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Top 20 Summer School Holiday Activities in Canberra - January 2020

Home > Canberra > Community Events | Family | Free | School Holiday Activities | Lists
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published December 2nd 2019
Keep your kids busy all month long
The school holidays are almost upon us and it is time to think up new and exciting ways to entertain the kids...for a whole 6 weeks! In December there is a whole list of Christmas Carols and Events to keep them busy, as well as the kids activities in Garema Place in the city centre. When Christmas is over however, there is still the whole month of January to think about. So what's on in January? Keep reading for some ideas to get you out and about in Canberra this summer. Parents and carers - you will enjoy these too!

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Family fun at Canberra OpenAir Cinema! Image: Canberra Openair Cinema Facebook

Family Activities

1/ American Express Canberra Openair Cinemas will be back at Patrick White Lawns, between the National Library and Lake Burley Griffin, between 8th January and 16th February! Watch Frozen II, Spies in Disguise, Jumanji, Abominable and Playing with Fire. Tickets go on sale 10th December. See here for details.

2/ Sunset Cinema, at the Australian National Botanical Gardens in Acton, will be showing Frozen II on their outdoor screen on 9th and 11th January. Tickets start from $13 for a child. See here for details.

3/ Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, 45 minutes from the city centre, has a range of family-friendly talks, walks and activities to do in the school holidays. The entry fee is $13.50 per car and then you can walk around The Sanctuary, play at the Tidbinbilla Nature Discovery Playground and get active with short, family friendly walks. Be aware that it is snake season. The Visitor Centre is open at 9am to buy your day pass. See here for details.

4/ Canberra Aqua Park is an inflatable obstacle course that is already set up on Lake Burley Griffin on the Black Mountain Peninsula for the summer (closing in March). Prices start from $20 for 50 minutes. Minimum age is 5 years old and children aged 10 and under must be with an adult. Adults will love this too! See here for details.

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Image: Canberra Aqua Park Facebook

Workshops & Programs

5/ The National Arboretum
will be holding one hour Kite Making workshops each Tuesday in January, at a cost of $15 per kite. They will also be holding Craft and Water Play sessions each Thursday, for $7. Parents must stay to supervise at all times. See here for details. A trip to the arboretum must include a play at Pod Playground - one of Canberra's best playgrounds!

6/ Jerrabomberra Wetlands have school holiday activities all month, which include Toddlers, Tales & Trails, Searching for Spiders, Avian Adventures and Clay Sculpting. Prices start from $15. See here for details.

7/ Bricks 4 Kids hold one-day and two-day school holiday workshops with LEGO themes, as well as coding and robotics to make your child's creations move! Workshops are located at Belconnen, Hughes, Gungahlin and Weston. Prices start from $90. See here for details.

8/ The Warehouse Circus is a popular week-long school holiday program for all ages, where they learn circus and trapeze skills from the experts. Locations are at Kaleen and Chifley. Prices start from $185. See here for details.

9/ The Possum Patch
at Pialligo Estate will be running school holiday cooking and gardening activities all month long. Try something new these holidays! Prices start from $99 for a full day of fun. See here for details.

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Make and fly a kite at the National Arboretum. Image: National Arboretum Facebook

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Holistic cooking fun at Possum Patch! Image: Possum Patch Facebook


10/ Peter Pan the Musical, produced by the Canberra Repertory Society, will be having family performances between 15th - 18th January in their theatre in Acton. Tickets cost $18 plus booking fee. See here for details.

11/ The Little Mermaid
, produced by Ickle Pickle Productions, will be running between 10th - 25th January at the Belconnen Theatre. Tickets cost $30 adults and $25 concession. See here for details.

12/ Storytime Ballet: The Nutcracker will be showing at the Canberra Theatre Centre between 16th - 18th January. This 50 minute production is designed for children aged 3 and over and will captivate them for the entire time. Dressing up encouraged! Ticket prices start from $37. See here for details.

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Image: Canberra Theatre Centre website

What's On at the Museums & Galleries

13/ The National Portrait Gallery will be running their Portrait Play program each weekday between 27th December - 31st January. Children between 4 - 8 years old will enjoy exploring the portraits through drawing and creative activity in the galleries. All children must be accompanied by a participating adult. The cost is $7 per child. See here for details. See here for an article from when I took my own daughter in 2018.

14/ The National Gallery of Australia has a range of drop-in craft events and activities each holiday. See here for details.

15/ The Australian War Memorial
will be having free family tours, Hands on History and Make and Create craft sessions all through January. See here for details. Don't forget to also check out the free kids area, The Discovery Zone, which is open every day during the ACT school holidays.

16/ Old Parliament House will have free school holiday activities every day, including their hugely popular PlayUP family space, as well as their Behind The Lines family activity area. They also have board games, card games, cartooning and free Family Action Packs. Entry to the museum costs $2 adults and $1 for concessions and children over 5 years of age. See here for details.

17/ The National Library will have their free activity room Summer WordPlay open between 10am - 4pm each day. See here for details. They will also have a Summer Story Time on 30th January between 11:30am - 12pm, at a cost of $2 per child (EFTPOS only, payable at the door). See here for details.

18/ The National Film & Sound Archives will have their exhibition Game Masters: The Exhibition open until March, 2020. A must-see for all gamers, with 80 playable games! Tickets start from $13.75 (child). See here for details.

19/ Parliament House will have free screenings of Peter Rabbit, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, during January. See here for details and how to book.

20/ The National Museum of Australia will be showing their DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition Journey from Sketch to Screen until 2nd February 2020. Kids will love seeing their favourite characters and glimpse behind-the-scenes into how they were created. See here for details. Don't forget to check out the free KSpace, which is open between 9.15am and 4pm during the ACT school holidays.

What a list! These are just 20 of the hundreds of events that will be happening around Canberra this summer. Check back with Canberra Weekendnotes for more events listed when advertised. Enjoy your holidays, kids & carers!

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See all your favourite characters at the National Museum! Image: National Museum Facebook

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Why? Fun for kids of all ages!
When: See websites for details
Where: Various locations around Canberra
Cost: See websites for prices
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