Canberra Apartments


Great things to do in Canberra with kids this Summer 2023

Accommodate Canberra provides short-term luxury accommodation in Canberra and would like to share with you some of the great things to do in Canberra with kids this summer – that the locals have been enjoying for years.

For those of us that have lived and grown up in Canberra, we can remember when it was possible to go to Capital Hill and walk over Parliament House—in fact, it was almost mandatory that friends and relatives were challenged to a rolly-polly race from the very top to the bottom of Parliament House.

You can no longer walk over Parliament House or do a rolly-polly from the top to the bottom—but you can from about halfway up, and it is still a lot of fun for the whole family.

While at Parliament House, you can do many other things, including a guided tour and exploring the gardens surrounding the building.

Even to Canberrans, the Parliament House gardens are mostly a hidden secret. A total of 23 hectares of the 33-hectare site are fully landscaped and include Australian bush, turfed areas, formal and semi-formal areas with native and exotic plants.

There are nine hectares of formal gardens on the eastern side, which are inspired by French and English formal garden designs. The gardens have water features and displays of 3500 annuals that are changed in spring and autumn.

These gardens are a great place to escape - and for kids to run wild and play hide and seek.

There is also lots to do at Old Parliament House, which is now the home of the Museum of Australian Democracy (MOAD). There are stacks of exhibitions that are great for kids and a café for refuelling. 

Another of Canberra’s best-kept secrets is also located at Old Parliament House, which are the Old Parliament House Gardens. Located on either side of Old Parliament House, they have free entry, stunning rose gardens, timber pergolas, beautiful trees, a bowling green, clubhouse and tennis courts (that can be booked by the public). This is a great space for a picnic and a nap while the kids run amuck!

Travelling to Canberra on a hot summer’s day can be hot and dry with an average temperature of 29 degrees. A family favourite was to go to one of the many public parks and ‘beaches’ by the lakes and rivers to cool off and have a picnic or a BBQ.

Back in the day, these were Black Mountain Peninsula and Weston Park. They are still great today and include the following great things for families and kids to enjoy.

Black Mountain Peninsula

Playground – the playground is great for young children and preschoolers and has all sorts of fun things such as swings and slides, padded flooring and shade, climbing frames, musical instruments and spinning tops. There is also a Liberty Swing for children in wheelchairs.

BBQs and picnic areas – there are five public BBQs at Black Mountain Peninsula, which are all free and publicly available. They are well spaced out so that you and your family can play a game of cricket or mess about on the grass. 

Swimming area – there is a netted swimming area that runs out to a small island on Lake Burley Griffin. You could even take down a kayak or stand-up paddle board and have even more fun.

Lake Burley Griffin Circuit – Western Loop – This is a 16km cycling loop (so bring your bikes or scooters or hire some from the many providers available in the ACT). This is a lovely scenic route that takes in:


Weston Park

There are actually more things to do at Weston Park, a 40-hectare park, 10 minutes from Canberra’s CBD, on Lake Burley Griffin, than you can ‘poke a stick at’. So, we have decided to list them:

· Yarralumla Play Station – ride the blue miniature (Thomas) train and play mini golf.
· Yarralumla Gallery and the Oaks Brasserie – a beautiful gallery and café in a cottage built in 1923.
· Free public BBQs – these are dotted throughout the park and have been upgraded with undercover tables and benches.
· Weston Park Playground – there is a water play area, slides, bridge, spinning platform, climbing frame, digger, sandpit, swings and toilet facilities.
· SievX Memorial – an installation that remembers the 353 people who died on the refugee boat SievX in 2001.
· Heritage Nursery – all plants that are sold here are suited to the Canberra climate. There are also giftware and accessories. Kids might like to meet the chickens at the back of the nursery.
· Weston Park Dog Park – if you have your dog with you, or are missing your furry friend, then you will find plenty of pooches at the dog park. This is a fenced off-leash park with separate areas for large and small dogs.
· Swim or look at the water – View Black Mountain Tower, or the double-decker-sized flag of Parliament House. Watch the boats and other watercraft on Lake Burley Griffin – or brave the waters for a quick dip.

There are, of course, many other family-friendly locations and events happening this summer in Canberra, but the team at Accommodate Canberra wanted to share some of their family favourites that have passed the test of time.

To see a full list of what to do with kids in January and Summer 2023 in Canberra then go to What’s on in Canberra.

If you haven’t already booked your short-term luxury accommodation in Canberra, then contact the trusted team at Accommodate Canberra to ensure you get the best possible serviced apartments in Canberra for your family this summer.