Rug up and tackle the cold

Seek out some snow at Corin Forest Mountain Resort, a purpose-built snow play park just 45 minutes from Canberra where kids of all ages can make their own Olaf the snowman, hurtle downhill on toboggans or throw a snowball or ten. Snowplay in the purpose built snowplay area is fun for the entire family and there are 2.5 hour sessions held three times a day.

For a cool experience in the city, head to the pop-up skating rink in Garema Place as part of the Skating at Canberra festival, where you’ll be able to slide and glide your way around a giant open-air ice rink daily. And for those who want something other than skating there'll also be an ice slide, jumping castle and carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel from 29 June until 22 July.

Head to the National Arboretum Canberra between 3-16 July and rug up the kids for Walking with the Wollemi, learn about fossils and make their own. Join in ‘Stories in the Forests’ as you walk through the enchanted winter woods and discover some of the stories held by the trees.

People skating at a pop-up skating rink
Skate at the pop-up skating rink in Garema Place as part of the Skating at Canberra festival

Ditch the snow and see a show

Mister Maker Returns is a brand-new theatre show, perfect for children of all ages and their grown-ups too!  Joining Mister Maker on stage at the Canberra Theatre Centre on 10 July will be his famous side-kicks The Shapes as well as the Mister Maker dancers.  There are also games to be played and prizes to be won.

The La Petite Grand Theatre tent will host shows from 7-22 July in City Walk during its visit to Canberra. There will be daily performances of Circus Winter Wonderland, a 45-minute family circus extravanganza packed with amazing acrobatics and stacks of silliness.

Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, Little Beauty is a playful theatrical journey in search of beauty, depicting the desire to capture beauty and immortalise it in portraiture. The vivid performance is performed by charismatic duo in Adriano Cappelletta and Holly Austin.

Enjoy a winter school holiday free film screening at Parliament House of two classic Australian films – Storm Boy and Bran Nue Dae – courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Make and create

Discover Colour at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, and see the world in a new light. Turn a blue butterfly green or visit the Room of Missing Colours and hear fascinating stories from people who see colour when they hear music.

Explore art at The National Gallery of Australia and sign your juniors up to a paid workshop and let them solve a hot new mystery involving priceless gems that’s straight from the secret Art Scene Investigation files and Cartier: The Exhibition. There’s also creative meditation on July 17 where they can spend quiet time in the presence of evocative works of art inspires our sense of wonder and delight in the world. 

A giraffe at the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra
Enjoy a fun-filled day of working with the zookeepers at the National Zoo & Aquarium

Go wild this winter

Go behind the barriers into Zoocation tour at the National Zoo and AquariumDuring a fun-filled day of working with the zookeepers, children can get up close and personal with many of the Zoo’s animals, play games and make toys for the animals.

Give your little one a traditional Aussie bush experience at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Join a ranger-guided walk, search for koalas in the canopy, go platypus spotting or feed the pelicans with a ranger. If that’s not enough, simply roam the bush trails of the Reserve and spot koalas, emus, kangaroos, platypuses, reptiles, possums and echidnas.

You can also take your wild ones to the National Dinosaur Museum for free guided tours, which will run throughout the school holidays. Bring your camera, your friends and those burning dinosaur questions for a fun and educational journey back in time.

Stay active

Keep your kids active and entertained over the school holidays at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). The school holiday programs are suitable for primary school aged children and have a focus on participation and having a good time. Choose from the Pre-School Holiday Program, Swim Intensive, Soccer, AFL and a general Sports Vacation Program.

Adrenaline junkies will love Canberra’s Power Kart Raceway, an exhilarating racing experience featuring world class electric go-karts on an indoor circuit. There’s also iSkate Park – Australia’s first synthetic ice rink – and an indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf course, arcade machines and café.

Children lounging in PlayUP at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
PlayUP is the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House’s colourful family space

Educate, experience and respect

Ever wondered that life might have been like on board a submarine in the Cold War? Visit the Discovery Zone at the Australian War Memorial to find out. Practice Morse code in a First World War trench, explore the Australian home front during the Second World War, climb into an Iroquois helicopter, and try your hand at some of the jobs done by today's peacekeepers.

Join us on a Marvellous Motifs tour of the exhibition ‘So That You Might Know Each Other’: Faith and Culture in Islam at the National Museum of Australia and discover the incredible motifs, patterns, shapes and lines of Islamic art and design. Work with an artist and printmaker to inspire your own vibrant screen print to take home and contribute to the museum’s collaborative textile artwork.

Drop in to the National Library of Australia with your little learner to read, write, illustrate and imagine at WordPlay. A range of activities help your little ones to explore the shape, meaning and use of language. Or share your love for reading and stories with some funny and charming yarns from the Library’s collection at Winter Storytime.

Stand up, make up, think up and step up at PlayUP, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House’s colourful family space that flips the traditional idea of museums completely on its head. After an exciting transformation, PlayUP has all-new activities to inspire and challenge young minds, including listening pods, a fuzzy felt wall, a roleplay Kindness Café and craft activities.

Wondering what else is on? Check out all events here.