The school holidays are back - and they are even bigger and better than ever! Spring is a huge time in Canberra with Floriade held at Commonwealth Park between 15th September - 14th October. Kids will enjoy looking for the designs in the flower beds, riding the Ferris wheel, bouncing on the jumping castles, eating tasty food, watching the performances on Stage 88 and taking part in the range of activities in the KidzKlub. Ensure you visit on 6th October to see Dirtgirl from ABC KIDS perform and have a Meet and Greet!
With over 400,000 people travelling to Canberra for the month-long festival, there are even more events held around the Capital these school holidays. Here is just a mere 30 of them...
Family fun at Floriade! Image: Original photos from Floriade Facebook and website
1/ Tulip Top Gardens is a private garden that is open on the same dates as Floriade each year, located across the border in Sutton. Walk around the peaceful gardens and take a picnic and enjoy it on the lawns amongst the tulips. Dogs are also welcome, so you can take your pooch too. See here for details and here for a full article.
2/ Shrek the Musical will be running all school holidays at The Q Performing Arts Centre in Queanbeyan, with preview shows on 28th and 29th September. See here for details.
3/ Tidbinbilla Pop Up Wilderness Camp is a fun way to spend a night in the school holidays, at one of Canberra's most popular national parks. See here for details.
4/ The National Museum of Australia currently has an exhibition called Rome City & Empire and these school holidays they will be holding workshops to make mosaics, a Roman craft activity and learn about ancient Rome. See here for details. KSpace will also be open, which is a free interactive experience for the whole family.
Fun for kids (and adults!) at KSpace, downstairs at the National Museum of Australia
5/ The National Portrait Gallery will be holding 5 school holiday activities these October school holidays. Art Cart will be a free drop-in space for kids to play with mixed media. Portrait Play - Bright, Bold, Colourful People will be a drawing and craft program which has activities that relate to the portraits. Little Faces will be a toddler program, however, it is fully booked at the time of writing. Storytime will be held on 10th October and Headhunt is a free iPad activity that will be held every day in the holidays and beyond. See here for details.
6/ The Australian War Memorial will have free and popular family tours, Hands on History sessions, craft activities at Make and Create and Storytime. See here for details. The Discovery Zone will also be open all school holidays.
7/ Jurassic World School Holiday Craft Activity will be held between 29th September - 12th October at South.Point Tuggeranong Shopping Centre. See here for details.
8/ Slime Academy School Holiday Activity at the Canberra Outlet Centre will be held Monday to Friday, both weeks of the school holidays. The free school activity will be set up near Harris Scarfe with workshops every 20 minutes between 11am - 2pm. Bookings are essential by calling 6112 6222. See here for details.
Dinosaur fun at South.Point Tuggeranong! Image: South Point Tuggeranong Facebook
12/ The National Film and Sound Archives will be running school holiday movies about action, adventure and gaming between 2nd - 12th October. Enjoy movies such as Jumangi, Dungeons & Dragons and Ready Player One. See here for details.
13/ Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will be having Billy Tea and Damper experiences on 2nd and 9th October. See here for details.
14/ Giant Games School Holiday Activity at Majura Park shopping centre will be held between 2nd - 5th October. Enjoy free games of Twister, Jenga, Dominoes and Checkers! The Giant Games will be set up outside Big W between 10am - 2pm. No need to book, just turn up and have fun! See here for details.
15/ ASI: Art Scene Investigation is a popular school holiday program at the National Art Gallery. These school holidays they will be running it twice on Tuesday, 2nd October at 10:30am - 12pm and 2pm - 3:30pm. The theme for this Art Scene Investigation will be "The Mystery of Modern Art" and the adventure will be held in the American Masters exhibition. See here for details.
16/ LEGO Movies: Free School Holiday Film Screenings at Parliament House will be held on 2nd October and also 9th October, for all LEGO fans! See here for details.
Free school holiday fun at Parliament House! Image: Parliament House website
17/ The National Arboretum will be holding a range of school holiday activities starting on the 3rd October, with a children's bonsai making workshop (3rd - 5th October), a beekeeping workshop (6th October), make a kite workshop (9th and 10th October) and another beekeeping workshop just for kids on 11th October. See here for details.
18/ Sketchy Wednesday is a free drawing activity at the National Gallery of Australia. See here for details.
Friday, 5th October
19/ The Belconnen Twilight Market will be held at Margaret Timpson Park between 4:30pm - 8:30pm, with markets, food, with jumping castles, face painting, shopping, and music. See here for details.
20/ The Forage is back! This popular night market will be held between 2pm - 7pm in the car park of the Little National Hotel in Barton. Kids will love the range of tasty treats and lawn games to play. See here for details.
21/ Dirtgirl from ABC KIDS will be at Floriade flower festival, with performances and a Meet and Greet. See here for details.
22/ Parliament House will be having a huge Open Day with a range of activities for all ages between 9am - 5pm. See here for details.
23/ Government House will also be having an Open Day, with food and picnics on the lawns of this iconic property. See here for details.
24/ The Canberra Burns Club Highland Gathering is a much-anticipated annual event, with a jumping castle, music, bagpipes, strongman championships, dancing and all things Scottish! See here for details.
Hoola hoop fun at The Forage (photo taken at the last event in winter, 2018)
25/ Flourish: NGA in full bloom is a family day with kids activities in the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden, between 10:30am - 2pm. There will also be special guests Dirtgirl and Scrapboy, fresh from their appearance at Floriade. See here for details.
26/ Tidbinbilla Open Day will be held at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, 45 minutes from Canberra's city centre. This popular annual family day has free entry, nature experiences, kid's activities, live music, displays, demonstrations and more. See here for details.
Tuesday, 9th October
27/ Spring Story time will be held at the National Library of Australia, run by the ACT Storytellers Guild. See here for details. Also on the same day will be a free family screening of Moana, at 1pm. See here for details.
Wednesday, 10th October
28/ Story time at the National Portrait Gallery will be about the book The Dot by Peter H Reynolds and then kids will create their own visual response. See here for details. 29/ The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be showing at the Canberra Theatre Centre for lovers of the book! See here for details.
Saturday, 13th October
30/ The Harden Kite Festival will be held in the NSW town of Harden (1.5 hours north west of Canberra's city centre), on Saturday, 13th October between 10am - 4pm. Last year, close to 4000 visitors admired the colourful kite displays, set among the surrounding canola fields of Harden. This year there will be kite making workshops, live performances, amusement rides, activities, market stalls, food vendors, all day ride passes for the kids - and of course, kite flying! See here for details.
So what are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy the spring school holidays in Canberra! Have fun kids!
Have your eyes in the skies at the Harden Kite Festival! Image: Harden Kite Festival Facebook