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The Long Weekend Edit

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

That’s why each Friday we publish our Weekend Edit—a curated selection of events we think you’ll love!





Credit Mark Nolan

The always popular Open Air PlayUP is back these school holidays in the stunning Senate Courtyard.

Enjoy giant lawn games, build an empire with blocks and Lego or kick back in a tee pee and read one of our many books.

Happening 25 – 27 January from 10 am – 5 pm at the Museum of Australian Democracy, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes.

See moadoph.gov.au for more information.


The time to celebrate our amazing country is around the corner, and Pialligo Estate wants you to bring your family and friends together for the perfect Sunday session in our Nation’s Capital.

Think gourmet BBQ, backyard cricket, great local craft beers from BentSpoke Brewing, your favourite delicious Aussie treats, and best of all, chilling out to good background beats, and enjoying your surroundings and views of Parliament House with a drink and with loved ones.

On Sunday 26 January 2020, celebrate Australia at the Estate, great food and plenty of fun for kids and adults alike.

The DJ will keep the vibe going, while the kids can chill out with icy poles and watch some friendly competition erupt with fun Aussie games, including backyard cricket and much more.

The menu will include Pialligo Smokehouse meats, salads, desserts, and icy poles for the kids. And best of all, you don’t have to lift a finger so the whole family can properly relax and enjoy themselves!

Pialligo Estate will also be encouraging the support of all those affected by the current bushfire tragedies occurring around our country, and so will have a donation box available on the day to raise funds for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery.

Choose from your ticket package below to help you celebrate the long weekend in style:

  • Adults – $40pp, includes BBQ and a drink (your choice of a soft drink, a beer or a glass of Pialligo Regional wine).
  • Children (U12) – $20pp, includes BBQ, a soft drink and icy poles.
  • Family ticket – $100 for 2 adults and 2 kids, with the above inclusions.

Happening Sunday 26 January 2020 from 12 pm to 4 pm at Pialligo Fields, 18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo.

See thepialligoestate.com.au for more information.


Join the reigning WNBL champions, the University of Canberra Capitals, for Round 15 of the 2019-20 season as they play the Sydney Uni Flames.

With an epic roster including WNBL MVP Kelsey Griffin, WNBA All-Star 5 member Kia Nurse and Olivia Epoupa who has been labelled one of the fastest players in the women’s game, this will no doubt be an explosive game.

Cost: $10 – $80.

Happening Sunday, 26 January from 5 – 7 pm at National Convention Centre Canberra, 31 Constitution Avenue, Canberra City.

See wnbl.basketball for more information.


This Australia Day, visit the National Museum of Australia for music, dance, demonstrations, and family-friendly activities, inspired by the First Australians gallery and the new forecourt garden.


Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony: Ngambri-Ngunnawal custodian Paul House

Happening 10–10.10 am | Forecourt Garden | Free 

Jewellery making: Krystal Hurst (Worimi).

Try your hand at assembling an emu feather and quandong seed necklace and learn about the importance of Aboriginal adornment in cultural expression and storytelling.

Happening 10.10 am–1 pm | Bay window | $5 | Places limited

Bush animal and doll making: Ronnie Jordan (Kalkadoon)

10.10 am–12.30 pm | Bay window | $5 | Places limited

Tastes of the Bush: Yurbay and Adam Shipp (Wiradjuri)

Join Adam for a walk through our the Forecourt Garden as he shares his knowledge of native plants. Followed by bush food tastings and displays. (1 hour)

10.15–11.15 am, 11.15 am – 12.15 pm, 12.45–1.45 pm, 1.45–2.45 pm | Forecourt Garden | Free

First Australians gallery talks

Join one of the National Museum’s hosts for a 15-minute talk about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

10.15 am, 11.15 am and 12.15 pm | Meet at the Informa­tion Desk 10 minutes prior | Free

Didjeridu performance: Ngambri-Ngunnawal custodian Paul House

After the performance, see some of Paul’s amazing glass didjeridus.

12–12.20 pm | Main stage | Free

First Australians gallery tour

Join one of the National Museum’s hosts for a comprehensive gallery tour.

3-4 pm | Meet at the Informa­tion Desk 10 minutes prior | $15

Happening Sunday 26 January from 10 am–4 pm at the National Museum of Australia.

Cost: Free entry. Exhibition entry and some activity costs apply. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the RSPCA National Bushfire Appeal.

See nma.gov.au/26-jan for more information.


fundraising concert in Commonwealth Park on Australia Day will raise funds for those impacted by bushfires and will replace the annual fireworks show along the lake this year.

Following the national flag raising and citizenship ceremony at Rond Terrace at 9 am and a RAAF flyover Lake Burley Griffin, head across to Stage 88 at Commonwealth Park.

Bring a picnic rug, enjoy a bite to eat from the food trucks and kick back to enjoy the sounds of Japanese Wallpaper and Nicole Millar, supported by local Monica Moore.

There will also be amusement rides, a glitter bar and roving entertainers for the kids.

The concert is an opportunity to help support a number of charities supporting the bushfire recovery across Australia.

The charities will be on hand at Commonwealth Park, raising much-needed funds for those directly impacted by the bushfires, including a mental health charity and one dedicated to wildlife and the restoration of habitats.

Given the current bushfires impacting our surrounding region the ACT Government will not be presenting fireworks this year *.

Cost: Free

Happening Sunday 26 January 10 am to 1 pm at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park.

See events.act.gov.au/australiaday


It’s time to truly unwind and be blown away by the breathtaking views over the fields, watching the sun go down with a drink in hand.

Pialligo Estate is bringing Canberra a new style of fun–with next-level drinks by Pialligo Estate’s funky bar crew, Canberra’s first Gintonica bar experience and the finest craft beers, you’ll taste your way to a new happy place.

Think great beats, highest-quality share platters, space for the kids to run around, and fun you won’t be expecting; Pialligo Fields is the place to bring your family and friends for some fresh air in style.

Whether you have an event that needs some personality, or you just want to find some weekend balance with the family and friends, Fields is a multi-purpose space that will deliver experiences you talk about.

Happening Fridays from 3 pm and Sundays from 12 pm until late at Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo.

See thepialligoestate.com.au/pialligo-fields for more information.


Installation imagery of Game Masters at ACMI. Courtesy and copyright ACMI. Photographer Mark Ashkanasy.

With the opening of Game Masters: The Exhibition, the NFSA turns into Australia’s biggest video game arcade with the world’s greatest designers, characters and 80 playable games.

Game Masters is an interactive journey through five decades of video game history, offering both a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind the world’s most popular characters and franchises and a chance to play them.

Featuring interviews, never-before-seen concept artwork, an amazing display of vintage consoles and collectable items, and 80 playable games, visitors won’t want to leave!

Created and curated by ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), Game Masters first opened in Melbourne in 2012. It has since toured to nine museums worldwide including venues in the USA, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland and Sweden. Much loved by audiences around the globe, the exhibition has been updated to include the latest gaming blockbusters as well as Australian creations.

Game Masters is divided into three sections: Arcade Heroes, Game Changers and Indies. It features unique experiences such as a spectacular multiplayer dance stage for Dance Central 3(2012), hands-on experiential music booths and a selection of original classic arcade machines from the 1970s and ‘80s acquired especially for the exhibition, all playable in their original form. See the full list of 80 playable games and their Australian classifications.

Sign up to join the Game Masters club and receive the latest news from the NFSA plus updates about special gaming events and guests, and exclusive offers and discounts.

Open daily 10 am–4 pm until Monday 9 March 2020 at the National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton.

See the nfsa.gov.au for tickets and more information.


Credit: Pablo Picasso
Woman from Arles (Lee Miller) 1937
oil on canvas
Private collection
© Succession Picasso / Copyright Agency 2019.

Explore the relationship between two of the world’s greatest artists and rivals—from Picasso’s untameable approach to Matisse’s seductive irresistibility—responding to each other’s work throughout their careers.

Curated by the National Gallery of Australia, this exhibition includes major works sourced from public and private collections around the world.

Happening 13 December–13 April 2020 at the National Gallery of Australia.

See nga.gov.au for more information.


Want to keep your kids active and entertained over the school holidays in a safe environment?

School holidays at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has a focus on participation and having a good time.

These programs are suitable for primary school aged children and will have your child exploring a world of fun, activity and adventure.

Choose from the Pre-School Holiday Program, Swim Intensive, Soccer, Tennis, Dance and a general Sports Vacation Program.

All programs are based around children having fun, learning new skills, working as a team and keeping active. There will also be activities in Sportex, the interactive sports experience.

Full day or weekly programs available. 

Happening 6-31 January at the Australian Institute of Sport, Leverrier Street, Bruce.

See experienceais.com/sports-camps/holiday-program for more information.


Often cloaked in myth, the stories of spies are sometimes stranger than fiction. For the first time at the National Archives, Spy: Espionage in Australia reveals the personal experiences of secret agents and the curious history of espionage and counter-espionage in Australia, from Federation through to the present day.

See genuine spy equipment, surveillance images and candid interviews with ASIO officers. Play the part of a secret agent in the interactive family trail. Test your skills at codebreaking and reading invisible ink.

Developed in partnership with ASIO, Spy brings the stories of spies out of the shadows and into the light.

Cost: Free

Showing until 27 April 2020 open every day from 9 am–5 pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday) at the National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes.

See naa.gov.au for more information.


How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World™ © 2019. © 2019 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

From the makers of ShrekMadagascar, Kung Fu PandaHow to Train Your Dragon and Trolls, comes and extraordinary exhibition celebrating over 25 years of DreamWorks Animation.

DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition – Journey from Sketch to Screen brings together rare concept drawings, models and original artworks, interviews and interactive displays from DreamWorks’ much-loved animated classics.

Take a thrilling journey, from original sketches of grumpy ogres and friendly dragons, to amazing stories and fantasy worlds brought to you by DreamWorks’ award-winning artists.

An ACMI touring exhibition developed in partnership with DreamWorks Animation. © 2019 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

Happening until 2 February 2020 at National Museum of Australia.

See nma.gov.au or more information.

Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms

Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms is a Shepparton Art Museum curated exhibition, touring nationally by NETS Victoria.

It presents the work of 17 contemporary Australian artists who utilise craft-based materials and techniques with political intent. The artists in this exhibition subvert and extend craft forms as vehicles of activism and social change, exploring the ideas and issues of our time.

Some works encourage social connection and participation in collective processes, others respond to artistic or political movements and yet others reveal that the personal remains political.

Drawing on a long historical lineage, Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms challenges us to see craft in a new light, inviting us to reflect on social participation and political change.

Don’t miss this provocative exhibition, visiting Canberra for the only time.

Happening until 2 February at the Museum of Australia Democracy, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes. 

See moadoph.gov.au/exhibitions/craftivism for more information.


Cellar Door is a wine market for Canberra’s wonderful wine scene happening every Saturday from 3-6 pm. Buy wines from local makers every Saturday afternoon in the iconic Nishi Grand Stair, NewActon Precinct.

Grab a souvenir glass, taste the latest drops, and buy at cellar door prices.

Wine stalls rotate each week with complementing stalls like flowers, cheese, chocolate and books.

Make a day of it with a film at Palace Electric Cinema and NewActon’s leading food and drink destinations.

Happening every Saturday from 3-6 pm on the Nishi Grand Stair, inside the Nishi Building, Philip Law Street, NewActon.

See the website for more details.


Credit: Miranda Otto, 1997, Montalbetti+Campbell

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze. The progression of visages is designed to prompt the senses, tapping into the endless subjectivity of being human.

Where one viewer sees a subject’s distant stare as baleful, another perceives a fatalistic cheer; here’s a face in three quarter profile pondering past triumphs, or perhaps you sense a layer of barely-there regret? Does the full stare with smouldering countenance shock or seduce, or is it a bit of both?

Whether sparking familiarity, empathy, diffidence or reverence, our summer collection show invites you to slow down – to see eye to eye with another life and imagine that lived experience. Eye to Eye features portraits of Natalie Imbruglia, Kev Carmody, Miranda Otto, David Williamson, a marble bust of Peter Garrett and many more, including several works new to the collection.

Happening until 16 February 2020 at the National Portrait Gallery.

See portrait.gov.au/exhibitions/eye-to-eye-2019 for more information.

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