Glow Winter Arts Festival


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We’ve had our fair share of lighting escapades, from the twinkling charm of fairy lights to the captivating grandeur of a Christmas light show. But one event shines like a diamond in the rough, and that’s Stonnington’s Glow Winter Arts Festival. If you’re all about immersing yourself in a world of luminous art and culture, this is your kind of paradise. Let’s dive into what makes this festival stand out.

Glow Winter Arts Festival
Festival highlights

About the Festival

The Glow Winter Arts Festival in Stonnington isn’t just your average festival of lights—it’s an odyssey of illumination, art, and culture. Each year, this festival transforms Stonnington’s wintery landscape into an ethereal wonderland, where night becomes day, and the dark is but a canvas for a mesmerizing spectacle of lights.

Festival Highlights and Featured Lighting Displays:

  • Glowing Trees: Imagine the forest coming alive, not with the chirp of crickets, but with the soft glow of lights. These aren’t your ordinary twinkle lights trees. Each tree is intricately adorned, making it a living artwork.
  • Immersive Light Installations: Step into another world with installations that don’t just light up but interact. These pieces react to movement, sound, and touch, ensuring that you’re not just an observer but a part of the artwork itself.
  • Illuminated Inflatable Artworks: Standing tall and radiant, these vibrant inflatables are more than just oversized balloons. They’re masterpieces, each telling a story through their shape, color, and luminosity.
  • The Luminous Pond: A water body shimmering with fairy lights beneath its surface, giving the illusion of a starry night flipped upside down.
  • Curtain of Dreams: A cascade of curtain lights that visitors can walk through. With each step, it feels as if you’re brushing against a waterfall of stars.

Activities for Visitors:

  • Interactive Workshops: Learn the art behind the festival. Whether it’s creating your miniature light artwork or understanding the technology behind the grand displays, these workshops cater to both kids and adults.
  • Artisan Market: Discover handcrafted goods, from glow-in-the-dark trinkets to bespoke light fixtures. Perfect for those looking to take a piece of the festival home.
  • Live Performances: The festival isn’t just about static displays. Every night, live performers – adorned in illuminated costumes – dance and move among the crowds, adding dynamism and life to the glowing ambiance.

In essence, the Glow Winter Arts Festival is not merely an event but a journey—one where art, light, and human spirit converge. The blending of static and dynamic, of observer and participant, and of day and night, ensures an experience that lingers long after the lights are dimmed. So, if you have ever wondered what it might feel like to step into a dream, this lights festival might just be the closest you’ll get.

Festival Dates

The exact dates for the upcoming Glow Winter Arts Festival remain shrouded in a bit of mystery, as the organizers have yet to unveil the specifics.

However, a look back at past traditions reveals that the festival usually casts its luminous glow over Stonnington during the month of June. This event consistently transforms the city into a beacon of art and illumination, drawing in countless admirers.

For those eager to be a part of this mesmerizing experience, it might be a good idea to keep your June schedule a tad flexible. And for the latest updates? Keep an eye on the festival’s official channels or consider subscribing to their newsletter. That ensures you won’t miss out once the dates are officially announced.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

Set against the backdrop of Stonnington’s pristine natural beauty, the Glow Winter Arts Festival finds its radiant home in Central Park, Malvern East. This vast expanse of green, punctuated with age-old trees and picturesque pathways, provides an idyllic canvas for the festival’s mesmerizing light installations. 

Central Park’s serene ambiance, coupled with the festival’s glowing allure, promises visitors an enchanting experience. Located in the heart of Malvern East, the park is easily accessible and is a focal point for both locals and tourists alike, making it a fitting venue for such a celebrated event.

Getting to Stonnington from the Nearest Airport:

The nearest major airport to Stonnington is Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine Airport). The distance between Melbourne Airport and Stonnington is approximately 30 kilometers or about a 30-minute drive under regular traffic conditions. Upon landing, visitors have a few options to reach Stonnington:

  • Airport Shuttles: There are several shuttle services that operate between Melbourne Airport and the city. From there, you can either take a local train or taxi to Stonnington.
  • Taxi or Rideshare: Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are readily available at the airport. Direct rides to Stonnington offer convenience, especially if traveling with luggage.
  • Car Rentals: Multiple car rental services operate out of Melbourne Airport, offering a variety of vehicles for those who prefer to drive themselves.

Reaching Stonnington by Train from Other Cities:

For those traveling from other cities or parts of Melbourne, the train offers a convenient mode of transport. Stonnington is serviced by the Cranbourne, Frankston, and Pakenham lines, with the Malvern Station being the most proximate to Central Park.

  • From Southern Cross Station in Melbourne: Take the Cranbourne, Frankston, or Pakenham line trains heading southeast. Alight at Malvern Station. The journey typically takes about 20 minutes.
  • From Other Cities: If you’re coming from cities outside Melbourne, first get to Southern Cross Station or Flinders Street Station in Melbourne’s CBD. From there, follow the above instructions to reach Malvern Station in Stonnington.

Once at Malvern Station, Central Park is just a short walk or taxi ride away. Signage and local maps can also guide first-time visitors to the heart of the festival.

For up-to-date information on ticket prices, visit the respective train company’s official website.

If you’re in Australia, you might want to check out these other lights festivals:

Illuminate Adelaide

Enlighten Canberra

Festival Hours

The Glow Winter Arts Festival is designed to make the most of the enchanting hours when day transitions to night, and the park is bathed in the soft glow of twilight.

Weekdays (Monday to Friday):

From 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, the light exhibitions come alive. This is when the park transforms into the radiant wonderland that is the hallmark of the Glow Winter Arts Festival. It’s advisable to come in a tad early, maybe around 4:30 PM, to catch the mesmerizing transition from day to night.

Weekends (Saturday & Sunday):

The lighting magic extends a little longer over the weekends, from 4:00 PM to midnight. These extended hours ensure that weekend visitors get ample time to immerse themselves in the luminous experience.

Cost to Visit the Glow Winter Arts Festival

One of the standout features of the Glow Winter Arts Festival is that there’s no entry fee. Yes, it’s entirely free for everyone who wishes to experience the vibrant lights and art installations set against the backdrop of Central Park.

Weather and What to Wear

June in Stonnington signals the arrival of winter. While Australia’s winter is milder compared to many other parts of the world, it’s still essential to dress appropriately to make the most of your festival experience.

Temperature Details:

June usually sees temperatures ranging between 8°C (46°F) in the early mornings and evenings, to about 15°C (59°F) during the daytime. While it can be relatively cool, it’s rare for Stonnington to experience extreme cold during this time.

What to Wear

  • Layering is Key: Begin with a thermal or a snug base layer. Add a t-shirt or a long-sleeve shirt on top. Finish with a thicker outer layer, such as a sweater or light jacket. This approach not only keeps you warm but also lets you adjust your outfit according to the temperature.
  • Outerwear: A medium-weight jacket should suffice. If rain is forecasted, a waterproof layer or an umbrella can be a lifesaver.
  • Footwear: Closed-toed shoes or boots are ideal. Ensure they’re comfortable, especially if you plan to be on your feet exploring the festival for several hours.
  • Accessories: A beanie or hat can help retain heat, especially during the cooler parts of the day. Gloves might be overkill, but a scarf can be both a stylish and functional addition to your ensemble.
  • For the Evening: The festival’s radiant glow will keep spirits high, but temperatures can dip. If you’re planning to stay until the late hours, an extra layer or a slightly heavier jacket might come in handy.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

Explore a selection of nearby hotels that cater to varied preferences, ensuring every Glow Winter Arts Festival attendee finds the perfect place to rest and recharge.

The Como Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel

  • Location and Address: 630 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria 3141, Australia.
  • Description: Nestled in the heart of South Yarra, The Como Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel offers an unparalleled luxury experience. This hotel exudes elegance and is renowned for its impeccable service.
  • Features and Amenities: Enjoy the indoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, and the on-site spa. Gourmets will appreciate the hotel’s signature restaurant, which offers a curated menu of local and international dishes. Complimentary Wi-Fi, valet parking, and 24-hour room service are among the many amenities guests can avail.

Quest Windsor

  • Location and Address: 111 Punt Road, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  • Description: Perfect for families and groups, Quest Windsor offers spacious apartments ensuring a comfortable stay for everyone.
  • Features and Amenities: Each apartment is equipped with a full kitchen and laundry facilities. The property also offers on-site parking, Wi-Fi, a dedicated children’s play area, and daily housekeeping services.

Art Series – The Cullen

  • Location and Address: 164 Commercial Road, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  • Description: A tribute to the late Australian artist Adam Cullen, this boutique hotel celebrates artistic flair and offers a unique stay experience.
  • Features and Amenities: The rooms are adorned with Cullen’s original artworks. Guests can indulge in the two on-site restaurants, use the hotel’s smart cars and bicycles, and even participate in art tours and classes. Wi-Fi is complimentary.

What to Eat

Dive into a gastronomic journey with these nearby dining gems, offering a delightful array of cuisines to tantalize your taste buds during the Glow Winter Arts Festival.

Oscar Cooper

  • Address: 160 Greville Street, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  • Description: A cozy, rustic gem located in the heart of Prahran, Oscar Cooper is an oasis for brunch enthusiasts. The café exudes a warm and inviting ambiance, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Foods They Serve: Their menu showcases a range of delightful options such as smashed avocado toast, gourmet omelets, pancakes with a twist, and a blend of classic and specialty coffees. For those visiting a bit later, Oscar Cooper also serves a variety of lunch specials, sandwiches, and fresh salads.

Tokyo Tina

  • Address: 66A Chapel Street, Windsor, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  • Description: Bringing the vibrant streets of Tokyo to Melbourne, Tokyo Tina serves up an electrifying mix of traditional and modern Japanese street food.
  • Foods They Serve: Dive into a world of flavor with dishes like ramen bowls, sushi rolls, tempura delights, and yakitori skewers. The fusion dishes, inspired by global flavors, make for an exciting dining experience. Don’t forget to sample their curated list of sake and Japanese-inspired cocktails.

Hanoi Hannah

  • Address: 180 High Street, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  • Description: If you’re craving Vietnamese flavors, Hanoi Hannah offers a contemporary touch to traditional dishes, ensuring a culinary journey like no other.
  • Foods They Serve: Their menu boasts a range of fresh and flavorful options from pho noodle soups, banh mi sandwiches, to rice paper rolls and vibrant salads. Pair your meal with a Vietnamese coffee or a refreshing lemongrass mocktail.

More Things To Do In The Area

Beyond the mesmerizing festival of lights, Stonnington boasts a treasure trove of attractions and activities waiting to be explored.

Grattan Gardens

  • Location: Grattan Street, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  • Activities: A tranquil oasis amidst the urban sprawl, Grattan Gardens offers beautifully landscaped areas perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic. There’s a playground for kids, making it family-friendly. The serene ponds and sculptured landscapes provide an idyllic backdrop for relaxation and reflection.

Jewish Museum of Australia

  • Location: 26 Alma Road, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria 3182, Australia.
  • Activities: Delve deep into the history, culture, and achievements of the Australian Jewish community. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal stories. They frequently host temporary exhibitions, lectures, and events to further educate visitors on Jewish traditions and history.

Astor Theatre

  • Location: 1 Chapel Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria 3182, Australia.
  • Activities: Stepping into Astor Theatre is like traveling back in time. This single-screen cinema is beautifully preserved, showcasing both classic films and the latest releases. It’s renowned for its art deco architecture and massive screen. Special double-feature nights and thematic screenings are regularly organized, adding to the theater’s charm.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Experience at Glow Winter Arts Festival

The Glow Winter Arts Festival in Stonnington is more than just an event; it’s a luminescent journey that kindles the spirit and captivates the senses. Amidst the backdrop of winter’s embrace, the festival stands as a beacon of warmth, creativity, and community connection. 

Whether you’re basking in the shimmering installations or exploring the many facets of Stonnington beyond the lights, this festival promises memories that will shine bright for years to come. So, as the fairy lights dim and the twinkle lights trees sway their last dance, carry the festival’s radiant essence with you, and remember the magic that is Glow.


Is there designated parking for festival attendees?

  • Yes, there are specific parking areas set aside for festival-goers. However, spaces are limited and may fill up quickly, so we recommend using public transportation or arriving early.

Can I smoke at the festival venue?

  • The Glow Winter Arts Festival is a smoke-free event. Smoking is prohibited throughout the festival grounds to ensure a pleasant and healthy environment for all attendees.

Are pets allowed at the festival?

  • While we love furry friends, pets are not permitted on the festival grounds, with the exception of service animals which are always welcome.

Are there food and drink stalls available?

  • Yes, there are various food and drink vendors spread across the festival grounds offering a range of culinary delights to suit all taste buds.

Is the festival suitable for children?

  • Absolutely! The Glow Winter Arts Festival is a family-friendly event, with many installations and activities geared towards younger attendees.

What if it rains? Is the festival still on?

  • The festival is a rain or shine event. While some installations might be affected by heavy rainfall, the majority of the festival will proceed as planned. However, always check the festival’s official website for any weather-related updates.

Are there restroom facilities on-site?

  • Yes, there are multiple restroom facilities throughout the festival grounds, including accessible toilets for those with disabilities.

Is there any form of security present at the festival?

  • For the safety and well-being of all attendees, security personnel will be present throughout the festival. We encourage everyone to be mindful of their belongings and report any suspicious activities.

While this article aims to answer questions and concerns about the festival, it is always best to visit the festival’s official website for updated information.


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