Explore Cool Canberra these Winter School Holidays
It’s as easy as 1-2-3 keeping the kids entertained in Canberra these winter school holidays. Whether it’s ice skating in the centre of the city, spotting wildlife at Tidbinbilla, witnessing spellbinding bubble artistry or propelling downhill on a toboggan, your children will be begging you to return to Canberra again and again.
Brave the cold and seek out some snow
Winter in Canberra is the perfect time to give your kids a taste of the snow. Kids will love the Winter Festival in the City, which will transform Canberra’s city centre with an ice rink, toboggan rides, a giant inflatable ice slide and market stalls. (All ages)
For the more adventurous, seek out some snow at Corin Forest Mountain Resort, a purpose-built snow play park just 45 minutes from Canberra where kids of all ages can make their own Olaf the snowman, hurtle downhill on toboggans or throw a snowball or ten. (All ages)
For dedicated thrill seekers, drive a few hours from Canberra to the Snowy Mountains where the whole family can ski, snowboard, toboggan, snow tube, snow shoe, cross-country ski, horse ride or simply make a snow angel. (All ages)
Ditch the snow and see a show
Imagine an entire theatre of bubbles, with millions of tiny bubbles floating through the audience. Thanks to Canberra Theatre and the Gazillion Bubble Show, kids of all ages can step into an interactive bubble world with spellbinding lasers, spectacular lighting effects and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry. (All ages)
For fans of the beloved, yet kooky characters Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma and Scooby-Doo, Canberra Theatre is showing Scooby-Doo LIVE! Level Up, an interactive live show featuring big musical numbers and stunning multi-media content. (All ages)
For junior science buffs, Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre’s Spectacular Science Shows are the perfect fix for a cold, wintry day. Showing daily during school holidays, the Excited Particles present an educational show about dinosaurs, spiders, rockets, balloons, liquid nitrogen and more. Be sure to check out the weird and wonderful Spiders exhibition while you’re there. (School-aged children)
Make, Create and Innovate!
There are so many ways to get crafty with the kids in Canberra these school holidays. At Canberra Museum and Gallery’s Paint Lab your kids can get a playful look at the process of painting. View a range of Michael Taylor’s paintings then head into the studio to explore paint and materials influenced by the artist’s semi-abstract, expressionist works. (6-12 years)
Brilliant for the budding Picassos, your children can work with professional glass artists to learn about the kiln forming process, cut glass and fire glass to create their very own glass creations at Canberra Glassworks. Create Antarctica-inspired tiles, kaleidoscopes or winter-inspired tiles. (8+ years)
Explore art at The National Gallery of Australia and choose from an artists’ easel full of free activities including Create Space workshops, My Friend at the Gallery tours or Drawing Sheet. Or sign your juniors up to a paid workshop and let them solve a hot new mystery that’s straight from the secret ASI files and Fiona Hall’s exhibition Wrong Way Time. (Mixed ages)
Go wild this winter!
We all know what kids do best – run wild! Even in winter, Canberra has a stampede of activities that allow your kids to unleash. Expose primary schoolers to the fascinating Zoological world on a Zoocation tour at the National Zoo and Aquarium. During a fun-filled day, children can get up close and personal with many of the Zoo’s animals, play games and make toys for the animals. (5+ years)
Give your little one a traditional Aussie bush experience at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. They can cook damper on an open fire, search for koalas in the canopy, go platypus spotting or feed the pelicans with a ranger. If that’s not enough, simply roam the bush trails of the Reserve and spot koalas, emus, kangaroos, platypuses, reptiles, possums and echidnas. (All ages)
Dinosaur lovers of all ages will totally dig the Prehistoric Garden Week at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Spot some of the 19 life-sized dinosaurs that will be on display throughout the Gardens and learn about the types of plants they lived amongst. Grab a self-guided trail map and discover real, fossilised plants from prehistoric times. Stay after dark with either a night-time guided tour with dinosaur experts from the National Dinosaur Museum or keep a watchful eye out for a T-Rex during the Public Open Nights. You can also take your wild ones to the National Dinosaur Museum for free guided tours, which will run throughout the school holidays. (All ages)
Educate, experience and respect
Interactively learn all about Australia’s involvement in wartime and some of the jobs done by today’s peacekeepers at the Australian War Memorial. Enlist your children in the Memorial’s arsenal of school holiday activities and workshops including The Discovery Zone, Hands-on History, Story Time, Stories for Families, Drop in Craft, Watercolour Landscapes of the First World War and MYO Miniature Western Front Dioramas. (All ages)
Grab a book and a warm corner
Drop in to the National Library of Australia with your literary learner to read, write, illustrate and imagine at WordPlay. A range of activities help your little ones to explore the shape, meaning and use of language. Or share your love for reading and stories with some funny and charming yarns from the Library’s collection at Winter Storytime. (4+ years)
Or take your book lover to Play Up at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, the ideal shelter in the depths of Canberra’s winter. Play Up allows children to stand up, dress up, read up, make up, think up and step up in a way that’s turned the traditional idea of what goes on in museums completely on its head. Its dedicated pillow-covered reading room is the ideal place for flexing out and reading a book from Play Up’s educational offerings. (All ages)
Get an adrenalin fix
Junior speedsters will love electric go-karting at Power Kart Raceway, which offers go-karting options for kids from 4 years to infinity. After your speed fix, play a round of Jungle Golf – Canberra’s first glow in the dark, indoors mini golf. The 18-hole course is jungle themed and illuminated by special UV lighting. (4+ years)
To burn up that extra energy, head to Flip Out indoor trampolining for a few flips and spins (all ages), or you could test your adrenalin lover’s natural fear response with Free Fall at Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre. (Height restrictions apply)
Pirates and Superheros!
Does your little hero enjoy wearing a cape? Do they aspire to save the world? They can discover their inner superhero in a Superhero Masterclass at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, where they’ll design and make their own super powers out of recycled materials, then be ready to save the world! (5+ years)
Pirate lovers can hunt for treasures at the Royal Australian Mint. Go on a treasure hunt, play spot the difference and wave at giant robots! Collect the My Visit to the Mint activity booklet and go on an adventure to learn how all of Australia’s circulating coins are made, before creating a coin to remember the epic journey. (All ages)
For more great school holiday ideas and places to stay in the capital, visit