Best School Holiday Activities Canberra for December/January Summer

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Welcome to the grand capital of Australia for fantastic school holiday activities in Canberra, where school holiday fun and learning go hand in hand. Whether you are a local or are visiting, we have compiled the best December/January summer school holiday activities list for Canberra.

Canberra is ecstatically buzzing with kid’s school holiday activities for your family. No need to stress about finding school holiday activities Canberra style we have all the best school holidays ideas for when you’re in Canberra.

Breezy getaway or exciting adventures, you’ll be surprised with the variety of things to do in school holidays in Canberra. We’ve got a list of school holiday activities in Canberra ready for you!

Below you will find our complete guide to the best school holiday activities in Canberra as well as what’s on in Canberra December/January summer school holidays to help make your life so much easier!

State schools finish Friday 17 December 2021 and returns to class on Tuesday 1 February 2022.

The summer school holidays in ACT are Saturday 18 December to Monday 31 January 2022.

Fun things to do in Canberra school holidays 2021

We have broken our list of school holiday activities Canberra 2021 into sections to help you:

As with everything at the moment, please check with the venue directly (either by their website or social media pages) to ensure they are open during the times you wish to attend. You should also check their current policy around advanced bookings, entry requirements/timings and social distancing rules.

10 fun free school holiday activities

There are so many things to see and do in Canberra that are free yet fun. Canberra school holidays activities can be expensive, and the search for free activities isn’t always easy. Put your worries aside, here are a list of places to visit in Canberra that won’t break the bank!

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Connect with mother nature. Browse the outdoor activities in Canberra’s botanic garden surrounded by rustling leaves and chirping wildlife. We recommend getting takeaway from Pollen Café and having a sweet family picnic under the eucalyptus. 

International Sculpture Park

Step into the campus of Australian National University and adore the sculptures from multicultural artists all over the world. Some sculptures may be hard to interpret, but nothing too hard with a little help of the internet. While you’re there, consider taking trails and tours neighbouring the ANU Acton campus.

Mount Ainslie Lookout & Trail

View a bird’s eye snapshot of Canberra during your trip to adore the breathtaking wide sky and compact commercial city. So, gear up and hike your way to scenic views that make it all worth it. 

Canberra City Farm

At the Canberra City Farm, community living, and the environment produce harmony. Allow the kids to see the work behind the harvest, and how seeds can become feed. Take a farm tour with friendly owners of the farm, and let the kids get down and dirty with soiling and gardening. 

Lake Burley Griffin

The iconic strip of lake that makes Canberra, Canberra. Every local knows and loves the lake where you can bike, walk, kayak, fish or simply enjoy the sight. You can even opt for the e-scooters near the park. View the park map here

Old Parliament House

The Museum of Australian Democracy is an iconic political location. Show the kids the home of the Federal Parliament. Home to the country’s most historical moments, tour the offices, exhibitions, and activities specially made for kids. To view more activities, check out their website. 

Boundless Playground & National Carillon

Situated near the National Carillon is where you’ll find Canberra kids’ activities at the Boundless Playground. It’s named “Boundless” for a reason, so stop by and let the kids roam free in this infinite space of fun! The Carillon Exhibition is open weekdays 9am to 5pm and weekends 10am to 4 pm. The bells within the Carillon Tower produce the most melodious tunes played by a carillonist

Canberra Glassworks

Glass is seen and used in our daily lives and often taken for granted. Wait until you see how they make glass into art. You’ll be surprised at the endless possibilities that glass can do when you make your own or your kids join creative school holiday programs.

ANU Classics Museum

On every second Friday of each month, join a free tour at the ANU Classics Museum to gain knowledge and insight about ancient art, artefacts, pottery and commemoration. Fascinating things start here.

National Museum of Australia

Discover the diverse range of art where there’s a piece from every culture, style, race and time in life all in one cohesive space. Support the museum by shopping at the Museum shop and dining at the Museum café, or you can also make a $5 donation.

10 fun cheap school holiday activities

Entertainment comes with a price, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Make this summer holiday unforgettable with these top places to visit in Canberra that are a bargain! Here are our picks of holiday activities Canberra:

Canberra Deep Space Centre

Explore the great universe and solar system at the NASA communication complex. Keep your eyes wide open and learn about all the stars, planets and beings that exist beyond earth, be sure to spot their gigantic antennas too! It is facilitated with a café and playground for some to take a break and some to not. 

Sunset Cinema Canberra

Catch a movie with a pleasant twist. Buttery popcorn and bubbly drinks are served at the outdoor cinema where shows start playing only when the sun sets. If you think that is cool, bring your throws, blankets, pillows and mats for a movie under the stars. 

Canberra Reptile Zoo

They may not be fluffy, but they sure are cute. Say hi and stick out your hissing tongue at the exciting zoo of reptiles. For only $50 for a family bundle, this is one of the cheapest things to do near Canberra! 

Big Splash Waterpark

It truly is Canberra’s favourite water park when it has 9 slides, speed coaster, kiddies pool, splash islands, pool inflatables and many more! This is truly school holiday fun Canberra style! Who can say no? At only $28, you can splash to your hearts content! 

Capital Paddle

Paddle boarding is safe, easy and a great bonding activity. Bond with family and bond with nature at the same time when you spend only $25 for a 30-minute ride. Apart from safety gears, you are also promised beautiful sights, occasional fishes and ducks, and happy smiles. 

Jet Flight Simulator

Play pretend and be pilot for a day with the Jet Flight Simulator challenge. You don’t need experience; you just need readiness to play! Choose your package, your plane, your destinations and you’re all set to go. See prices here. 

Merry Go Round

Located in Petrie Plaza, you’ll find kids’ activities in Canberra like the magical carousel that is bound to make them begging for more! It’s a classic ride that not even the adults can resist. 

National Dinosaur Museum

Dive into the world of the prehistoric animal, run, hide or play dead, you will want to visit this extraordinary attraction near Canberra! Enjoy the world-class exhibition of everything dinosaur under one roof. Thanks to founders Jeno and Tom, your family can now be part of this educational and entertainment experience. For more info, click here. 

Power Kart Raceway

Feel the thrill at Power Kart Raceway, where you’ll find more than just kart racing. Check out Australia’s first synthetic ice rink, their kids race karts made just for younger kids, and neon-glowing jungle golf! You’ll be spoiled for choice with such limitless options. 

Let’s Play Indoor Playground

The indoor activities in Canberra’s Let’s Play indoor playground include a spacious indoor play area, space odyssey, an interactive café and party rooms. It is safe, colourful, and full of fun obstacles for your little ones. See their prices here

10 BIG days out in Canberra these school holidays

Become a tourist superstar by ticking off all the top attractions in Canberra! Let us introduce a list of fun things to do in Canberra that will give you out of this world experiences!

Hot air balloon ride

This early morning Canberra hot air balloon ride offers a tranquil experience with amazing scenery over the blend of historical and modern architecture and abundant greenery that give Australia’s capital city its charm. Embark on a flight that lasts around one hour and see the city and its surrounds from a vantage point few others get to experience; a hot air ballooning ride offers a sense of serenity that’s hard to match and even harder to forget!

Find prices here

National Zoo & Aquarium

A “Zoocation” is one of the best things to do in Canberra with kids. From the sky to the land and down the sea, you’ll find every species of animal at this zoo. And if you fall in love for one of them, you can even adopt an animal. Families of 5 only need to pay $135 to enter. Learn more here. 

Questacon – National Science and Technology Centre

Explore Canberra family attractions like Australia in Space, Questacon Beehive, Q Lab, The Shed and more educational and hands on programs, all at the Questacon Centre. Children get to use all five senses of their bodies to learn and engage with science in the best possible way. See affordable tickets here. 

Royal Australian Mint

The few top things to do in Canberra that you don’t want to miss out on includes the Royal Australian Mint. Complete the Mint Treasure Hunt and go on a free tour to learn how our coins are made. A special place to go to start a collection hobby. 

National Arboretum & Pod Playground

The list of attractions near Canberra you need to visit are the National Arboretum and the Pod Playground just close by. The spectacular bonsai collection, ecosystem park, forest sculpture gallery is where art and nature incorporate perfectly. Make sure to leave save the day for this hot spot! 

National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Contemporary Art Space

These 3 attractions are just a walk away from each other, so why not do the whole package! See family activities at the Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia. Seasonal exhibitions are the Canberra Contemporary Art Space will tingle your creative nerves.  

Canberra Museum & Gallery

Watch a kid-friendly movie or join a crafts session in the months of December/January summer all at the Canberra Museum & Gallery. Join the warm and welcoming Canberra community when you book yourself in a children’s program.

National Capital Exhibition

Learn about the story of Canberra and how it has developed into the city that it is today. Don’t forget to look out to see the spouting fountain of Regatta Point. While you’re at Regatta Point, Regatta Playground and Regatta Beach are also worth visiting for a picnic or walk.

Australian War Memorial

In remembering those who served our country and those who fought hard, the exhibitions revolve around the inspirations of war, modernised, fantasized, and romanticized. Facilities like theatre, discovery centre, café, and audio tours add interest to something that may seem irrelevant to the public. Visit their website here.

Cockington Green Gardens

This garden is like no other. Take a ride on a miniature steam train as you smell the roses. Feel like a giant in this mini little world filled with beautiful artworks of unique buildings. And if you’re diligent, you might spot miniature figures living in their floral world! Book your ticket now!

Yarralumla Play Station

Keep your kids entertained all day long with the Weston Park Miniature Railway, a mini golf course, farm animals, food and more! If you’re looking to hold a party or function, they’ve got you covered too. For more information, visit their website.

5 things to do at home these school holidays

If you’re up for a day in, these at home activities will keep you entertained all throughout the day. 

Frozen Shirt Challenge

Tie an old t-shirt into a knot, wet it and freeze it overnight for the kids to try to untie the knot. This one is a real challenge. Remember to set the timer to see who’s the winner!

Make a Present for Postman or Garbage Collector

Everyone deserves a gift to cheer them on. Show gratitude to workers by making a simple gift like coffee, goodie bag, card at home and wait for their arrival! 

Potato Stamps

Little did you know that the humble potato can be used to create fun shapes and colours! The same can be done using the ends of bok choy, capsicum, okra, lotus root and celery stems. Just cut the vegetable in half and carve out your desired shape to start stamping away!

Magazine Collage

Collect unwanted magazines and start cutting out pictures that you like. Stick them all on a photo frame to make your very own work of art!

Candle Campfire

Can’t be bothered to set up an actual campfire? A mess-free, hassle-free indoor campfire only requires a candle, skewers, marshmallows, and hungry children!

Theatres with kids shows on in Canberra these school holidays

For kid friendly things to do in Canberra, we recommend the many theatres for the drama enthusiasts. Be inspired by the extravaganza of music, dance, performing arts, and stories awaiting to be told and heard! Find out whats on in Canberra school holidays here:

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Take a trip down memory lane to the vintage hub of timeless art. Events and exhibitions that are a blast from the past presented to you from decades of collection and professional preservation. View shows and exhibitions on their engaging website

Canberra Theatre Centre

This theatre is a funky and vibrant place to go for fans of indie shows, comedy and aussie-made shows. There’s something for everyone and there’s always something outlandish for the venturesome. With shows categorised into genres, you can easily pick a family favourite. Book now! 

The Street Theatre

Got older children who appreciate like a true artist? The Street Theatre plays something deeper than your average comedy show. If you’re looking for artistic value, Sundance, depth and metaphorical literature, you will find what you’re after, at The Street Theatre

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Let your ears indulge in the tunes of symphony by the magnificent orchestra bands who perform at this grand hall. For an inspiring, moving and captivating evening, make CSO, your next place to go.

Canberra kids holiday ideas

If you’re looking for more things to do in Australian Capital Territory, click here or for New South Wales, click here.

There you have it. A huge round up of the most excellent school holiday ideas for you over the next break. There are plenty of Canberra days out ideas here to keep you and the kids entertained for the whole school holidays. These Canberra holiday ideas are updated every term, so remember to bookmark this page.

Let us know if we missed your favourite or if you would like us to add your venue or event!

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