What’s on in May

Comedy, Celtic spirit, art classes and more...
03 May 2022
Ashleigh Howarth, Freelance writer

Ipswich’s event calendar is in full swing, meaning there are plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy this month.

Whether you’re in the mood to laugh it up with a comedy show, experience the thrill of a V8 engine, shop till you drop at the markets, cuddle and feed adorable animals or take part in an art class, there is something for everyone and every taste.

Don’t delay, add these great events to your diary now.

Celebrate Celtic art, music and culture

In the spirit of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, visitors will witness the colour and spectacle of the Queensland Pipe Band Spectacular, featuring 250 of Australia’s pipe band competitors at this year’s Gathering event. The two-day spectacular, held on May 21-22 at the Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre, will also feature Highland dancing, Highland games and competitions, Celtic music, lost Celtic arts, a medieval re-enactment, displays and more! 

A ‘pawsome’ day out for dog lovers

Dog Fest

DogFest is coming to Ipswich for the first time ever, and will feature plenty of fun activities for dog parents and their babies. There will be fun competitions, dog-friendly stall holders, live entertainment, food trucks and more.

DogFest will be held at Tulmur Place on May 7 from 8am-1pm. 

Enjoy a few laughs at the Incinerator Theatre

Once in a Blue Moon

A hilarious new comedy featuring an amateur astronomer will be played out on stage at the Incinerator Theatre as part of Ipswich Little Theatre’s newest production, Once in a Blue Moon.  Performances will be held from May 12-28. The show is rated PG with some adult themes. 

Raise a cuppa for cancer research

Heritage Coffee Corner, Ipswich

Club Services Ipswich will be hosting its Biggest Morning Tea event on May 18 to help raise money for cancer research. Guests will enjoy a buffet brunch, and there will also be plenty of fun prizes up for grabs.

There will also be a guest speaker from the Cancer Council who will be talking about the great work they are doing with money donated from fundraisers like this one. 

Hear songs that are out of this world

Last year's event

Singers from the Cambrian Choir will be celebrating all things celestial on May 4 with their new production, When You Wish Upon A Star. The audience will be able to sing along to a number of crowd favourites including Moon River, Somewhere Out There, Blue Skies, Star Carol, Here Comes the Sun and more. The concert will be held at the Cambrian Centre in Booval from 9.30-11.30am. A morning tea will also be held during the show’s interval. 

Wedding help for brides-to-be

If you need a little help planning the biggest day of your life, your wedding, head down to The Workshops Railway Museum on May 22 for the Ipswich Wedding Show. Brides and grooms will have the chance to meet local wedding professionals, enjoy a fashion show and more! 

Psychic and Holistic Expo

Wander the many stalls to pick up healing crystals, incense, sage, essential oils, candles and more at the Psychic and Holistic Expo, which will be held at the Ipswich Sports Club in Leichardt on May 29. Visitors will also be able to book a reading, join a reiki session and more. Entry is $2 per person. The event will be held from 10am-3pm. 

Headline acts to perform at the Ipswich Civic Centre

It’s going to be a big month of live entertainment at the Ipswich Civic Centre this month, with seven shows taking to the stage.

These include a live performance of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, presented by the Redcliffe Theatre Company;  The combined song writing mastery of two of Australia’s finest singer/song writers – Karl S. Williams and Shannon Sol Carroll; A performance called Three, featuring astonishing works from renowned choreographers Jack Lister, Melanie Lane and Hofesh Shechter; Comedian Anh Do in his new show The Happiest Refugee Live; The comic stylings of The Nelson Twins, Ting Lim and Jessie Morwood for Stitch in the Swich May; Hit songs from the band Abba at Bjorn Again – Mamma Mia! We Are Back gain; And a performance featuring much-loved songs from some of the world’s biggest movies and theatre productions at World of Musicals.

Enjoy a ride on a historic train


Train enthusiasts will have the chance to ride not one, but two historic diesel locomotives this month, thanks to the volunteers from the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway. The Swanbank Collier will be going through a journey around Ipswich on May 8.

The train will depart from the Swanbank Station at 9am, 11am and 1pm for a round trip that will last for approximately 75 minutes.

In addition, the Celtic Flyer will also be riding the rails this month. It will be departing from the Bundamba Racecourse Station at 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm on May 22 during The Gathering. This journey will last approximately 30 minutes.

Explore the Ipswich Art Gallery

Perception Deception at the Ipswich Art Gallery

Visitors young and old will love exploring the many displays currently on show at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

These include Perception Deception; A hands-on and multimedia experience, using perceptual tests and illusions to reveal how our brains edit, prioritise and even add information about the things and people around us; and Ink in the Lines; Showcasing Australia’s modern veterans and their families, who through their tattoos commemorate the people, events and experiences which shaped their lives; And Little Histories: New Work by Rebecca Lewis; Featuring collages that represents the lives of five families. 

Feel the need for speed

V8 Race Experience

If you consider yourself a car or racing enthusiast, you won’t want to miss out on the chance to get behind the wheel of a genuine V8 racing car. Choose from either a Holden or Ford V8 race car, a new Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang at the V8 racing car experience at Queensland Raceway. The next V8 Race Experience will be held on Sunday, May 22 from 7am-12pm. 

A day at the races

People watching races from the turf club's viewing terrace

Head to the Ipswich Turf Club this month where you can cheer on the jockeys and place bets on your favourite horses. Race days will be held on May 7, 18 and 26. Now boasting new horse race day stalls, a refurbished track and renovated facilities, the venue has something for everyone. 

Hear spine-tingling ghost stories

Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour

Join renowned historian and ghost hunter Jack Sim at one of his many tours across the city. Jack will share with you a number of stories about lost Ipswich souls, sourced from archives, newspapers, books, as well as first-hand accounts from local residents. Tours are held through the Ipswich CBD, as well as the cemeteries in Ipswich and Goodna. To book, head to Ghost Tours Australia. 

Beat the clock to open the lock

Seraphim Escape

Grab a group of your friends and head to Seraphim Escape Rooms, where you will need to put your heads together to solve a series of puzzles to unlock the door. Each room has a different theme, and the puzzles have been designed to test your brain to make you think outside the box, ironically while you are locked in one. 

Chill out with a movie

Limelight Cinema Ipswich

Catch a Hollywood blockbuster on the big screen this month with a trip to Limelight Cinemas. This month you can choose from movies such as Downtown Abbey: A New Era; The Northman; The Bob’s Burgers Movie; and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, just to name a few. 

Incredible love stories on display

Fall in love with some of Ipswich’s sweethearts at the I Do in Ipswich exhibition, a pop-up photographic exhibition that shares a selection of wedding photographs from couples throughout the ages from 1890s until the 1950s. You can see this at The Workshops Rail Museum until May 22. 

Join in one of the many fun activities at Trevallan Lifestyle Centre

Please join us for this unique aromatic experience that has heart healing at its core

Each month the Trevallan Lifestyle Centre in Brassall host a variety of activities for the community to participate in. Events this month include Reiki Healing, psychic readings, meditation sessions and more. For more information, visit their Facebook page. 

Roll out the yoga mat

If you’re looking to try something new, why not take part in an Auslan yoga class, which is held at Tulmur Place on the last Saturday of the month. Everybody can join the fun, as the instructors use visual cues and descriptions to accompany the movements. It’s free to attend. 

Visit a working camel farm

Summer Land Camels

Summer Land Camels is open every day from 9am-3pm, where families can feed and ride the camels, or book in a farm tour. Entry to the farm is free, however activities are an additional cost.

While you’re visiting, you may also want to stay for a Cocktail with the Camels. This event is held monthly and allows visitors aged 18 and over to indulge in a night of fine food and beverages. Tickets are $18.50 per person, and includes a grazing platter showcasing a selection of the farm’s award-winning camel milk cheese and charcuterie.

Test out your driving skills at the raceway

Racing enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to head down to Queensland Raceway on May 20 to attend Friday Night Drift Night. Drivers can test their driving skills and the performance of their car on the track, with two drift circuits running simultaneously, as well as the skid pan next to the control tower. All the fun is held from 6-10pm.

Roll Racing is being held on May 21.  It’s all about taking the racing off the streets and onto the circuit where you can’t get in trouble. Organisers have designed this event to give you as much track time as possible and they strictly limit numbers to make sure you get value for money as an entrant. 

Leaf to cup tea tasting experience

Dona Perera has opened Tranquil Tea House

Sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea is one of life’s simplest pleasures, but have you ever wanted to know more about the origins and different flavours? Dona from Tranquil Tea House hosts weekly sessions where she teaches you about the taste, colour and aroma of tea leaves. Plus, you will even get your own box of tea to take home to enjoy later. Bookings are $45 per person.

Enjoy a movie, old-school style

Tivoli Drive-in

Drive-in movie theatres are few and far between these days, but luckily, there is one right here in Ipswich.  The Tivoli Drive-In screens a variety of new releases and family favourites each month, catering for viewers young and old.

This month you can watch Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2; Clifford the Big Red Dog; Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore; and The Batman. The cost is $10 per car. 

Visit the Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

Plane and military enthusiasts can head to the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre to see a range of military aircraft up close, including the beloved F-111, at the upcoming open day.

As the heritage centre is located on an active military base, visitors must fill out a form with all their details prior to the open day for security reasons. The next open day will be held on May 22. More information, including the form, can be found here. 

Ripley Providore Markets

Ripley Providore Markets

Dozens of market stalls will be set up at the Ripley Town Centre on May 29 for the Ripley Providore Market. There will be plenty of bargains and unique products to browse. 

Unleash your inner artist

Couple making kokedama at Sip 'n' Dip

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional artist or a beginner, there are plenty of workshops hosted by the team from Sip ‘N’ Dip Australia to suit everyone. Some upcoming workshops include creating your own resin cheeseboard, candle making and painting boho rainbows.  

Journey back in time

Join other history buffs and take a journey on a bus from the 1960s around the historic Blackstone area. The knowledgeable driver and guide from the Cooneana Heritage Centre are sure to impress you with all the facts they know. The bus leaves the Cooneana Heritage Centre, and when you return, you have plenty of time to explore all the different displays. Find out more here. 

Fossick for bargains at the markets

Ipswich is a mecca for market lovers, and the perfect spot where you can buy fresh produce direct from the farm, homewares, arts and craft, clothing, jewellery and much, much more. You are sure to find plenty of goodies at the Springfield Markets, the Ripley Markets, the Ipswich Showplace Markets, the Riverlink Market Zone, the Handmade Expo Markets, the Ipswich Twilight Markets and My Local Market


Awaken your spiritual side at Soul Nook Collective

Sound healing at The Soul Nook Collective

The Soul Nook Collective in nearby Marburg regularly hosts events that appeal to those looking to know more about their spiritual side. Events this month include Healing Meditation and Tarot Card readings. In addition, if you’re looking for ways to spoil your mum this Mother’s Day, you can treat her to a styled picnic. 

Enjoy a night of live music

Liven up your Friday night by visiting Banshees Bar and Art Space where you can listen to a wide array of alternative bands. Heading to Banshees on May 13 will be a band called Void Matter, supported by bands Awake in Time and We The Hollow, with Nu Metal band Resurrection concluding the night. 

Jam along to the Didgeridoo

Music lovers of all ages can truly experience the local Indigenous culture by heading to Augustine Heights to take part in a Didgeridoo Jam.

A stand-alone event will be held on May 8, or you can pack your camping gear and join in the fun of the 15th annual Didgeridoo Camp, which will be held from May 6-8. 

Laugh along with Ipswich’s glamorous Drag Queens

Food, drink, dining, breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

There will be plenty of naughty jokes and cheeky costumes at the upcoming event, Comedy Meets Drag, at Casa Mia on May 7. The night will feature comedians Mark O’Connell and James Matthews, along with your favourite Drag Queens Gina Vanderpump, Justine Deeva and Miss Veeta. 

Ashleigh Howarth Freelance writer
Ashleigh Howarth is a journalist with more than nine 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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