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BEST THINGS TO DO IN CANBERRA WITH KIDS

INSIDE: The Best Things to Do in Canberra with Kids. Updated 2024.

Canberra is a big surprise.

There are SO many Canberra activities for kids, it blew my mind on our last visit.

I repeat.

SO many things to do in Canberra for kids.

We were there for 5 action packed days, and could have stayed 3 weeks!

Planning to visit Canberra soon?

Take a look below and start making your list of Canberra attractions for families today. 

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO COST to you. For our Disclosure and Disclaimer statements, and an explanation of our Advertising policy please click here

canberra pod playground entrance view pic

BEST THINGS TO DO IN CANBERRA WITH KIDS

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in ***, unless otherwise stated

When we travel to new cities, I always schedule each day to be full of activities, but this is one place I underestimated.

Every single one of the Canberra attractions we visited was full of modern, interactive, hands-on activities for kids.

For the first time ever, my  itinerary went straight out the window.

Where I’d planned to spend two hours, we ended up staying four.

When I’d planned for half a day, we stayed till closing!

Hot tip: A weekend is NOT enough, but it’s a start. 

questacon exterior pic 800

SUPER DOOPER FUN ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN CANBERRA

No.1: Questacon Science Museum in Canberra

Questacon Canberra is the National Science Museum in Canberra, a 7 storey-building full of every science experiment you can ever imagine, and a few more too.

It’s one of the BEST Science Museums we’ve ever visited, and we’ve seen a few.

There’s 200+ educational FUN hands-on activities over SEVEN levels at Questacon in Canberra. 

It’s so good, we gave it a rating of 10 TOADSTOOLS! 

Questacon is top of the tourist spots in Canberra, without a doubt. 

questacon canberra freefall slide pic

Don’t miss the Questacon FreeFall Slide.

The Orange Suit is  evidence of my Questacon free fall experience.

Would I do it again?

NO WAY!

questacon free fall slide pic by nico nelson flickr

Image credit: Nico Nelson via Flickr CC BY-2.0

It may be short, lasting less than 5 seconds, but those 5 seconds will haunt me forever.

I now know I can NEVER sky dive.

My heart would explode!

But scary as it was, it’s AWESOME.

The Questacon Slide is just ONE of the hundreds of fabulous hands-on activities here. Take a look. 

At least one person in the family needs to brave it, and wear the attractive orange overalls/prison suit. 

Who can ride the Questacon Free Fall Slide?

Questacon’s Free Fall slide is approximately 6.7 metres high, and there is an element of fear or anxiety involved for many!

This exhibit requires visitors to pass certain medical and physical checks before use, including a height restriction.

Kids must be 5 or over to have a go. 

If you are worried, walk to the top and take a look at this human free fall slide.

There’s no pressure to continue if you feel the ride is not for you.

But someone in the family has to do it.

If you haven’t got kids over, that person might be you!

(It was me!)

Get ready for the biggest, if shortest, thrill since childbirth.

It’s equally as scary, thrilling, and exciting, and the pain of the lead-up is quickly forgotten too.

questacon canberra ned on entrance steps pic

What is free falling?

If we had to describe free fall, it’s a downward movement under the force of gravity only. 

Speed of free fall at Questacon? 

That totally depends on your body shape, but strangely, NOT weight.  The mass of the object does not come into play in free fall. 

But it’s quick.

Here’s a good explanation of what happens! 

questacon canberra green cage pic

Here’s a few more things you shouldn’t miss:

image - questacon mini q blocks

Questacon Galleries from Top to Bottom

Questacon exhibits are arranged in a spiral of galleries.

Head up the ramp to the very top, and work your way down.

Gallery 1 (Top Floor): Fundamental

Fundamental is classic science, reimagined with hands-on activities.

Explore forces, light and momentum in much-loved exhibits like Harmonograph and Frozen Shadows.

Or jump straight into experimenting yourself in new and fun ways with Turntable and Slow Bubble.

Gallery 2: Colour

This gallery has more than 25 interactive experiences, where kids can explore how light influences colour.

There’s:

  • coloured bubbles
  • iridescent insects
  • colour illusions
  • a chance to take a high-resolution image of your eye
  • see glowing quantum nanomaterials that change their colour with crystal size, and
  • ‘See like a bee’ with the ultraviolet camera.

For younger visitors, there’s a Kids’ Trail activity to follow.

Ask an attendant for details.

questacon canberra hands on activities for kids pic

Gallery 3: Awesome Earth

Visit Awesome Earth in Gallery 3 to feel the force of an earthquake.

Wonder at the grandeur of the universe.

Home to the Lightning Strikes (above), and the Earthquake experience where you have the chance to build ‘earthquake’ resistant buildings BEFORE THE QUAKE HITS! 

See if your creation stands. 

Hold on tight. 

Line up to join the fun.

And, let lightning spark your imagination.

High voltages create a spectacular display of plasma and electric arcs.

Counting down the minutes and seconds is half the fun!

Lightning strikes every 15 minutes.

It’s loud!

Gallery 4: Q Lab

Observe, examine and experiment with hands-on activities.

Includes the ultimate opportunity to chat to both Questacon-based and visiting Scientists as you wander about.

questacon science museum canberra workshops pic

Gallery 5: The Shed

The Tinkering Lab is a place to build and create with hands-on materials.

This was Jack’s favourite gallery.

questacon canberra mini q play for kids pic

Gallery 6: Mini Q at Questacon

Mini Q is just for kids.

Check out the details below. 

questacon canberra for kids building site pic

Mini Q entry details

Mini Q is a very popular place for the smaller kids so during school holidays.

Questacon staggers entry times, and limits numbers.

Mini Q tickets can only be booked on the day, in person at the Ticket Desk.

questacon canberra car pump pic

Mini Q Building Site

Find these fun attractions inside: 

  • a hands-on Building Site where kids can move blocks and bricks from place to place via clever machinery
  • role play zones with dress ups
  • fill up the cars at an old-fashioned petrol station, and
  • spend time at the ultimate water play area for kids too.

questacon canberra water play for kids pic

Water Play at Mini Q 

Kids can splash, sprinkle and spray water in this hands-on activity. 

image - questacon whoosh

Gallery 7: Excite@Q

Do not miss this gallery.

Whoosh! is an exhibit that keeps kids busy for HOURS as they race to send lightweight scarves up a maze of tubes before they are spat out the funnel, and float back down!  

Insert one or more fabric scarves into an inlet box, and watch how the scarves fly through a labyrinth of air tubes via vacuum.

Not only is it home to Whoosh, and the adrenalin-making FREEFALL SLIDE, you can:

  • battle a robot in a game of air hockey, or
  • try to stay upright in the Rototron.

Gallery 8 (Floor Level): H2O

The ground floor gallery is the place to:

  • launch a hydrogen rocket
  • pump water towards the ceiling, and
  • on a serious note, learn about water sustainability and how to help.

image - questacon maths activity

MORE QUESTACON ACTIVITIES

Click here for current Questacon Canberra events.

Did you know Questacon has developed a couple of apps so you can continue the fun of Questacon at home.

Check the apps out here.

Questacon Shop “The Q Shop”

Be prepared to accept that if you enter the shop with your kids in tow, you will likely be parting with your hard-earned cash.

There are super cute science toys, and souvenirs for sale, and the kids will want them all. 

Open daily between 9-5 pm.

Questacon Cafe

  • The Mega Bites Café is located in the Questacon foyer. It’s open daily between 9.00 am-5.00 pm.
  • The Questacon cafe serves tea and coffee, tasty cakes and slices, health foods and light refreshment options, and caters for a wide range of dietary requirements.
  • There are plenty of tables and chairs in the Mega Bites Cafe, the Questacon foyer, and the sunny outdoor Science Court to enjoy your meal.

Where is Questacon?

Questacon Address: Questacon Canberra  is located on King Edward Terrace, Parkes, in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
Questacon information: The information desk is available just inside the front entrance.
Telephone: 02 6270 2800
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
Opening Hours: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm (Closed December 25)

How to get to Questacon in Canberra

By Bus: Action Buses

By Foot: Questacon is a 30-minute walk across the bridge from Canberra’s main business district

By Car: 3km (5 minutes drive) from the Canberra CBD via Commonwealth Ave.

Paid parking is available alongside the building, accessible from Parkes Place, with additional parking further along Parkes Place in the large car park near the lake.

The smaller car park adjacent to Questacon contains only 4 hour parking.

The larger car park (further down Parkes Place West) contains 4 hour parking (in the first two rows) and all day parking in the remaining rows.

Questacon Facilities

Toilets: Yes, on many levels. Baby change tables available on level 3, 6 and 7, and the ground floor.
Lockers: Yes, public lockers are available. Ask at the front desk.
Disability access: Yes. A hearing loop is provided. There is a lift to access all levels.
Closest ATM: Eftpos and Credit card accepted at Questacon

questacon canberra building interior pic

How much is Questacon?

  • Adults $23.00
  • Concession $17.50
  • Child (4-16 years) $17.50

Best Value Questacon Tickets? The Questacon Family Pass (2 adults and 3 children)  – $70.00  ($8.00 for each additional child)

Questacon Prepaid Tickets: Purchase Questacon Tickets online.
Questacon NRMA tickets?: NRMA members can buy 3-in-1 discount tickets to Questacon, AIS Australian Institute of Sport and Cockington Green.

Click here for details of the 3-in-1 combo deal.

$23 for an adult ticket and $17.50 for kids for 200+ educational and interactive exhibits?

For that price, Questacon is a no-brainer.

But it’s not just about the value for money.

It’s THE ultimate day out for families in Canberra.

If it’s not on your itinerary, put it there straight away.

Kids under 4 are free too, so what are you waiting for?

Pack the kids, pack the car, pack the snacks, and set the GPS in one direction only – QUESTACON IN CANBERRA.

Questacon ACT is THE  Museum To Visit with Kids

If you are looking for fun things to do in Canberra, or only have 1 day in Canberra, make your way there. 

yarralumla play station building exterior pic

No.2: Yarralumla Play Station

Yarralumla Play Station has one of Canberra’s best mini golf courses, a miniature railway ride, a petting zoo farm and Station Stop cafe (see below)

Weston Park Mini Golf is one of the largest ‘putt putt’ golf courses in Australia,  and you can play a round or two of ‘mini’ golf  on one of the two specially designed courses with iconic Canberra sights including Lake Burley Griffin.

Imagine this:

  • Putting your ball around sailboats sweeping around a to-scale version of Lake Burley Griffen
  • Guiding your ball back and forth between a random assembly of bicycle wheels poking up from the earth
  • Scooting your ball up the hill towards a miniature version of Telstra Tower
  • Or shooting your ball down the straight towards the flags atop Parliamentary House at Parliamentary Triangle, and then down Anzac Parade towards the War Memorial

weston-park-mini-golf-course-pic-by-yarralumla-play-station-fb-1

Image credit: Yarralumla Play Station

Course #1 – Lake Walter Links

The first course is a small-scale version of a stylish golf course.

Like a proper course, this golf landscape features 

  • varied elevations
  • differing kinds of turf to challenge skills 
  • multiple tee off positions.

The best bit? 

This Lake Walter links course has a to-scale representation of:

  • the Parliamentary Triangle
  • Parliament House 
  • Lake Burley Griffen, and
  • both the Commonwealth & Kings Avenue Bridges!

Older kids and adults like the challenges of this course.

mini golf canberra by yarralumla play station fb

Image credit: Yarralumla Play Station

Course #2 – Lake Walter Putt Putt Course

The second course is the more traditional-style putt putt golf where you putt your ball around annoying and challenging obstacles.

In this course, the obstacles are original and unusual.

You will find yourself putting:

  • around bicycle wheels
  • putting balls up a skateboard ramp, and
  • along sprinting tracks.

You never know what’s around the corner!

That’s what makes it such a super fun and unique experience for all the family!

yarralumla mini golf course

Yarralumla mini golf provides everything you need:

  • colour coded balls
  • putters
  • scorecards, and
  • pencils.

It’s all included in the price.

yarralumla play station tickets sign pic

Yarralumla Play Station Prices for Mini Golf Putt Putt 

  • Children (under 15 years) –  $10 (18 holes) or $15 (36 holes)
  • Adults –  $14 (18 holes) or $20 (36 holes)
  • Family Pass ( 1 A & 3 C, or 2 A & 2 C) –  $40 (18 holes) or $60 (36 holes)
  • Extra child on Family Pass –  $5 (18 holes) or $8 (36 holes)

yarralumla play station - weston park railway look for trains sign pic

Yarralumla Play Station at Weston Park is the old Weston Park Railway

They are one and the same, but new owners have revamped and restored Yarralumla Play Station with a whole bunch of new activities and fun.

Plus they’ve restored three historic NSW train carriages circa 1910 for functions and events on site.

Kids who go mad for Thomas the Tank Engine should head straight to Yarralumla Play Station to ride the ol’ Bluebell Miniature Railway Train.

Bluebell is just like Thomas, without the smiley face, but I guarantee the kids won’t even notice. 

Kids will think they’ve met Thomas the Tank Engine in real life, no doubt.

yarralumla play station bluebell train sign pic

At Yarralumla Play Station, kids and families can take a 9-minute train ride loop on the Western Park railway around the figure-eight track, riding the sweet “Bluebell” train.

Bluebell was specially commissioned and built by the Bermagui Foundary for Yarralumla Play Station.

Bluebell chuggs her way past old relic full-size train carriages from 1910, past a giant anti-submarine gun from theDestroyer HMAS Vampire.

Photo-Yarralumla-Weston-Park-Railway

Image credit: Yarralumla Play Station

Weston Park Train Ride – Need to Know

The train at Weston Park has new canopies to shade the kids from the sun and light rain.

Keep an eye out for the new accessible carriage which will be able to take wheelchairs and prams too.

Wave at the mini-golfers as they saunter their way around the course.

Close your eyes when you go through the tunnel, and open them when you pop out the other side, you’ll be in the magical Pine Forest.

Do stop off for a pat and a cuddle at the mini farm full of our favourite fuzzy farm animals.

yarralumla play station weston park train ticket prices sign pic

Yarralumla Play Station Entry Fees – Weston Park Railway Ticket Pricing & Farm Friends

  • Single passenger tickets – all ages  $5 each
  • Ten or more tickets purchased by the same person – $4 each
  • Adult train ride with Farm stop – $15 each
  • Child train ride with Farm stop – $12 each
  • Family train ride with Farm stop (2 A & 2 C, or 1 A & 3 C) – $50
  • Extra child in same family $10

Children under 5 must have an accompanying adult to travel.

All babies 12 months or under ride for free.

During open hours, Bluebell tours depart every 30 minutes dependant on demand and weather conditions. Train requires a minimum of two passengers to depart.

No food or drink allowed on train.

Please keep all body parts inside the carriage at all times.

yarralumla play station weston park railway train sign pic

Hot tip: Yarralumla Play Station Easter Egg Hunt

Keep an eye on their facebook page to find out when tickets are released, as well as other events coming up. 

Address: Yarralumla Play Station, 9 Pescott Lane, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Telephone: Phone: (02) 6282 2714
Email: [email protected]
Website:  Click here

Opening Hours at Yarralumla Play Station

  • Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 8:00am to 5:30pm

Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day

How to get to Yarralumla Play Station

By Bus:

  • The Bus No. 315 and Bus No. 1 stop at Weston Park Yarralumla Canberra.
  • The Moovit App can guide you there.

By Car (or Taxi/Uber):

  • 7 km via Commonwealth Ave/A23 and Alexandrina Drive (10 minutes from the CBD), or
  • 10km via Commonwealth Ave (14 minutes from the CBD)

Parking at Yarralumla Play Station

Free parking in the grounds of the park, outside the Yarralumla play station cafe building. 

lake burley griffin cruises MV gull boat with Jim captain pic

No.3: Lake Burley Griffin Cruise

Take this cruise to learn all about the history, with a dollop of humour. 

The Lake Burley Griffin Cruise on the MV Gull is one of the surprise finds for kids in Canberra.

It’s not so good for toddlers or young kids, as you are couped up on a small boat with lots of people, but for kids over 5, it’s a bit of an adventure.

You’ll hear quirky stories of the people, the places, the buildings and the history of Canberra. 

Get ready for a laugh! 

lake burley griffin water fountain by pjluk

Image credit: Pjluk via Flickr CC BY-2.0 

No.4: What to do in Canberra for FREE

There are so many free things to visit in Canberra, you can fill a week just with these Canberra tourist attractions. 

  • Walk around Lake Burley Griffin, hear the National Carillon bells toll every hour and see the Canberra Cook Memorial Jet fountain shoot water up to 150 metres into the air! 
  • Stroll the ANZAC Parade Walk – it’s an epic recognisable sight of Australia
  • Head up to the Mount Ainslie Lookout for a view of Canberra from up top
  • Visit the National Gallery of Australia
  • Visit the National Portrait Gallery
  • Visit the Royal Australian Mint 
  • Wander the Australian National Botanic Gardens
  • Stop by the National Library of Australia
  • Take a look at any of the Canberra farmers markets (you won’t be able to resist a snack though!)
  • View the Captain Cook memorial globe
  • Window shop at the Canberra Antiques centre, or the Belconnen Arts Centre Inc. 
  • Stroll around Chinatown in Canberra
  • Swim at Pine Island reserve
  • See the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and learn about it’s place in Australian history
  • Visit Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve & the NASA Deep Space Communication Centre Visitor Centre
  • The National Arboretum is FREE too (see below)

Visit the Canberra and Region Visitors centre location, and ask their staff for more tips on the best free things to do in Canberra as well as tours and more.

national arboretum shop by sportz fotos

Image credit: SportzFotos via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

SHOPPING, SOUVENIRS AND MARKETS

No.1: National Arboretum Gift Shop – The Curatoreum

The Curatoreum gift shop stocks:

  • wonderful books
  • gifts
  • children’s activities
  • homewares and
  • jewellery.

With its focus on sourcing unique gifts and books, there are new treasures to discover each visit.

Click here for more information, or phone (02) 6251 3371

Dinosaur Museum Canberra shop crystals pic

No.2: Dinosaur Museum Canberra Gift Shop

To the right of the admissions desk is the shop at the Dinosaur Museum. It’s open to the public. 

As well as all your expected dinosaur-themed gifts, and a few surprises, the best thing is the fossils and gem showcase.

National Dinosaur Museum Canberra fossils pic

Fossils and Gems showcase

This area is filled with a collection of:

  • fossils
  • crystals
  • gems
  • geodes
  • rocks, and
  • a collection giant metre-high amethyst caves.

It’s a mini museum inside the museum. 

Dinosaur Museum Canberra shop tumbled stones pic

Polished gemstones

Treat the kids to a $5 bag of tumbled gemstones to avoid major meltdowns!

(Bribery is a tactic we call upon when in desperate situations like this.)

No.3: Old Depot Bus Markets

Our other fave is the Old Depot Bus Markets.

Click here for opening hours. 

The Old Bus markets are one of the best craft markets in Australia. 

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EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY

No.1: Sprout Cafe Arboretum and Conservatory Restaurant

Try the food and drinks at Sprout Cafe in the Village Centre at the National Arboretum . 

Café food available everyday 9am – 4pm, including:

  • delicious snacks
  • great coffee
  • lunches, and
  • picnic food

No need to book.

Please note: indoor seating in the Village Centre is reserved for cafe patrons only.

The Conservatory Restaurant serves:

  • lunch every day from 12-2pm, and
  • breakfast on Saturday & Sunday from 8am-11am.

Bookings recommended on 02 6130 0173 or [email protected].

The restaurant serves contemporary Australian cuisine showcasing fine local produce.

BYO Picnic

Visitors are welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks and eat outdoors in the forests or on the Village Centre decks.

kid friendly cafe canberra - weston park cafe interior with train cubicles pic

No.2: Station Stop Cafe at Yarralumla Play Station

Finish your adventure with afternoon tea at this Yarralumla cafe “Weston Park Station Stop cafe”.  

The cool Railway-themed cafe on site is super child-friendly. Weston Park cafe is a cosy retreat near all the Yarralumla activities. 

Do dine in on one of the adorable train seat cubicles! 

(The window booths have handmade wooden tables)

Or take your goodies, and the kids outside. 

kid friendly cafe canberra - weston park cafe children's play area pic

The Weston Railway Station Stop Cafe at Yarralumla Play Station has:

  • a play area with an old-school cash register for the kids to enjoy
  • super cool retro train seating, and
  • train-travel inspired props to make the place even more authentic.

Plus, there’s a children’s eating area with child size picnic tables

Yet, it’s a cafe that can handle a few bumps, knocks and squeals from excitable children and toddlers.

It’s our kind of family place to dine.

Down to earth, with friendly staff, good wholesome food, and a quaint place to eat it.

weston park cafe outdoor seating pic

Best Kid Friendly Cafe Canberra!

There’s shaded picnic tables right outside the Weston Park, Canberra cafe, another reason nit’s one of the best family friendly cafes.

Outdoor seating is a fabulous option for families when the kids are being a noisy bunch, and you don’t fancy shusshing them too often, or want them to eat the ice cream outside, just in case of spills

Or round them up on a picnic rug at the park across the road.

yarralumla railway stop cafe ordering station pic

Menu at Station Stop Cafe Weston Park Canberra

While some menu items come and go, you are likely to find such delicious things as:

  • chipotle chicken wings (yum!)
  • fish goujons coated in crunchy breadcrumbs and chips (goujons are a fried strip of fish or meat)
  • pancakes with banana, maple syrup, and coconut
  • beef burger and chips
  • the old favourite – bacon and egg burgers

Adults and kids alike will froth over their milkshake menu.

There’s good coffee to go too, if you don’t want to sit and eat.

For afters, there’s ice-cream, and locally made “Gelato Mio” made from 100% natural ingredients.

Address: This Child Friendly Cafe Canberra is located at Yarralumla Play Station, 9 Pescott Lane, Yarralumla (Weston Park ACT) 2600
Telephone:  (02) 6282 2714
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here

Opening Hours: (same as Yarralumla Play Station)

  • Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 8:00am to 5:30pm
  • Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day

patissez freakshakes canberra milkshakes pic jack 800

No.3: The Fabulous Patissez Freakshake

Visit the Patissez Cafe in Griffith to try their signature Freakshake milkshake. 

These Canberra milkshakes are NOT healthy, but they are FUN.

Try the Pretzella nutty nutella shake with pretzels. 

pod playground canberra with roam the gnome pic

PLAYGROUNDS, PARKS AND NATURE

Here are the seven best playgrounds in Canberra for kids.

No.1: POD Playground Canberra Arboretum 

Families looking for fun things to do in Canberra must visit the Pod playground.

The adorable pod playground at the National Arboretum in Canberra is an award-winning playground, popular with locals and visitors alike.

The spectacular Pod Playground in Canberra at the National Arboretum was an entrant in the 2013 Melbourne Design Awards, and it’s no wonder.

We’ve NEVER seen a playground like it. (Or as beautiful)

pod playground canberra tunnels pic

This whimsical playground features giant acorns and banksia cubbies and kids love it. 

These giant acorn cubbies hover way up high in the sky on stilts, and have interconnecting net tunnels that children use to climb between the acorns.

There’s a spiral slippery dip at one end, but expect to wait a while to see your kids emerge!

pod playground canberra acorn slides pic

There’s one standalone acorn cubby for the smaller kids. 

The acorns are the perfect spot for a game of hide and seek with new friends!

pod playground ladders pic

This one has dual ringed ladders so they don’t fall, with a smaller slide.

pod playground in canberra giant scramble net pic

Giant Scramble Net & Musical Bridge

At the far end, there’s a GIANT sized net for bigger kids to scramble along.

Step across the musical bridge to get there!

pod playground at the arboretum - firemans pole pic

There’s even a fireman’s pole.

canberra's pod playground musical banksia pods with drums pic

At the café end of the playground, there is a wonderful area for toddlers with giant banksia cones, sand, and musical instruments.

The Banksia Pod drums inside this banksia hut are a hit with all ages.

pod playground canberra imaginative play houses pic

Closer to the entrance, near the Village Centre and Cafe, are the Banksia pod cones.

These are perched in a sandy zone.

BYO sand toys. 

pod playground canberra swings pic

In the middle of the kid-friendly Canberra playground, there’s two large nest swings and two toddler swings.

The Pod playground is next to the Village Centre.

Fortify yourself by grabbing a delicious takeaway coffee on your way in, as you are not going anywhere soon.

The Pod Playground at these botanical gardens in Australia is a popular attraction for families, but requires special diligence by parents.

NB: Access restrictions at Pod Canberra include:

  • no glass
  • no balls
  • no bicycles
  • no dogs or pet animals.

Roam the Gnome rates this whimsical playground in Canberra as one of the best playgrounds for Gnomes in the world!

Pod Playground at the Arboretum won over our heart.

If you are planning a family holiday to Canberra, put it on your list.

Heads up: There’sNo shade. It gets VERY hot. Bring hats and lots of sunscreen. Go early, or late afternoon to avoid the worst of the sun.

Hot tip: BYO picnic of healthy snacks & delicious road trip food.

arboretum canberra entrance road sign pic

Pod Opening Hours

The Arboretum grounds and Pod Playground are open:

  • from 6 am to 8:30 pm seven days a week during Daylight Savings Time, and
  • from 7 am to 5:30 pm seven days a week during Eastern Standard Time (Non-daylight Savings Time)

Address: Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek ACT 2611.

The National Arboretum Canberra is located six kilometres from the centre of Canberra, at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin.

Telephone:  Information desk on 02 6207 8484, Monday to Sunday, 9am – 4pm.
Email:  [email protected]
Website:  Click here

boundless all abilities playground overview pic

No.2: Boundless Playground Canberra

Boundless in Kings Park is Canberra’s FIRST All-Abilities playground, removing the visible barriers to entry in play for children with disability. 

It’s also Canberra’s largest playground for kids and little ones, with three separate play areas, plus water play, and more.

There’s toilets on site, and plenty of space for a picnic.

boundless-playground-boat-play-pic

Do not visit this playground on a scorching hot day.

It’s dreadful.

But on a pleasant cool day with breezes, this is one of Canberra’s best playgrounds. 

It’s a very popular all abilities playground with three separate zones, with all kinds of fun activities for kids of all ages in Canberra. 

weston park adventure playground slide pic

No.3: Weston Park Playground (opposite Yarralumla Play Station) 

This is a unique playground with a hand-crafted feel.

swings at yarralumla weston park playground area pic

This Yarralumla playground has: 

  • swings
  • a cool water feature
  • a water pump
  • a spinner seat
  • a kids slide, and more.
  • a separate zone with swings, and a giant spiderweb climbing frame
  • a sand digger in its’ own sand pit

ship playground for kids at yarralumla playground pic

Younger kids love the toddler sized ‘boat’ themed play area, with hands-on games, and knobs to twist and turn.

Visiting the Yarralumla water park playground is a chance to chat to locals too. 

They are a friendly bunch. 

weston park adventure playground spinner toy pic

This balancing platform is a ingenious idea to help children develop their motor skills and vestibular systems, that help with balance and equilibrium. 

Warning! 

It’s harder than it looks. 

Check out the cool murals too. 

weston park adventure playground in canberra musical instruments

The water play area at the playground is a little left of centre.

It’s shaped in a semi-circle, with one higher trough about 30cm in width filled with flowing water. 

There’s a couple of  tactile elements here, including a set of musical ‘instruments’ hanging above this trough.

Whether or not they are supposed to, lots of kids climb up and walk along this narrow trough, even though the gap for their feet is so narrow between the concrete walls that they can only go foot by foot.

weston park adventure playground water course walk pic

Tactile water course

Kids LOVE the water play track, and to get their feet wet.

Down below, there’s a ramp that leads up to a second water course area. This area is segmented into sections, and is filled with smooth river stones for the children to navigate.

There’s a standing platform half way along.

Right at the end is a low concrete square filled with water – I can only assume this is a foot washing zone.

On ground level, there’s a nature-style wading pool filled with more river stones.

weston park adventure playground for kids water pump pic

The best thing about it is the hands-on water pump for kids.

The line up for a turn can get crazy busy.

There’s play equipment here for young and old. 

Do bring a change of clothes, and a towel. 

Kids WILL get wet. 

weston park adventure playground digger in the sandpit pic

 

yarralumla park in canberra pic

Things to do in Yarralumla Park with kids

This one is a good one to include in a whole day adventure as:

  • it’s just across the road from Yarralumla Play Station (mentioned above)
  • there’s the Yarralumla nature play area for kids within walking distance, AND

Yarralumla Park Canberra pathways pic

It’s the last chance for kids to burn off any extra energy.

weston park log seats pic

Take a seat on one of the log chairs under the Weeping Willows while the kids enjoy a day of outdoor adventure and fun.

Kids can:

  • practice parkour-style bouldering and acrobatics up and down the rock mountain!
  • practice leapfrogging from rock, to boulder, to log, to pathway
  • play hide and sick amongst the trees
  • dip their toes in the ‘waterfall’
  • climb up the running waterfall on hot days

Yarralumla Park nature play area with roam the gnome pic

This is a top spot for a little imaginative nature play amongst the big boulders and manmade rock waterfall.

Canberra Yarralumla Park boulders pic

Yes, there’s a bike path cycle track running throughout the park. There’s room to lock your bikes up while you play.

Yarralumla Park Canberra duck pond pic

Yarralumla Park Duck Pond

Feed the ducks who swim on the pond.

Or sail paper boats or seedpod boats.

As always, keep a very close eye on children under 5 near any water source. 

Weston Park Yarralumla Canberra for kids pic

Swimming at Yarralumla Park

When the weather’s hot, and the air is dry, and you need to escape the pressure cooker of a Canberra summer time, head straight to Weston Park Yarralumla for a refreshing dip in the waters of Weston Park.

There’s a swimming enclosure close by, on the lake too, with a designated area for small kids inside a swimming enclosure to the right. 

Weston Park Yarralumla Canberra swimming spot pic

It’s a top spot to cool off on a blisteringly hot Canberra day. 

It’s not the most beautiful of swimming enclosures, but on a hot day in Canberra, swimming here more than suffices. 

Weston Park is shaded by large gums and is a scene straight out of Waltzing Matilda.

You can just imagine yourself as a billy-toting bushranger setting up camp in this typically Australian bush setting.

Weston Park Yarralumla is one of the best picnic spots in Canberra, and perfect for a day out for families and young kids.

There’s picnic tables randomly set up under trees, as well as shade huts with picnic tables. 

Bonus tip: If you want to find where to see Kangaroos in Canberra, Yarralumla park is the place to go.

There’s a mob of kangaroos that calls this park home.

It’s common practice for locals bring their Australian and overseas guests here to see them. 

You are almost guaranteed a sighting.

The best bet to see kangaroos in the wild in Canberra here is to head to the Royal Canberra Golf course, or take a slow drive around Weston Park.

Kangaroos can often be seen resting under the trees.

Remember that kangaroos are wild animals, so keep your distance, especially if you have small children in tow.

Weston Park Canberra Opening Hours

  • Gates allow access between 7am and 10pm during daylight saving,
  • Gates allow access between 7am until 8pm during other months

Address: Weston Park, Weston Park Rd, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Telephone: 132281 (Canberra Connect)
Website: Click here 
Entry Fees: Free

Yarralumla Nursery

Plant lovers will adore the Heritage plant nursery just down the road. This is Canberra’s premier garden centre, and worth a wander if you love plants. 

Weston Park Yarralumla Canberra signboard pic

How to get to Weston Park in Canberra

By Bus:

  • The Bus No. 315 and Bus No. 1 stop at Weston Park Yarralumla Canberra.
  • The Moovit App can guide you there.

By Car (or Taxi/Uber):

  • 6.6km via Commonwealth Ave/A23 and Alexandrina Drive (9 minutes from the CBD), or
  • 10km via Commonwealth Ave (11 minutes from the CBD)

Free on-street parking around the park grounds.

black mountain peninsula playground canberra overview pic

No.4: Black Mountain Peninsula Playground 

Black Mountain Peninsula is surprisingly close to the CBD, yet once you are here, you could be deep in the Australian bush. 

The landscape is joyous, there’s swimming and boating opportunities, and the playground has LOTS of room to run.

Plus views of Telstra Tower beyond in this 22 hectare foreshore parkland.

It’s one of Canberra’s best nature playgrounds for kids.

Follow the directions below.

BYO BBQ meats, and enjoy a traditional sausage sandwich with tomato sauce for lunch! 

black mountain peninsula playground act pic

Nature Play at Black Mountain Peninsula Playground

There’s three play zones at Black Mountain playground.

Each one has different play equipment to:

  • help develop motor skills
  • test balance and coordination
  • challenge fitness
  • encourage rest

The first one you come to – Zone 1 – under cream-coloured shade sails, is full of:

  • spinning poles
  • spinning seats
  • raised timber stands

black mountain peninsula playground canberra slide pic

Rocker slides

The boys loved these two mirror-image standing slides.

The ones where you stand on a small platform like a skateboard, and rock from side to side, higher and higher.

The one intriguing factor are the “donut rings” equipment (seen at the rear of the picture at top).

Are they musical instruments, drums, or a sculptural addition?

black mountain peninsula playground canberra seesaw and fort pic

Black Mountain Playground – Zone 2

Next to zone one is a sandstone brick wall feature that separates the electric BBQS and concrete picnic tables from the play zone. Undercover picnic tables are available also.

Zone 2 has a rainbow coloured fort, with:

  • net-covered tunnel ladders
  • a spider web climbing frame
  • a bridge and
  • a slide.

There’s a modern see-saw in front.

black mountain peninsula playground canberra swings pic

Black Mountain Peninsula Canberra – Zone 3 & Bike Paths 

Zone 3 has swings.

These are not undercover. 

There is also a wheelchair-accessible Liberty Swing at the park.

Bring your bikes and scooters – there’s a multi-purpose path leading you on a trek around the whole peninsula.

black mountain peninsula playground in canberra grounds pic

Black Mountain Peninsula Swimming

BYO swimmers and towels as there’s a kid-friendly swimming area, paddling, and splashing opportunities in a shallow fenced enclosure at this park that sits along the north western side of Lake Burley Griffin.

There’s definitely lots of things to do in Canberra with kids at this nature park here.

Black Mountain Peninsula Boat Ramp

Black Mountain Peninsula, in the suburb of Acton, has a designated boat ramp on Lake Burley Griffin.
 
Enjoy water-based recreation including:
  • canoeing
  • rowing, and
  • sailing with non-motorised craft.

There’s a canoe entry point, and you can fish too.

The Black Mountain Peninsula boat ramp is accessed off Lady Denman Drive on the north side of West Lake.
 
 
 
black mountain playground canberra twisters pic
 

Address: Garry Owen Drive, off Lady Denman Drive, Acton, Australian Capital Territory, Australia 2601
Telephone: 13 22 81
Website: Click here

Nearest takeaway coffee: No cafes close by. BYO from a cafe on the way.
Toilets: Yes including baby change table
Disability access: Yes. Liberty swing also.
Black Mountain Peninsula BBQ area: Yes, electric BBQ’s on site. (see pic below) 
No dogs allowed

Black Mountain Peninsula Opening Hours:

  • Daylight savings time: 7am – 10pm.
  • Eastern Standard Time: 7am – 8pm

Entry Fees: Free

black mountain peninsula playground canberra picnic area pic

How to get to Black Mountain Peninsula Playground 

By Taxi/Uber: Black Mountain Peninsula is a LONG 30 minute walk from the closest bus stop, so we recommend taxi or uber for public transport

By Car: 9 minutes (5km) from the Canberra CBD via Clunies Ross St

Black Mountain Peninsula Parking

Free parking can be found in front of the Black Mountain Peninsula playground on Garryowen Drive.

The Australian landscape here is everything! 

BYO BBQ supplies, or healthy & delicious gourmet picnic food, and stay a while. 

You’d never know you were close to the city at this park play area!

It’s quiet, and reminds me of Australian playgrounds of my childhood in the 1970’s.

pic - gordon playground canberra

No.5: Gordon Playground Canberra

Gordon playground in Canberra is one of the city’s best kept secrets.

Locals keep this one close to their chest.

But the secret’s out. 

Don’t miss it.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has nothing on this playground in Canberra for kids.

The leaning Point Hut Tower of Gordon Playground is a giant metallic spire that wouldn’t look out of place in Rome!

Kids cross the wire-rope swing bridge to reach this towering turret, where they can then scale ladders to reach the top platform inside.

It’s quite a feat.

Rapunzel, eat your heart out.

Revamped in 2017 with a lick of paint, and new play equipment installed, the spacious and easy-to-access Gordon Adventure Playground now tops our list of best kids parks in Canberra.

gordon playground canberra fort and climbing frames

The “blue box” playground, as the kids call it, is two distinct structures that share a “bark yard”.

Despite rumours, there’s no flying fox. 

gordon playground climbing fort pic

The lower playground area is a giant expanse of:

  • climbing walls
  • climbing nets, and
  • rope tunnels for older kids.

pic - Gordon Playground tunnel slides

The elevated fort has:

  • platforms
  • bridges
  • hands-on play equipment
  • mirrors, and
  • a steep tunnel slide.

pic - Gordon Playground swing set

A row of swings including a net swing, and an all-abilities swing.

BYO snacks AND water bottles. The kids will need regular feeding and watering. 

Gordon Playground park pic

It’s a HUGE play area, spread out over a massive area, with lots of things to climb, so be prepared to walk.

There’s a basketball court, and plenty of room to skate and scoot about too.

Gordon Playground spinning cup for kids

The original toddler playground is still in place, with refreshed bark chip flooring and bench seating for parents.

This toddler area has:

  • a spinning cup ride
  • swings
  • a fort, and
  • a digger excavator in the sand zone.

gordon playground magic circle spiral pic

Close to here, you’ll find the “Magic Circle” walking spiral ring with log seating in the centre.

pic - Gordon Playground magic spiral

This is a fun place for imaginative play.

pic - Gordon Playground equipment

Beyond the blue playground and the fields, there is a parkour area with interesting climbing equipment.

pic - Gordon Playground monkey bars

Kids love this parkour zone, with:

  • a modern and challenging monkey bar adaptation, laid out in a semi circle
  • a diagonal climbing frame
  • other climbable construction

pic - Gordon Playground rope ladder

Try your luck on this A frame ladder structure. 

Challenge the kids to a race, up and over. 

pic - Gordon Playground giant swings

Two monumental swings with arcs that take kids far and wide!

pic - Gordon Playground giant slide view from bottom

One enormous monster slide goes down the back of a hill.

Hot tip: The slide gets VERY hot on sunny days! Check the temperature of the metal BEFORE you let the kids go down.

pic - Gordon Playground picnic area

Gordon Playground BBQ areas

You’ll spot multiple BBQ areas, and undercover picnic huts with tables throughout Gordon Adventure Park playground as you wander through.

Take a wander down to the Point Hut Pond to see the water birds and ducks before you go.

There’s not a lot of shade, so hats and sunscreen is a must. 

The Gordon community playground should be on every parent’s itinerary of Canberra attractions for kids they want to visit.

Gordon Playground bridge pic

Located in the Point Hut district, 25 or so minutes south of the CBD, we say GO, GO, GO. 

Address: Charles Place, Gordon ACT 2906
Telephone: 13 22 81
Opening Hours: 

  • Open 24 hours.
  • Car park gates close at dusk.

Entry Fees: Free

How to get to Gordon Playground in Canberra

By Bus: We do not recommend taking the bus as there are three changes needed. Use a taxi or Uber instead.

By Car: 29km (29 minutes drive) from the Canberra CBD via Tuggeranong Parkway and Drakeford Drive

Parking: Plenty of free parking onsite, both at corner of Scully Street and McGilvray Close, Gordon and further along

 

fadden pines playground canberra rainbow forts pic

No.6: Fadden Pines Canberra Playground for Kids

The best thing here is the RAINBOW fort!

The geometric maze features four corner turrets, one each in:

  • red
  • green
  • blue, and
  • red.

fadden pines playground in canberra rainbow fort pic

It’s an eye-catching sight from a distance, and even more so close up.

Bigger kids can:

  • clamber up and down
  • across swing bridges
  • through nets
  • down a peep hole exit, or
  • take off via the slide.

fadden pines playground canberra playground equipment pic

More playground equipment at Fadden Pines 

25 metres away, across luscious grass, another play structure beckons. 

The 3D hexagon balls are a makeshift rock-climbing wall, plus there’s a bouncy rocker to sway.

There’s also a set of super dooper fun balancing swings in this area. 

(These look similar to an retro weighing scale).

fadden pines playground canberra toddler fort pic

The flag-flying climbing structure for the older kids might be a bit big for them, but there’s a whole other fort/cubby/climbing frame JUST FOR THEM, complete with slides and a pair of swings.

fadden pines playground sign pic

Fadden Pines Skatepark

There’s also a skate park nearby.

Address: Fadden Pines, Fadden ACT 2904
Telephone: 132281
Website: Click here
Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Entry Fees: Free

How to get to Fadden Pines playground

By Bus:

By Car: 22 minutes (22 km) from the Canberra CBD via Monaro Highway or via Yamba Drive.

Parking: Free parking at park. Entry via Budgen Avenue.

kambah adventure playground canberra carousel wheel pic

No.7: Kambah Adventure Playground Canberra

Many Canberra playgrounds are surrounded by the magical Australian bush landscape and this one is no different.

kambah adventure playground canberra toddler rocker pic

Kambah playground gives a nod to Australian culture by incorporating some distinctive elements, including kangaroo rockers for toddlers. It’s the first time we’ve seen one of these things. 

A boulder-style rock climbing wall was the first thing Jack spotted as he raced toward this playground and for the next 45 minutes, he stayed put right there. 

Climbing up, around, and side-to-side, the challenge of finding foot holds and hand grips had him deeply engrossed in physical play until he was worn out.

The kid-friendly rock climbing wall is the hot attraction at this Canberra playground.

kambah playground equipment pic

Primary-aged kids have a sky-high pyramid web to challenge their strength and dexterity.

kambah adventure playground canberra flying fox pic

Giant Zipline at Kambah playground

And a monstrous zip line. (Big kids love large flying foxes like this!)

There’s also a half-pipe for cool skaters and BMX riders.

All of this surrounded by juicy green grass for as far as the eye can see.

kambah playground dual slides pic

The dual-slides are fun too.

kambah adventure playground canberra fort for kids pic 

Little kids will love the red and yellow fort with bridges and platforms and the junior flying fox for toddlers

kambah adventure playground canberra all abilities swing pic

Kambah Park has an all-abilities swing on site too, another reason it’s the best in the area. 

kambah adventure playground sign pic

Address: Kambah District Park is accessible from Springbett Street in Kambah
Telephone: 132281
Website: Click here
Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Entry Fees: Free

Toilets: Yes
Disability access:

  • To gain entry to the wheelchair accessible Liberty swing, contact the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre on 6205 0044 to organise a temporary key on presentation of a deposit ($10) and proof of disability.
  • They are open at Regatta Point, Barrine Drive, Parkes ACT 2600 on Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm; Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 9:00am – 4:00pm. Closed Christmas Day.

How to get to Kambah Adventure Playground

By Bus:

  • The bus journey to this Canberra adventure playground requires a change of buses midway.
  • Get bus numbers and details here
  • Disembark at O’Halloran Cct after Springbett St, and walk 5 minutes to park.

By Car: 18 minutes drive from Canberra CBD via Tuggeranong Parkway. (20 km)

Parking at Kambah Adventure Park: Plenty of on and off street parking nearby in the park grounds. 

arboretum nature play track 800

Nature Play at Canberra Arboretum 

When the Pod playground is a bit too busy for your liking, or the kids are worn out and need a bit of quiet time before you head home, pop down to the Nature Play hub at the Himalayan Cedar Forest. 

It was a surprise find, thanks to friends who led the way, and super cool.

arboretum canberra nature forest pic

Bikes are allowed on certain trails and theres free electric barbeques are available (Forest 11).

  • Dogs on leads are permitted in the Arboretum during normal opening hours.
  • Dogs, other than assistance animals, are not allowed in buildings or the Pod Playground.
  • Dog owners are expected to carry bags and clean up after their dogs. No disposal bins or bag dispensers are provided, consistent with the policy across Canberra’s urban parks and open areas

ACT_Gov_Arboretum_Logo-Lockup

National Arboretum Opening Hours

The Village Centre, National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, Sprout Cafe and The Curatoreum shop are open from 9 am to 4 pm seven days a week.

The National Arboretum is closed Christmas Day, 25th December.

Entry Fees: Entry to the Canberra Arboretum is free-of-charge. Paid parking applies in some areas. See below for details.

How to get to the Canberra Arboretum 

Explore the Arboretum by car, bus, bike, horseback, or on foot.

The Arboretum is about trees and forests, and there’s nothing like getting outdoors and seeing the trees, landscapes and views.

By Bus:

  • ACTION Buses leave from Platform 10 at the City Bus Station and stop at the Arboretum five times per day, seven days a week.
  • Buses take 21 minutes to reach to Arboretum’s Visitors Centre from the city.
  • For timetables, see ACTION Bus Routes 81 on weekdays and 981 on weekends.

By Car: Click here to add your location and get google map directions

Canberra Arboretum Parking:

  • General parking is available in the main car park and requires payment for parking between 9am and 4pm, 7 days a week.
  • Rates are $2.10 per hour to a maximum of $7.80 per day.
  • The parking meters accept coins or credit card.
  • All parking fees are returned to the Arboretum.

If the main car park is full, the unsealed-surface overflow car park may be open and is free-of-charge.

Disability access to the Pod Playground Canberra:

There are 11 designated free disability parking spaces in the top tier of the main car park next to the Village Centre (sealed surface). Cars displaying a valid disabled parking voucher park free-of-charge.

MORE of the Best Parks in Canberra for Kids

Check out:

Farrer Playground & Nature Trail

The Farrer nature play and adventure trail is a natural timber fort, with pipes to crawl through, teepees, swings, and more.

If the kids love nature play, this will be a hit.  Find it at 113 Lambrigg St, Farrer. 

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve 

Head to Paddys River Road is a much loved locals park in Canberra, with tonnes of wildlife like kangaroos and emus, a raised boardwalk to wander and signed bushwalks.  

John Knight Memorial Park & the Rainbow Serpent playground 

Drive to Townsend Place, off Aikman Drive, Belconnen Way, Canberra. There’s a giant slide, floating wooden lily pads to skip across, and a low lying rocky waterfall that the kids love to tackle and climb. 

Moncrieff Playground Community Recreation Park 

Brightly coloured in yellow and orange, this is Canberra’s newest!  STOP IN for a visit at Bon Scott Cres, Moncrieff.  

BYO bikes to ride the bike track, and be prepared to climb and slide for hours!

Yunggaballi Park 

Another giant climbing and slide structure nearby.

Click here for directions.

canberra war memorial australia last post pic

ART GALLERIES, MUSEUMS, AND LIBRARIES 

No.1: Australian War Memorial 

Surprisingly, the Australian War Memorial is one of the best activities for kids in Canberra.

discovery zone canberra war memorial australia flags pic

Discovery Zone Canberra

There’s a dedicated gallery for kids called the Discovery Zone.

Kids can:

  • dress up
  • tap out morse code messages
  • play a virtual reality game
  • crawl through trench tunnels
  • explore communication systems, and
  • ‘fly’ an army helicopter too.

dinosaur park in canberra pic

No.2: National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra

Imagine a front yard full of enormous dinosaurs in an aptly named DINOSAUR GARDEN.

Dinosaurs to hide behind, dinosaurs to climb in for your own Jurassic Park style photo opportunity, life-size dinosaurs to wow the kids.

Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, Triceratops and Australian dinosaurs too.

Plus, the head of Godzilla? 

The National Dinosaur Museum Canberra is Australia’s largest permanent display of prehistoric specimens, located in Gold Creek Village near Canberra.

There are SO many hands-on activities for kids here, including a dinosaur walk-through, places to play, dinosaur puzzles, colouring in activities, and a special Junior Hunt kit with a prize at the end once it’s completed.

There’s a cool Dinosaur shop selling all kinds of souvenirs & gifts from “Prehistoric” times.

Check out their displays of amethyst caves too.

Dinosaur mad kids will be in their element.

We’ve never seen so many dinosaur statues, sculptures and life-size replicas in one museum before. 

It’s one of the best Canberra tourist attractions – a must do for dino-loving kids. 

fossil rubbing pic

The Dinosaur Museum Canberra Family Lounge Activities

Start downstairs in the Dinosaur Activity Centre Family Lounge room where kids can:

  • play with dinosaur puzzles
  • watch dinosaur documentaries while lazing in beanbags
  • read dinosaur books
  • jump out of a giant dinosaur egg, and scare their brother or sister
  • build dinosaur skeletons
  • colour in dinosaur pictures
  • play with dinosaur figurines and toys, and
  • make fossil rubbings of dinosaurs

The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra foyer pic

The Australian Dinosaur Museum Canberra Exhibits 

The National Dinosaur Museum is not just about Dinosaurs.

The exhibitions cover the history of life on this planet with fossils from 700 million-year-old marine fauna through to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

The exhibitions are ordered chronologically and are easy to follow.

giant shark jaw pic

You can hire Info Wands at the front desk.

Use these to scan the Infodots on different displays to hear a short audio presentation about the things on show.

Keep the kids engaged by first collecting a Junior Hunt kit at the front desk when you pay admission.

Kids are invited to answer some simple questions and fill them in on a laminated sheet using a whiteboard marker.

When they finish, take it back to the desk for a certificate and a real fossil to take home! Kids love it.

gallery of dinosaurs pic

Best Features include:

  • Easy to read, educational information panels.
  • Beautiful murals depicting reconstructions of environments from the prehistoric past to enhance understanding of extinct biodiversity.
  • Dinosaurs and other fossils not on display anywhere else in the world.

Dinosaur Museum Canberra children's activity room

Free School Holiday Events

Look out for free kids activities during the holidays.

They may include: 

Dinosaur Hunt

The Dinosaur Hunt where visitors can search the displays for answers to our prehistoric quiz and win a real fossil to take home

Dinosaur Museum Canberra mammoth pic

Guided Tours at the Dinosaur Museum

Guided tours where expert guides take families through the exhibition and answer all those sticky questions and learn more.

Tours run at:

  • 11am
  • 2pm, and
  • 3pm.

The tours are free with admission and require no bookings, just show up!

Paint a Dinosaur Egg

 Staff do a short presentation on the different shapes dinosaur eggs came in, then children are given their own egg to decorate with water-based paints.

National Museum of Dinosaurs Canberra giant eggs pic

It’s is a little run down, and not as slick or shiny as some other premier tourist attractions in Canberra, but the bonus family lounge of activities makes it worth the entry price.

We stayed for hours.

Dinosaur Museum of Canberra replicas pic

Dinosaur Museum Canberra Address: The Australian Dinosaur Museum (sometimes called the Gold Creek Dinosaur Museum) is located in Gold Creek Village at 6 Gold Creek Road , Nicholls, ACT 2913

Telephone: (02) 6230 2655
Website: Click here

Dinosaur Museum Canberra Opening hours

  • Open 7 days a week from 10am –5pm.
  • Last admissions are at 4:30pm.
  • Closed Christmas Day.

Dinosaur Museum Canberra dinosaur hunt pic

Entry Fee for Dinosaur Park

The current Dinosaur park entry prices are: 

  • Adults: $18
  • Children: $11
  • Family:$50 (Extra Child $5)
  • Concession:$13
  • Children 3 years and under: FREE! 

Buy Dinosaur Museum Canberra tickets at the door. 

children's activities at the national Dinosaur Museum Canberra pic

How to get to the Dinosaur Museum Canberra

By Car: 15 minutes (12 km) from Canberra’s CBD via Northbourne Ave/A23 and Barton Hwy/A25

By Bus: Approximately 50 minutes by bus with one change. Click here for bus details.

Looking for Dinosaur museum directions? Click here and choose your starting point. 

Parking at the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra

There’s plenty of free parking onsite.

museum of australian democracy pic PM copy

No.3: Museum of Australian Democracy

The PLAY UP exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra has both hands-on AND screen based activities for kids, to help them explore the idea of democracy. 

Pick up a Family Activity Pack from the front desk, and be led around the museum on one of three different ‘journeys’ to find important pieces of information from Australia history. 

The MOAD is located at Old Parliament House. 

government house canberra lookout with building in view pic

No.4: Government House Lookout

Visit the Government House lookout to see the elegant building that is home to Australia’s Governor General. 

Photo- The National Museum Canberra Kspace game

No.5: KSpace at the National Museum Canberra

Once you’ve visited all the other attractions in Canberra for kids, head to the National Museum of Canberra.

KSpace is the dedicated kids gallery on the lower floor.

There’s a three-stage computer animated experience where kids get to design a robot, then take this robot on an adventure somewhere in Australia. 

It’s cool, but best for kids over 7. 

ANIMALS, ZOOS AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES

farm friends at yarralumla play station via fb

Image credit: Yarralumla Play Station

No.1: Yarralumla Park Animals – ‘Farm Friends’

Home to a Farm Yard full of friendly farm animals.

Say hi to the alpacas, the sheep, the goats & the chickens. 

They’d love to see you too!

WATER ADVENTURES

More to come… 

pod playground canberra entranceway pic

AWESOME EVENTS, FESTIVALS & FUN DAY TOURS 

No.1: National Arboretum Canberra Events

Take advantage of the free events such as introductory talks and guided walks that happen daily.

Click here for details.

No.2: Floriade

You’ll find fun things to do in Canberra all year round.

Our top picks include the fabulous Floriade, Australia’s biggest celebration of Spring, held in September/October each year.

Put it on your bucket list. 

old parliament house prime ministers wall by andy tyler

Image credit: Andy Tyler via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0 

N0.3:Whats on in Canberra this weekend?

Check out the Events Guide to Canberra here 

Find out about all the current events in Canberra this weekend, and next so you can plan your Canberra itinerary. 

No.4: Canberra Events during Canberra School Holidays 

Eventbrite is the best website for finding out about the best Canberra school holiday events, and other events in Canberra for kids and families, all year round. 

The National Zoo and Cockington Green Gardens are two popular attractions with regular school holiday activities in Canberra for children. 

There’s so many free things to do in Canberra school holidays. You’ll be surprised! 

Check it out here

No.5: Best Canberra Day Tours

Take a HOT AIR BALLOON flight over Canberra with kids

Travelling with teens? Book a 4.5 Hour Guided Tour of Parliament House including High Tea !

discovery zone canberra war memorial australia entrance steps pic

WHERE TO STAY IN CANBERRA WITH KIDS

Looking for family accommodation in Canberra?

If you are searching for where to stay in Canberra with kids, check out these five hotels and apartments.

Novotel Canberra

The best thing about the Novotel in Canberra is the indoor pool.

Plus there’s free wifi, and it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from the train station.

Find it at 65 Northbourne Ave in the city centre.

Check latest prices on Booking.com

Pacific Suites Canberra

Another family apartment hotel, just up the road from the Novotel.

This one has an outdoor pool, and free wifi too. 

Find it at 100 Northbourne Ave, Braddon. 

Check latest prices on Booking.com

Rydges Capital Hill 

You can’t go wrong staying at a Rydges Hotel. 

This stylish hotel in Canberra has an indoor pool, plus it’s smack bang in the centre of the CBD so you can walk everywhere.

Find it at corner of Canberra Ave and National Circuit, Forrest.

Check latest prices on Booking.com

QT Canberra

We LOVE QT hotels, so this would be our first choice for fabulous style and quirky design.

But it’s the fact you can hire bikes to get around, and enjoy a spectacular buffet breakfast that gets us every time. 

Find it at London Circuit, in Canberra. 

Check latest prices on Booking.com

Ibis Styles Canberra Eaglehawk 

We’ve never ever had a problem with an Ibis Styles hotel (and we’ve stayed in them in Bali, and Europe) 

There’s an outdoor pool, AND a playground! 

This colourful, vibrant hotel in Canberra is near the Australian War Memorial, and is a bit out of the way, so you need a car, but a fab family hotel at a budget price. 

Find it at 1222 Federal Highway Service Road, Sutton. 

Check latest prices on Booking.com

PIN best things to do in canberra with kids sig

LOOKING FOR MORE FUN CITIES TO VISIT WITH KIDS?

Click the links in blue below for our Ultimate Family Travel Guides.


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