Try a few or visit them all. A return visit may be in order!
Enjoy classic Questacon experiences
Kids will clamour to visit Questacon — The National Science and Technology Centre. This interactive wonderland will have kids learning about the power of the elements, feeling the force of an earthquake, watching lightning strike twice and meeting the friendly mechanical humanoid, Robo Q. Questacon is more than a science lesson, it’s the spark that leads to a life of wonder and curiosity. Questacon is a multi-Australian Tourism Award winner with good reason.Book now
Meet animals big and small
See animals big and small from red pandas to rhinos. Enjoy more than you expect with animal encounter experiences that will see you meet and feed giraffes, white lions, meerkats and more. With 2.6km of walking trails, following the numbered Adventure Trail map is a great way to explore the National Zoo & Aquarium. With dedicated picnic and barbecue areas – plus a pretty roarsome kids playground – you can make a day of it. Check times for the daily activities and keeper talks. During school holidays, the Zoo offers a Zoocation holiday program – make sure you book in early to guarantee a place.Book now
Roar like a dinosaur and see life in miniature at Gold Creek Village
You’ll find giant dinosaurs, little people, reptiles and more at Gold Creek Village, a wonderland for the young and young at heart. Brush up on your Muttaburrasaurus facts during a tour of the National Dinosaur Museum and admire its extensive gemstone and fossil collection. Take part in a fun treasure hunt at Cockington Green Gardens’ miniature village while admiring the impeccably maintained seasonal gardens housing hand-built structures from your seat on their steam train. Feed birds from your hand – or from on top of your head – at the Walk-in Bird Aviary and see reptiles up close at the Canberra Reptile Zoo. It’s guaranteed family fun.
Tons of indoor fun
Too hot, too cold, too wet? No problem. In Canberra, you’re spoiled for choice. Take your little wizards to the Harry Potter themed Quizzic Alley shop and join a potion making class. Ski year-round at Vertikaal Indoor Snow Sports – the perfect place to try skiing or train before your visit to the snowfields. Nearby, climb boulders and walls at Blochaus or challenge your mates to an electric go kart race, game of glow-in-the-dark mini golf or ice skate on a synthetic surface at Powerkart Raceway. And of course attractions like the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House offer family activity spaces like PlayUP, where you’re kids can have fun while learning about democracy in action.
Spot an elusive platypus at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
There are plenty of paths to choose from at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, a 40-minute drive from the city centre, with a different experience at the end of each one. The 700m long Koala Path will take you past eucalypts that shelter the snuggly animals, Camels Hump trail boasts a sweeping view over Canberra and its surrounds, while the Sanctuary Loop offers plenty of opportunities for platypus spotting. Head to the reserve in August when the platypus are most active to learn about their habitat and lifecycle with the rangers. Join a Dhawura Tour to learn about Aboriginal history, connection to the land, bush foods and enjoy more than a walk through the wilderness. Oh, and did we mention the kids playground and vet centre?
Alpine adventures close to the city
Take an alpine adventure – just 45 minutes from the city centre. Year round you can enjoy the alpine slide – weaving your way down the 1.2km metal toboggan slide which takes you through the stunning Mountain Ash forest of the Gibralter Valley. In winter you don’t have to travel to the NSW ski fields to hit the slopes. Corin Forest has easy beginners’ slopes designed to show kids the snow ropes from tobogganing to the basics of snowboarding. For those who aren’t ready to tackle the downhills there are plenty of spaces to build snowmen or start an epic snowball fight. Head to the lodge and find more than an open fire. With a cosy café tucked inside this alpine retreat you can toast marshmallows, feast on woodfired pizza and enjoy hot chocolate looking out onto the snow.Book now
Two wheeled adventures
Locals affectionately have another name for the ACT – Australia’s Cycling Territory. Bike paths abound, connecting suburbs and green spaces to the city’s sights. Bring your bike on a visit or hire one or join a cycling tour. For mountain bike families, there’s plenty of locations to choose – from Majura Pines to Stromlo Forest Park – each with pump tracks and more. Weekend riders can hire a bike with helmet from the Canberra Region Visitor Centre for a leisurely ride around the lake. Teens (12+) can join a guided Segway tour and hire a scooter from Beam or Neuron if aged 16 (or 12+ if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian) to see the sights.
Make money at the Mint
The birthplace of Australia’s currency can make up to two million coins a day with the help of two robots, Robbie and Titan, and three automated guided vehicles called Penny, Pency and Florin. Kids can watch the robots hard at work from the Royal Australian Mint’s observation deck. They can even make a commemorative $1 coin. The mint has more than just contemporary coins. Head to the gift shop to see collector pieces, centenary coins, and the ultimate tooth fairy kit.Book now
Fuel hungry tummy with sweet favourites
What kid doesn’t love a sweet treat? For inventive and insta-worthy desserts visit Space Kitchen in Woden or Ricardo’s at Jamison. The creations not only look great but also taste divine. Think unicorn waffles made from all the colours of the rainbow and milkshakes with a twist.
Train rides and mini golf at Weston Park
Canberra’s Weston Park along the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin near the inner south suburb of Yarralumla is home to Yarralumla Play Station. Little ones will love the miniature train ride while school aged kids will be kept entertained with a 36-hole miniature Canberra themed golf course. Keen to putt on Parliament House? You can here. There’s also a farm featuring animals such as miniature ponies, lambs, sheep, pigs, alpacas, chickens and more. Grab a bite to eat at the café and then let the kids roam on the playground adjacent. Our insiders tip: grab arguably Canberra’s best kebab from the Yarralumla Turkish Halal Pide House or fish ‘n chips from Snapper by the Lake.