There are plenty of reasons to bask in the warm sunshine and the company of family and friends as you begin the new year. While the Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations come to an end, Brisbane and its surrounds continue to offer an abundance of FREE activities and events to keep you busy this month. There are children programmes, farmers and craft markets, movies, concerts, cultural festivals and Australia Day celebrations to help you make the best of January.
Grab your kids and head over to the State Library of Queensland for its Summer Festival. This is the school holiday go-to designed for families loaded with lots of free drop-in activities. Your kids can look forward to a daily schedule of arts and crafts, storytelling, story making workshops, nursery rhymes and interactive installations. Visit the website for the schedule and programme details.
Take a leisurely drive out to Lockyer Valley, also known as the Salad Bowl of Queensland. At the corner of Patrick Street and The Mall, the Laidley Village Markets offer a range of fresh produce from top quality local producers. Along with that, you'll also find homemade delights from country markets, unique collectables, arts and crafts, books, and lots more. For more information, visit the website.
Time: 7am 1pm
Venue: Lockyer Valley Address: Patrick Street, Laidley, QLD 4341 Phone: 07 54663425
5, 6, 13, 19, 20 and 27 January Markets and Movie
Head over to Manly Harbour village for a programme of markets and movie. Located in the Little Bayside Park are the Jan Power's Farmers Market and Manly Creative Market, which serve up a carnival atmosphere. The former features stalls with fresh produce while the latter offers arts and crafts as well as kid's entertainment. Bring a picnic rug and enjoy a movie under the stars on 5 January. Visit the website for the schedule.
Time: 7pm 9pm
Venue: Little Bayside Park
Address: Esplanade Manly, QLD 4179
6 January The Sound Society, Roma Street Parkland
This free live music event will help you to unwind and relax amongst the lush greenery at Roma Street Parklands. Pack some of your favourite snacks for a picnic, or grab something to eat from one of the food vendors on-site. Held one Sunday morning of each month, this will soon be your monthly weekend go-to. What better way to welcome the Sunday morning in Brisbane? For more information, visit the website.
Time: 9am 12pm
Venue: Roma Street Parkland, Amphitheatre
Address: 1 Parkland Blvd, Brisbane City, QLD 4000
Phone: 1300 137 468
6, 13, 20 and 27 January Northey Street City Farm Organic Market
Head out to the Northey Street City Farm and enjoy the green oasis just in the heart of Brisbane. The Northey Street City Farm Organic Market is the only purely organic produce market in Brisbane and comes alive with a fresh produce of free-range eggs, fresh honey, fair-trade coffee beans, herbs, veggies, organic fruits, bread, meats, dairy, dried goods and preserves. You can look forward to workshops, art activities for the kids and a hearty breakfast at their Chai Café, or from one of many stall holders. For more details, visit the website.
Time: 6am 11am
Venue: Northey Street City Farm
Address: 16 Victoria St, Windsor QLD 4030
11 January Queensland Youth Band Concert
Photo courtesy of Brisbane Metropolitan Bands Association
Young musicians from all over the State will bring the Queensland Band Association Youth Camp's final concert to the majestic gardens at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. This FREE concert follows an intensive four-day music camp and presents you with the best youth brass players from all over Queensland. What a better way to spend a Friday afternoon than to kick back and relax while you take in the magical sounds. For more details, visit the website.
Organised by Queensland Tamil Mandram and Thaai Tamil School, the Pongal Festival brings a rich cultural slice of India to Brisbane. Also known as The Harvest Festival, it is is celebrated by Tamils all over the world who give thanks to nature, agriculture, farmers and livestock animals which help in farming and cropping. You and your family can enjoy a range of fun activities and entertainment including rides, authentic cuisine, a magic show, multi-cultural performances, a DJ, cooking demonstrations, free traditional sweets, Kolam (floor art), painting competitions, tug-of-war and traditional sports. For more information, visit the website.
Time: 3pm 9pm
Venue: Robelle Domain Parklands, Springfield Central
Address: 155 Southern Cross Circuit, Springfield Central QLD 4300
All over Queensland, people will be celebrating the Aussie spirit this Australia Day. There are lots of events in various locations to choose from to suit your interests. In addition to the usual flag-raising ceremonies, you can attend the Great Australian Bites in Bundaberg, Hope Vale, Airlie Beach, Townsville, Rockhampton and Warwick and savour an array of tasting plates accompanied by local entertainment.
Take a day trip and join in the Australia Day Celebrations at Redcliffe's Suttons Beach, Barbie Island, Noosaville or the Gold Coast where a spectacular fireworks display set to rival New Year's Eve is said to take place. Don't forget the fireworks displays at River Quay Green, Bribie Island and Redcliffe. Visit the website for the event details and locations.