Canberra is packed with fun activities and attractions that will keep the whole tribe entertained. We only had a very short stay in the capital city but we managed to tick a few of the cities best offerings for families. Here’s what we got up to.
We had an awesome time exploring the many different levels in Questacon. We were given tickets to try out their Mini Q room which is especially for kids aged 0-6 years. We made sure we went on the earliest session possible and the only disappointment was when our time was up and we had to leave. The kids had fun with the water play area, role playing in the petrol station, bakery and vet areas and climbing and crawling through the multi-level play area in the centre. We also whipped through the planet room for a quick look when we got the five minute warning that our session was about to finish.
Other highlights for the tribe were the Make It craft area where we learned about windmills and then used the objects available to make our own creations. We also had a lot of fun building towers with blocks and then seeing how they would go in an earthquake.
On the bottom level, there was a dark room full of fun experiments including a moving light tunnel and our favourite – a vacuum pipe contraption where the kids inserted neon coloured cloths, they got sucked through the pipe and went on a winding journey and then came flying out for them to catch. Questacon is an absolute must when visiting Canberra with kids.
There was so much going on at Floriade, it’s no wonder people flock from all over Australia just for this event. Of course there were beautiful, colourful flowers everywhere we turned, but that is just the tip of the iceberg that is Floriade.
We were lucky enough to be standing right near the ‘Adopt a Worm’ station where we were offered worms to name and adopt and re-home into a nearby vegetable patch. This may have caused some tears for my youngest resulting in me taking over the re-homing process but I can happily report, Daddy Worm made it safely to the veggie patch.
The food choices were quite good but if you have a fussy eater like I do – you might want to pack some basic food options. Lots of tribes packed a picnic and grabbed a shady spot on the lawn in front of the Floriade stage where performances were scheduled throughout the festival.
We also enjoyed playing with some of the circus toys in the Circus Tent and wandering through the art installation in the gardens. There were markets to look at, carnival rides and a train that can transport you from one side of the event to the other.
We of course finished our visit off with a Ferris Wheel ride where we could take in the views of Floriade and Canberra.
Floriade also turns into a night time delight with Night Fest where the fun of the day continues on, but with lights and lanterns to wow the crowds.
National Arboretum Pod Playground
There’s lots happening in the school holidays at the National Arboretum including Forests in Bloom guided walks, story telling and bonsai making workshops, but on our visit we dropped by specifically to check out one thing – the amazing Pod Playground.
There was so much to do in the playground and it was geared from tiny tots up to older kids. The pod playground is fully fenced in so it’s safe for the kids to run and explore the huge space without fear that they’ll end up in the car park.
There are smaller pods at the entry way which act as cubby houses. Some of the pods are in sandpits for digging and soft play, and others are just outside of the sand with things like musical drums and pipes to play with. There are a few swings and lots of seating around for parents to sit and watch as the tribe plays.
Then the main attraction – the pods. The pods are higher up with ladders to climb up into the cubby spaces and explore. Some of them are linked by rope bridges and there is a mega curling slide coming out of one of the bigger pods. Inside one of the pods there are insects encased in resin for the kids to get a closer look at.
Other attractions in the playground included a musical bridge with little bells to jump on and a climbing net area. There are toilet facilities inside the playground too for extra convenience.
Cockington Green Gardens are still just as charming today as I remember them being all those years ago when I visited as a child. This garden is full of miniature houses with miniature people and animals. There were a few that had miniature trains running around them that the kids can control with the push of a button making them interactive and fun for the tribe. We wandered through looking at all of the different villages, climbed to a viewing tower to see a miniature garden maze from above, and then we entered the international gardens with castles, buildings and homes from all over the world.
When we finished wandering through the gardens on foot, we made our way to the steam train ride where we got to take two laps of the garden on the train and see it all again. Cockington Green Gardens is well worth checking out when you’re in Canberra with the kids. It’s also good to know that if you are planning on visiting Questacon, Cockington Green and the Australian Insitute of Sport – you can get a 3 attractions 1 ticket and a 25% discount on entry price.
Check out our top 10 Canberra attractions here.