Sick of the same old weekend routine? It’s time to find a new watering hole….
Great family experiences including nature, recreation, entertainment and food can all be found in the city centre.
To prove it we’ve compiled a list of activities to inspire you to spend more than a few hours exploring the area.
Get back to nature in Haig Park
Nestled in the heart of Braddon, Haig Park has become a destination to escape the city bustle and connect with nature.
This heritage-listed park was initially established in the 1920s as an east-west shelter break to protect the surrounding suburbs from winds and dust.
It contains neat rows of more than 2,330 exotic trees and is a great place to explore as it offers picnic areas, walking tracks, a nature playground and a BMX track to keep the kids busy.
It is also a popular haunt for the local doggos, so perfect for when visiting Canberra with your furry friend.
Want even more reason to visit? You can visit the Braddon Farmers Markets there each Sunday from 8 am.
Make a splash at the Civic or Dickson pools
Can’t make it to the beach for the holidays? Canberra has some pretty special public pools available to help you keep cool over the summer.
Dickson Aquatic Centre pool is a great spot to swim, play and relax with the family, offering a range of pools, splash park and barbecue facilities.
It is also nestled among some big shady trees and features a generous lawn that’s great for picnics and lazing about with a book.
Located in the city centre itself is Canberra Olympic Pool, with a large indoor pool that is a great place for a sun-safe swim.
Wander the NewActon art trail
Wander through the art trail in NewActon. This place is fantastic to explore with the family and is full of hidden, tree-lined trails and laneways with plenty of opportunities for nature play along the way.
The artworks are scattered around the precinct offering exciting opportunities for discovery, wonder, and imagination.
Some of our favourites include ‘Carbon’–the giant, creature-like work created by North American artist, Steven Siegel that spreads textured tentacles across the front entrance of the Nishi building—and ‘Time Thief’—a beautiful metal bowerbird by Robin Blau that swoops into a green courtyard after a clock.
We’re sure you’ll while away the hours in this beautiful space that includes Palace Cinemas, Mocan & Green Grout, Morning Glory, Bicicletta, Rebel Rebel and for the adults, Parlour Wine Bar.
Game on at Kingpin
So much more than your average arcade, Kingpin (pictured) takes entertainment to a whole new level.
There is something for everyone—bowling, karaoke, virtual reality, and more all rolled into one convenient place in the heart of our city.
Once you have gamed your way through the joint, this wonderland also offers food to satisfy even the fussiest kid (and big kids).
Cycle or scoot down City Walk
Canberrans love their bikes with an average of 0.7 bicycles per person in the capital!
It therefore makes sense that it is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in Australia. Canberra’s city centre is a great place to experience on a bicycle with access to many off-road cycle paths and walkways.
Our favourite ride? Take a leisurely ride through City Walk and Garema Place, which is Canberra’s central retail and business precinct and longest pedestrianised public space.
There are many great places to shop, eat and enjoy, including a newly revitalised landscaped space that offers plenty of shady nooks and green lawns to stretch out in.
The place is also home to a heritage-listed merry-go-round—a colourful sight that is fun for the whole family to experience.
Pick a flick
A family outing to the movies is always a great way to escape the scorching summer heat! The city centre offers two fantastic cinemas – Dendy Canberra and Palace Electric – both with fun films for the whole family to enjoy.
Dendy Cinema is conveniently located in the Canberra Centre meaning you can pair your movie with a shopping expedition or a meal. The cinema plays all the good blockbusters and independent films and stocks all your favourite treats too.
The Palace Electric Cinema is located in NewActon in the stunning Nishi Building and they present a mix of international and local art-house films, blockbusters, family favourites, operas and special events, as well as film festivals.
There really is a film for everyone in the family at these cinemas! Only dilemma—family fights over who picks the movie and the debate over the superior snack (popcorn vs choc tops).
Pizza and ice cream in Braddon
Gone are the days when fast food outlets were the primary kid-friendly restaurant options.
Today you can indulge while also making the kids happy by dining on gourmet pizza that would make even the most highbrow foodie’s mouth water.
For some classic woodfired pizza treats (think Napolitano, Margherita and Melanzane) head to Pizza Gusto and an enjoy alfresco in their courtyard or pick up takeaway to enjoy in nearby Haig Park.
Alternately for a truly epic, carb-loaded flavour-explosive experience head to Grease Monkey for a full menu of Detroit, thick base styled pizzas.
Any true pizza party experience is never complete without ice-cream and Braddon is spoilt for choice. To chase your dinner head to either Frugii Dessert Laboratory or Messina.
The locally owned Frugii has a strong following, known for some wacky flavours that you would not find in your average ice-cream shop while interstate chain Messina offers a broader range.