30 December 2023

Cool attractions and hot holiday packages on offer in the capital this summer

| Katrina Condie
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fireworks over a lake

Fireworks will light up the sky over Lake Burley Griffin on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

There’s so much to see and do in Canberra, and many of the city’s popular attractions are free and indoors, out of the summer sun.

If you want to immerse yourself in some history, check out the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, or while away the hours at the National Museum Australia, where kids are welcome and encouraged to explore the exhibitions and outdoor spaces.

The museum is hosting several school holiday programs, including scarab sculpting and jewellery making, and families can discover the wonders of ancient Egypt as well as the new Great Southern Land gallery.

With more than 44,000 rare and endangered trees, the National Arboretum Canberra is a mosaic of living forests and gardens set on 250 hectares offering breathtaking views, a magnificent playground and world-class entertainment.

Stroll, scoot or cycle around Lake Burley Griffin in the heart of Canberra and keep the kids enthralled for hours at Questacon — The National Science and Technology Centre.

Youngsters and the young at heart will be mesmerised by the beautifully landscaped gardens and meticulously handcrafted miniature buildings from around the world at Cockington Green Gardens.

Get up close and personal with exotic species at the National Zoo & Aquarium, and see skeletons, fossils and one of the biggest permanent collections of interactive dinosaurs in Australia at the National Dinosaur Museum.

Outdoor types can explore many of the city’s walking tracks and mountain bike trails, and enjoy a barbecue at Corin Forest, which features a thrilling mountain slide.

The list of things to do is endless, with attractions and events for sports fans, Harry Potter nuts, history buffs and foodies.

Ring in 2024 at the 9 pm fireworks show over the lake, which will include a 15-minute pyrotechnic spectacular with a synchronised soundtrack, while drones will light up the sky on Australia Day with a free light show and activities for the whole family.

Rydges Canberra general manager Katie Smith is right in the thick of the action and says Canberra offers a great short break for families, with great accommodation deals on offer for those on a tight budget.

“Canberra is a fantastic destination for a family holiday or long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the coast,” she said.

“The best thing is, many of the attractions are free or offer great deals over summer.”

hotel seating area by a window

Families will enjoy the amenities and light-filled space at Rydges Canberra. Photo: Rydges.

Rydges Canberra

Where: 17 Canberra Avenue, Forrest, ACT 2603

Rydges Canberra is within walking distance of the parliamentary triangle, the National Gallery, Questacon and Lake Burley Griffin. It’s a short stroll to Manuka shops and the bustling Kingston Foreshore.

Families can take advantage of Rydges’ Summer Sale and unwind in a twin room with two double beds, or sprawl out in the Embassy Suite, which has a separate bedroom for mum and dad, plus a sofa bed in the living room for the kids.

Stay longer and save, with up to 15 per cent off the best available rates, plus Priority Guest Rewards members can save a further 10 per cent and receive great in-stay benefits including late checkout, a free drink on arrival and discounted dining in the restaurants and bars.

The whole family will enjoy cooling off in Rydges’ stunning indoor pool and relaxing in the spa.

Kids playing in a tent

The kids will have a ball with the modern amenities set in old-world charm. Photo: The Brassey Hotel.

Doma Hotels – Brassey Hotel

Where: Belmore Gardens & Macquarie Street, Barton, ACT 2600

Located on the footsteps of Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle, the Brassey Hotel is set on two and a half acres (one hectare) of manicured gardens and lawns, offering old-world charm with all the comforts of a quality property.

Brassey Hotel is the ideal home away from home for your family trip to Canberra. Children will have their own amenities, activities and games for their stay. As a family, you can explore the city on foot, as many iconic landmarks are within walking distance, including Questacon, Parliament House and the National Gallery.

Enjoy a family dinner at any of the fabulous Realm Precinct restaurants.

The Brassey VIP Kids package includes overnight accommodation in a Family Suite, a la carte breakfast at Ostani, a children’s activity bag, an all-inclusive child-friendly minibar filled with treats, plus a soft-drink or hot-chocolate voucher.


Stay at one of Canberra’s Abode Hotels and receive a family pass to the National Zoo and Aquarium. Photo: Abode.

Abode Hotels

Where: Belconnen, Gungahlin, Kingston, Narrabundah, Tuggeranong and Woden

Visit Canberra and stay at one of the Abode Hotels to take advantage of their fantastic Family Package until 31 January, 2024.

The package includes a family pass to the National Zoo and Aquarium, plus a $50 Kingpin, Zone Bowling or Timezone voucher per night. You can also take advantage of a late checkout time of 11 am.

Abode Hotels are smart in design, providing guests with all the hotel essentials they need and a few extras on top. Several room types are on offer, catering to families or groups. They also have pet-friendly rooms, so you really can take the whole family to Canberra this summer!

Original Article published by Katrina Condie on Riotact.

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