Ten things to do in Canberra this week (5 – 11 February)

Sharon Kelley 5 February 2021 22

Skywhale and Skywhale Papa will take to the skies this week over Canberra. Photo: File.

The big week has arrived when Skywhale and Skywhale Papa will take to the skies over Canberra! There’s a mysterious adventure tour where the objective is to solve puzzles and be the first to throw ‘The Switch’, and a Drag Takeover at The Boardwalk. Meanwhile, RiotACT‘s very own Zoya Patel will discuss the representation of women in Australian literature at Kambri, and Bentspoke is running a pontoon bar on Queen Elizabeth Terrace!

Have a great week, Canberra!

All week

Old Parliament House verandah

The Verandah at Old Parliament House is a delightful example of our historical architecture. Photo: W J Mildenhall.

Visit the verandah at Old Parliament House

When: Daily, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Old Parliament House, King George’s Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Free. Book your free pass at MOAD.

Take in the view of Mount Ainslie from the House of Representative’s verandah at Old Parliament House and learn more about the original design, filled with natural light, courtyards, covered walkways and verandahs. The verandah and its nearby corridor have recently been re-opened to the public, and currently host photographs of the building’s construction by William James Mildenhall, public servant and keen amateur photographer.

All weekend

Bentspoke Pontoon

Head down to the Bentspoke Pontoon for some quiet lagers. Photo: Supplied.

Bentspoke Pontoon

When: Friday to Sunday, 5 to 7 February, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm (9:00 pm Sunday)
Where: Queen Elizabeth Terrace
Cost: Free.

Enjoy a BentSpoke Barley Griffin Pale Ale down by Lake Burley Griffin. Food, beverages, and good times guaranteed. This event will run on 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14 February!


Masked face

Part puzzle solving, part treasure hunt, part interactive mystery, The Switch is a unique and engrossing experience! Photo: Supplied.

The Switch – Live Mystery Adventure Tour

When: Friday 5 February, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm to 11:00 pm (further dates on 6 Feb)
Where: The exact location will be revealed once you purchase and download the ticket pack
Cost: $40 per person.

Your mission starts at your rendezvous coordinates in Canberra where you’ve been asked to meet The Moderator.

You’ve been selected to help with a secret government-funded experiment in preparation for dark times ahead for the human race. When the chips are down, how do we behave? If we don’t have what we need to be comfortable, what happens to our morals? Do they go out the window in the name of self-interest or do we try to hang onto our perception of ourselves as “good” people?

Whatever it takes, you’ve got to find the Switch and throw it, before the 90 minutes is up!


Jammalong Sessions, first and second Saturday of every month

When: Saturday 6 February, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Up-Opping Second Hand Clothing Shop, Ainslie Church of Christ
Cost: Free.

Dust off your instruments and come along for a jam with Jammalong! Playing bluegrass, old-timey, traditional country, folk music, country music, and other music that is easy to learn on the fly. Come with a song you know to share with others so we learn from each other. Bring a portable chair and your own food and drink and enjoy playing music with others.

Phish + Phreak

Phish + Phreak takeover The Boardwalk. Photo: Supplied.

Phish + Phreak’s Drag Takeover at The Boardwalk

When: Saturday 6 February, 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: The Boardwalk, 114 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Cost: $20 per person, tickets available online.

Proudly presented by Phish + Phreak Productions and The Boardwalk Bar and Nightclub, every Drag Takeover is bringing you a bevy of local queer talent with Phish + Phreak’s own artists and multiple stunning guest performers.

What tricks will our stunning kings, queens, and deities pull to celebrate? Well, you’ll have to come and see for yourself!



Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale 2013 floats over Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. Photo: Supplied.

Skywhales: Every Heart Sings – RESCHEDULED

When: New date – Sunday 7 February, 5:30 am
Where: John Dunmore Lang Place, Parkes
Cost: Free.

Be the first to experience Patricia Piccinini’s new Skywhale family as Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, two monumental sculptures in the form of hot-air balloons, take to the Canberra skies.

Bring your picnic blanket and thermos to watch Skywhale fly for the first time alongside her new companion, Skywhalepapa.

A special live performance of We are the Skywhales by Jess Green with her band, and the Luminescence Children’s Choir will create an immersive sonic experience.

Note – this event was rescheduled from Saturday 6 February to Sunday 7 February.


The finest chocolates from Enigma Chocolates in Braddon. Photo: Amanda Kelly Photography.

Chocolatier, Winery and Distillery Tour

When: Sunday 7 February, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Pickup is at 9:30 am from near BentSpoke Brewing Co in Braddon
Cost: $185 per person, bookings required.

Whether you’re a keen foodie, or you’re just looking for cool things to do in Canberra, this winery, chocolatier and distillery tour is going to be right up your street. Run by Dave’s Tours, there’s no better way to spend a few hours than sampling delicious artisan wines and sumptuous chocolates.

The tour will take you around three local wineries, a distillery and chocolatier on this small-group tour, and you’ll have the opportunity to sample the best flavours the Canberra Region has to offer.



Enjoy watching the Superbowl LV at the Duxton. Image: Supplied.

Superbowl LV at The Duxton

When: Monday 8 February, 10:00 am kick-off at 10:30 am
Where: The Duxton, Sargood Street, O’Connor
Cost: Free.

That time of year has come around again, Super Bowl LV will be the 55th Super Bowl National Football League championship game. The greatest NFL playoff live and loud on the big screen at your favourite local, watch in as 2021’s league champion is decided.



Don’t miss the Climate Change in Your Garden workshop at the Canberra Environment Centre. Image: Supplied.

Climate Change in Your Garden

When: Tuesday 9 February, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Canberra Environment Centre, Cnr Lennox Crossing and Lawson Crescent, Acton
Cost: $26.09, bookings essential through Eventbrite.

With our future looking dryer, hotter and with less predictable rainfall, how can you make sure that your garden continues to be a place of joy and a refuge for biodiversity?

The good news is that there is plenty you can do to safeguard your garden against future climate change and make sure that your gardening is helping to reduce your carbon footprint.


Zoya Patel

Don’t miss Zoya Patel on the Kambri Panel on the representation of women in Australian literature! Photo: Linda Macpherson.

Representation of women in contemporary Australian literature

When: Thursday 11 February, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Kambri Cultural Centre, Building 153 University Avenue, Acton
Cost: Free, Registrations essential via Eventbrite.

Join Kambri for an insightful conversation with a panel of local award-winning literary luminaries, including The RiotACT‘s Zoya Patel, discussing how Australia’s changing face has influenced and is reflected in some of our great contemporary works. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore and discover books that need to be read!

What's Your Opinion?

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22 Responses to Ten things to do in Canberra this week (5 – 11 February)
Graham Abbey Graham Abbey 9:28 pm 12 Feb 21

Sky whale down

Christine Tancred Christine Tancred 11:07 am 07 Feb 21

I think they wasted an opportunity to actually advertise Canberra in a good way. If they can make a sky whale, why couldn't they make something Canberra specific, to promote tourism.

Steve King Steve King 11:30 pm 06 Feb 21

Typical waste of taxpayers money full of hot air as well as the politicians

Georgia Crowden Georgia Crowden 1:01 pm 06 Feb 21

Mackenzie Tooth plz go see the sky whale 🥺

Timothy McAulay Timothy McAulay 12:09 pm 06 Feb 21

Yeah the skywhale! Can’t wait till it has kids.

Shelley Law Shelley Law 1:31 pm 05 Feb 21

Stephi Fereday are you excited???

Josh French Josh French 10:17 am 05 Feb 21

Jessie Norman hot air balloons for remi

Emy Yoneda Emy Yoneda 10:00 am 05 Feb 21

Arnold Hector this is why you should move and live with me..

Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:27 am 05 Feb 21


Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 8:51 am 05 Feb 21

What an embarrassment -

Christine Gilbank Christine Gilbank 8:33 am 05 Feb 21

This highly expensive hot air balloon is the ugliest thing I have seen.

    Luke Bowman Luke Bowman 10:27 am 07 Feb 21

    Christine Gilbank its up there with the 'owl' on benjamin way 🤦‍♂️

Jenny Purseglove Jenny Purseglove 7:18 am 05 Feb 21

Does any Canberra actually like this hideous monstrosity??? Poor choice of public monies.

Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 9:16 pm 04 Feb 21

I love the Skywhales. People complained about Blue Poles back in the day and now it is a cherished piece of work

Toni Isaacson Toni Isaacson 8:10 pm 04 Feb 21

Gigantic waste of money. And then we did it again. Canberra deserves to be the laughing stock of the country.

    Pam Perkins Pam Perkins 5:21 am 05 Feb 21

    Toni Isaacson it really is awful

    Katy Did Katy Did 8:56 am 05 Feb 21

    Toni Isaacson I agree. What rot!

    Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 9:33 am 05 Feb 21

    The most ridiculous art ever. Then we did it again.

    Nick O'Brien Nick O'Brien 4:58 pm 05 Feb 21

    Yep. It will be on the news around Australia again, like MAMA was back in the day, with the taxpayer cost being announced and ridiculed by the majority of people sitting at home watching the TV.

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