Canberra, Australia’s National Capital, often gets labelled as ‘boring’ thanks to all those politicians. Having spent 10 years living there, I can assure you that’s far from the truth. For Expedia’s Kiwi travellers, the small city is gaining popularity as a short stay for the whole family, with 1-2 night stays plenty of time for kid-friendly fun.
And did you know Canberra turns 100 this year? With plenty of extra celebratory events, this is the perfect time to plan your family holiday.
Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre
Kids don’t have to like science to love Questacon. The amazing hands-on interactive centre has exhibits mostly suitable for children over the age of eight. Play robot hockey, experience a simulated earthquake or watch the spectacular caged lightning display (fun for big kids too!). Take babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kids up to six to MiniQ, a gallery designed just for little ones. Don’t miss the live performances by the in-house science theatre troupe for the older kids, and the Puppet Shows for younger kids (2-5 years old). These shows are included in your entrance ticket. Open daily (except Christmas Day) between 9am – 5pm. Kids under four free.
The Australian War Memorial
A visit to The Australian War Memorial is definitely worthwhile. It’s open every day (except Christmas Day) 10am-5pm, free to enter and very family friendly. Many exhibits are largely visual and free guided tours (90 minutes) throughout the day take in the most notable sections of each gallery. Storytime on Friday mornings is at 10.30am, aimed at preschool children but older siblings are welcome too.
Exhibits cover all the conflicts and missions Australian troops have been a part of. If you visit in the afternoon make a point of staying for the Last Post ceremony at 4.55pm. The ceremony starts with the National Anthem, followed by a piper. Each day a name from the Roll of Honour is chosen and the story behind that name is told. Lest we forget.
National Dinosaur Museum
I don’t know any kid who doesn’t love seeing dinosaur skeletons and the National Dinosaur Museum houses the largest permanent display of dinosaur and other prehistoric fossil material in Australia. Open every day 10am-5pm and children under four are free.