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

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What’s on in May? Here’s the month’s top events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter especially selected for families. For Mother’s Day events see What’s On for Mother’s Day 2022.

City of Newcastle presents Autumn Alive

Runs until 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 have 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. 

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.

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.

Mayfield Day

Saturday 7 May 2022 | Webb Park, Mayfield | 10-4pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: The Mayfield Business Improvement Association Inc. is excited to present a brand new family fun day celebrating all things Mayfield! There’ll be local musicians, market stalls (last minute Mother’s Day shopping – sorted!), stalls from a variety of local businesses, food trucks, community groups, the Curious Legends Bush Clowns, face painting & balloon animals and a colouring-in competition, with more to be announced!

East Maitland Shred

Saturday 7 May 2022 | 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.

Maitland Station After Dark

Saturday 7 May 2022 | Maitland Railway Station | 4-10pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Maitland Railway Station is getting transformed for a unique After Dark experience. Get along to discover the free pop up roller rink, Neon Garden lighting installation, roving performers, food trucks, DJ’s and more. Bring your own skates or borrow some on site, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the station as you have never seen it before. 

Hunter Disability Expo

Friday 13 May & Saturday 14 May 2022 | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | 9am – 3pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: The Hunter Disability Expo will be back, bigger and better for 2022! It’s your one stop shop to check out disability services and products, government agencies and advocacy – all under the one roof over 2 days. Over 120 exhibitors plus a jam packed schedule of speakers on performers at the stage. Entry is Free

Count Us In 2022

Friday 13 – Saturday 28 May 2022 | Various Locations | Details

Why you should go: Count Us In Newcastle is an annual festival that celebrates disability inclusion and accessibility across the Newcastle area. The 2022 program will run at multiple locations including some virtual initiatives. The program includes fun activities, workshops, an employment forum, a business breakfast, training and learning opportunities that encourages disability inclusion across our community. For the full program of activities, events and bookings visit City of Newcastle’s website.

Fast & Loud Festival

Friday 13 May & Sunday 22 May 2022 | Various locations in Lake Macquarie | Various times | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy two blood pumping weekends at the Lake Macquarie Fast and Loud Festival! Experience this incredible line up of action on and off the water including exclusive live performances, exhilarating boat races, gravity defying air shows and more. Grab your tickets, grab your friends and get amongst the action spread across the Lake Mac foreshore. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

NSW Fire & Rescue – Station Open Day

Saturday 14 May | Participating Fire & Rescue NSW fire stations | 10am – 2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: For the opportunity to hop on a fire truck and chat with firefighters to learn more about what they do every day and fire safety in your home. Open Day includes safety demonstrations, fire station tours and the chance to inspect equipment and trucks used by firefighters when responding to fire and rescue emergencies. There will also be activities for all children who attend. NSW Fire & Rescue will be holding outside Open Days at key locations throughout the state.

Singleton Firelight Festival

Saturday 14 May – Sunday 22 May 2022 | Dunolly Bridge & Cook Park Precinct, Singleton | Various times | Free | Details

Why you should go: Get along to the Singleton Firelight Festival and Firewalk light & laser spectacular. Singleton’s historic Dunolly Bridge and Cook Park precinct will be brought to life with a series of immersive displays of laser lights and projections that showcase the story of Singleton, engaging visitors in an unforgettable sensory experience. A must- see spectacular nightly from 14 – 22 May 2022. PLUS local food trucks will be serving delicious street eats on Saturday 14 May and Thursday 19 May from 5.30 – 8pm. This event is ticketed but free.

You’re Kidding Me Expo

Friday 20 May 2022 | The Place Community Centre, Charlestown | 9:30am – 12:30pm | Details

Why you should go: The You’re Kidding Me program is designed to improve accessibility to health, education and family services for kids by connecting Lake Macquarie families to valuable information about local services that support the learning and development of young children. The program includes the annual You’re Kidding Me Expo, which brings together children and family services from all across the City and the Hunter Region. Attendees can discover a variety of programs, resources and services that Lake Macquarie parents and families can access.

Maitland Taste

Friday 20 May to Sunday 22 May 2022 | The Levee Shared Zone, Central Maitland | Free | Details

Why you should go: Maitland Taste is a celebration of great food, wine and produce from the Hunter Region and surrounds. Maitland has a growing reputation for it’s food scene including local produce, restaurants and home cooks. Focusing on sustainability, Maitland Taste stalls and activities feature local, regional and organic produce. The program will include gourmet food and artisan markets, food trucks, cooking demonstrations, live music, kids activities and more, and will extend into the night with vibrant installations and pop up eateries. Visit the website for more information. 

Variety Family Fun Day

Saturday 21 May 2022 | Foreshore Park, Newcastle | 11am – 3pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Support Variety, The Children’s Charity. There’ll be plenty of entertainment, food and fun activities – something for the whole family! It’s also an opportunity to see the colourful convoy of Variety Bash cars arrive back in town after their outback adventure raising much-needed funds for Variety, The Children’s Charity.

I Am Awesome Book Launch

Saturday 21 May 2022 | Toronto Library | 3.30-5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Get down to Toronto Library for the book launch of I am Awesome, Book One of a series about becoming AWESOME! Designed to inspire kids to believe in who they see in the mirror. You’ll meet the author and the illustrator of ‘I am Awesome, Who are you?’. Register via the link on their facebook page.

ALIA National Simultaneous Storytime

Wednesday 25 May 2022 | Various Libraries | 11am | Free | Details

Why you should go: Participate in this national storytime that encourages young Australians to read and enjoy books. Join storytime at your local library or read along at home. This year’s book is Family Tree by Josh Pyke and Ronojoy Ghosh.

Multicultural Neighbourhood Centre Services Expo 2022

Wednesday 25 May 2022 | The Station Newcastle | 10 – 2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a relaxed, friendly and fun day at this year’s Multicultural Neighbourhood Centre Services Expo 2022. If you’re new to the Hunter Region this is a great opportunity to meet new people, make friends and also find out more about services and programs in the area.

Hunter Region Botanic Gardens Open Day

Sunday 29 May 2022 | 2100 Pacific Highway, Heatherbrae | 10-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Region Botanic Gardens are excited to welcome visitors to their annual Botanic Gardens Open Day! This FREE day will include guided tours, live music, market stalls and a book fair!

Australian Opals v Japan

Tuesday 31 May 2022 | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | From 7.30pm | Tickets from $20 Adult, $5 Child (3-14yrs) | Details

Why you should go: Don’t miss your chance to see Olympic silver medalists Japan play against the Australian Opals in the lead up to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022. Japan are one of the favourites coming into September’s World Cup and to have an international team of this calibre in Newcastle is a coup for basketball and another crucial preparation opportunity for world number three Australia ahead of their home World Cup.

Featured image credit: Variety, The Children’s Charity.

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