To make your family 'staycation' one to remember, we've compiled a list of 21 fun activities happening in our own backyard in January.
1. Nan Tien Cultural Festival at Berkeley
January 1: The annual festival at the Buddhist temple includes cultural performances, Happy Buddha, lion dances, a vegetarian food fair, art and craft stalls, a wishing tree and art exhibitions. Free admission. Details.
2. Medieval Science at Science Space
From January 2: Enter the world of Medieval Science with catapult building, Knights of the Round Table archery, giant slingshots, armour making and a jousting match in an inflatable arena (Jan 14-16 only). Details.
3. Pool inflatables at Wollongong City pools
From January 2: A giant pool inflatable will do the rounds at Berkeley, Corrimal, Western Suburbs, Dapto and Beaton Park public swimming pools throughout the holidays. Check to see when it will be at your nearest pool. Details.
4. Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre
From January 4: See the Hawks take on Melbourne United, South East Melbourne Phoenix and Sydney Kings at WIN Entertainment Centre on January 4, January 12 and January 24. Details.
5. Dive-In Movies at Jamberoo Action Park
From January 4: After a full day of action, enjoy a lazy afternoon either floating about in a tube or lying on a sun lounge at Outback Bay, home of Dive-In Movies.On the big screen: Aquaman, Moana, Bumblebee and The Incredibles 2. Details.
6. The Farm's Market at Killalea State Park - cancelled
Update: The January 5 markets at Killalea State Park will not go ahead. Details.
7. Granties Maze and Fun Park at Foxground
All summer: It boasts some of the best activities and rides in the Illawarra and you've probably never been there. Attractions include a giant maze, bumper boats and paddle boats, an archery range, four-wheel bikes, ride-on Transformers, slides and more. Details.
8. Nocturnal Walk at Wollongong Botanic Garden
January 8: Explore the garden under the cloak of darkness. Animals that may be encountered include Tawny Frogmouths, possums, Eastern-Dwarf tree frogs, and a whole bunch of mini beasts, including the bizarre glass shrimps and slightly scary Giant Water Spider. Details.
9. Farm experience for kids at Green Connect
From January 9: Kids can touch, smell and taste their way through 11 acres of farmlands at Lake Heights. They'll get to meet the pigs, chickens and sheep and see how the social enterprise recovers waste and grows fair food. Details.
10. Splash park at Symbio Wildlife Zoo
All summer: The Helensburgh zoo now has a splash park with a large dump bucket, spray guns, snake water tunnel, squirters and 24 other interactive water play items. Details.
11. Honk! Oz Street Music Festival in Wollongong
January 10-12th: Wollongong's annual free music festival is three days of revelry in the arts precinct, featuring acoustic, mobile and eccentric street bands. Details.
12. Sunset Cinema at Wollongong Botanic Garden
From January 11: Kid-friendly movies to enjoy after dark include Frozen II, Greatest Showman (sing-a-long), Playing With Fire, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Jumanji: The Next Level, Little Women and Dolittle. Details.
13. Sweet Treaties Workshops at Wollongong Central
From January 13: Visit the interactive play zone and join in on free kids workshops, including cupcake decorating, funny face biscuits, monster donuts and candy bracelet making. Free fairy floss on January 18 and 25. Details.
14. Train rides at Illawarra Light Railway Museum
January 14-23: Ride the trains back into the grand old days of railways, take a guided shed tour, explore the playgrounds and check out all the cool old stuff from yesteryear. Details.
15. IIlawarra Folk Festival at Bulli Showground
January 16-19: Four days of folk, world, roots, bluegrass, gypsy and Celtic music, as well as poetry, comedy and dance. Head to The Shed for all the kids activities, including music, dancing, storytelling, puppets, circus fun and instrument making. Details.
16. Parkour workshops at Wollongong City Libraries
January 17: Learn the basics of parkour and acrobatics at Dapto, Thirroul and Wollongong libraries. Libraries are also offering Lego, craft, cupcake decorating and Harry Potter trivia. Details.
17. Lego Masters at Towradgi Beach Hotel
January 23: Guided by a Lego expert, little Lego lovers can build their skills and become a Lego Master. Details.
18. Coledale Markets at Coledale Public School
January 26: Wander around the markets at Coledale Public School on Lawrence Hargarve Drive for vintage and retro fashions and collections, art, design, food, live entertainment and more. Details.
19. Illawarra Live Steamers at North Wollongong
January 26: Ride the miniature railway across from Stuart Park in North Wollongong. The gates open about 8.30am and trains usually run from 10am until mid-afternoon. Each passenger pays $2 for a 4-to-7-minute train trip. Pack a picnic or grab a snack from the canteen. Details.
20. Lunar New Year Celebrations in Crown Street Mall
January 30: Head to Crown Street Mall for Lunar New Year celebrations, including lion dances and other cultural performances. Eat Street Markets will be open from 5-9pm. Details.
21. Roller Skating at District Skate Oak Flats
All summer: Go old school and roll on down to District Skate Oak Flats at 137 Industrial Road for some skating-rink action. Open every day, with 'learn to skate' lessons held every Saturday 9am to 10am. Details.