Summer is one of the best times of the year to get out of the house and go exploring!
Here in Ipswich, visitors are spoilt for choice with things to see and do including authentic farm experiences, live music venues, cinemas, markets, ghost tours, V8 racing car experiences and more!
Here are more than 20 awesome ideas to add to your summer bucket list!
Celebrate the festive season in Ipswich
Christmas is just around the corner, and to celebrate, plenty of family-friendly events will be held across the city for everyone to enjoy. You and your family can get into the Christmas spirit by visiting the City Christmas Tree, located in d’Arcy Doyle Place, lights and live entertainment at the Nicholas St Precinct, view some of the best Christmas displays on the annual Christmas Lights tour, enjoy a Christmas-themed movie under the stars, shop for unique presents at one of the many holiday-themed markets, sing along at one of the many community Christmas Carols events, and much more. To see the full program, visit the Ipswich Festivals Website.
Sensory friendly Christmas activities at the Nicholas St Precinct
Families who are seeking a gentler, sensory-friendly Christmas experience can head down to the Nicholas St Precinct on December 12 where there will be a number of sensory friendly activities for kids.
With a quieter environment, limited crowding, and dedicated sensory tent, this evening allows more families to experience the joy of Christmas. In addition, sensitive family photos will also be available at Riverlink Shopping Centre and Orion Springfield Central throughout the month. Click here for more information.
Enjoy a two course Christmas feast at CSI
Treat your tastebuds to all the holiday trimmings at Club Services Ipswich’s upcoming Christmas Charity Luncheon on December 13. Guests will enjoy a two-course menu, a special visit from Santa, lucky door prizes, live entertainment, raffles and more.
All money raised will be donated to SU Chaplaincy to support local schools.
Make your own Christmas wreath
Learn how to make your own Christmas wreath to display at home at a two-hour hands-on workshop at The Soul Nook Collective on December 3. You will be given all the materials required including a selection of dried and preserved flowers and foliage.
Sing along to Aussie Christmas carols
Singers and musicians from the Ipswich Orpheus Chorale will be delighting the community with three big shows at the George Hogg Performance Venue in East Ipswich from December 8-10. Each performance will include lots of songs you can sing along to including Aussie Christmas carols, as well as a visit by The Grinch. To book your seats, click here.
Kick back and enjoy some festive flicks
If you love watching Christmas movies before the jolly man in the red suit visits on December 25, then you’re in luck! This month, some of the best holiday-inspired movies of all time will be shown on the big screen at the Tivoli Drive-in. They include Home Alone, The Santa Clause, The Nightmare Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol.
Thomas returns to The Workshops
Everyone’s favourite blue engine, Thomas The Tank Engine, will be returning to The Workshops Rail Museum these school holidays for the Day Out With Thomas: The Colour Tour. This fun-filled family event will feature lots of activities like carnival rides, face painting, a Thomas play pit, Thomas movie, craft activities and more. Thomas will be rolling into Ipswich on December 27 and staying until January 26, 2024.
Sing and dance along with Dragon
Head on down to the Springlake Hotel on December 15 for an unforgettable night celebrating the 50th anniversary of the rock band Dragon. Current band members Mark Williams, Pete Drummond, Bruce Reid and Todd Hunter will take you on a journey through the Young Years, Glory Years, Mid-Period, and Phoenix Years.
Go spook spotting
Step back in time to unveil the past and explore the ‘other side’ during a haunted tour of the Ipswich CBD, and the Ipswich and Goodna cemeteries. Here you will be told true stories full of tragedy, crime and mystery by renowned historian Jack Sim. If you’re feeling brave, click here to book.
Meet the animals at Ewe Nique Hobby Farm
Kids and adults alike will have the opportunity to meet all of the adorable animals that live at Ewe Nique Hobby Farm over the school holidays. The farm will be open every morning (except Tuesdays) allowing visitors the chance to feed, cuddle and pat the farm’s many goats, lambs, alpacas, chickens and geese, just to name a few. The farm’s owners will also be hosting a unique Santa experience with puppets, food and more on December 17. Bookings are a must for both.
Rock out at Banshees
A number of big acts will be appearing at Banshees Bar and Art Space this month, which is sure to delight any music lover. Don’t miss out on seeing The Lozenges or The Hinterlanders. You can also get up on stage and sing your own favourite songs on karaoke nights.
Enjoy an evening of arts and crafts
If you like being creative, or are looking to try something new, try your hand at a Sip ‘n’ Dip class this month. Each class is guided by an experienced artist who will help you create your own beautiful masterpiece to take home, plus you get to enjoy a glass of your favourite beverage! Classes are held at various venues across the region so there is always something happening near you.
Find all the Ipswich classes here.
Tour a real working farm
Another great farm in the region that has plenty of adorable animals to brighten up your social media feed is Naughty Little Kids in Peak Crossing. Every Sunday the owners run farm tours where you can pat and feed a baby goat, milk a goat by hand, watch a cheese making demonstration and taste some of their gelato and cheese. Gates open at 12.40pm.
Sip on award-winning gin
If you consider yourself a gin or brandy enthusiast, then you will enjoy a tipple at Imbibis – Ipswich’s newest craft distillery. With the cellar door open every Friday from 10am-6pm, it’s a great place to kickstart your weekend in style. Don’t forget to bring your own cheese or charcuterie board to complete the experience.
Catch a movie at Limelight
A wide range of new releases and old-school classics will be shown at Limelight Cinemas this month, which is perfect to entertain the kids these school holidays. For the little ones, they will love watching Elf, Migration and Wish. For the bigger kids there is Die Hard, Love Actually, Wonka, the new Hunger Games and Aquaman.
Enjoy a night of live entertainment
From theatre shows to dance productions, exotic rhythms and laugh-out-loud comedians, there is a show to suit every person this month. At the Ipswich Civic Centre you can catch MZAZA 2023; The Allstar Dance Concert; Disney Aladdin Jr; and Stitch in the ‘Swich. Also, don’t miss out on seeing the Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life – A live radio play at Fire Station 101.
Relive your favourite road trip memories
Before there were grand hotels everywhere, the humble roadside motel is where a lot of families chose to stay while travelling. If you feel like being nostalgic, be sure to visit the Reception This Way: Motels – A sentimental journey with Tim Ross exhibition, currently on show at The Workshops Railway Museum. Here you will find lots of photographs and old film footage that showcases how integral motels were to the Australian holiday experience. You have to be quick though, as this exhibition closes on December 12. Entry is free with general admission to The Workshops.
Live out your racing dream
Whether you’re looking for an awesome Christmas present or just wanting to treat yourself, book a V8 Race Experience at the famous Queensland Raceway. The next race days are on December 2 and 16.
Test your knowledge at trivia
Do you have a friend whose head always seems to be swimming with (seemingly) useless facts? Then trivia is their time to shine! Featuring two hours of general and festive-focused trivia questions, this is the perfect night out at Studio 188.
Shop for pre-loved bargains at the Quibble Markets
Whether you’re looking for an entire outfit for yourself, or wanting to fill up your children’s wardrobe for less, you will find lots of pre-loved and second-hand goodies at the Quibble Markets. A special market for kids and maternity will be held on December 9, while the pre-loved clothing market will be held on December 17. The markets are held at the Ipswich Showgrounds from 8am-12pm.
Markets to satisfy any shopaholic
If you consider yourself a shopaholic or bargain hunter, you can’t miss out on visiting one or all of these great markets, which sell a wide range of clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts, bric-a-brac and more. Be sure to check out the following markets: Springfield Markets, Ripley Markets, Ipswich Twilight Markets, Riverlink Market Zone, The Handmade Expo.
Visit Ipswich’s free zoo
Head to the Ipswich Nature Centre inside Queens Park to see a number of cute and adorable native animals, including a wombat, dingoes, kangaroos, bilbies, spotted quolls, an emu and more! The best thing is it is free to enter (gold coin donations appreciated), and you can go as many times as you like. The centre is open seven days a week during the school holidays.