Four Highlights From Our Family Trip To Canberra

Canberra family trips

 

We had such a laugh, such an enjoyable visit to Canberra in the past school holidays.

And yes, it was educational too… and I don’t mean just for the children.

There were lots of highlights, so many things to do there. We feel we only just got started and that we’ll need another trip soon, and for more than just a couple of nights next time.

To get started, here are some of the highlights of the places we visited. I’ll do a separate post on great spots to eat next.

 

 

 

 

The Australian War Memorial

My twins absolute highlight from our recent trip to Canberra was the Australian War Memorial.

And it was mine too, a standout amongst the superb things to do in Canberra.  The War Memorial has an atmosphere that is at once solemn and respectful and yet filled with gratitude and warmth and love.

To see the name of of all those servicemen is truly sobering; the two world wars demanded so much sacrifice.

Painful too was to see the names of so many brave men and women who have died very recently.

War Memorial Canberra_ family trips

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.

 

For myself, I really enjoyed the section of the Discovery Zone which shows the trenches in World War 1.  There so much to see and look at and learn in one fairly small space.

This exhibit really does bring the horror of trench warfare alive. Look out for the trench foot – it will make your stomach lurch!

 

Top tip for the Australian War Memorial

During ACT school terms, the Discovery Zone is used mainly by school groups and is only open to the public at lunchtime.

Check ahead to make sure the kids will be able to use it. Find ACT school holiday dates here.

 

Australian War Memorial – The Details

Treloar Crescent
Campbell ACT 2612
AUSTRALIA

Open: 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
NB: The Memorial’s galleries are progressively closed from 4:40pm for the Last Post Ceremony.

Cost: Admission to the Memorial is free

Website here.

Cafe: Yes, a large cafe is on the site. 8.30am – 4.30pm daily. There are plenty of options for children. The name of the cafe is Poppy’s and it has nothing to do with poppies but rather was the nickname of a soldier killed in Afghanistan – you’ll feel weepy reading his story.. and so we all should.

Parking: Large free car park on site.

War Memorial Canberra_ family visit

 

Questacon

 

You’ll already know that a trip to Questacon is totally de rigeur for all kids visiting Canberra. Quite rightly!

Just go, ask no more… just get there! The hands on exhibits and the shows in the theatre and the slide where kids experience weightlessness is all fantastic.

The volunteers in purple shirts are so helpful and explain things to the kids. Always worth grabbing a volunteer for help and to learn new things. My twins loved becoming human electricity conductors and lighting up bulbs!

The only downside for us was that it got so busy. We had gone very early and really enjoyed the first quieter hour. It did get too crowded, so I’d recommend a couple of trips all done very early, if at all possible.

 

Questacon – The Details

King Edward Terrace

Parkes

Questacon website here

Hours: 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day

Cost: Yes adults $23, children $17.50 family tickets and annual passes available.

Cafe: Yes large cafe inside building

Parking: Large pay car park on site.

 

Australian National Museum Canberra family trips

National Museum of Australia 

It’s huge… and there’s so much space to run around outside! We visited here first and then came back next day for another visit. The twins let off steam after the long road trip by charging around outside  and playing handball – fabulous!

And inside… well, I could visit daily for a week and still have much to see and learn.

The children’s areas are superb, as was the film show in the rotating theatre.  We also LOVED the museum shop, a great place for buying presents. I started stocking up for Christmas.

 

I’ll let the pictures do the talking… in short, it’s a must-see.  Several times!

 

National Museum of Australia – The Details

Lawson Crescent

Acton Peninsula

National Museum website here

Hours: 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day

Cost: Free

Cafe: Yes large cafe inside building

Parking: Large pay car park on site



Parliament House handball

Parliament House

Although we only had a run around at Parliament House, I’ve put it in as a highlight as I’m so thrilled to live in a country with such a handball-friendly Parliament.

Do you think our politicians know that their forecourt is a top spot for handball? Do you reckon they pop out for a game of a lunchtime?

We didn’t actually visit the interior of the Parliament House – we will aim to on our next visit. But we loved the fact we could run up the grassy roof – how many parliaments can boast that!

And what a fabulous view over Canberra at sunset – highly recommended.

Parliament House_running up roof

Parliament House – The Details

Parliament House website here

Hours: Vary, depending on whether Parliament is sitting – see website.

Cost: Free

Cafe: Yes cafes inside building

Parking: Large pay car park underneath parliament House, can be busy depending on whether Parliament is sitting – see website

 

Parliament House flag_1

 

Family Trips to Canberra – More Posts

Things To Do On A Weekend Trip To Canberra

The Novotel Canberra: Our Family Review

15 Things To Do in Canberra With Kids

Road Trip: Sydney to Canberra by Car With Kids

7 Tips for Family Trips to Canberra

Canberra: Sleeping and eating and ice cream!

Canberra’s Best Park and Playgrounds

 

Have you visited Canberra with the family?

What were your highlights?

Many thanks to Visit Canberra which helped us plan our trip and arranged our accommodation in canberra – post to follow on that. Do check the Visit Canberra website to help you plan your own trip.

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Posted on: October 6, 2015

3 Comments

  • We had a brilliant time in Canberra too. It’s SO great with kids. Looks like you did a lot of the same things as us – Questacon was a highlight!

    • Reply October 8, 2015

      Seana Smith

      Yes, it really was great. I’d pop down to Canberra again tomorrow. Next time we’ll go for three nights and get out into the nature reserves too.

  • Reply February 27, 2019

    Jan

    We’ve been with and without kids to all the same places and loved them. Reading your post makes me want to return.

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