Summer has arrived at the Australian National Botanic Gardens! With the sun shining brightly, the gardens lush with greenery and summertime blooms, and a packed and exciting program of summertime events, there's no better time to visit the gardens with your family and friends.
Here's what's happening.
1. Snakes Alive! 2019 Exhibition. Get ready for all creatures scaly, slithery and slippery when the Snakes Alive! exhibition returns to the Gardens from January 14-20. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your family to learn about a variety of Australian reptiles and amphibians, many of which are threatened, endangered and very rarely seen in the wild or captivity. Taking place from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm inside the Crosbie Morrison Building, with feeding times taking place at 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm daily. Tickets cost $6 for adults, $5 concession, and $4 children.
2. Summer Sounds. Enjoy live music, dancing, and delicious food and drink as you chill to the sounds of summer! The Summer Sounds Concert series returns to the Gardens on February 2, 3, 9 and 10. Featuring an exciting program that includes Big Boss Groove, the Band of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and big favourites Annie and the Armadillos, the Summer Sounds concert series will be sure to get you dancing and grooving!
3. Sunset Cinema. Sit back, relax and watch the stars under the stars! Upcoming films include The Lion King,Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Storm Boy. Taking place on Wednesdays to Saturdays, 28 November 2018 to 12 January 2019 on the Eucalypt Lawn. Gates open 6:30 pm. For more information and to book your tickets, go here.
4. Puggles and Explore NatureArt school holiday program. NatureArt Lab will be offering high-quality educational art programs for children run by experienced science communicators and artists these school holidays. From Jan 29-Feb 1 in the Banks Building. Children will get to know the birds, insects, marsupials, reptiles and the unique Australian plant communities featured in the gardens. Suitable for children aged 5-8 and 9-12. Go here for more information.
5. Cook and the Pacific – the Australian Plants Summer Guided Walk. Inspired by two current exhibitions at the National Library of Australia, join a volunteer guide on this special one-hour walk visiting some of the plants collected by botanists Banks and Solander in Australia on Cook's 1770 voyage. Details here.
6. Have a picnic or enjoy a delicious meal at the award-winning Pollen Café.
There are some wonderful spots for picnics at the Gardens such as the Eucalypt Lawn and the Rock Garden Lawn. Or enjoy a delicious meal at the award-winning Pollen café and restaurant which offers modern, delicious, healthy food in relaxed surroundings. Pollen is open from 9am-4pm daily. Go here for their menu.
7. Keep cool in the Rainforest Gully. There's no better place to beat the heat at the Gardens than in the Rainforest Gully. Wander the upper and lower boardwalks and admire the lush plants from the diverse rainforests of Australia's east coast all the way from Tasmania to Queensland. And watch out for the daily mistings!
8. Photography afterDARK. Taking place on 18 January and 15 February. Join Irene Lorbergs from Canberra School of Photography for an exclusive three hour guided night photography workshop in the gardens. Details here.
9. Finally, don't forget to drop in at the Visitor Centre and Botanical Bookshop.
The very knowledgeable volunteers at the Visitor Centre will help you find out everything you can see and do at the Gardens. The Visitor Centre is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm seven days a week. And the Botanical Bookshop has a wonderful selection of books, gifts and souvenirs inspired by Australia's diverse plants and wildlife, including locally sourced Canberra honey, lemon myrtle products, teacups, exquisite jewellery and children's books.