Explore Australia's coolest capital in winter
During winter, make time to discover the coolest capital city and explore the Australian National Collection in Canberra.
There’s always something cool to appeal to all adventure seekers, budding scientists or creative types in Canberra during the winter school holidays.
Winter Festival in the City
Experience the beauty of winter in the heart of Canberra on an open air ice skating rink for Winter Festival in the City. This month-long event is becoming a Canberra tradition and features open air ice skating, a giant slide, toboggan rides and European-style pop up food stalls.
Inspire your little sporting dynamo with an athlete-guided tour of the Australian Institute of Sport and learn what elite athletes undertake to make it in their sport. Test your sporting skills at Sportex, an interactive sports experience that will have you flying down a simulated icy track on a sled, kicking footballs, playing wheelchair basketball and racing a friend in a simulated ski race.
In winter, Corin Forest Mountain Resort transforms into a winter wonderland, the perfect setting for Canberra's only snow experience with snow play. Build a snowman, go tobogganing and start a snowball fight at Corin Forest.
Roar with the dinosaurs at the National Dinosaur Museum in the Gold Creek Village. You’ll find lots of animatronic dinosaurs as well as models and skeletons on display and your children can touch a 150-million-year-old dinosaur bone. Join one of their expert staff to experience a journey through time on a fun and educational weekend tour.
Hang with Australian icons
Take some time with the family and explore the collection at the National Portrait Gallery. Experience the gallery while participating in activities like Drawn in, Portrait Play and Story Time that the whole family can enjoy together. Depending on the latest programs, children aged 9-13 years can take part in a photography workshop, and create a photographic self-portrait experimenting with pose, expression, costume and symbols.
Australian flora rediscovered
Be amazed on an afterDARK Lantern Tour of the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Join a workshop to make a lantern you can then use as you embark on a fascinating guided night tour of the Gardens; it's an enthralling way to explore the Australian bush and spend a winter evening in the nation's capital.
A truly touching experience at the zoo
Go behind-the-scenes at the National Zoo & Aquarium with a Zooventure or Family Tour. 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, sharks, sun bears, white lions and red pandas. During the school holidays the Zoocation program offers a unique experience for primary aged children. On a fun-filled day, children will get up close and personal with many of the zoo's animals, play games, make toys for the animals, and maybe even learn something along the way.
At the Royal Australian Mint you can see one of the world's strongest robots make Australian coins. Count the 5 cent coins in the staircase and marvel at the giant colourful coins above your head. See fascinating coins from way back in history including tricky forgeries. You’ll be inspired to start your own coin collection and you can even make your very own coin in the Mint Coin Shop.
Street food and cool eats
Kick back with the family at Braddon’s newest niche The Hamlet and take your pick from a range of delicious food vans like BrodDogs, Mr Papa and April’s Caravan. The new urban village on Lonsdale Street has become home to a fantastic array of street food vendors and foodies have been beating a path to The Hamlet’s door since they set up shop on the vibrant street.
Seriously cool science
No family trip to Canberra is complete without experiencing the excitement of Questacon, home to more than 200 hands-on exhibits. At Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre you can free fall down a six-metre slide, experience an earthquake and star in a Spectacular Science Show. Explore colour, movement, light and sound in the Wonderworks gallery where you can freeze your shadow, make beautiful light patterns by dancing, or create your own unique Harmonograph artwork to take home.