What’s on: January events guide

Be sure to add these great events to your diary, so you have plenty of activities to entertain the kids for the remainder of the school holidays.
21 Dec 2021
Ashleigh Howarth, Freelance writer

There’s lots of summer fun just waiting to be had in Ipswich this January, including dive-in movies, magic shows, horse racing, live gigs, markets, farm experiences, and not to mention everyone’s favourite big blue engine roaring back into The Workshops Rail Museum.

Be sure to add these great events to your diary, so you have plenty of activities to entertain the kids for the remainder of the school holidays.

Thomas returns to The Workshops Rail Museum

Everyone’s favourite big blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, will be appearing at The Workshops Rail Museum from December 27 until Sunday, January 23 as part of the Day Out With Thomas exhibition. Fans, both young and old, will be able to meet Thomas, as well as the Fat Controller and some of Thomas’ other closest friends.

There will be lots of hands-on activities in the Thomas Play Pit, a Thomas movie, and the opportunity to get loads of happy snaps with Thomas and his friends around the museum. 

Feel the need for speed at Willowbank

New Year's Thunder 2020

The New Year’s Thunder event will see racing and car lovers from across the state head to Willowbank Raceway over January 7-8, featuring Pro Alcohol, Top Bike, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Bike and Pro Mod.

As the first event of the year, and first round of the 400 Thunder Pro Series for the season you’ll see a huge field of local and interstate racers hit the black top hoping to gain championship points early in competition.

In addition to the Pro Categories, don’t miss the full complement of 400 Thunder Performance and Sportsman racers. Blown or Turbo, Sedan or Dragster, this event has all the variety and action of the Winternationals jam-packed into one-and-a-half days! 

Dancing and illusion combine for a spellbinding show

A blend of modern Irish dance, magic and grand illusion is coming to the Ipswich Civic Centre on Saturday, January 29 when performers from Celtic Illusion Reimagined take to the stage.

The Reimagined tour features new spellbinding illusions and choreography, alongside a musical score that will either make you cry or send shivers down your spine.

The show will begin at 7.30pm. Tickets are $79.90 for adults, $74.90 for students, and $69.90 for children aged 3-15. Click here to reserve your seat. 

Race your friends at the Art Gallery

built for speed 5

Design, build and race your Lego hot rod, dragster or supercar down rad ramps and slick tracks at the Ipswich Art Gallery with the new exhibition, Built for Speed.

Entry is $7 per person, or $25 for a family pass. Built for Speed is on until Sunday, January 30. 

Dinner and a show at Casa Mia

On the first Saturday of the month, Casa Mia brings you Dancing With The Queens, a live musical theatre dining experience. Each production showcases professional drag artists, who are outrageous, highly entertaining and over the top with jazzy, cabaret and burlesque style performances.  Bookings are essential.

Place a bet on the ponies

Racegoers can head to the Ipswich Turf Club on January 8, 19 and 29 for the Ipswich Races. There are approximately 46 race meetings each year including two Saturday meetings, one of which is the famous Ipswich Cup. 

Learn more about spies

Spy Espionage at The Workhops Rail Museum

With the latest James Bond movie in theatres now, now is the perfect time to combine that with a visit to The Workshops Rail Museum. The museum is currently hosting the Spy: Espionage in Australia exhibition.

It reveals the personal experiences of secret agents and the curious history of espionage and counter-espionage in Australia, from Federation through to the present day. On now until Sunday, February 6, 2022.  

See the animals at the Ipswich Nature Centre

Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy seeing the wide array of animals at the Ipswich Nature Centre, including dingoes, kangaroos, bilbies, spotted quolls, birds, an emu and even a shy little wombat.

It is free to enter so families can visit as many times as they like and the Nature Centre is open seven days a week during school holidays.

Fossick through the many markets across the city

Springfield Markets, Ipswich

Markets are a great way to pick up fresh local produce, as well as clothing, collectables, plants, jams, honey, bric-a-brac and more. Whatever you feel like filling up your goodie bag with, you are sure to find what you are looking for at these markets: 

The Springfield Markets is held on the first Sunday of every month from 8am-1pm at Robelle Parklands in Springfield Central, and the third Sunday of the Month from 9am-4pm at Orion Springfield Central Shopping Centre.

The Ripley Markets are a great way to shop and explore. This dog-friendly market is held on the second Saturday of the month from 3-8pm at Providence, Ripley Valley.

The Ipswich Showplace Markets are held every Sunday from 6-11.30am at the Ipswich Showgrounds on Warwick Road. The markets have long been a popular destination for early risers on a weekend. Entry is a gold coin donation.

The Riverlink Market Zone is held on the fourth Sunday of every month from 8.30am-3pm at Riverlink Shopping Centre, corner Downs St and The Terrace, Ipswich.

The Handmade Expo Markets are held on the second Saturday of the month at the Nicholas Street Precinct.

The Ipswich Twilight Markets will be held at Tulmur Place on Friday, January 7 from 3-8pm. Taste an array of flavours from across the globe with a variety of food trucks, shop the market stalls, enjoy live music on the Tulmur stage and keep the kids entertained with a range of activities.

Hit the bike trails over the holidays

If you like to stay active, grab your bike and explore more than 110km of world class trails at Hidden Vale Adventure Park.

Operating out of the luxurious Spicers Hidden Vale getaway, the various tracks are suitable for beginners right up to experienced riders.

Entry is $10, with the property open from 7am-3pm daily. Upon sign in, everyone will be issued a map to ensure they stay on the right track. 

Family night at the movies


Load up the car and take everyone to the Tivoli Drive-In for a night of Hollywood blockbusters, popcorn and ice creams. Movie screenings this month include Encanto, The Martian, Real Steel, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Spiderman: Far from Home. 

Or head over to Limelight Cinemas for airconditioned comfort for new releases including Spiderman, Venom and The Matrix!  Book for an indulgent Lounge experience or take the family to one of their family friendly holiday sessions.

Test your skills at an Escape Room

Seraphim Escape

Grab a group of friends and try your luck at Ipswich’s own escape room, Seraphim Escape Rooms. Teams can be made up of six people but you must work together to beat the clock to open the lock. 

Meet Ipswich’s resident ghosts

Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour

Are you brave enough to walk through a cemetery at night? Join renowned historian and ghost hunter Jack Sim on one of his many haunted ghost tours across the city. Guests can choose to visit the Ipswich Cemetery, Goodna Cemetery or join a night time walking tour through the Ipswich CBD. To book, log onto Ghost Tours Australia 

Join a free Didgeridoo Jam session

Learn more about local Indigenous cultures by joining in a Didgeridoo Jam in Augustine Heights on Friday, January 7. Visitors can kick back and relax alongside a fire pit while listening to a mix of instruments combined with the didgeridoo. 

Unleash your creative side

Are you looking to try something new, or hone in your artistic skills? Join one of the many art workshops with Sip ‘N’ Dip Australia, where you can make your own paintings, jewellery and resin pieces to take home with you. Workshops are held at various venues across the region. 

Take the family for a camel ride

Summer Land Camels | Ipswich

Located just a short drive from Ipswich is Summer Land Camels in Harrisville, where you can tour the farm, ride and feed the camels, taste test camel milk products and browse their shop which is stocked with beauty products and more. The farm is open every day from 9am-3pm and it is free to attend.  

Enjoy live entertainment at Banshees

Every month Banshees Bar and Art Space hold a number of gigs for artists to play their tunes at. This month music lovers can hear from Supertrooper and Dead Dirty Dinosaurs on Saturday, January 29 from 7pm. 

Take a dip in the Orion lagoon

With the summer days set to sizzle, the Orion Lagoon is a great place to take a dip. There will also be a dive in movie on Saturday, January 15 at 6pm.

The movie that has been chosen is The Croods – A New Age. It is free to attend.

Holiday craft at Ripley Town Centre

Kids of all ages will have the opportunity to make their own mini dinosaur or fairy garden to take home with a special art workshop being held at the Ripley Town Centre from January 18-19. Session times will be 10am, 10.45am and 11.30am, with the workshops to be held outside Little Piggy Café. It is free to attend but bookings are advised. 

Enjoy a night out at the Racehorse Hotel

Racehorse Hotel

A number of live acts will be performing at the Racehorse Hotel this month, including Thy Art is Murder on Thursday, January 13 and Creedence: The John Fogarty Show on Saturday, January 29. 

Calling all rev heads

Head down to Riverlink Shopping Centre on the first Saturday of every month from 4-8pm for Cardi Gras. Car owners will proudly be showing off their wheels, and there will also be fun games and competitions. 

Brighten up your Instagram feed with a visit to Nerima Gardens


With lots of lovely blooms to photograph, Nerima Gardens is sure to brighten up your social media feed. With a Japanese design concept, this idyllic retreat is perfect to visit anytime of the day.  

Cuddle a baby goat

Naughty Little Kids_Image by Denise Cullen

There are lots of adorable baby goats just waiting to meet you at Naughty Little Kids in Peak Crossing. The farm welcomes visitors for tours every Sunday afternoon. Gates open at 12.40pm and farm tours run at 1:05pm, 2:15pm, and 3:25pm. They go for around an hour and are a fantastic family event for all ages. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Ashleigh Howarth Freelance writer
Ashleigh Howarth is a journalist with more than 12 years experience in the media industry. Her passions include travelling, dessert bars, cocktails and attending music concerts. She aims to inspire others to unlock their own sense of wanderlust to explore this beautiful big world, whether that be on a local or more global scale. You can keep up to date with her stories by following @journo_ash_ on Instagram.

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