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What's On in Canberra This December & Beyond

The only guide you need to what's on in Canberra this December & beyond.

Fresh Dumplings at the Handmade Market in Canberra.
Handmade Canberra

The festive season has well and truly hit the capital and we're thrilled. The sun is shining, Christmas is on the horizon and our event schedules are looking full, just the way we like it! 

This December you can expect everything from masterclasses to workshops and decadent high teas. Sort out some early Christmas shopping at the handmade markets in town and be sure to find a bit of spare time to enjoy the outdoors with Canberra's best walks. Still got some dates to fill? Read on for the best things to do in Canberra this month. 

What's on in Canberra: Arts & Culture

Canberra Glassworks
Canberra Glassworks

Create Your Very Own Vessel at Canberra Glassworks

Imagine sipping out of your very own handcrafted coloured glass tumbler. Canberra Glassworks are here to make your dreams a reality with this 40-minute class. Work one-on-one with an experienced glassblower to create your small vessel. Make a cup or vase in up to two colours and take it home to enjoy! How swish! 

$190 per person, tickets available here 

Various dates 

11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston 


Head to Muse for a Literary Soiree 

If you haven't had a chance to pop on over to this bookish cafe, now is the time. Slinging coffee, brunch and pastries by day, and wine and cheese by night, Muse is always a good time. This October, they're playing host to a swathe of literary events including two of their monthly book clubs and multiple author talks. Keep up to date with all of their current events here

East Hotel, 69 Canberra Avenue, Griffith 

A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol 

Heading to the theatre is the perfect way to get in the festive spirit. And there's nothing more festive than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. With incredible sets, costumes and live carolling, this classic promises to boost your Christmas spirit. 

Tickets from $77 

Tuesday 19th December to Sunday 24th December 

Archie 100
Archie 100

Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize 

Celebrating 100 years of Australia's oldest portrait award, this one is not to be missed! The exhibition is arranged thematically and explores the history of the art and artists that have contributed to this prestigious annual award. There will be stories of intriguing characters, names who have been forgotten and works not seen in public since they were first exhibited. The National Portrait Gallery will be the last stop on the exhibit tour so best check it out! 

Tickets from $20 

Friday 20th October 2023 to Sunday 28th January 2024 

King Edward Terrace, Parkes 

The Little Burley Christmas Bash
The Little Burley Christmas Bash

The Little Burley Christmas Bash 

Everyone's favourite local outdoor market is ramping things up on Saturday 16th for a special Christmas edition. There will be over 80 stalls showcasing local and handmade goodies - perfect for last-minute Christmas presents. There will also be live entertainment taking stage all day as well as two free Santa photo sessions between 10am and 11am and 5pm to 6pm. Free games, kids art and craft stations and water play will also be available all day. 

Saturday 16th December, 8am to 8pm  

Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Commonwealth Place, Canberra 

Weaving for Wellbeing Workshops
Weaving for Wellbeing Workshops

Weaving for Wellbeing Workshops

Spend your Saturday learning to weave using both traditional and modern Aboriginal techniques in this hands-on workshop held in the grounds of the National Arboretum Canberra. You will create a woven piece of art (basket, coolamon, dillybag or jewellery piece) as well as enjoy a guided walk through the Mununia Butterfly Garden to learn which plants are best for weaving. You'll also be able to sample some bushtucker during your workshop. 

$125 per person 

One Saturday per month, 10am to 11:30am 

National Arboretum Canberra 

A portrait of Madonna with her hands beside her face in black and white.
A portrait of Madonna with her hands beside her face in black and white. Madonna's first front cover for Island magazine, 1983. Image Credit: Curtis Knapp

Madonna40: A Celebration

Dive into the beat of the '80s and beyond with Madonna40: A Celebration, a standout among the best art exhibitions in Canberra. Canberran Jerry Kirbell, a die-hard Madonna aficionado, unveils a slice of his extensive collection, showcasing autographed pieces, tour merch, and rare photographs that span the Queen of Pop's astounding four-decade career. In this exhibit, you'll be able to grasp the impact Madonna has left on music, fashion, and pop culture while grooving to her timeless soundtrack. Kirbell's love for Madonna shines through in this artistic homage, proving that even a 'small' collection can pack a big punch. Note: Prepare for a walk down memory lane with some adult content.

Until Sunday 3rd March 2024

Canberra Museum and Gallery, Corner London Circuit and City Square, Canberra

Handmade Markets 

These quarterly handmade markets are back this December and ready to sort you out for Christmas gifts. Everything at the market is certified Australian made which makes shopping an absolute delight. Each market is curated to include over 250 food, drink and shopping stalls and you'll be able to find all kinds of goodies from ceramics and prints through to natural wine and ready-to-eat treats. The Handmade Market even offers a low sensory hour for shoppers who would like to enjoy shopping with fewer lights, smells and sounds - you'll just need to register ahead of time. 

Friday 8th December to Sunday 10th December 

Exhibition Pavillion Canberra 

Sunset Cinema
Sunset Cinema

Enjoy a Night Out at Canberra's Sunset Cinema 

Summer is a time for lapping up all the outdoors you can. Next time you fancy a film, swing by Canberra's Sunset Cinema to kill two birds with one stone. They'll be screening a selection of all-time classics, Christmas movies and new releases and there will also be fresh popcorn, snacks, food trucks and a licenced bar on-site. There are multiple seating options available including bean bags, lawn chairs and BYO picnic rugs. 

Click here for the full schedule 

Thursday 23rd November to Saturday 24th February 

Eucalypt Lawn, Australian National Botanic Gardens 

What's on in Canberra: Eat & Drink

Canberra Carols by Candlelight
Canberra Carols by Candlelight

Canberra Carols by Candlelight 

A yearly tradition, Canberra Carols by Candlelight is a must-attend event if you're seeking to amp up your Christmas spirit. It's a free event with plenty of space to spread a picnic rug and there will also be food vans on-site should you find yourself feeling peckish. Songbooks and candles will be available to purchase with all proceeds to go to charity. 

Saturday December 9th, 6pm to 8:30pm 

Stage 88, Commonwealth Park 

A margherita with a chili salt rim sitting on a marble table beside a cut lemon

Margherita Masterclass 

New to the bar scene, Cabo has hit Canberra with a bang. Sangria, taco platters and tequila sunsets are all on offer but we're most excited about their Margherita Masterclasses. All you need to do is gather a group of five or so pals and you'll have the chance to get behind the bar and mix your favourite margheritas. The ticket price includes three demonstrated cocktails and tastings as well as Cabo's signature guac and chips. 

$85 per person 

27 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City 

Leyla Luxe
Leyla Luxe

Experience a Slice of Leyla Luxe

Looking for a swish way to socialise this weekend? Head to one of the year's best openings, Leyla Bar. Every Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 6pm, Leyla is offering rooftop views, a glass of champagne and a selection of French cakes. If that's not the most perfect way to spend a weekend arvo, we don't know what is. Feeling extra fancy? Add oysters and caviar! 

From $45 per person

Saturdays and Sundays, 3pm to 6pm 

Level 7, 1 Burbury Close, Barton 

(Image Credit: Visit Canberra)
(Image Credit: Visit Canberra)

Farewell 2023 by Lake Burley Griffin 

Pack your picnic and say goodbye to 2023 with a spectacular display over Lake Burley Griffin. There will be three hub areas spread around the Lake at Regatta Point, Commonwealth Place and Rond Terrace. Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and rug and settle in for a show! 

Need more ideas on what to do in Canberra this month? Here’s our guide to the best weekend activities in Canberra and, if you’re heading to NSW for the weekend, the top things to do in Sydney this October.

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