Girls Night Out @ Christmas Lights Spectacular {GIVEAWAY}

Post in collaboration with Hunter Valley Gardens

You may recall last year we escorted Grumpy, Whingey & Whiney to the Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens. Well, they were very apt names for Gilbert, Matilda and Delilah when we started out that night!

Why so grumpy? Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular

Thankfully, they were touched by the magic of the Christmas lights and had rediscovered their true selves by the end of the evening!

Celebrating at Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular

This year, Grumpy (AKA Gilbert) decided to forgo his visit to the lights due the stress and anxiety he is feeling as he contemplates his very imminent transition to high school (it’s next month people – next month!).

With Nathan staying home with him, I decided to have a girls night out instead, with the girls and my beautiful mother-in-law. The girls were VERY excited and literally sang the entire way there. It’s clear they were in a jolly mood from the get go (no Whingey or Whiney in sight this year!)

Matilda & Delilah @ Christmas Lights Spectacular -

Having attended the Christmas Lights Spectacular last year, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be as magical the second time around. However, the display is always being tweaked and built upon. While I recognised many of the display pieces, most of them have been arranged in new and exciting ways.

I have to confess I still came away with the same sense of wonder and awe I experienced last year.

Old favourites remain, such as the 12 Day of Christmas (Matilda’s favourite). We ended up staying through 2 rounds of the song so she could take it all in:

12-days-of-christmas -

Other familiar favourites include Candyland and the Fairy Garden, with the latter expanding from last year to include ponies, fairies, nursery rhyme characters and Cinderella:

Candyland @ Hunter Valley Gardens -

the-fairy-garden @ Hunter Valley Gardens -

One welcome change this year is the relocation of the food and entertainment area, known as the Christmas Lights Fun Zone, to the middle of the walk, just after Story Book Garden. It’s the ideal spot to stop, rest and recharge. Here you can purchase food and drink, take in a show from the Little Scallywagz, enjoy unlimited rides in the Play Zone and get a photo with the jolly red man himself.

christmas-lights-fun-zone -

The girls loved having a snack while watching the show and stayed back at the end to get a photo with the cast. Meanwhile my MIL and I enjoyed sitting for a bit and watching the girls dance off their excitement!

Other highlights of the Christmas Lights Spectacular include the stunning entry lights, Santa’s plane (a perennial favourite!), Pooh Bear, the HVG waterfall and Santa’s gorgeous sleigh:

highlights of hunter valley gardens -

christmas-lights-highlights -

You could also call the girls’ quest to pose for the most dramatic photo as another highlight of the night!

Dramatic poses at Hunter Valley Gardens -

We really enjoyed our girls night out at Hunter Valley Gardens to take in the magic of the Christmas Lights Spectacular. If you are interested in taking your family too, here are some quick tips to ensure your night is a success.

  1. Pre-purchase your tickets online. The line to buy tickets on the night we visited was huge. Buy your tickets beforehand and save the long queue!
  2. Weeknights are less busy than weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, try the gardens on a weeknight. The Christmas Lights Spectacular is open from 6.30pm to 10.00pm every night until January 26, 2017.
  3. Take some water along with you. The walk is fairly long for little legs and there’s sure to be a request for a drink before you hit the Christmas Lights Fun Zone (located roughly midway on the track).
  4. Try to get to the Fun Zone for 7.30pm or 8.30pm so your little ones can catch the Little Scallywagz show. If you have bigger ones with you, invest $7.50 in an unlimited ride pass so they are occupied for a little while too!
  5. Don’t forget the insect repellent. Cessnock Lions Club were on hand on the night we visited with Aeroguard at the ready but it’s always good to have your own in case you need to reapply mid-way through.

You can check out more of the amazing displays and find out how you can secure tickets for your family by visiting the Hunter Valley Gardens site.

christmas-light-spectacular-at-hunter-valley-gardens -


I hope you’ve taken good note of the advice above as you have the chance to win a family pass to see the Christmas Lights Spectacular for yourself! Just leave a comment below sharing your top tip for a successful night-time outing with kids. The best piece of advice will win the family pass!

Competition is only open to Australian residents and will run until 6pm AEDT Sunday 11 December.

All the very best of luck to you all!

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post, however I received a family pass (2 adults/2 children) valued at $92.00 for the purpose of this review. All opinions, photos and views are 100% my own.

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34 Responses

  1. It looks so amazing. My best tip would be to pack small snacks and water to save a small fortune and queuing up!

    • Kirsty says:

      I second this one Amy. I spent considerable time in queues for food and drink and was cursing myself for leaving the water we’d brought with us back in the car (it’s always the way….)

  2. Kaz says:

    Pack a snack and drink for ride home! I find they are so excitable from wherever we’ve been they drive home can quickly turn!

  3. This looks spectacular! I miss having little kids who would enjoy this. Our teens are not so much into the festivities of Christmas anymore.

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m holding onto the magic for as long as I can. With my eldest off to high school next year, I know it won’t be long until they are too cool for it too…

  4. Deborah says:

    I’m not local so can’t enter but am not a huge fan of Christmas lights I must confess. I know they’re popular with kids though and have friends who still take their children out to see them and they have local bus tours here etc…
    Deborah recently posted..Top ten new authors I read in 2016

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m not sure I’d be into Christmas Lights without the kids but it is precious seeing their happiness at some of the amazing displays.

  5. This looks so awesome! I don’t think we’ll make it up this year, but we might have to plan a few nights up there next year so we can visit, once Zee is totally toilet trained and Punky has survived her first year at school, I think it might be the perfect reward!

  6. This looks awesome Kirsty! I wish I wasn’t in QLD so we could go. I don’t know of anything similar up here.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..Mummy Must Have Review | Flying Sprout Busy Bags

  7. Looks like so much fun! My Len would love the fairy garden.

  8. Wow these lights are fantastic. Me and the girls love driving around to look at our local lights, there are a few good ones that we spend a bit of time at. Summer wasn’t a fan of the dancing and signing santas that we come across though and would protest loudly. Hopefully she feels better about them this year. She would go nuts for the My little pony lights though!

    • Kirsty says:

      The MLP lights are spectacular. My girls gave them the thumbs up and were excited to see all their favourites represented (especially Pinkie Pie!)

  9. Raych says:

    Looks like a whole lot of fun.

  10. If the kids are really little, change them into their PJ’s before getting in the car for home…that way you can just carry them to bed! Seriously love the xmas lights spectacular!!!

  11. Malini says:

    We are Christmas light junkies. Love to drive kids aroind hunting for the best Christmas light display. My best tip is to pack snacks from noodles, variety of fruits and some chips. My kids get bored with one kinda food so I need to have some backup. Some change of clothes just in case, the worst happens when we are not prepared. Also I love to prepare some treasure hunt for my preschooler so he feels involved and get excited to find the thinga listed. Will love to vist the Mother of all lights display at the Hunter Valley Gardens.

  12. I’ve heard so much about this light display. Would love to visit one day even though my kids are way to old to think it’s cool!

  13. Sonya Blyton says:

    Preperation & Planning is the key and packing some snacks, drinks, baby wipes, aeroguard, wearing comfy shoes for walking.

  14. ange says:

    There are a million things you could do but since you will be near gardens I say don’t forget the mosquitoes repellant – it ruins a good time

  15. Karina Lee says:

    Make sure they have had a good sleep, are well fed and bring warm clothes for them!

  16. Ying Ying Tan says:

    My Top Tip is remember to FORGET bringing IPAD/tablets because it is ALL about spending quality time with the family on a spectacular night out like this!

  17. Vanessa says:

    Wow. Those look like pretty spectacular lights!

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