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Top 10 outings in Toowoomba in April

PERFECT BLEND: Opera in the Vineyard @ the Ballandean Estate marries music and wine.
PERFECT BLEND: Opera in the Vineyard @ the Ballandean Estate marries music and wine.

GET out and about in Toowoomba in April with some fabulous event options.

1. PLAY SCHOOL

Play School has brought its 50th birthday celebrations to the Cobb+Co Museum. The display, featuring all your old favourites - Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima, the rocket and flower clock and even the Play School windows - began on March 28 and runs till July 30. It's sure to bring nostalgic smiles to the faces of many who remember watching as kids at school as well as with their own children. Entry is included in general museum entry, which is free for Toowoomba Regional Council area residents. Visit cobbandco.qm.qld.gov.au.

2. FACING THE NAMES

Facing the Names is a WWI Cententary Exhibition at Oakey Cultural Centre, Campbell St from 10am-3pm on Wednesday, April 19 to Tuesday, April 25. It focuses on those named on the Oakey WWI Memorial and features reproductions of war paintings, soldiers' and nurses' uniforms, war artefacts, and researched material on over 50 soldiers from the Oakey district. Entry is free.

3. FRIDAY AT THE FLICKS

If you think they don't make movies the way they used to, Friday at the Flicks is for you. This month Educating Rita is on the big screen at USQ Arts Theatre from 6.30pm on April 21. Starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine, it was the surprise hit of 1983, and is a modern Pygmalion-type tale. There's a five-minute pre-screening and post-show drinks and nibbles. Call 4631 1111 or email USQArtsworx.BoxOffice@usq.edu.au.

4. FOSSIL DOWNS BUSH BARREL RACES AND UTE SHOW

It's all in the name of fun and charity at the second Fossil Downs Bush Barrel Races and Ute Show on Saturday, April 22. There's a range of Open and junior barrel events, and a list of prizes for best ute, including best street ute, best 4x4 and best feral, as well as food, entertainment and giveaways. It starts at 2pm at Fifteen Mile Rd, Murphy's Creek. Entry is $10 for adults. Call 0414 931 927 for details.

5. BITES & BEATS

Bites & Beats at Queens Park on Saturday, April 29 offers a fun-filled evening of "food, music, shopping and good vibes". Local market stalls include boutique, handmade and artisan products, and bring your picnic blanket for a relaxed dinner from a smorgasbord of treats. There's local music from Sue Ray, The Beamish Boys and Kent Tonscheck. Cost is $2, with kids under 15 free.

6. OPERA IN THE VINEYARD

What goes better with opera than a glass of wine? That makes Opera in the Vineyard @ the Ballandean Estate pretty much perfect for the enthusiast. It's on Sunday, April 30 from 11am-2pm. General seating is $110 and includes a souvenir champagne glass, wine on arrival and a program. This is the charity event's silver anniversary, with a Great Gatsby theme, and will showcase the brilliant voices of Emma Matthews and David Hobson. Call 4684 1226 or go to info@ballandeanestate.com.

7. DUST OF URUZGAN

Dust of Uruzgan is something completely different. Fred Smith will sing a collection of songs he wrote while working as a diplomat alongside Australian soldiers in Uruzgan Province, southern Afghanistan. The show combines songs, humour, and commentary with a stunning set of images from military and civilian photographers. (You may have seen his experiences on Australian Story or his book by the same name.) It's at the Empire Theatres at 7.30am on May 6 and adult tickets cost $40.

8. LITTLE VILLAGE SESSIONS

If you haven't heard Sara Storer's brilliant country music voice, this is your chance. And if you have ... well you're likely wanting to hear more. Sara has won 14 Golden Guitars at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, including seven in one year. She is playing Little Village Sessions on Friday, May 12 from 7.30pm at USQ Arts Theatre. Adult tickets are $42, concession $38. Call 4631 1111.

9. TOOWOOMBA ORCHID SOCIETY

Whether you are an orchid grower or just fascinated by them, Toowoomba Orchid Society's autumn show at St Paul's Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 13 will delight. Members are happy to share their love of orchids and growing tips. There are also sale tables, which they suggest could hold a great gift for Mother's Day. The event runs from 8.30am-3pm and costs $4 for adults. Go to http://toowoombaorchidsociety.org.au/.

10. MOTHER'S DAY CLASSIC

The Toowoomba Mother's Day Classic is on again on Sunday, May 14, raising money for breast cancer research, with your choice of a 3km walk - definitely my choice - or a 6km run. If you can't participate, go along and support all the walkers and runners! Online entries close on May 10 but you can enter on the day at Queen's Park from 7-8am at a slightly higher fee. There are prizes for the biggest team and for best dressed, so get your pink happening. Just Google the event or call 0403 195 332 for details.

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