3 October 2019

Ten things to do around Canberra this long weekend (4–7 October)

| Zoe Pleasants
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UnionsACT picnic

Unions ACT is hosting a Labor Day Picnic this Monday complete with a dog show.

Apart from the Raiders playing in the NRL Grand Final this Sunday night, what else is happening this long weekend? Well, spring is getting into full swing. Parliament House is running springtime tours of its courtyards and serving spring tea under the blossoms, Murrumbateman wineries are serving perfectly matched food and fine at the annual Murrumbateman Moving Feast and NightFest is illuminating Floriade with live music, comedy and light installations after dark.

The Australian War Memorial is opening the doors of its Mitchell storage facility for a behind-the-scenes look this Saturday, the Living Green Vegan markets are on at Albert Hall this Sunday and Unions ACT is celebrating Labour Day this Monday with a free community festival at Eddison Park, Woden.

All weekend

Where: Commonwealth Park
When: 9:30–5:30 pm
Floriade continues this weekend with its theme World in Bloom. The festival features over 1000 flowers, music, cultural performances, food and wine, horticultural workshops, markets, rides and other activities. Highlights this weekend include:

Where: Commonwealth Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 6:30–9:30 pm
Experience Floriade’s dark side this long weekend as Nightfest illuminates the flower festival with interactive lighting installations, pop-up performers and delicious food and drinks. There is also a program of live performance with Electric Fields and The Veronicas performing on Friday night, Busby Marou performing on Saturday night and a mini comedy festival on Sunday night featuring Dave Hughes, Becky Lucas, Urzila Carlson and others. Nightfest tickets are $31.95 for adults and $16.50 for concession, book here.

Murrumbateman Moving Feast
Where: Various venues
When: Saturday & Sunday
The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is on this Saturday and Sunday. Roam from winery to winery enjoying fine food matched with fine local wine. Eighteen participating wineries and speciality producers are serving a savoury dish for $25 and a dessert for $20. The cost includes a matched glass of wine. Check out the list of participating wineries and their menus here. Then on Monday, wind down at Music Monday with five wineries cranking up the music. Check out the list of participating wines here.

Springtime at Parliament House
Where: Parliament House
When: Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm
Experience the courtyards of Parliament House in springtime – bubbling water features, glorious blossoms and changing foliage. Parliament House is running tours this weekend and is hosting Spring tea in the courtyards (11:30 am–1:30 pm), serving fine food prepared by the in-house pastry team at Parliament House, regional produce and sparkling wine. The tour is $20, book here. The Spring Tea is $81, book here.


Painting of Paul Capsis

Paul Capsis, 2004 by Esther Erlich.

After Dark with Paul Capsis
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Portrait Gallery is hosting an evening of cabaret with Paul Capsis this Friday night. Between 8:00 and 9:00 pm, check out the Gallery’s exhibition The Look as well as the general collection, while music drifts through the gallery, then grab a beverage and enjoy the show. The line-up features Endrey at 8:00 pm, Paul Capsis at 9:00 pm and finishes with Pheno at 9:45 pm. Tickets are $25 if you book ahead or $40 on the door. Book here.


Big Things in Store
Where: Australian War Memorial Storage Facility, Callan Street, Mitchell
When: 10:00 am–3:00 pm
The Australian War Memorial is opening the doors of its storage facility in Mitchell this Saturday for a behind-the-scenes look at its extensive collection of aircraft, helicopters, rockets, transport vehicles, tanks, artillery and other equipment. See some of the newest additions to the Memorial’s collection including the RF-111C aircraft, a major piece of Australian aviation history and hear the stories of the objects that will be on display. More details about how to get to the event, where to park and how it will be run are available here. Entry to the event costs a donation.

Floriade in the Suburbs
Where: Woden Town Square
When: 12:00 –3:00 pm
Floriade is travelling to Woden this Saturday for the final Floriade in the Suburbs event. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy an afternoon of food, drinks, live music, stalls and family entertainment. There will be face painting, kid’s art and craft activities, and live entertainment provided by Kate Lyons, Bedazzled Bellydance, Mikey Sulit and Anthony Lawler. Food and drink will be provided by the Pop Inn, the Pizza Trailer and Daana Indian. And you will get the opportunity to meet Floriade’s giant pink gnome, Floyd!

Fine, we’ll do it ourselves
Where: Smiths Alternative
When: 3:00 –6:00 pm
Chris Endrey is hosting an afternoon of music, comedy and hardcore fun-raising to help bring a Syrian family to Australia. Iyad is a Syrian refugee living in Canberra but his wife and five children are stuck in Syria. Iyad holds a permanent protection visa and is entitled to have his family join him, but the problem is money. Hence the fundraising event. Enjoy an afternoon featuring Lucy Sugerman, Omar Musa, Anthony Tomic, The Cashews, Escapado del Fuego, Maddy Weeks and more. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for concession, book here. Read more about Iyad and his family at RiotACT.


Living Green Vegan Market
Where: Albert Hall
When: 10 am–3 pm
The Living Green Spring market is on again this Sunday. This market features low-emission, locally made and cruelty-free food, products and services. Check out the stallholders here.


Labour Day Festival
Where: Eddison Park, Phillip
When: 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Unions ACT is celebrating Labour Day this Monday with a community festival and family picnic. There will be something for everyone including:

  • jumping castles, face-painting, a petting zoo, a colouring-in competition and free fairy floss and popcorn for the kids
  • egg & spoon and sack races, and tug of war for the bigger kids and kids-at-heart
  • a beer garden for the adults, and
  • roving entertainment, carnival rides, market stalls, live music, BBQs, food trucks, great coffee and a dog show for everyone.

Entry is free but you will need to pay for rides.

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