Holiday fun kicks off with the Mattara

There is plenty to keep the kids entertained these school holidays in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, starting with the Mattara of Newcastle Festival.

The annual festival begins on Saturday with its Kids Carnival Day and looks set to be bigger than ever.

The Mattara is Newcastle’s largest free festival and is staged at Camp Shortland, next to Nobbys beach.

Kids can get up close and personal with wildlife at the Baby Animal Farm or explore the Lego Land Arena.

Explore old and new cars and bikes on Moto Madness day on Sunday, get creative and make your own hat on Monday for Mad Hatters day or get along to learn how to pot up plants on Bunnings Greening Day on Tuesday.

Wednesday is Family Fun Day and there will be drumming workshops, tie dye workshops and picnic races.

The festival runs until October 3 and some of the other features include amusement rides, local artwork, a kids’ karaoke competition, face painting, live entertainment, market and food stalls, an interactive sports and activity day plus community and cultural displays.

The festival concludes on October 3 with a Fancy Dress Pets on Parade plus crocodile encounters, a T-Rex exhibition and a hands-on fossil dig.

Newcastle Museum have a range of activities and learning experiences for all ages throughout the holidays as well, including learning how objects fly and the Teddy Bears Squadron Picnic.

Lake Macquarie City Council has plenty to offer during the Spring school holidays too.

Step back in time and take a prehistoric adventure at Toronto Library’s Dinosaur Hunters Storytime on Monday.

Swansea Library gets spooky when they host a Goosebumps Party on September 28.

Head to Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery on September 27 or October 4 to create an outdoor hanging sculpture to attract birds and butterflies to your garden.

Children aged three years and over can learn to swim at Swansea, West Wallsend and Charlestown with Lake Mac Swim Centre’s intensive school holiday Learn to Swim program.

Visit for the full holiday schedule.

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