Here’s a two-day weekend itinerary to entertain and delight the whole family. We’ve also suggested some nearby restaurants and cafes for breaks along the way.
For a tasty start to your day, try breakfast at one of the many cool cafes in the Braddon precinct.
Climb into a Vietnam War era helicopter, explore a First World War trench or a Cold War submarine, and learn about peacekeeping at the Australian War Memorial’s Discovery Zone. Take some time to reflect with your family while viewing the Roll of Honour, which records those Australians who died during conflicts.
During school holidays, the kids can participate in a trolley talk, where they handle real objects, dress up in nurse and soldier uniforms and hear incredible stories.
For a casual lakeside experience where the kids can still have a run around – only about 10 minutes’ drive from the War Memorial – you can have a relaxed bite to eat at Bookplate at the National Library of Australia. Or grab some fish and chips from Snapper on the Lake at the Canberra Yacht Club in Yarralumla.
Get ready for an unforgettable adventure for both the little and the big kids. Just 10 minutes’ drive from the city, you can go behind-the-scenes at the National Zoo & Aquarium. Try a Zooventure, Family or Walk on the Wildside tour. Help feed animals, look a big cat in the eye or handfeed a giraffe or bear at Australia’s only combined zoo and aquarium.
Kids over the age of 12 can do the Meet-a-Cheetah encounter and pat a cheetah.
Canberra’s thriving Kingston foreshore deserves a visit. It offers heaps of options for a delicious breakfast, a smooth coffee and a striking outlook over Lake Burley Griffin. Try the Local Press Café for tempting wholefoods. If you have time, drop in to the Old Bus Depot Markets for a squiz.
Your kids can burn off some energy exploring the magical Pod Playground at the National Arboretum Canberra. It features acorn cubbies at various heights that are connected by rope tunnels and tube slides, as well as climbing nets for younger children and Banksia cubbies with music-making activities.
With 94 forests of rare and symbolic trees planted across 250 hectares of rolling hills, there’s plenty of space for kids to run and roam. You can also join a guided walk and learn more about the Arboretum.
The Village Centre offers great views and the Sprout Cafe for a good place to refresh with a coffee and bite to eat.
With so many family-friendly dining spots, it can be hard to choose your next culinary stop. For a good mix of quality cuisine in a funky shipping container market-style set-up, head about 10 minutes’ drive to Westside Acton Park.
Before you head home, how about a delicious ice-cream or gelato from Frugii Dessert Laboratory in Braddon? The flavour combos must be tasted to be believed!
EXPERIENCESAustralian National Botanic Gardens
EXPERIENCESFour Winds Vineyard Cellar Door
EXPERIENCESNamadgi National Park and Visitors Centre
EXPERIENCESNational Film and Sound Archive of Australia
EXPERIENCESNational Gallery of Australia
EXPERIENCESCockington Green Gardens
EXPERIENCESCanberra Rex Hotel
EXPERIENCESCapital Region Farmers Markets