17 July 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (30 June - 6 July)

| Travis Radford
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child on a toboggan

Winter in the City brings snow play, ice skating and lots more to Canberra this June and July. Photo: Winter in the City.

It’s a science-filled week with megafauna visiting the Botanic Gardens, a belated celebration of National Fossil Day at the Dinosaur Museum and a night program at Questacon.

Lovers of poetry and gin are also in for a treat, with two separate festivals rolling into the capital to showcase 120 gins from several countries and poems aplenty.

Plus, in honour of winter, ice skating and snow play are coming to the city centre, the Arboretum’s trees are being wrapped in scarves, and much more.

Friday and Saturday


Gin from Canberra’s own Big River Distillery Company will be at the Canberra International Gin Festival. Photo: Big River Distillery Company.

Canberra International Gin Festival

When: Friday 30 June, 4 pm to 7 pm and Saturday 1 July, 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: University of Canberra Refectory, 11 Kirinari St, Bruce
Cost: $70 to $160 plus transaction fee; book here.

Canberra’s inaugural International Gin Festival brings together 120 gins from 40 companies and several countries. The two-day festival includes three-hour tasting sessions where attendees will be handed a tasting glass and tote bag and invited to “taste your way around the room”. There will also be Japanese (sold out), German and French gin masterclasses at additional cost.


little girl painting colourful face

Tuggeranong Arts Centre has a range of workshops, activities and performances set for all to enjoy at the Taster Family Fun Day. Photo: Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

Tuggeranong Arts Centre Taster Family Fun Day

When: Saturday, 1 July, 10 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 137 Reed Street, Greenway
Cost: Free; bookings required for art classes only.

Enjoy a day of free family fun on the first Saturday of the July school holidays. Primary school-aged kids can get their face painted or join a structured art, dance or drama class, weaving circle or zine, flower-stitching, giant cardboard city and fishstix-making activities. Parents are welcome to join in or relax by the lake with a coffee, a bite to eat and watch a series of performances.

Boy running.

Get to Lennox Gardens and run or walk to help prevent and treat child sexual abuse. Photo: Bravehearts.

Canberra Bravehearts 777 Marathon 2023

When: Saturday 1 July, 7 am to 1:30 pm
Where: Lennox Gardens, Flynn Drive, Yarralumla
Cost: $45 to $95; book here.

The Bravehearts 777 Marathon will return to Canberra in its ninth year to raise funds and awareness towards preventing and treating child sexual abuse in Australia. Take the physical challenge and run or walk all or part of the marathon route from Lennox Gardens to Kings Park. Distances start from 7 km and can be completed individually or as part of a team.

Fossil Day National Museum

Kids get into the National Dinosaur Museum for free this Saturday. Photo: National Dinosaur Museum.

National Fossil Day at the National Dinosaur Museum

When: Saturday 1 July, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: National Dinosaur Museum, 6 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls
Cost: Free to $20; book here, on 6230 2655 or at the counter.

Belatedly celebrate National Fossil Day (officially 26 June) at the National Dinosaur Museum by holding some real dinosaur bones, digging up fossils, learning how to make museum-quality replicas, participating in a fossil hunt and even meeting a real dinosaur. (Can’t get enough fossils? Region‘s James Coleman says that’s not the only local connection to fossils worth exploring this Saturday.)

Wednesday to Saturday

Questacon Mid Winter Nights

When: Wednesday 5 July to Saturday 8 July, 5:30 pm to 9 pm
Where: Questacon, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Free to $24.50; book here.

Head to Questacon this week for family-friendly nights of interactive science. The evenings will feature a fire show, Born or Built? exhibition access and a robot petting zoo. Plus, delve into a world of cold extremes in Q Lab and groove to the DJ’s beats while little explorers embark on an adventure in Mini Q: Antarctic Adventure or unleash their creativity with paper penguin crafts.

Saturday onwards


Visual theatre masterminds Dead Puppet Society bring the ancient diprotodon to life. Photo: Australian National Botanic Gardens.


When: Saturday 1 July to Sunday 6 August, various times
Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Cost: Various prices; see all events and book here.

Three ancient diprotodons have found their way into the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The megafauna will rove through the gardens during daytime and after-dark events. Plus, take “a walk through time” on an outdoor discovery trail, learn more from children’s author Bronwyn Saunders or attend a puppet construction workshop with the masterminds behind the creatures.

two people on stage

Immerse yourself in poetry this Winter school holidays. Photo: Poetic City Festival.

Poetic City Festival – Winter edition!

When: Saturday 1 to Friday 14 July, various times
Where: multiple locations; see the full program here
Cost: Various prices; see all events and book here.

Calling all poets and poetry lovers alike, Canberra’s Poetic City Festival will feature workshops, events, readings and performances and installations over two jam-packed weeks. The festival will kick off on Saturday with five events, including a live litchalk poetry demonstration, readings by local poets, a poetry paperback stall, a potluck story share and multilingual poetry open mic night.

trees wrapped in knitting

This year’s Warm Trees theme has been developed with the High Commission of South Africa. Photo: National Arboretum.

Warm Trees

When: Saturday 1 July to Monday 31 July, 7 am to 5:30 pm
Where: National Arboretum, Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley
Cost: Free; no booking required.

Rug up and explore the forests of the Arboretum this July as they are wrapped in colourful scarves and themed decorations. This year’s theme has been developed with the High Commission of South Africa and will include scarves in the colours of the South African flag and a special exhibition on display in the Village Centre following the official launch event on Thursday, 6 July.

All week long

Winter in the City map graphic

Winter in the City brings snow play, ice skating and lots more to Canberra this June and July. Image: City Renewal Authority.

Winter in the City 2023

When: Friday 30 June to Sunday 16 July, various times
Where: Civic Square and Ainslie Place, 180 London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: $17 to $49.99; book here.

Winter in the City promises to bring the City Centre to life with a full roster of winter-themed festivities. The ice-skating rink is back – bigger and better than ever – along with disco and dress-up nights, children’s entertainment, a Jazida pop-up party and more. There will also be cosy fireside hot chocolates, marshmallows and other winter treats – not to mention an array of winter discounts on offer from nearby businesses.

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