14 Things to do in Canberra this weekend (11, 12 and 13 December)

Ellen Harvey 12 December 2016 1

This weekend will be all about Christmas for many of us, whether it’s attending parties with friends, colleagues or neighbours or shopping for gifts online, in our malls or at one of the many Christmas markets or festive art events going on around town. Some of us might rather be lounging by the pool, but those presents aren’t going to buy themselves.



Handmade Market
Exhibition park in Canberra (EPIC), Corner Northbourne Ave and Flemington Road, Mitchell; When: Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm
When it comes to unique, Australian-made gifts, there is no better place to shop than the Handmade Market. The market will showcase over 220 Australia designers, makers, artists, stylists, craftspeople and gourmets. Get something one-of-a-kind for someone you love this Christmas.


Christmas Markets at Old Bus Depot
Old Bus Depot, 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston; When: Saturdays and Sundays 10am-4pm
The markets are a Canberra institution, and this December they are opening on both Saturday and Sunday so you can get your shopping done when it suits you. With many local creatives selling their wares, including some who we will be interviewing over the next couple of weeks, consider buying locally and supporting local business. If you’ve done your Christmas shopping, then go take the family along for a coffee and a snack and enjoy the festive atmosphere.


Hollywood Retro Film Festival
Dendy Cinemas Canberra, Level 2, North Quarter, Canberra Centre, 148 Bunda Street, Canberra City
Co-curated by Margaret Pomeranz, the Hollywood Retro Film Festival showcases the greats of cinema history, from the 1930s through to 1960, digitally re-mastered and brought to the big screen. Twenty-two Hollywood classics, many of which have rarely made it to Australian cinema screens, are the centrepiece of this inaugural festival. It’s running all weekend in these final days, at various times, check the website for more details.

Christmas in the City – Canberra Celebrates
Where: City Walk, Canberra City; When: 6pm-11pm (daily until 31 Dec)
Christmas in the City – Canberra Celebrates is a month-long joint initiative between SIDS & Kids ACT and In the City Canberra that lights up the city with markets, concerts, kids’ activities, camel rides and visits from Santa. We recommend visiting the Guinness World Record-breaking Christmas tree.

The Illusionists 1903
Where:Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra City; When: five shows across the weekend
Having shattered box office records around the world, The Illusionists is now coming to captivate Canberra. This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the talents of seven illusionists. Full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, The Illusionists will appeal to audiences of all ages. The show closes on 16 December, so get your tickets through Canberra Theatre Centre now.


Cirque du Soleil – Quidam
AIS Arena, Leverrier Street, Bruce; When: various shows across the weekend
For the very first and only first time in Canberra, see Quidam from Cirque du Soleil. Quidam had its world premiere in 1996. Since that time, the production has toured on five continents and been experienced by millions of people. The international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters. Tickets are available through Ticketek now.


Grand Opening: Zambrero Tuggeranong
Where: Zambrero Tuggeranong, Tuggeranong Hyperdome, Anketell St & Reed St, Tuggeranong; When: from 11am
The latest store from the Canberra-grown Mexican franchise, Zambrero Tuggeranong is opening up its doors on Friday for the first time and giving all visitors $5 burritos – all day. Also, they’re ditching the extra charge for guacamole for the day. Sounds like lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are sorted.

Inner South Arts Hub: Art After Dark
: from 5pm Where: Various inner south galleries/art spaces
The Inner South Arts Hub is a collective of established and active contemporary art galleries and spaces based in Canberra’s leafy inner South. Encompassed within this creative precinct are M16 Artspace, Canberra Glassworks, Megalo Print Studio, Photoaccess, Art Sound FM, Bilk Gallery and Canberra Contemporary Artspace Manuka. Art After Dark will see each of the organizations staying open until 8pm, hosting an array of exciting activities. Events on the night include Bilk Gallery’s annual Christmas exhibition, Canberra Contemporary Artspace Manuka’s exhibition opening of Colour Code: Waratah Lahy, Al Munro and Kirsten Farrell, viewing of Akin to Lust – Hayley Boyle, A Place Within – Thea McGrath and Silver and Gold – David Flanagan at Photoaccess, a tour of Artsound FM’s studios plus the opportunity to record a Promo in a studio and take a selfie in the presenter’s seat, a 10% discount on produce at the Glassworks and the chance to make your own Christmas decoration (fees + booking required), viewing of PRESS vs SCREEN: Annual members’ exhibition, Christmas drinks and print your own letterpress Christmas card at Megalo and the opening of the M16 Drawing Prize 2015 exhibition with the winners announced at 7pm.

Art After Dark: Art + Ride
M16 Artspace exhibitions and promotions coordinator Kirsten Farrell will lead a pack of Art + Ride cyclists as they blaze around the Inner South Arts Hubs to see and participate in Art After Dark. Organisers encourage cyclists to ride in ‘active wear.’ If you have seen the video ‘Activewear’ by the Van Vuuren Bros then you’ll know what they are getting at. The ride starts at Bilk Gallery at 5pm, continues to Canberra Contemporary Artspace Manuka at 5:20pm, Photoaccess and Artsound FM at 5:50pm, the Glassworks at 6pm, Megalo at 6:20pm and M16 Artspace. Cyclists can join at anytime, but RSVPing is essential, as are your own bike and safety equipment. RSVP to exhibitions@m16artspace.com.au or via the Facebook page.


Megalo print studio + gallery’s 35th birthday
Where: Fitters’ Workshop, Wentworth Avenue, Kingston; When: 10.30am-2pm
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr will wish Megalo an official happy birthday at 11am, but events will start half an hour earlier. Get involved in the world’s longest screen print (35m, one for each year of Megalo), make your own screen-printed poster to take home, meet the staff and board, learn about classes, workshops and artistic programs and purchase posters, prints wrapping paper, tea towels, badges and the Megalomania book. Megalo is a member-based organisation offering access to print-making facilities and expertise in etching, lithography, relief printing, and screen printing for both fabric and paper.


Handel’s Messiah
ANU Llewellyn Hall, William Herbert Place, Acton; When: Saturday 7.30pm
Tobias Cole and the Canberra Choral Society present Handel’s Messiah – the single most performed piece of classical music. The performance features Tobias Cole (conductor) with Rachael Duncan, Veronica Thwaites-Brown, Christopher Lincoln Bogg and Andrew Fysh, along with the CCS Massed Choir, CCS Youth Choir, CCS Orchestra.


Christmas Vintage Market & Ball
: Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla; When: Markets 10am-4pm, Gala Ball 7pm.
Canberra’s historic Albert Hall plays host to an exciting day of vintage charm with a Christmas-themed vintage market followed by an evening ball celebrating the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth. Grab some great last-minute Christmas gifts at the huge variety of vintage market stalls and then join Canberra’s own Tony Haley and Leisa Keen, Connexion Big Band and the Canberra Swing Katz for an evening of music and dance from a bygone age.

Spectacular Christmas Market
: Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds, Murrumbatemen; When: 9am-1pm.
The final outing of the year for the Murrumbateman Village Market takes on a festive flair. Bring the family as there will be free face painting and a free jumping castle; Santa will visit with the Murrumbateman Rural Fire Brigade; but most of all, enjoy the atmosphere as Christmas has come early.

Christmas in Crace
: Crace Recreation Park, Crace; When: from 3.30pm.
Bring a picnic blanket and stay for the afternoon. There are kids rides, free face-painting, live performances, over 30 market stalls, and coffee and baked goods vendors. Celebrate Christmas the way it was meant to be celebrated: with family and your community.

Are you going to something that we haven’t mentioned? Make sure you let us know about it in the comments.

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One Response to 14 Things to do in Canberra this weekend (11, 12 and 13 December)
wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 6:51 am 11 Dec 15

If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, I pity you all. The crowds are already bad enough during normal business hours. There have been no vacant car parks at Westfield Belconnen for the last week or so during the day, so just imagine what it will be like on the weekend when everyone tries to squeeze in that shopping trip.
My recommendation seeing the temps are going to be nice and warm is to get a movie, close the blinds, turn on the air conditioning and relax with some movies. Order you gifts from ebay and let Santa bring them to your door. If you have a backyard pool, even better. If not, the Murrumbidgee River and Cotter River have nice cool waters to unwind in.
Crowds, traffic, long waiting in queues and extreme heat – who needs that on top of the stress of finding money to cater for everybody’s presents?

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