With visitor numbers rising by 25 per cent over the past four years, word is well and truly out about Newcastle’s magical mix of golden beaches, arts and culture, spectacular sports and lively dining and entertainment – and the forthcoming Easter holiday break is no exception.
“Whether you’re planning a family holiday, group getaway, romantic weekend or looking to reconnect with local friends and relatives, Newcastle is hosting an incredible range of activities this Easter period, and beyond,” said Newcastle’s Lord Mayor, Cr Nuatali Nelmes.
Bringing kids and culture together isn’t always easy, but that’s about to change with a raft of programs planned to bring art and culture to life in a fun, engaging and family-friendly fashion this April.
Newcastle Museum is staging free children’s workshops with a musical theme to tie in with its The Making of Midnight Oil exhibition. From a scientific exploration of what makes music to the crafting of percussion instruments from recycled materials with artist Ken O’Regan, the kids will be entertained for hours on end.
At Newcastle Art Gallery, ARTCART, the popular hands-on art creation class, will be in full swing throughout the holidays, with free tours also available on weekends and self-guided tours all day from Tuesday to Sunday.
Teens – and parents alike – will love the April line up at the historic Civic Theatre on Hunter Street, where they’re rolling up the curtain and rolling out the red carpet for a star-studded month of music, theatre, conversation and more. Highlights include a songwriting Q&A session on 4 April with music legends Rob Hirst and Dave Faulkner, Ross Noble’s Tangentleman on 10 April and the Pink Floyd Experience on 17 April.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
For those who prefer outdoor action and adventure, beautiful Blackbutt Reserve’s Junior Ranger Fun Day is not to be missed. Come along on 16 April and enjoy educational talks, wildlife encounters, craft activities, games and more. It’s all free for children and includes a free sausage sizzle for the young ones. For more information visit Blackbutt Reserve’s Junior Ranger Program.
Newcastle is full of fabulous beaches (six of them in fact) – stretching from Merewether in the south to Stockton in the north – and waterside pursuits aplenty for year-round family fun. Hit the iconic Newcastle Ocean Baths, part of the Newcastle set since 1922, or check out the recently refurbished Merewether Ocean Baths, enrol in Newcastle Surf School, sample the local surf clubs or bike along the coastal paths to make the most of the panoramic views using an automated Spinway bike from the station on Honeysuckle Drive.
HAVE FUN WITH HISTORY
For those who enjoy a trip down memory lane, NSW’s second oldest city has a colourful past with a wealth of secrets waiting to be unearthed. Unlock the city’s gritty history by joining a captivating Newcastle Ghost Tour – available day and night – or, for a hands-on history lesson the kids won’t forget, venture into the cavernous tunnels of Fort Scratchley which was constructed in 1882 to defend the city from the threat of a Russian invasion and last used during the darkest and most dismal moments of World War II.
Alternatively, check out Newcastle Region Library’s free Looking Down Watt Street exhibition (13 March-25 April), a tale of historical Watt Street and other significant locations in Newcastle East. You’ll discover colourful Novocastrians, places and events from yesteryear through yellowing photos, fragile maps and audacious stories.
YOUTH WEEK CELEBRATIONS
To celebrate National Youth Week, themed “It Starts With Us” (10-19 April), Newcastle will host a range of events, including an outdoor film night, two youth forums, cultural workshops and a series of invite only group events to promote positive life choices.
To discover more about what Newcastle has to offer, click here.
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