There’s plenty of screen free options in the capital. See the world in miniature at the much loved Cockington Green Gardens. A fun way to explore the gardens is with a treasure hunt of fun objects hidden throughout – you just might need an adult to help with some of the clues. Across the way is the National Dinosaur Museum, whose giant dinosaurs outside make kids feel like they are visiting Jurassic Park.
Search for bettongs at the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, spot platypus at The Sanctuary at Tidbinbilla, water dragons basking in the sun at the Australian National Botanic Gardens or perhaps spend a day playing name that animal at the National Zoo & Aquarium.
If mountain biking is your thing, check out some Canberra’s great mountain bike trails and pump tracks. If you’re visiting and don’t have a bike, you can hire one from a number of places including the Canberra Region Visitors Centre at Regatta Point.
Keep your cool
What better way to burn off energy and cool down than a dip on a hot summer’s day. For adventurous kids, look no further than Canberra Aqua Park’s inflatable world on Lake Burley Griffin located at Black Mountain Peninsula. Belconnen’s Big Splash Water Park hits the spot for some waterslide action, a 50-metre swimming pool and inflatables. Canberra’s other outdoor pools (Manuka, Dickson and Phillip) offer plenty of shade to chill when you’re out of the water while the city’s indoor pools (Stromlo, Tuggeranong, CISAC, and AIS Aquatic Centre) offer protection from the sun and many have kids play areas. Canberra Olympic Pool in the city centre offers both indoor and outdoor options plus a 25-metre diving board. With current health restrictions in play and limited numbers, bookings are essential.
Indoor options for curious minds
Beat the heat with a visit to Canberra’s museums and galleries who are exceptional at tailoring experiences for young minds. The Museum of Australian Democracy has a fun family trail as part of its Behind the Lines political cartoon exhibition. While you laugh at the brilliant satire of Australia’s top cartoonists and the aptly titled 2020 dogs’ breakfast theme, the kids will be entertained with the Whoosh machine. Drop a ball in the dog bowl and see it whoosh along the tubing attached to the wall to land at a doggy destination.
Across at the National Portrait Gallery, the Move It space will get the kids moving their body surrounded by art. Both the National Archives of Australia and Questacon have space related exhibitions – be sure to check out Out of this world and the science centre’s Mission to Mars small group tour. Questacon is now back offering it’s normal offerings as well, but hourly bookings are required.