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The Weekend Edit

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Your essential guide to what’s on in Canberra this weekend!

Every Monday for more than seven years, we’ve published This Week in The Can, our comprehensive guide to everything happening around the city this week – but sometimes it’s just too epic to get through!

That’s why each Friday we publish our Weekend Edit…Here are the things you shouldn’t miss!


Join the National Museum of Australia for a look at the Romans at home with Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Minchin from the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University.

What was life like in a Roman household? How did the ancient Romans live their everyday lives? Rome Up Late will use archaeological evidence and ancient texts to look at housing, heating and lighting, water supply, diet and cuisine, and family composition (including slaves).

  • Rome exhibition open 5–8.30 pm
  • Gandel Atrium Bar, 5–8 pm
  • The Romans at home with Elizabeth Minchin, 6.30 – 7.30 pm
  • Garden of Australian Dreams – 6–9.30 pm
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (rated PG) screening from 8.30 pm

Happening Friday 18 January from 5-9.30 pm at the National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton.

Strictly 18+. See the website for tickets and more information.


Join host Osher Günsberg for a summer party in the National Gallery of Australia’s spectacular Australian Gardens.

Enjoy a picnic for this enchanting garden party with friends, food, entertainment, and love advice from the country’s resident romance expert.

Experiences and prizes to be won on the night! Ticket prices include a Traditional or Posh picnic for one and entry to Love & Desire. Exhibition open to 10 pm for ticket holders.

Happening Saturday 19 January from 6 pm – 9 pm at the National Gallery of Australia, Parkes.

See the website for more information.


The first Latin American Festival in Canberra is almost here.

Grab a picnic rug, bring your family and friends, and enjoy a super friendly day at Glebe Park!

Salsa suelta, samba and zumba on the grass from 12 pm midday and be entertained by the best of Canberra Latin-influenced bands, traditional folkloric performance groups and DJ’s!

Over ten delicious Latin inspired food stalls will also be there to sample. Fun activities across the park will include jumping castles and inflatable slides, as well as traditional Latin American games.

This event is made possible with support from the ACT Government under the City Renewal Authority’s City Grants program.

Happening Saturday 19 January from 12 pm – 6 pm in Glebe Park, City.

See Facebook for more information.


Credit: Jeff Busby.

Designed as a perfect school holiday activity, The Storytime Ballet series has been expertly crafted for ballet’s youngest audience members aged three years old and up.

With a performance duration of just under an hour, this live and interactive production features a narrator to guide the audience through the story. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their favourite ballet-inspired outfits and they can also dance along with the performers.

Storytime Ballet: Coppélia is a sparkling tale of magic and mischief set to the wonderful Léo Delibes score, especially recorded for this production by Orchestra Victoria.

This visually spectacular production features glorious recreations of the original sets and includes 15 Kristian Fredrikson costumes from the mainstage production.

Coppélia will transport audiences from the everyday to a magical world. This spectacular production, set to Léo Delibes’ cheery score, is perfect for the whole family. Audiences will meet the lovers Swanilda and Franz, the mysterious Dr Coppelius, and his daughter, who is not what she seems. Swanilda must rescue Franz from the magician’s lair – with the help of some fancy footwork. Bursting with sorcery and masquerade, romance and high jinks, this is the funniest, sunniest ballet audiences will see in 2018.

Happening from 17 – 19 January at Canberra Theatre Centre.

See the website for more information.


Join the Museum of Australian Democracy these school holidays for a creative drawing workshop inspired by the bravery of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.

Malala stood up for what she thought was right – education for all – and proved that everyone has the power to fight for change.

Create your own masterpiece in this artist-led workshop using a variety of different drawing techniques. Suitable for beginners and up.

Happening 21-25 January from 10 am-12 pm at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. Cost: $10. Ages: 8-15 years

Find out more at

The Antarctica Experience: A Virtual Reality Adventure

Antarctica as you’ve never seen it before

Travel to Antarctica using the latest 360-degree virtual reality technology and follow in the footsteps of the scientists researching this mysterious continent.

Explore Antarctica from a helicopter cockpit; cruise through icy waters to meet a penguin colony; visit Davis Station and learn about daily life in these harsh conditions; and marvel at the spectacular Southern Lights.

An immersive theatre experience only at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.

Happening until 26 June 2019 at the National Museum of Australia, Acton.

For tickets and session times visit

Love and Desire Pre-Raphaelite Masterpiece from the Tate

Love and Desire NGA John Everett Millais Ophelia 1851-2 oil paint on canvas Tate collection presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894 © Tate.

Discover a stunning world of Love & Desire as the Tate’s pre-Raphaelite masterpieces come to Australia for this Summer’s most romantic exhibition.

Fall in love with John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott, as the Tate’s most visited works of art leave the gallery together for the first time.

Experience the breathtaking beauty of brilliant colour, meticulous detail and exquisite layering in paintings inspired by the great love stories of history and literature.

Happening until 28 April 2019 at The National Gallery of Australia, Parkes from 10 am.

For more information visit National Gallery of Australia.


Ickle Pickle Productions presents Once Upon a Mattress at the Belconnen Theatre in the January school holidays.

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, and suitable for the all ages, Once Upon a Mattress is the perfect school holiday entertainment for the whole family.

Showing at Belconnen Theatre until 24 January 2019.

All tickets $24, available online from


This summer, Canberra’s first rooftop bar has transformed into a tropical retreat, offering guests an early afternoon happy hour, speciality cocktails, summer snacks, live music and an ambience that promises to cool things right down.

With local performers lifting the vibe from 1 pm – 4 pm every Saturday and Sunday, this incredible Braddon bar has your weekend plans covered.

Grab a cocktail pitcher and some snacks, capture your photo amongst the palm leaves and soak up the sun from the fully enclosed rooftop.

Happening every Saturday from 1 – 4 pm at The Howling Moon, The Rex Hotel.

See the website for more information.


All roads lead to Rome at the National Museum of Australia (NMA)!

Well, at least some will lead to their latest exhibition Rome: City and Empire. Join them these school holidays for activities inspired by Ancient Rome.

WHEN IN ROME …                                              

Dress up in a toga or stoa, make a Roman laurel wreath and help complete a Roman bathhouse mosaic.

10 am–1 pm weekdays, 14 – 18 January 2019 and 21 – 25 January 2019. All ages, children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: Free-$5. Bookings not required but places are limited. See the website for more information.


Play, read or relax in the NMA’s Bay Window chill-out zone or try one of the self-facilitated activities inspired by Ancient Rome. In the mornings watch on as artist Byrd creates a cardboard chariot.

10 am–1 pm and 2–3.30 pm weekdays, 14 – 18 January 2019 and 21 – 25 January 2019. Free. All ages, children must be accompanied by an adult. Bookings not required, places limited.

Happening  7 – 18 January 2019 at the National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton. See the website for more information.


Credit: Mark Nolan

Venture down the rabbit hole and take a tour around one of our most popular exhibitions, Behind the Lines: The year’s best political cartoons 2018.

This 30 minute tour gives you an exclusive look at the history of Behind the Lines, what it takes to make the exhibition each year, and which cartoons made it into the curator’s Top 5 this year.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the White Rabbit himself.

Daily at 11.30am until 28 January at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. $5 per person, bookings essential.

Find out more at


Escape the heat this summer and step inside the National Portrait Gallery for an array of family-fun activities. From storytelling and drawing to music and art, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Gallery.

Mums, dads, grandparents and carers can get creative with the kids inside Face Lab– a fun and quirky place where they can investigate their own or someone else’s face. It includes a cosy library and lots of drawing and craft activities. It’s on between 11.00am – 4.00pm daily until 3 February. Entry is free.

Other activities on offer this summer include:

Wiradjuri Echoes: Share Aboriginal culture and storytelling through music and dance. Children are welcome to join the dancers and learn to dance to the didgeridoo. Entry is free and is on at 2.00pm Sunday 6 January.

Headhunt!: An interactive gallery experience for visitors aged 7 – 15 years. This experience encourages kids to take the lead and explore the Gallery, look closely at the portraits and delve into artistic elements, as well as the stories of the people depicted. Headhunt! is free and is on every day between 10.00am – 4.00pm during the summer school holidays.

My many faces: A painting workshop inspired by Study of Louis Nowra by Imants Tillers in the 20/20 exhibition. Like Tillers, children will compose painting of small canvas boards to show multiple perspectives and ideas in one work. Workshops are suitable for children 6 – 12 years and is on from 12.30 – 3.00pm, Thursday 31 January. Cost is $20 per person and bookings are essential.

Portrait play: who are you?: An exploration of portraits through drawing and creative activity for children aged 4 – 8 years. This activity is held each weekday from 10.30 – 11.30am until 1 February. Bookings are essential and cost is $7 per child.

Drawn in: A unique drawing experience while listening to the electro acoustic sounds of Happy Axe – a multi-instrumentalist and musical polymath, who uses violin, musical saw, vocals and digital manipulation to build new worlds out of layers of sound. This free event is on from 1.00 – 3.00pm, Sunday 24 February.

Find out more at


Credit: Trevor Dickinson

Many Canberra suburbs are home to the distinctive concrete bus shelters designed by architect Clem Cummings in 1975. Nearly 500 shelters remain in place and over the past four years artist Trevor Dickinson has been on a quest to find and photograph every one.

Dickinson has selected over fifty of the most striking examples to draw and develop into digital prints. His collection reveals that every shelter has its own beauty and personality; and explores how these shelters shape Canberra’s unique suburban landscape.

Showing until 26 January at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, Cnr London Circuit and Civic Square, Canberra City.

See the website for more information.


If a spooky adventure is more your style, help solve the mystery of the ghostly encounters that have been experienced at Old Parliament House after the sun goes down during an After Dark: Ghost Hunters Tour.

This 75-minute torchlight tour takes you through the museum, exploring the mysterious occurrences, ghostly encounters and dastardly deeds of Old Parliament House.

Get in quick because spaces on this tour won’t last long.

$20 per personbookings essential.

For tour dates, visit


Get Curiouser and Curiouser at Behind the Lines 2018

Venture down the rabbit-hole for Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Political Cartoons 2018, with this year’s theme Curiouser and Curiouser inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Kids of all ages can visit the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland at MoAD for dress ups, games and adventures.

Step through the Looking Glass and dress up as the colourful and curious characters of Wonderland including Alice, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat or the Mad Hatter.

There is also a wall of crazy mirrors that will stretch or shrink you and games with a special Wonderland twist that will delight the whole family.

Older kids can go on a cartooning trail through the exhibition, following clues and learning about the art of political cartooning.

While the children are entertained in Wonderland, parents can grin, smirk and grimace at the cartoons that explore the unexpected twists and turns of politics in 2018.

For more information visit


DressUP: Change the World

Discover the incredible journeys of some of the world’s most inspiring people, taking the time to walk in their shoes in DressUP: Change the World.

Connect with the lives of historical and contemporary figures, including Frida Kahlo, Adam Goodes, Beyoncé, and many others, by dressing up in their most iconic outfits.

Immerse yourself in their stories of triumph as they go from ordinary people to visionary leaders who have made a difference in the world. Listen to their stories and learn about the challenges they overcame to leave their mark.

Visitors can also tell their own story in our new Zine Lounge. Whether you prefer writing or sketching, the Zine Lounge lets you carve out a space for your voice to be heard.

This engaging exhibition space provides a bold and quirky environment that will inspire young people and asks them “How will you change the world?”

Happening until 31 December 2019 at the Museum of Australian Democracy Old Parliament House.

See the website for more information.


Why did it take so long for women to get elected? And once they were there, what was their experience within the parliament?

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first women elected to Australian Federal Parliament, Breaking Through exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy explores the journeys of 11 trailblazers who were the first to hold particular parliamentary positions.

These are stories of resilience, perseverance and ground-breaking achievements.

From 1943 when Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons were the first women elected to parliament through to today where woman have held the highest positions in all areas of parliament, including Prime Minister.

Breaking Through exhibition, recognises the significant contribution these women made in Australia’s democracy. Look back on their lives, uncover their motivations and what they view as their greatest achievements.

Told through never before seen portraits, each a unique representation by a young artist, and powerful stories of change-makers breaking through, this exhibition will inspire visitors to think about the role of women in parliament, what it took to get there and whether we’ve come far enough.

Showing until 28 August 2019 from 9 am – 5 pm daily at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

See the website for more information.



Visitors to Cook and the Pacific will follow James Cook’s three remarkable Pacific voyages, and explore this spectacular region through the eyes of the British voyagers and the First Nations peoples they met.

The exhibition takes visitors on a journey to the Pacific 250 years ago, with destinations including Tahiti, New Zealand, the east coast of Australia, Hawaii and even Siberia.

With content drawn from around the world, visitors will be enthralled by maps, manuscripts, rare books, large oil paintings, delicate watercolours by voyage artists, medallions, cartoons and poetry.

Open daily 10 am – 5 pm until 10 February 2019 at the National Library of Australia.

See the website for more information.

Democracy. Are you in?

Your voice, your hands and even your feet have the power to be heard. Our freedoms and our way of life have been built on the foundation of democracy. This living system is sustained through the participation of each and all of us. Democracy is sustained by you. Australian democracy is a work in progress. Curiously, at a time of stability and unparalleled economic growth, confidence in our political and social institutions is at its lowest point in decades. But giving up on them is not the answer. Our democracy needs us. Are you in?

Open daily at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. Find out more at


Courtesy of the National Museum of Australia. National Museum of Australia.
© Trustees of the British Museum

Stories of Rome and its vast empire continue to captivate and intrigue people almost 3000 years after their foundation.

Rome: City and Empire brings to Canberra more than 200 of the British Museum’s most engaging and beautiful Roman objects. They tell the story of how Rome grew from a series of small villages to become a mighty empire.

Explore how the empire was won and held, witness the grandeur of Rome and appreciate the rich diversity of its peoples.

Happening until 3 February from 9 am – 5 pm daily at the National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton.

See the website for more information.


Heath Ledger. Credit: Karin Catt.

Audiences around the world know and love Heath Ledger as a charismatic movie star who pushed boundaries and created iconic roles. Now they have a chance to discover Heath’s creative process and deep passion for the film industry and the visual arts, in a unique exhibition curated in collaboration with his family.

Explore a selection of film costumes and props, Heath’s own character research journals, celebrity portraits and acting awards and more. A Life in Pictures offers a rare insight into the man behind the camera.

A program of special screenings and talks will complement the exhibition

Happening until 10 Feb 2019, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Acton.

See the website for more information.


An immersive sound and light experience illuminating the natural beauty of Australia through the eyes of Sir Joseph Banks.

Feel the excitement and wonder of Banks and his team of botanists, scientists, and illustrators as they documented Australia’s unique botanical and animal species, astonishing eighteenth-century Europe.

Open daily 10 am – 5 pm until 10 February 2019 at the National Library of Australia.

See the website for more information.


MathsAlive!, the one-of-a-kind interactive maths and science exhibit, that has drawn record-breaking crowds in five countries around the world is coming to Canberra in December!

Experience how maths plays a role in our everyday lives through sports, nature, robotics, design, dancing, movie-making and more. Ride in a live-action snowboard race, control a Mars rover, design your own 3-D animation or capture your image in a 360 freeze-motion video. 

MathsAlive!, a Raytheon Company initiative consists of dozens of immersive interactive exhibits and is suitable for years 3 – 10.

Happening until 17 March 2019 from 9 am – 5 pm daily (closed 25 December) at East Space, Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Commonwealth Place, Parkes.

More information on the website.


After an exciting transformation, the imaginative family space in the Museum of Australian Democracy has all-new hands-on activities to educate, excite and challenge young minds.

This creative exhibition space celebrates the role of children in our community and provides a welcoming environment for families to engage in the rights and responsibilities of children through imagination, discovery, role-play and fun.

Happening every day from 9 am – 5 pm at the Museum of Australian Democracy, King George Terrace, Parkes. Entry costs vary.

Visit the website for more details.


Star of the hit TV series Deadly 60, Steve Backshall is bringing his brand-new show Deadly down Under to Canberra for the first time these summer school holidays.

After multiple sell-out Australian tours and sold out shows from Broome to the Sydney Opera House, don’t miss Steve’s most exciting show ever – Deadly 60 Down Under, featuring some of Australia’s deadliest animals live on stage!

Join Steve as he shares stories and videos from his Australian adventures, plus there will be loads of audience participation and lots of on-stage fun.

Happening Friday 18 January at 12 and 3 pm at Canberra Theatre Centre.

See the website for more information.

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