My husband and I were reminiscing about our childhood and one thing we both kept bringing up was the Questacon. We thought that it would be great to visit however Canberra is a bit of a drive to see just one thing.
I decided to investigate what Canberra has to offer and sure enough there is plenty to do.
We wanted to find a place that had a bath, 2 bedrooms with queen beds, a kitchen and a pool. There were some lovely ones. We decided to go with Clifton Suites on Northbourne. It was affordable and had great reviews.
Canberra is a bit over 3 hours from Parramatta. We timed it so that they could have their afternoon nap in the car. Bowral is a lovely place to stop over half way if you need to stretch your legs and calm your children down (we had to do this).
11am – Leave Home. Pack up the car and start driving!
2:30pm – Arrive in Canberra and check in to the hotel. We stayed at the Clifton Suites on Northbourne and thought it was very well presented and a great hotel if you have children. The area is a little bit ‘hipster’ and as a result quite a few cafes have eggs, nuts etc on the menu. Just a tip for those who have allergies. There was a paleo cafe nearby too!
2:45pm – Lunch We had brought some fruit and snacks with us.
4:00pm – Visit the Dinosaur Museum. Our children are quite young and we really didn’t need more than an hour for this. We found a great deal on groupon which has now sold out ? There is quite a lot to do here to keep a toddler and preschooler interested. You start off by wandering the museum upstairs. There is a lot of information, dinosaurs, hands on fossil prints for your children to feel and some of the dinosaurs move and roar. My youngest was not please with this. Downstairs there is a cafe and also a puzzle room. This room contains puzzles (duh), a large egg with a dinosaur in it and two cracked eggs for your children to stand in and take photos, a DVD playing about dinosaurs, books, beanbags, some small tables and chairs set up for your children to colour in dinosaurs, prints of fossils with paper and crayons to take a print back home with you! This was definitely a favourite for our kids.
5:30pm – Early Dinner at the Bentsproke Brewery. This place is very trendy. You can take your own flask and fill it with their beer. They had 2 high chairs much to our delight and a childrens menu. Behind the menu was a picture they could colour in. Tick! The food was lovely and according to my husband, so was the beer.
6:30pm – Nice swim in the pool at the hotel. The pool doesn’t really have a shallow area for the kids however it is warm and lovely.
9am – Breakfast in a cafe nearby. I was not please so I won’t even mention it.
9:30am – Questacon! followed by lunch at the questacon The Questacon did not disappoint. Each room/gallery has a theme. You start from the top of the questacon and work your way down. There is a mini q gallery toward the end that is ideal for children aged 0-6. This comprised of a play area, role playing where your children serve you from a pretend bakery, a water play area which also had high chairs for the younger children and much more. We spent at least 3 hours exploring the questacon followed by lunch at the cafe.
1:30 – 3:30 – Kids caught some z’s followed by having fruit etc for snacks.
4:20pm – Walk in Bird Aviary Children under 4 are free which is the case in most places we visited. This is a lovely place which also happens to be in the same area as the dinosaur museum and Cockington Green. You are given a plate of cut apples and a container of saw dust and live grubs/worms to feed the birds. What a lovely experience this was. I had 4 lorikeets sitting on my arm eating from my hands. My eldest daughter also had the opportunity to feed the birds. She still talks about it. Definitely make the time to visit. We didn’t need more than 20 minutes.
6:00pm – Dinner at the Custom Pizzeria – After a disappointing breakfast, I decided to do some research for dinner. My youngest has allergies and I decided a plain cheese pizza would make both the kids happy. There is an area which is 6 minutes walk from Clifton Suites known as ‘The Hamlet’. This is a place of mini restaurants, food trucks and vans. You have Pizza, Greek, Mexican, Hot dogs and more! We sat inside and ordered the tastiest pizzas. They do not have high chairs but do have cushions to elevate seats. My eldest did this whilst we just used the pram as a high chair for our little one. We were in pizza heaven. I don’t know what they put in that dough but it is magical. I am very upset that we do not have it here in Sydney.
9am – Breakfast at the Armadillo Cafe If you need a break from your children for 5 minutes to have a decent coffee and lovely scones, this is the place to visit. Annie is the owner of this cafe and just a truly lovely person. Whilst there aren’t any high chairs, she has books, toys and colouring in available for the kids. My children sat on the floor and were entertained whilst we enjoyed our coffee. Very glad we stumbled upon this place.
9:30am – Cockington Green – A must visit. Lovely gardens and a mini town! There are minature trains through out that actually work at a press of a button. There is a train you can sit in that does 2 laps around Cockington Green. There are a few hidden items you will see if you do this. One that springs to mind is a UFO with an alien in the bathroom. The football stadium had a streaker that was being arrested by police. Not only do the kids get entertained but the adults do as well. It’s like playing where’s wally trying to find the amusing scene. There is a playground within the complex for when the children need some timeout.
12:30pm – Drove back to Sydney.
Things we wish missed out on
Pick your own fruit at Tanbella Orchard! I really wanted to do this however we just ran out of time. Opens from 11am until 4pm 7 days a week during season.