19 June 2020

Seven things to do in Canberra this weekend (28 May - 3 June)

| Hayden Fritzlaff
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A trip to the zoo is back on the cards. Photo: Supplied.

As more and more of the city opens up, it’s easy to feel that things might just be returning to normal.

The news this week that the National Zoo & Aquarium would be open to groups of 20 or less, and the commencement of Floriade Community activities in hubs around the city serve as small victories, letting us get out and about and connecting with our city in person.

All that said, it’s important now more than ever not to become complacent. Many events and activities remain online, and social distancing practices are still in place, serving as important reminders that we’re not out of the woods just yet.

All Weekend

The National Zoo and Aquarium

The National Zoo and Aquarium reopens this Saturday. Photo: Supplied.

Visit the National Zoo & Aquarium

Where: National Zoo & Aquarium. Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla
When: From Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

A trip to the zoo is back on the cards this weekend, as the National Zoo & Aquarium opens the gates to visitors once again. Physical distancing and restrictions on group sizes and overall capacity will be in place. Cheetahs, zebras, Tassie devils, and all your favourite creatures, critters and crustaceans are available for observation by curious minds and those in need of a little animal therapy. Check out the updated opening times and new visitor information here.


Reconciliation Week 2020 at the Carillon. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Reconciliation Week at the Carillon

Where: National Carillon, Aspen Island
When: 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm until Wednesday 3 June.

For eight nights this Reconciliation Week, the National Carillon on Aspen Island will light up with messages and images of Australia’s continuing reconciliation journey. Spearheaded by a cooperative of local organisations, the idea to use the Carillon as a canvas came in the wake of COVID-19 which saw so many public events scrapped. The artworks offer a chance to come together in decidedly isolating times, and seed conversations about the ongoing undertaking of reconciliation.

Live In Ya Lounge

Live In Ya Lounge is back again this weekend. Image: Supplied.

Live In Ya Lounge

Where: Streaming online
When: Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm.

Live In Ya Lounge continues this Friday, marking another week of the ACT live music stream with the highest production values. From a stage hidden in the depths of EPIC that looks like the Australian Idol set circa 2006, it’s lights, camera, action for two of the city’s hardest-hitting rock bands this Friday. Charlotte & The Harlots and Signs & Symbols will both be taking to the stage for this live, free, streamed event. Tune in again on Saturday night to catch singer-songwriter Liv Li and dream-pop duo Neko Pink.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr planting the first bulbs of this years’ Floriade. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Floriade Community

Where: Various locations
When: Check for times.

In a show of community involvement, Floriade has this year allocated bulbs and annuals to community organisations around the city. With restrictions on outdoor activities easing, a number of groups are heading out this weekend to get cracking on projects for Floriade Community. Weston Creek Orchard has an allocation of bulbs and has organised a working bee this Sunday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Likewise, the Farrer Residents Association is hitting the soil on Sunday morning.



The NFSA are screening Mabo: Life of an Island Man this Friday. Photo: Supplied.

Mabo: Life of an Island Man

Where: Streaming online, hosted by the National Film and Sound Archive
When: 6:00 pm

In celebration of National Reconciliation Week, the National Film and Sound Archive are hosting a free online screening of the groundbreaking documentary Mabo: Life of an Island Man. The documentary follows the 1992 landmark High Court decision around Native Title. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Trevor Graham and NFSA Indigenous Connections Manager, Tasha James, giving viewers a chance to ask their burning questions.


ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt

ANU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Brian Schmidt. Photo: Supplied.

The Universe: Beginning To End with Professor Brian Schmidt

Where: Delivered online on Zoom. Sign up via Eventbrite
When: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

Professor Brian Schmidt, Nobel laureate and current Vice-Chancellor of the ANU, is set to deliver an insightful talk about the story, history and future of the universe online this Saturday. It’s a rare chance to learn about the nature of the universe from one of the world’s preeminent astronomers. This free, online event is suitable for ages 6 to 12 and above, and inquisitive minds of all ages are welcome to attend.


Reconciliation Day

Looking back to Reconciliation Day in 2018. Photo: Supplied.

Reconciliation Day at home

Where: At home
When: All day.

Needless to say, Canberra’s third annual Reconciliation Day activities are going to look a little different this year. Between online video workshops, creative visual art ideas, and information about how to pledge and share your support, there’s plenty you can get involved in without having to leave the house. Head to events.act.gov.au to find out about all of the day’s activities.

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