This is the first event for Summerfest, a community event about bringing parents and kids together for a week of games and activities with other families. Kids can enjoy the jumping castle, rides, face painting, balloon sculpturing and a sausage sizzle from 5:30 to 8:30pm.
The circus is in town for most of January, holding daily shows (except for Mondays) in the field at Gosford Leagues, and two shows on weekends. The two hour show has clowns, juggling, animal performances and acrobatics. Tickets prices vary depending on where you are sitting but start at $25 for children and $35 for adults.
There are three events being held for Summerfest - San Remo, Woy Woy and Erina, and each one has a set program for the week catering to kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. There is a set fee for kids to attend per day or you can attend as a family - fees for each event are detailed on the website. Parents can listen to talks while kids are doing the activities (on topics such as cyber-education) or relax with a coffee.
For kids obsessed with dinosaurs, the Hunter Valley Gardens is having their annual showcase of animatronic bugs and dinosaurs, featuring the eight metre T-rex, giant Triceratops, steagosaurus and towering tarantula, among others. Itís open daily until Australia Day, with daytime and evening sessions, and ticket prices range from $18 to $23 for a child. Entry fee to the evening session includes access to the Christmas Lights Spectacular.
3rd-21st: Inflatables at Toukley Aquatic Centre
Toukley Pool will have inflatables on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11:30am to 1:30pm, and the entry fee of $6 to the pool includes play on the inflatables.
3rd-26th: Inflatables at Gosford Pool
Gosford Pool also has inflatables for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 2pm. The $4.10 entry fee to the pool includes play on the inflatables.
Kincumber Pool also has inflatables for kids aged six to twelve from 1pm to 2:45pm every weekday during the school holidays. It costs $12.50 per session.
3rd-29th: Inflatables at Peninsular Leisure Centre Pool, Woy Woy
PLC also has inflatables for kids during the school holidays, with two sessions each day from 10-11am and 1-2pm. The waterslide will also be open from 11-12pm and 2-3pm every day until the 29th January. The $4.10 entry fee to the pool includes play on the inflatables.
Bring your kids in to the store to participate in a number of different free DIY workshops during the school holidays, running daily until the 29th January. There will be plaster painting and fun with paint, crafts, nature and garden and back to school themed activities, woodwork and mosaics, plus face painting on certain days and special Bricks 4 Kidz Lego Workshops on the 13th and 27th January.
Similar activities are also happening at Bunnings in Lake Haven on weekends only, starting on the 7th January.
Bookings need to be made for each workshop at both stores via the Bunnings website.
In addition to their Peanuts Kids Disco every second and fourth Friday of the month, Club Toukley is also showing school holiday movies on the 4th (Ninja Turtles), 11th (Ice Age Collision Course) and 18th of January (Finding Dory).
Take the kids along to the Summer Festival races where they can play on the jumping castle, rock climbing wall and bungee run. There are yummy kids lunch hampers available and general admission tickets are $10 per person. Gates open at 12pm.
Eat dinner out on Wednesdays at Club Umina when the club hosts their kids discos from 6:30 to 8:30pm on the 4th and 18th of January. Thereís also kidís bingo on the 6th, 13th and 20th January and movie nights on the 11th and 25th of January, where kids can enjoy popcorn and a drink for $2 and a special kids menu is served in the auditorium before the movie.
Kids aged five to twelve can dance and glow in the dark and have their face painted at this afternoon disco, starting at 5:30pm and finishing at 8:30pm. There is an entry fee of $5 per child. A second disco is also being held at the same time on the 11th January.
This special program for kids aged between two-and-a-half and five at the Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan costs $20 to attend and allows children to discover the new nature play area. Children must be accompanied by an adult and while siblings younger than two are welcome to go, they will not be formally included in the program. You can also attend on the 13th, 20th and 27th January.
Head to the Central Coast Steam Model Co-op to ride the mini trains between 11am to 4pm.
Thereís no entry fee but it costs $2.50 per ride for everyone (other than toddlers being carried by their parents). The trains donít run on very wet or very hot days so check the Facebook page to check whether the trains are running before you go. Everyone who rides needs to wear fully covered shoes.
Treat your kids to a fancy high tea at the Crowne Plaza from 12 to 2pm. Cupcakes, sandwiches and other sweet treats will be served, and there will also be a puppet show and face painting. It costs $25 for kids aged three to twelve, and kids under two can attend when accompanying a child paying full price. Adults are free to attend with kids and must remain on the premises the whole time, and there will be grown-up food such as tapas and alcoholic drinks to purchase on the day. Book online or call 4384 9238.
9th-13th: Free School Holiday Entertainment at Erina Fair
During this week, there will be reptile shows from the Australian Reptile Park and a Star Wars Immersive Zone where kids can play in the Jedi Training Academy and tackle the asteroid field obstacle course in the centre court, or jump around in the giant ball pit.
Kids can do plaster painting all through this week at the centre from 10am to 2pm. Thereís also face painting and balloon sculpting every Thursday from 3:30pm until 7pm and Sunday from 12pm to 3:30pm, and back to school craft being held the following week starting on the 16th January.
There are lots of different themed cooking classes for younger and older kids being held at Julieís Place in Gosford during the holidays, between the 9th and the 19th January. Kids can learn to cook family meals, cakes and desserts, go to the pizza party or crazy shake and bake workshop, and thereís also a sliders and fries class for teenagers. Prices vary, but start at $45 per child. Check the website for class dates and times.
Kids aged between eight and fourteen can enjoy a free cooking class and then eat the food they make for lunch, on nine separate dates in January. On the 9th, 16th and 23rd January the class will focus on sushi, while the 10th, 17th and 24th January classes will be about wraps, and kids will make summer salads during the classes on the 11th, 18th and 25th January.
Even though the classes are free, places are limited and you need to call Jasmine Greens on 4344 5398 to make a booking. You can book for more than one class if you like. A gold coin donation to go to a worthy charity would be appreciated.
Kids five and over can explore the rock pools on different Central Coast beaches this summer, with expert guides from Ocean and Coast Care Initiative (OCCI). You can go to Terrigal on the 10th or 12th January, Copacabana on the 11th January or Umina on the 13th January.
The rambles go for between 1 and 2 hours. You must book ahead to secure a spot and wear covered shoes. Call OCCI on 0404 450 429 to reserve a place.
Visit the Crayola Creative Centre on one of these days between 10.30am and 1.30pm with the kids so they can take part in interactive workshops such as iPad digital art and 3D chalk drawing. There will also be a face painter roaming around the centre between the 16th and 20th January.
Dress up as your favourite superhero or as a fairy and come ready to dance at this special kids disco at Gosford RSL from 2pm until 4pm. Entry is $5 per child and adults are free when coming with their kids. Thereís also a pirates and princesses disco being held a week later, on the 19th January.
Davistown RSL has organised free weekday activities for the school holidays including kids discos, a puppet show and a jumping castle. Just turn up to the club auditorium on the 13th, 18th or 20th January between 3:30pm and 6:30pm.
This is the first Clip and Dance event for 2017, with another one planned for the 27th January. It costs $17 per child to climb the walls while a DJ plays live and is a fun way for teenagers to spend a Friday night while their parents have dinner at the Central Coast Leagues Club. Under 12's must have adult supervision. Drinks and snacks are included in the entry price.
Take kids over five and their skateboards along to these introduction to skateboarding learning sessions at The Hive, which are being held every hour between 10am and 2pm over three days. Itís free but you need to reserve a place to be able to attend.
Watch the new members of Hi-5 perform in the Conference and Events Centre at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, with tickets starting at $30 per person for general admission or $45 for VIP tickets. Kids with VIP tickets can sit in the exclusive dance area and go to a meet and greet with Hi-5 after the show. The show starts at 1pm.
This fun story is about what happens to some toys when they lose their owners and are taken in by the Gingham family. Itís suitable for children aged three to twelve and runs for an hour. There are morning, matinee and evening shows over the two days, and ticket prices range from $18.75 to $25.
Staff from Crocodile Encounters are visiting Woy Woy Library between 10:30 and 11:30am and bringing some reptiles for kids to learn about and pat. Itís aimed at kids between four and twelve and is free to attend but you need to call the library on (02) 4304 7555 to book.
Kids aged seven to twelve can investigate a mock crime scene and dust for fingerprints to try and solve the crime. The session starts at 10am and finishes at 11am. Call Gosford Library on (02) 4304 7500 to reserve a place for your child.
Kids aged five and up can learn how to make a beautiful flower crown to keep, using hand crafted flower materials. It costs $65 for 1 adult and 1 child to attend, and starts at 1pm and finishes at 2:30pm. To book a spot call Teesh on 0404 220 965.
Let the kids sing, dance, drum and burn energy at the Rhythm Hut's school holiday workshop at their studio in Gosford. Theyíll also play games and be able to have their face painted from 10am to 11am. Tickets are $12 per child for anyone aged between four and twelve.
Older kids can go to Bato Yard Skate Park to enter the local rounds of the National SkatePark Leagues. The winners on the day will progress to the NSW State finals where theyíll compete for a spot in the national SkatePark League finals to be held in April 2017 in Melbourne. Anyone aged between twelve and 25 can enter, but anyone under 18 must have a parent come with them. All kids are welcome to come and watch and cheer on their friends.
Gosford Musical Societyís production of Peter Pan is based on the original book and has all the characters kids know and love including Peter, Tinkerbell, the Darling children, Captain Hook, Nana the dog and the crocodile. There are lots of morning and evening shows, and one matinee being held over four days, and tickets cost $26 per person, for both adults and children.
17th-25th: Free School Holiday Entertainment at Erina Fair
There's lots for kids to do in the two weeks of January at Westfield Tuggerah, with heaps of art and craft activities including the Mad Mex craft zone on the 17th and 24th January, a cookie decorating workshop on the 18th January, weaving and finger knitting and making dreamcatchers with Lincraft on the 19th, 20th and 23rd January and a back to school craft zone on the 23rd and 24th January. There's also daily wildlife encounters with birds and reptiles and spider displays from the 23rd to the 24th January. Then on the 28th January, Duggee from Hey Duggee will be at the centre to do a meet and greet with kids. Check the website for session times and to make bookings for the craft activities.
Four to eight year olds can listen to hero and villain themed stories at the library from 11am to 12pm. It costs $3 for library members and $5 for non-members. Call the library on 4350 1580 for more details.
Be ready to get wet at this educational workshop that teaches kids how important water is for survival. Theyíll learn how to make a water filter, looking for water bugs in the pond and playing water soaking games at the end of the session. Itís open to five to twelve year olds and costs $22 per child to attend. Call the Gardens directly to make a booking.
19th: Crafts in the Park
North Lakes Family Centre is hosting two school holiday craft mornings from 10am to 12pm for kids up to twelve years old. The first one on the 19th is at Lioness Park in Gwandalan and the second one on the 25th is at Vales Point Park in Mannering Park. It's free to attend and all craft materials will be provided. You can just drop by without making a booking but if you would like more information please call Cathy at North Lakes Family Centre on 4358 3148.
20th: Brickz for Kids at Lake Haven library
Bricks4Kidz will be set up at Lake Haven library for kids to build special Lego superheroes. Itís suitable for kids between five and twelve. It costs $3 for library members and $5 for non-members. Call Lake Haven library on 4350 1570 to book your children in.
This is a pre-Australia Day family day with Australia Day themed games, special Australian DIY workshops, crafts, a jumping castle and face painting to keep the kids happy. It will be held between 10am and 2pm.
Entry is free to this outdoor cinema at Central Coast Stadium. Zootopia will be shown at sunset and there will be family-friendly entertainment and activities before the movie starts, such as circus workshops, an inflatable soccer pitch hosted by the Central Coast Mariners, live music and the animal characters from Zootopia will be there to take photos and say hi to the kids. You can arrive anytime from 5:30pm onwards.
If you live on the northern end of the Coast and canít attend on this day you may want to go to the Cinema Under The Stars events in Newcastle on the 7th January or Maitland on the 13th January, instead.
This event has been created for families to have a day out together and to make sure kids have fun all day with rides, roving entertainment, crafts, games such as sack races, go carts, a giant inflatable slide and jumping castle, face painting and even a kids fashion on the field. Gates open at 12pm and close at 6:30pm and entry for kids is free, while adults general admission tickets cost $10.
Kids can make a library bag, pencil case or bag tag at the Back to School crafts station at the centre on these dates, as well as the 27th when the centre opens again after Australia Day. It will be open from 10:30am until 1:30pm.
This show is back after it sold out during the spring school holidays and lots of kids missed out on getting a ticket. Itís been held in the morning starting at 11am and there are still some available to book. Kids and adults will love singing and dancing along to Katy and Taylorís greatest hits and tickets are only $14 per person (kids under two are free). Parents must be present during the show. Call the club on (02) 4323 2311 to buy tickets.
This is the Rhythm Hutís second school holiday workshop for kids, being held from 10am to 11:30am. Kids will learn how to do things such as dancing with a diabolo, hula hooping, juggling, spinning plates, being in a human pyramid and balancing things on their nose. It costs $15 for one child to attend and $10 for any siblings. Be sure to call and make a booking on 0439 217 004.
This is the Nate Butler Studioís summer production based on the cult 1980ís classic movie, with plenty of songs and dancing for kids to enjoy. Book in for one of the three shows being held over two days at the theatre, with tickets priced at $25 per person.
At this special sleep out kids can camp under the stars in tents with the animals close by, before waking up to breakfast the next morning on Australia Day. There will be an Aussie bush tucker BBQ, billy tea, marshmallow toasting over the campfire and damper making. Kids will also watch wildlife awareness shows, and have animal encounters and a nocturnal wildlife tour. It starts at 6pm on the 25th and finishes at 8am the next day. Tickets cost $500 per tent with a minimum of two people and maximum of five people per tent if you are a family of five. You are allowed to keep your tent and mattresses at the end of the event.
Celebrate Australia Day Eve on the Canton Beach foreshore starting at 4pm. Bring a picnic and rug to sit and watch the fireworks at 9pm over Tuggerah Lake, and enjoy the markets, food stalls,childrenís entertainment and music beforehand. The Australian flag will also be raised at 6pm.
The Kariong library is hosting a free family movie night, screening Megamind, starting at 7pm. Popcorn and juice will be provided, just bring a comfy cushion to sit on. Children need to attend with adults. Call 4325 8155 to book tickets.
For something a bit different, go for a drive to the Hunter Valley to the 2017 Air Show to see all types of planes on display and some aviation sky shows. There will also be rides and food stalls to keep kids happy. You can book tickets via the website for $15 per child and $35 per adult.
These events are also running regularly throughout January:
Open from 8am to 8pm on Brisbane Water in Gosford for anyone five or older, but children aged five to nine need to be accompanied by an adult, with a maximum of two children per adult. It's $13 per session for kids aged nine to 13, and $16 for people ten and over. Call 4304 2300 to book.