Adventure time

1. Hand feed a hyena

Not just any zoo, you can get hands-on with the animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium. Are you brave enough to hand feed a tiger, lion, bear or hyena on the Awesome Roarsome Tour, one of many experiences on offer.

2. Animal encounters 

Explore local sanctuaries such as the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary where the endangered Eastern Bettong lives; go bird watching at Jerrabomberra Wetlands and visit the Sanctuary at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

3. Rug up

Whether it’s hot or cold outside, you can try ice skating indoors at Phillip Ice Skating Centre. For a limited time, 25 June through 11 July 2021, delight in the open air ice rink in the city centre at Wintervention. Want more of an alpine experience? Try skiing for the first time, take a toboggan down the slope or build a snowman at Corin Forest.

A child building a snowman at Corin Forest in winter
Snowman building is fun for all ages at Corin Forest in winter

4. Rock out

Test your climbing skills at Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing and bouldering skills at Blochaus in Fyshwick.

5. Ride a segway

Pop on your helmet and explore Lake Burley Griffin on a self-balancing Segway with Seg Glide Ride. A guide will show you how to use a segway and take you on a guided tour. For riders over 12 years of age.

6. Descend at speed

Stromlo Forest Park is the ultimate active outdoor circuit – for cycling, mountain biking, running, walking or horse-riding. Bring a picnic for sustenance. Check out the other popular mountain bike destinations in the ACT such as Majura Pines, Isaac Ridge and Cotter Pines.

A teenager mountain bike riding at Stromlo Forest Park
Kids who like an adrenlin rush will love mountain biking at Stromlo Forest Park

Back to nature

7. Go inside a pod

The coolest playground in town is at the National Arboretum Canberra, where you can explore the boundless landscape or create your own adventure within the magical Pod Playground.

8. Climb a mountain

Mount Ainslie Lookout offers an impressive and well-earned view after a trek up the mountain starting behind the Australian War Memorial. You might see a kangaroo or two on your walk.

9. Platypus pursuits

Head to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and explore the wetlands for an elusive platypus. You can watch the daily pelican feeding, take a hike, or watch the kangaroos from the playground.

A child learning about wildlife from a local ranger at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Canberra
A wildlife experience at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

10. Cruise on by

Grab your picnic supplies, friends and family and captain your own electric boat with GoBoats Canberra. Take a one hour cruise of Lake Burley Griffin and find out all about Canberra’s central features. The larger MV Southern Cross Cruises offers a range of sightseeing cruises from the Canberra Yacht Club in Yarralumla. In warmer months enjoy a spray from the Captain Cook Memorial Jet as you float by.

11. Drift above the city

An early start during March is the perfect time to see the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. All colours and sizes of hot air balloons take to the skies. If the wind keeps the balloons tethered to the ground, enjoy a hot breakfast and admire these massive wonders close up. Can't wait until March? You can enjoy a hot air balloon ride year round.

12. Spring blooms at Floriade

Make sure you take in at least one of the 30 days of fun at Floriade held annually from mid September to mid October in Commonwealth Park. Plenty of themed activities for kids, plus rides, games and heaps of space to explore.

Play, play, play

13. Science is fun

Watch lightning strike and sit inside a house during an earthquake experience. Questacon – the National Science and Technology is always adding new and exciting exhibits and hands-on experiences.

14. Games for kids

Kingpin in the Canberra Centre is the ultimate fun playground - from bowling to karaoke, table tennis, escape rooms and more. If gaming is your style, test your skills at iPlay at Westfield Belconnen, or try out the Riddle Room to test your problem-solving abilities (note, this Escape Room can be scary for some, so it’s best for the older kids). Canberra Escape Room is another popular spot.

15. Roar with a dinosaur

Brush up on your Muttaburrasauras facts during a tour of the National Dinosaur Museum at Gold Creek Village and admire its collection of gemstones and fossils. It's not far from Cockington Green Gardens and the Canberra Reptile Zoo.

16. Spells and wizardry

Harry Potter fans will go crazy for the Quizzic Alley shop in Fyshwick with potion making events often run.

17.  PlayUP at MOAD

Visit the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to time-warp back prior to the mid-1980s to see how pollies worked in this art-deco heritage building. Now a Museum telling Australia’s story of democracy, it provides engaging galleries including the popular PlayUP interactive family space. 

A child enjoying go-karting at Power Kart Raceway
The kids will have a rip-roaring time in Canberra

18. Hit the grid, rink and course

Clock your time in the fast lane on the thrilling Power Kart Raceway track. You’ll be a Formula One driver before you know it. If fast cars are not your thing, the indoor ice skating rink may appeal (its synthetic surface means not need for puffer jackets and gloves). Failing that, there's a fun glow-in-the-dark mini golf course.

19. Tee off

Try out the 36-hole Canberra-themed mini golf course at Yarralumla Play Station. Little ones will also love the miniature train and petting zoo here. 

Something a bit different

20. Through the hourglass

At Canberra Glassworks you can watch glass artists at work on the hot shop floor or make your own piece to take home. It's also a great spot for lunch with an onsite Brodburger outlet.

21. Retail therapy

For those kids with some pocket money to burn, there are shops galore at the Canberra Centre in the city and the Canberra Outlet Centre at Fyshwick.

22. A tiny life

See a whole community of miniature buildings, people, animals and adventures at Cockington Green Gardens. Don’t miss the details – look closely to see what those tiny people are doing.

Children enjoying Cockington Green Gardens
Kids of all ages will delight in Cockington Green Gardens

23. Reflection time

Book at time to explore the Australian War Memorial - the Last Post Ceremony at the end of the day is particularly moving.

24. Autumn lights

Enlighten is a spectacular display of architectural projections on our iconic attractions, plus music, yummy food and surprises along the way.

25. Celebrate Australia

There are loads of activities especially designed for kids at the national attractions.

26. Search the stalls

Buy tasty treats and fresh produce at the Capital Region Farmers Market at EPIC on a Saturday morning and the Haig Park Village Markets in Braddon on Sundays.

Refill the tummies

27. For burger buffs

Grab a baby sized fresh burger from local fave Brodburger in Kingston, Woden or Fyshwick or wrap your mouth around a Mookie burger in the city or Grease Monkey in Braddon, Woden and Gungahlin. 

A child looking at their huge Brodburger
Where to start? Choose a tasty option at Brodburger

28. Fancy food hall dining?

Kids want pizza, you want ramen? Verity Lane Market at the rear of the Sydney Building off London Circuit in the city offers food hall dining, ensuring everyone can choose what they want to eat and go home happy.

29. Sweet treats

You scream, I scream, we all scream Gelato Messina! Located both in Braddon and Kingston, it's your go to for ice cream heaven.

30. Dumplings

For lovers of fresh and tasty dumplings, CBD Dumpling House produces thousands of dumplings a day. You can also watch the chefs at work.

Stay family-friendly

There are plenty of great ideas for family accommodation in Canberra, including self-contained apartments and budget options. Search Canberra accommodation or talk to the friendly team at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre.

 

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