6 July 2023

Thirteen things to do this week in the Illawarra (7 - 13 July)

| Dione David
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Ice skating at Kiama winter festival

The jewel in the crown of the Kiama Winter Festival is the authentic ice skating rink. Photo: Kiama Municipal Council.

School holidays are in full swing, and we’re spoiled for choice in the Illawarra when it comes to ways to keep the kiddos busy.

Kiama Winter Festival and the Wollongong Kite Flying Festival are definite highlights on the calendar but in between there are endless workshops and activities to choose from.

We’ve narrowed it down to the best 13.

All week

Flyer for Nursery Rhyme Adventure at Illawarra Fly

Embark on a quest to find the Nursery Rhyme Village at the Illawarra Fly. Image: Illawarra Fly.

Nursery Rhyme Adventure at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

When: Until 16 July, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Illawarra Fly, 182 Knights Hill Road, Knights Hill
Cost: From $24.75, book here.

These winter school holidays enter the Enchanted Forest at the Illawarra Fly and become a part of a Nursery Rhyme Adventure. You and the family will embark on a quest to find the Nursery Rhyme Village, and discover old nursery rhymes mixed with new along the way.

The adventure includes a 1.5 km walk through the treetops and a Nursery Rhyme Adventure activity booklet. Get a 10 per cent discount when purchasing tickets at least one day in advance.

Flyer for ice skating at Kiama winter festival

Kiama Winter Festival invites you to celebrate instead of hibernate. Image: Kiama NSW Australia.

Kiama Winter Festival: Ice Skating by the Sea

When: Friday 7 to Wednesday 12 July, 10 am to 8 pm
Where: Kiama Harbour, corner Minnamurra and Shoalhaven streets
Cost: Adults $25, seniors $22, students $20, children $18, families $80, penguin hire $8, book here.

The six-day Kiama Winter Festival brings the harbour to life with installations, and the highlight is the real ice skating rink. Enjoy a daytime session under a transparent marquee by the sea each hour from 10 am, or for one of the themed evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm.

With seaside igloos, a pop-up bar, food trucks, art, daily face painting, themed entertainment, light installations, giveaways and more, you won’t want to miss out on this winter coastal highlight. Pre-book to avoid disappointment.

Girl reding with books stacked either side

Pick up a bargain at any Wollongong City Library during the winter sale. Photo: Envato/omosman950.

Wollongong City Libraries Winter Book Sale

When: Until 14 July, 9:30 am
Where: All Wollongong city libraries
Cost: Free entry, all books $0.50.

All Wollongong City Libraries will be clearing out old books in the first seasonal Book Sale. Books for readers of all ages are available, all for $0.50 each, and can be purchased with cash or card at the library customer service point.

Sale items will be restocked frequently and raised funds will help the Friends of Wollongong City Libraries group deliver even more high-profile author talks.

All weekend

Close up of Grevillea flower

Discover a diverse range of beautiful Australian natives at this open day. Photo: Envato/SundryPhotography.

Illawarra Grevilliea Park Botanic Garden Open Days

When: Saturday 8 to Sunday 9 July, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: The Illawarra Grevillea Park Botanic Garden, Grevillea Park Road, Bulli
Cost: Adults $7, children free.

Get the kids outside and among a rich and beautiful showcase of Australian natives these school holidays. Set across 2.4 ha and maintained by a small group of volunteers, this extensive display of gardens and rainforest provides a sensory walk with picnic facilities to make a day of it.

While there, shop hundreds of native plants for sale that you would not normally find in nurseries.


Flyer for Harry Potter themed break out at Wollongong City Libraries

A breakout experience developed especially for little HP fans. Photo: Wollongong City Libraries.

School Holiday Activities: Harry Potter Breakout Room – Thirroul Library

When: Friday 7 July, 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Thirroul Library, 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
Cost: Free, book here.

No Revelio charm will get you out of this one. As part of its school holidays program Wollongong City Libraries is hosting a Harry Potter-themed breakout room.

Put your mind and observation skills to the test and keep your wand at the ready as you try to find all the clues, solve puzzles and bust out. This activity is for children aged 8 years and over.

Flyer for school holidays youth activities depicting teen using virtual reality technology

Albion Park’s Youth Activities Day will include virtual reality, gaming and more. Photo: Shellharbour City Council.

Youth Activities Day

When: Friday 7 July, 11 am to 2 pm
Where: Albion Park Youth Space, Albion Park Community Centre, Russell St, Albion Park
Cost: Free.

Albion Park Youth Space is hosting a day of free fun at the Albion Park Youth Space, including free virtual reality, gaming, pluck-a-duck game and loads of other fun activities.

There will also be a delicious free hotdog lunch. No bookings are required.


Flyer for Jazz in July concert

The Junior Jazz Quartet brings an intimate performance to Wombarra. Photo: Concerts Across the Lawn series.

Concerts Across the Lawn: Jazz in July

When: Saturday 8 July, 2 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: 8 Dam Road, Wombarra
Cost: Entry by donation, recommended donation $30 for one and $50 for two, book here.

Against the stunning backdrop of the escarpment, grab a spot of lawn and join talented emerging artist Alec Watts as he brings a New Jazz Quartet to this intimate local concert in Wombarra. Along with other up-and-comers Katrina Todd, Sabine Tapia and Jack Rosenzweig, the Junior Jazz Quartet is a great way for the whole family to experience a high-quality music performance while supporting emerging artists.


Flyer for Wollongong Kite Festival

Register now for the Wollongong Kite Festival. Image: Wollongong Kite Festival.

Wollongong Kite Festival

When: Sunday 9 July, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Stuart Park, George Hanley Dr, North Wollongong
Cost: Free entry, book here.

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights… BYO is not permitted, but kites of all kinds will be available for purchase and fly on the day, so the kids can help fill the sky with all the colours of the rainbow.

In addition to this vibrant display, there will be DJ music, jumping castles and food and market stalls contributing to a festival vibe.

Steam train in winter

Kids will love the Illawarra Light Railway Museum’s Christmas in July celebration. Photo: iStock/nmated.

Arctic Express at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum

When: Sunday 9 July, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Illawarra Light Railway Museum, 48 Tongarra Road, Croom
Cost: Family of five $55, adults $15, children/concessions $10.

The Illawarra Light Railway Museum is set to celebrate Christmas in July the best way they know how – by trotting out the Arctic Express. Take a ride on the steam and miniature trains, have your photo taken inside Yallah Station in a Christmas theme, sip on the complimentary hot chocolate and savour the marshmallows toasted on the fire.

Food sales, picnic shelters, the playground and loco tour sheds will be available in between. Dressing up in your cosiest dressing gown is encouraged.


Flyer for Crazy Costume Skating event

There are prizes to be won for best dressed and more at this roller skating event designed by the Shellharbour Youth Services team. Photo: Shellharbour City Council.

Crazy Costume Rollerskating

When: Tuesday 11 July, 4 pm to 7 pm
Where: Go Skating Oak Flats Roller Skating Rink, 137 Industrial Road, Oak Flats
Cost: $5, book here.

The Shellharbour City Council Youth Services Team has designed this event for 12 to 18-year-olds. Don your craziest costume and head over to Oak Flats Skating Rink and prepare to be entertained.

There are prizes for best dressed and more to give away, so make sure you bring your A-game.


Flyer for Youth Activities at the Waterfront

Don’t miss the free crazy sock workshop at this waterfront event. Photo: Shellharbour City Council.

Youth Activities at the Waterfront

When: Wednesday 12 July, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: The Waterfront Shell Cove Marina, Cove Boulevard, Shell Cove
Cost: Free, book here.

Shellharbour Youth Services is hosting holiday fun at the waterfront. They’ll be running a free creative crazy socks workshop, ironing transfers onto your favourite jeans or jacket and holding a “make your own” clown hat activity.

There will be limited spaces to make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment.


Flyer for Wandering Within event at Wollongong City Libraries

This is a curation of activities for young women to assist with the ongoing development of self-awareness and life skills. Photo: Wollongong City Libraries.

School Holiday Activities: Wandering Within – Wollongong Library

When: Thursday 13 July, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

Aimed at young women and women of culturally diverse backgrounds, this interactive learning experience focuses on cultivating personal power.

Using gradual creative risk-taking activities such as rhythm-making, visual art, improv, writing and storytelling, it will take participants to a deeper level of self-awareness and develop important life skills.

This session is for girls aged 14 to 17 only and healthy snacks will be served during the session.

Flyer for Robotics Workshop at Wollongong City Library.

If you go to one workshop these school holidays make it this one. Photo: Wollongong City Libraries.

School Holiday Activities: Robotics Workshop – Wollongong Library

When: Thursday 13 July, 11 am to 12:15 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

With so many awesome workshops available these school holidays, this is the one for young STEM-loving minds. In a hands-on robotics workshop with Advanced Star Wars Bots, participants will create a bot using the concepts of motors, gears and mechanical design and learn about autonomous robotic control.

This activity is for children aged 12 to 15.

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