Canberra - Top 3 Free Things to Do with Kids This Summer
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is an extraordinary museum — designed to commemorate the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war.
But is it a place to take kids? Obviously this is something that each family must decide for themselves as some of the exhibits and concepts presented could be confronting for sensitive children. If you are unsure, The Discovery Zone is a great place to start. This is a kid friendly, hands-on educational space where kids can experience different environments inspired by Australia’s military history including:
a trench on the Western Front in France from the First World War
the Australian home front during the Second World War
an Iroquois helicopter hovering in a field in Vietnam
an Oberon Class submarine, searching for enemy targets
a peacekeeping mission in a war-ravaged community
Kids will love taking control of the Iroquois helicopter and peering through the periscope of the Cold War submarine.
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Royal Australian Mint
The multi tourism award winning Royal Australian Mint is one of Canberra's real gems. Visit to learn the stories behind every Australian coin in your pocket, purse or piggy bank.
The ongoing exhibition “Treasures of the National Coin Collection” includes some of the rarest and most valuable coins from the National Coin Collection, including a 1930 penny, a 1kg gold coin and the famous kookaburra pennies. This exhibition is held in the vaults of the mint.
The behind-the-scenes guided tour is a must do, where you actually get to see how the coins are made. You’ll get to watch some of the Mint’s robot family at work, including Titan (the 2nd largest robot in the Southern Hemisphere), Penny the forklift robot (she can drive herself around the factory) and Robbie who picks up the bags of coins and boxes them at the end of the production line.
There are loads of interactive features for kids and if you are still looking for a way to keep them engaged they can complete the Mint Treasure Hunt, included in the My Visit to the Mint Activity Book available at the front desk. You can even mint your own $1 commemorative coin at the end (small cost involved).
There is also a great cafe on site for a coffee and snack after the visit.
For more information click here>>>
Pack a picnic and head out to the National Arboretum. You will experience one of the world's largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. Winner of the World Architecture Festival for landscape, the National Arboretum surrounds visitors with panoramic views, stunning architecture and the natural beauty of trees and gardens from Australia and around the world.
But for the kids its all about Canberra’s coolest and most unique, nature themed Pod Playground, where children get to play in giant acorn cubby houses and banksia pods.
It’s a multi age playground, so big kids can climb through the acorns in the sky, and little ones can play in the banksia huts on the ground. There are rope tunnels and tube slippery slides connecting all of the acorns as well as port holes for kids to see out of – the views over the surrounding Arboretum are spectacular.
Back down on earth little ones will love playing with the musical instruments in the banksia huts and mucking around in the sand pits as well as crawling and climbing all over the intriguing natural sculptures located throughout the playground.
When the kids (or you!) have had enough, go for a drive around the Arboretum as it is amazing how they have regenerated the area after the devastating bush fires of 2003. Or simply relax and refresh at the Sprout Cafe.
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