Here in Canberra, we are fortunate that we have an extra public holiday that is just for our state only. ACT Family and Community Day is a day to get together with family, friends and the community to spend quality time connecting with each other. So what is there to do on Monday, 26th of September for ACT Family and Community Day?
Floriade is the main attraction in the city at this time, as it combines both family and the community in one spectacular package. This free event is for all ages, with fun for the kids, cooking demonstrations, markets, street food, performances and plenty of activities to enjoy on the day. See here for the program which includes plenty of roving entertainment, dinosaur fun in the Kids Corner, cheerleading, cooking demos and more. If you would like to go for an early morning walk through the tulips before the crowds, register for the Walk of Nations, organised by the Heart Foundation ACT.
Fun For Kids Webers Circus will be performing under the Big Top at Queanbeyan Showgrounds, across the border into NSW. On ACT Family and Community Day they have an 11am matinee show, so get in quick to book your tickets to this circus spectacular. See details here.
Kspace at the National Museum of Australia is a free interactive adventure game for kids, where they build their own time-travelling robot then blast off to explore a mystery location in Australia's past. Sessions last for 30 minutes with no need to book. See details here.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (45 minutes from the CBD) has school holiday activities on every day of the school holidays. As well as their Discovery playground, bushwalks, The Sanctuary boardwalk, koala spotting walks and BBQ areas, this nature park has a lot more to offer. There is a new obstacle course, daily pelican feeding (1:30pm) and on ACT Family and Community Day in particular, there will be a Koalas in the Canopy talk (2:30pm). See the Explore Program details here. There is an entry fee per car to get in ($11.50 per car, day pass).
The National Portrait Gallery has a school holiday activity called Portrait Play, where children get involved in activities and learn more about the portraits in the gallery. See details here. Cost is $5 per child. They will also be holding free activities called Bugs And Blooms for families to enjoy together. See details here.
The National Gallery of Australia will be holding Create Space for kids to do a craft activity outside in the Sculpture Garden, located behind the Gallery by Lake Burley Griffin. This activity will run between 10am - 4pm, however if you want to walk through Fog sculpture (by Fujiko Nakaya), where water mist swirls out of thousands of tiny spouts so you can walk through it, this is operating between 12:30pm - 2pm. See details here. Free.
Kids of all ages enjoy running through the wet mist of Fog Sculpture (Fujiko Nakaya)
Old Parliament House (Museum of Australian Democracy) will be having a fun, drop-in school holiday program to build your own LEGO™ masterpiece in their Senate Courtyard. Drop in between 9:30am - 12:30am, no bookings are required. See details here. Cost $8 including entry fee.
The National Archives of Film and Sound will be showing the Back To The Future Trilogy for $15 to watch all three, or $8 per movie. Book online to secure your tickets. See details here.
Questacon will be having 3 shows at their science museum which covers the science of spiders, perception deception and compete in a game show about survival. Enjoy these shows as well as exploring the many levels of this popular science museum for kids. See details here.
The National Arboretum will be having Coconut Fibre Weaving Demonstrations as well as a Spring Adventure Trail the kids can follow. Pick up the flyer from the Information Desk and then solve the clues and riddles. See details here. Tuggeranong Hyperdome Shopping Centre is having the Marvel Green Machine Show at 11am and 1pm, where kids can watch a free show at take the superhero oath to make our planet a safer place to live. See details here.
Dendy Cinemas in the CBD will be showing their last Quote-Along Movie for fans of the movie Princess Bride. If you know some of the movies important dialogues, and even if you don't, then go along to the 6:30pm session - where "no shushing allowed". This movie is for older children, rated as PG. See details here.
For Adults Parliament House are running their Spring Glory Courtyard Tours, so you can walk through the internal courtyards and learn more about this iconic building. Cost per tour. There is also plenty to see inside the building, with free tours also available throughout the day. See details here.
The National Library will be open between 10am - 5pm, with the Australian Sketchbook exhibition on show to explore. The Bookplate Café is open 10am - 3pm. See details here.
The Lavassa Italian Film Festival is on at Palace Cinemas in NewActon, to show the latest movies from Italy. See crime dramas, comedies, biopics, leading Italian actresses and of course love stories. All sessions are for adults 18 and over. See details here.
The Tulip Top Gardens (20 minutes north of the CBD) is held in Sutton, just over the border into NSW. With 10 acres of gardens to explore and a free sausage sizzle included in the entry price at lunchtime, it is another popular event that can be enjoyed by all ages. See details here.
The National Archives of Australia will be showing the Commonwealth of Australia's original founding documents, with a Gallery Host to explain why they are so significant. See details here. Free.
The National Museum of Australia is hosting their blockbuster exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects. Here you will find historical art, sculpture and precious objects from ancient times alongside contemporary artists work - and everything in between. See details here. Entry price for the exhibition.
The Australian War Memorial will be holding Women in War museum theatre performances in Anzac Hall. See actor Leith Arundel in two moving performances, Last Letters and Radio Silence, about the experiences of women during wartime. See details here. Free. The Australian National Botanic Gardens will be open between 8:30am - 5pm and will host free Spring Flower Walks at 11am and 2pm. On public holidays they also offer Flora Explorer Tours on their 13 seat electric bus as 10:30am and 1:30pm ($6 adult). See details here.
Lake Burley Griffin Cruises run a public holiday cruise at 12pm, where you cruise the lake and listen to commentary about the history of Canberra and humorous stories about the city. These cruises can also be enjoyed by all ages. See details here.
ACT Family and Community Day is an ideal time to get the family together and spend some quality time doing something that you will all enjoy. It also doesn't have to cost a lot of money, as many of the city's attractions are free and you can then take your own lunch and have a picnic by the lake. If you don't have family in town, there are numerous events around the city to join in on, to get out and about with the Canberra community. With so much floral beauty also out in bloom around the region, it is the perfect time to enjoy this Spring public holiday amongst the tulips.