26 October 2023

Thirteen things to boo in the Illawarra this week (27 October - 2 November)

| Dione David
Start the conversation
Man tangled in fake cobwebs and grimacing at a large fake spider

If you’re looking for ideas for what to do this Halloween, look no further. Photo: Science Space Wollongong Facebook.

The Illawarra’s social calendar is frightfully busy this week.

Between Halloween highlights such as UOW Science Space’s Spookfest and Fearfest in Port Kembla, other spooky events include a zombie-themed break-out room, a Halloween party/movie night, and a ghost train paying a visit to families at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum.

If you’re looking for something spook-free, a travelling spring festival will stop by Dapto and Albion Park and a street festival will erupt in Jamberoo. In between there’s a craft beer festival and Oktober Family Fest, an “objets d’art fair” where you can get valuables appraised, a crafts fair, a car show and a series of Grandparents Day story time sessions across our local libraries.

Here are our top picks for the week.

All weekend

Craft stand at CraftAlive event

CraftAlive is bringing a crafter’s dream to Shellharbour City Stadium. Photo: CraftAlive Facebook.

CraftAlive Illawarra

When: Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October, 9:30 am to 4 pm
Where: Shellharbour City Stadium, 110 Croome Road, Croom
Cost: Adult $17, concession $15, multi-day $27, children 14 and under free, book online.

Australia’s longest-running craft event series is headed to the Illawarra with a weekend dedicated to crafts of all kinds including patchwork, quilting, machine appliqué, long arm quilting, yarn, paper craft, card making, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, scrapbooking, stitchery, cross stitch and more. Packed full of the latest craft supplies, kits and equipment, crafters will be in retail heaven. But CraftAlive is also a hands-on event, with the chance to learn from leading local and interstate craft experts with interactive classes.

Book online to save and avoid disappointment. Each ticket purchased includes an entry into a major craft prize draw, with the first prize a dream quilting and crafting room valued at $33,000.

Flyer for Albion Park Spring Festival featuring montage of festival attractions

There’s all kinds of things to do at this year’s Spring Festival. Image: Australian Amusements.

Albion Park Spring Festival and Dapto Spring Festival

When: Saturday 28 October, 12 pm to 9 pm in Albion Park and Sunday 29 October, 12 pm to 9 pm in Dapto
Where: Croome Road Sporting Complex, 110 Croome Road, Croom and Groundz Precinct, 8 Heininger Street, Dapto
Cost: Albion Park entry $2, Albion Park unlimited ride wristband $20, Dapto entry $2 and Dapto unlimited ride wristband $20.

Billed as the ultimate family day out, Australian Amusements is bringing a Spring Fair to both Albion Park and Dapto. Expect an open-air circus, carnival rides and games, entertainment, market stalls and a huge lineup of food trucks and dessert stalls. Entry is only $2 per person, but $20 will buy you unlimited rides for the day.


Flyer for Spookfest 2023 featuring illustration of haunted mansion in silhouette against a spooky night sky

Get ready for a spine-tingling evening like no other. Image: UoW Science Space.

UOW Science Space Up Late Spookfest 2023

When: Friday 27 October, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Science Centre And Planetarium, Innovation Campus, 60 Squires Way, North Wollongong
Cost: Adults $18, children over four $14, children three and under free, book online.

The old adage “truth is stranger than fiction” will never be truer than at UOW Science Space’s highly anticipated Spookfest, where science meets the supernatural and curious minds unite with Halloween spirits for a night of eerie excitement.

Live science and planetarium shows will send shivers down your spine, and gory green screen fun and interactive activities will leave you screaming for more. Visit the gruesome kitchen where culinary horrors await and don’t forget to wear a costume for a chance to snag a prize.

Pinatas, games and a movie screening – gather a group of friends and enjoy this Halloween celebration at Adapt Academy. Image: Adapt Academy.

Halloween Party and Movie Night

When: Friday 27 October, 5:30 pm to 9 pm
Where: Adapt Academy, 234 Corrimal Street, Wollongong
Cost: $30 or two for $50, book online.

Looking for a fun and safe way for your kids to get a taste of Halloween? Adapt Academy is staging this movie night. The supervised evening will include, fun games, pinatas, lollies, pizza, popcorn and a movie screening suitable for children primary school aged or over. Rustle up some buddies, dress up in your favourite costume and bring a pillow and/or blanket to get cozy for the movie.

There are limited spots so book early to avoid disappointment. Active Kids vouchers are accepted.

Grandmother reads to her grandson in a library

A special storytime celebration for Grandparents Day is taking place across various Wollongong libraries. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Grandparents Day Storytime

When: Friday 27 October, 10:30 am to 11:15 am
Where: Dapto Library, Unanderra Library and Helensburgh Library
Cost: Free.

In the lead-up to NSW Grandparents Day on Sunday 29 October, Wollongong City Libraries has organised a series of story time events to celebrate the diversity of grandparent relationships across age groups, cultural backgrounds and geographical locations. Bring along your grandparents, grand-friends and those who take on the role of a grandparent in your family or community to be recognised for their contributions with a story time and craft activity followed by morning tea.

No bookings are required.


Illustration of a zombified hand reaching from the grave with a full moon in the background

Fearfest will return to the haunted historical town of Port Kembla. Image: Fearfest Facebook.

Port Kembla Fearfest 2023

When: Saturday 28 October, 10 am to 11 pm
Where: Wentworth Street, Port Kembla
Cost: Free entry.

Back for another day and night of frightful fun, your kids will scream with delight when Fearfest returns to the haunted historical town of Port Kembla. Expect free kids’ activities, a haunted house, street entertainment, lollies, decorations and prizes up for grabs from the supporting local businesses. There will be delicious food on offer and Halloween-themed markets and artists’ studios to browse.

Flyer for Oktober Family Fest at Towradgi Beach Hotel featuring illustrations of sausages, flagons of beer and pretzels

This Bavarian-themed festival promises a great time for the whole family. Image: Towradgi Beach Hotel.

Oktober Family Fest

When: Saturday 28 October, 12 pm to 11 pm
Where: Towradgi Beach Hotel, 170 Pioneer Road, Towradgi
Cost: Free entry.

Towradgi Beach Hotel’s very first Bavarian-themed festival is set up for the whole family to enjoy. Featuring the Illawarra’s largest outdoor beer hall, 4 Pines limited edition Oktoberfest brew, pretzels and pork knuckles, you’re all set for delicious food and drinks. There will also be games for the whole family and tunes from the one and only Oompa Rockstar. VIP packages are available for $35 to $60 – book online.

Old books

Have you ever wondered what your old household treasures might actually be worth? Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Objets D’Art Fair

When: Saturday 28 October, 10 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Wollongong Art Gallery, 46 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: $5, payable upon entry.

For those who have mysterious treasures at home, or family heirlooms they’ve always wanted to know more about, this is the fair for you. Your $5 entry fee includes an appraisal by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers and Valuers for up to two antiques, artworks or collectables. The valuers are Sally Hardy (Australian and international art), Casi Prischl (Jewellery and silver), Amelia Scott (European and Asian decorative arts) and Tory Page (books, maps and engravings).

No bookings are required, just turn up on the day.

silhouette of arms emerging from a tombstone site

You and your friends are the world’s last hope in this Halloween-themed escape room. Image: Wollongong City Libraries.

Zombie Outbreak Escape Room

When: Saturday 28 October, 2 pm to 3 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book online.

If you’re headed to Wollongong Library this Saturday, beware: a strange genetic mutation has led to a zombie outbreak. In this interactive Halloween-themed escape room, you will be the leading scientist on gene editing – and the world’s last hope! Can you and your friends outsmart the unsightly undead and escape before time runs out?

This activity is suitable for young people aged 12 to 24 years old.

Ghost train for Halloween at Illawarra Light Railway Museum

The Ghost Train will return to the Illawarra Light Railway Museum this Halloween Eve… Photo: Illawarra Light Railway Museum.

Halloween Eve at Illawarra Light Railway Museum

When: Saturday, 28 October, 2 pm to 9 pm
Where: Illawarra Light Railway Museum, 48 Tongarra Road, Albion Park
Cost: Adult $16.50, child/concession $11, family of five $60.50, book online.

Get your Halloween celebrations on track when the Ghost Train and the Mini Monster Express return to Illawarra Light Railway Museum this Saturday – right up until the darkened hour of 9 pm. Come dressed as your favourite Halloween character and be ready for fun at the kids’ disco. The usual attractions are also on offer – food, picnic grounds, kids playground and picnic shelters. Get onboard … if you dare!


Flyer for Jamberoo Jam Street Festival

Allowrie Street will be awash in good vibes for this family-friendly street festival. Image: Destination Kiama.

Jamberoo Jam Street Festival

When: Sunday 29 October, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Allowrie Street, Jamberoo
Cost: Free entry.

Destination Kiama will transform Allowrie Street with this free, family-friendly street festival. Good vibes come courtesy of live music and dance performances across two stages, a circus drop zone, free workshops, lawn games, a kids’ corner, a music playground and more. You’ll also have a variety of food stalls to choose from at the Jamberoo Village Markets and a fundraiser sausage sizzle, snacks and drinks at the Jamberoo Car Show, both of which are nearby.

This event is a key part of what has been called the Jamberoo Big Weekend, allowing you to move easily between the Jam Street Festival, Jamberoo Car Show and Family Day, Village Markets and local cafes and pubs.

Colourful classic cars parked at Jamberoo Car Show & Family Day

Jamberoo Car Show and Family Day is a key part of what’s called the Jamberoo Big Weekend. Photo: Jamberoo Car Show and Family Day Facebook.

Jamberoo Car Show

When: Sunday 29 October, 9:30 am to 4 pm
Where: Kevin Walsh Oval, Churchill Street, Jamberoo
Cost: By donation, payable upon entry.

After a three-year hiatus, the Jamberoo Car Show and Family Day has finally returned, with about 500 classic cars, modern and vintage fire trucks and stationary engines on display. There’s plenty to do for children including a jumping castle, face painting, animal nursery and pony rides. And of course, there will be an amazing raffle and a range of food and drink vendors on-site catering to every taste.

This event raises funds for the Jamberoo Red Cross and Jamberoo Rural Fire Brigade.

Flyer for Coledale Fine Wines' 2nd annual Craft Beer Market Festival featuring montage of craft beer logos against a yellow background

More than 25 breweries will showcase their finest beers at this festival, but there will also be wines, spirits, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, food and entertainment for the little ones. Image: Coledale Wines.

2nd Annual Craft Beer Market Festival

When: Sunday 29 October, 12 pm to 5 pm
Where: Bulli Showground, Grevillea Park Road, Princess Highway, Bulli
Cost: $38.37, book online.

Live music, craft beers, wines, cocktails and delicious food set the tone for this cruisy and family-friendly market festival organised by Coledale Fine Wines. The cost of general admission includes five tasting vouchers to use with over 25 breweries showcasing their finest beers. This includes local favourites The Barrel Shepherd, Darkes Cider, Principle Brewing, Seeker Brewing, Five Barrel Brewing, Dusty Lizard Brewing and Resin Brewery, as well as non-alcoholic beer, cider, vodka and gins and wine available to sample.

Under 18s and children are welcome with free entry, and a bouncy castle and the Wave FM 96.5 street team will be there to help entertain the kids.

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.