7 June 2018

Nine things to do around Canberra this Queen's Birthday long weekend

| Zoe Pleasants
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The Museum of Australian Democracy is hosting a Royal Weekend to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. Photo: Belinda Pratten.

If you are not heading to the snow for the start of the ski season this weekend there is plenty to do around town, and with the indoorsy weather upon us, this weekend is all about simple pleasures. Old Parliament House is riding the Royal Wedding wave all the way to the beach with a weekend of royal activities sure to keep your little princes and princesses entertained. The National Gallery is hosting Artidote on Friday night — an event to reinvigorate your soul. Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day, the Portrait Gallery is inviting you to draw to music on Sunday afternoon and Canberra’s Sri Chinmoy club are holding their annual one-mile lap half marathon on Monday, followed by a hearty breakfast. The local production of Diary of a Madman continues at the Street Theatre and it is the Old Bus Depot Market’s annual Kids in the Shed event this Sunday.

All weekend

A Royal Weekend

Where: Old Parliament House
When: Saturday, Sunday & Monday 9 am – 5 pm
Still coming down from your fix of royalty following Harry and Meghan’s wedding? The Museum of Australian Democracy has you covered. It is hosting a Royal Weekend to celebrate the Queen’s birthday culminating with some special events on Monday. All weekend in the museum’s PlayUP area you can:

  • Make your own royal corgi and wearable crafty crown between 10:30 am – 12:30 pm;
  • Curl up with a selection of royal picture books; and
  • Dress up as the Queen, a lady in waiting or a prince in costumes modelled on those worn during the Queen’s 1954 state visit to Australia.

And then on Monday, in the King’s Hall marvel at a picture of the Queen on the steps of Old Parliament House reconstructed in LEGO, and then make Meghan’s tiara, George’s sceptre, a corgi and a Victorian throne out of LEGO. There will also be more opportunities to dress up as a prince or princess and take your own Royal Wedding selfie.

Diary of a Madman

Where: Street Theatre
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm, Sunday 4 pm
The Street Theatre’s season of Nikolai Gogol’s Diary of a Madman continues this weekend. This 19th-century Russian play tells the story of Poprishchin, a low-ranking public servant who is yearning to be noticed by Sophia, the beautiful daughter of a senior administrator. He battles snobbery, complacency and the stupidity of officialdom until one day the King of Spain dies without an heir and destiny calls! It is a funny and brutal exploration of one man’s struggle to keep a grip on reality and find his place in the world. Adapted by David Holman, this production is directed by Caroline Stacey and stars PJ Williams and Lily Constantine. And 6:30 pm Sunday the Street is hosting a Meet the Makers Q&A session featuring Caroline, PJ and Lily. This event is free, register here. Tickets for the play are $42 adult, $39 for concession and $30 for students. Book here.



Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 6 – 8 pm
As part of its winter wellness program, the National Gallery is encouraging you to slow down this Friday night and appreciate the art in its Asian galleries. To set the mood, there will be music performed by composer and Chinese instruments scholar Nicholas Ng, talks by artist Patsy Payne and curators from the Gallery, performances by artist Ellis Hutch, a Tai Chi demonstration by Brett Wagland and drawing workshops. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for concession and $25 for NGA Members, and include refreshments. Book here.

Midsummer Buffet

Where: IKEA
When: 5:30 – 7:30 pm
IKEA is turning the tables on winter this weekend and celebrating midsummer instead with a series of workshops and activities for IKEA Family members at its Mitt Hem Festival. As part of this festival, IKEA is hosting a Midsummer Buffet this Friday night for members and non-members in its cafe. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids aged 5–12, free for kids under 5 and $17.95 for IKEA Family Members. Book here. Get your home improvement shopping done early this long weekend.


Lah Lah’s 10th Birthday

Where: Southern Cross Club, Woden
When: 10 am
Lah Lah and her Big Live Band are turning ten, and are touring around the country to celebrate. This Saturday they will be at the Southern Cross Club in Woden. They will be playing songs from their recently released 10th Birthday Party greatest hits album and their Having Fun album which came out last year. And after the show, hang around to meet the Lah Lah, the band and all the instruments. Tickets are $27.50, babies under 12 months are free. Book here.

World Wide Knit in Public Day

Where: Garema Place
When: 1 – 4 pm
This Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day and to mark the occasion Trove Canberra wants to fill Garema Place with knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners and stitchers. Either bring your own project or knit a square of a blanket for Wrap With Love Inc. Woolshed@Manuka, Canberra Paper & the Works and Crafty Frog will be providing yarn, just bring your needles and hooks. There will be marquees, heaters and tea and coffee to keep the cold at bay.


Old Bus Depot Markets—Kid’s in the Shed

Where: Old Bus Depot Markets
When: 10 am – 4 pm
The kids are taking over the Old Bus Depot Markets this Sunday. There will be a jumping castle, clowns, a reptile show, a fire truck, rides and other activities. And there will be speciality stalls with products for kids — handcrafted toys, accessories and artworks for kids rooms, and kids clothes.

Drawn in

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 1 – 3 pm
Draw while listening to music at the Portrait Gallery this Sunday. Featuring the dulcet tones of local musician Rob Jarrah. All materials provided, suitable for all ages and abilities.


Sri Chinmoy Half Marathon

Where: Lennox Gardens
When: From 8 am

Canberra’s Sri Chinmoy club is holding its annual one-mile loop half marathon this Queen’s Birthday holiday. Run 13 laps around Lennox Gardens — note the change of venue from Telopea Park to Lennox Gardens — to complete a half marathon. There are also 5 mile and 2 mile events. The half marathon starts at 9 am and the 2 mile and 5 mile events start at 9:30 am. Either register online until 5 pm Friday or from 8 am on the day. Online registration is $31 for the half marathon, $27 for the 5 mile event and $13 for the 2 mile event. On the day, registration is $40 for the half marathon, $30 for the 5 mile event and $20 for the 2 mile event.

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