Mark your calendar: 10 Fun Events in January in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter

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It’s the start of the year! Here’s the month’s top events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter especially selected for families.

Free Art January

Tuesday to Sunday in January | Maitland Regional Art Gallery | 10am – 5pm | Free but bookings essential | Details

Why you should go: Maitland Regional Art Gallery is hosting Free Art January which includes 26 days of fun art activities, 6 exhibitions and an inflatable installation. You are invited to be part of the fun – visiting the gallery is free, just register on arrival and follow all the Covid-safe procedures while enjoying self-directed activities, workshops and exhibitions. There is something for everyone throughout the month-long extravaganza with activities for kids, family groups, teens and adults.

Newy with Kids Scavenger Hunt Launch

Wednesday 13 January | Museum Park Newcastle (next to Visitor Information Centre) | 10am – 1pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Keen to explore our city a little further? Join us for the launch of family scavenger hunts around Newcastle! Come along to the Visitor Information Centre on Wednesday 13 January to collect all five scavenger hunt maps and stick around for free kids activities and entertainment. The scavenger hunts will take you to five locations across Newcastle where you will be challenged to answer questions on the maps and then use those answers to solve a mystery phrase.

Make it Maitland

All summer long | Various locations around Maitland | Free & low-cost activities | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy Make it Maitland this summer with plenty of activities and events for you and the whole family to enjoy including outdoor cinemas, SUP and kayak rental at Morpeth, Tigermoth flyovers, Neon Nights, Street Eats, school holiday programs and more. 

Shaun Tan Exhibition: Never Be Late for a Parade

Runs until 31 January | SEEN@Swansea | Monday to Sunday 10am – 2pm | Gold Coin Entry |  Details

Why you should go: This exhibition features a collection of illustrations from Shaun Tan`s best-known picture books including The Arrival, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the Singing Bones, and celebrates his unique approach to storytelling through this selection of brilliant images, as varied and fascinating as their narratives.

Colour Questacon Exhibition

Runs until 31 January | Newcastle Museum | 9:30am – 5pm. Bookings required | Adults $10, Kids $5. Under 3 free |  Details

Why you should go: See the world in a new light through Colour – an exhibition developed by Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre. See colour as you’ve never seen it before and engage with more than 20 scientific experiences, ranging from coloured bubbles to iridescent insects to colour illusions. Explore how light influences colour and compare your perception of colour with your family and friends. Bookings essential.

Waterworld Central

Runs until 26 January | The Station Newcastle| 10am – 4pm | From $15. Bookings essential | Details

Why you should go: Join in for some summer school holiday fun with giant inflatable pools and slides to splash and play around in plus a massive dino slide. Enjoy activities like paddling around in the paddle boat pool, spinning yourself silly on the Tea Cups, or seeing what it’s like to walk on water in the zorb cylinder!

Inflatables on the Green

11 – 24 January | Club Charlestown| Morning & twilight sessions | 6 per child (single entry) or purchase a season pass for $15 per child | Details

Why you should go: Let the kids jump to their heart’s content. There’s a toddler zone with two inflatables for under 5s plus four larger inflatables for the older kids up to 12 years of age.

Sand Sculpture Workshop and Competition

Saturday 16 January | Blacksmiths Beach | 9am – 11:30am | Free but bookings essential | Details

Why you should go: Join master sculptor Steve Machell for a 30 minute sand sculpting workshop and then put your new skills to the test in a fun, family-friendly sand sculpting competition. Your team will have 90 minutes to create your competition entry . Bookings essential. Arrive early to register. Bring two buckets per person. Competition categories: Family group (max. two adults, four children) and open (up to six adults).

Dinosaurs at Lake Macquarie Library

On display until 7 February | Belmont & Toronto Libraries | Normal Library Hours | Free | Details

Why you should go: Dinos are back this summer but not where you would expect them. Check out two mini dino displays at Belmont and Toronto Libraries (Collection on loan from Michael Dawson). At Belmont Library, you can see the raptors while at Toronto, the baby and teenage T-rex will be on show.

NSW Beach Volleyball Tour

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January, 2021 | Nobbys Beach | 8am to 5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Get down to Nobbys Beach to check out some of the best athletes from around New South Wales compete in Round 7 of the 2020/21 NSW Beach Volleyball Tour. Featuring players who have played all around Australia and Internationally, you won’t want to miss the action!

You might also like:

Top 15 things to do in Newcastle with kids

15 of Newcastle’s best beaches & ocean baths for kids

100 fun family activities to do this summer in Newcastle & surrounds

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