1 December 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (1 - 7 December)

| Claire Sams
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Crowd of people at CBRIN's annual Innovation Showcase

Canberra’s inspirational innovators will come together for the annual Innovation Showcase. Photo: Canberra Innovation Network.

We’re starting the month strong as we close in on the end of 2023!

There are markets, a beer festival, high culture from the CSO and even some events to get your brain moving.

It’s a big week, so get planning!

Multiple days

Metaverse of Magic, horizontal poster

Metaverse of Magic promises to bring some wonder to the everyday. Image: Supplied.

Metaverse of Magic

When: 22 November to 3 December, various shows
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Civic
Cost: Tickets vary in price and can be purchased via the Canberra Theatre’s website.

Ash Magic – also known as Ash Hodgkinson – started by posting videos of magic tricks to TikTok while he was in high school. Now, he has millions of followers and a live show set to land in Canberra before heading overseas. There are just a few days left to see Ash on stage alongside fellow magicians from around the world – so make sure to head along and be bewitched in his interactive magic show.

A train painted in blue, white and yellow

While these trains were common in the Newcastle area, one of the survivors is coming to Canberra. Photo: Canberra Railway Museum.

Molonglo Valley Explorer vintage train rides

When: 2 December to 3 December, various times
Where: Trains depart from Canberra Railway Station, Burke Cresent, Kingston
Cost: Tickets cost between $10 and $40 and are available via 123tix.

Climb aboard heritage 1960s railmotor 631/731 for a fantastic journey through the Southern Tablelands and Molonglo Valley.

Take a scenic ride through the stunning Molonglo Gorge, as well as winding tunnels and towering bridges, or a shorter run from Canberra to Queanbeyan and return.


Margot Shannon

There are plenty of beautiful things to look at and taste at this garden party with a difference. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

Merchant Campbell Garden Market Day

When: 2 December, 2 pm to 6 pm
Where: Talmo, 142 Talmo Road, Bookham
Cost: Free entry.

Margot Shannon, owner of Merchant Campbell, is hosting a garden party – and you’re on the invite list! Head out to her property in Bookham for an afternoon with a packed schedule: a cake stall, handmade Christmas decorations, sculptures from artists from regional NSW, a book stall and much more. There will also be chances to meet local artisans and producers, who will be on hand with their products. Refreshments will be available from a coffee van on site.

Canberra BeerFest

Tell your mates – the final release of tickets for Canberra Beerfest have gone on sale! Photo: BeerFest Australia.

Canberra BeerFest

When: 2 December, 1 pm to 7 pm
Where: John Dunmore Lang Place, Parkes
Cost: Tickets cost $12.70 (for children aged 12 to 17) or $43.30 (for adults) and are available via Eventbrite.

Presented by BentSpoke Brewing, the return of Canberra BeerFest comes with a busy schedule. This year, there will be Masterclasses on pairings from former cheesemonger and qualified cicerone Lindsy Greig, a variety of live performances from musicians and comedians of all stripes, wrestling shows and more. There will be plenty of food and drink (and yes, beer from a variety of brewers) on hand to keep attendees quenched into the evening. There will also be non-alcoholic drinks so everyone can join in the fun!

A stylised poster for the event

This interactive program is aimed at young folk, but everyone is invited. Photo: Canberra Symphony Orchestra/Facebook.

Grooving in the Grove: Meet the Brass

When: 2 December, 1:30 pm to 3 pm
Where: Canberra Montessori School, 35 Mulley Street, Holder
Cost: Tickets cost $30 (for two adults and children) and are available via the Orchestra’s website.

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musicians are going back to school – Canberra Montessori School, that is, for a community day. Part of their Explore the Orchestra program, it will be hosted by Kristen Sutcliffe and have an interactive program and a concert from 2 pm. Tikka Stand Food Truck will be present to ensure no one goes hungry, and attendees are also invited to bring a picnic to enjoy during the program. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards CSO Community and Education programming.


Hall Markets christmas edition

Get in the Christmas spirit, get some early shopping out of the way and help a good cause. Image: Hartley Lifecare.

Hartley Hall Markets Christmas Edition

When: 3 December, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Hall Showgrounds, Victoria Street, Hall
Cost: Gold coin donation on entry.

The Hartley Hall Markets are getting into the Christmas spirit – head along to check out the range of stallholders. Among the available items are artworks, handmade items, jewellery and much more. You’re also welcome to bring the furry members of your family along. Held 10 km north of Canberra on the first Sunday of every month, the market raises money to support people with disabilities living in Canberra.


santa on a budget christmas wrapping event poster

Learn how to make your own wrapping paper and Christmas cards in the final Santa On A Budget session. Image: Woden Community Service.

Santa on a Budget: Christmas Card and Wrapping Paper Making

When: 4 December, 11 am to 1 pm
Where: Woden Community Hub, Westfield Woden, Keltie Street, Phillip (above CBA)
Cost: Free entry.

Save some money this Christmas and show you really, really care with homemade cards and wrapping paper. All materials are provided, meaning you need to bring yourself – and maybe some friends or family members to share in the fun!


TEDxWomen Two Steps Forward event poster

TEDxWomen 2023 will inspire girls and women right here in Canberra. Image: TEDxCanberra.

TEDxCanberra Women 2023

When: 5 December, 5:30 pm to 7:45 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: Tickets cost $18 (for concession holders), $25 (for general admission) or $40 (for a TEDxCanberra Supporter ticket) and are available via Eventbrite.

It’s time to reset, rethink, and collectively imagine different ways forward. Whether working on new models of equity and inclusion or blazing trails as pioneers, this year’s speakers demonstrate luminous new thinking and ideas designed to enchant, uplift and inspire us all.


Canberra Innovation Network

Canberra Innovation Network is returning for another year of connection, networking and important discussions – and, of course, innovation. Photo: Canberra Innovation Network.

2023 Innovation Showcase

When: 6 December, 4 pm to 6 pm
Where: Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham
Cost: Free entry; registration is essential.

While many of us might have had a shower thought as to what can improve our lives, have you thought about putting it forward against your peers? That’s part of the 2023 Innovation Showcase, which will see local start-ups go head-to-head for three cash prizes. In 2023, the theme is Shaping Tomorrow Today. This year’s event will include representatives from cyber security, social enterprise, fashion and defence industries. The winners will be voted by the crowd, who can also browse through stalls and participate in interactive displays.

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