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 2020. (For Easter events, check out the Newy with Kids Easter Guide).

Paul Jennings Exhibition

Runs until 9 May| Lovett Gallery above Newcastle City Library| Various times | Free | Details

Why you should go: Explore the Paul Jennings: UNREAL! exhibition. This exhibition includes giant story props (including a lighthouse and a dunny!), fan letters and original illustrations. Settle in for the opportunity to create your own Gizmo and learn more about Paul Jennings creative process. The exhibition runs until Saturday 9 May 2020.

Collectors Exhibition

Saturday 4 April – Sunday 31 May | SEEN@Swansea | 10am – 3pm | Gold coin donation | Details

Why you should go: Everyone has a collection. From Stars Wars to model trains this special exhibition brings together local collectors to ask ‘why they collect?’ and ‘what they collect?’

New Run

Sunday 5 April | Cooks Hill Surf Club 10km- Market St Lawns 5km | 7am |From $35 | Details

Why you should go: Get some exercise. Parents can run the Cooks Hill Surf Club 10km or the Market St Lawns 5km, while kids can do the 2K4K special 2km run just for kids aged 4 to 17.

Newcastle Writers Festival Family Takeover

Sunday 5 April | Newcastle City Library & Lovett Gallery | 11am – 1pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Kids don’t miss out at the Newcastle Writers Festival with the Family Takeover. Families can meet local authors and illustrators in storytime readings, watch illustrator battle it out on drawing competitions, puppet shows and participate in local author readings.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang JR presented by Young People’s Theatre

Tuesday 14 April – Saturday 30 May | Hamilton | Various times | $20 | Details

Why you should go: The famous high-flying car is flying into Newcastle this April School Holidays! Join Caractuses Potts, Jeremy and Jemima as they set about restoring an old race car, which turns out to be magic and has the ability to float and take flight. Come along and engage into a 70 minute incredible JR production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The Witches by Roald Dahl presented Hunter Drama

Wednesday 15 April to Saturday 18 April | Civic Theatre | Various times | Tickets $35 | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Drama is synonymous with bringing the colourful, captivating and imaginative world of Roald Dahl to the stage. This time, we follow the adventures of a brave young boy who unwittingly stumbles into the Annual General Meeting for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Running time 70 minutes, no interval.

Sleeping Beauty presented by the Moscow Ballet

Friday 17 April | Civic Theatre | 7:30pm | Tickets start from $55 | Details

Why you should go: With its artistic ballet mastery, lavish costumes and magnificent stage sets, the illustrious La Classique will take us on a mystical journey to the fairytale world of Princess Aurora The Sleeping Beauty. This two hour magical ballet spectacular is sure one not to miss.


Saturday 18 April & Sunday 19 April | Maitland Station Precinct | 9am – 4pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: To celebrate Maitland’s steam and industrial heritage. Take your family and check out steam trains from all across Australia, antique machinery plus live music, kids activities, market stalls and more. You can even purchase tickets to ride on steam trains. Don’t miss the Great Train Race where a steam train races a Tiger Moth aeroplane.

The Gruffalo’s Child Live on Stage

Tuesday 21 April | Cessnock Performing Arts Centre | 12pm or 2pm| $25, kids 3 and under are free on the knee | Details

Why you should go: If you loved The Gruffalo, then don’t miss the  sequel! Join the Gruffalo’s Child on her adventurous mission in this magical musical adaptation of the much-loved picture book.

Paw Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue”

Sunday 26 April | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | 10am | Tickets start from $29.90 | Details

Why you should go: Based on the hit animated TV Series on Nick. Jr, produced by SpinMaster, Paw Patrol “Race to the Rescue” returns to Australia in 2020 and is heading to Newcastle Entertainment Centre for an action-packed, high energy musical adventure. As this show only goes for an hour and fifteen minutes, it is the perfect length for those young Paw Patrol fans.

Featured image credit: Newcastle Writers Festival

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