Summer in the Illawarra has the smell of sun, sand, surf and Ferris Wheels.
It’s not difficult to find family entertainment across the region with circus, carnivals and agricultural shows throughout January.
The Flaherty family and associates have returned to Windang for the annual Christmas Carnival, with some money raised going back to the suburb’s Surf Life Saving Club.
The clan first arrived at the beach spot in the mid-1980s with nothing more than an Octopus Ride. They’ve since grown to present a multitude of rides and a side-show alley.
“The carnival has always been operated by a group of showmen as many as six or seven family groups,” said carnival co-ordinator Kerry Flaherty.
“With the formation of the Windang Surf Lifesaving Club in 1957 the carnival formed a association with the surf club as a means of raising funds for the club.”
It runs nightly from 6:30pm (weather permitting) until Sunday January 13.
Circus Rio has brought the spirit of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to Kully Bay Park in Warrawong until Sunday January 20.
Their air conditioned big top features a tribe of Samba dancers in glittering extravagant costumes, classic clowns, tight-rope walkers and acrobatic tricks plus extreme tricks on FMX Bikes.
A kids disco with giant inflatables opens one hour before every show.
Further south near Stockland shopping centre, families can catch the reptile show, cheap eats with food trucks, fireworks and rides at the Shellharbour Summer Carnival.
It’s on at the corner of Wattle Road and Lake Entrance Road daily from 6pm until Sunday January 20.
In the Shoalhaven, the Huskisson Carnival returns to the holiday town for its 46th year and is on until Sunday January 27.
Another annual event which had a humble beginning of one Ferris Wheel and a few simple rides.
It now boasts an array of amusements suited to big kids, little ones and kids at heart.
The 132nd Albion Park Show will be held across Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20.
The 171st Kiama Show will run across Friday January 25 and Saturday January 26.