Ten things to do around Canberra this weekend (8–10 November)

Zoe Pleasants 10 January 2020
Plastique Fantastique’s TWIN MINIGAGARIN installation at the Canberra Airport

Plastique Fantastique’s TWIN MINIGAGARIN installation at the Canberra Airport is part of the annual DESIGN Canberra festival. Photo: Region Media.

Adventure, fitness, food, fashion and family fun this weekend. On Friday night combine star gazing with some great food at Pialliago Estate. On Saturday, Fully Rad Adventures is back with another Canberra Hustle; fashion social enterprise Magpie Goose is popping-up for one day only in Gorman House with their gorgeous, bold clothes; Canberra’s first Aqua Park is opening on Lake Burley Griffin; and the Woolley Street Project is hosting the Great Woolley Street Feast in the evening. Sample food from eight of Dickson’s fabulous restaurants and join your fellow diners at a dining table that will stretch the length of Woolley Street. Then on Sunday, the Canberra Times Fun Run is back on, Fusion Fitness is hosting a pilates class in Bowen Park which you can do in your PJs, and Canberra City Farm is holding its annual open day.

All weekend

DESIGN Canberra

Where: Various venues
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
The DESIGN Canberra festival celebrates the design credentials of Canberra. From Walter and Marion Griffin’s vision to the modernist buildings of the 1950s and 60s and contemporary, sustainable design developments, Canberra is a living design laboratory. This year, the festival’s theme is utopia and it is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement. The festival runs until 25 November and there are over 100 events on the program including exhibitions, talks, tours, markets, collaborations and open artist studios and homes. Most events are free. Highlights this weekend include:

  • the Festival’s Opening Party—8:00 pm Friday at the Fitters Workshop, Kingston
  • a bus tour of architect Robin Boyd’s most celebrated buildings, from 9:00 am Saturday
  • many open artist studios this Saturday
  • the opportunity to visit well-designed living rooms that employ the concept of utopia and an imagined future this Sunday, and
  • finish the weekend at the Sunday Session with the Pop Inn atop Mount Ainslie, from 2:00 pm.

There are also installations around town including in Civic Square and at the airport. Check out the festival’s program here.


Gastronomy & Astronomy

Where: Pialligo Estate
When: 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Pialligo Estate is collaborating with Canberra Astronomical Society for a feast under the stars in the Estate’s Olive Grove. The Canberra Astronomical Society will provide information about the universe and will have telescopes set up to look at interesting constellations and planets, while Pialligo Estate will provide the food (Pialligo Smokehouse sausages and selection of meats and salads) and drinks. A perfect combination. Tickets are $65 for adults and $35 for kids, book here.


Canberra Urban Hustle

Where: Glebe Park
When: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Canberra Hustle is an urban adventure challenge run by Fully Rad Adventures, a company whose mission is to give you a whole new reason to get outside! The hustle is an adventure race in the city – part amazing race, part obstacle course, part huge party! Participants will pair up and embark on a scavenger hunt. Minds and bodies will be challenged as teams navigate their way through streets, waterways and bike paths, and even use some ‘top secret’ modes of transport while solving clues. The aim of the hustle is to make it to all the checkpoints and complete all the tasks in the least amount of time. Entry is $50 + bf for adults, $40 + bf for concession. Book here.

Magpie Goose Pop Up

Where: Gorman House
When: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Magpie Goose is a fashion brand with a difference. It aims to connect non-Indigenous people with Aboriginal art, culture and stories through fashion, generate economic opportunities for Aboriginal people living in remote Australia and create great fashion. The brand is popping-up in Canberra for one day only this Saturday. The pop-up shop will feature Magpie Goose’s Minyerri collection, and remaining pieces from its HopeVale and Jinibara collections.

Canberra Aqua Park Opening

Where: Black Mountain Penisula
When: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Canberra is getting an Aqua Park on Lake Burley Griffin this summer and it is opening this Saturday! The park will feature a giant inflatable obstacle course with slides, ladders and a jumping pillow. It will be open every day until March 2020. Sessions run for 50 minutes with the first session at 10:00 am and the final session at 4:00 pm. A single session costs $20 per person or $70 for a family of four. Double sessions cost $35 per person or $130 for a family of four. Book here.

Resin Revolution—Beginner Art Workshop

Where: Belconnen Community Centre
When: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Belconnen Community Centre is running a series of four workshops to teach the skills needed to work with resin, the first workshop is this Saturday afternoon. Pour your artistic heart into creating art from resin. Registration costs $240, for more details here.

Great Woolley Street Feast

Where: Woolley Street, Dickson
When: 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
The Great Woolley Street Feast is the final event of the City Renewal Authority’s Woolley St Project. This project is a series of events to trial the use of Dickson’s Woolley Street precinct for community events. So far the project has hosted an open-air cinema, Night Markets, and an Origami and Paper Festival. This Saturday it is hosting an outdoor feast featuring the food of eight Dickson restaurants. Diners will grab a bowl, visit participating restaurants to fill it, and then sit at a dining table that which will stretch the length of Woolley Street. All while being serenaded by live local music. The participating restaurants include Dickson Dumpling House, Super Bao, Alara’s Turkish Pide Grill House, Mekong River, Chonqing Street Noodle, Wukong Hot Pot, A Bite and Co.BAR. Drinks will be available from an on-street bar hosted by Ducks Nuts Bar and Grill. Sittings commence at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids aged 3 to 12 years. Book here. (Hurry, the first session has already sold out.)


Canberra Times Fun Run

Where: Rond Terrace
When: From 7:45 am
After some uncertainty, the Canberra Times Fun Run is back, albeit a little later than usual. Choose to run either a 10 km or 5 km course, or a 2 km course if you are under 14. Event HQ is at Rond Terrace with the 10 km and 2 km courses starting and finishing there. The 5 km course will start across the lake on King Edward Terrace and finishe at Rond Terrace. Enjoy food trucks, coffee and activities for the kids at the finish.

  • 10 km run starts at 7:50 am, registration costs $62 for adults and $52 for kids.
  • 2 km run starts at 8:10 am, registration costs $20 for kids under 14 and is free for accompanying adults.
  • 5 km run starts at 9:30 am, registration costs $52 for adults and $42 for kids.

More details and register here.

Pilates in PJs in the Park

Where: Bowan Park
When: 10:00 am
Fusion Fitness is running a free pilates class on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Bowen Park this Sunday morning, which you can even do in your PJs if you like. Pilates is a low impact way to strengthen your core, become more flexible and maybe even relax. Register for the class here, and turn up in your PJs (or activewear, if you prefer) with a mat.

Canberra City Farm Open Day

Where: 2 Dairy Road, Fyshwick
When: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Canberra City Farm is having its annual open day this Sunday. Take a tour of the farm, sample the farm’s produce, learn about worm composting and check out heritage chooks. There will also be many great products for sale including icecreams from the Chameleon Icecreamery, honey and other bee products, organic and vegan treats, Cookie Joy’s cookies and native plants from the Canberra Native Nursery.

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