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17 Things to do in Canberra with Children

With a vibrant culture, rich history, and welcoming family-friendly atmosphere, Canberra is a choice destination for families all over the world.

To help you make the most out of your trip, we’ve put together a definitive (and kid-approved) list of the 17 best things to do in Canberra for your next family holiday!

   

Visit Mr Squiggle at The Royal Australian Mint

With free entry all year round, The Royal Australian Mint is a great place to get a glimpse of how Australian coins are made! Discover the rich history behind the Australian currency and try your hand at minting your own coin.

The Mint also hosts school holiday activities for kids, including a Mini-Minties Kids Program with story time, gallery exploration and craft activities all about saving your coins! This year, 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.  The exhibit is at The Mint from now until 28 July 2019.

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!

   

Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports

 

Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports builds a unique and exciting bridge between the great outdoors and the cosy indoors where you can go on an alpine adventure no matter the weather. Whether you’re new to the slopes or a seasoned professional, Vertikal offer tailored experiences designed specifically with your skill levels in mind, making it the perfect indoor adventure for the whole family.

Located at 1 Dairy Road, Building 3, Fyshwick ACT

Open Tues to Sat from 8 am - 8 pm, and Sundays from 8 am to 6 pm

Cost: between $64 to $100

   

Discover the wonders of Mulligans Flat

There aren’t many places on earth where you can spot a striped legless lizard, hooded robin and other rare, endangered species all in one place. Mulligans Flat is truly a one-of-a-kind sanctuary that’s protecting many native and endangered flora and fauna from predators and threat of urbanisation.

Kids will love spotting the Eastern Bettong, Bush Stone Curlew, and the Eastern Quoll,  all of which were once close to extinction but now call this box-gum grassland their home. With clearly marked walking tracks and informative brochures, it’s easy to go on a self-guided wildlife with the whole family.

Located at the Corner of Quinane Avenue & Justice Kelly Street, Forde ACT

Open all day, every day.

Cost: Free entry

   

Ice Skating at Phillip Ice Skating Centre

Got a budding ice hockey player or Olympic figure skater in your midst? Get your skates on and take the whole family to the Phillip Ice Skating Centre,  a Canberran institution welcoming you all year round for some ice skating fun.

Whether you are a semi-pro on the ice or an absolute beginner, you are sure to have fun, get exercise and pick up some skills. On Fridays, join in on Disco Night with some pumping tunes and disco lights.

Located at Irving Street, Phillip ACT

Daily sessions from 10am, Evenings Sessions Monday to Saturday (except Friday)

from 8pm to 10pm, and Friday Night Disco from 8.30pm to 11pm

Cost: Between $15.00 and $20.00

    

Mount Stromlo Observatory

If you have a mini-astronomer, head up to the Mount Stromlo Observatory to experience a night marvelling at the wonders of the universe. Tag along on a walking tour of Mount Stromlo Observatory to get insight about its history, science and the future of space.

The short tour takes you through the labs displaying fascinating equipment, a visit to the space simulation chamber and a walk through the site of semi-restored facades from the 2003 bushfires. It's interesting, exciting, insightful, and a hit for any science lover!

Located at Mount Stromlo Road, off Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT

Open daily from 6 am - 7 pm

Cost: Free entry! Sire tours from $5.59

    

Questacon – The National Science and Technology

This list topper is a family favourite for its awesome line up of interactive science exhibits and colourful displays designed to excite, entertain and encourage young minds. So if you’re looking for something to keep them off their phones, a visit to Questacon will surely spark their imagination and pique their scientific curiosity.

Kids can experience an earthquake, meet a robot, or free fall down a six-metre slide. And for little tots aged 0 to 6 years, Mini Q is a safe and colourful playspace where they can play, learn, and tinker around.

Located at King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ACT

Open every day from 9 am - 5pm

Cost: Between $17.50 and $23.00. Free entry for children under the age of 4 years. Family rates from $70.

    

Pod Playground at the National Arboretum

If you’re looking for an activity that won’t break the bank, the Pod Playground is a one-of-a-kind outdoor play space for kids (and kids at heart). Its awe-inspiring design encourages kids to clamber across the climbing nets, slip down the tube slides and run around the acorn-shaped cubbies, all the while making new friends.

Located at the National Arboretum, Molonglo Valley ACT

Open every day from 7 am - 5.30pm

Cost: Free entry

   

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Get up close and personal with some of Australia’s native flora and fauna at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Spot some koalas, wombats, and a range of bird species while strolling through the easy and pram-accessible walking trails.

And for a quintessentially Aussie day out, cook up a BBQ while keeping the kids entertained in the Nature Discovery Playground.

Located off Paddy's River Road, via Cotter Road (Weston Creek) or Point Hut Crossing (Gordon)

Open at 7.30 am -  6 pm during winter; and 7.30 am - 8 pm in summer

Cost: Between $8 to $13 per vehicle. For more information, click here.

  

National Zoo and Aquarium

The National Zoo and Aquarium will be a delight for mini zookeepers and zoologists-to-be. For a truly unique and memorable trip highlight, kids can hand feed white lions and encounter tree kangaroos up close!

We also love the Rainforest Café where you can grab a quick bite while being entertained by a family of uber cute Capuchin Monkeys nearby.

Located at 999 Lady Denman Dr, Yarralumla ACT

Open every day from 9.30 am - 5pm

Cost: Children 4 to 15- years $25, Adults - $45, and kids under 4 years are a gold coin donation.

    

PlayUP at the Museum of Modern Democracy (Old Parliament House)

PlayUp is an amazing addition to the iconic Museum of Modern Democracy (Old Parliament House) in Canberra.  It’s an incredible indoor children’s play space 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!

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.

    

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!

Located at 6 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls ACT

Open everyday from 10 am - 5pm

Cost: Between $9.90 and $16. Free entry for children under 4 years.

    

Cockington Green Gardens

Step into the enchanting and fascinating miniature world of Cockington Green Gardens. This well-loved tourist attraction features a fantastic display of meticulously crafted miniature buildings and landmarks from Scotland, Greece, Columbia, the Philippines and all over the world!

The miniature steam train ride, which takes you on a scenic journey around the mini world and the beautiful garden landscape, is a definite crowd pleaser.

Located at 11 Gold Creek Road Nicholls ACT

Open everyday from 9.30 am – 5pm

Cost: Between $11.50 and $19.50. Free entry for children under 4 years.

    

Kids Pantry

Looking to try something different? Kids Pantry is Canberra’s first and only cooking school and kitchen garden dedicated to little foodies and aspiring chefs!

With a goal of inspiring the next generation of cooks, Kids Pantry offers chef sessions for little tots aged up to 6 years, and more advanced classes for 8 to 12-year-olds. Kids will learn the fundamentals of cooking and gardening, along with valuable healthy eating habits.

Located at 9 Prescott Lane, Yarralumla ACT 2600

More info: Head to their website at www.kidspantry.com.au for more detailed information on costs and times.

    

Canberra Glassworks


Add something uniquely Canberran to your itinerary and visit the contemporary glass centre, located just a short drive from the Old Parliament House. Book a family tour for an informative and immersive experience or go at your own pace with a self-guided journey through the Canberra Glassworks.

For a one-of-a-kind holiday keepsake, kids aged 8 years and up can learn how to make and design their own coloured glass tile.

Located at 11 Wentworth Ave, Kingston ACT 2600

Open Wed to Sun from 10am4pm

Cost: Free entry. Prices apply for tours.

    

Yarralumla Play Station

The Yarralumla Play Station has an amazing collection of things to do for kids and adults alike. Hop on a leisurely miniature train ride along the iconic Weston Park Railway which takes you through the area’s historic sites and monuments. The whole family can also meet some furry pals at the mini farm, or enjoy a friendly game of mini golf.

Located at 9 Prescott Lane, Yarralumla ACT 2600

Open Mon to Fri from 8.30 am to 4.30pm; and Sat to Sun from 8am to 5.30pm

Cost: Free entry. Prices apply for the mini golf and train.

    

Sightseeing cruise along Lake Burley Griffin

For a relaxing maritime adventure, MV Southern Cross offers sightseeing cruises along the picturesque Lake Burley Griffin. Be inspired by the stunning views of Canberra’s many lakeside attractions and get some down time after a full itinerary of adventures. And really, what kid doesn’t love a boat ride?

Located at Mariner Place, Yarralumla ACT

Departure times vary. Click here for more info.

Cost: Between $9 to $18. Free for children under 5 years.

   

Power Kart Raceway

Got a future Formula One driver in your family? Live life inthe fast lane and take the whole family go-kart racing at the Power Kart Raceway!

Keen drivers can enjoy an adrenaline-packed race around Power Kart’s Formula One style indoor circuit. They also have a glow-in-the-dark mini golf, arcade machines, and a café stocked with treats for everyone.

Located at 125 Canberra Ave, Griffith, Canberra ACT

Open Mon to Fri from 10am – 10pm, Sun from 9am - 8pm, and Sat from 9am - 10pm

Cost: Junior rates from $32, and adults from $38. For more information, click here.