Does anyone else have “show kids snow” on their bucket list? From building a snowman and snowball fights, to tobogganing down a hill or braving skis for the first time, it’s a great adventure. Of course, battling the big ski fields with kids who have never seen snow before, yet alone skied, can be a little daunting, which is where Corin Forest comes in. Just 3 hours and 45 minutes from Pymble, it offers a great, family friendly way for everyone to experience snow for the first time- with snow guaranteed.
I’ll be honest with you, my husband and I aren’t big snow people: it’s cold, wet, and involves dressing the kids up in so many layers. It’s downright exhausting! But, it’s also so much fun, exciting for the kids and a bucket list experience. So, I ditched the husband who still wasn’t sold on it, and went for a weekend with a girlfriend and her daughter. We had three kids between us, a 10 month old and two 2.5 year olds. A big draw was the man-made snow blowers which run overnight and mean guaranteed snow every day.
Getting to Corin Forest
Corin Forest is about 3 hours and 45 minutes from Pymble. While it’s possible to do a day trip from the North Shore, depending on the age of your kids, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Not to mention all the other great sites you will miss out on if you zoom through!
When preparing for your trip, have a think about some of the other places nearby and consider making a weekend of it. There’s Questacon, Cockington Green Gardens, The National Dinosaur Museum, Parliament House, Australian War Memorial and more. You may even be able to squeeze one of these into a day trip to make the most of your visit.
Where to stay
If you do choose to make a weekend of it, there are plenty of places to stay. When travelling with kids, we always opt for a motel with multiple rooms, as it makes for a better night’s sleep and they often have great kid-friendly amenities. We stayed at Alivio Tourist Park, which has a pool (not that we used it in June!), basketball court, tennis court, table tennis, BBQ areas and more. Great for the kids to run around.
There are plenty of other options in the centre of Canberra, which is about 45 minutes from Corin Forest.
Preparing for your trip
One thing to remember: snow is cold and wet! Your regular Winter jackets aren’t going to cut it. With a 2.5 year old and a fast growing 10 month old to cater for, I jumped on the local buy/swap/sell page looking for snowsuits. I wanted something they could zip up over regular clothes to save the hassle and keep them nice and warm. Naturally, I didn’t want to pay a fortune, knowing they were likely to only use them once! It worked out well, and I sold these suits on when we were done with them.
They do offer rentals at Corin Forest, however in the present climate (Covid-19) they have suspended this service. You can get snow boots for hire still, and I highly recommend these. We all got them and it saved us a lot of falling over in the snow!
- Snow suit or jacket and pants
- Waterproof gloves: your kids will want to make snowmen and throw snowballs!
- Sunnies: if it’s a sunny day, the reflection is hard on eyes.
- Beanie and scarf
- Snow shoes: you can rent these there
- Warm clothes for under your snow suit or jacket
- Extra warm clothes: to change into when you are done.
On the day
Leave plenty of time before your session starts. It is a little bit of a trek up the mountain, especially juggling a 10 month old, 2.5 year old and all the snow gear. I brought the stroller for my youngest, and this was a big mistake. The beginning part of the walk is thick gravel and not made for pushing a stroller! We ended up ditching it at the bottom and climbing up with kids, snowsuits and all. You don’t get the snow shoes until you reach the rental place just below the snowplay. There is a bit more mucking around here to find the right shoe size, getting the kids dressed, popping on beanies, gloves and scarves and finally making your way to play.
I’ll be upfront with you. We were unprepared and it ate into our session time.
If you do arrive early and have a bit of time to kill, they have a large café with an open fireplace and a wood fired pizza oven. It also makes the perfect pitstop for a post snow snack.
Let the fun begin! Cassie (2.5) and her friend took to the snow straight away. They had so much fun lying and making snow angels, throwing snow balls and trying to climb the hill at the top.
Vivi (10 months) was a little more uncertain about everything and took some warming up (she eventually fell asleep on a toboggan and napped for our session time, but that is another story about poor planning and juggling nap times).
The older girls took a bit of warming up to the idea of going down the hill on the toboggan, but once they did, they were off. We then spent the next hour going up and down with them, time after time. We were all exhausted by the end! Once you get to the bottom, you have to walk over to the side before making your way up the hill again. The girls were a little too young to manage both the hill and the toboggan on their own, so we went with them each time. By the end they managed to have us pulling them up the hill on the toboggan – must have been a moment of weakness on our behalf!
We were all tired by the end, and happily sat in the snow for some snowman building fun. The girls were done and quite happy to leave by the end, which made things easy.
There are temporary changes due to Covid-19 restrictions.
- June 2020: Sessions are one hour and only 20 people can go at once. This also means they can no longer offer free tickets for children under two. You must buy a ticket, no matter their age due to these restrictions and catering for numbers.
- July 2020: Sessions will go back to two hours with 50 people allowed at once. You can check their Facebook page for further updates before your trip.
Booking is easy. Simply head to their site and book in a start time for your session. You can add as many people as you need to your group, and go through the optional extras.
- A snowplay session is $20 per person.
- Hiring a toboggan is an extra $5.
- Snow boots is an extra $15.
Other Activities at Corin Forest
There are some other things you can do while you are visiting Corin Forest.
Alpine Slide: this slide descends 1.2km through Mountain Ash Forest. Sessions are an hour long and you get to choose your pace as you make your way down. This slide is for ages two and above, and kids under seven need to be accompanied by an adult.
Ski Area: if your kids are a bit older and are interested in learning to ski, this is the perfect place to do it. There’s an easy-to-use magic carpet ski lift, with just a gentle slop to start them out.
Essential Details: Corin Forest
- What is it? Child and family friendly ski and snow park with lessons (and alpine slide)
- Address: 1268, Corin Dam Rd, Paddys River ACT
- Details: Corin Forest Website