Out & About

What’s On // Your Guide To Living Your Best Life In The Illawarra In January

Must Do’s, Don’t Miss Outs + You’re Nuts If You Don’t Go...

Woah it’s a new year already!

But even though the calendar year has changed, the fun level in the Illawarra stays the same… and that’s super-duper high!

We love the vibe of the Illawarra in Jan and there’s nowhere else in the world we’d rather be this month. Locals are loving life, everyone soaking up the outdoors, enjoying that extra free time, and chilling with friends and fam. What a dream!

We’re always up for an adventure, so we dug through our fantastic Event Directory and handpicked some top-notch activities for January.

What a way to kick off 2024—let’s make it an epic one.

DAY OF CULTURE // Nan Tien Culture Festival

Spend New Year’s Day immersing yourself in community at the annual Nan Tien Culture Festival. Although the festival actually starts in December, the 1st of Jan is one of the best days to visit as there are loads of fun events happening and yummy bites to eat


HOLIDAY, CELEBRATE // School Holiday Fun

January is school holiday month which means there are tons of kid-friendly activities happening all around town. Here’s a pick of some of our fave outdoor adventures, and head to our event directory for even more fun.


WEDNESDAYS // Sweet Summer Nights

Every Wednesday evening throughout Jan you can enjoy markets and sweet treats at The Waterfront in Shell Cove. Why not make the most of the evening and grab dinner or a drinkie-poo at one of the bars and restaurants along the water as well?


POOL TUNES // Ocean Pool Summer Sounds

This sounds like a blast for anyone aged 12-24. Hosted by Shellharbour Youth Services and held at Shellharbour Ocean Pool, there’ll be pumping beats, free zooper doopers and lawn games for fun. Summer in a day, we reckon!


ROLL UP, ROLL UP // Wollongong Summer Carnival

Head to the carnival right on Wollongong Harbour running from the 26th of December to the 8th of January. Loads of fun rides including dodgem cars, tea cups and bungy trampolines. There’ll also be food trucks to get your snack on.


Anyone who’s a fan of dance grooves and mighty fine jazz is gonna be a fan of this one. Listen to a line-up with some of Sydney’s best-emerging artists to make you dance all night. Starting from 4 pm get in early so you don’t miss a beat [literally].


MOVIE TIME // Sunset Cinema Wollongong

There’s just something special about watching a movie outdoors in summer and that’s why we’re so glad the Sunset Cinema at Wollongong Botanic Gardens is back for another season. There are 8 screenings to choose from in Jan with something for everyone.


WATER MOVIE TIME // Dive-In Movies at Jamberoo Action Park

Okay if you’re looking to step up your outdoor movie watching even further, what about watching a film in the pool?! Every Saturday in Jan you can float in the Outback Bay whilst watching a fun film on the big screen. The screenings are free on the day with paid entry admission to the park.


TO MARKET // Bulli Village Special Event Market

This super fun, special market is just in time for the school holidays. With rides, face paint, Lego, henna tattoos, hair braiding AND pony rides, the kids are sure to have a blast. PLUS, all your fave food and market stalls will be there to enjoy as well.


DANCE BREAK // Miss Zoe’s School of Dance 2024 Open Day

If you’re thinking of enrolling your little one in dance for 2024 and are looking for a school that is fun, affordable and non-competitive then Miss Zoe’s School of Dance is defo worth checking out. The open day will be held on the 20th and there’ll be a meet and greet, giveaways, mini-taster classes, dance demos and even a free BBQ lunch.

SWIFTIES REJOICE// Taylor Swift fun at the libraries

It seems the world’s gone wild with T-Swift love and our local libraries are no different. You can make Taylor Swift friendship bracelets in Wollongong, Unanderra, Helensburgh, Thirroul, Dapto, Warrawong and Corrimal libraries and even join in on Taylor Swift trivia at Wollongong, Corrimal or Dapto libraries on select dates in Jan. Doesn’t sound like a ‘Cruel Summer’ to us… hehe, get it!


SHOW TIME // Albion Park Show

It’s been going since 1887 and is touted as ‘the biggest little show on the coast’. Expect all your country show faves like agricultural animals, cooking and art, woodchop, demolition and loads of great market stalls.

GO YOUR OWN WAY // DREAMS Fleetwood Mac & Stevie Nicks Show

One of the most acclaimed Fleetwood Mac tribute shows will be doing their thang at the IPAC on the 19th. Enjoy all the classics as well as top-notch costumes, choreography and entertainment. Grab your tix before they sell out.

TEA TIME // Back to school mummy & me high tea

Before your little mademoiselle or monsieur heads back to school for 2024 why not treat them to a high tea at Chante Kids Day Spa & High Tea? With three tiers of sweet and savoury treats, plus jewellery making and a photo booth for happy snaps, this sounds like a fun way to say ‘au revoir’ to the school holidays in style.


MUSIC TIME // Honk! Oz Festival

It’s back for 2024 and we cannot wait to get boogying. Community musicians from all over the Illawarra and Aus will get together in Wollongong from the 11th-13 for some musical fun. Check out the whole lineup here.

TUNES // Paul Dempsey at UOW Unibar

Lead singer of ‘Something for Kate’, Paul Dempsey is coming to town on the 19th for his solo show. Joining him will be some special guests, still to be announced and GA tickets are around $60.


GET CREATIVE // Florabundance 2 Day Workshop

Spend some time this summer expanding your creativity and trying something new with this 2-day mixed media workshop. Work with experienced artist Sharon Blair to create a stunning one-of-a-kind piece of artwork and start the new year with all those creative juices flowing.


WHO’S YOUR MAN // Jimeon

This beloved Northern Irish [but basically an Aussie now] comedian is back with his new show. Catch him at The Frat on the 21st, and catch your tickets before they sell out.


PACK THE SNACKS // Picnic Time

We love a summer picnic. Snacks, sun and some good times. Here’s a list of awesome spots to hit up for a picnic with the crew this January… don’t forget the sunscreen and the mini sangas.


SWIM AND RUN // Aquathon

One of the funnest and fittest things to do on the 26th is here again. Choose from the long, short or mini event, plus events for the kids and the fun run for the whole crew. Find out more about getting involved before it’s too late here.

Okay, so the forecast for January is a month packed with activities, fun, and entertainment!
For more event inspiration, dive into our Event Directory. And hey, while you’re out enjoying the fun, remember to show some love to our local shops, as well as food and beverage outlets!

Let the month [and year] of good times begin.

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