School holidays to the nation's capital
Whether your children are adventure seekers, crafty creatives or little scientists there’s something for them in Canberra during school holidays. With four distinct seasons you can experience a broad range of indoor and outdoor activities throughout the year. Dive into the most popular activities the nation's capital has to offer for school holidays.
National Arboretum Canberra
National Arboretum Canberra hosts an exciting array of attractions for visiting families. Arboretum director Vanessa Little said children will love taking part in creative sessions including kite decorating, paper making, terrarium making, crafts and bonsai workshops. complete your visit with play time on the Pod Playground.
'There will also be stories in the forest, Aboriginal guided cultural walks and crafts, camel rides, reptile shows, a giant slide and a jumping castle,' Ms Little said.
Australian War Memorial
The school holiday program at the Australian War Memorial offers plenty of options for visiting families including Story time for younger children. Visit Discovery Zone open all day during school holidays, to explore five environments inspired by Australia's military history including a helicopter, trenches and submarine among others.
The Canberra Glassworks offers budding artists over the age of 8 years the opportunity to try their hand at creating a glass tile using flowers and plants as inspiration in a Spring has Sprung class (bookings essential). While you are there, why not take the family on a Great Glass Adventure behind-the-scenes tour of all things glass?
National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is looking for new recruits aged between 8 and 12 years to join its Art Investigation Squad in the school holidays. Detective Inspector Cleverpants and officer Angelpants need help to solve a mystery by discovering the clues hidden in plain sight in the Gallery while on the children’s art tour.
National Museum of Australia
Let your kids imagine the future and see it come to life on the big screen in KSpace, wander through school holiday programs and brilliant tours on every day during the holidays. Discover fascinating, moving, enriching and entertaining objects, interactive exhibits and children's activities throughout the museum. For children of all ages who love stories, the National Museum is where our stories live.
Australian National Botanic Gardens
For your little adventurers an afterDARK Bush Tucker Tour at the Australian National Botanic Gardens is ideal. The enthralling one-hour tours are lead by education rangers and a guest Indigenous presenter. Following a bush tucker tasting, your family will explore the varied biodiversity and habitat regions of the Gardens including the magical Rainforest Gully with a stunning lighting display. Bookings essential.
Just 45 minutes from the city centre you can search for a platypus and explore bountiful wildlife from wetland boardwalks in Tidbinbilla’s Sanctuary. Play on the Nature Discovery Playground, search for Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies or koalas in walk through enclosures. See abundant kangaroos and emus across the reserve, then collect wood and roast marshmallows on an open fire. Don’t miss seeing the tiny, brightly-coloured Northern Corroboree Frogs in the Visitor Centre. Ranger-guided tours, weekend activities and school holiday programs are also available. Admission charge.
Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex
Nearby is the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex, where your family can learn about the role that Australia plays in the exploration of space, see a piece of the Moon that's more than 3.8 billion years old, check out the latest images from across the Solar System, and take a hands-on trip around the Solar System. The complex is one of the few sites around the globe that communicate with deep space probes like the New Horizons program to visit Pluto.
National Zoo & Aquarium
For the family’s animal enthusiasts a visit to the National Zoo & Aquarium is an absolute must. Be brave and take part in an animal encounter to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing creatures like cheetahs, giraffe, sharks, sun bears, white lions and red pandas.
For more animal experiences take a trip to Gold Creek and visit the Canberra Reptile Zoo or the Canberra Walk in Aviary. You can also visit the National Dinosaur Museum nearby, which is home to 23 complete skeletons, and more than 300 displays of individual fossils. The museum offers a wide variety of activities for kids including guided tours and school holiday events like the Dinosaur Hunt Activity Sheet.
And no family trip to Canberra is complete without experiencing the excitement of Questacon, home to a variety of exciting and varied exhibitions like Awesome Earth, where children can discover the power and beauty of Earth's forces and live to tell the tale. Mini Q is custom-built for little scientists up to 6 years, while Q Lab looks at the world differently through microscopes and high-speed, high definition slow-motion footage and live scientific demonstrations.