It’s no secret that Family fun and Canberra go hand-in-hand. With an endless roster of kid-friendly activities all year round, there’s always something going on in and around the city to keep even the fussiest of tots entertained.
So if you’re scouting for new things to do with the little ones, we’ve rounded up a list of boredom-busting and kid-approved activities in Canberra these school holidays. And as a bonus, we promise you’ll have a great time too!
Read on to find out how you can make the most out of the school holidays.
Images via Corin Forest and Visit Canberra
Located in the Tidbinbilla Mountain Ranges is Corin Forest, a spectacular winter wonderland offering an alpine adventure all year round! For some wholesome family fun, head to the Snow Play area where kids can frolic in the snow, build snowmen, get into a friendly snowball fight, or ride a toboggan!
Meanwhile, snow enthusiasts, young and old, can test their skills at snowboarding and skiing. If your kids are new to the slopes, Corin Forest has beginner snowboarding and ski lessons suitable for kids aged 4 to 14 years old. These lessons are led by qualified instructors and custom-designed with a gentle terrain so you know your little ones are in good hands.
Afterwards, head to the lodge where you can kick off your boots and roast marshmallows over an open fire or cosy up with a hot chocolate in hand.
Corin Forest is not just a winter playground, either – in warmer months, visitors can bushwalk, mountain bike, enjoy a picnic or race down the Southern Hemisphere’s longest alpine slide.
Located at 1268 Corin Dam Road, Paddys River, ACT
Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: Snowplay tickets from $20, children under 2 years enter free; Ski Area Ticket from $40
Images via Royal Australian Mint
The Royal Australian Mint is not only a great place to get a glimpse of Australia’s rich history, but they also host school holiday programs and activities for kids all year round! For the month of July, the Mint is featuring an exhibition to commemorate Mr Squiggle and his creator, Norman Hetherington, complete with original Mr Squiggle puppets and other items that will take you on a nostalgic journey. Hurry and visit Mr Squiggle before the exhibition ends on 28 July 2019.
Along with free guided tours from Monday to Friday, kids can also enjoy the monthly Mini-Minties Kids Program which can include storytimes, gallery exploration and arts and craft activities all about saving your coins!
Junior Minties aged 6 to 12 years can participate in a kid-friendly coin swap where they can start or add to their coin collection by selecting some of the rare and exciting coins The Mint has on offer.
Located at Royal Australian Mint, Denison Street, Deakin, ACT
Open Mon and Fri from 8.30 am to 5 pm, and Sat and Sun from 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: Entry is free!
Image credits: Courtesy of NGA; Claude Monet, Impression, sunrise [Impression, soleil levant] 1872 Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
If you’ve got a budding artist, The National Gallery of Australia is not one to be missed these school holidays. The National Gallery’s Mobile Studio is a program specially designed to encourage mini artists to create works of art inspired by current displays and exhibits. Kids will also enjoy NGA Play’s Sally Smart where they can create their own costumes, dress up and put on a play in a fun and colourful play space!
A must-add to your NGA itinerary is the Monet: Impression Sunrise exhibit on now until 01 September 2019. Travelling for the first time to Australia, the exhibit features Monet’s masterpieces, alongside artworks from James McNeill Whistler, Alfred Sisley and Eugène Boudin, whose early works inspired Monet.
The vivid colours and purposeful brush strokes are sure to inspire art lovers of all ages! Afterall as Claude Monet once said, "Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand when it is simply necessary to love."
And as the Official Accommodation Partner for this exhibit, we have accommodation packages that include one night’s stay, 2 tickets to the exhibition with priority access, free parking and free WiFi.
Located at The National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT
Monet: Impression Sunrise Exhibition until 01 September. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: Monet Tickets from $22, more info here.
Images via Visit Canberra and Questacon
If you’re looking for something interactive to do indoors, head to Questacon- a family favourite for its awesome line up of kid-friendly science exhibits and colourful displays. These school holidays Questacon is hosting Mid Winter NIghts from 10th to 13th July, designed to excite, entertain and encourage young minds.
The event features glow in the dark arts and crafts, indoor glowing snowball fights, and a live DJ to play some tunes as you dance under The Moon. Be sure to catch the BOC Liquid Nitrogen Show, a colourful spectacle of (safe) explosions made from one of the coldest substances known.
After hours of learning and fun, treat your little scientist to the Flashing Fairy Floss at the Questacon Shop, or fuel up at the glow in the dark outdoor food court. It’s a sure-fire hit for kids and the kids at heart - guaranteed to keep them off their Ipads and phones!
Located at King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ACT
Open Wednesday to Saturday from 5.30 pm to 7pm until July 13, 2019
Cost: Between $12.50 and $17.50. Family rates from $45. Free entry for children under the age of 4 years.
Images via Visit Canberra
PlayUp is an amazing addition to the iconic Museum of Modern Democracy (Old Parliament House) in Canberra. This school holiday’s Right to Have an Opinion and Be Heard Program lets kids explore the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child in an educational yet playful way. The incredible indoor children’s play space is designed specifically to inspire young minds to speak up, make up, play up and be future thought leaders.
From the roleplay Kindness Café, to listening pods, fuzzy felt wall, and arts and crafts area, PlayUp has something for everyone to enjoy. Adults can even join in on the fun too! There are also free facilitated craft activities from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm every day.
Located at 18 King George Terrace, Parkes, ACT
Open every day from 9 am - 5pm
Cost: Between $1.00 and $2.00. Family rate from $5.
Images via National Dinosaur Museum
Travel back to the prehistoric era at the National Dinosaur Museum, featuring lifelike dinosaur models from different periods gone by. Dino-fans of all ages will be especially thrilled about the moving, roaring, and breathing animatronic dinosaurs! You can even meet Canberra’s biggest dinosaur - a 20-metre long Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Mini paleontologists can also win a real fossil to take home by taking part in the museum’s Dinosaur Hunt. Search for answers in displays, learn about extinct creatures and the land before time, all the while having lots of fun. They also have free half guided tours where curious minds can ask the friendly and experienced staff their most pressing dino questions.
Located at 6 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls ACT
Open daily from 10 am - 5pm
Cost: Between $10.50 and $16. Family passes from $45. Free entry for children under 4 years.
Image via Bricks4Kidz
Lego, ubiquitous in any child’s toy box, has lasted through more than 70 years of kid’s playtime, multiple feature films, and even a theme park dedicated to it. Not only is it fun but did you know that it is also a powerful tool for teaching fine motor skills, problem-solving, and lateral thinking among others?
The clever folks behind Bricks 4 Kidz created a fun yet enriching program all about playing with Legos! Originating in Florida, Bricks 4 Kidz encourages creativity, originality and inspiration through an amazing lineup of themed school holiday programs. Kids can enjoy Emmet's Adventures (inspired by the LEGO® Movie), a Minecraft® inspired workshop, or the Winter and Wizards program which features elves, wizards and Frozen Princesses.
Located at 25/99 Eastern Valley Way, Belconnen ACT 2617
More info: Head to their website for more detailed information on costs and times.
Images via Walk-in Aviary | Visit Canberra
Kids are sure to love feeding the birds and encounter rare and colourful bird species at The Canberra Walk-in Aviary! It’s a great and fun way to learn about the spectacular Australian native birds as well as species from all over the world! Your entry fee includes a plate of bird food.
Here you’ll find a plethora of native Australian birds such as the brightly coloured rainbow lorikeets and Black Throated Finch, as well as species from around the world such as the Red Fody from Madagascar and the rare Luzon bleeding-heart pigeons from the Philippines. It’s a treasure trove for keen bird watchers and animal lovers of all ages.
Located at Federation Square, Gold Creek Village, O'Hanlon Place, Nicholls ACT
Open daily from 10am to 5pm
Cost: Between $9.50 and $13.00, Family passes from $40.