22 September 2023

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

| Travis Radford
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flowers at Floriade

Floriade’s NightFest offers four nights to see the flowers in a different light. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

See Floriade’s blooms in a different light this week at NightFest, plus two more ‘fests’ in the SpringFEST Sustainability Fair and Oktoberfest at Old Canberra Inn.

Enjoy family fun at the Tuff Nutterz inflatable obstacle course, see what makes Gorman Arts Centre tick or admire German cars and motorbikes.

Plus, lots more, including the return of Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House, the Walk4BrainCancer and Hops & Hooves Festival Race Day.


Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House image

Start your weekend with a fun night out with workmates, friends, music and good vibes. Photo: Supplied.

Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House

When: Friday 22 September, from 5 pm
Where: Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Free entry; no booking required.

It’s been a while between drinks, but starting this week, Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House are back. Start your weekend right with a fun night out with music and good vibes at the Courtyard Café. Capital Brewing Co will be on site pouring their finest brews all evening, alongside a list of cocktails and wine, and resident DJ Ashely Feraude will be spinning tunes until late.

Still from The Truman Show movie

Played by Jim Carrey in his first critically acclaimed dramatic role, Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting central figure in a round-the-clock reality television program. Photo: NFSA.

The Truman Show: 25th anniversary celebration

When: Friday 22 September, from 8 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: $10 to $12; book tickets on the National Film and Sound Archive website.

Local drag artist Venus Mantrap hosts a 25th-anniversary screening of The Truman Show on a 35 mm film print from the national collection. Starring Jim Carrey in his first critically acclaimed role, the film follows Truman Burbank, the central figure in a round-the-clock reality television program. But unusual happenings prompt Truman to question his seemingly idyllic existence.

Friday and Saturday

Gorman House gardens

Braddon arts collective Gorman Arts Centre is opening its doors to the public for two days of workshops, wine tastings, live music and more on 22 and 23 September. Photo: Gorman House.

Gorman Arts Centre Open House

When: Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September, various times
Where: Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon
Cost: Free; RSVP on the Ainslie and Gorman website.

Across two days, discover Canberra’s largest collective of multi-disciplinary artists, makers and arts organisations. Take part in theatre, dance and maker workshops, unwind with wine tastings and live music and explore the studios of Gorman House’s resident arts community. Friday will feature an after-work kickback style House Party, while Saturday is full of family fun.

Heading to the coast? The Steampacket at Nelligen is well worth a stop. Photo: Byron Photography.

Have a bounce or boogie at the Steampacket Hotel

When: Saturday 23 September, 3 pm – 6 pm and Sunday 24 September, 3:30 pm until 6:30 pm
Where: Steampacket Hotel, 963 Kings Highway, Nelligen
Cost: Free.

The newly renovated Steampacket Hotel is now open, just in time for the school holidays. Family-friendly atmosphere, delicious, quality pub fare and a fully fenced beer garden – it’s the perfect first stop on your way to the coast. With plenty happening to keep everyone entertained, including live music from Moondog and a jumping castle.


SpringFEST Sustainability Fair

Craft, cakes, books, food, Devonshire teas. What more could you want? Photo: Supplied.

SpringFEST Sustainability Fair

When: Saturday 23 September, 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Tuggeranong Uniting Church, Corner Comrie Street and Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa
Cost: Free; no booking required.

Tuggeranong Uniting Church is partnering with SEE Change to celebrate spring. Learn new ways to reduce your environmental footprint and connect with community members over workshops, competitions and a range of local and sustainable market stalls. Afterwards, enjoy a mug of Devonshire Tea or a barbecue and admire Tuggeranong Uniting Church’s Floriade garden beds.

Tuff Nutterz obstacle course

The Tuff Nutterz inflatable obstacle course first came to Canberra in 2019. Photo: Tuff Nutterz.

Tuff Nutterz returns to Canberra

When: Saturday 23 September to Sunday 8 October, 9 am to 4:45 pm
Where: Parkes Place lawns, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: $25 to $40; book on the Tuff Nutterz website.

Australia’s biggest inflatable obstacle course is coming back to Canberra this September. The headline inflatable maze measures 300 metres long and has 30 obstacles, including slides, climbing walls, hanging rails and balance balls. There’s also a mini obstacle course for the little ones and those less confident and a six-metre-high slide for the more adventurous thrillseekers.

Ansett Airways and Lisa Dube

Lisa Dube in Ansett uniform and Ansett Airways aeroplanes. Photos: Wikimedia Commons; Lisa Dube.

Ansett Canberra Reunion

When: Saturday 23 September, from 3:30 pm
Where: Mercure Canberra, corner of Ainslie and Limestone Avenue, Braddon
Cost: Free; RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Twenty-odd years on from Ansett Airways folding in 2002, Lisa Dube and other former airline employees are getting together for a reunion at Mercure Canberra in Braddon (formerly Olim’s). Guests will have access to Mecure’s main public bar and the Bistro will be open for snacks or dinner. About 50 people have RSVP’d so far, including from interstate and overseas.

ground action shot of racehorse and smiling jockey

Thoroughbred Park will host the region’s best food and liquor producers at the upcoming Hops & Hooves festival race day. Photo: Canberra Racing Club.

Hops & Hooves Festival Race Day

When: Saturday 23 September, from 11:30 am
Where: Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham
Cost: $20 each via the event page or free for Canberra Racing Club members.

Thoroughbred Park, home of the Canberra Racing Club, will celebrate the region’s best producers with its popular Hops & Hooves festival race day, which has been expanded in 2023 to bring together the best local beer, wine, spirits and racing. Expect live and local racing, breweries, wineries and distilleries (plus non-alcoholic options), live music, premium food vans and more.

light projection onto a building

Save the night for the festival finale, Luminous: Celebrating Place at Moruya Showground. Photo: River of Art Festival.

River of Art 2023: Luminous – Celebrate Place

When: Saturday 23 September, 4 pm to 9 pm
Where: Moruya Showground, Albert Street, Moruya
Cost: Free to $150; book tickets on the River of Art website.

Enjoy an evening of light, community, projections, music, performance and markets to celebrate place and farewell River of Art. The historic buildings of Moruya Showground will be projected with the creativity of local artists alongside light sculptures, market stalls, roving performers and a kids zone. Or enjoy an exclusive performance in the Luminous Lounge for an additional cost.

Boorowa Spring Breakout Market: Makers and Growers

Rotary Boorowa invites you to the Spring Breakout Market as they return for 2023 to celebrate the arrival of spring. Photo: Rotary Boorowa.

Boorowa Spring Breakout Market: Makers and Growers

When: Saturday 23 September, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Old Court House Grounds, Marsden Street, Boorowa
Cost: Free; no booking required.

Join Rotary Boorowa as they welcome the changing of the seasons with their Spring Breakout Market. Support the community by indulging in locally made arts and crafts and food, including a barbecue by the Reid’s Flat Community Hall and Gymkhana Committees. Marketgoers will also be treated to appearances by local talent, including Susmic Creations and Moira Young Creations.

Oktoberfest at Old Canberra Inn

Come down to Old Canberra Inn on Saturday for a free all-day celebration of Oktoberfest. Photo: Old Canberra Inn.

Oktoberfest at Old Canberra Inn

When: Saturday 23 September, from 12 pm
Where: Old Canberra Inn, 195 Mouat Street, Lyneham
Cost: Free entry; no booking required.

Celebrate Oktoberfest in a piece of living Canberra history. Arrive early and take a seat in the pub older than the city itself (having been built in 1857) to enjoy German-style beer and bratwurst for lunch, set to the backdrop of live music. Or choose from a menu of pub classics and 10 craft beers on tap. Guests are also invited to dress up to go in the running for the best costume prize.


Canberra Walk4BrainCancer walk

Emma Easton (three from the left in the front row) participated in the 2022 Walk4BrainCancer, which the Caribou CBR Brave plan to do again in Emma’s memory. Photo: Supplied.

Always Brave Walk4BrainCancer

When: Sunday 24 September, from 8:30 am
Where: Patrick White Lawns, Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Donate on the Walk4BrainCancer website; no booking required.

Why Caribou CBR Brave are ‘walking 4 brain cancer’ this month shows another side to the leaderboard-topping ice hockey team. Canberrans are invited to join the team for a 5 km walk from the lawns of the National Library of Australia around Lake Burley Griffin to raise funds for world-class brain cancer research, advocacy and awareness.

Shannons German Auto Day image

Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen will be some of the brands on display at Shannons German Auto Day. Photo: Shannons German Auto Day.

Shannons German Auto Day

When: Sunday 24 September, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Brad Haddin Oval, Campbell Street, Queanbeyan
Cost: Entry by gold coin donation; no booking required.

Shannons German Auto Day returns for a one-day German automotive display. Spectators, families and motoring enthusiasts alike are invited to admire some of the best German-engineered cars and bikes from recent years, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen. Grab a bite to eat at one of the food vendors or bring a picnic lunch. All proceeds will go to charity.


Floriade’s Nightfest offers four nights to see the flowers in a different light. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Floriade NightFest

When: Thursday 28 September to Sunday 1 October, 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Where: Commonwealth Park, Commonwealth Ave, Canberra
Cost: Free to $35; book tickets on the Floriade website.

NightFest will run over four nights with lighting installations highlighting the garden beds throughout the park, giant neon butterflies and scores of illuminated floating flowers on Kangaroo Pond. It will also showcase local and interstate talent, including legendary sister duo Vika and Linda, former backing singers for The Black Sorrows and regulars on ABC’s RocKwiz program.

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