Splash Bay The water park attraction officially opens at Oakvale Farm and Fauna World, Salt Ash. Free for all park visitors to use, it offers interactive water features inspired by the wildlife’s park’s fauna including a crocodile bucket dunker, a python spray tunnel and a koala water cannon as well as eight new electric barbecues and undercover seating for up to 250 people. Entry to Oakvale, including use of Splash Bay, is $28.50 for adults, $16.50 for children 3-16 and $80 for a family of four.
Newcastle Permanent’s Cinema Under the Stars 5.30pm at King Edward Park, Newcastle. This free, family-friendly event features lots of entertainment and activities before the blockbuster animation Zootopia screens at sundown. A free shuttle bus will be available.
Family Day By The Sea 10.30am to 2.30pm at Barry Park, Marine Drive, Fingal Bay. Learn more about our marine creatures by taking part in fun activities. There will also be a touch table of marine animals and a sausage sizzle for lunch.
Aquatic Challenger Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 1.30pm at Swansea Swim Centre, Channel Street, Swansea. Cost: $2.50 per person, $5 family (plus regular pool entry fee). No need to book.
Newcastle Jockey Club Race Day Gates open at noon. The inaugural Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame is also being launched.
Hunter Valley Gardens The Mega Creatures Exhibition is open daily from 9am to 4pm and 6.30pm to 10pm and showcases some of Australia’s largest animatronic bugs and dinosaurs, getting you up close and personal with an amazing variety of enormous insects and roaring monsters. Also, the Christmas Lights Spectacular runs daily from 6pm until January 26.
The Rotary Club of Myall Coast Giant Three Day Book Sale Saturday, 9am to 4pm, and Sunday, 9am to 3pm, Community Hall, Booner Street, Hawks Nest. Thousands of books including fiction and non-fiction, cookery, gardening and childrens. Entry is free.
Greyhound Racing First race 5.52pm, Unibet Gardens, 104 Sandgate Road, Birmingham Gardens.
SAVE THE DATE
Lake Mac Festival at Speers Point Park on January 26, noon onwards. Celebrate Australia Day with free children’s activities, family movie Oddball on the big screen, a Scouts canoe race and a spectacular fireworks finale. Pseudo Echo and Lisa Hunt will be performing on the main stage.
Hunter Street Markets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Hunter Street Mall.
Tomaree Markets Sunday, 8.30am to 2pm, Nelson Bay Sports Complex, Nelson Bay. About 60 market stalls, great coffee.
Newcastle City Farmers Market Sunday, 8am to 1pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.
ARTS & CULTURE
Oh Boy – A Tribute to Buddy Holly and Friends Saturday, 8.30pm, Live n Cookin’ at Lizotte’s. A fresh and welcome change from conventional tribute shows. There is not only Buddy Holly represented in this show but the “friends” are a host of rock’n’roll legends in their own right including, among others, Dion (remember The Wanderer?)
Speakeasy Maureen O’Brien’s comedy brings together the music and crime stories of the 1920s. The Dungeon, Adamstown Uniting Church. Sunday, at 2pm, and Wednesday, at 8pm.
John Earle Gallery Merewether Paintings of Newcastle.
Cessnock Regional Art Gallery Cessnock Includes You, A mixed media art exhibition championing artists with disability and curated in partnership with the Creative Arts at Mai-Wel. Ends Sunday.
Free Art 2017 Free Art January is a month of free art activities and fun for everyone at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. There is something for everyone throughout the month-long extravaganza – highlights include a day celebrating all things animated, artist-led drop in and draw sessions for adults and teens and an exciting community art project led by local artist Denise Duffy.
Newcastle Museum Humanoid Discovery. This highly interactive exhibition will take you on a revealing journey through the human body from the perspective of a visitor from outer space. Also, Emporium, which recreates the Albury region’s first department store, The Abikhair Emporium, a family business run by Syrian immigrant Saad Milham Abikhair and his wife Shefia. A Newcastle Story; Fire & Earth; Supernova & Mininova are also showing.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery Inside Bloomfield, by Linda Greedy; Shhh, by Nathan Keogh and Giselle Penn; Greetings from Maitland, by Trevor Dickinson. Until January 29. Awesome Achievers: Stories from Australians of the Year; The 2016 Brenda Clouten Memorial Travelling Scholarship for Young Achievers in the Visual Arts. Until February 5. Maitland Includes You: Artists from Journeys: Creative Connections and Mai-Wel; Andrew Christofides’ Abstraction. Until February 19.
Newcastle Art Gallery John Olsen: The City’s Son. Until February 19. Holding: Contemporary Fibre Art. Until February 5.
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery Saltwater Country; Lake Macquarie: Living Cultures; Sshhhh by Nathan keogh and Giselle Penn. Until January 29.
Timeless Textiles An exhibition of works based on the theme of Elements by #NCEATA (Newcastle Creative Embroidery and Fibre Artists). Until January 15.
Lovett Gallery Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition. Until February 25.
The Lock Up Every Breath, featuring work by Kevin Anderson, Ian Burns, Dale Collier, Ineke Dane, Sophia Emmett, Greg Fuller, Jason Hicklin, Tracy Hill, James Maher, Andrew Styan, Katie Styan and Lucy Weaver. Until January 29.
Anna Bay Tavern Saturday, Frets With Benefits. Sunday, Angie.
Bar Petite Saturday, Kylie Jane. Sunday, Perry Carter.
Battlesticks Bar Saturday, Ben Murphy, Elisa Kate. Sunday, Richard Walker.
Beach Hotel Saturday, Logan’s Heroes. Sunday, Misbehave.
Bellbird Hotel Sunday, Pistol Pete.
Belmont 16s Saturday, Hornet, Tim Harding. Sunday, Roxy. Blue Water Cowboys.
Belmont Bowling Club Sunday, Hurricane Fall.
Belmore Hotel Saturday, StateFX.
Beresfield Bowling Club Saturday, Cruzers.
Blacksmiths Surf Club Sunday, Kylie Jane.
The Bradford Saturday, Spank N The Monkey. Sunday, Jacinta.
Cardiff RSL Club Saturday, Overload.
Catho Pub Saturday, John Larder. Sunday, Shivoo, Siren.
Central Charlestown Leagues Club Saturday, Beth Gleeson.
Cessnock Leagues Club Saturday, 2GoodReasons.
Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Jon Matthews. Sunday, Lauren Arms.
Club Kotara Saturday, Paul Watters.
Club Lemon Tree Saturday, Phil McKnight.
Colliery Inn Saturday, Deborah Sinclair.
Commercial Hotel Morpeth Saturday, The Levymen.
The Commons Sunday, Kate Smith, De’May, Rachel Maria Cox, Sienna Lace, Grace Turner.
Criterion Hotel Carrington Sunday, Jerome.
Criterion Hotel Weston Saturday, Siren.
Customs House Saturday, AK Morris. Sunday, Matt McLaren.
Cypress Lakes Saturday, Dave Carter.
D'Albora Marina Saturday, Ashley Knight. Sunday, Jerome.
Denman Hotel Sunday, James Naldo.
Duke Of Wellington Saturday, The Jungle Kings.
East Maitland Bowling Club Saturday, The Smarts. Sunday, Stephen Boyd.
Edgeworth Bowling Club Sunday, Boney Rivers.
Erringhi Hotel Sunday, Dan Fibbins.
Family Hotel Maitland Saturday, Sami. Sunday, Sarah Christine.
Finnegans Saturday, DJ Luke La Beat.
FogHorn Brewhouse Saturday, Gareth Hudson.
Gallipoli Legion Club Saturday, DJ Richie.
Gateshead Tavern Sunday, Acoustic Mayhem.
George Tavern Saturday, Dos Eager.
Greenroof Hotel Saturday, Howard Shearman.
Gunyah Hotel Saturday, Sundays Record. Sunday, Katrina Burgoyne.
Honeysuckle Hotel Saturday, Jimmy Craz Band. Sunday, Mike Vee.
Jewells Tavern Saturday, Rocket.
The Junction Hotel Saturday, Mark Wells.
Kent Hotel Saturday, The Core. Sunday, Greg Bryce Band.
Lakeside Village Tavern Saturday, Alias.
The Landing Saturday, Michael Muchow. Sunday, The Andy Show.
Lass O’Gowrie Saturday, Red City, Iron Horses, Rhys Tranter.
Little Beach Boat House Sunday, Ashley Knight.
Lizotte’s Saturday, Oh Boy The Buddy Holly Show.
Mark Hotel Sunday, Loko.
Mary Ellen Saturday, Redline. Sunday, Mark Wells.
Maryland Tavern Saturday, Adrianna Mac.
Mavericks On The Bay Saturday, Matt McLaren. Sunday, Mick Jones.
Mavericks On Darby Saturday, Greg Bryce.
Mezz Bar at Wallsend Diggers Saturday, Loko. Sunday, Jim Overend.
Murray’s Brewery Saturday, Amy Fredes. Sunday, Tim Rossington.
Nag’s Head Hotel Saturday, The New Cool.
Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Dr Love. Sunday, Anyerin.
Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Sunday, The Gracetones.
Newcastle Jockey Club Saturday, Alessandro, Howard Shearman.
Northern Star Hotel Saturday, Allon.
Pedens Cessnock Saturday, Got It Covered.
Pippis At The Point Saturday, Banddits. Sunday, Mike Horbacz.
The Pourhouse Saturday, David McCredie.
Premier Hotel Sunday, Hornet.
Prince of Wales Hotel Saturday, Max Jackson. Sunday, Matt McLaren.
Queens Wharf Hotel Saturday, Timmy Coffey, Kaylah Anne. Sunday, Howard Shearman.
Racecourse Hotel Saturday, Mardy Leith.
Rathmines Bowling Club Saturday, Roxy.
Raymond Terrace Bowling Club Sunday, Kevin O’Hara.
River Royal Inn Morpeth Saturday, David J Bull.
Royal Crown Hotel Dudley Saturday, Pap & That.
Royal Federal Hotel Branxton Saturday, XYZ.
Royal Hotel Singleton Sunday, Top Shelf.
Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto Sunday, Garry Booth.
Seabreeze Hotel Sunday, Kelly Hope.
Shortland Hotel Saturday, Reg Sinclair.
Stag and Hunter Hotel Saturday, In Motion. Sunday, Minnie Marks.
Stockton Bowling Club Saturday, DY Symon. Sunday, Easy Daze.
Stockton RSL Club Saturday, Sun Rockets.
Swansea Hotel Saturday, Zane Penn.
Swansea RSL Club Saturday, Sass & The Boss.
Tea Gardens Country Club Sunday, Frets With Benefits.
Tea Gardens Hotel Saturday, Extreme Mobile Entertainment.
Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Layth Gunn.
Toronto Workers Saturday, Scratch. Sunday, Chad Shuttleworth.
Town Hall Hotel Saturday, Brendan Murphy.
Victoria Hotel Saturday, Chad Shuttleworth. Sunday, Karen O’Shea.
Wangi Hotel Sunday, Lennie Live.
Wangi Wangi RSL Club Sunday, Catalina Rock.
Warners Bay Hotel Saturday, Triple Zero.
Warners Bay Sports Club Sunday, Rendezvous.
Westfield Kotara Saturday, Mike Horbacz.
Wests Cardiff Saturday, Midnight Drifters.
Wests New Lambton Saturday, Deuce. Tuesday, Angamus.
Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, Ngariki, Whiskey Business. Sunday, Codi Kaye, Grant Walmsley’s Freebird Blues Band.
Windsor Castle Hotel Saturday, Pete Hibbert. Sunday, Emily Smith.
Allied (M) 1942. Max (Brad Pitt), a French-Canadian spy, falls in love and marries French agent Marianne (Marion Cotillard), after a mission in Casablanca. Max is notified that Marianne is likely a Nazi spy and begins to investigate her.
Assassin’s Creed (M) When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.
Cafe Society (M) Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen's bittersweet romance follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. (Lake Cinema/Regal)
Dark Horse (PG) An inspirational true story of a group of friends from a working men's club who decide to take on the elite 'sport of kings' and breed themselves a racehorse. (Regal)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (M) The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter.
Hacksaw Ridge (MA) The true story of Desmond Doss who, in Okinawa at the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without a gun.
Labyrinth (PG) A 16-year old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King. (Regal)
La La Land (M) A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
Moana (PG) A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.
Mustang (PG) When five orphan girls are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach, their scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged. (Regal)
Passengers (M) A spacecraft travelling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 60 years early.
Queen Of Katwe (PG) Living in a Ugandan slum is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona and her family. Her world changes one day when she meets a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona becomes fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player. (Lake Cinema/Regal)
Red Dog: True Blue (PG) Explores the early events leading up to Red Dog's discovery on the road to Dampier, and his ultimate rise from ordinary dog to Australian legend.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (M) Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Sing (G) A koala named Buster recruits his best friend to help him drum up business for his theatre by hosting a singing competition.
The Edge of Seventeen (M) Two high school girls are best friends until one dates the other's older brother, who is totally his sister's nemesis.
The Light Between Oceans (M) A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia post-World War I raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat. (Regal)
Trolls (G) Poppy, the optimistic leader of the Trolls, and Branch are polar opposites. Together, they embark on an adventure that takes them beyond their world.
Why Him? (M15+) Over the holidays, Ned, an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning, but socially awkward, Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird.
The winner of the family pass to see Deadly 60 Live Pole To Pole at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on Friday is L.Margan, of Merewether.