11 October 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (13 - 19 October)

| Dione David
Start the conversation
Crowd in an auditorium lit red with band on stage

The countdown ends this weekend for Yours & Owls. Photo: Yours & Owls Facebook.

Kicking off with the long-anticipated Yours & Owls and the Berry Gardens Festival and finishing off with The Wedding Singer at IPAC, it’s an exciting week to be in the Illawarra.

In between, calendar entries range from a special sensory music concert and Pokemon drawing workshops to events aimed at informing the local community about climate change and food resilience.

Here are our top nine picks for the week.

All week

Garden full of roses in Berry

A stunning eight gardens will open for the Berry Gardens Festival. Photo: Berry and District Garden Club/Facebook.

Berry Gardens Festival 2023

When: Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 October, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Various Berry locations, view program
Cost: Eight gardens $25, single garden $7, payable upon entry, free for children under 18. EFTPOS available.

If you need evidence that spring has well and truly sprung, look no further than the Berry Gardens Festival. Eight gorgeous gardens in and around Berry will be open to the public over four days, along with a smattering of refreshments and a range of garden-related stalls. You can purchase a full pass to all eight to peruse at your leisure over the four days or simply select the gardens you wish to see.

All weekend

Flyer for Yours and Owls festival

The highly anticipated two-day festival with a huge lineup has arrived. Image: Yours & Owls/Facebook.

Yours & Owls Festival 2023

When: Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October, various times (view program)
Where: University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Gwynneville
Cost: Single day pass $159.95, weekend pass $289.95, VIP single day pass $249.95, VIP weekend pass $389.95, book online.

The massive two-day festival at UOW is finally here. The lineup features big names including Flight Facilities, Pendulum, Golden Features and Hilltop Hoods alongside dozens of other bands and DJs. Limited tickets remain for a single day or the whole weekend, as well as camping facilities.


Musicians playing instruments as children seated on the floor listen

Shellharbour City Council has subsidised the cost of adult tickets for this concert to ensure adults can attend free. Photos: Sensory Concerts.

Sensory Concerts Shellharbour – Session 1

When: Saturday 14 October, 10:30 am to 11:15 am
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Children $15, free for adults, book online.

When concert pianist Grace Kim’s oldest son was diagnosed with autism, she noticed there was a lack of live high-quality concert opportunities for families with sensory and additional needs, commonly associated with autism, ADHD and physical and intellectual disabilities. Enter the Sensory Concerts, an opportunity for all families to experience Opera House standard performances by acclaimed musicians up close and personal. Held in a family-friendly, relaxed space, here you’re invited to dance, sing and feel the music any way that works.

This instalment will feature Colin Grisdale on trumpet, Teije Hylkema on cello and Grace Kim on piano, alongside onsite therapist Jane Wearn.

Children hold up their drawings of Pokemon

Kids from age 10 are invited to learn to draw Pokemon from a pro. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Pokemon Drawing Workshops

When: Saturday 14 October, 10:30 am to 11:30 am (Warrawong) and 1 pm to 2 pm (Wollongong)
Where: Warrawong Library, 1/67-71 King Street, Warrawong and Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book online for Warrawong or for Wollongong.

Got a young budding animator, casual sketcher or simply a Pokemon fan at home? Join illustrator Matthew Lin in this fun step-by-step workshop on how to draw Pokemon at one of two sessions at Warrawong or Wollongong libraries. This hands-on workshop is suitable for children aged 10 to 14.

As part of a promotional event in the lead-up to Wollongong City Council’s Culture Mix multicultural festival, this workshop is free but bookings are essential.


Banner for Rotary Kiama Festival of Choirs

There’s not much that beats the harmonious sound of a choir to lift your spirits. Image: Rotary Kiama Festival of Choirs/Facebook.

Rotary Kiama Festival of Choirs

When: Sunday 15 October, 1 pm to 5 pm
Where: The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong St, Kiama
Cost: Adults $30, child (five to 17) $10, family of four $50, payable upon entry.

The Rotary Club of Kiama is staging its spring musical celebration to raise much-needed funds for its charities. The impressive lineup of choirs from across the Illawarra includes the Southern Lights Vocal Academy, Kiama Probus Men’s Choir, Wollongong Harmony Chorus, Wollongong Conservatorium Community Choir – ConChords and Hummingbirds, Sing Australia Kiama and Katandra Womens A Capella.

Light refreshments will be served.


Colourful banner for Wollongong climate mitigation plan featuring stylised people holding various green initiative props

Wondering what your local government is planning to do to mitigate the impact of climate change? Now’s your chance to find out. Image: Wollongong City Council.

Climate Change Mitigation Plan drop-in session

When: Tuesday 17 October, 10 am to 11:30 am
Where: Post Kembla Community Centre, corner of Wentworth and Church streets, Port Kembla
Cost: Free, no booking required.

If climate change is keeping you up at night, you might be wondering what’s happening on a local government level to mitigate the impacts. Wollongong’s Climate Change Mitigation Plan maps the pathway of how together we can transition to a low-carbon community and achieve our net zero emissions target.

The pathway consists of a series of documents that are updated throughout our journey to net zero emissions, which you can explore at Wollongong City Council’s drop-in session. Not able to make it in person? Register for the online information session from 4:30 pm to 5 pm.


Three vision impaired women make creations from yarn

For those with a vision impairment who enjoy knitting, crocheting and crafting, there’s a way to connect at Wollongong Library. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Vision Impaired Yarners – Wollongong Library

When: Wednesday 18 October, 1 pm
Where: The LAB, Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, for more information email [email protected].

If vision impairment is encroaching on your hobbies or ability to connect with others, stop by this social group for people with a vision impairment who enjoy knitting, crocheting and crafting (or who might wish to pick up a new skill). Supported by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, this session takes place on the third Wednesday of every month, until further notice.

Banner for connecting over fair food event

Discover more about our local food systems and discover how we can become more resilient together. Image: Food Fairness Illawarra.

Connecting Over Fair Food

When: Wednesday 18 October, 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Contribute what you can, book online.

Get inspired by people in the Illawarra actively working within our food system to explore ideas around building food resilience in our community. The theme for this year’s event is “Know, Share, Grow” and the focus is on the steps we can take as a community.

Hear from Manu from Farm it Forward, Suzy and Sarah from FOODTALKS Illawarra and Narelle from A Garden For Life, chat to stallholders, join a crop swap or see a special screening of Rachel’s Farm, which follows director and actress Rachel Ward as she embarks on a journey of discovery.


Colourful banner for The Wedding Singer show at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

Based on the hit film starring Adam Sandler The Wedding Singer has come to Wollongong. Image: Woods-Ray Theatricals.

The Wedding Singer

When: Thursday 19 October, 7:30 pm
Where: IPAC, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Adult $69.90; groups of 10 or more $67.40; under 13s, full-time student or concession $64.90, book online.

Woods-Ray Theatricals’ stage adaptation of this celebrated film promises neon 80s realness, a cast bursting at the seams with energy, a heart-warming story, and a rocking live band. The Wedding Singer tells the tale of rock star wannabe turned New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer, Robbie Hart. Robbie is the life of the party until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Disaster and hilarity ensue at subsequent wedding gigs until he meets winsome waitress Julia, who is affianced to a Wall Street shark. Can Robbie pull off the performance of his life to win the girl of his dreams?

This show kicks off Thursday and runs for four days.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Illawarra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Illawarra stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.