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15 boredom-busting activities for the autumn school holidays

VisitCanberra and HerCanberra Team

Do your kids tend to go a little stir crazy over the holidays?

Want to make sure they make the most of their time away from school while also mixing in a bit of fun? Make your way around Canberra’s national attractions for intellectually-stimulating and boredom-busting activities during the autumn school holidays (8 April-25 April).

Australian War Memorial

Image: awm.gov.au

Image: awm.gov.au

With the April school holidays backing onto Anzac Day (25 April), the Australian War Memorial is a must-visit in Canberra. Experience life as servicemen and women do in Hands-on history (11am, Monday – Thursday during school holidays), where kids can try on uniforms, handle artefacts and discover incredible tales of Australians in wartime.

After being inspired by one of the Hall of Memory, your kids have the opportunity to make their own miniature version to take home as part of the Memorials and mosaics holiday workshop (10.30am to 12.30pm, Wednesday 12 April).

For crafty kids, time your visit at the Memorial to coincide with a drop-in craft session (11.30am-1pm, Thursday 13 April, Thursday 20 April and Friday 21 April). Children will be able to make free souvenirs to take home them, including poppies inspired by those they can see along the Roll of Honour.

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre


Above and Beyond has taken off at Questacon with a bang. Be among the first to experience this exhibition that explores all things involved in flight, presented by Boeing in collaboration with NASA. Children will have the chance to design and test-fly a supersonic jet, pilot a drone into the eye of a hurricane or experience flight as a bird.

Send your 10-15 year old budding designers, makers, engineers and inventors to the Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre for a series of hands-on workshops (10-12 April). They’ll learn how to make an app, create a computer game, design and build a crash test vehicle and more!

National Archives of Australia

Susan Pfanner Workshop

Susan Pfanner Workshop

This April school holidays, workshops at the National Archives of Australia are inspired by their historical collection!


To celebrate Nature Play Week, join local artist Susan Pfanner to discover art in nature! Collect natural materials to make your own mandala, birds nest or collage.

Tuesday 11 April | 10am–12pm


Wednesday is International Day of Human Space Flight! See our moon landing records and make your own paper solar system.

Suitable for 9-12-year-olds

Wednesday 12 April | 10am–12pm

$20 each. Bookings essential. Click here for more information. 

National Arboretum Canberra


If your kids can usually be found fossicking out in the garden or exploring the backyard, then a trip to the National Arboretum Canberra is a must. For your littlest school-goers, book in for a Mushrooms and Minibeasts Family Walk (18-21 April). This walk around the Himalayan cedar forest will give your kids a chance to get up close to small animals and become familiar with fungi before enjoying a craft activity.

Kids aged eight and up can learn the basics involved in potting, styling and caring for a bonsai in a Make your own Bonsai workshop (10-13 April). In this hands-on workshop, participants will get to take own their own National Bonsai and Penjing Collection-inspired bonsai.

While you’re there, don’t forget to hit up the Pod Playground – the acorn cubbies will  keep your squirrely squirts entertained for hours.

National Zoo and Aquarium

Is your little one a wild one? Primary school aged children can become zookeepers for a day as part of the National Zoo and Aquarium’s Zoocation program. Running between 10-13 April and 18-21 April,  participants spend a day (9am to 3.30pm) helping out around the zoo, playing games, making toys for the animals and learning about conservation as they’re guided by education guides in this unique program.

Myths & Heroes Holiday Program

Attention to those fans of legends, fairytales, myths, Disney and superheroes! Budding Theatre is running their popular “Myths & Heroes” courses these holidays. This event is suitable for ages 6-12 where participants can create their own performances based on favourite stories and characters. The Playing Field Studio location on Kingsley St is ideal for parents working in the city, and classes are kept small to ensure the individual needs of each student are catered to.

Budding Theatre is also accepting during holidays enrolments for Term 2 weekly drama classes including Teen Drama.

Classes are available in three locations – Civic, Gungahlin & Calwell – with weekday evening and weekend options.

Enrol in their holiday program here: www.buddingtheatre.com/education/holiday

Australian Institute of Sport

Keep the kids off the couch with the AIS school holiday camps and programs. Whether they’re complete beginners who want to be exposed to a variety of sports ranging from volleyball to oztag in the Sports Vacation Program, or want to develop their skills in tennis, soccer or AFL at a Training Camp, the AIS will keep your kids active this school holidays.

National Film and Sound Archives


See BFG, Mary Poppins, Coraline and more of your favourite characters come to life! Watch as your children’s beloved books become magical movies as the National Film and Sound Archives share exciting works that show Book Heroes on the Screen.

Victoria’s Models

Victoria’s Models offers a great opportunity to improve life skills, confidence and presentation throughout various short courses that can suite everyone during holidays break. A professional team of trainers will provide the best guidance with both group and tuition.

Junior course: 6 – 11 years

One Week course: 12 – 17 years

Weekend Workshop: Adult

Bookings: www.victoriasmodels.com.au/courses

Phone: 6282 8700

National Museum of Australia

If your child dreams of having their artwork exhibited in a museum, now’s your chance to make that dream a reality.  The National Museum of Australia will be running Discovery Space: The nature collector twice daily from 10-13 April and 18-21 April. Children will be inspired by their short guided tour of some of the Museum’s exclusive nature collections to experiment and create their own nature journals to take home, before contributing to artist-in-residence Julie Ryder’s large collaborative artwork.

Afterwards, they can learn, play and relax in the Museum’s free self-guided Play space – an area inspired by their exhibitions.

Find more information here


Image of pastel Easter Eggs from shutterstock

Keen to get creative? Join a friendly team from Westfield Belconnen for free Easter Craft Activities. There is a choice of decorating Easter Box or Easter Egg Holder where you can store your Easter eggs.


Date: Mon 10 – Thu 13 April

Time: 11am – 2pm

Location: Out the front of Toys R Us, level 3

This activity is free and no bookings are required

Lego Immersive Zone

Children of all ages are welcome to come and engage in exciting buiding activities and creative challenges in Lego. Endless fan is guaranteed

Dates: Tue 18 – Sat 22 April

11 AM – 2 PM daily

Location: Centre Court

This activity is free and no bookings are required

Scavenger Hunt

Easter Bunny came by today

And left surprises along his way!

Colourful eggs are all around

With baskets in hand, we search the ground.

Hiding in places here and there

Easter eggs are everywhere!

Come and join for searching fun –

Max Brenner’s Easter egg for everyone!

Collect your clue sheet from Concierge to join the Easter Scavenger Hunt

Dates: Thursday 13 – Monday 17 April

Location: Commence at Concierge

This activity is free and no bookings are required

Roaming Easter Bunny

Make sure that you will save a date for kids to meet Easter Bunny at Westfield Belconnen! Expect to receive delicious Lindt treats and a cute photo with Easter Bunny

Tues 11 April: 11am – 2pm

Thurs 13 April: 11am – 2pm

Saturday 15 April: 11am- 12:30pm

This activity is free and no bookings are required

Anzac Poppy Flower Garden Craft activity

Come make a paper poppy to plant in Westfield Belconnen’s ANZAC Day garden.

Date: Sunday 23 and Monday 24 April, 10am -2pm

Location: Outside Toys R Us, level 3

This activity is free and no bookings are required

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Image: VisitCanberra

Image: VisitCanberra

See Australian wildlife in the beautiful natural environment of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Learn from the expert rangers on a guided walk, try and spot a koala resting in the Eucalypt Forest Koala Enclosure, or complete outdoor activities with prompts from Nature Play’s Passport to an Amazing Childhood.

Nutrition Australia ACT and Warehouse Circus

If nutrition lifestyle is something that your family pursue than check out this unique Warehouse Circus School Holidays Program Plus Healthy Snack Workshop that runs in Canberra for very first time. Following a day of circus activity, students will have the chance to join a Healthy Snacks Workshop to create healthy food in a real kitchen.

At 3 pm, students who take up the Healthy Snacks Workshop can relax with a snack before playing some fun games then going on to prepare a healthy dish. Children will also learn about food hygiene and kitchen safety around knives and frypans.

Date: 18-21 April

Location: Chifley Health and Wellbeing Hub, 4/70 MacLaurin Cres, Chifley

For information and enrollment, please call 6260 3626

Find more details at warehousecircus.org.au

National Gallery of Australia

nga play

Make the most of the final opportunity to experience Versailles: Treasures of the Palace (closing 17 April) before the kids hear Tales from the Palace in the free NGA Play space.

Unleash your child’s creativity (and enjoy some quiet time) during one of the Creative meditation for children sessions on the 11 April.

And for the super sleuth in your family, send your kids aged seven and up to ASI: Art Scene Investigation – All that glitters is not gold, where’s they’ll investigate the permanent collection for clues to solve a mystery on 18 April.

National Dinosaur Museum

Image: VisitCanberra

Image: VisitCanberra

Have you got a dinosaur expert on your hands? Head to the National Dinosaur Museum to have all their questions answered. Tours run at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm and are free as part of the admission fee.

Come and experience a taste of Canberra’s favourite attractions at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre Open Day on Saturday 8 April 2017.



At VisitCanberra, Canberra’s official tourism and destination marketing organisation, we are passionate about promoting the city as a travel destination and bringing visitors to our capital. When you take a trip to Canberra, prepare for one good thing after another. Because whether it’s world-class wining and dining, iconic national treasures or breathtaking natural beauty, everything you’re after is there and just moments away. Find us at www.visitcanberra.com.au or follow us on social media @visitcanberra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on Pinterest @ CanberraTourism. More about the Author


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