Are you heading to Canberra for Kanga Cup? Or planning a stopover on the way to the snow? Need a little help planning kid-friendly activities in our nation’s capital?
We asked the locals what families should do in Canberra. The best part? Most of the activities on this list are FREE.
The Mitchell Family take us on adventures around Canberra with Families of Australia web series.
This unique attraction could be described as a museum of trees, but its calling card is its awesome playground.
“The play equipment is broken into different age groups from toddlers to teens,” said the Mitchells. “There’s a café and a coffee shop, but you can bring a picnic too. Fly a kite, take a walk, look at the Bonsai, check out the forests and the sculptures and buy nice things in the gift shop.”
The National Museum of Australia
The Mitchells love the National Museum because it is suitable for all ages.
“It has fantastic seasonal exhibits so there is always something new to see.”
The Museum tells stories about the land, people and history of Australia, and the onsite K-Space is a virtual adventure designed for children.
The National Gallery
“We love the National Gallery because there is so much to see and do.”
“You can go back again and again and still feel you haven’t seen everything. It also has a lovely café and gift shop. Don’t miss the James Turrell Sky Space at dawn or dusk – it is magical.”
Make sure you check out NGA Play, a dedicated kids’ space with activities related to current exhibitions. Next door to the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery is well worth a peek.
The War Memorial
The War Memorial exhibits tell an interactive and informative story of Australia’s military history, from the ANZACs to Afghanistan. Read up on everything you need to see with this War Memorial guide.
Bus Depot Markets and local cafes
The Bus Depot Markets are a lovely Sunday morning outing, and the Mitchells recommend you stop in at Brodburger for lunch afterwards. The Kingston foreshore and suburb of Manuka are perfect for a brunch or a coffee.
“Braddon is a great place to wander around with lots of quirky little clothing stores, homewares and vintage fashion houses.”
According to the Mitchells, you should definitely stop at Fruggi for a delicious dessert.
“You cannot go wrong with the Salted Caramel ice cream!”
The Mitchells recommend Mt. Ainslie for awesome views of the whole city, and Mt. Stromlo and Mt. Majura for their network of mountain biking trails.
Family Travel tip: Questacon
Ok, this one is NOT free. But you can’t do Canberra with kids and miss Questacon. This is Australia’s best interactive science and technology museum. Budding scientists will love the ever-changing array of intriguing experiments, fascinating demonstrations and interesting displays. For those aged six and under, Mini Q is a custom-built area designed for little people to explore science in their own way.
For more inspiration, read about the ideal 48 Hours in Canberra.