FUN TIMES AHEAD: Bronte Pearce & Daisy O'Leary are looking foward to all the events happening these school holidays.
FUN TIMES AHEAD: Bronte Pearce & Daisy O'Leary are looking foward to all the events happening these school holidays.

50 things on the Western Downs you can do these school holidays

TODAY is marks the official start of the summer holidays and with six weeks to fill, finding enough activities to keep the kids busy can be daunting; but fear not, because there are a stack of great events and activities on offer throughout December and January.


Chinchilla Christmas Light Show

With the opening of the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland earlier this year came the opportunity to celebrate the festive season in a sparkly new fashion.

The Chinchilla Lions Club inaugural Christmas Light Show will run from December 14-21 in the Botanic Parklands this festive season.

Two new exhibitions at Lapunyah Art Gallery

Lapunyah Art Gallery has two new exhibitions for the school holidays: 'Jabu Birriny (land and sea)', an exhibition of contemporary artworks and stories by the Yarrabah artists of Cape Grafton in Far North Queensland, and 'Forever Young', Chinchilla's own youth artists from the Chinchilla Christian College and Chinchilla State High School. The gallery will be open until 24 December and reopens for the New Year on Monday 13 January.

TRE360 at Dogwood Crossing Miles

TRE360 is a much-anticipated major solo exhibition by acclaimed local mosaic artist Kylie Bourne, inspired by her home's rambling gardens and studio nestled on the banks of the Dogwood Creek. Exploring the diverse and exquisite beauty of trees, the exhibition touches on many of nature's themes; from the colours through the seasons; flowers and fruit; as well as the many creatures that inhabit the region. The gallery will be open until 21 December and reopens for the New Year on Monday 6 January.

Tara Swimfit

There are still places available in Tara Swimfit's intensive school holiday swimming blocks.

There are five lessons over five days for $37.50 per child per block. It is available to children aged 3-17.

Classes are arranged in ability level from nonswimmers to 100m swimmers needing stroke correction. Block A runs from the December 16-20 and block B runs from January 6 -10.

To secure your place message Tara Swimfit on Facebook, email them on tara@swim or simply come into the pool.

Jondaryan School Holiday Activity program

Are you looking for something new to experience over the holidays?

The Woolshed at Jondaryan school holiday program is back for one week and filled with fantastic activities including: damper making ($5 per person), guided tours, mini train rides ($2 per ride), arts and crafts, tractor train rides, animal nursery and side show activities ($1 per ticket)!

Drop by from Monday, December 16 to Friday, December 20. It operates daily from 9am-2pm.

Get Crafty for Christmas

Craft and Christmas go hand-in-hand, so these school holidays WDRC Libraries have plenty of crafty activities to enjoy. Everyone aged 6+ is welcome to come down to Tara and Meandarra Libraries to unleash their creativity with Christmas Craft on December 17 from 1.30-2.30pm.

Tara Twilight Markets

Come along and enjoy a Family Night out on Bilton Street in Tara.

There will be jumping castles, snow cones, raffles and a visit from Santa between 6-7pm. Plus enjoying singing the night away with the Tara Music Group Carols. All the action starts from 4pm December 17 on Bilton Street.

Christmas Craft Workshop

Create a festive family atmosphere this Christmas with homemade decorations.

Dalby Library is holding a session for kids to make some unique Christmas crafts.

On Wednesday 18 December they can use craft materials to decorate a wooden disc.

It's runs from 10.30am to 11.30am at MyAll 107, 107 Drayton Street, Dalby. It is free however you do need to register on council's website.

Christmas Make and Take

Christmas is the perfect time to unleash your creative spirit, so make your way to Chinchilla Library for crafts galore on Tuesday, December 17 from 10-11am and Thursday, December 19 from 2.30 - 3.30pm. Reserve a place at

Create Christmas Cheer

What is better than putting up a Christmas tree? Covering your Christmas tree with your own handmade decorations! Drop into Jandowae Library to start creating yours on Tuesday, December 17 and Wednesday, December 18 from 9.30-11.30am.

Trick riding and Horsemanship Clinic

You don't need a horse or equipment to get involved with trick riding and horsemanship on December 17 and 18, at the Chinchilla Showgrounds.

Trick riding will first begin on a training barrel to build confidence and technique.

Trick riding is about building confidence, trust and balance. Through fun and involving activities you will learn safe techniques of handling and riding your horse.

It costs $220 per person.

A Country Christmas

The Christmas tree Festival is fast approaching! Come along to the Dalby Baptist Church to see some amazing Christmas creations by people and groups in the Dalby Community. Don't forget that some of the trees will be available for bidding in the Silent Auction. The festival runs from December 18-24 from 7-9pm.

In addition to that, there will be a Christmas Eve celebration on December 24 from 6-7pm also at the church.

Merry Craftsmas

Quench your thirst for Christmas Crafts at the Miles Library on Thursday, December 19 from 10-11am.

The kids are bound to have a bundle of fun crafting, creating and getting into the Christmas spirit! Register online at westerndownslibraries. com.

Chinchilla Scouts Star Wars Movie Fundraising Event

Grab some popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy a special screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, all while raising money for a great cause. Showing at the Chinchilla Cinema on Friday, December 19, doors open at 5.30pm and the starts at 6pm. It will cost $20 but price includes a hotdog, drink and ticket. Purchase them at

Dive in Movies at Surat

Relax in the water or on your favourite camp chair under the Surat's night sky and enjoy film on the big screen. It's a night for the whole family. The event is being held at the Surat pool on December 19 and entry is free. All you need to bring is something to float on, a chair, pillow and blanket. There will also be a free BBQ and the Kiosk will be open for food and drinks purchase.

Kylee Cooke Book launch

On Friday, December 20, author and illustrator Kylee Cooke will be hosting her book launch at Dalby Shoppingworld from 9am-5pm.

The will be a book signing, T-shirts and Alien Eye headbands on sale.

Charleys Creek Christmas Parkrun

Charleys Creek Christmas Parkrun is a great opportunity to get out and about for some early fun while doing something good for your health.

The 5km run will be held at Rotary Park, Charleys Creek Chinchilla on Saturday, December 21 at 7am.

Pet photos with Santa

Don't let your furriest member miss our on the opportunity to meet Santa this Christmas.

Pets Domain Dalby are holding a Santa pet photo sessions on Sunday, December 22 from 9am

Photos are $15, with $5 from each donated to the Rural Fire Brigade Darling Downs.

Wandoan Carols in the park

The Carols in the Domain will be live steamed onto a large outdoor screen from 7pm. There will be a visit and photo opportunity with Santa from 6.30pm as well as a free sausage sizzle and drinks will be available to purchase. The event is being held Saturday, December 21 from 6.30-10pm.

Combined Churches Carols by candlelight

The Botanic Parklands will become a meeting place for all of the local church denominations on Sunday, December 22 for a combined evening of carols.

Come down for a sausage sizzle from 6pm to support the Chinchilla Branch of the Bible Society and stay for carol singing from 7pm onwards. Candles will be available for $2.

A Christmas Celebration

Enjoy a free BBQ, coffee, sweets, live nativity scene with real animals, music and the Christmas Story on the front at the Anglican Church in Tara. It's run over two nights from Sunday 22 and 23 from 6.30pm.

Dalby Christmas parkrun

If you're around, come for a festive jog, power walk or stroll. It all starts from 7am on Christmas Day at the corner Cnr Jimbour St & Edward St, Dalby.

Taroom End of Year Race Meet

Put on your best outfit children because there is category for best boy and girl at the end of year Taroom races. The theme is a 'touch of metallic' so crack out your sequins ladies and gents and get ready to sparkle like diamonds in the dust. It's all happening on December 28 from 11am at the Taroom racecourse.

New Year's Eve - Rodeo Street Party

The club are going wild out west on New Year's Eve so put on those cowboys boots and hat to make sure you look the part. With a dedicated kids arena with a jumping castle and face panting there's no better way to end your year. This is a free event with activities for the whole family and starts at 5pm on December 31.

New Year's Eve Bush Dance

Dance your way into the New Year at the Jondaryan Woolshed's New Year's Eve Bush Dance! Enjoy live music by Ridgee Didge Bush Band and DJ Veetone! A fun, family night out not to be missed! Music starts from 7:30pm on December 31 and entry includes a light supper. Drinks available for purchase from the bar. Adults cost $20, children $15 (5-15 years), family (2A & 2C) $65. Purchase your tickets online through our website or at the door on the night.

Dalby New Years Eve parkrun

Start the new year of 2020 with a parkrun BANG and join them around the Myall Creek for a few laps. Got resolutions? Get them started! Just want a great morning of parkrun? This is the place! It all starts from 7am on January 1 at the corner Cnr Jimbour St & Edward St, Dalby.

WDOP Markets

The start of the new year is great excuse to shop until you drop. So head on down to the Dalby Railway Station on January 4 to spoil yourself with something new. The event runs from 8am to 2pm is free and family friendly.

The Annual Bell Race Day

It will be a five race program and with designated children's entertainment area it's a day not to be missed. So head down to the Bell Race Club on January 4 for a fun filled day. The actions starts from 10am.

Swimfit Miles Holiday Program

Swimfit Miles are planning a fitness program for children aged eight and above. Activities will include Water and Land fitness, stroke correction, squad training, safety chats with local police, ambulance, and fire personnel and sports. The program will run from 9am to 12pm from January 6 to 10. The cost is $95 per child ($25 a day) and lunch will be provided. If interested please contact Swimfit Miles.

Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon

When an alien possessing strange powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep quickly makes a new friend. Together they must run from a dangerous organisation who wants to capture the intergalactic visitor. Don't miss the premiere happening at the Chinchilla Cinemas on January 9.

Classic Country Night at the Woolshed with Terry Arnold

Grab the family and enjoy dinner and live music at the Jondaryan Woolshed. Fill up on a two course roast buffet, purchase drinks and enjoy the vocal stylings of Terry Arnold. A great low-key, family-friendly night! The night will begin at 6pm for 6:30pm dinner service on Friday, 10 January 2020. Cost is $25 per person or $15 per child (under 15 years). Pre-purchase tickets online via our website and collect on the night from the bar. Limited tickets available for purchase on the night.

Cirque du Soleil present 'Kurios'

Take the whole clan down to Brisbane for a show that's sure to leave everyone on the edge of their seats as the famous Cirque du Soleil brings their new show Kurios to Brisbane's Northshore Hamilton Ferry Terminal.

Tickets are on sale now for shows starting on Saturday, January 11 through to Sunday, January 26. Tickets start at $81.

Summer crafting - Tara and Meandarra

There is no better excuse to get out of the sun and into the Library than a great craft table! Running in the Tara and Meandarra library on Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 January from


Lego Mindstorm

Seriously, who doesn't love playing with Lego and coding amazing robots at the same time?

Register your spot at www. and come on down to the Chinchilla Library on Tuesday, January 14 and Monday, January 23 from 2-4pm, take all that Lego building knowledge and create a real life robot.

Rock it with rockets.

The WDRC is at it again with more awesome #STEAMSquad activities to fill the holidays. Fly into Jandowae Library to try your hand at rocket making on Wednesday, January 15 from 10-11am.


Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship comes from an array of exotic animals that he speaks to on a daily basis. But when young Queen Victoria becomes gravely ill, the eccentric doctor and his furry friends embark on an epic adventure to a mythical island to find the cure. Don't miss the premiere at Chinchilla Cinemas on January 16.

Start art early - Bell

Learn the secrets of art this summer. It is never too early to find your muse and hone that artistic talent! Running on Thursday 16 January from 10-11.30am and Thursday 23 January 10-11.30am at the Bell library it's bound to get those creative juices following. Register for the event via Council's website.

Story time in the Parkland

Summer in the park is bright, warm and beautiful, the perfect place to enjoy a good story or two. Don't forget your hat and water bottle for Story time in the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland on Friday, January 17 from 9.30-10.30am.

Crazy science show

Have you ever seen someone's head growing before your very eyes?

The Toowoomba Empire Theatre is hosting a very unique show these school holidays on Friday, January 17 from 10.30am.

Take a wild ride with your host Richard Scholes through his Magical World of Crazy science and witness giant columns of elephant toothpaste, rockets zooming, massive smoke rings, toilet paper flying, giant bubbles and billowing concoctions.

Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased from the Empire Theatre's website.

Galactic Fest: Family Fun Day

Let your inner nerd roam free and join the Toowoomba City Library for this fun and free entry one-day event for an all ages celebration of all things sci-fi and Star Wars. Whether you choose the light side or the dark, you will be entertained with a host of activities and events throughout the day including Galactic Markets, hosted by The Eclectic Emporium.

Family friendly cosplay is strongly encouraged.

The event will be held on Saturday, January 18 from 9:30am - 4pm.

Droid Mission

Droid to mission control, WDRC need pilots and engineers to help complete a special mission.

If you have what it takes, join the team at Tara Library. Build a Droid to guide through missions and snatch success this summer on Tuesday, January 21 from 2-4pm. Book online at the website western

Ridiculous STEAM Machine

This activity is a real ripper for kids who love to construct amazing contractions out of everyday household items.

Come on down to the Jandowae Library on Wednesday, January 22 from 9.30-10am to have a great time building, playing and learning all about a ridiculous, complicated contraption called a Rube Goldberg machine.

Dive in Movies at Surat

Relax in the water or on your favourite camp chair under the Surat's night sky and enjoy film on the big screen. It's a night for the whole family. The event is being held at the Surat pool on January 22 and entry is free. All you need to bring is something to float on, a chair, pillow and blanket. There will also be a free BBQ and the Kiosk will be open for food and drinks purchase.

St. George Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs Pre-Season Match

It's a very unique opportunity as the St George Queensland Reds are heading to Dalby to take on the New South Wales Waratahs in a pre-season fixture on Friday, January 24, 2020.

The match is being held at the Dalby Leagues Club with kick off at 7.30pm.

Make sure you don't out on all the action by purchasing your tickets online today at

Australia Day Movie Night

Grab the family and join the Jondaryan Woolshed for a family friendly movie night in the iconic woolshed.

Tickets are only $10 per adult and $5 per child (under 15 years). Purchase refreshments on the night, including hot dogs, a sausage sizzle, ice creams, popcorn, cold drinks and more. Some seating available, however, guests are invited to bring their own chairs, blankets, bean bags, pillows or cushions to settle-in and watch the show.

The movie (to be confirmed) will start at 6:30pm, on January 26 with refreshments available from 5.30pm. Buy your ticket on the night or via their website.

Bunya Mountains markets

Head on up to the Bunyas for some fresh air and attend their monthly markets on Sunday, January 29 from 9am-2pm.

The markets have become well-known for their local, handmade and quality stalls by a wide range of artisans and producers. After browsing the market stalls, refresh at Poppies on the Hill Cafe or take a stroll along any of the nature and rainforest tracks in the National Park.

Heart of the Feminine Project

A new holiday program for teenage girls is coming to Charleville and is designed to help them find empowerment and build resilience.

Run by writer and motivational speaker Jasmine Cherie, the Heart of the Feminine Project is a full-day workshop, followed by a six-week online mentorship, which will help girls improve their communication skills, learn to make positive choices and cultivate lifelong friendships with other young women across Queensland.

The workshop will be held in Charleville on January 20, tickets are available online at the website

Charleville Cosmos Centre and Observatory

The Cosmos Centre is the best place for free fun these school holidays.

Each week, the centre is releasing a special code word, which when said to the staff, will give children free entry to the Astronomy by Day interactive area between 10am-2pm.

While the kids are busy learning, parents can enjoy a coffee or lunch in the Milky Way Cafe.

Head along from 6.30pm to make the most of the evening, and for more information, visit

Fossicking for hidden treasures in Quilpie

The whole family can enjoy opal fossicking in Quilpie these school holidays; head on out to the fossicking area 2km west of town and spend some time digging through the dirt to uncover a gem of your very own.

For more information, visit

Meet some brand new sea creatures

Experience the brand new Little Blue Penguins zone at Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium these school holidays and immerse yourself in the delightful domain of the smallest species of penguin - above and below the water!

The brand new exhibit and show starts on Friday, December 13 and tickets for children start from $22 and can be purchased online from the Sea Life website.

Better yet, kids under three are free!

Pregnant wife saves husband in desperate Teewah rescue

Premium Content Pregnant wife saves husband in desperate Teewah rescue

A five-month pregnant woman saved her husband from being swept away

Dalby shoppers raise funds for state’s only children’s hospice

Premium Content Dalby shoppers raise funds for state’s only children’s...

SHOPPERS and team members in Dalby have raised almost $1,500 as part of Coles’...

Western Downs shows to return stronger than ever in 2021

Premium Content Western Downs shows to return stronger than ever in 2021

AFTER several shows were cancelled due to the pandemic, the Federal Government has...