Photo: George Gittany






A huge open-air ice rink arrives in Parramatta - 1-17 July (during the school holidays) along with a dedicated kids' rink, an 20-metre long ice slide and a giant ferris wheel (Dream Wheel).


On Thursday 30 June, the opening nighty extravaganza will feature an ice show (7pm) and public ice skating at 8pm. We attended in 2015 and took note of children who quickly took to the ice with some skill and adults who were constantly in need of help! Great fun for all regardless of their skill. . .

    Karin Steains Photos


This year again, the alpine food village will return -- love those Dutch Poffertjes. Mulled wine and comfort food will keep the winter chill away.





Daily activities are listed below:


Snowflake Garden

  • All day, every day

                 A beautiful snowflake garden.


Kids’ Creative Hub

  • Everyday, 11am to 6pm  (Free)

                Great variety of free kids’ workshops .


Circus Playground

  • Weekends 2/3 and 9/10 July, 12pm to 4pm

               Juggling, stilts, spinning and balancing objects.


Carnival Rides


  • All day, everyday

               Experience the thrill of vintage-style carnival rides including the carousel, Fantasy Flyer, Crazy Cars,                      Bungy, the Sizzler and Winterlight’s coaster ride.




Illuminated Dream Wheel

  • All day, everyday

              Away from the ice, soar to new heights on the 22m high illuminated ferris wheel and discover a unique               view of our city. Not for the faint hearted!





Live DJ

Friday & Saturday nights, 6pm to 9pm

Get your groove on and skate to the sounds of the best dance hits on the ice-rink dance floor!


The ToyBox Jesters


 Friday 8 -Sunday 10 July, 6pm to 9pm

Stilt-walkers dressed in a kaleidoscopic mix of rainbows and cosmic patterns bring more cheer to the winter fun.


The Cloudmen

Thursday 30 June – Saturday 1 July, 6pm to 9pm

The businessman, the umbrella, the apple and the magnificent blue sky and perfect cloud suits – these roving walks of art illuminate in a most exquisite fashion.


Les Méduses

Saturday 16 & Sunday 17, 6pm to 9pm

These illuminated, roving jellyfish–like puppets swim through the sky in an awe-inspiring aerial display, accompanied by immersive aquatic soundscapes which transport you to an underwater wonderland. You have to see it to believe it!


This is a fantastic 17 days of fun, food and fantasy!

Ai Weiwei: "To work in architecture you are so much involved with society, with politics, with bureaucrats. It's a very complicated process to do large projects. You start to see the society, how it functions, how it works. Then you have a lot of criticism about how it works".


  St. John's spires and roof line -- Centenary Square


Parramatta is in a state of construction - an evolutionary period where progress is imprecise but definitely 'on the upward move'. Construction surges - towering and proud - into the blue sky over Macquarie and George Streets and along the riverfront on Church Street at Lennox Bridge.


Centenary Square (formerly known as Town Hall Square) is the focus of our attention this week. Last week (6 June) Paris-based Manuelle Gautrand, a principal architect of the Paris firm by the same name spoke to Parramatta Council about her firm's award winning 21st century design submitted in competition.  

While a development application for 5 Parramatta Square has yet to be awarded, you can read about the design and see sketches of such features as stacks of transparent glass with a large LED screen for public art projections.


Sydney's Tallest Residential Tower was also awarded through a competitive architectural invite.  This 90 storey tower today is a concept and a development application is anticipated by the end of this month (June 2016). For more details, see Council's website:




Stunning buildings, new city of the west, yet, we have a bit of an 'axe to grind' with the press release. Why is Parramatta Aspire Tower identified as Sydney's tallest building? This seems to us a a parochial concept -- a throwback when all -- activities and events as well as all the construction received less attention -- and definitely less media coverage if not identified as 'Sydney's'.


Parramatta is growing up -- why not break from this outmoded way of seeing ourselves now?