Canberra is a city filled with national history and cultural attractions. It is the capital of Australia although isn’t the bustling city you would expect from a capital, instead has a nice country feel with rolling hills, native bushland and large open grasslands.
We love living in Canberra. The galleries and museums, parks and bushwalking or cycling around the beautiful lake; there is always something to do in Canberra.
10 Things to Do with Kids in Canberra, Australia
1. Visit the Pod Playground and the National Arboretum – The Pod Playground is Canberra’s newest attraction and it is amazing! The architecturally designed playground sits a top a hill at the National Arboretum overlooking a beautiful panorama of Canberra city. The playground design is based on natural features in keeping with the landscape at the National Arboretum. The Pod Playground has sensory exploration pods for smaller children and a challenging series of bridges connecting to large acorn-shaped cubbies and twisty slides for older children…and brave parents. An absolute must visit.
2. Spend the morning at Questacon: The National Science and Technology Centre – Questacon is a hands-on interactive science museum for children of all ages. Our favourite gallery is the Natural Disasters gallery with a simulated earthquake house and caged lightening bolt. Children can also explore mysterious creatures of the deep, explore colour and shadows and interact with a talking robot. Definitely one of our favourite places to visit
3. Visit the Australian War Memorial – The Australian War Memorial houses collections from all major conflicts. It is not a sobre place though, rather a fascinating look at the past. There is also an interactive children’s gallery where children can explore the inside of a helicopter and walk through a submarine.
4. Ride your bike around Lake Burley Griffin – Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra. Surrounded by cycle paths and walking trails, large parklands and some of Canberra’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, a ride around the lake is a beautiful way to spend a morning. Don’t forget to stop outside the National Gallery for a gelato. Delicious.
5. Take a drive to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – A short drive out of Canberra is Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. You’ll see kangaroos, koalas, emus and if you’re lucky enough, a platypus at the Sanctuary wetlands. The walking trails through the bushland are spectacular. There is also lots of beautiful spots for picnicing and the Discovery Playground to unwind while the kids play.
6. Have cupcakes at Jazz Apple Cafe – Mmmmm what more do I need to say? The cupcakes at Jazz Apple cafe are simply divine. Treat yourself to one of the delicioulsy fancy flavours. The kids will love it. My son loves the carrot cupcake. Red velvet for me…mmmm delicious.
7. Ride the 1914 steam merry-go-round – The historic steam merry-go-round is an iconic feature of Canberra’s city centre. The gorgeous wooden horses, ornately painted, bob up and down as the original music plays. And for only $3 a ride, how could you pass up this wonderful experience? My children and I both adore the merry-go-round.
8. Visit Cockington Green Gardens – Your children will love Cockington Green Gardens. Meticulously designed miniature houses and towns, complete with tiny townfolk set among beautifully landscaped gardens. If you look closely enough you’ll notice the detailed stories of the townfolk…some are even a little cheeky. The kids will love the little red steam train they can ride around the gardens too. And while you’re there, pop into the shop at the National Dinosaur Museum for some amazing fossils, rocks and gems.
9. Get up early and head to the Farmers’ Market – Make sure you get there early. My children love the farmers’ markets. Delicious produce from local producers, friendly farmers happy to chat with little kids and lots of free yummy samples. The markets run most Saturday mornings. Skip breakfast and fill up at the markets instead. Try the hot chai. It’s unbelievable.
10. Come in Spring and visit Floriade – Floriade is a truly spectacular flower festival. Set on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, for 4 weeks every year Canberrans and people across Australia come to see the magnificent flower displays. Pack a lunch and spend the day. It’s simple beautiful.
Canberra is a city of culture and beauty. On any given day there is always something or somewhere beautiful to explore. With each new season it comes alive, celebrating the changes and offering new and inspiring experiences. If you come to visit, make sure to look me up, we’ll have coffee down by the lake.