With so much on offer for families, why not book a holiday in Australia’s capital and discover the best of Canberra for families during these April school holidays.
Canberra is a great destination for a family holiday. When you stay in a Canberra CBD hotel, you’ll find that most major attractions are only a short drive or bicycle ride away. This means you can pack a lot of fun into one day! We’ve picked some of our favourite ideas to keep the whole family happy during the April school holidays.
1: Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre
Questacon is all about making science fun. A visit to this extremely popular attraction offers fun for people of all ages and has to be a highlight of a visit to Canberra for families. With regular special exhibitions and over 200 exhibits across eight galleries, there is enough to keep you entertained for hours.
2: Australian Institute of Sport
The sports fans in your life will enjoy a visit to the Australian Institute of Sport, Australia’s premier elite sports precinct, where you can go behind the scenes with a guided tour and experience Sportex, the AIS’s interactive sports exhibit. See unique Australian sporting memorabilia or take a swim or join a class at the AIS Aquatic and Fitness Centre. There’s a cafe and a shop too.
3: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
You will find Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the southern part of the ACT, around 40 minutes drive from the city centre. The Sanctuary at Tidbinbilla is a large wetlands ecosystem surrounded by bushland with a wheelchair accessible pathway that allows visitors the chance to see a range of native animals in a natural setting – see if you can spot a platypus, a koala, an echidna or an emu! There are 22 marked trails, offering short walks to all day bushwalks. Kids will enjoy the Nature Discovery Playground. Ranger-guided activities are held on selected days during school holidays and scenic picnic spots are available throughout the area.
4: Cycling around Lake Burley Griffin
Hire bicycles from the hotel and enjoy a leisurely ride around the Lake from bridge to bridge – it’s a popular activity for locals and visitors alike. You’ll see many attractions on the way, with lots of cafe options for a coffee or cool drink or choose one of the many grassed areas to stop for a picnic. Access to the cycling paths from the hotel is easy – our Concierge team will be happy to provide directions.
5: National Gallery of Australia
The current major exhibition, Versailles: Treasures from the Palace, is a chance to see fascinating treasures from the Palace of Versailles in France at the National Gallery of Australia, open until 17 April 2017. Younger children will enjoy NGA Play – a creative space including art experiences and school holidays activities. Wander through the outdoor Sculpture Garden, Fern Garden and Fog Garden, and enjoy the autumn sunshine with a picnic on the lawn adjacent to Lake Burley Griffin.
6: National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia provides a great opportunity to learn about Australian stories. Housed in a modern building overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, the Museum includes a number of permanent exhibits along with regularly changing exhibitions. From 13 April 2017, see the Freewheeling exhibition, an exploration of stories and objects from the history of cycling in Australia. During the April school holidays in Canberra, the Discovery Space: The nature collector program stars with a short tour of the nature collections, followed by a ‘make your own journal’ activity. There will also be an afternoon play space and kids movies.
7: Cockington Green Gardens
The miniature world of Cockington Green Gardens is a delight. You’ll be amazed at the fascinating displays of miniature buildings set within perfectly landscaped gardens. Carefully placed humour throughout the exhibits adds an extra element of fun to a visit to this family owned attraction, open since 1979. Kids will love the miniature steam train ride.
8: The National Folk Festival
If your family loves music, this event might be for you. The National Folk Festival is an annual event held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) over Easter. From Friday 13 to Monday 17 April 2017, you can choose from over 450 performances offering diverse music styles including blues, folk, country, gypsy and more. KidzFest, a place especially for families, is open 10am – 5pm each day of the Festival and includes entertainment geared for younger people, with workshops and other fun activities.
9: The Australian Running Festival
The Australian Running Festival is on in Canberra on the weekend of 8 and 9 April. With five scenic courses from 5km to 50km, this Festival celebrates health, fun and fitness. There are family race packages available for the 5km and 10km distances. Book our special two night Australian Running Festival accommodation package.
10: The National Zoo & Aquarium
The National Zoo & Aquarium is a great experience for all ages. For families with children 12 years and up, there is the option to join a hands-on zoo experience with the behind-the-scenes Zooventure Tour or an Animal Encounter – great for animal lovers. The Family Tour is perfect for younger families with children four years old and over where you can see both small and large animals up close. The National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra is located only a 10 minute drive from the city centre in a peaceful (until you hear the roar of a lion!) setting. There are picnic areas and complimentary barbecues available. The zoo is set on seven hectares, so pack your walking shoes for this experience!
11+: Other Great Family Activities in Canberra
There are many other family friendly attractions and activities on offer during the school holidays in Canberra. Visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens, join a school holidays activity at the National Portrait Gallery, explore the Discovery Zone at the Australian War Memorial or discover the prehistoric world at the National Dinosaur Museum.
Let your kids use up some energy on the amazing Pod Playground at the National Arboretum Canberra, or if it’s wet outside, try the Skyzone trampoline park. At the Canberra Theatre Centre on 20 April, the Disney Channel presents The Next Step – Live on Stage.
Book your Canberra accommodation now
For your next Canberra family holiday, book our Family Getaway package and enjoy accommodation in a twin room with two double beds, full buffet breakfast in Redsalt Restaurant and a 3infun ticket, which includes family entry into three great attractions – Questacon, Cockington Green Gardens and the Australian Institute of Sport.
For other great Canberra hotel deals, discover our other accommodation packages.