When visitors come to Canberra, they may be wondering what there is to do at night-time after dinner, if their kids aren't too small and everyone wants to stay out a bit later. Where are the best movie cinemas in Canberra? Are there games arcades to play? Is there anything different to do? Canberra has a wide range of things to do in the evening for all ages so that Mum and Dad can enjoy them too. These venues below are also handy venues for locals, who may be looking for a party venue in the evening, or something different to do as a birthday celebration. These are just 10 ideas to get the ball rolling...so to speak!
Be the ultimate Bowl Champ at Zone Bowling - Belconnen and Tuggeranong. Image: Zone Bowling Facebook
1/ Zone Bowling is a fun way to get the whole family playing something together - with bragging rights for the winner! There are two locations in Canberra - Belconnen in the north and Tuggeranong in the south. Belconnen is the bigger of the two, with 32 bowling lanes (and 33 arcade games) and Tuggeranong has 24 lanes (and 40 arcade games). Both of them have Glow in the Dark Bowling, Laser Tag, food and are open until late. See here for details.
3/ Powerkart Raceway in Griffith is a one-stop-shop for action, with junior and adult go-karts, indoor Glow-in-the-Dark mini golf and even a synthetic ice rink! It is open until 10pm each night, except for 8pm on Sundays. See here for details.
A one-stop-shop of family fun at Powerkart Raceway, Griffith!
4/ Flip Out trampoline centres are found in Hume and Mitchell, on either side of the city. Both centres are open late for people who like to jump for exercise, for after-school activities or serious jumpers wanting to practice their tricks. Flip Out at Hume is open until 9pm - 10pm at night, depending on the day, and Flip Out at Mitchell is open until 6pm - 8pm.
5/ Pod Playground is Canberra's most popular playground, located at the Visitor Centre at the National Arboretum, less than 10 minutes from the city centre. Although the Visitor Centre closes at 4pm each day, the grounds are open until 5:30pm in winter (non-Daylight Savings Time) and 8:30pm during the summer months (Daylight Savings Time) so that people can walk through the forests, take in the view from Dairy Farmers Hill and have a play at Pod Playground. Kids of all ages love playing at Pod Playground, as it has a sandpit and toddler area for the littlies and an exciting series of pods to explore (and a tall slide!) for the older kids. See here for details.
Wear off some energy before dinner at Flip Out (photo taken at Hume location)
6/ Telstra Tower is open until 10pm each night, so that visitors can appreciate the stunning views over the city and star constellations by night. If it's not too windy, the whole family will get a kick out of standing on the outdoor viewing platforms and pointing out the lights and everywhere they have been, from 195 metres up in the air. Take a warm jumper and leave your hat in the car! Entry fees apply. See here for details.
7/ Events are held around the city all year round, with many of them held at night-time. For example, The ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show is held each February, with rides, fireworks and family fun into the night. The Enlighten Festival is also a popular family favourite each March, with the national buildings lit up in artistic illuminations and the Night Noodle Markets held in the evenings. The Winter Festival in the city has an outdoor ice-skating rink that is open until late and Floriade has NightFest, to appreciate the flower festival by night. If that's not all, there are 10 Firework Events that happen each year around the Capital!
Take in the views from Telstra Tower, open until 10pm nightly
8/ iPlay is a games arcade franchise, with locations at Belconnen Westfield, Woden Westfield and South.Point Tuggeranong. The largest out of the 3 is at Belconnen Westfield, with a wide range of arcade games, a small bowling alley, laser tag and even dodgem cars! All of these iPlay venues are located outside or near movie cinemas, so you can visit them afterwards to try and beat Dad! iPlay closes at 10pm or 11pm, depending on the night.
9/ Guild Board Game Restaurant is a popular place to go to dinner in the city centre, as they serve up delicious wood-fired pizzas whilst you play board games all night - with a "game-age" fee of just $3 per person. Younger kids will enjoy playing Hungry Hungry Hippo and Uno, whereas older kids will enjoy harder games - which they may need to teach Mum and Dad! This is a personal favourite with our family, however it is also a fun night out with friends and work colleagues, for Christmas parties and farewells. See here for details.
10/ Dessert Cafes are a great place to end the night, so the whole family can talk about their day and indulge in some sweet, sweet chocolate! Some of the most popular, family-friendly venues around Canberra include Movenpick on the Kingston Foreshore, Max Brenner on the Kingston Foreshore and Belconnen, San Churro at Woden, Via Dolce and Koko Black in the city centre - and a local favourite, Frugii Dessert Laboratory in Braddon.
These are just some of the ideas of things to do at night for families, around the Canberra region. If you have any more ideas, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article. Now the main question is - which one will you choose for tonight?
Finish the night at the Kingston Foreshore, with an ice-cream sundae at Movenpick!