The thing about Canberra is… there’s so much to do with kids.
My daughter, a girlfriend and myself recently scooted down for the weekend. Here’s how we kept ourselves amused, and very well fed.
We are up bright and early and enjoy our buffet breakfast before heading out to explore Cockington Green.
It’s a 15 minute drive to get there, but easy to navigate. I am not sure I will enjoy this display of miniature buildings but in fact we all adore our visit.
There are so many sweet things to explore, and actually we all agree that we have learned a lot about history and the countries we read about.
And the gardens are adorable too. So are the displays of dolls houses at the cafe where we have a cool drink.
Read more about Cockington Green on the website here.
National Museum of Australia
Ms9 next puts in a special request to visit the National Museum of Australia which she and her twin brother had loved when we visited before.
Here’s the exhibit that always makes me cry.
And below is Ms9’s favourite, the diprotodon skeleton.
The Museum Shop is the best we have ever visited, and this time we also eat lunch at the cafe. There are gorgeous views over Lake Burley Griffin.
And the scrambled egg with asparagus goes down well.
Shopping At Canberra Centre
A bit of girly shopping follows. This is a very summery-looking winter wardrobe.
Dinner this evening is at AKIBA, a very trendy pan-Asian restaurant just a short walk away from our hotel. No photos are taken due to too much eating and drinking keeping our hands busy.
Ms9 finds it all too spicy and so orders a room service dinner back at the Novotel. An early night for all.
We are awake at the crack of 8.30am, how civilised, and we eat breakfast at the hotel buffet again.
A Cycle Around Lake Burley Griffin
Susie researches bike hire and calls to check it’s open.
We pop down to Damn Fine Bike Hire at and hire bikes for two hours; $25 for an adult, and $20 for kids.
Ms9 isn’t the keenest cyclist but we assure her the route is flat. We cycle over the bridge towards Parliament House then duck down to the left to cycle along the lakeside path near Questacon and then along towards to National Gallery.
We pause to look at black swans and check out some sculpture too.
The Old Bus Depot Markets
Just a little further along are the delightful Old Bus Dept Markets. We only poke our noses in and look around quickly but are keen to come back with money and shopping bags next time we are in Canberra on a Sunday.
Then we cycle back to the bike hire, crossing the Kings Avenue bridge and following the lakeside track through Kings Park.
It’s all very pretty and flat and easy and we plan to cycle for much longer on our next visit.
Lunch at Ivy and The Fox
We hop back into the car and drive for a few minutes to get to Old Canberra House, within the grounds of the Australian National University. We’re meeting friends at a cafe that’s new to all of us, Ivy and the Fox.
Sitting outside with views to the lake, it’s hard to believe we’re in the middle of a bustling city.
Too much eating and drinking and talking ensues and so only one photo gets taken. My lunch is a breakfast dish: chia pudding and stewed fruit. Too good, and healthy too.
Check out the Ivy and the Fox website to see more of their great grub.
After catching up on several years’ worth of gossip, we drive back to Sydney.
The weekend has been the loveliest combination of child-friendly and adult pursuits.
Back in the car, Susie and I share the long drive back to Sydney.
The weekend of over, we’re refreshed, we’ve had fun and fresh air and some mental stimulation too.
And we’ll be back in Canberra again soon as it’s become one of my family’s favourite destinations.
What’s your top tip for Canberra fun with kids?
Happy holiday planning,
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