Have you visited Canberra with kids?
Time to start planning a trip then!
Our family has hugely enjoyed a couple of trips to Canberra recently, and we know there’s a lot more to see too.
Here you’ll find our Top 15 Things To Do in Canberra, plus a list of the hotels we recommend.
Top 15 things to do with your kids in Canberra
For budding scientists Questacon’s Q Lab offers an ever-changing array of intriguing experiments, explosive demonstrations and interesting displays. Also on during the school holidays is Perception Deception where kids can discover the world inside their heads and explore how people perceive the same thing in different ways.
Location: King Edward Terrace, Canberra
Opening Hours: Open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
2. National Museum of Australia
The very popular KSpace family space has undergone a transformation. Primary school aged children can build a robot of the future using touch screens and then journey back in time to learn about that era in Australia’s history. KSpace is currently undergoing a testing phase.
Location: National Museum Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra
Opening Hours: Weekends, public holidays and ACT school holidays, with Kspace sessions starting between 9.15am and 4.00pm
3. Australian War Memorial
For the children, the Discovery Zone where they could dress up and become fully immersed in the lives of soldiers, submariners, helicopter pilots and more was the highlight. Talk about bringing history to life.
Location: Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT 2612
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
4. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
For families who like to get active, head to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to explore more than 20 marked walking trails, ranging from an easy 15-minute stroll to an all-day bushwalk. Some of the most popular trails allow for glimpses of platypus, possums, wombats, echidnas, emus and many other birds and reptiles.
Location: Tidbinbilla Ring Rd, Paddys River,ACT (access is off Paddy’s River Road, via Cotter Road (Weston Creek)
Opening Hours: Visitor Centre: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Reserve Gates: Winter: 7.30 am – 6 pm, Summer: 7.30 am – 8 pm in summer (AEDT)
5. Museum of Democracy
Tackling a serious issue facing children across Australia and giving children the chance to get hands on, Play Up – The Right to Shelter, is a not-to-be missed exhibition and experience at the Museum of Democracy. Young visitors will get to play out how different life would be without their bedroom, favourite food or a warm jacket, in an engaging environment.
Location: 18 King George Terrace, Parkes, Canberra
Opening Hours: Open daily 9am–5pm
6. Royal Australian Mint
For future financiers or kids who always shotgun the banker in Monopoly, the interactive model ‘making a mint’ at the Royal Australian Mint offers fun insights into the world of money.
Location: Royal Australian Mint Denison Street, Deakin, Canberra
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 8.30 am to 5 pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10 am to 4 pm
7. Yarralumla Play Station at Weston Park
Join the club and take a swing at Canberra’s newest family attraction, Yarralumla Play Station at Weston Park. As well as the 36-hole mini golf course which features Canberra’s ionic attractions in miniature, there is also the Petite Park Petting Zoo and Miniature Railway.
Location: 9 Pescott Lane, Yarralumla ACT
Opening Hours: Wed-Fri: 09:30–15:00 -Sat-Sun: 09:30–17:30
8. Australian Institute of Sport
Sportex at the Australian Institute of Sport is a favourite for sports lovers of all ages as it lets everyone in on the secrets and science behind the success of Australian champions. Visitors can also try out different sports such as alpine skiing on the interactive machinery.
Location: Leverrier Street, Bruce, Canberra
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 5:00pm. Public tours 10.00am, 11.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm
9. Cockington Green Gardens
It’s a small world at Cockington Green Gardens, which features a model village and miniatures of iconic buildings from around the globe. This is one for the whole family with miniature cricket grounds for the budding sports players, fairy-tale castles for the Princesses in training and fascinating replicas of international architecture for the ‘culture vultures’.
Location: 11 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls ACT 2913
Opening Hours: Daily – 9.30am – Last entry time 4.15pm
There is no stopping the ‘freakshake’ phenomenon and where better to give the kids a special treat than Patissez, the birth place of the recent ‘freakshake’ movement. The Nutella and Salty Pretzel is a household favourite and best eaten before something active!
Location: Shop 2/21 Bougainville St, Griffith ACT 2603, Australia
Opening Hours: Daily – 07.00-16.00
11. Red Hill Views
Lace up the walking shoes and take a hike up Red Hill for spectacular views over the city. At the top, reward yourself with a chai or hot choccie at Little Brother restaurant where you can enjoy the panoramic views whilst giving your feet a bit of R&R.
Location: Red Hill – 50 Red Hill Drive, Red Hill Lookout ACT 2603
Opening Hours: Red Hill – open daily, Little Brother – Wed & Thu: 9.30am till 5.00pm
Fri: 9:30am till late, Sat: 8.00am till late, Sun: 8.00am to 5pm
12. The National Arboretum
Pack a picnic and head out to at the Arboretum to enjoy a whole range of fun filled school holiday activities for the family. Kids can make their own bonsai, explore the spring birds, blossoms and buds in the forest on a guided story telling walk, and channel their inner kite runner with a kite making and flying workshop.
Location: Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek.
Opening Hours: The grounds and Pod Playground are open 6 am to 8:30 pm. Visit the website for more information on school holiday activities and opening hours
13. Old Bus Dept Markets
For a bout of colour and creativity visit the Old Bus Depot markets on a Sunday and soak up the vibrant atmosphere, stock up on unique handcrafted wares for the whole family, and pick up a snack from one of the artisan food stalls.
Location: 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston ACT 2604
Opening Hours: Every Sunday from 10am – 4pm.
14. Canberra Glassworks
Get hands on with the whole family at Canberra Glassworks where you can create your own masterpiece in one of the ‘Make your own sessions’. Make your own poppy, medal or cross at the Distant Warriors Workshop, create your own tiles to celebrate the warm months at the Spring Tile Workshop or create a unique butterfly. Don’t forget to stop by the Hotshop or Engine room to watch the experts in action and get some creative inspiration.
Location: 11 Wentworth Ave Kingston ACT 2604
Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday
15. The Hamlet
Get on the foodie trail at The Hamlet which is an urban village for food vans and pop-up stores. Take your taste buds on an international journey with Peruvian street food, German hotdogs, and an Italian wood fire pizza which you can design yourself.
Location: 16 Lonsdale St, Braddon, ACT
Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner Tue-Sun
Where To Stay In Canberra With Kids
We have stayed here and love the pool and the location especially. Read our review here.
This is a lovely hotel with spacious rooms and apartments in a great location. We enjoyed a stay here, check out our review here.
East Hotel is famous for its family-friendly rooms with bunks and games for kids. We haven’t stayed here yet but hope to. You can read family reviews on Have Wheelchair Will Travel here, and on BabyMac here.
This is an apartment hotel, terrific for when you prefer to be able to cook for yourself.
Very centrally located and with family rooms, cafe and indoor pool, the YHA is a good choice for families.
Check Canberra YHA availability and prices here.
You can rely on this brand for cheap and cheerful accommodation.
Search for other Canberra family-friendly accom in the search box below:
Here’s our list of Canberra posts for further reading!
I’ve just read about Corin Forest on this Her Collective post, looks like a great spot to sledge and play in the snow without going all the way to the Snowy Mountains.
Very happy to hear your advice too.
Enjoy your travel planning and we will
Catch you in Canberra,
PS There are some affiliate links in this post, which means if you pay for something though one of the links this blog receives a small commission, at no cost to you.