All posts by Leigh-Anne Wrighter

Lah-Lah Returns Home to Wollongong

Get ready to groove with the whole family because ‘Lah-Lah and her Big Live Band’ are heading to Wollongong!

Lah-Lah’s ’Having Fun!’ Tour will hit the stage at Univerity Hall (University of Wollongong) on  Saturday September 16 at 10:30am.

The leader of the Stripey Sock Club, Lah-Lah will be joined by her band mates Buzz the Bandleader, Mister Saxophone, Squeezy Sneezy, Tom Tom and of course Lola the Dancing Double Bass.

Lah-Lah’s shows are a truly magical experience for young active minds providing a totally interactive and hands-on experience that will capture the imagination.

Not only are children encouraged to dance, clap and sing along, they are also invited to meet their favourite Lah-Lah characters after the show and test out their skills on the musical instruments.

With a passion for educating and introducing children to the wonderful world of music, this is going to be one ‘toe-tapping’ good time.

To add to the excitement, Lah-Lah is also enlisting the help of local musicians from our very own Wollongong Conservatorium of Music on the day.

This visit to Wollongong will be a return home for opera-trained singer and mother of two, Tina Harris (aka Lah-Lah), who is a former Kiama High School student and University of Wollongong graduate.

Tina is passionate about introducing young enquisitive minds to the delights of playing musical instruments.

So how do we know the show is going to blow your stripey socks off?

With two mini groovers in tow, we had the delight of attending a previous Lah-Lah performance in Wollongong and the mini groovers are still talking about it!

The mini groovers are counting down the days until Lah-Lah’s next performance, so we think it’s safe to say that Lah-Lah is a winner!

This is fully interactive, jump out of your seat fun!

Want to see more of Lah-Lah? You can see Lah-Lah on Nick Jr, ABC4kids, CBeebies and 7TWO in Australia.

Don’t miss your opportunity to start your children’s musical adventure with Australia’s favourite kids’ band.  Get your tickets today!

When

Saturday, 16 September 2017
10.30am – 12.00pm

Where

UOW University Hall
Northfields Avenue
Wollongong NSW

Tickets

All tickets $25.50
(Children under 12 months on day of concert are free)

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Budget Friendly Fun for the School Holidays

Who doesn’t love budget friendly fun for the school holidays that won’t break the bank? We all do right!

You’ll want to keep this one on the fridge as it will be your ‘go-tolist‘ for creative fun activties to keep young energectic minds busy on a budget.

This blog was kindly written by local mum of two and co-founder of GOYOkids Nancy Lawford-Miles . Take it away Nancy!

School holidays are a time to sit back, relax and recoup from a busy term gone, and prepare for the next one ahead.

It’s a time when kids get to be kids. It’s a shake off from the hussle out the door each morning, a break from classroom structure and lean time management.

It’s a time to spend on the floor with toys, to stay in pyjamas until lunch, to reignite sibling play and find wild times in the good old outdoors.

For us (as parents and carers) it’s a chance to let go of our routine of lunch box prep, clean school shirts, (probably a tidy house!), and to make the most of these special years hanging out with our kids whilst we are still cool to hang with!

This unstructured time to play can have a significant impact on a child’s mental health, often helping to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. It allows kids unscheduled time to be creative, to reflect, and to decompress.

On the other end of the scale it offers many benefits in developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.

So here’s a list we’ve compiled of creative fun you and your kids can enjoy on a budget at home these holidays. They’ve been tried and tested by our kids, ticking the fun box for us, as i’m sure they will for you too!

Portrait Painting on Glass

The ultimate NO CLEAN UP fun!

The idea for this came from my eldest child’s interest in learning to draw faces. I thought it would help him with shape and proportion. For my younger child I knew he would just enjoy the freedom to be let loose with paint on any scale!

With squeals of excitement they got stuck in straight away! The boys took it in turns to stand on the other side of the glass and have their bodies painted. It was wonderful to see their concentration and hear the giggles as the brush swept around to trace their faces.

Once they were done I gave them the hose and a squeegee. They had just as much fun cleaning up as they did painting! My windows have never looked so clean!

Yoga for Kids Audio Book

This is about young kids with a loveable energy having fun, jumping, stretching, moving and learning how to be in control of their bodies and minds. Kids with gorgeous wild imaginations listening to a story that will have them leaping like a kangaroo, flying in a space rocket into the great unknown and breathing in the warm spring air.

GOYOkids yoga stories are designed to be super fun and easily used at home with no previous yoga experience necessary.

Download a kids yoga audiobook from GOYOkids, listen to the story and follow the simple instructions.

Why not have some fun with it and play it from your mobile device in the garden or even the park? This is a great activity for the entire family and you’re guaranteed to have heaps of fun!

Rock Painting and Sharing

 

This is such a fun thing to do and helps promotes the idea of sharing and kindness.

Just gather some smooth pebbles and get painting! You can let the creative juices flow or maybe paint some kind words. Acrylic paints work best but you can paint over your design with PVA glue to make your pebbles more weatherproof;don’t worry the glue will dry clear.

Once they have dried, take them to your local park or beach and hide them for others to find! You could even get a few other families on board and start a rock hide and find like we did earlier on this year.

ILLAWARRA "ROCKS" – Creative Nature Play

ILLAWARRA "ROCKS" – Creative Nature PlayWe've hidden some Yoga Story Stones at "Coalcliff beach". We'd love to hear if you find any, and if your hiding some you've painted, be sure to let us all know where so we can come and hunt for them ❤Inspired by https://www.facebook.com/MaggieDentAuthor/posts/1561992530512022 let's get painting, hiding and hunting!

Nai-post ni GOYOkids noong Linggo, Hunyo 11, 2017

Hopscotch with a Twist

This is heaps of fun and all you need is chalk!

Think Twister versus Hopscotch. Use chalk to draw out some feet and hands in different combinations to get the kids balancing, twisting and hopping. Get as creative and wacky as you like, pop on some music, invite the neighbours kids over and let the fun begin.

Sticky Tape Nature Trail

A nature trail is a great way to get out and about and explore your surroundings. We used a rolled up piece of cardboard and covered it in sticky tape (it’s blue because we only had painter’s tape left in the drawer).

You could also use a flat piece of cardboard with contact paper, but the roll worked well as it fitted around my child’s wrist.

Then head out on an adventure and see what you can find! Spring is a great time of year for this as nature is in full bloom.

It’s always fascinating to observe, that when I spend unstructured, unscheduled time with my children, it opens up a deep channel of communication between us.

This channel isn’t always so free flowing in the bustle of the busy school term, when the kids come home too tired and unmotivated to discuss their day with me (despite my constant prompting!). But throw us a cruisy afternoon hanging out together under the great Aussie sky, and you’ll be amazed at what I can find out!

Blog written by Nancy Lawford-Miles
Co-Founder of GOYO kids

GOYOkids create brain breaks using popular children’s stories to teach yoga for kids.

Visit www.goyokids.com.au

Keep up to date and follow GOYOkids on Facebook

Women Like Us | Wollongong Comedy

With 50 sold out shows to their credit, you can’t afford to miss comedy geniuses Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan in Women Like Us when they come to Wollongong Comedy for two nights only!

Armed with a repertoire chock full of Mum jokes, Mullumbimby hippy digs and witty, intelligent tales about waxing, trying on clothes and having to deal with snooty shop assistants, (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg) their humour is warm, sometimes politically incorrect and always entertaining.

Expect 2 hours of rapid fire, outrageously honest, delightfully irreverent comedy from two straight-talking independent women who shoot straight from the lip.

Meet the Comedians

Mandy and Ellen met when Ellen was writing a book and it was becoming funnier but not funny enough so she decided to do Mandy’s comedy course.

Ellen had no intention of getting up but Mandy persisted and Ellen ended up doing 5 minutes of stand up comedy at the end of the course and feel in love with not only performing but with Mandy too.

Ellen admits that she was in love with Mandy from the minute she saw her –  ‘scared …… and in love‘.

Mandy describes their connection as a classic ‘teacher crush’ but she could see Ellen’s potential.

Both being straight, married and with kids, they both admit that the only time they can be together is when they are on stage.

Adjusting to life on the road, it’s been smooth sailing for this comedic duo, ‘unless you count the times that Mandy is behind the wheel‘. says Ellen.

Mandy admits it’s all is all about breaking the rules.

Sometimes you have to cross double lines to score a park‘, says Mandy, describing Ellen as ‘really judgy about that‘.

This however is nothing compared to Ellen’s hotel booking techniques, where she describes the rooms as previously been visited by serial killers who have left their bed bugs!

So how do these two working mums juggle life on the road with family?

Mandy says having lots of ex husbands has really helped as it’s cheaper than child minding. Mandy explains ‘Look we talk about the kids on stage so they’re all tax deductible.  The kids are in on the whole scam.’

Ellen on the other hand has a different approach. ‘I yell a lot, and make my family feel very guilty about how hard I work.  I only have teenagers so they absolutely love that I’m away so much‘.

With their own life experiences becoming a part of their material on stage, Mandy says she never phones home for clearance before a gag but keeps a rule that what they say on the road, stays on the road.

Ellen’s husband gets a real kick out of attending her local gigs. At the end of each gig he pretends he has just arrived and will ask audience members ‘she didn’t say anything about me did she?‘ just to watch them squirm.

Asked if they try to convey any deep and meaningful messages in their shows, Mandy says ‘Constantly. I want them to think I’m smart, beautiful, and the kind of woman they want to give all their money to. I am also happy if  end up giving them permission to like themselves‘.

Ellen on the other hand admits that she is pretty blunt and she says what she means. ‘I leave the subliminal messages for around the house‘.

With 50 sold out shows to their credit, the ladies concede it’s due to a lot of hard work. They often put up their own posters and take their own embarassing pictures in their undies.

Mandy says ‘If my husband dies I may never get a root again. I’ll do anything to sell a ticket. I lost my dignity years ago. And  our show is excellent so people who have seen it are happy to tell their friends in other places to go along. We also occasionally threaten people, but we’ve never carried through. Yet‘.

Ellen has her own theory on the show’s success ‘We knew we were onto something great.  We are out there telling the stories of ordinary women and that’s not something you hear very much so I’m not surprised that the word has got out.  We have big mouths too.  That helps.  What we are is really happy that people are loving it so much.’

Being relatable to their audience has also played a huge part.

Being fat, over looked and disappointed with my lot. We really appeal to most of Australia who aren’t rotten with privilege‘ says Mandy.

Ellen agrees ‘Women can see themselves in us, and men love that they’re not married to us.  The name of the show says it all – Women Like Us. We are all the same underneath the fluff.  And we have a lot of fluff.  We’re from Mullumbimby afterall‘.

Mandy recently headlined International Comedy Festival’s Roadshow right here in Wollongong.

I love Wollongong. I couldn’t believe I had never been there. Wollongong is so clever to have a city so close to Sydney and not be in Sydney. They have nailed the ocean side living thing. You also have enough bogans to balance your hipster quota, so you are doing ok’ said Mandy.

When comparing their personalities to a bowl of cereal, both Mandy and Ellen chose a suprisingly healthy option.

Mandy: ‘All bran. I’m just a regular girl‘.

Ellen: ‘Porridge with fruit and honey because I’m white and lumpy but sweet and I will give you the shits at some stage‘.

So what can we expect from Women Like Us when they reach Wollongong Comedy on 22nd and 23rd of September?

Ellen says ‘2 hours of 2 middle aged women telling it like it is, be it your future, your past or your right now.  It’s like therapy…just cheaper and a whole lot funnier‘.

Don’t miss your opportunity to see Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan in the hilarious Women Like Us when they come to Wollongong Comedy for two nights only! 50 sold out shows can’t be wrong!

When

Friday, 22 September 2017 | 7pm doors | 7.30pm start

Saturday, 23 September 2017  | 7pm doors | 7.30pm start

Where

Wollongong Comedy at the Builders Club
61 Church Street, Wollongong NSW

Tickets

All tickets $35.00

BUY TICKETS

Grease | Illawarra Youth Art Project

Grease” is the word right here in the Illawarra!

With raw energy and enthusiasm, the cast and crew of  IYAP (The Illawarra Youth Arts Project) bring the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of kids in the 1950’s back to life with the same cheek and innuendo we all loved in the original movie.

You’ll see all your old favs including the Pink Ladies, Frenchy, Danny Zuko, Kenickie, Sandy, Patty, the fabulous Vince Fontaine, Doody, the ‘T’ Birds and my personal fav the sassy Rizzo!

If like me, you watched Grease like it was your religion, you can’t afford to miss these talented guys and girls heat up the stage.

I was super excited to introduce my children aged 5 and 7 to the fun of it all. I’m more than delighted to report that they loved it! I’m pretty sure most of the story line went over their heads but the infectious songs and laugh-out-loud moments sure hit the spot.

IYAP choose the perfect venue with the historic Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul. Built in 1912 (formally Kings Theatre), this historic building was an old picture theatre before being resurrected as a live band venue.  You will feel the grandeur of times gone by from the moment you enter the building. It really is like stepping back in time.

So what are you waiting for? Expect to be tapping your toes and itching to dance in the corridors with tunes that have transversed through the generations. I mean who could forget the many failed attempts to reach that super high pitch in ‘Summer Nights’ (go on, you know you used to try!).

This is just brilliant fun for the whole family. Go along and sing and dance and remember a much simpler time when all we had to worry about was who was kissing who at the drive-in movie theatre.

After all, who doesn’t love to ‘hand jive’!

Image credit: Phil Harris from Star Struck Photos

Where

Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul
264 – 270 Lawrence Hargrave Drive
Thirroul NSW

Performance Times

Thursday, 7 September 2017 at 8.00pm
Friday, 8 September 2017 at 8.00pm
Saturday, 9 September 2017 at 2.00pm and 8.00pm

Tickets

All tickets $30.00

Available from ticketmaster.com.au

BUY NOW

Father’s Day in Wollongong 2017

Celebrating a memorable day with your dad, grandpa, uncle or just that special person on Father’s Day has never been so easy.

Whether you want to indulge them with food or treat the whole family to a day out packed with fun and excitement, we have some great ideas for a  ‘dad-riffic’ time right here.

Steamer’s Bar and Grill
Marine Drive, Wollongong

Forget the boring socks and ties this year, and serve Dad something extra special by treating him to a breakfast, lunch or dinner at Wollongong’s newest dining sensation, Steamers Bar and Grill!

With stunning views of City Beach and Wollongong lighthouse, seating is available on the sun-drenched terrace or inside the fashionably renovated restaurant complete with floor to ceiling windows.

From wood fired scotch fillet or BBQ pork rib breakfast boards (with all the traditional sides) to sampling some of Wollongong’s most tender organic, dry-aged and wood smoked steaks, dad will feel like a champion.

Check out Steamers Bar and Grill’s extensive mouth-watering MENU  and don’t miss these amazing Father’s Day specials:

Breakfast
BBQ pork rib, scrambled eggs, hash browns, grilled tomato, sour dough toast – $18

Lunch/Dinner
Wood fired Sirloin topped w/ whole prawns, creamy garlic sauce and sweet potato wedges / steamed greens – $39

Breaded lamb cutlets, mash, mushy peas, cauliflower cheese, rosemary jus –  $37

Braised Beef cheek, roasted sweet potato, broccolini, asparagus and pan juices –  $35

Open from7am daily, book early to avoid disappointment!

Book Online Today

Dapto Street Fair
Princes Highway, Dapto
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm

Always a bumper packed day of excitement for the whole family, the annual Dapto Street Fair will return this year on Father’s Day, 3rd September 2017.

Hosted by the Dapto Chamber of Commerce, you and the family will find yummy food, stop stalls, rides, farm animals and entertainment.

The Farm’s Market
Where: Kilallea State Park, Killalea Dr, Shell Cove
Time: 10am – 3pm

Pack a picnic rug and head to Killalea State Park to soak up the spectaculrar views and atmosphere at The Farm’s Market.

You will find over 90 stalls stocked with the latest fashions, a huge range of local producers, sweets, brewers, artisans, florists plus a great range of food.

Bring the family and make a day of it – with plenty of grass for the kids to play all that’s left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the live music.

Live Entertainment on the Hill
10am – 11am – Polly Steain Music
11am – 1pm – Sandy Feet
1pm – 3pm – The Groove

** NO DOGS due to State Park Rules **

Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre
30 Aug – 2 Sept

Experiences with dad far outweigh gifts.  Why not treat dad to a trip to the theatre (and yourself!).

Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday celebrates two epic birthdays – eighteen and eighty – major transition points in adult life. One represents untold potential; the other, an accumulation of a lifetime of experiences.

“Heartwarming… faultless performances… Powerful, life-affirming stuff” – The Age

“One of the most charming shows of the year.” – ABC Arts

Recommended for ages 15+. Contains strong language & partial nudity.

Visit merrigong.com.au for tickets and more details.

Father’s Day Memorial Service (Sat, 2 Sept)
Wollongong Memorial Gardens

Fathers Day can be difficult for those who have lost loved ones.

City of Wollongong will hold their annual Fathers Day Memorial Service at Wollongong Memorial Gardens on Saturday 2 September, commencing at 10.00am.

Everyone is welcome to attend this event in the Main Chapel, located on Berkeley Road, Unanderra.

Refreshements will be served following the memorial service.

For more information, or to register your interest in attending, email memorialgardens@wollongong.nsw.gov.au or call 4227 7780.

ANTIDOTE Satellite
The Music Lounge, Wollongong Town Hall

Is dad a bit of a thinker, worried about the world?

Featuring two headline sessions and an exclusive backstage interview, ANTIDOTE Satellite will be live streamed from the Sydney Opera House direct to Wollongong Town Hall, to imagine solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.

Headline Sessions:
11.00am – 12.00pm: The Invention of Russia – Arkady Ostrovsky

12.30pm – 1.30pm: The Women’s March on Washington – Tamika D. Mallory

Exclusive Backstage Interview:
1.45pm – 2.15pm: Utopia for Realists with Rutger Bregman

Tickets: $20.00 (whole day)

Visit merrigong.com.au for tickets and more information.

Father’s Day Family Night (Thurs, 31 August)
Bunnings, Wollongong

On Thursday, 31 August at Bunnings Wollongong you and the family can enjoy free fun activities, free face painting, make a gift for dad, cooking, fire truck and a visit from the Super Wrestling Heroes.

Giveaways and light refreshments will be provided.

Bookings are required. Please call 4220 7700 or email wollongongao@bunnings.com.au