Sydney Opera House is ringing in the New Year with Puccini's La boheme in the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

Sydney Opera House is ringing in the New Year with Puccini's La boheme in the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

GLAM FEST NYE

It doesn’t get much more glamorous than this. Reward yourself for making it through 2012 and welcome the new year at the Opera House. This year’s Glam Fest party has a ‘‘glam rock-inspired’’ theme (code: sequins and leather) and no extravagance has been spared. The food menu has been designed by Aria’s Matt Moran and features a greatest-hits roster of Sydney’s best party food. There will be hula-hoop girls, a tattoo parlour, interactive photo booths and non-stop tunes from the Big Hit Orchestra and DJ Stephen Harris. All food, drinks and entertainment are included in the cost.
December 31, 7pm-about 1.30am, Western Boardwalk, Sydney Opera House, $495, 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com.

SHORE THING

Shore Thing has a reputation to uphold. The dance festival on Bondi Beach is listed as one of the biggest and wildest New Year’s Eve parties around, and the latest doesn’t look set to disappoint. After adding Coachella and Ibiza to their festival resume, dance duo the Chemical Brothers will headline the music acts with an electronic DJ set. Dubstep kings Knife Party (the lyrical geniuses behind lines such as ‘‘you blocked me on Facebook — now you’re going to die’’) and ‘‘legendary’’ Dutch DJ Fedde leGrand, whose hits include Put Your Hands Up for Detroit and a remix of Everything but the Girl’s Missing, are destined to be a hit with Sydney’s electro lovers.
December 31, 8pm-2am, Bondi Park, Bondi Beach, $145,  1300 338 161, shorething.com.au.

LA BOHEME

Both opera buffs and first-timers will be weeping into their hankies at Gale Edwards’s stunning new production of La boheme at the Sydney Opera House. Puccini’s masterpiece has been transported from its original setting in the Latin Quarter of 1830s Paris to the decadence and excess of 1930s Berlin. Soprano Nicole Car makes her keenly awaited Sydney role debut as seamstress Mimi, and the magnificent Italian tenor Gianluca Terranova, who shone as Alfredo in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Latraviata, stars as Rodolfo the poet. The show is performed in Italian with English subtitles.
Until March 23, various dates and times, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, $44-$306, 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com.

MAKMAK MACARONS

Sydney’s obsession with macarons doesn’t look to be ending any time soon. Until now, MakMak Macarons has operated mainly as an online retail boutique and wholesaler, which has meant pre-ordering delicious treats and enduring the sweet torture of waiting for them to arrive at your door. We have been saved by the arrival of the MakMak Christmas pop-up store in Newtown. Get your hands on mouth-watering flavours such as caramel macchiato, Bounty, and blueberry and lime, which have been crowned as Sydney’s best in Time Out magazine’s blind taste test. The shop will shut down in mid-January, but don’t fret because MakMak will open its first permanent bricks-and-mortar store in March 2013. Hooray!
Until January 15, 601King Street, Newtown, $2.50 a macaron, 80950045, makmak.com.au.


CIRCUS FREAKS & SIDESHOW ALLEY

The Vanguard will be transformed into a travelling circus for its New Year’s Eve party. This circus freak show isn’t for the faint-hearted — there’s a young beauty hammering nails into her nose, topsy-turvy acrobats, contortionists and bearded ladies. Discover what adventures the new year has in store for you at the fortune teller’s tent. Drown out reality with circus-themed drinks and hilarious carnival games until the opening hours of 2013. Be sure to come dressed in your finest circus gear because this is definitely a costume-themed event — no squares allowed.
December 31, 9pm, the Vanguard, 42King Street, Newtown, $73.80, 95579409, thevanguard.com.au.

SALT AND PEPPER 

The annual Estonian cultural festival is being held in Sydney, and features a group exhibition of Estonian artists working in Australia. The exhibition’s name, Salt and Pepper, stems from the idea that arts and crafts are the ‘‘spice’’ in everyday Estonian life. There are more than 70 artworks from about 30 artists, with all styles and forms represented, including jewellery, a craft section and traditional Estonian works.
Until December31, noon-6pm, TapGallery, 278Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, free, 0414954027, ep2012sydney.org.au.

For The Kids

THE CAT IN THE HAT

Dr Seuss' beloved classic has been re-created as a play by Britain's National Theatre, and is showing at the Opera House with an Australian cast. A dull, rainy afternoon suddenly turns into hilarious anarchy for Sally and her brother as the mischievous cat sends them on an adventure with his endless tricks and wacky ideas. This show is plain good fun, and mum and dad will definitely find themselves chuckling along with the children.
Until January 27, Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, $39, 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com.

ISKATe

Tired of your kids causing traffic jams in the street on their skateboards and bikes? Book them into a skateboard, scooter or BMX lesson at Monster Skatepark, a huge indoor-outdoor ramp facility at Sydney Olympic Park. One-hour lessons cost $30 and run daily at 9am (or buy five, get one free) during the school holidays. All skill levels, from beginners to seasoned pros, are catered for. There's an indoor street course, outdoor vert and mini-ramps, as well as an action sports shop. Monster Skatepark also runs day and residential camps ($110 a day, $850 a week) from January 6. Kids are grouped by ability and each is set goals to work towards during the camp. Mini Tony Hawks who want to nail the perfect wheelie will certainly get their fix here.
Until January 28, Monster Skatepark, Grand Parade, Sydney Olympic Park, 9763 7359, www.monsterpark.com.au. PLASTER PAINTING

Budding artists can work their magic at the Plaster Painting Studios in the Entertainment Quarter. There are more than 350 pieces to choose from, ranging from $1 to $25, and each is handmade. Popular film and television characters are available, along with the standard array of fairies, animals, motorbikes and planes. As well as 3D figures, there are plaques, canvases, picture frames, candle holders and money boxes. All costs are included in the price of the item you choose, as are painting smocks. There is two-hour free parking available and plenty of other activities nearby.
Open daily, 10am-5pm (closed New Year's Day), Bent Street, the Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road, Moore Park, 0415 944 498, plasterpainting.com.

PUPPETERIA

The Puppeteria Puppet Theatre is performing classic children's stories for its Festival of Puppetry. The Puppeteria, which on December 31 celebrates the 46th anniversary of its first public show, has theatres in Randwick and Castle Cove. Pinocchio and Cinderella feature in a double bill until January 4, and a new series of programs will feature from January 6-18. Peter Pan will sit alongside King Midas and the Golden Touch; The Gingerbread Man, and The Wizard of Oz and The Three Billygoats Gruff will also be showing.
Until January 27, 10.30am, various dates, 48A Carrington Road, Randwick and 12H Denawen Avenue, Castle Cove, child $10, adult $13, 9371 7328, puppeteria.com.