Family fun highlights in Australia's capital
We've put together some of the top things to see and do as a family in Canberra. Getting around the city is a breeze compared to other major Australian capitals. Drive easily between the furthest venues in well under an hour. With four distinct seasons, there are year-round options for both indoor and outdoor activities. For fun that lasts for days, be sure to have a look at 3infun which offers discount entry and bonus value at three of Canberra's top three family attractions.
Australian Institute of Sport
Join the nation’s elite athletes in an environment that reflects Australia’s commitment to sport and our ongoing pursuit of excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport. Your family can find out what it takes to become an elite athlete with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Institute led by an elite athlete. While on your tour, you may see gymnasts in training or some of Australia's top swimmers doing their laps. You 3infun pass is redeemable at the AIS.
Segway around Lake Burley Griffin
Tweens and all ages above will love gliding around Lake Burley Griffin’s cycle paths and through the picturesque Commonwealth Park on a guided segway tour with Seg Glide Ride.
Keep your kids engaged with the Australian story by searching for objects on the free self-guided 30 minute National Museum of Australia Trailblazer tour. Pick up an activity pack at the information desk. Be sure to visit the Garden of Australian Dreams in the centre of the museum - an iconic example of Canberra architecture.
Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
At Questacon, you’ll experience science in extraordinary ways. There’s something for everyone in Questacon’s eight galleries. Free-fall down a six-metre slide, experience an earthquake and see lightning or challenge a robot to a game of air hockey. Little scientists and their carers will enjoy Mini Q as they play, discover and learn in a gallery just for 0-6 year olds. No visit is complete without watching - or starring in - a Spectacular Science Show, presented each day.
With more than 200 interactive exhibits to explore, discover the smarter way to have fun. Questacon is one of the popular attractions included in a 3infun pass.
See native Australian fauna
Just 45 minutes from the city centre at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, you can spot platypus, emus, watch for wallabies, kangaroos and more. Have a picnic, explore the Sanctuary and play on the Nature Discovery Playground. There are plenty of short bushwalks to do that explore wet forests, Aboriginal rock shelters, lyrebird haunts, and fern-lined cascades. Walking trail maps are available at the visitors centre.
Shop the sales
Take advantage of great shopping at Canberra’s retail centres including the Canberra Centre, Westfield Belconnen and Woden, the Tuggeranong Hyperdome and Canberra Outlet Centre in Fyshwick.
Be crafty and get arty
Check out the children’s programs at the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, and the Canberra Glassworks.
Cockington Green Gardens
Tower over miniature versions of famous buildings from around the world and ride the miniature steam train at the delightful miniature village of Cockington Green Gardens at Gold Creek Village. Kids can bring the exhibits to life by interacting with the mechanical animation. A streaker at the cricket and The Stig even make an appearance. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the immaculately kept grounds or a bite to eat from the Parsons Nose Garden Cafe. The 3infun pass includes this iconic Canberra family attraction.
Cool off at Big Splash
Cool down in summer and ride the slides at Canberra’s Big Splash Waterpark in north Canberra close by Canberra Stadium and the Australian Institute of Sport. Plenty of shady areas and pools for both toddlers and experienced swimmers make this a great spot to chill on warm sunny days.
Lake Burley Griffin
Enjoy a relaxed afternoon with your family on and around Lake Burley Griffin.Why not hire some kayaks or canoes from R.E.A.L. Fun Adventures to explore more the Canberra’s favourite lake? Explore the wildlife and lake foreshore then make your way over to the Captain Cook Jet fountain in the Central Basin.
Hot air ballooning
For a bird’s eye perspective on the capital, head upwards on a hot air balloon flight and see the early morning sun fill the valleys and lakes with soft morning light. Canberra is one of the few cities in the world where you may end up drifting over a country’s Parliament House.
Pod Playground at the National Arboretum Canberra
Pod Playground is an entertaining playground featuring Banksia cubby houses, acorn-shaped pods at various heights, connected by rope tunnels and tube slides, as well as discovery trails and climbing nets. Pod Playground is found in the National Arboretum Canberra, home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world. Take a free guided walk with one of the friendly and knowledgeable volunteers from the Friends of the Arboretum or relax at the Village Centre.
Be moved at the Australian War Memorial
Take some time to reflect and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Australian servicemen and women at the Australian War Memorial. The Memorial is commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War. Time your visit to stay for the moving Last Post Ceremony where the life of an Australian serviceman or woman is remembered.
Take the opportunity to interact with and learn about glass making at the Canberra Glassworks. The Glassworks provides diverse opportunities for visitors meet artists, see glassmaking as it happens, view exhibitions, take tours and have a hands-on experience working with glass.
Entry to the Canberra Glassworks is by donation and but charges apply to workshops, special guided tours and special events. Young visitors to the Glassworks can hunt for the clues in their Lightbulb Moments or purchase a Passport to the Past for just $5 at the front desk and tour the building stamping your passport along the way.
National Zoo & Aquarium
The National Zoo & Aquarium aims to offer enriching, interactive and hands on experiences that will enable people of all ages to be inspired and encouraged to assist in the creation of a more balanced and positive future between humans and the natural world.
Experience the thrill of coming face to face with tigers, bears, giraffes and more at Canberra’s National Zoo & Aquarium. Get the opportunity to get up close and personal with creatures great and small. Whether you are feeding a white lion, holding a snake or making friends with a giraffe, it’s sure to be a memorable encounter.
Family friendly accommodation in Canberra
For deals and packages and one of the most comprehensive listings of Canberra accommodation, visit our online listing. You can also call our friendly team at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre on 1300 554 114 for last minute deals and helpful travel advice.