22 December 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (22 - 28 December)

| Claire Sams
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Australians & Hollywood exhibition is open until 28 January 2024. Photos: National Film and Sound Archive.

Even as the end of 2023 gets closer (and how did this year go so quickly?), Canberra’s events calendar isn’t slowing down.

If you’re keen to spend some time inside and out of the heat, then you’re in luck. An in-depth look into Ancient Egypt is on display at the National Museum of Australia, while your chances to take in Hollywood glam are drawing to a close as an exhibition nears its end.

Meanwhile, get into the festive spirit with some carols at Westfield Belconnen on Friday, call up some friends for the Courtyard Xmas Block Party, settle in to see Ebenezer Scrooge tackle his road to redemption or a massive display of LEGO creations for charity. And as if all that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, a new space has opened recently this summer at the National Film and Sound Archive (and you’re invited to check it out), while Canberra United will take to the soccer pitch against the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday for the first time in years.

Multiple days

A group of people in blue shirts and black pants singing and a conductor

Some Christmas cheer while you do your last-minute shopping is just what Santa ordered! Photo: Westfield Belconnen Facebook.

Friday Night Christmas Carols

When: 1 – 22 December (every Friday), various times
Where: Level 1 (near Harvey Norman), Westfield Belconnen, Benjamin Way, Belconnen
Cost: Free entry.

If you’ve left your gift shopping to the last minute (no shame, we’ve all been there), make sure to stop by Westfield Belconnen to hear some carols that will be sure to pick you up. To finish up a month full of Friday carolling by local choirs, Canberra Harmony Chorus will be singing from 6:30 pm to 7 pm.

museum display

You can look at tools used in Ancient Egypt mummification at the National Museum of Australia, though you won’t have to undergo the process. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition

When: 15 December 2023 to 8 September 2024
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra
Cost: Tickets cost from $12.50 to $62.50, and are available via the National Museum website.

The history and culture of Ancient Egypt take centre stage in this exhibition, now arriving in Canberra after a tour across Asia and other Australian capital cities. The 220 objects on display are all drawn from the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities. Some of the artefacts include 10 painted coffins, sculptures, Book of the Dead scrolls, a mummification hook, an ancient board game and five mummified bodies. Attendees will also be able to take part in interactive activities.

Three people sitting around a table, having high tea

If you’re looking to catch up with friends or family this festive season, can we suggest high tea? Photo: Pew Pew Studio, via Parliament House Canberra Facebook.

Christmas high tea at Parliament House

When: until 31 December, various times (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays)
Where: Queen’s Terrace Cafe, first floor of Parliament House, Canberra
Cost: Tickets cost from $60 to $70 and are available via Humanitix.

The menu for this series of of high teas includes a range of sweet and savoury treats inspired by Christmas classics, alongside trifle made with Parliament House honey vodka and sticky Scottsdale ham. Tea, coffee or a glass of sparkling wine will be on hand to wash it all down.

Australians and Hollywood exhibition at the National Film and Sound Archive

Moulin Rouge! (2001) costumes are among the items featured in this exhibition. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Australians & Hollywood exhibition

When: 1 December 2023 to 28 January 2024 (except 25 December and 1 January), 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Exhibition Gallery, National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: Tickets cost from free to $46, and are available via the website.

Film fans of all kinds can find something to enjoy in this exhibition! Australians & Hollywood celebrates iconic moments in contemporary Australian film, as well as the hard work of the people that brought them to the screen. Out of the behind-the-scenes footage, costumes and props on display includes costumes from ELVIS, Moulin Rouge! and The Sapphires, props from The Power of the Dog and ELVIS, steering wheels from Mad Max: Fury Road, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin’s art concept books for Romeo + Juliet and the clapperboard from Dune.

A poster for the event

These are Christmas event organised with the goal of fundraising for a good cause. Photo: Simone Dawson Facebook.

Christmas LEGO Display

When: 21 – 24 December, 6:30 pm to 10 pm
Where: Karrugang Circuit, Ngunnawal
Cost: Free entry, donations are welcome.

We’ve all tried our hand at building LEGO sets – some with more success than others – though most haven’t built something of this scale. More than 300 LEGO sets, over 450,000 pieces of LEGO and over 1000 minifigs (and a lot of hard work) has gone into making displays that might give you some inspiration for your own LEGO building efforts!

Come along and check out the world map, the Titanic, a grand piano, the Colosseum, Hogwarts Castle, BB-8 from a galaxy far, far away, the Sydney Opera House and much more. Coming back for its ninth year, it’s all been organised to raise money for Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief.

The inside of The Library at the National Sound and Film Archive

A new space at the National Sound and Film Archive has opened called The Library, but it doesn’t have books. Photo: Christopher Morris.

The Library

When: Open Monday to Sunday (except 25 December and 1 January), 10 am to 4 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: Free entry.

This library is not filled with rows and rows of books – rather, it’s a space with more than 280 items from the National Film and Sound Archive’s collection. Among the artefacts on display are items relating to boombox, an iPod Shuffle, children’s tv classics like Bobo the Clown and Skippy and Australia’s music history from Kylie to Yothu Yindi. The space opened in time for the summer holidays and looks at history, film, television, culture and technology – and how it’s all changed over the decades.

A banner for the event

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will be finishing its production this week on 24 December. Photo: Supplied.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

When: 19 – 24 December
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: Tickets cost between $77 and $97 (plus booking fee) and are available via the Canberra Theatre Centre website.

Most of us have a passing familiarity with the plot of Charles Dickens’ famous novella, but this is your chance to see it on stage. Ebenezer Scrooge is a grumpy man (to put it lightly) who faces a path of redemption when the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come visit to show him the error of his ways – but that doesn’t mean it will be an easy one.


A poster for the event

Keen to get a head start on New Year’s celebrations? Photo: Reload Bar & Games Facebook.

Courtyard Xmas Block Party

When: 23 December, from 3 pm until late
Where: Verity Lane coutyard, off Northbourne Avenue; then Reload Bar and Games, 38 Northbourne Avenue, Civic
Cost: Free entry before 4 pm, with tickets costing $25 and available via Eventbrite.

A fun time out with friends as you celebrate the silly season. The party will start in the Verity Lane courtyard, before moving into Reload Bar and Games from 10 pm. DJs Moses, Tiny, Seki, Jouleus, Dinka Mafia, DJ Zinger and Uncle Ricxx will be on hand to play some Afrobeats, dancehall and amapiano. The kitchen open from 5 pm to 9 pm, offering a chance for you all to grab dinner.

A record crowd at McKellar Park for Canberra United although they went down to Perth Glory 2-3. Photo: Canberra United Facebook.

Canberra United will take on the Central Coast Mariners in their first clash in years. Photo: Canberra United Facebook.

Canberra United v Central Coast Mariners

When: 23 December, from 5 pm
Where: McKellar Park, Walkley Place, McKellar
Cost: Tickets vary in price and can be purchased online.

We all fell in love with the Matildas during the World Cup, and now we can keep the momentum going with the Canberra United. This Saturday, the team will face off against the Central Coast Mariners for their first time since 2009. While the last time they played the scorecard was a 1-1 draw, we’re hoping the locals can pull ahead this time!

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