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The Best Things to do with Kids in Canberra

Because we want everyone to have a ball.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (Image Credit: Visit Canberra)

Surrounded by rugged mountains and bushland, Canberra is a cool city-meets-country destination. For families, it’s an easy weekend getaway and the perfect mix of culture and play, with incredible galleries and museums, kid-friendly restaurants, beautiful parks and plenty of open-air activities.

And since it’s so small, you can cover a lot of ground in just a couple of days. Where else can you spot a kangaroo hopping around in the bush and then stroll the city streets minutes later? So, if you're thinking of taking the family to our nation's capital for your next adventure, here are the best things to do with kids in Canberra. 

Best Things to do with Kids in Canberra: Kid-Friendly Accommodation

Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Jamala Wildlife Lodge

One of the best things to do with kids in Canberra is a safari experience at the incredible Jamala Wildlife Lodge. Part of the National Zoo, you and the kids will learn all about the zoo’s animals, then retreat to your treehouse-style accommodation. 

Book here

999 Lady Denman Drive, Weston Creek

The Novotel

A hop, skip and a jump from the Canberra Centre, The Novotel is super reasonable and boasts a central location with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including an indoor pool (and a bubbly spa for the parents!). Oh, and did we mention it also has an indoor play area for kids and babysitting services available for an extra charge? Genius. 

Book here

65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra 

East Hotel

East Hotel

This hotel has a bunch of cool, contemporary rooms and suites, including the Kids Cubby option. Connected to the East Apartment, it’s decked out with bunk beds; kids' play and dining table, Lego, bean bags and an Xbox. 

Book here

69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston

A by Adina

A by Adina

Families love the fact that A by Adina is close to Questacon, plus how well-appointed the modern rooms are here. Complete with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom, your family will be very comfortable here. 

Book here

1 Constitution Avenue, Canberra

Best Things to do with Kids in Canberra: Eat

Little Oink

Little Oink

Charming café Little Oink has a great kids menu, which features all the kiddy classics like chicken nuggets, banana bread and French toast with maple syrup and ice cream. They also do a mean fruit juice or smoothie. 

22 Cook Place, Cook

Ricardo's Cafe

Ricardo’s Café

A bustling local haunt, the family-friendly spot whips up simple but delicious food and has a playground where parents can keep an eye on the kids. They also have a huge kids' menu that covers all bases - from waffles to toasties to classic spag boll. 

Jamison Plaza, Bowman Street, Macquarie

Space Kitchen

Space Kitchen

Another must-visit for the sweet tooths in the family, Space Kitchen has a swathe of individual cakes to indulge in and breaky options, pastries and coffee. The kids will love the fun, bright bakes stocked in the cabinet with treats ranging from cookie monster to fruity look-alike creations. 

3g/12 Furzer Street, Phillip 

Best Things to do with Kids in Canberra: Play

Lake Burley Griffin (Image Credit: Visit Canberra)

Bike Around Lake Burley Griffin

If the sun is shining, hire a bike and cruise the foreshore. It is an easy ride for the whole family, and the scenery is gorgeous. 

Lake Burley Griffin, Acton

Go Boat

Picnic on the Lake

Thanks to Go Boat Canberra, you can skipper your own boat and enjoy a picturesque picnic (and maybe a cheeky glass of wine for the parents) on Lake Burley Griffin. No boat license is required.

Cockington Green Gardens

Stroll the Cockington Green Gardens

An activity the whole family will enjoy (we’re looking at you, Dad!), Cockington Green Garden is one of the best things to do with kids in Canberra. Featuring a teeny-tiny model world with miniature buildings, people, animals, castles, and sports grounds, your little ones will have a blast playing here.

11 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls 

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (Image Credit: Visit Canberra)

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

These wetlands are amazing for wildlife watching. You might spot a platypus, possum, wombat, echidna, emu, or kangaroo as you move along the marked walking trails. There’s also a koala sanctuary.

Paddys River Road, Paddys River

Australian National Botanic Gardens (Image Credit: @Booming_On)

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Enjoy a picnic lunch on the rainforest boardwalk, then make your way to the Children’s Discovery Walk, which teaches kids about the importance of plants and animal biodiversity through fun activities. The gardens host scavenger hunts from time to time, too.

Clunies Ross Street, Acton

Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing

Take the Fun Indoors

Head to the Ice Skating Centre or test your skills at Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing. Older kids will love channelling a racecar driver at Power Kart Raceway’s indoor circuit. Flip Out trampoline is also another great energy-burn activity for little ones. 

National Zoo & Aquarium

National Zoo & Aquarium

The zoo is quite intimate so you can conquer it in half a day. It’s home to exotic animals like lions, tigers, giraffes and penguins, and offers hands-on experiences for animal lovers.

999 Lady Denman Drive, Yarralumla

Old Bus Depot Markets

Old Bus Depot Markets

If the kids are busting to spend their pocket money, let them pick something out at the Old Bus Depot Markets. Held every Sunday, expect lots of stalls selling food, sweets, toys, handmade jewellery and clothes.

21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston

Best Things to do with Kids in Canberra: Museums & Tours

National Museum

National Museum

There’s a lot geared towards children here. We love the Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre, which is an immersive play space for children of all abilities from baby to 6 years old. Enjoy free daily activities in the mini maker's corner and story time sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays during ACT term time.

Lawson Crescent, Acton 

Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial brings Australia’s military history to life and is a great place for kids to learn via video, displays and plenty of authentic historical items. 

Treloar Crescent, Campbell 

Canberra Glassworks

Canberra Glassworks 

Head to Canberra Glassworks and watch the pros turn panes of glass into works of art or sign the kids up to make their own masterpieces. 

11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston



Tucked inside the National Science and Technology Centre, a trip to Questacon is an absolute must. It’s made up of seven science-themed rooms, each of which has hands-on experiences, experiments, and cool displays. 

King Edward Terrace, Parkes

National Arboretum

National Arboretum Canberra

The Pod Playground is the coolest playground in Canberra, hands down, with banksia cubby houses, wooden pods shaped like acorns, musical bridges, ropes and slides. Inside the Arboretum, there’s a gorgeous collection of bonsai.

Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley

Now you've finished organising the best things to do with kids in Canberra, keep exploring the best of the nation's capital. Be sure to check out our edit of the best Italian restaurants in Canberra and the best markets in Canberra.

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