Welcome to autumn! After a busy start to the school year in February, the hot weather will start to fade, the cooler mornings will begin and parents around Canberra will be starting to unpack the "between seasons" wardrobe for their kids - if the clothes still fit! Around Canberra there are numerous kids' events and activities around the Capital for toddlers and pre-schoolers during the week and the whole family on weekends. Get out your diary, calendar or planner - you don't want to miss these!
Fun for all ages at the Enlighten Festival. Image: Enlighten Facebook
The Enlighten Festival begins tonight until 11th March, with illuminations projected onto Canberra's national buildings from 8pm every night of the festival. If your kids are happy to stay up late, why not take a drive around and view them on Parliament House, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. The Night Noodle Markets also begin tonight, on the lawns behind Questacon at Reconciliation Place. Kids will enjoy having a run around on the grass while roving performers and artistic shows occur spontaneously around the Parliamentary Triangle. See here for details. Don't forget the flashing fairy floss from Questacon on 2nd and 9th March!
The National Library will be celebrating the Enlighten Festival with a '60's night and a kids disco and crafts stations, on both Friday 2nd and 9th March. See here for details.
The National Gallery of Australia will be celebrating the Enlighten Festival with a Neon Circus theme on the evenings of 2nd and 3rd of March. See circus performers, giant projections, crafts and other family friendly activities. Afterwards, why not have a play in NGA Play: Indieguerillas and enjoy the colour of this fun and free kids activity area. This event is free, but bookings are essential. See here for details. Celebrating Dr Seuss Day is an 80th birthday celebration of Dr Seuss books, at Gungahlin Library and Erindale Library. See all the ACT Library events here.
The Lantern Festival will be held at the Canberra Beijing Garden on Saturday, 3rd March, organised by the ACT Branch of the Australia China Friendship Society. This festival, to celebrate the end of Chinese New Year, will begin at 6pm and include a lantern parade along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin - with kids encouraged to make their own lanterns to win prizes. There will also be lanterns for sale, as well as a Chinese Classical music ensemble, martial artists, a choir, dance groups and a lion dance. See here for details.
Canberra Glassworks has Make Your Own workshops for adults and kids aged over 14 to make their own glass paperweight, bird, tumbler or vase. The workshops will be held each weekend in March. See here for details.
Holi Mela Colour Fun & Food Fiesta is a Hindu Festival of Colour, that will be held at Thoroughbred Park, starting at 11am. There will be music, dancing, food stalls and lots of colour! It is advertised as a family friendly event, so why be part of the celebrations and experience something new! See here for details.
Read to Dashi the Story Dog will be held at Kippax Library, for kids who have reading difficulties, or who are reluctant readers. See here for details. Dashi will also be back every Saturday afternoon during Term 1. See the ACT Libraries Eventbrite listing for details.
Read to Dashi the Story Dog. Image: Eventbrite website
CMAG (Canberra Museum and Gallery) will be having art workshops for kids aged 4-8 and 8-12 years. See here for details.
Farm Gate Markets will be held at the paddocks of Pialligo Estate, with live music, markets and plenty of space for the kids to run around! See here for details.
Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival is a highly-popular, family event at Queanbeyan Showgrounds. There will be kid's yoga and a space especially designed for children. Enjoy music, markets and a variety of international food. See here for details.
Icon Water Presents - A Day at the Lake is a family friendly event held at Black Mountain Peninsula, organised by Royal Life Saving ACT and Icon Water. Enjoy free kids activities such as face painting, jumping castles, live music, water play zone, prizes and giveaways. There will even be a ACT Duck Derby, with tickets costing $5 and you then cheer on your duck to the finish line! See here for details.
Kids will love the Duck Derby at A Day at the Lake. Image: Royal Life Saving ACT Facebook
Little Faces - Autumn series is a fun and interactive workshop for children aged between 6 months to 3 years, at the National Portrait Gallery. This will be held on both 6th and 7th March, costing $12 per child (which includes tea or coffee). See here for details.
Wednesday, 7th March
Read to Dashi the Story Dog will be held at Gungahlin Library, for kids who have reading difficulties, or who are reluctant readers. See here for details. Dashi will also be back every Wednesday evening during Term 1. See the ACT Libraries Eventbrite listing for details.
The National Museum of Australia Toddler Program is a good opportunity for the under 5's to enjoy the museum, with age-appropriate activities. This program is held on the first Wednesday of the month in a series of programs of art-making, storytelling and gallery exploration. It costs $10 per child, book through Eventbrite. See here for details.
The National Library will be celebrating the Enlighten Festival with a '60's night with kids disco and crafts stations, on both Friday 2nd and 9th March. See here for details.
Saturday, 10th March
The Queanbeyan Rodeo will be held over the border, with sideshow alley and rides. See here for details.
Nitro Circus: Next Level Tour is a huge night at the GIO Stadium - a must for all kids who love their bikes and scooters! See here for details.
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular will be held between the 10th - 18th March. If your children are early-risers, then hop in the car and drive to the lawns opposite Old Parliament House by 6:15am. Then you can watch over 40 hot air balloons take off at once to fly over the Capital. Kids will enjoy looking out for the different characters each year. See here for details. For a full article on the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, see here.
Variety of hot air balloon characters over the years. Image: Original photos from the Canberra Balloon Spectacular Facebook
Monday, 12th March
Canberra Day is a family friendly day of celebration, with kids activities, music, food trucks and free activities lined up at Stage 88 at Commonwealth Park, between 2pm - 7pm. There will even be Lah Lah's Big Live Band! See here for details.
Saturday, 17th March
Skyfire is a firework spectacular that is held over Lake Burley Griffin, with a matching soundtrack telecast on radio station HIT104.7. Kids will enjoy the Family Fun Zone at Patrick White Lawns and then the fireworks at 8:30pm. See here for details.
Art, Not Apart is a popular arts festival that will be held in the NewActon precinct. See something new and enjoy art, sculpture, music and art interpretations. See here for details.
Bungendore Harvest Festival will have kids activities on the Festival Green, face painting in the Village Square and family activities held throughout the day on the Saturday. See here for details and program.
The Canberra Comedy Festival has a show just for kids and families called "Josh Earl – My Family Is Weirder Than Your Family". Tickets cost just $17 each for a one hour show, which will have the whole family in stitches. The show will be on both the 24th and 25th March. See here for details.
Clean Comedy Spectacular is another show at the Canberra Comedy Festival, suitable for teenagers and above. See here for details.
Yass Baby and Kids Market will be selling new and handmade children's products and pre-loved children's items. See here for details.
The Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival may not sound like somewhere to take the kids, however they have created a family friendly event, with a jumping castle for the kids. See here for details.
The Canberra Harvest Festival will be held at the Canberra Environment Centre in Acton, with organic markets and a kids play area. Also if your kids have grown some big vegetables over summer, enter them into the Kids Fruit and Vegetable Growing Competition and win some prizes! See here for details.
Did you find an event - or more than one event - to entertain your kids this March? The beautiful autumn weather makes it the perfect month to get out and about in the Canberra region. Where will you be going this weekend?