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Nine ideas to get your kids out and about at the Arboretum
With the Canberra school holidays just around the corner, and with the warm fragrant days of spring now upon us, there's no better place for the kids to be out and about than at the National Arboretum.
The National Arboretum is Canberra's extraordinary mosaic of living forests and gardens. With over 44,000 rare and endangered trees across a 250-hectare site, the Arboretum is a place of beauty, conservation, science research, education, tourism and recreation.
The National Arboretum is the perfect place to spend the school holidays, with plenty of exciting events on offer. So if you're stumped for ideas on how to keep your kids busy and entertained and enjoying the great outdoors, here's what they can get up to at the National Arboretum.
1. Children's Beginner's Bonsai Workshop Is there a budding Bonsai artist in your family? Let your kids be inspired by the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia and pot up, wire, style and take home their own personal bonsai. Taking place on 7 October 2020 and 8 October 2020. There are two 90 minute sessions available each day: 10:00am or 1:30pm. Open to children aged 8-16 years. The cost is $40 per child. Go here to book your tickets.
2. Nature Play Day Give your kids the gift of a digital detox by spending the day in nature. This new full-day program will involve spending time in the forest playing, building and exploring, as well as creating and making back in the Terrace Room and Gallery of Gardens. Taking place on Wednesday 30 September and Thursday 1 October 2020 from 9am - 4pm. Suitable for children aged 6-10 years. The cost is $80 per child. Please go here to book your tickets.
3. Family Orienteering Pick up your map and clue sheet from the Village Centre and head out into the forests and gardens on a letter search to discover which rare bird is nesting at the National arboretum. Taking place from 26 September - 11 October 2020 between the hours of 9am-4pm. Suitable for all ages. The cost is $5.
4. Culture Craft Using natural resources collected on-site, your kids will craft their own native animal artwork while learning about the significance of plants and animals to Indigenous Australians. They will also have the opportunity to learn about Indigenous symbols and paint this onto a eucalyptus leaf to be added to a hanging mobile. Taking place on 28, 29 September and 2, 6 October 2020 from 2.30pm - 3.30pm. Suitable for ages 4 - 7 years. The cost is $10 per child, adults free. Please note: Parents/Carers are required to stay with children for this workshop. Book your tickets here.
There are many places within the Arboretum for the kids to ramble about! Enjoy a stroll through the majestic Himalayan Cedar Forest or the enchanting Cork Oak Forest. Or why not join in a special guided spring walk? These special spring walks are offered every Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday during Floriade: Reimagined, from Saturday 12 September to Sunday 11 October. For more details, please go here.
6. Picnics Revel in the glorious spring days and enjoy a picnic with the kids. The Himalayan cedar forest barbeque and picnic area is a favourite spot, as well as the Cork Oak Forest and Dairy Farmer's Hill.
9. Nulla Tours
Take a 40 minute guided bus tour with the Arboretum's friendly guides and learn the stories of the forests and enjoy two viewing stops with spectacular photo opportunities. Available Wed – Sun (& Public holidays). Tour departs at 1.30pm. The cost is: Child $5,
Adult $10, or Family: $15 for 1 adult and 2 children, or $25 for 2 adults and 2 children. Bookings are essential. Go here for more information or visit the Information Desk in the Village Centre.
There's just so much to see and do these school holidays at the National Arboretum!
The things you need to know
The National Arboretum is located at Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Molonglo Valley. It is located just 6km from the Canberra City Centre at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin. The Arboretum can be accessed by car or bike. Please note that there is no public transport to the National Arboretum Canberra.
The Arboretum's grounds and POD playground are open daily from Open daily 7am-5.30pm (Eastern Standard Time) and 6am-8.30pm (Daylight Saving Time).
The Village Centre is open daily (closed 25 December) from 9am - 4pm. The Village Centre has a gift shop, cafe, toilet facilities, first aid room and information desk.
Entrance to the Arboretum is free. Please note that the main car park next to the Village Centre is paid parking.
For more information, please visit the National Arboretum website here.