It's finally spring! The moment that all of Canberra has been waiting for - the days are starting to warm up, the blossoms are coming out in bloom and the kids of Canberra can run around outside in the glorious sunshine. The spring school holidays are the perfect time to re-connect with all the outdoor activities that we may have been missing out on over the frosty months. These holidays in particular, there are plenty of activities lined up in Canberra's galleries, museums, theatres and parklands to keep all ages busy - with many of them free! Here are just 25 ideas of what to do these holidays, however keep checking back with Weekendnotes as more activities are announced. So lie on the grass, relax and smell the flowers these spring school holidays...
1/ Floriade is the highlight of spring in Canberra and there is a host of kids activities to enjoy every day these school holidays. At Floriade, kids can join in on flower craft classes, circus activities, lantern making classes, drumming workshops, watch reptile displays, make pizza, have a dance, enjoy roving performers, ride the Ferris wheel, jump on a jumping castle, paint a garden gnome and watch school students perform on stage. They can even adopt a worm! See here for details and here for the program for each day.
2/ Tulip Top Gardens is located in Sutton, 20 minutes north of Canberra. This stunning 10-acre garden opens at the same time as Floriade each year, to provide another spectacular tulip experience to the public. As Tulip Top is private garden, there is an entry fee to get in which includes a free lunchtime sausage sizzle. It is a magical wonderland of colour that all ages will enjoy. See here for details.
3/ Mt Stromlo Mountain Bike Program is a school holiday mountain biking program that will be held on 4 individual days up at Mount Stromlo bike riding park. This program is designed for kids aged between 8-15 and will last the whole day. Cost is $65 per day. See here for details.
School holiday fun at Mount Stromlo. Image: Dynamic Motivation MTB Facebook
4/ The National Arboretum will be hosting a wide range of school holiday activities at their scenic, forest location. Make your own kite and fly it on the grounds (cost $10 per child), create your own bonsai (cost $33.50 per child), attend an Indigenous Cultural Workshop (cost $21.50 per child) and enjoy a free Story Telling and Craft Workshop. Bookings required for most activities. See here for details.
5/ Mugga Mugga heritage cottage in Symonston will be having a workshop with a local artist called Water Wheels, where kids make a water wheel model and learn about how wells were used in early settler times. Cost is $10. See here for details.
6/ The National Zoo and Aquarium will once again be hosting their popular Zoocation school holiday program - where kids get to see behind the scenes of the zoo, make toys for the animals and make new friends. Cost is $80. See here for details.
7/ Jerrabomberra Wetlands is located in Fyshwick and these school holidays they will be having nature-based workshops titled Bush Treasures, Clay Sculpting for Children, Wetlands Treasures and Bush and Waterbug Detectives. Cost is $8. See here for details.
8/ The National Gallery of Australia will be holding drawing and printmaking workshops, Art Scene Investigation programs, creative meditation for kids and Sketchy Tuesday - which is a free drawing workshop where kids bring their own supplies and get sketching! Prices range between free - $60. See here for details.
9/ The National Portrait Gallery have two school holiday programs - Little Faces for small children and their carers ($12 per child) and Portrait Play for kids aged between 4-8 ($7 per child). Both programs centre on the artworks in the gallery and a drawing activity. They will also have free drop-in activities with Art Cart, a screening of Oliver (gold coin donation) and Storytime ($7 per child). See here for details.
10/ Canberra Glassworks will be holding creative school holiday workshops where kids can learn to create their own Blooms, Bugs and Critters Tile or Spring Tile. They can also have the opportunity to work with an artist on the Hotshop floor to shape molten glass, add colour and use different tools to create their own unique glass paperweight or bird. Prices start from $30. See here for details.
Make your own Spring Tile at Canberra Glassworks. Image: Canberra Glassworks Facebook
11/ The National Library of Australia will be having a Spring Storytime on 3rd October, to encourage reading and the love of books in children. Cost is $2. See here for details.
12/ CMAG (Canberra Museum and Gallery) will be having free drop-in craft activities in their foyer, relating to Floriade and their current exhibition "Eirene Mort: a livelihood". Create an Australian wildflower inspired bookplate or a still life drawing, as well as explore the colourful new additions to their children's reading nook. See here for details.
13/ ACT Libraries have a jam-packed schedule these school holidays at most of their locations across Canberra. Their free activities include Canberra Theatre Visit the Library: Room on the Broom, Teddy Bear's Picnic, Painting with Light: Monet's Waterlilies, The Famous Five are 75, Lego Science: The Big Melt and LittleBits Designer Workshop. Bookings are essential on Eventbrite to secure your place. See here for details.
14/ Belconnen Arts Centre are holding art classes in the first week of the school holidays for kids aged between 5-12. Kids will enjoy making their own cardboard box cities, 3D paper craft and even try their hand at super-hero cartooning! Prices range between $20-$80. See here for details.
15/ The National Museum of Australia has a Towers of Tomorrow LEGO exhibition, where kids can admire LEGO skyscrapers and also have a session of free play. Cost is adults $10, kids $5. Whilst there, also check out K Space which is a free interactive activity where kids are "transported" back into an era in Australia's history. See here for details.
16/ The Australian War Memorial will once again open their free Discovery Zone every day during the ACT school holidays, so kids can get hands on and interactive within the museum. Kids can sit inside a helicopter, walk through a Cold War submarine, play virtual games, walk through a trench and learn more about life in wartime. See here for details.
17/ The Ian Potter Foundation is located in Deakin (next to the Royal Australian Mint) and run by the Questacon science museum. If your kids have a passion for science and inventing, they will enjoy learning how to blast off their own rocket design, make their own computer game, learn 3D design and much more. Cost is $55 per session. See here for details.
18/ The Canberra Theatre Centre will be having two school holiday shows in the second week of the school holidays. Room on the Broom will be shown in the Playhouse and Reef Up! will be shown in the Courtyard Studio. Prices start from $20. Book in early to secure your ticket as they will sell out fast! See here for details.
19/ The National Film and Sound Archives will be showing School Holiday Screenings - Book Heroes on the Screen, with a range of kids movies which all began as a book. Movies include Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl's The BFG in 3D and Where the Wild Things Are, to name a few. All tickets are $8, with children under 3 free. See here for details.
20/ Palace Cinemas will be running the Harry Potter marathon POTTERFEST for over 20 hours at their NewActon precinct cinema. They will be showing all 8 Harry Potter Films plus a screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. See here for details.
21/ Pied Piper Productions will be showing "Olivia!" (as opposed to Oliver!) at the Canberra College Performing Arts Centre in Woden these school holidays, with performances between 29th September to 6th October. Get swept away in the magic of a live production! Tickets cost $20. See here for details.
22/ The National Library of Australia will be showing the children's movie Fern Gully on 3rd October. Cost is free. See here for details.
23/ The Living Green Festival will be held on Sunday, 1st October at Albert Hall in Yarralumla. This vegan, cruelty-free and environmentally friendly festival has plenty for the kids to do with a FREE Kidzone with rock climbing wall, face painting, art, craft and a reading tree. See here for details.
24/ Canberra Burns Club Highland Gathering is a Scottish celebration day at Kambah, on Saturday, 7th October. This is a huge day for all the family with dancing performances, Strong Man competitions, jumping castles, food stalls, face painting, bagpipes and much more. See here for details.
25/ Government House Open Day on Saturday, October 7th may not sound like much fun for the kids - but with food stalls, gardens, family activities, picnics and plenty of areas to run around - all ages will enjoy this free family day at one of Canberra's most iconic homes. See here for details.
What a list! This is just the start of what will be happening in Canberra these school holidays. With so many fun things to do around the Capital this spring - 2 weeks may not be enough! Enjoy!
Free rock climbing wall at the Living Green Festival. Image: Living Green Festival Facebook