25 June 2021

Ten ways to keep the kids entertained this school holidays in Canberra

| Lottie Twyford
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Penguins on ice

The penguins are ready to come out once again to help steady the little ones on the ice. Photo: File.

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, events may be postponed or cancelled at short notice. Check with organisers for the latest event details.

If parents and carers are scratching their heads and kids are itching to get out and about, it can only mean one thing – it’s school holiday time again.

Luckily there is no shortage of great events, workshops, markets and activities to keep the kids and adults in your life busy over the winter break.

Wintervention and the Christmas in July markets will most definitely be the ‘coolest’ events on your calendar.

There are workshops to teach kids everything from singing to game design to robotics or dance and all about animals, while institutions like MOAD and the National Dinosaur Museum have a full program of events.

For something different, the long-awaited Sesame Street Circus Spectacular is also in town.

Have a great school holiday, everyone!


When: Friday 25 June to Sunday 11 July, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Mondays to Thursdays and until 9:00 pm on Fridays
Where: Civic Square
Cost: $10 to $20, $59 for the whole family; book online.

The ‘coolest’ attraction of the year is back once again to transform Civic Square into a winter wonderland.

Wintervention this year will incorporate an open-air ice-skating arena, entertainment, hot drinks and food stalls, while special market stalls and live music performances will delight over the two weekends.

READ ALSO Winter wonderland – and an ice rink – returning to Civic in July

promo for singing workshop

Explore your voice and the magic of singing together. Image: Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres.

Of Mice and Mozart

When: Monday 28 June to Friday 2 July, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm; performance on Saturday 3 July, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Where: Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre, Braddon
Cost: $330; book online.

This Luminescence Children’s Choir program is a six-day workshop for young people aged seven to 12 who love to sing. There is no application or audition – all young singers are welcome!

This holiday program invites young singers to explore their voices, the magic of singing together, as well as the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart before the workshop will culminate in a performance of Jill and Michael Gallina’s musical Of Mice and Mozart.

Isaac the robot

Isaac the robot can carry up to 16 kilos. Photo: National Library of Australia.

LEGO Robotics Workshop

When: Thursday 1 July, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: National Library of Australia Theatre, Lower Ground
Cost: $25, book online.

Come along and Meet ISAAC, the friendly retrieval robot who works at the National Library.

Hosted by the NLA Education team and Fizzics Education, join the NLA for a hands-on interactive school holiday workshop and learn real-time programming in a fun atmosphere.

Workshop attendees will be guided, step-by-step, by an experienced presenter on how to program a robot to perform precise movements and operate environmental sensors such as light and sound.

Workshops are open to participants aged between 8 and 16.

READ ALSO The best school holiday programs and activities in Canberra

Sesame Street characters on stage

The Sesame Street Circus Spectacular will delight all audience. Photo: Sesame Street Circus Spectacular.

Sesame Street Circus Spectacular

When: Friday 25 June to Monday 2 August, various times
Where: Majura Park Shopping Centre, Spitfire Avenue
Cost: $27.99 to $68.77; book online.

The Sesame Street Circus Spectacular will bring a bit of nostalgia to delight kids both big and small with a special circus show.

Incredible daredevil performers from around the world will join the cast of Sesame Street on stage, including Elmo, Cookie Monster and Bert and Ernie, all of whom have the original voices from the show, recorded in New York for the production.

Game development

Learn all about game development at AIE. Image: AIE.

AIE Holiday Programs

When: Wednesday 7 July to Friday 9 July, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Where: AIE, Block E, Canberra Technology Park, 49 Phillip Avenue, Watson
Cost: $399; book online.

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment will offer a range of holiday courses that will teach a range of skills from digital modelling to game development and design.

See the full program on their website.

Dance Development Centre promo

Dance Development Centre is presenting three full days of dance. Image: DDC.

Dance Development Centre Winter Workshops

When: Monday 28 June to Wednesday 30 June, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Dance Development Centre, 55 Crofts Cres, Spence
Cost: $100 to $270; book online.

Dance Development Centre’s Winter Dance Workshop is a fun and inspiring three-day event for junior and senior students of all levels.

Juliet Burnett, Jess Haynes and Billy Keohavong are the guest tutors.

Contact DDC for exact times and a detailed daily schedule.


HiveMind exhibition launches at MoAD. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Interactive Exhibitions at MOAD

When: Every day of the holidays, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House
Cost: Free; see online for more information.

Explore Australia’s democratic traditions on the museum’s Discovery Trail, spying on the Prime Minister’s Office through the peephole or writing a letter on a typewriter in Yours Faithfully.

Experience the new exhibition HiveMind: Honeybees, Democracy & Me, which tells a fascinating tale.

The popular PlayUP program features hands-on activities to educate, excite and challenge young minds, from a role play Kindness Café to a fuzzy felt wall and craft activities. Bookings are essential.

READ ALSO Bees and democracy? A hive of activity at MOAD reveals some wannabee pollenticians

Christmas markets

It’s set to be a fun event that all the family can enjoy – although rug up warm. Photo: Christmas in July.

Christmas in July

When: Thursday 1 July to Sunday 4 July, 10:00 am to 10:30 pm
Where: National Rose Garden, Parkes, ACT
Cost: Free entry; costs vary for different activities. Find more info online.

Canberra is about to get an authentic ‘French Christmas market’ in July.

The markets will feature 22 authentic chalets (wood huts) imported from Europe, melted cheese stations, French crepes, snow falling, magical lights, Christmas music and carols, nutcrackers, French wines, an outdoor cinema and a Mulled Wine Garden! Ooh, la la!

The market will be running for four full days over the school holidays and is entirely free to attend.

READ ALSO There’s snow place like home when it comes to Christmas in July

kids n' critters rspca

Kids N’ Kritters Workshops teach young people about animals. Image: RSPCA.

Kids N’ Kritters

When: Monday 28 June, Tuesday 29 June, Monday 5 July, Tuesday 6 July, Thursday 8 July, various times
Where: RSPCA
Cost: $60, book online.

The sessions will cover various topics, including the responsibilities of owning a small pet and enrichment for shelter animals.

The workshop will cover an information session, a shelter tour, hands-on activities and a chance to spend time with animals.

Dinosaur and car

See the dinosaur museum in a new light. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Dinosaurs at Night Tours

When: Thursday 8 July, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: The National Dinosaur Museum
Cost: $15 to $20, $60 for family admission; book online.

Explore the National Dinosaur Museum by torchlight on an exciting night tour.

The galleries can be seen in a very different light as guides lead you on a journey of discovery in a one-hour torchlit tour through the dimly lit galleries.

Discover the dark side of prehistoric life on this fun and fact-filled dino-adventure!

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