12 February 2018

Six things to do around Canberra this weekend (19–21 Jan)

| Zoe Pleasants
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Take a dip in one of Canberra’s great swimming spots. Photo: Fabian Harding.

It’s going to be hot this weekend, perfect weather for outdoor cinemas, spending time in an air-conditioned museum or gallery, and going for a swim! Conveniently, the American Express Openair Cinema has set up camp on the Patrick White Lawns for the summer, and this Friday the National Museum of Australia is holding an outdoor screening of a number of short films by independent Indigenous filmmakers. Become a tourist in your own town and check out the summer blockbuster exhibitions before they close in the next month or two—Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters at the National Museum; Hyper Real at the National Gallery; and Starstruck at the Portrait Gallery. And when you need to cool off, take a dip in one of Canberra’s great swimming spots. Options include Manuka Pool, Dickson Pool, the Big Splash Waterpark, Uriarria Crossing or Casuarina Sands.

All weekend

American Express Openair Cinema

Where: Patrick White Lawns
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 pm
It’s a weekend of family films at the Openair Cinema. Wonder is screening on Friday night, Paddington 2 on Saturday night and Ferdinand on Sunday night. Gates open at 6 pm and the films start at 8:3o pm. On Friday night there will be DJs providing tunes before the movie starts, and on Sunday night a portion of every ticket purchased will be donated to OzHarvest. Bring your own picnic and picnic rug, or buy food and drinks from the on-site vendors and hire a lounger. Tickets are $20 or $17 for concession, with a discount if tickets are bought with an AMEX card, book here.


Starstruck Summer Nights

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 5–8 pm
The Portrait Gallery is staying open late this Friday. It is setting up a bar, local dixie jazz band Zackerbilks will provide the tunes, and Miss Ellaneous will compere drag bingo. There will also be an opportunity to take an entertaining tour of the Starstruck exhibition. Tickets for the exhibition are needed to do the tour, they are $12, $10 for concession and $8 for members, book here.

Songlines under the Stars

Where: National Museum of Australia
When: 8–10 pm
As part of its exhibition Songlines: tracking the Seven Sisters, the Museum is screening a number of short films by independent Indigenous filmmakers this Friday night. These films explore ongoing connections to country and culture through creation songs and songline stories. They will be screened in Garden of Australian Dreams. Doors open at 8 pm, films start at 8:30 pm. Bring your own seating, there will be snacks and drinks available. Tickets are $15, $10 for concession or $7.50 for members plus booking fee, book here.

Photo: National Arboretum.

Enjoy Arboretum after hours. Photo: National Arboretum.

Arboretum after hours

Where: National Arboretum
When: 5—9 pm
The Arboretum is also staying open late this Friday to provide a beautiful setting for Friday evening drinks and dinner. The cafe will be serving food and drinks; the Curatoreum shop, National Bonsai and Penjing Collection and Pod Playground will be open; and there will be free guided walks leaving the Village Centre at 6 and 6:3o pm. Mitch Cañas will be providing the tunes.


Heath Ledger Double Feature

Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: Films screening at 2 pm & 4 pm
To commemorate ten years since the passing of Heath Ledger, the National Film and Sound Archive is screening two films this Saturday: the Australian film Two Hands which stars Heath, Rose Bryne and Bryan Brown; and I am Heath Ledger, a documentary about Heath’s life. Also note that two images of Heath—one of him with Rose Bryne and another of Heath and Abbie Cornish from the movie Candy—are in the Starstruck exhibition at the Portrait Gallery. Tickets are $10 and $8 for concession, book here.


Sofia Jernberg & Mette Rasmussen

Where: Smith’s Alternative
When: 7 pm
Ahead of Canberra’s SoundOut Festival, which is on in early February, Swedish singer and composer Sofia Jernberg and Danish saxophonist Mette Rasmussen are performing at Smith’s Alternative this Sunday night. SoundOut is an international festival of free improvisation, free jazz and experimental music and this show will give you a taste of what to expect. Supporting Sofia and Mette will be the EMSC trio—improvisers Rhys Butler on saxophone, Richard Johnson on wind instruments and Paul Heslin on electronics. Tickets are $15, book here.

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