What’s On in April: Events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter

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What’s on in Newcastle? Here are the top events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter specially selected for families in April 2022. (For Easter events, check out the Newy with Kids Easter Guide).

Rathmines Nature Treasure Trail

Monday 28 March – Friday 1 April 2022 | Styles Point Reserve, Rathmines | Free | Details

Why you should go: Adventure through a nature reserve on a self-guided treasure trail: along the way use your smartphone to access clues and answer questions. Register here.

Sesame Street Circus Spectacular by Silvers

Runs until Sunday 1 May 2022 | Richardson Park Reserve, Hamilton North | Various Times | Tickets start from $27.99 (Kids under 2 Free) | Details

Why you should go: See your favourite Sesame Street characters perform live in this 90-minute Circus Spectacular – Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert and Ernie, Super Grover and Big Bird.  In addition to the Sesame Street characters, the Circus will feature performers from Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia, Morocco, Brazil, Ethiopia and Australia. ​Cookie Monster will meet and greet fans post the Show. ​The music has been written and produced locally and will include all the much-loved Sesame Street voices, recorded especially for this production.

MAC Land Art Challenge

Friday 1 April – Saturday 30 April 2022 | MAC Lake Macquarie | Free | Details

Why you should go: Get involved in the MAC Land Art Challenge! From 1-30 April, MAC yapang is running a creative challenge for people of all ages and there are some great prizes to be won. Simply create an outdoor artwork using found, natural materials such as sticks, stones, sand, seaweed, flowers, mud or leaves, then share your artwork with @themacmuseum on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #MACLandArt2022 for your chance to win!

A Portrait of Australia – Newcastle Museum

Runs until Sunday 19 June 2022 | Newcastle Museum | Tue-Sun 10-5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: A Portrait of Australia: Stories Through the lens of Australian Geographic is touring the country as part of an unprecedented partnership between the National Museum of Australia and Australian Geographic. The stunning display of large-format photographic prints unites the expertise of Australian Geographic’s acclaimed photographers and the National Museum’s interpretive storytelling experience. The photographs will tour Australia for the next two years and were drawn from a book A Portrait of Australia, which was produced to celebrate 30 years of Australian Geographic’s magazine.

Surfest 2022

Events from Saturday 12 March – Sunday 3 April 2022 | Merewether Beach | Details

Why you should go: Supported by Burton Automotive. Surfest in Newcastle, Australia will celebrate its 36th anniversary in 2022. The event is the largest surfing festival in the southern hemisphere. Over 800 male and female competitors from across the Asia-Pacific region will compete for cash prizes and World Surf League rating points. Take the family along to watch all the action.

Variety Spin 4 Kids

Friday 1 April 2022 | The Station, Newcastle or VIRTUAL | 10am – 3pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: IT’S BACK! Get a team of up to 10 people together and come up with a plan of attack on how your team will keep their legs and pedals spinning – will you be the team with the most KM’s recorded? The Forum Spin instructors, amazing spin MC Mike Wilkins, accompanied by high energy music will keep everyone pumped for the full 5 hours. A great day is promised, with music, crazy costumes and energetic spin instructors live on stage! Prizes for best dressed team, highest fundraising team and individual, best team spirit and encouragement awards are up for grabs.

TANTRUM Youth Arts – Say Something Do Something

Friday 1 April – Sunday 3 April 2022 | MAP mima, Speers Point Park | Various times | Tickets start from $15 | Details

Why you should go: What’s a headline you’d love to wake up to? Do you have a bucket-list? What’s something you wish others understood about people your age? What would you say or do in front of an audience – if you had the chance? Facilitated by Chris Dunstan, Tantrum Youth Arts have assembled a passionate ensemble of Lake Mac teens and seniors – they’ve given them the stage to tell us who they are and what they stand for. It’s a live intergenerational multi-arts community mash-up of words, actions, video and theatre. 

Mega Creatures at Hunter Valley Gardens

Saturday 2 April – Sunday 1 May 2022 | Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin | 9-4pm | $32 (Adult 16+), $25 (Child 4-15), $22 (Extra child), FREE (Child 3 and under), $27 (Senior), Family passes available | Details

Why you should go: Back for 2022, discover amazing creatures each day including a flying Pterosaur, Woolly Mammoth, giant Brachiosaurus and more. Daily activities included in Garden entry are Dino Hatchery, Dino Land, Dragons Den, Fossil Find, Spider Alley, Enchanted Garden, Insect Invasion, Dino Adventure Land and Walking Dinosaur. A range of food and beverage options will be open throughout the event.

Mega Creatures Night Safari

Saturday 2 April – Sunday 1 May 2022 | Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin | 5.30-10pm | $32 (Adult 16+), $25 (Child 4-15), $22 (Extra child), FREE (Child 3 and under), $27 (Senior), Family passes available | Details

Why you should go: See Hunter Valley Mega Creatures like never before. As the sun sets, specialty lighting will illuminate their prehistoric beasts, creating a thrilling spectacle for all ages.

The Wiggles – Fruit Salad TV Big Show Tour

Saturday 2 April 2022 | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | 10am | Tickets start from $39.90 | Details

Why you should go: The Wiggles will make their highly anticipated return to Newcastle in April 2022, when they bring their brand-new Fruit Salad TV Big Show arena tour around the country! And for the first time ever, there will eight Wiggles on tour! The Wiggles are excited to once again sing, dance and play music for their fans, and will be joined by the newest Wiggles Tsehay, Evie, John and Kelly, along with all of their Wiggly Friends! The Fruit Salad TV Big Show will feature all your favourite Wiggles songs such as ‘Do the Propeller!’, ‘Hot Potato’ and ‘Rock-a- Bye Your Bear’, as well as new and catchy tunes such as Dippy Do Dinosaur Dance!

Sunset Cinema – Kahibah Sports Club

Saturday 2 April 2022 | Kahibah Sports Club | From 5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a free screening of the movie Sing 2 at Kahibah Sports Club. The event kicks off at 5pm with face painting and music, with the film screening at 7pm. Bring your own picnic blanket, rugs and cushions (limited number of picnic rugs and chairs and tables set up) and grab your food, drinks and snacks from the club.

New Run Running Festival

Sunday 3 April 2022 | Market Street Lawns | From 5.30am | From $35 | Details

Why you should go: Get some fresh air and exercise. Choose from the Marathon, Half Marathon (16+), the Hill2Harbour 10km (12+) or the Forts 5km (8+). Kids and those who are not quite up to the longer courses can do the 2K4Fun fun run.

Hunter Arts Network Art Bazaar

Sunday 3 April 2022 | Lambton Park | 10-3pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Arts Network Art Bazaar is returning to Lambton Park. Now in it’s 20th year, Art Bazaar showcases a wide variety of local artists and artisans with premium original and unique handmade wares. While wandering the forty stalls treat yourself to food, coffee trucks and entertainment.

Friday Night Feast

Friday 8 April 2022 | The Station, Newcastle | 5-9pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Get on down to The Station for a family fun evening and enjoy street food, market stalls, live music and kids entertainment.

Potted Potter

Friday 8 April to Sunday 10 April 2022 | Civic Theatre | Various times | Tickets $74.90 | Details

Why you should go: Experience all 7 Harry Potter Books in seventy hilarious minutes. Potted Potter is the unauthorised Harry experience. A parody by Dan and Jeff. Even if you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, this brilliant comedy will make you roar with laughter. This show is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed). Running time approximately 70 minutes, no interval.

Koala Talk and Tree Planting

Saturday 9 April 2022 | Cnr Tanilba Ave & Lloyd George Grove, Tanilba Bay | 9-12pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Region Landcare Network need your help to create more koala habitat on a previous sand mined site. Join Tlliigerry Landcare and NPWS at the Gate- corner of Tanilba Ave and Lloyd George Grove, for a talk by Carmel Northwood of Port Stephens Koalas and Econetwork and tree planting at Gir-um-bit State Conservation Area. Suitable for all ages.

East Maitland Shred – RESCHEDULED TO MAY 7

Saturday 9 April 2022 Saturday 7 May | East Maitland Skate Park, Lawes Street | From 9.30am | Free | Details

Why you should go: Maitland’s best skate competition, Shred, is returning to East Maitland Skate Park on Lawes Street just in time for the school holidays. East Maitland Shred is a skate, scooter and bike competition open for young people aged 24 and under, with three different age categories: U/12s, U/18s, and U/24s. There is also an Open age rollerblading section. There’s plenty to do for young ones who aren’t as confident on the board or bike but still want to be a part of the day. The event will include a chill out zone, arts and crafts, games, and a sausage sizzle. Visit their website to register.

Inflatables on the Green – Club Charlestown

Saturday 9 April – Thursday 14 April 2022 | Club Charlestown | 11-2pm | $10 per child | Details

Why you should go: Inflatables on the Green is back! Enjoy the outdoors with the event running from 11am to 2pm. Stay for an hour or stay for 3! Kids passes are $10 per child for up to 3 hours of fun. No pre booking required. Inflatable passes can be purchased at reception on the day. NSW Discover and Parent Vouchers can be used as Inflatables entry.

Sunset Cinema at Lakeside Leisure Centre

Saturday 9 April 2022 | Lakeside Leisure Centre, Raymond Terrace | 4-7pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Make a splash at Lakeside Leisure Centre’s sunset cinema with free pizza, popcorn, ice-cream, pool games and a live screening of 𝘏𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘛𝘦𝘢𝘮 in our indoor pool. There will also be a DJ and giant games to enjoy. Free entry. Booking essential.

Alice’s Wonderland

Saturday 9 April – Sunday 10 July 2022 | Newcastle Museum | 10-5pm | $10 Adults, $7 Concession, $5 3+, FREE 2 and under, $25 Family of 4 | Details

Why you should go: This intriguing, family friendly, hands-on science exhibition from Museums Victoria is based on Lewis Carroll’s well-known Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Just as Alice’s curiosity led her to follow the white rabbit, children are invited to journey down a rabbit hole to explore the way they perceive and make sense of the world around them. Activities bring basic science concepts of optics and illusions, word play, physics and maths to life for 3 – 8 year olds and their families. Tickets are available for purchase at the door. Newcastle Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday and 7 days/week in the NSW School Holidays.

Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest – POSTPONED UNTIL JULY

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 April 2022 | Various Locations in Maitland | Various Times | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Valley Steamfest, one of Australia’s premier festivals of steam, will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2022 and will feature a diverse program of family friendly entertainment. Maitland Park will come alive on Sunday April 10 for the annual Show ‘n’ Shine with over 500 classic cars, food stalls, live rock ‘n’ roll entertainment and fun for the whole family. The heart and soul of Steamfest is its impressive assembly of steam trains. 31 MARCH UPDATE: Maitland City Council announces that Steamfest has been postponed until 30 and 31 July 2022 as a result of recent and ongoing weather events. The recent wet weather has instigated a number of issues outside their control, starting with a significant embankment failure at Picton, south of Sydney, severely affecting the main tracks and branch line, isolating steam locomotives 3801 and 6029, which were two of the key attractions for this event.

Family Bowls Day

Sunday 10 April 2022 | Stockton Bowling Club | 11.30-1pm | Gold coin donation | Details

Why you should go: All are welcome at the Stockton Bowling Club Family Bowls Day to raise money for Hunter breast Cancer Foundation. Gold coin donation on entry. Activities for the whole family.

Easter School Holiday Kids Activities – Shoal Bay Country Club

Sunday 10 April – Sunday 24 April 2022 | Shoal Bay Country Club | 12-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Shoal Bay Country Club have prepared a stellar line-up of kids activities to keep the little ones entertained these Easter Holidays! From pony rides and petting zoos to slime making, sand art and more. Plus there’ll be a jumping castle, kids disco, projector games and prizes to win each day. See their website for the full program.

Nature is Fun & Gardens Explorer Tour

Wednesday April 13 & Thursday April 21 2022 | Hunter Region Botanic Gardens | From 10am | $5 per child | Details

Why you should go: Take your kids to Hunter Region Botanic Gardens to learn why nature is fun! Come and see what lives in the gardens, explore the bush, collect specimens and make a craft item to take home. Mums and Dads can join in. Nature is Fun for ages 5-10, Gardens Explorer Tour for ages 8-14. Bookings Essential.

Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

Wednesday April 13 & Thursday April 21 2022 | Hunter Region Botanic Gardens | From 6pm | $25 per person | Details

Why you should go: If you’re looking for something to do these school holidays, Hunter Region Botanic Gardens are excited to bring back their Nocturnal Tours, suitable for the whole family. Join expert John Simpson. This tour is $25 per person or use your NSW Discover Voucher. Bookings essential. Please phone 4987 1655 to book. 

Sunset Cinema – Kahibah Sports Club

Saturday 16 April 2022 | Kahibah Sports Club | From 5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a free screening of the movie Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway at Kahibah Sports Club. The event kicks off at 5pm with face painting and music, with the film screening at 7pm. Bring your own picnic blanket, rugs and cushions (limited number of picnic rugs and chairs and tables set up) and grab your food, drinks and snacks from the club.

PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure”

Saturday 16 April & Sunday 17 April 2022 | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | 10am both days | Tickets start from $29.90 | Details

Why you should go: Presented by Paramount+ and based on the hit animated TV series produced by Spin Master Entertainment, this action-packed, high-energy, musical adventure features the beloved characters from the animated series. It’s Pirate Day in Adventure Bay, and Mayor Goodway is getting ready for a big celebration! But first, Ryder and his team of pirate pups must rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern. When they do, they also discover a secret pirate treasure map!

Guess How Much I Love You – CPAC

Tuesday 19 April 2022 | Cessnock Performing Arts Centre | 10-11am | Tickets $25, Children 3 & under free on the knee | Details

Why you should go: Presented by CDP Kids. Join the enchanting adventure of Little and Big Nutbrown Hare as they discover the magic and colour of the seasons, in a dazzling new stage adaptation of Sam McBratney’s beloved Guess How Much I Love You books. This playful story of love and nature unfolds on stage in a show that’s fun for the whole family, with beautiful puppetry, music and laughter for children of all ages.

LET IT GO – The Songs of Frozen in Concert – CANCELLED

Tuesday 19 April 2022 | Civic Theatre Newcastle | 10.30am & 1pm | Tickets $26 Early Bird (before March 16), $40 A Reserve, $144 Family of 4 | Details

Why you should go: It’s a Frozen party! Showcase Entertainment Group are bringing the magic of Frozen’s songs to the theatre stage in a concert for the young and young at heart. LET IT GO – The Songs of Frozen In Concert features the sisters Anna and Elsa in full costume, along with some of their popular friends from the Frozen movies.. Dress up as Anna or Elsa….or even Olaf and enjoy this wonderful concert production of the songs from Frozen 1 and 2. EARLY BIRD TICKET OFFER: Buy your ticket before March 15 to receive tickets for only $26pp – this is a huge saving!

Teeny Tiny Stevies at City Hall

Tuesday 19 April 2022 | City Hall Newcastle | 10.30am | Tickets $40, Babes in arms free | Details

Why you should go: Teeny Tiny Stevies released their third studio album into the world from inside the Melbourne lockdown of 2020. That album, Thoughtful Songs For Little People, went on to win Best Children’s Album in the 2020 ARIA Awards, a dream come true and highlight in an otherwise dreary year. They’re now thrilled to finally announce a long list of shows stretching far and wide across the country, and they can’t wait for you to get amongst it. Join them in Newcastle for a special show at the Newcastle City Hall! Running time 45min. All ages.

Wizarding World Workshops at Wallsend Village

Tuesday 19 April – Thursday 21 April 2022 | Wallsend Village | 10-1pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Join Wallsend Village at their free Wizarding World Workshops where witches and wizards can concoct a Dragon Breath potion, make their own magical wand or create a tree dwelling magical beast, The Bowtruckle.

Inflatables on the Green – Club Lambton

Tuesday 19 April – Saturday 23 April 2022 | Club Lambton | 11-2pm | $10 per child | Details

Why you should go: Inflatables on the Green is back! Enjoy the outdoors with the event running from 11am to 2pm. Stay for an hour or stay for 3! Kids passes are $10 per child for up to 3 hours of fun. No pre booking required. Inflatable passes can be purchased at reception on the day. NSW Discover and Parent Vouchers can be used as Inflatables entry.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Wednesday 20 April 2022 | Hunter Region Botanic Gardens | 10-2pm | $5 per person | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Region Botanic Gardens would love to welcome families to the Gardens for this very special event! Be sure to bring a picnic blanket, packed picnic and of course a teddy bear! 

Family Fun Day

Wednesday 20 April 2022 | Newcastle Visitor Information Centre (VIC) | 10-1pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy some family play time in and around the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre (VIC). Get creative with fun craft activities led by local artist Ken O’Regan. Join Newy with Kids and solve the mystery phrase in the Museum Park Scavenger Hunt. No need for bookings, just drop in to this free event.

Kid Frankenstein Presented by Hunter Drama

Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 April 2022 | The Playhouse, Civic Theatre | Thu & Fri 7pm, Sat 2pm & 7pm | All tickets $35 | Details

Why you should go: When Doctor Frankenstein’s ancient secret book arrives from Transylvania, science nerds Frankie and Irving are whisked into a sci-fi fantasy of time-warped, weirdly scary and lively adventure! With a cast full of nutty characters, providing frightfully funny laughs, will the villagers be able to return Frankie’s lovable monster and restore order before it’s too late?  

The Little Scallywags at Wallsend Village

Friday 22 April 2022 | Centre Court, Wallsend Village | 11am & 1pm| Free | Details

Why you should go: The Little Scallywagz are coming to Wallsend Village these April School Holidays! They’re big on imagination and fun learning through song and dance. 11am: Nursery Rhyme Playtime, ​​​1pm: The Jolly Pirates Adventure Show.

Stroud Show

Friday 22 April – Sunday 24 April 2022 | Stroud Showground | 5-10pm| Ticket Prices TBA | Details

Why you should go: Experience this ‘Real Country Show’ you’ll see campdrafting, rodeo and horse events, cattle judging, local produce pavilions, demolition derby and much more.

Family Fun at the Foreshore – Wangi

Saturday 23 April 2022 | Wangi Wangi Foreshore | 5-8pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: As a part of Wangi Live, Lake Mac Council is hosting Family Fun at the Foreshore. Bring the family down for an afternoon and evening of fun at Wangi Wangi foreshore. Activities include free yoga, entertainment and food stalls. Bring your camp chair or picnic rug and relax with your family and friends.

Tocal Field Days

Friday 29 April – Sunday May 1 2022 | Tocal Agricultural Centre, Paterson | 9-5pm (9-4pm Sunday) | $18 Adults, $2 Kids, $15 Discounted senior entry on Friday | Details

Why you should go: Tocal Field Days is the number one field day in the Hunter Region. Including fun events, animals, future farming exhibits, competitions, a touch and feel section and more.

City of Newcastle presents Autumn Alive

Friday 29 April – Saturday May 21 2022 | Various locations across Newcastle | Free | Details

Why you should go: Autumn Alive is a month-long celebration bringing Newcastle CBD alive with night-time events for all to enjoy. City of Newcastle put together an exciting program of events in collaboration with Civic Theatre, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle Library and Newcastle Museum while also highlighting their diverse and unique local businesses. From alfresco dining, live performances and curated night-time walking trails to Disney movies in Museum Park, Autumn Alive will be the only excuse you need to fall back in love with our city. 

Lake Macquarie Autumn Fair

Saturday 30 April 2022 | Speers Point Park | 9-4pm| Free | Details

Why you should go: Presented by the combined Rotary clubs of Lake Macquarie, the second Lake Mac Autumn Fair is a family fun day with loads of activities for all ages including traditional fair games and rides, face painting, petting zoo, vintage car displays, market and food stalls, demonstrations and displays from local services (RFS, SES and Police). In addition, sea-plane rides are available and you can cruise the Lake with Marine Rescue. To top it all off, there will be a full program of music and entertainment throughout the day, with 2NURFM broadcasting from the park from 9am until midday.

Featured image credit: Hunter Valley Steamfest

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