The new year is set to go off with a bang in Ipswich, with lots of fun activities on offer for kids and adults to enjoy.
Whether you want to don an apron to learn some new recipes made by a famous British chef, chat to a Queensland author about the release of his new book, be entertained by a bunch of dazzling drag queens over dinner, or float around on a noodle while enjoying a dive-in movie with the kids, Ipswich is the place to be this January.
Put that new 2021 diary to work straight away and write down these great events today!
Meet a Queensland author and hear tales from his latest book
Brisbane author Grantlee Kieza OAM will be meeting fans and discussing his most recent book release when he appears at the Springfield Central Library on January 20 from 6.30-7.30pm.
Grantlee, who has 17 acclaimed books to his name including his bestsellers Macquarie, Banjo and Monash, will be speaking about his most recent release, titled Banks; a fascinating biography of the extraordinary life of Sir Joseph Banks, who is often touted as one of the world’s most famous and notorious characters in the history of exploration. It is free to attend but limited spaces are available. To reserve your seat, log onto Ipswich Libraries.
Be dazzled by some of Australia’s glitziest Drag Queens
Enjoy an evening of highly entertaining and over the top jazzy, cabaret and burlesque style performances when some of the region’s glitziest Drag Queens take to the stage at Casa Mia for Dancing with the Queens. Held on the first Saturday of each month, this live musical theatre experience features dinner and a show audiences of all ages will love.
Frock up for a day at the races
Ladies, it’s time to grab out your favourite pair of heels and your best party dress and celebrate Race Day at the newly refurbished Ipswich Turf Club on January 1. Cheer on the jockeys and the horses from the sidelines while enjoying a glass of bubbly or two. It’s also a great opportunity to make the fella dress up too!
Dance along to Those Tap Guys
They may have been rained off stage in December but Those Tap Guys will tap their way into Tulmur Place, in the newly opened Nicholas Street Precinct, for a special performance on January 30. There will also be a host of local musicians, a pop-up bar and tasty food vans for families to enjoy over the course of the afternoon from 5-9pm. Click here for more information.
Beat the summer heat with a dive-in movie
The family-friendly flick is scheduled to begin at 7pm, but the time may vary depending on the sunset. The usual lagoon rules will apply so no inflatables, however pool noodles are welcome. The title of the movie will be released on the Orion Springfield Central Facebook page closer to the date.
Tour one of the oldest and most haunted burial grounds in Queensland
If you love all things supernatural, you won’t want to miss out on a ghost tour at one of Australia’s spookiest cemeteries. When you book in for an Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour, you will hear 13 real ghost stories of haunted graves and sites in Ipswich – true tales researched from archives, libraries, former grave diggers and local residents.
Visit Australia’s largest wild camel training centre and dairy operation
Feed the friendly camels and treat your tastebuds to a delicious milkshake made from camel milk when you visit Summer Land Camel Farm in the beautiful town of Harrisville, just a short drive from Ipswich. Take a special tour of the farm’s dairy operation, including their camel milk processing and production facilities.
While you are there, you can also browse the skincare and souvenir shop, visit the homestead café for breakfast or lunch, and purchase dairy products to take home with you. Don’t forget to bring a cooler bag!
Starting Sunday January 3, Sunset at Summer Land events will launch. Enjoy the stunning views with a glass of your favourite beverage in hand, along with a delicious grazing platter showcasing a selection of award-winning camel milk cheese and local charcuterie while watching the camels meander in the fading sunlight from 3.30pm to 7pm. Learn about the farm, the camels and try the produce including the Camel Milk and Honey Vodka. Bookings essential, for platter options and pricing email [email protected].
The events will be held weekly in January, next events January 9, 16th, 23rd and 30th.
Relive your love of drawing and painting at these art workshops for adults
Remember when you were a child and you excitedly looked forward to art classes at school?
Now days, art is not only enjoyed by school-aged children, but also by adults who wish to let their imaginations run wild again. Luckily for Ipswich residents and visitors, there are a number of artistic workshops held weekly where you can embrace your inner creative side.
Sip ‘n’ Dip Australia will be hosting a number of classes throughout the month, including learn to paint sessions, design your own macrame wall hanging, sketching a nude model using charcoal, and more. To view their class schedule, search here. Many events also include wine or allow BYO, so there’s an extra bonus!
Strap on the skates and roll with the fun at Ipswich Cycle Park
Whether you are a beginner skater or someone who has been skating for many years, you will love the Skating Under Lights event planned on January 9. Hosted by Logan City Speed, this event is a first for the city of Ipswich, with organisers hoping to make this a regular addition to the calendar.
Let the kids Go Wild these school holidays
Throughout the month of January, Ipswich kids and visitors will have the opportunity to Go Wild and learn lots of cool facts about nature and animals.
Kids will learn everything they need to know on how to set up their own worm farm at home when they tune in for the free online webinar on Monday, January 4. Plus, they will receive a free worm friends kit to kick off their composting when they register!
They can also explore the great diversity of nature at night in White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate, with walking tours held on January 12, 15 and 19. Adults are also required to attend to supervise children.
Young ones will have a ball celebrating our beautiful Australian environment and playing drama games with a sustainability twist when they partake in The Kids Go Wild! Eco Drama at the Queens Park Environmental Centre on January 21. There will be games and interactive activities to exercise their imaginations while developing skills in acting and improvisation. They will be having so much fun they will be laughing like a kookaburra when you pick them up!
Plus, your kids can also join in the fun of a hands-on activity where they can put their love of science to the test and observe the difference between living and non-living specimens at the Kids Go Wild! Mad Microscopes sessions at Queens Park on January 22, with one session to be held in the morning, followed by another in the afternoon at the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre.
For more information about these fun events, or to book your child’s place, search Ipswich City Council on Facebook.
Wander the markets
I love browsing through local markets as they are the perfect place to snap up a variety of bric-a-brac items, vintage collectables, tie-dye clothing, homemade bath and beauty products, locally made jam and preservatives, as well as an array of fresh produce direct from the farm gate to your dinner plate. Luckily, bargain hunters and foodies are never short of markets in Ipswich, with the city home to hundreds of stall holders that love to sell their products.
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 Main Street, Springfield Central. With dozens of stalls, live entertainment and food vendors, the market has something for everyone to enjoy.
If you live in Ripley, or are wanting to discover this up-and-coming area, 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, which is also home to the Splash ‘n’ Play water playground, so be sure to pack a towel to dry off the kids after you have browsed through the many stalls and enjoyed a bite to eat.
Whether you are looking for furniture, paintings, DVDS, vinyl records or plants, you are sure to find what you’re looking for, plus more you didn’t even know you needed, at the Ipswich Showplace Markets. 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.
One of the newest markets to join the yearly Ipswich calendar is the Haven Markets, which will be held on January 30 from 10am-3pm in Goodna. The Haven Markets is an initiative that aims to raise money for worthy organisations that support the community. The markets are held at Goodna Street Life’s premise at 229 Brisbane Road, with money from the markets supporting their projects which benefit young people and the homeless.
In addition, a special celebration will be held in Walloon on January 3 to celebrate one year of the Walloon Markets. Head to 41 Parkview Dr, Walloon, where you can enjoy breakfast and a morning of wandering the many stalls. The markets are held on the first Sunday of each month.
Steam into fun at The Workshops Rail Museum
One of Ipswich’s most well known tourist attractions, The Workshops Rail Museum, is always full of laughter and squeals of joy from youngsters, and this month will be no different. With lots of family-fun activities and exhibitions to peruse, you could easily spend a whole day here soaking up the history of locomotives.
One of the museum’s biggest draw cards for kids is the Day out with Thomas event, which runs from now until January 26. The iconic blue tank engine, which has entertained boys and girls on televisions screens for more than three decades, has rolled into the museum with the Fat Controller and many other beloved characters from the show. Fans of the show, both young and old, will have the opportunity to take lots of photos with Thomas and his friends around the museum, and partake in some fun Thomas the Tank Engine craft activities. There will also be a sensory friendly Day out with Thomas session on January 6, complete with chill out zones.
While you’re visiting the museum, be sure to test your brain at the Sciencentre, or plug into the world of gaming at the Code Breakers: Women in Games exhibition. Visitors can test out their skills on one of the 14 video games featured in the exhibition, all of which were influenced by women.
The Trackside Café is also the perfect spot to refuel for morning tea or lunch, with the café serving up fresh cups of steaming coffee, milkshakes, cold drinks, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, chips and baked goods.
Bookings are essential to visit the museum in accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations.
Appreciate the many artworks on display at the Ipswich Art Gallery
You don’t have to travel overseas to see world class artworks – You only need to visit the Ipswich Art Gallery at d’Arcy Doyle Place in the Ipswich CBD. The Ipswich Art Gallery will reopen on January 4 after a short break over Christmas and will be showcasing four vibrant exhibitions and one interactive space the kids will love.
Lovers of military history will enjoy browsing the many pieces which are currently on show at the gallery as part of The Amberley Series. This exhibition celebrates 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force and 80 years of RAAF Base Amberley, featuring works created by artist Robert Moore when he was commissioned to undertake an 8-week residency at the RAAF Base Amberley in 2001. The works depict the iconic F1-11 fighter bomber, the Caribou carrier aircraft, along with the tag system for tools used in aircraft maintenance. But you will need to be quick, as The Amberley Series closes on January 17.
If you much prefer the finer and more priceless artworks, don’t miss out on seeing some of the gallery’s best pieces as part of the Collection exhibition. It can be viewed daily, with four sessions to choose from throughout the day. It closes on January 31.
Ipswich is also renowned for it’s many beautiful and historic Queenslander style properties, and rather than driving across the city to view them all, you can simply wander the halls at the gallery and see miniature versions of the homes as part of the Living in Ipswich: New Work by Jane Du Rand display.
A number of award-winning artworks by artists from all over Queensland will also be on show at the gallery until January 26. Decadence, the touring exhibition of the 2020 Queensland Regional Art Awards features an array of work from artists of all ages and abilities. There are four sessions daily to view these artworks.
After viewing the various collections, your children will love to burn off some extra energy by creating and building their own flying creation out of every day materials and then launching it into the large, vertical tubes of moving air in the hands-on exhibition, Wind Tubes. It is free to attend but bookings are necessary.
The Ipswich Art Gallery is open daily from 10am-5pm (unless otherwise stated).