What's on in Winter in Canberra/Gungahlin
This winter, don’t get stuck huddled around the heater playing board games. There’s loads to do in Canberra and Gungahlin through the cooler months. Now that the weather is well and truly getting chilly, it’s time to get out and about to enjoy what’s on in the region this winter.
During the winter months in Canberra and Gungahlin, you’ll be spoiled for choice with a range of activities to treat the whole family to a day or night out. From museums, to wineries, to a trip to the slopes, there’s something to keep everyone amused when the mercury drops.
Let it snow:
Let’s face it; Canberra can get bloody cold in the winter months. Embrace it with a trip to the snowfields. Just a two hour drive from Canberra, Mount Selwyn, Perisher Valley, and Thredbo are favourites for the whole family, whether you ski, snowboard, toboggan, or just love a hot chocolate in cold weather. Let the kids build a snowman, find your footing on a beginner’s run or if you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder, try something a little more challenging. There are classes for people of all ages, so even if you’re new to the slopes, it’s never too late to learn.
Check out some national treasures:
Can you believe that this year we celebrate fifty years of Play School? Visit the National Museum to check out some of the most iconic presenters, toys, costumes, and windows (open wide, come inside!) of a treasured half-century of Australian television. You’ll love the exhibition as much as your kids will.
During your visit to the National Museum, head outdoors to the open-plan space called the Garden of Australian Dreams. The kids can stretch their legs and play tips over a huge map of the Northern Territory, and explore in a tunnel beneath a model Uluru. The National Museum is a free day out, so for a winter experience that’s fun, educational and affordable for the whole family, you can’t miss it.
Learn about our history at the Australian War Memorial:
Every Australian should visit the Australian War Memorial at least once. With guided tours and battle artefacts to to fascinate the whole family, it’s a great way to learn about our nation’s history while staying out of the cold. Keep the kids busy during the school holidays with special activities, exhibitions, and tours that give mums and dads a break. While you’re there, pay respects to the “Unknown Soldier”, and teach the kids the history of some of Australia’s bravest men and women.
Geek out at Questacon:
There isn’t a kid, or parent for that matter, that doesn’t love Questacon. More than just a science museum, Questacon is Australia’s most interactive and explorative science and technology museum. Home to over 200 permanent exhibitions, you’ll have a tough time leaving. With special themed rooms and loads of awesome games, it’s a day out for the whole family. Highlights include an “earthquake room” where you can experience the sensation of a real earthquake, and the infamous six metre “free fall”, which is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
Bookworms unite at Canberra Writers’ Festival:
There’s nothing better in winter than rugging up with a good book. Actually, there is one thing – rugging up with loads of good books in the company of other bookworms. Literature lovers, publishers and authors alike meet in our nation’s capital in August for the Canberra Writers’ Festival. The theme for the inaugural festival is “Power, Politics, Passion”. Panellists and speakers will include Bob Brown, Stan Grant, Kerry O’Brien, Sarah Wilson, Don Watson, Susan Hawthorne and Tom Dusevic, to name a few, and there will be free and ticketed events. To help ignite the bookworm in you why not stop by Marketplace Gungahlin and you’ll find some fantastic books at Bookface.
Enjoy the best food of the region at Fireside Festival:
Winter food doesn’t just have to mean heavy stews and root vegetables. Celebrate the best of the Canberra region’s food and wine for the whole of August, with roaring fires, hearty meals and delicious local wine at the Fireside Festival. With four weeks of classic winter events including annual degustation dinners, wine tastings and live performances from local artists, there’s something for everyone. The majority of the festival’s events take place just half an hour’s drive from the city centre, but if you’re coming from out of town, there are loads of local winter accommodation packages to enjoy.
Discover the National Zoo and Aquarium:
The National Zoo and Aquarium is an awesome two in one day out. With hundreds of native and exotic creatures to meet, you’ll be hard pressed getting the kids to leave. Make a proper day of it by taking advantage of the picnic and barbeque facilities. Just don’t forget a flask of tea or hot chocolate! During the winter school holidays, the Zoo and Aquarium will be hosting limited edition programs, so book early to give the kids a winter experience they’ll never forget.
Enjoy a drop or two at the wineries:
With over 33 wineries situated within 35 minutes of Canberra, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to sampling a good drop. There are a range of events taking place over the winter in the Canberra Wine Region, including “The Butcher, The Baker and The Merrymaker” winter event series at Pialligo Estate, culminating in the Christmas Sunday Roast on July 31. The Christmas Roast will comprise of a decadent three course feast with beverages for the entire family, live music, a secret Pialligo Estate gift bag and activities for the kids to enjoy while you kick back with a glass of red.
Rug up at the Winter Festival:
In the heart of Canberra at Garema Place, the Winter Festival in the City will host a range of delicious food and beverage options, winter fun and local entertainment from June 23 to July 17. Garema Place sits amongst the city’s best retail and dining spots, and is the perfect location for the Winter Festival’s star attraction, a huge outdoor ice skating rink.
Celebrate Christmas in July:
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas – in July! Can’t make it to Pialligo Estate on July 31 for a Christmas Roast? Don’t miss the Queanbeyan Christmas Fair on July 24. For a day packed with mulled wine and eggnog, bring the whole family along and enjoy a Christmas market with snacks and handmade goodies from a range of regional makers.
With this range of activities, you’ll have plenty of incentive to leave the fireside this winter. And while you’re out and about, stop by Marketplace Gungahlin and you’ll find a whole world of fun things to do.