CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Samantha Jade will bring her debut Christmas album The Magic Of Christmas to Carols in the Heart this weekend.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Samantha Jade will bring her debut Christmas album The Magic Of Christmas to Carols in the Heart this weekend. Sony Music Australia

14 family-friendly things to do this week

1. Lismore Carols In The Heart: Lismore City Council presents Shopbaby Carols in the Heart. Come and sing along to some of your favourite Christmas Carols along with Santa, Face Painting, Jumping Castles, fireworks and lots, lots more. There will be a wide variety of food and drink stalls. ARIA award-winner Samantha Jade will be singing songs from her album The Magic of Christmas. At Crozier Field, Magellan Street, Lismore. Gates open from 4.30pm. Glass will not be permitted in the venue for safety reasons. Dogs are also not permitted. Free event.

2. Ballina Shire Concert Band with Dean Doyle: Ballina Shire Concert Band will offer a Christmas concert this weekend. Special guest Dean Doyle will offer his vocal mastery, leading the audience to sing along to tunes and carols. Piper Graham Broadhead, better known as the editor of The Ballina Advocate, will add a touch of Scotland to the music performance. There will be a lucky door prize and a Christmas raffle. At Richmond Room, Regatta Ave, Ballina, this Sunday, 1.30pm. $10.

3. Ballina Riverside Carols: Organised by the combined churches of Ballina and Lennox Head, the Ballina Riverside Carols will offer entertainment, face painting and of course, singing along to Christmas Carols. The event will close with a fantastic fireworks display. Gates open at 5.30pm and carols start at 6.30pm so get there early to set up the picnic rug and chairs. Entry is free (gold coin donation appreciated). An alcohol-free family event. At Kingsford Smith Oval, Bentinck Street, Ballina, this Sunday. Carols start at 6.30pm.

4. Coraki Christmas Carols: This Saturday at Coraki Riverside. For more information, contact the Coraki Rural Transaction Centre.

5. Casino Lions Carols by Candlelight: This Sunday from 5pm at Colley Park. Come along and join this special evening under the stars and sing along to the carols and meet Santa and his elves.

6. Evans Head Community Carols: There will be a barbecue, face painting and balloon twisting, glow candles, raffles, Crankfest chocolates and a big fireworks finale. On Wednesday, December 12, at Casino-Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club from 6.30pm, organised by the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre.

7. Alstonville Christmas in on the Plateau: The churches of Alstonville are combining to organise a community Christmas event with carol performers, local preschool and school performances. The event is being held at Elizabeth Ann Brown Park onwards from 4pm. The event runs will include free jumping castles, face painting, free sausage sizzle, Christmas craft, children's games and a rock climbing wall.

8. Kyogle Christmas in the Park: Kyogle will be celebrating the silly season this year with their inaugural event Kyogle Christmas in the Park this Saturday. Hosted by the Kyogle Fairymount Festival committee, the free community event will help kick off Christmas with plenty of fun and festive activities. Santa will arrive at 4.30pm, with Santa photos for $5 a family, as well as a jumping castle and face painting for the children. A Christmas light competition will shine a light on the celebrations, while market stalls will be there for some Christmas shopping. Children are encouraged to dress up for the best-dressed competition and a special Christmas movie is set to screen at 7.30pm. Kyogle Christmas in the Park will be held this Saturday, December 8, from 4pm at the Kyogle Amphitheatre.

9. Orion A-9 Landing in Lismore: A P-3C Orion A9-752 military aircraft will fly into Lismore this weekend as part of a grand plan to house the old submarine hunter at the Evans Head Heritage Aviation Museum. The plane is too big to land at Evans Head, so the museum has devised a plan to land it in Lismore, have it demilitarised and dismantled, and relocate the parts to Evans Head for reassembly. The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. The aircraft is easily distinguishable with its distinctive tail stinger or 'MAD Boom', used for the magnetic detection of submarines. Aviation enthusiasts will have the opportunity to watch the 30-tonne aircraft fly over the Northern Rivers this Sunday. At 12.30 pm, the Orion will fly an approach into Evans Head followed by a low flypast (or two) with bomb bay open. It will then fly over the mouth of the Richmond River at 12.45pm and track west up the river past Ballina. The Orion will then flypast Lismore with bomb bay doors open before landing at Lismore.

10. Nimbin Youth Film Festival: The Nimbin Youth Film Festival encourages young people to make films in any genre they choose, using any equipment available. Watch this year's selection of entries at the Nimbin Bush Theatre, 2A Blue Knob Road, Nimbin this Saturday from 2pm. Free.

11. Ocean Shores Food Fiesta: The second Ocean Shores Tavern Street Food and Music Fiesta will be held this weekend so don't miss out. There will be plenty of live music on stage. First up, Free the Jeanie, then the Mangrove Jack Band rocking it all night. A family-friendly event to enjoy food, music and brews. At the Ocean Shores Tavern, 84 Rajah Rd, Ocean Shores, this Saturday from 3-9pm.

12. Easter Island Cultural Experience in Mullumbimby: Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia that belongs to Chile, famous for its carved headstones called moais. Northern Rivers residents will have access to some Easter Islander culture, food and music this weekend. Eastern island-born artist Yoyo Tuki will offer a five-hour Easter islander cultural experience this weekend, starting with a culture talk and Q&A from 4pm, then from 5pm a traditional Hoko Dance (similar to a maori Haka), a dance performed by warriors prior to war. At 6pm, a Pacific Island Umu feast will be prepared in a traditional way, using an underground oven. $12, sold separately. At 6.30pm, Yoyo Tuki will offer a selection of traditional songs in Rapa Nui, Spanish and English. At WeMove Studio, 3/43 Stuart St, Mullumbimby, this Saturday from 4pm to 9pm.

13. Free Federal Writers Festival: A free writers festival, that's a novel idea. The festival will feature authors Kerry O'Brien, Richmond Rivers Express Examiner editor Susanna Freymark, Jude Aquilina, Helen Burns, Jane Camens, Melissa Lucashenko and Professor William McNeil, among others. At Jasper Corner, Federal Hall, this Sunday from 9am-7pm. Free.

14. Djuki Mala dancers in Brunswick Heads: Indigenous troupe Djuki Mala became viral sensations when their video to Zorba the Greek went viral. Along with two shows, Djuki Mala will be taking up a residency in the Byron Shire to develop a new show. At the Brunswick Picture House this Saturday. Two shows: 4pm and 8pm. $40/$25.



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