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A weekend in your suburb: 36 hours in Belconnen

Date

Erika Bacon

Belconnen can get a bad rap from some Canberrans, but local Erika Bacon knows where to dine, dance and shop.

Canberra High year 10 students Jeremy Bradbury and Triska Hoelzl escape the heat at the Big Splash water park with water filled balloons.

Canberra High year 10 students Jeremy Bradbury and Triska Hoelzl escape the heat at the Big Splash water park with water filled balloons. Photo: Jay Cronan

Begin your Friday at The Pot Belly pub for some quite-after work drinks and enjoy the afternoon's Live Jazz that kicks off at 5pm. Pot Belly provides excellent bistro food and has recently rejigged the menu.  If you are getting into the spirit (or the spirits) of the night, you could always try your hand at some Lazer Tag.  Zone 3 is right next door open until 10pm on a Friday.

On Saturday when you finally manage to drag yourself out of bed, head into Belconnen Mall for some shopping and brunch. Westfield Belconnen has recently been re-developed, moving the interchange out of the mall and off to the side, and bringing in a range of new and exciting shops and cafés.

Belconnen Mall ... a chance for some shopping and brunch.

Belconnen Mall ... a chance for some shopping and brunch. Photo: Graham Tidy

Red Bean Café will provide you with an amazing feast that can be enjoyed on the smallest of budgets. If you are looking to entertain the kids, or perhaps even the big kid at heart, head to iPlay, the new arcade next to the cinema complete with dodgem cars and bowling.

Stop past Belconnen Fresh Food Markets to get your weekly grocery shopping done, make sure you stop for a coffee at Knead Patisserie - beautiful coffee, rustic breads and lovely pastries.

For those of us who use their weekends to get out and stretch the old legs, go for a walk or ride around Lake Ginninderra, and take advantage of the exercise sites they have set up for the fitness freaks out there.  Or even pack a barbeque or picnic and make the most of the warm weather while it lasts.

Fitness freaks can take advantage of the exercise sites around Lake Ginninderra.

Fitness freaks can take advantage of the exercise sites around Lake Ginninderra. Photo: Rik Condon

If you prefer your exercise with a side serving of fun, head to Big Splash Water Park at Jamison. It's the only water park in Canberra. There are eight waterslides,  five heated pools, children play areas, a restaurant and, of course, trained life guards.  It's open from 10am to 6pm on weekends.

For the afternoon head to HaHa Bar, a beautiful and funky restaurant with scenic views onto Lake Ginninderra. There is much enjoy at HaHa bar, whether it be the beautiful tapas menu, the amazing cocktails, the craft beers, the décor or even just a delicious cocktail while enjoying the view. 

You could also head to the Light House pub next door or just a few blocks down you can try your hand at karaoke at KBar. KBar doesn't ever seem to close, nor is it ever too busy for you to worry about people hearing you.  For a more family friendly evening, there is always the skate park or the bowling alley close by.

Belconnen Fresh Food Markets.

Belconnen Fresh Food Markets. Photo: Melissa Adams

On Sunday morning it is worth hopping out of bed early and heading to the Jamison Trash and Treasure to bag a bargain. It runs every Sunday from 6am to 1pm.

Then head for a hearty breakfast at award winning Ricardo's Café, just inside the Jamison Plaza, open from 7.30am seven days a week with an all-day breakfast and award winning barista, you just can't go wrong. Or check out the newest addition to the Belconnen cafe scene, Chatterbox, great food at excellent prices on Cameron Avenue.

5 comments so far

  • Unusual juxtaposition of a photo of Yr 10 students and the opening sentence “Begin your Friday at The Pot Belly pub for some quite-after work drinks and enjoy the afternoon's Live Jazz that kicks off at 5pm.” While the clientele that frequent grotty premises such as that might be 16 year old children, it would certainly not my idea of “beginning” my Friday in Belconnen. Of course, not being 16, Lazer Tag is probably again not my thing. Then there was the trip to Belconnen Mall. Which part of the mall did you visit to find the “range of new and exciting shops and cafés”? Let the readers know, as we are yet to find them. Belconnen Markets may have been trendy 15 years ago, but now looks run-down and tired. My partner and I went to Knead Patisserie based on a previous rap by The Canberra Times. The coffee was nothing to rave about, and you have to get there early for any chance of the “lovely pastries" and a chance to sit on crappy chairs with wobbly tables. Is there another place with the same name perhaps? The next bit made me laugh. “For the afternoon head to HaHa Bar, a beautiful and funky restaurant with scenic views onto Lake Ginninderra.” Really - I had desperately wanted to take some visitors out for lunch in Canberra on a Saturday afternoon not so long ago. Imagine my embarrassment when the only place open was a Chinese takeaway. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but a little reality check would not go astray.

    Commenter
    Drive Like a Clown
    Location
    Belconnen
    Date and time
    March 07, 2014, 5:08PM
    • I grew up in Canberra but left years ago - have been back from time to time - but it is like the LNP in Opposition - promises a lot we are left wanting

      Commenter
      Ho Hum
      Date and time
      March 07, 2014, 6:52PM
      • As someone who has grown up in belconnen, and still lives in this area, I find some of the suggestions amazing. Belconnen Mall, iplay and laser tag are not a fun way to spend your weekend. Did the author actually spend time at these places? Are they an adult or a teenager?

        Commenter
        Snaddle
        Date and time
        March 07, 2014, 8:19PM
        • I think we can safely ask 'Is SHE an adult or a teenager?, Erika sounds very much like a female person so I think crazy pseudo plural PC language is not required here.

          Commenter
          Saddington
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          March 14, 2014, 12:47PM
      • Belconnen is indeed a suburb - where the mall is - but it's also a cluster of suburbs, everything from Aranda to Dunlop.

        This should have been made clear to the reader.

        Erika did not stay in the actual suburb, but ventured out to the wilds of Macquarie, to visit Jamison Plaza.

        This is not fair to other suburbs

        Commenter
        Saddington
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        March 14, 2014, 12:45PM

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