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

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What’s on in Newcastle? Here’s the month’s top events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter especially selected for families.

For more school holiday events be sure to check out the Newy with Kids July School Holidays article.

Alice’s Wonderland

Runs until Sunday 10 July 2022 | Newcastle Museum | Tues-Sun 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.

Exhibition: The Soft Library

Runs until Tuesday 19 July 2022 | Newcastle Library | Mon-Sat 4pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: The Soft Library is an immersive felt installation by Melbourne-based textile artist & author Cat Rabbit. Newcastle Libraries is turned into a fantastical library run by bears, or ‘libearians’. Literary characters and authors are brought to life as bears along with shelves of felt books and a desk of library paraphernalia – all handmade by the artist in felt and fabric. This whimsical exhibition highlights the positivity of imagination and play for all ages. The artist pays tribute to the library as a place of learning and wonder; a home for the endless possibilities of the imagination. Join giant ‘Libearian Bear’ for a special story time and discover Cat Rabbit’s books through Story Box. The Soft Library is a beautiful and captivating experience for families! 

Snow Time in the Garden at Hunter Valley Gardens

Saturday 25 June – Sunday 24 July 2022 | Hunter Valley Gardens | 9.30am – 4.30pm | Family Pass (2A + 2C 4-15yrs) – $110 | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a fun-filled day full of icy activities at Hunter Valley Gardens winter festival Snow Time in the Garden. Build a snowman (or a snow family) in the MEGA snow pit, glide down the giant ice toboggan and skate on a real ice rink. Plus there’s amazing amusement rides, roving entertainment, hearty food and warm beverages.

Disney’s Moana Jr presented by SPCC

Friday 1 July 2022 | Cessnock Performing Arts Centre | 11-12pm | Tickets from $10 | Details

Why you should go: Presented by St Philip’s Christian College, Disney’s Moana JR. is a one-hour musical adaptation of the 2016 Disney film featuring all the beloved songs. Disney’s Moana JR. is a heart-warming tale of bravery, adventure, selflessness, courage and self-discovery. The adventures of demigod Maui and strong-willed Moana are sure to bring out the hero within each of us.

Glendale Farmers & Artisan Markets Opening Day

Saturday 2 July 2022 | Stockland Glendale | 7-1.30pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: The anticipated opening of the Glendale Farmers & Artisan Market (the re-established Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market) at their new home at Stockland Glendale. Get along to their BIG OPENING DAY and pick up some fresh produce.

Who Ate the Dinosaur?

Saturday 2 – Friday 15 July 2022 | Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland | 10-12pm | Free (0-3), $7.50 (4-adult), $5 (members 4-adult) | Details

Why you should go: This July school holidays discover Who Ate the Dinosaur? View an exhibition featuring museum quality casts of fossils of extinct animals known to inhabit wetlands millions of years ago. It will include insects, labryinthodonts, amphibians, reptiles, birds and much more. Meet collection owner and local expert Mike Dawson who will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the collection. Create your own fossil and follow the footprints and track what has come out of the swamp.

Charlie’s Winter Wonderland 2022 at Charlestown Square

Saturday 2 – Sunday 17 July 2022 | Charlestown Square | Various Times | Free | Details

Why you should go: Skate into the school holidays! Jump on board the Polar Bear Express, grab an Ultimate School Holiday Entertainment Bundle or enjoy face painting every Saturday and roving entertainment every Sunday at Charlestown Square this school holidays. Visit their website for more details.

Bastille Market at The Station

Sunday 3 July 2022 | The Station, Newcastle | 10-3pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Bastille Market is finally coming to Newcastle! Come along for an authentic French market, with the largest selection of French gourmet food and artisans.

Free School Holiday Activities at Shoal Bay Country Club

Sunday 3 – Sunday 17 July 2022 | Shoal Bay Country Club, Shoal Bay | 12-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: If you’re looking for something fun for the little ones to do these Winter School Holidays Shoal Bay Country Club have got you sorted! Head in over the July break for amazing activities that the kids will love including JD’s World of Magic, Pony Rides and Petting Zoo. All activities are FREE and run from 12-2pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, plus there’ll be a jumping castle, kids disco, projector games and prizes to win each day.

Free School Holiday Activities at The Exchange Hotel

Sunday 3 – Sunday 17 July 2022 | The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton | 12-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: If you’re looking for something fun for the little ones to do these Winter School Holidays head to The Exchange Hotel! Head in over the July break for amazing activities that the kids will love including Willy DooDrop Circus Show, Pony Rides and Petting Zoo. All activities are FREE and run from 12-2pm on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Hunter Region Botanic Gardens – Children’s Discovery Day

Tuesday 5 July 2022 | Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, Heatherbrae | From 10am | $5 per person | Details

Why you should go: Children’s Discovery Day 2022 – sponsored by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group. Hunter Region Botanic Gardens would love to welcome visitors back to their annual Children’s Discovery Day event. The aim of this event is to provide an educational and entertaining day for children. The emphasis is on botanical and environmental learning activities that stimulate an interest in plants, the environment and the Botanic Gardens. This year they welcome educational stall holders and activities, Live Music, Hunter Heroes, Let’s Love Water Show and more!

The Spongebob Musical

Tuesday 5 July – Saturday 6 August 2022 | Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton | Various times | Tickets from $25 | Details

Why you should go: YPT presents Nickelodeon TM The Spongebob Musical. The stakes are higher than ever in this dynamic stage musical, as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes centre stage. The power of optimism really can save the world!

Yoga for the Whole Family

Wednesday 6 & 13 and Thursday 7 & 14 July 2022 | The Station, Newcastle East | Wed 2.30-3.30pm & Thu 10-11am | Free | Details

Why you should go: There’ll be yoga classes for the whole family these winter school holidays at The Station. Teens Yoga (Wednesday afternoons) and Kids & Parents yoga (Thursday Mornings). Run by local yoga teacher, Joni, from Minnka Movement.

Kotara Beach Club at Westfield Kotara

Wednesday 6 – Sunday 17 July 2022 | Westfield Kotara | Various Times | Free | Details

Why you should go: From Wednesday 6 July until Sunday 17 July, take the kids to Westfield Kotara for free kids craft activities at Kotara Beach Club. There’s beach ball decorating, cactus decorating, sand art and windmill making to choose from. Kids Craft is available for children aged 4 – 12 years. Bookings are not required however, limited spaces are available. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Disney On Ice presents Into The Magic! 

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 July 2022 | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | Various times | Tickets from $36 | Details

Why you should go: Discover why no dream is too big at Disney On Ice presents Into The Magic!  Seek adventure in the great wide somewhere with Belle as she explores the Beast’s enchanted castle, experience Moana’s courage to embark on a voyage with demigod Maui to save her island and sing-along with Miguel from Coco as he follows the music in his heart. Be inspired by Anna’s devotion to her sister Elsa on her journey to the North Mountain to stop the eternal winter and watch Rapunzel and Flynn go to great lengths to make her dream come true. Celebrate the magic of courage, love and adventure at Disney On Ice!

FREE Silent Disco for Young People

Friday 8 July 2022 | The Place, Charlestown | 5-8pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: An all inclusive Silent Disco for young people aged 12 – 17 at The Place! Get out of the cold and dance to your own beat in an inviting and welcoming space. Headphones and refreshments supplied! Bookings are essential and spaces are limited. 

Rafferty’s Coastal Run

Saturday 9 July 2022 | Raffertys Resort | 7.30am – 3pm | From $20 (5-12yrs) | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a trail run around scenic Lake Macquarie. You can choose 12km, 22km or 36kms. There’s also a 1km Kids Fun Run for children aged 5 to 12. Juniors aged 11 – 16 can compete in the 12km trail running event.

Ice Skating on the Green

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 July 2022 | Club Charlestown | 2-5pm (Sat) 9.30-5pm (Sun) | $12.50 single entry, $17.50 adults only sessions | Details

Why you should go: Ice Skating on the Green is at Club Charlestown for 1 weekend only! Suitable for kids 2 years of age and upwards. Child needs to be of a walking age and stand independently. Parent can assist younger children as needed (parent to have fully enclosed shoes for this option). Ticket required for skating with child. Session times are 40 minutes. Saturday night 7pm, 8pm & 9pm is adults only with live music. See the link for more session times.

Newcastle Brickfest

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 July 2022 | Newcastle Jockey Club, Broadmeadow | 2-5pm (Sat) 9.30-5pm (Sun) | $8 single ticket, $30 family ticket (2A+2C), Children under 3 free | Details

Why you should go: Newcastle Brickfest is Newcastle’s first and longest running LEGO Fan event. It’s a community event, created by local volunteer LEGO fans, for LEGO Fans of all ages, showcasing LEGO creations and collections from across NSW. It features 60 exhibitors and over 180 tables of exhibits to enjoy. This is a family friendly, not for profit event which supports local Newcastle schools and charities.

Teddy Bears Picnic Market Day

Sunday 10 July 2022 | Thomas H. Halton Park, Croudace Bay | 10-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Tasty Market are launching their new market at Croudace Bay on Sunday 10th July! It will be a super fun family day celebrating their launch as well as Teddy Bears Picnic day! They’ll have roaming entertainment from Little Scallywagz’ Jolly Pirates, a large range of fabulous market stalls, delicious food and drink options for a picnic lunch, face painting, musical entertainment and more!

School Holiday Fun at Stockland Greenhills

Monday 11 July – Sunday 17 July 2022 | Stockland, Greenhills | 11-2pm daily | Free | Details

Why you should go: Stop traffic with this distinctive, creative and futuristic activation of interactive climbing. Australia’s only Augmented Climbing Wall! This is the perfect school holiday indoor activity for the kids. Even better for parents as it is absolutely free! You can also learn knots in the Craft Village and capture the perfect photo amongst the 3D mountains and neon photo opportunity.

FREE Colour Pop Art Workshop

Tuesday 12 July 2022 | The Place, Charlestown | 11-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: An all inclusive Art Workshop for young people aged 12-17 at The Place! Let your child’s creativity shine in an inviting and welcoming space. The theme is ‘Colour pop’ – a burst of layered art combining a range of techniques as facilitated by Anna Asquith from Woven Creative Space. The workshop will involve warm up, skill development, planning and creating. All equipment and free lunch will be supplied! Bookings are essential and spaces are limited.

Ninka World Obstacle Course at Jesmond Central

Tuesday 12 – Sunday 17 July 2022 | Centre Court, Jesmond Central | 10-1pm (last entry at 12:45pm) | Free | Details

Why you should go: Improve coordination, build confidence, and keep fit whilst having out-of-this-world fun! Tackle the balance beam, floating platform, hanging cargo nets, ropes and more these school holidays. Bookings not required. For kids aged 5-12. Minimum height: 110cm, maximum weight: 100kg.

Native Wildlife Show at Wallsend Village

Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 July 2022 | Centre Court, Wallsend Village | 10am, 11am & 12pm each day | Free | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a free educational and interactive experience featuring your favourite native animals this school holidays at Wallsend Village.

Seussical the Musical

Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 July 2022 | Civic Theatre | Various times | Tickets from $49 | Details

Why you should go: Based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Join Hunter Drama, as the most famous of Cats in the most iconic of Hats guides us into the world of Dr Seuss, where Horton, the kind-hearted elephant, discovers a speck of dust on which the civilisation of Whoville exists. One of the most widely produced musicals in the world, Seussical weaves a story of friendship, loyalty, and love. Despite all odds, Horton and Gertrude band together to save the Whos, free Horton, and restore peace and unity to the Jungle of Nool.  

Drop In Art, Craft & Scavenger Hunt Zone at The Station

Friday 15 July 2022 | The Station, Newcastle | 10-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Join Newy with Kids at a Drop In Art, Craft & Scavenger Hunt Zone at The Station Newcastle on Friday 15 July. Enjoy some free school holiday fun! There’ll be free craft activities for you and your kids to do including creating pet rocks, colouring and more! Plus, you can also do the Newy with Kids Scavenger Hunt for The Station.


Saturday 16 July 2022 | Newcastle Mall | 2-9pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Curious Legends is working with the Newcastle City Centre Business Improvement Association and a host of great businesses to breath life back into the Hunter Street Mall! With a wide range of family activities planned, they can’t wait for you to join them. There’ll be family-friendly activities and workshops, multimedia sculpture/light displays, giant illuminated puppets, roving entertainment, live music and hot food on offer.

Hunter Events Bar & BBQ Festival

Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 July 2022 | Maitland Showground | 10 – 6pm (Sat) 10 – 4pm (Sun) | Tickets start from $16.85 for kids and $27.05 for adults | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Events Bar & BBQ Festival is the biggest and best festival around. Featuring local breweries, Aussie FMX Motocross and BBQ competitions. There’ll also be a kids zone featuring unlimited rides, face painting, balloon twisting & more!

Early Childhood Resources Market

Saturday 23 July 2022 | Club Macquarie | 10am – 2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Featuring some wonderful small businesses, ECRM “Hands On Market Day” is an opportunity to shop in the comfort of an indoor, air-conditioned market area and choose from a range of handcrafted wooden toys, teaching resources and books, small world play sets, Indigenous resources, peg dolls, children’s books, handmade natural timber resources, craft kits and more. It promises to be a truly unique, indoor, market shopping experience perfect for early childhood professionals, families and the young at heart.

Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus

Sunday 24 July 2022 | Civic Theatre | 10am & 2pm | Tickets start from $20 | Details

Why you should go: Designed to amaze people from the age of 3 and upwards, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus reinvents the composer’s magical music in a skilful and illuminating show featuring Circa Contemporary Circus’ dexterous daredevil artists and a live accordionist. Watch as the notes are physically lifted off the page as performers bring the renowned compositions to life amidst tumbles and crashes… all under the eccentric swirl of the conductor’s baton. Running time 60 mins.

Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest

Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 July 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 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.

My Kids Market

Sunday 31 July 2022 | Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre | 9-12pm | Entry $4 per adult (Kids FREE) | Details

Why you should go: At the Kids Market families can recycle gently used pre loved baby and kids items they no longer need. You can declutter your home and earn some extra cash by selling second hand baby and kids goods instead of adding them to landfill. The My Kids Market attracts a large crowd of parents, grandparents and expecting parents who are looking for quality baby and kids goods without breaking the budget.

Peek into the Past at Tocal Homestead

Sunday 31 July 2022 | Tocal Homestead, Paterson | 10-3pm | $14 (adults), $8 (concession), $2 (children 5-12) | Details

Why you should go: Peek into the Past is when Tocal Homestead comes alive with the sights, sounds and smells of yesteryear. It is the perfect old-worldly day out for the whole family to become immersed in the nostalgia. There’ll be heritage clothing parades, machinery demonstrations, farm animals including calf feeding, tractors at work, and the original Rolls Royce of the Homestead on display. There will also be sheep shearing and working vintage machinery. On top of all that, there are lots of delicious homemade refreshments, or you can bring your own picnic to have on the lawn.

Featured image: Steamfest

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