Take the guesswork out of what to do in Canberra for a weekend with this handy itinerary curated by Urban Walkabout. They understand that planning a getaway the whole family will enjoy can be a challenge. With activities that will unleash the kid within and keep your children entertained, this itinerary is a crowd pleaser.
Day 1: Saturday
Breakfast Penny University
Having perfected the art of brewing smooth, robust coffee, with beans roasted onsite to ensure freshness with every cup, this café’s coffee will wake you right up so you’ll have no trouble keeping up with your kids all day long. Loved by Canberrans of all ages, this café features animal caricatures on exposed brick walls and a picturesque courtyard attached to the venue.
Morning Grand Prix Karting
After you’ve had an energizing breakfast, head over to Fyshwick to the ever-popular Grand Prix Karting. With over 200 metres of indoor track to race around, as well as junior, adult and dual karts available so the whole family can race together, it’s sure to be the ultimate family thrill-ride. In between why not entertain yourself with a game of pool or the scores of arcade games housed within the facility? There are even snacks and drinks available for purchase, including gourmet coffee.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite from go-karting, a delicious lunch awaits at Bookplate, a lakeside café/restaurant situated within the National Library of Australia. With a tempting array of foods dotting the menu, from light lunches and pastries to snacks and cakes, Bookplate offers al fresco dining as well as a beautiful interior with stunning stained glass windows.
Afternoon National Library of Australia
Located by the Lake Burley Griffin, the iconic National Library of Australia is more than just a library. With a Treasures Gallery housed within the building, there’s so much to discover, from the journal of James Cook, to items from the First World War. The artefacts will be sure to fascinate even the not so easily impressed. The library even has special children’s activities running from time to time.
Gooromon Park Riding School
As the only accredited Australian Horse Riding Centre in Canberra, Gooromon Park Riding School is renowned for its premium equestrian facilities and its exceptional team of professional instructors. Delight your kids with a trot around the grounds, courtesy of a horse-riding lesson, and while you’re at it, why not fulfil a childhood dream of becoming a world-class equestrian by joining in? Instructors are available for all levels of expertise, for ages six to 60.
End the day on a high note at this burger establishment in the trendy arts precinct of Kingston. From its humble beginnings as a red gypsy food van to a now bustling eatery with indoor and outdoor dining, Brodburger serves up flame-grilled gourmet burgers that are sure to satisfy your hunger.
Day 2: Sunday
Breakfast A Bite to Eat
For a guilt-free breakfast, the perfect place to start off day two of your weekend in Canberra as at A Bite to Eat. Dishing up a delicious breakfast menu using free-range and organic products at every opportunity – note the Piazza Doro sustainable coffee – the café boasts a large, sunny courtyard and an indoor couch area for lazy Sunday dining. And who could say no to dessert for breakfast? With cinnamon donuts served with citrus curd, passionfruit, banana and fresh mint salad on the menu, A Bite to Eat is sure to be a hit with the kids.
Morning Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing
Looking for a challenge? Don your sturdiest shoes because Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing is taking fun to new heights. With walls ranging from 6.5m to 8.5m tall, and 25-35 different ropes to choose from, there are different difficulties for every level of skill. Harnesses, chalk bags and shoes are available for hire onsite.
Lunch Jamie’s Italian
You can’t make a trip to Canberra without dining at Jamie’s Italian before you leave. Located in the Canberra Centre, the restaurant’s rustic Italian fare can be enjoyed al fresco style on the terrace, or inside the main dining area, with its impressive lofty ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. With a special kids menu, dishes like truffle tagliatelle, and many decadent dessert options – think epic brownie and creamy panna cotta, lunch at Jamie’s Italian is a treat the whole family will enjoy.
Afternoon Lellow Kids
Last stop in the line is Lellow, a chic boutique in Braddon that makes shopping with kids surprisingly easy. Expect urban-style kidswear and gifts that are sure to captivate your children and have them never wanting to leave.
If you’re planning to stay in Canberra for a little while longer, the Managing Director of Balloon Aloft, Ewan Roberts, recommends visiting Questacon, the National Zoo & Aquarium, and the miniature villages of Cockington Green Gardens.