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. This post is an overview, with links to posts and websites with greater detail on each place. You can download a PDF of this post or print it at the bottom of the post.
To read in more details all the things we have done in Canberra with the kids, click here.
PS There are some excellent tours of Canberra, check some out on Viator here.
Top 15 things to do with your kids in Canberra
Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre is a must-visit for families. For budding scientists Questacon’s Q Lab offers an ever-changing array of intriguing experiments, explosive demonstrations and interesting displays.
Location: King Edward Terrace, Canberra
Opening Hours: Open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
2. National Museum of Australia
Something for every age here. There are plenty of hands on activities and play, plus well displayed artifacts and exhibitions. Kspace is designed especially for school age students, opening times vary. The cafe and museum shop are excellent too.
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
A deeply moving and fascinating place to visit. 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 is the highlight. Australia’s military history is brought to life incredibly well.
Location: Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT 2612
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
4. Australian Institute of Sport
Many children enjoy a guided tour to the legendary Australian Institute of Sport. There’s a shop and a cafe there too so expect to stay a little longer.
Location: Leverrier Street, Bruce, Canberra
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 5:00pm. Public tours depart at 10.00am, 11.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm and last 90 minutes
5. 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)
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
10. Food: Freakshakes, Food Trucks and Fruggii
Where better to give the kids a special treat than Patissez, the birth place of the ‘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
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
Frugii Dessert Laboratory has Canberra’s best ice cream, mouth watering flavours plus other dessert extravaganzas in this little cafe.
Location: 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, ACT
11. Cycle Around Lake Burley Griffin
This is a marvellous things to do on a sunny day. It’s super simple to hire bikes and the routes are very clear. Choose shorter or longer routes and pass by some of Canberra’s highlights on the journey.
12. Old Bus Depot 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.
13. 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
14. 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
15. 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. There is an amazing playground here.
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
Bonus Extra – Parliament House!
We loved a visit to Parliament House, just to run around and see the outside. We will definitely visit the inside and see our politicians at work on another trip.
PS In wintertime, play in the snow close to Canberra at the delightful Corin Forest, see website here.
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 accommodation deals here.
PS Go to the bottom of this post to create a PDF or to print this post using the Print/PDF button.
Very happy to hear your advice too.
Enjoy your travel planning and we will
Catch you in Canberra,