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Top 7 School Holiday Experiences for Kids in Canberra

Whether you're looking for ideas to amuse hard-to-please kids, or on a hunt for new things to do these school holidays, we’ve sourced 7 unique, kid-friendly experiences in Canberra that are guaranteed to keep the little ones entertained for days!

Read on to find out how you can make the most out of the school holidays.


Discover the Paperbark Treehouse at the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Images via: Visit Canberra | Out in Canberra

Every child has dreamed of having a treehouse as a haven, a secret place where they can let their imaginations run wild. Did you know that The Australian National Botanic Gardens has a two-storey treehouse nestled among its lush canopy?

The Paperbark Treehouse is an interactive art installation constructed mainly of recycled timber, some of which were retrieved from the set of the Baz Luhrmann film set in Australia!

Kids, and the young at heart, will enjoy climbing a top the treehouse where they can get a chance to view the trees close up, spot some interesting birds in the canopy, and of course be whisked away in their fantastical imaginary worlds.

After climbing the treehouse, little ones can scamper across stepping stones or follow the Who Did That? children’s trail. It is the perfect place for visitors of all ages to connect with nature and encourage creativity.

Located at Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT

Cost: Free entry!


Feed the birds at the Walk-in Aviary

Images via Walk-in Aviary | Visit Canberra

Get up close with over 500 free-flying birds at The Canberra Walk-in Aviary! It’s a treasure trove for keen bird watchers and animal lovers of all ages.

Here you’ll find a plethora of native Australian birds such as the brightly coloured rainbow lorikeets and Black Throated Finch, as well as species from around the world such as the Red Fody from Madagascar and the rare Luzon bleeding-heart pigeons from the Philippines.

Kids are sure to love feeding the birds and encounter rare and colourful species. It’s a great and fun way to learn about the spectacular Australian native birds as well as species from all over the world! Your entry fee includes a plate of bird food.

Located at Federation Square, Gold Creek Village, O'Hanlon Place, Nicholls ACT

Cost: Between $12.00 and $17.00, Family passes from $50.


Mint your own coin at the Royal Australian Mint

Images via Australian Mint

If you’re looking for something uniquely Canberran to do these school holidays, head to the multi tourism award winning Royal Australian Mint where you can mint your own coin for keeps! Trail along The Mint’s 30-minute free guided tour to get a glimpse of how Australian coins are made, learn about the history of the national currency, and see robot’s make tomorrow’s coins.

The Mint also hosts school holiday activities for kids, including a Mini-Minties Kids Program with story time, gallery exploration and craft activities all about saving your coins! To coincide with the 2019 Mr Squiggle 60th anniversary coin set, The Mint is hosting an exhibition to commemorate Mr Squiggle and his creator, Norman Hetherington.

The exhibit features original Mr Squiggle puppets along with other items that will take you on a nostalgic journey, and introduce a new generation to this Aussie icon.  The exhibit is on now until 28 July 2019.

Located at Royal Australian Mint, Denison Street, Deakin, ACT

Cost: Free entry!   

GoBoating on Lake Burley Griffin

Images via: GoBoat Canberra | Visit Canberra

Captain your own boat and take the whole crew on a maritime adventure by hiring a Scandinavian-style picnic boat.

Originating from Copenhagen, GoBoat Canberra is the first of its kind in Australia. It’s an exceptional way to enjoy the scenic Lake Burley Griffin and the city’s many lakeside highlights. Suitable for seasoned sailors and first-time drivers alike, the boats are safe and easy-to-use so you know your family are in good hands.

Switch up your regular picnic setup and take a packed lunch on onboard! You can also grab a takeaway meal from one of the nearby cafes and restaurantsthe red velvet pancakes from the Bean & Table Café is a surefire hit with the kiddies.

Pack your kids’ favourite snacks, water, sunscreen, hats, and good vibes!  The boats are also dog-friendly so you can bring your furry pal along for the cruise.

Located at Trevillian Quay, Wharf 2, Kingston ACT

Cost: From $129 to $269, prices vary. More information here.


Hike up Mount Ainslie Lookout

Images via: Visit Canberra | Joel Egan

For some classic outdoor fun, Mount Ainslie Lookout is a definite list topper and must-visit destination during the school holidays. Whether you’re driving, cycling, or hiking, you will be rewarded with picturesque views of Australia’s bush capital.

Grab a picnic basket, fill it up with goodies, and take the whole family for a great day out in the sun. At the top, you can play eye-spy and try to spot some of Canberra’s icons such as Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial or the National Museum of Australia.

Mount Ainslie Lookout is also a stellar spot to observe the gorgeous sunset and watch the city lights come to life. On clear nights, the lookout transforms into a spectacular stargazing base, where little astronomers can chart the night sky and even spot a planet or two!

Located at 20 Mount Ainslie Drive, ACT

Cost: Free entry!



Tour the Australian Institute of Sports

Images via 
Visit Canberra

Got a budding Olympian or young sports fan in your family? Then a guided tour of The Australian Institute of Sports is a school holiday experience you simply can’t miss.

Guided by an elite athlete, kids will get the behind-the-scenes scoop on where and how their sporting heroes trained to become one of Australia’s national champions.

The tour ends at Sportex, an interactive sports exhibit where they can have a go at football penalty shootouts, rock climbing, wheelchair basketball and even virtual downhill skiing!

Adding this to your school holiday itinerary is a great way to further ignite your little one’s passion for sports. And if you keep an eye out, you might even get to see Australia’s best swimmers in action or gymnasts and athletes in training.

Located at Leverrier Street, Bruce ACT

Cost: Between $10.00 and $20.00; Child from $12.00 and Family Tickets from $55.

Images via Questacon

During the school holidays visit one of Questacon's newest hands-on exhibitions 'Australia in Space'. Discover how Australia is contributing to the space industry and the experts and innovators behind our success. Wander the three zones; Lift Off, In Orbit and Earth & Beyond, and discover what Australia is sending to space and how we do it, the challenges of orbit and the impacts of space on the human body and finally why Australia's location gives us a unique advantage. A great time for the young minds intrigued by everything outside of Earth. 

Located at King Edward Terrace, Parkes

Cost: Between $17.50 and $23.00; Child from $17.50 and Family Tickets from $70.