Here in Canberra, as the temperature plummets over winter, families around the region are searching for fun and interactive places to take the kids. We are fortunate to have such a large variety of indoor entertainment options to choose from with museums, galleries, indoor play centres and stage shows coming to the theatres. Throughout the month of July in particular, there are events and activities around the city designed with kids and families in mind, to help keep the winter boredom at bay.
So turn off the heater, grab your woolliest beanies and join the Canberra community at these Winter Fun events - the kids won't have time to get bored.
Falling snow at the Winter Festival. Source: Winter Festival Facebook
The Winter Festival (23rd June - 17th July, 2016) is an annual event in the centre of the city, held at Garema Place. In previous years it has been called Skate in the City, however this new Winter Festival (with different organisers) is also running in Sydney, Fremantle and Brisbane to sell out crowds. The Canberra Winter Festival has an outdoor ice skating rink, European food stalls, inflatable slides, falling snow, toboggan rides and family entertainment. Kids can also hire a penguin helper to help them get around the ice. See here for the Winter Festival website.
Snow Play at Corin Forest Mountain Retreat (Open weekends in winter and every day in the ACT July School Holidays). Corin Forest Snow Play is held annually, for those who wish to experience the fun of winter and play in the snow. This retreat is located up a mountain 45 minutes south west of the CBD, however only 25 minutes from the southern suburbs of Tuggeranong. As Corin Forest is up at a higher elevation, it is also at least 4 degrees colder than Canberra city.
All year, this retreat is a popular venue for families to visit with the "Southern Hemisphere's Longest Bobsled Ride" to speed down and finish with a wood fired pizza down at the main cabin. In winter however, they stop the bobsleds and begin the Snow Play area, with snow machines, toboggans and even a small ski slope to manoeuvre. You need to book your session online to guarantee a spot on the snow. See here for the Corin Forest website.
Weeeee! Hire a toboggan and throw some snowballs. Source: Corin Forest Facebook
ACT School Holidays (2nd - 17th July) means the city will be jam packed full of school holiday activities in the Museums, Galleries and Theatres around the city. Younger kids will enjoy watching the Play School Concert at Albert Hall and Lah Lah at the Southern Cross Club. Older kids will enjoy the Scooby Doo Live Show at the Canberra Theatre, become a Superhero at the Museum of Australian Democracy and watch kids movies at the National Film and Sound Archive.
Families can also enjoy craft at the Australian War Memorial, practice drawing at the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Australia has a host of Play School activities as part of their exhibition. Questacon will also be a popular place to enjoy their science experiments and check out their Spider Exhibition. Local shopping centres and libraries will also have a host of school holiday activities lined up, so check local advertising for all the details.
The biggest kids show that is coming to Canberra this July is the Gazillion Bubble Show at the Canberra Theatre. See below to find out more, courtesy of You Tube.
Warm Trees at the National Arboretum (whole month of July) is an annual event where hundreds of endangered trees are given some winter love and wrapped up with knitted scarves to keep them "warm". Go for a drive or walk through the forests to enjoy the colourful displays, before enjoying the Pod Playground at the Visitors Centre - often described as the "Best Playground in Canberra". See here for the National Arboretum website.
Truffle Hunts (June - August) are a fun experience for families to watch the dogs set off on truffle hunts, sniff out the prized fungi and then watch as the owners dig them out. Although most truffle hunts are designed for adults, Blue Frog Truffles welcome children on their hunts, with kids under 16 free on their Sunday hunts. Adults cost $75. Kids will enjoy visiting a working farm and both adults and kids will be fascinated by this unique experience, with Canberra's cooler conditions ideals for truffles to grow. Our cool climate and weather patterns are the same as the famous truffle regions in France and our local truffles are sold to restaurants around the country. Kids will enjoy the chase, however be prepared for the cold conditions on these rural properties and the group may need to be quiet while the hunt is on.
See here for the Truffle Festival 2016 website for other events in the region.
Finding a truffle at Blue Frog Truffles. Source: Facebook
The World Curry Festival (8th - 10th of July, 2016) is an annual event with an abundance of free family entertainment with cultural performances, freebies, new food to try, live music and dancing parades swirling through the crowds. There will be hundreds of food stalls lined up in the centre of the city at Garema Place, emanating delicious cooking smells over the Civic. Kids are sure to enjoy the colour, culture, tastes and entertainment of this lively three day festival. See here for the World Curry Festival website.
Colour, culture and family entertainment in the Civic. Source: In The City Facebook
Canberra Brick Expo (29th - 31st July) is an exhibition of LEGO® creations, made by local and interstate LEGO® makers. The kids will enjoy the robots, train sets, monuments, large scale towns and TV characters all made with thousands of pieces of tiny LEGO® . Held at the Hellenic Club in Woden, this popular event sells out fast each year so get your tickets early. Viewings are held in sessions to avoid overcrowding and proceeds support PatCH - Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital. See here for the Canberra Brick Expo website.
Train Room at the Expo. Source: Canberra Brick Expo Facebook
Although the temperatures outside may be getting colder, the entertainment hots up in Canberra for kids of all ages. So enjoy the festivities, events, school holiday activities and the month of July in Canberra. With a good range of indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, there should be something to do in any weather.
With so many things to do, the kids surely can't get bored - can they?