With the school holidays here, a number of businesses such as Symbio Wildlife Park, Jamberoo Action Park and The Illawarra Fly are providing children with a range of activities that don't require a computer screen or game console.
Loren and Sheree Marsh, of Shell Cove, were among those to get out early on Monday and explore their creative side with one of the many art classes available in Towradgi and Warilla.
The sisters each produced a colourful spring garden collage, which was the first of 10 different activities being run in both locations by Little Leonardo's over the two-week break.
Loren, 7, said she did after-school art classes last term and liked them so much she wanted to come back during the holidays.
She even talked her big sister, Sheree, 11, into the holiday program.
"It was really good. I would like to do it again," Sheree said.
Mum Sandra Marsh said she started the children's spring break activities by booking a holiday art class at littleleonardos.com.au because Loren expressed so much interest.
"This was the first place that popped in my mind because it is so well known," she said.
"We also came to a birthday party here once before."
Waking up to Snooze
There will also be plenty of family-friendly fun activities at Warrawong this Saturday when the new Snooze store opens.
The new store in King Street, Warrawong, is being run by franchise partner Mathew Schlick, who is no stranger to the Snooze brand.
He was a team member having worked in the previous Snooze Warrawong store for seven years.
Snap-On Tools franchisee Colin Brightwell is donating $14,730 worth of high-tech diagnostic equipment to the automotive department of Shellharbour TAFE. The philanthropic gesture includes three diagnostic scanners that can be used for student training to work on vehicles with electronic systems.
That is considered important because more than 60 per cent of vehicles on the road now operate using a computer.
So training with such equipment is important.
Mixing with Hawks
Tonight's Business After Hours networking event with the Wollongong NRE Hawks at City Beach Function Centre is expected to be fun.
The Hawks are the last remaining foundation club in the National Basketball League and have represented the Illawarra for 34 years.
So there will be plenty of reason to celebrate when the full playing roster, coaching staff, mascots, cheerleaders and partners attend the event just prior to the start of the 2013-14 season.
An exclusive corporate membership deal will also be announced at the Illawarra Business Chamber-hosted event.
A first for turf club
Meanwhile, the Illawarra Turf Club has held horse races at Kembla Grange Racecourse for more than 100 years but the Illawarra Business Chamber is helping it achieve a first on October 1.
The next Business Before Hours is at Illawarra Turf Club and will provide demonstrations of the working racecourse during the monthly barrier trials.
Social media focus
The next Wollongong Small Business Club networking meeting on October 8 features RDA Illawarra's Leigh Jewiss talking about the Illawarra Digital Enterprise.
Mr Jewiss will talk about the top 10 social media channels and how to use them, turning social media into dollars, how Coca-Cola became a digital rockstar and what can be learnt.
He will also discuss content marketing and how to feed the hungry social media monster, designing a digital marketing strategy and future trends of digital marketing.
Tour of industry
Interest is already stepping up for the i3net Wollongong Industry Showcase from October 16 to 18.
The three-day event includes an industry bus tour on the 17th to businesses such as BlueScope, Thomas and Coffey, SES Group, Vesuvius, Leussink Engineering, Illawarra Industrial Instrumentation and the Klondu Group. The industry tour will be followed by an industry dinner and then an expo breakfast the following morning.
Registrations can be made at trybooking.com/DPXI.
Applications close on October 9 for the next Economic Gardening business support program that starts with a Business Boot Camp on October 15.
Economic Gardening Illawarra is a free structured business support program, which is available to businesses in the region.
It is delivered by specialists who have a proven track record of building and assisting successful enterprises.
Shellharbour City Council economic development manager Trevor James said the Economic Development Unit welcomed interest on 4221 6030.