Whether your children want to be inspired, explore and play, learn something new or just have fun there’s something that will appeal to every kid in Canberra during these autumn school holidays.
Imagine if you could taste with your fingers and hear with your hair! Spiders, a joint exhibition between Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre and the Australian Museum, will help you to unlock the secretive world of these captivating creatures. Weave your way through the fascinating exhibits and interactive displays to discover how these web-weavers, hunters and burrowers outlived the dinosaurs to become one of the most successful creatures on earth. Challenge a peacock spider to a dance-off or, if you dare, ‘hold’ a virtual wolf spider in the palm of your hand!
The National Dinosaur Museum holds tours every weekend and during the school holidays, so why not join one of their expert staff to experience a journey through time? Take your camera, your friends, those burning dinosaur questions and join the knowledgeable staff for a fun and educational tour suitable for all ages. Tours are free with admission to the museum.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of decimal currency, Parliament House is hosting The Changeover, a free exhibition by the Royal Australian Mint. This exhibition features pre and post decimal currency and many rarities including a leather wallet of prototype decimal coins given to former Prime Minister Robert Menzies. It is said that Menzies took a keen interest in the decimal changeover, and he carried the wallet of prototype decimal coins to show dignitaries. The condition of the coins suggests that they were shown off frequently.
Explore the collection at the National Portrait Gallery before participating in activities like Story Time, Drawn In and Art Cart – Accessories me. Explore portraits through drawing and creative activity in the galleries as part of Portrait Play. This program for children from 4-8 years to share with family and friends runs daily in school holidays. Bookings essential.
Gather around the telly and bask in the glow of vintage ABC at the National Archives of Australia. Australian life, including family favourite Play School, is reflected on screen in the free Tuning In: ABC TV 1964–76 exhibition.
Try something new
The National Gallery of Australia is running both free and paid events for kids during the autumn school holidays. Creative workshops in gallery spaces are free, fun, change regularly and you can drop in anytime with no booking required. Your family might also like taking part in Creative Meditation for Children on 12 April, ASI: Art Scene Investigation on 14 April and the popular Art Explorer events. Bookings essential.
Use your imagination to explore life during China’s last imperial dynasty in the National Library of Australia’s Celestial Empire Family Room. Kids and parents can contribute to a giant collaborative dragon artwork. Other activities will include storytelling, puppeteering, craft, and colouring with ample space to curl up with a Chinese storybook. Do you children love to write? They can take part in a session for young writers by award winning children’s author Christopher Cheng on 14 April. Bookings essential.
Let your creativity run wild with the National Museum of Australia’s school holiday program. Is the National Museum building like any other building you have ever seen? Do you know what it represents? If you could build a museum, how would it look and what would be on display? Inspired by the building architecture, children can design, make or draw their very own Museum these school holidays in Discovery Space. Grab a building trail and take a self-guided tour, uncovering more secrets of the building. Seek out the three drawing spaces inside the Museum where unusual architectural views will inspire you to draw.
Draw like a pro in the Museum Of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House’s Cartooning Masterclass. Develop the skills of a professional in this fun, hands-on workshop with cartoonist Andrew Hore. Learn some trade secrets and have fun exploring some of Australia’s greatest political cartoons in the Behind the Lines 2015exhibition. Bookings essential.
Be brave and take part in an animal encounter at the National Zoo & Aquarium to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing creatures like cheetahs, sharks, sun bears, white lions and red pandas. During the school holidays the Zoocation program offers a unique experience for primary aged children; they will get up close and personal with many of the zoo’s animals, play games and make toys for the animals.
For more great school holiday ideas and places to stay in the capital, visit www.visitcanberra.com.au.