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Make the Most of Your Summer School Holidays in Canberra

December 3, 2016 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

With a flurry of family-friendly activities including animal encounters, exhibition tours, treasure hunts and creative workshops there’s something for kids of all ages in Canberra these school holidays.

Australia Day festivities

Australia Day in the Park offers fun entertainment and activities for the whole family on January 26 in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park. Kids can enjoy rides, amusements and games, make something crafty or be painted with Aussie faces and tattoos. End the day with family and friends by watching an amazing fireworks display. Pack a picnic, a rug and enjoy the range of entertainment on offer on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin for the Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular.cover_480x270

Celebrate all things old and the many cultures of Australia and the world at the National Museum of Australia’s Australia Day Festival: A World of History and Culture. Enjoy tours, music, dance, demonstrations, workshops, games, food and fun this 26 January.

Hunt for treasure

Want to go on a treasure hunt, play spot the difference and wave at giant robots? Collect the special My Visit to the Mint activity booklet at the Royal Australian Mintthese school holidays and go on an adventure to learn how all of Australia’s circulating coins are made! Once you have completed the free activity booklet, be sure to make your own coin to remember your journey.

Take your camera, your friends and any burning dinosaur questions for a fun and educational journey back in time on a tour of the National Dinosaur Museum. With one of the largest permanent displays of dinosaurs and prehistoric life in Australia, you’ll discover how dinosaurs evolved and interacted amid skulls, skeletons, murals, models and fossils not on display anywhere else in the world.

Make, create and innovate

Draw inspiration from the National Portrait Gallery’s current exhibition The Popular Pet Show, currently on show until 13 March, and create a three dimensional portrait of your real or imagined pet in modelling material at the Dream pet workshop. Take part in PAWS for art on 21 January and draw to live music, paint your pet portraits with artist Darren McDonald, enjoy a range of creative activities in the family space, take in a movie screening and pose in the outdoor photo booth.

Relax in the courtyard at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House for Arts and crafts under the trees. Enjoy craft, games, books and fun in beautiful outdoor surrounds on weekdays during the school holidays for a small cost.

Walk on the wild side

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 to meet many of the zoo’s animals, play games and make toys for the animals.

Meet and learn about many of Australia’s snakes, dragons, goannas, lizards, turtles and frogs at the 2017 Snakes Alive Exhibition at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. There will be plenty of opportunities to hold and take selfies with an animal, impress your friends on Facebook, enjoy regular talks and feeding times, or become a citizen scientist for a small cost from 16-22 January.

Give your little one a traditional Aussie bush experience at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Throughout the summer school holidays there are ranger guided activities including boomerang throwing lessons with Indigenous rangers and an obstacle course where kids can run themselves ragged.  Join a tour and search for koalas in the canopy, explore the natural wonders of the Sanctuary or feed the pelicans with a wildlife officer. Interested in Geology? Join dedicated volunteers on the Tidbinbilla Geo-journey walk to discover the amazing geological history of the Tidbinbilla Valley.

Educate, experience and respect

Take the family to a major international exhibition that explores the history of humanity – how we have shaped the world, and how the world has shaped us ‒ from two million years ago until the present. A History of the World in 100 Objects from The British Museum is showing at the National Museum of Australia until 29 January. Put on a hat and take a picture, draw a portrait or write your name in hieroglyphs in the hands-on exhibition family space, where kids can learn more about objects and their stories.

Take a behind-the-scenes exploration of 30 of the most important Australian homes of the past 60 years at the National Archives of Australia’s Iconic Australian Housesexhibition. Vivid photography, rich illustrations, 3D models and interviews look beyond the physical structures to tell the story of how good design can enrich lifestyle. Kids can enjoy puzzles, play a board game and read a book from a selection of Australian stories in the School Holiday Family Corner or join in the fun of School Holiday Workshops from 16–20 January.

Play and learn

Why not provide your children with a program that will keep them active and engaged these school holidays, while giving them a chance to make new friends and develop new skills? The Australian Institute of Sport’s School Holiday programs will provide the perfect opportunity! They can choose from multi-sport, soccer, tennis, swimming, club aquatics or a combination of all across a number of days.

Step into the shoes of Kings and Queens from Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette at the National Gallery of Australia’s brand new family activity playground, NGA Play.  With a program of scheduled activity and free play during the Versailles: Treasures from the Palace exhibition, NGA Play ignites the senses with tactile gardens, fountains and a recreation of the Hall-of-Mirrors. Want to see the Versailles exhibition while you’re there?  Children aged 16 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets available through Ticketek.

Visit Questacon and discover the amazing world of mathematics that underlies the world we live in. Full of fun, hands-on activities and mega puzzles, Mathamazing takes the abstract and challenging world of maths and turns it into a fun hands-on experience for the whole family.  Learn how science uses knitting to answer fundamental questions about the universe, and see that the fastest way between two points is not always a straight line. Multiply with a mechanical monkey, learn logic with three goats and discover how to count like a computer!

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