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The Long Weekend Edit

HerCanberra Team

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 Canour 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! 


Canberra is turning 105 this year! Join in the celebrations with a program bursting to the seams with live music and entertainment for all.

Kids will dance, play and laugh as their favourite entertainers take to the stage. Music will fill the air later in the afternoon, getting your heart pumping and feet moving as you sing and dance the day away.

The stunning landscape of Commonwealth Park will provide the perfect backdrop for your family day out. Enjoy the thrill of amusement park rides or indulge in a tasty treat from local traders. Snap a cute photo after visiting the face painting station or relax with a picnic to the sound of live music. There’s something for everyone this Canberra Day.

Happening 12 March 2018 – From 2 pm at Commonwealth Park.

Free to attend. Find more information: enlightencanberra.com.


Wake up to the view of hot air balloons floating across the city during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. This mesmerising view is best appreciated from the lawns of Old Parliament House. Held over nine days, more than thirty hot air balloons from across the globe are expected to take to our skies this autumn. Remember to keep an eye out for the special shape balloons. This year the festival features Kerbie the frog and a very colourful hummingbird.

Each day from 6:15 am pilots will begin inflating their balloons on the lawns of Old Parliament House before ascending into the sky and creating a picturesque backdrop for Canberra’s national attractions.

Passengers can experience the thrill of hot air ballooning over Canberra at sunrise while spectators on the ground are treated to an experience of the senses. Flurries of colour, sound and movement complemented by live music and a delicious hot breakfast available for purchase from the Belconnen Lions Club will make your morning one to remember.

Balloon flights are weather dependant. Call Canberra Connect, follow us on Enlighten on Facebook or tune into local radio stations from 6:15 am for daily information.

Happening Saturday 10–Sunday 18 March from 6.15am at the Lawns of Old Parliament House, King Edward Terrace, Parkes. Free for spectators.

For bookings and more information, see the website.


The Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes is Canberra’s premier race day and one of the more important Autumn events on the calendar. The Black Opal Stakes program includes the tab.com.au Canberra Cup. The eight race program includes: the $300,000 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes (Group 3), the $200,000 tab.com.au Canberra Cup (Listed), $130,000 (Canberra) National Sprint (Listed) and the XXXX Gold $130,000 Canberra Guineas (Listed). The full racing program is available under the racing drop down menu.

The action takes place both on and off the track at Thoroughbred Park on John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes day. Enter the Canberra Centre Fashions on the Field competition for the best prizes in the region. Please note that the Fashions on the Field competition have strict guidelines for each category entry. Categories are Classic Ladies Race Wear, Classic Mens Race Wear, the Millinery Award and Lady of the Day (Over 40s only).

Free children’s entertainment including a jumping castle, face painting and children’s petting zoo.

Happening Sunday 11 March from 11am–6pm at Thoroughbred Park, Randwick Road, Lyneham. Tickets from $5 (pensioners)–$25pp.

Check out the website for more details.


Westfield’s bi-annual shopping event Fashion Weekend is back for Autumn ‘18, spanning across two days on Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 March.

Shoppers can take advantage of exclusive fashion, beauty and lifestyle offers at Westfield Woden and Belconnen to get ahead of the new season’s trends and must-have buys, as well as enjoy in-centre activations and events.

To celebrate the launch of Autumn Winter Fashion, Westfield Woden and Belconnen customers will receive a kikki K leather pouch if they spend $200 in specialty fashion & accessories stores and customers will be able to get their new gift monogrammed for free.

Westfield Woden will also be hosting a Champagne & Shop activation on Friday nights (5pm-9pm) throughout March. Customers will be treated to complimentary champagne & live music from Kim Yang & Mickey Sulit.

Just wondering if you might be interested in including a piece on Fashion Weekend?

Further details can be found in the media alert below my signature. Please find a selection of high-res images in this link – Fashion Weekend.

Happening Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 March at Westfield Belconnen and Woden.

Click here for more information.


Illuminating Canberra for its eighth year, Enlighten Festival proudly presented by Singapore Airlines, is transforming Canberra into a hive of activity with an extended program of free and ticketed events and activities plus two new and exciting events precincts – Canberra city and the Australian National University (ANU).

Over 16 days in March, visitors to the Enlighten festival will see stunning large-scale architectural projections and installations transform some of the capital’s most loved and iconic buildings including Australian Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia and Questacon, as the Parliamentary Triangle becomes a vibrant canvas showcasing Australian talent buzzing arts precinct with roving entertainers, art installations, live music and enchanting performances.

The ANU campus will come to life over five thrilling nights with vibrant projections, fire-side chats and a special Saturday night market; and you can explore all the city has to offer after nightfall. See the fairy lights, and find hidden gems in the city’s nooks and crannies. Keep your eye out for interactive installations, workshops and other unexpected surprises.

Eat at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets and food and drink precinct featuring local street food. Enjoy Canberra’s best autumn events including the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, Symphony in the Park, Lights! Canberra! Action! Canberra Day and Skyfire. And explore the culture and creativity of Canberra’s national attractions, and the vibrancy of the city’s art and mind precincts as they open their doors to host an array of exclusive after-dark events and surprising experiences. Canberra! Action! Canberra Day and Hit 104.7 Skyfire.

Happening 2 -18 March with the Enlighten the Illuminations (Projections) 2-11 March within the Parliamentary Triangle, as well as two new precincts this year – the Australian National University (ANU) and Canberra City.

Find more information: enlightencanberra.com.


Returning to Palace Cinemas from 1-28 March, the annual Alliance Française French Film Festival is poised to seduce audiences with an incendiary selection of 47 features, 2 documentaries and a cheeky Parisian TV series, which showcase the passion, artistry and dazzling diversity of contemporary French cinema.

For his second year at the helm, Artistic Director Philippe Platel has selected an impressive line-up that resonates with themes of courage, friendship and egalitarianism; motifs reflected via a host of Première screenings, delightful special events, and, for the first time, a LGBT strand in celebration of Australia’s recent, historic ‘Yes’ vote for same-sex marriage.

Some of many highlights to be found in this year’s Festival include a Ladies Night on Wednesday 21 March presented by HERCANBERRA as well as the Canberra premiere of many acclaimed films. Read our full roundup of highlights here.

Happening 1-28 March at Palace Electric, NewActon.

See the full program at affrenchfilmfestival.org.


A piece of Hollywood will return to Enlighten as the 15th Lights! Canberra! Action! film-making festival prepares to amaze audiences.

Filmmakers are given a list of ten items to include in their movie, with only ten days to shoot, edit and produce a seven-minute film exploring the theme of Enlighten: strange, beautiful and unexpected.

The screening of the top twelve finalists will again take place outdoors in the Senate Rose Gardens at the Museum of Australian Democracy, with the award winners announced immediately after the screening.

Bring your chair or picnic rug, blanket and movie snacks, and settle in for a great night of film viewing.

Happening Friday 9 March from 7pm–10pm at Senate Gardens, Museum of Australian Democracy, King George Terrace, Parkes. Free entry.

See the website for more information.


Enlighten Night Noodle Markets returns once again to Reconciliation Place, Canberra from March 2 – 11,  2018.

To make things quick and easy, the markets are cash-free so guests can spend less time queuing and more time enjoying the night. So don’t forget your cards!

Check out the menu here – find out who’s doing anything from gluten-free delights, to vegan treats to life-changing desserts!

WIN: We want to see your favourite foodie moments from this year’s Enlighten Night Noodle Markets. Make sure you select ‘Interested’ in our Facebook Event Page where we’ll announce this year’s competition details soon.

Happening 2-11 March at Reconcilliation Place, Parkes.


  • Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 9pm
  • Thursday 5pm – 10pm
  • Friday 5pm – 12am
  • Saturday 4pm – 12am
  • Sunday 4pm – 9pm


The Disney Classics Festival is coming to the big screen and will feature Disney favourites such as 101 Dalmatians, Bambi, Dumbo and The Lion King.

All tickets are just $8 each so it’s the perfect day to take a walk down a cartoonish memory lane!

Dumbo – 10, 11 & 12 March

The Lion King – 17 & 18 March

Happening Saturday 24 February – Sunday 18 March 2018 from 10.30am daily at Capitol Cinemas, 6 Franklin Street, Manuka. Tickets $8pp (booking fees apply)

See the Facebook event for more details.

Feast your ears on a global banquet of Carillon talent this long weekend as the National Carillon hosts four special International guest performers: Malgosia Fiebig from The Netherlands, Belgium’s Koen van Assche, Dr Tiffany Ng from the USA and Anna Maria Reverté from Spain.

Each will present a free hour-long solo concert from 12:30-1:30 pm, and in the evenings, from 6:00 pm-7:00p m join forces with our chime of Canberra-based Carillonists: Lyn Fuller, Astrid Bowler, Thomas Laue, Leonard Weiss and Anna Wong.

The repertoire includes classical, jazz, global folk tunes, rock, Broadway anthems and the world premiere of Ari Ari, composed by leading female South Korean composer Hyo-won Woo.

Happening Friday 9 – Monday 12 March at 12.30 pm and 6 pm at the National Carillon, Parkes.


Watch the sunset to the perfect soundtrack at Symphony in the Park at 7 pm this Sunday 11 March.

Framed by the tree-lined landscape of the iconic Commonwealth Park, sit back and relax as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Queen tribute band Killer Queen Experience, bring the work of the well-known band to life.

The entirely new production, created especially for Canberra, will have you dancing and singing along through two hours of the top hits from Queen. Get ready for Bohemian RhapsodyAnother One Bites the DustWe Are the Champions and Under Pressure to name just a few.

So pack your picnic and grab a spot on the grounds in front of Stage 88 – you won’t want to miss this night!

For more information please visit enlightencanberra.com/symphony.


After taking Australia by storm in its first season, the NAB AFL Women’s Competition is back in 2018! All of the best talent from all across Australia will be back to compete for the AFL Women’s premiership. Eight teams will do battle across an eight week season, with games held right throughout the country.

For a great family day out, make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to see the GWS GIANTS battle the Western Bulldogs at the UNSW Canberra Oval. There will be great food and beverage options, entertainment plus activities for the kids.

The event is absolutely free and all are welcome to attend!

Happening Saturday 10 March from 7pm–10pm at UNSW Canberra Oval, Manuka Circle, Forrest. Free entry.

See the website for more information.

National Carillon Concerts

Feast your ears on a global banquet of Carillon talent this long weekend as the National Carillon hosts four special International guest performers: Malgosia Fiebig from The Netherlands, Belgium’s Koen van Assche, Dr Tiffany Ng from the USA and Anna Maria Reverté from Spain.

Each will present a free hour-long solo concert from 12:30-1:30 pm, and in the evenings, from 6:00 pm-7:00p m join forces with our chime of Canberra-based Carillonists: Lyn Fuller, Astrid Bowler, Thomas Laue, Leonard Weiss and Anna Wong.

The repertoire includes classical, jazz, global folk tunes, rock, Broadway anthems and the world premiere of Ari Ari, composed by leading female South Korean composer Hyo-won Woo.

Happening Friday 9 – Monday 12 March at 12.30 pm and 6 pm at the National Carillon, Parkes.


As part of Enlighten, Canberra Centre will have giant Jelly Fish positioned around the centre.

Walk under them and watch them flash when they sense human interaction. As you walk under these six mysterious and spectacularly beautiful ancient sea creatures 3600 LED displays will bring tem to life. Inspired by the bio luminous lighting responses of real world jellyfish these light sculptures will capture your imagination as they transform before your eyes.

Created by AMPLE, this immersive art installation incorporates state of the art interactive components and lighting hardware as well as custom designed electronics.

Kids – collect your jellyfish trail map from customer service and spot all the jellyfish for a special gift! 

Happening until Sunday 1 April at Canberra Centre, 148 Bunda Street, Canberra City.

See the Facebook event for more information.


Experience the thrill of being an astronaut inside a Russian space capsule using the latest 360° virtual reality technology.

Take the pilot’s seat on a breathtaking 400km descent to Earth from the International Space Station in an awe-inspiring experience produced by the Science Museum Group and narrated by British astronaut Tim Peake.

Happening every day from 9 am – 5 pm daily at the National Museum of Australia.

Book your session online now: nma.gov.au/space.


Spend your Sunday the way they do in Cuba – sunshine, dominoes, fruity rum punch bowls, tasty Spanish food and live entertainment.

Their fabulous street party style Sunday Session is on every Sunday and it’s fun for all ages – you can even bring your little ones!

– Live entertainment
– Bottomless mimosas
– $70 punch bowls
– $5 Coronas
– Plenty of Dominoes sets to share

The Highball Express will be at your service from 2pm every Sunday over Spring / Summer. On every Sunday from 2pm at The Highball Express. Entry is free. Visit the website for more information.


Discover PlayUP – The Right to Have an Opinion and Be Heard, where kids can explore the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child in a playful way. Adults can even join in the fun too! From listening pods and a roleplay Kindness Café to a fuzzy felt wall and craft activities, PlayUP has a range of exciting and immersive experiences that flip the traditional idea of museums completely on its head.

See the website for more information.

Free after museum admission.


Canberra’s only ‘pop Chinese” restaurant, Natural Nine, is holding a weekly Chinese High Tea! Not only does this High Tea bring a delicious Asian twist to the high tea experience, but it also allows you to purchase treat stands rather than pay per head. If you love high teas or modern Asian cooking than this event is a must!

One stand including tea selection for two – $60. One stand including sparkling to begin and tea selection for two – $80

Happening every Friday and Saturday from 2.30pm – 4.30pm at Natural Nine, Casino Canberra.

Bookings required in advance, so to book via 02 6257 7074 or online at casinocanberra.com.au.


Watch the night come alive with colour, and take in the big picture around central Lake Burley Griffin and atop Capital Hill during the Enlighten Festival. Glide the lakeside cycle ways on easy to use electric bikes dressed up with LED lights to add to the show. Enjoy the noodle market and stroll the pedestrian light show events before or after your magical e-bike trip. The cycle route may vary a little each night to take in other light shows away from the crowds.

Happening until Sunday 11 March from 8.30pm and 9.40pm each night. Meet at Parkes Place West, at Questacon carpark entrance

$35 per person 12 years and over Child 6-11 yrs: $15*

(*Up to 3 children under can join riding child seats with a family member on specially equipped adult bikes. Must be arranged when booking)

Includes: e-bike, helmet, safety instructions, guide.

See www.canberraurbanadventures.com for more information.


Image: supplied.


Watch the dawn break over gorgeous Lake Burley Griffin as hot air balloons float skyward above. Glide over the water in safe, stable, easy to use pedal kayaks with your hands free – ready to take photos of the balloons soaring above in the sublime dawn light.

Take a break by the lake with juice, water, fresh fruit and nibbles (included in price) to soak it all in. Then get to know the lake’s waterbirds, as the morning light touches surrounding peaks to greet the new day.

Happening Saturday 10 March to Sunday 18 March from 6.00am each day (Return: 8.00am). Departs from/returns to Lawson Cres jetty next to National Museum of Australia carpark – behind the red wave on the hill.

$75 per person 12 years and over. Child 6-11 yrs: $36*. (*Child must ride in a double kayak with a family member.)

Includes: pedal kayak, life vest, drinks and nibbles, guide.

Book at: canberraurbanadventures.com, call 0421 140 401 or email [email protected].


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