New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published November 5th 2017
Take a trip over the border this weekend
Queanbeyan is a historical city, located just 20 minutes from Canberra's city centre. The main streets are lined with buildings from decades gone by, which provides the town with character and a traditional Aussie country town atmosphere. Although there is a host of fun things to do for kids in Canberra itself, sometimes a day trip exploring a new area can open your eyes up to more options of things to do, just outside the Capital. All kids enjoy exploring new playgrounds and trying out new play equipment for the first time - and the Queanbeyan area has plenty! The following are 5 things to do in Queanbeyan that our family have discovered and enjoyed - we hope your family does too...
Fun for kids at the ActewAGL Queanbeyan Show. Image: Queanbeyan Show Society Facebook. Photo credit: Justin's Photo Works
1/ Events in Queanbeyan are a way to get the community together and attract people to the city. For example, the ActewAGL Queanbeyan Show is a family event held each November which attracts thousands of people from all around the region. "The Show" has a wide range of kids and adult rides, sideshow alley, animal judging, farmyard nursery, BMX stunt shows, show bags, fireworks and all the fun of a country show. Other events in Queanbeyan include the Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival, Queanbeyan Christmas in July Market and travelling circus that set up at the showground. See the Queanbeyan Events website for more details.
2/ Queen Elizabeth Park II was built at the end of 2016 and has become an instant hit with the local kids - and it is easy to see why. This new and colourful playground by the Queanbeyan River has all the fun equipment that kids enjoy, with sun sails recently installed over the top to make it more practical in the hotter months. Although the playground is a highlight, it is the water play area that attracts the kids into town - with their swimmers on and ready to play! Kids enjoy hopping and jumping through the water jets, which randomly shoot up at varying heights during the summer months. The playground has plenty of grassy areas to relax overlooking the river and a new BBQ area to cook up some snags. For a full article on Queen Elizabeth Park II, see here.
3/ Millhouse Café can be found just opposite Queen Elizabeth Park II, so it is just an easy stroll across the road for a family friendly café experience. This café is incorporated into the lower level of a historical building which was built in 1888 and was used as the manager's residence of the flour mill next door (which still stands today). Now you can walk in through the front door, past dining areas in the old bedrooms and walk to the back of the house to the café. A popular area for kids is back garden of the house, which has a cubby house, toys and a relaxing shady area to sit under the trees. See here for details. For a full article on Millhouse Café, see here.
5/ Googong is a newly built residential area, less than 10 minutes drive from Queanbeyan. When you drive into the new area, you will see established houses and also more being built, with the aim of having 6,200 homes there in the next two decades. For kids, the fun of exploring a new area is that the playgrounds dotted around the streets are also brand new too! Our family have enjoyed exploring the range of new equipment, with trampolines, table tennis tables (don't forget your paddles and balls!), slides and climbing apparatus which are different to most of Canberra's playgrounds. For details, see the article Best Playgrounds in Googong North and also the latest addition, Gumnut Playground.
Throughout the year they also hold family-friendly events such as Boo-gong each Halloween and Goog-fest music festival. See here for details.
5/ The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre is an enjoyable place to take kids during the school holidays, with many family-friendly performances lined up throughout the year. Although Canberra has the Canberra Theatre Centre to watch live shows, The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre is another choice to keep checking, with different productions and pricing options - just a short 20 minute drive away. There is nothing more exciting for a child, than to be introduced to the magic of live theatre. See here to see what's coming up next for kids at the QPAC.
If you are looking for somewhere to take the kids this weekend or school holidays, why not hop in the car for the short 20 minute drive to Queanbeyan and start exploring. Who knows where else you will discover?
School holiday fun at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. Image: Original photos from Queanbeyan Performing Art Centre Facebook