there’s a new Brunch & Skate package, available only Saturdays and Sundays at 10am and 10:30am. It’s really good value as it includes a 45-minute skate session, followed by brunch in a private igloo and costs $35 per adult and $22 per child.

Given that adult ice skating is $26 and children’s ice skating is $18 already this is a really good deal!

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

From the brunch & skate menu, adults can choose one brunch item and a drink, while kids choose from the ‘Little Rink Rats’ kids menu with a choice any of the kid’s meals: chicken & chips, (veg or meat) burger & chips, barramundi & chips and crudites with hommus, all of which are normally $15.

I order the lobster and prawn roll with dill and pickles which is ok, while the kids can’t finish their generously proportioned (I’d say adult-sized portioned) fried chicken tenders and burger. Oh and watch out, the hot chocolate is HOT!

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

If you’re extra hungry, you can order additional food and drinks via a QR code and pay directly while ordering online.

For instance, we order a winter dessert platter ($16) for photographic purposes!

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

You are permitted to bring in a cake for a celebration if you wish to! Just ask the staff on the day for some plates and napkins.

My only disappointment with the food and drinks is that it’s served in single-serve containers (other than the hot chocolate, which comes in a mug). I understand that it’s convenient to not have to wash up crockery and cutlery, but all these single use items that will just go in the bin (even if recyclable or compostable) feels very wasteful. If you care about your waste then I recommend BYO drink bottle, cutlery and reusable napkins. I know I’ll be better prepared next time I visit.

Find Accommodation near Federation Square, Melbourne

In addition to Brunch & Skate other special offers include Cheap Tuesdays with 2-for-1 skate passes every Tuesday, Family Fun Days on Sundays 10am-12pm with free kids entertainment and a specially priced Family Skate Pass.

Winter Village Fed Square Melbourne

The Winter Village is open daily. They advertise it as a free event which is technically true if you only want to take a photo of the outside of an igloo and the snowfall.

But if you really want to go ice skating in the city, chill out in an igloo village, eat or drink you’ll need to bring your wallet (and it’s also best to book ahead).

If you’re driving, the Federation Square carpark is $21 on weekends and the Wilson Parking at 172 Flinders St (across the road) is $13 pre-booked.

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Check out the Flinders Quarter augmented reality art walk nearby

HOT Tips for Firelight Festival:

  • The festival is free, including all entertainment and attractions (except food and drinks). No tickets are required;
  • Bring cash as some stalls will only accept cash;
  • The whole event is outdoors, so dress very warmly;
  • Events run from 5pm – 11pm (Fri & Sat) and 5pm – 10.30pm (Sun). Arrive early to limit waiting for food and drinks and for the best views, especially for the liquid, laser and light show.

About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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