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Canberra Long Weekender: What's on January 23-26

Your guide to what's going on around the capital this Australia Day long weekend.

All Weekend

SUMMER SOUNDS The Australian National Botanic Gardens will come alive every Saturday and Sunday evening in January with the sounds of blues and grooves, big band beats, rockabilly, jazz and more. Bring your picnic, plus there will be gourmet food and cold beverages for sale, and kids' activities. Saturday 5.30-7.30pm and on Sunday there is a special extended Australia Day concert from 5.30-8.30pm. Australian National Botanic Gardens Eucalypt Lawn, Acton. Entry Adult $5/Concession $2/Under 17 free.

CANCON Canberra Wargames Society will host Cancon 2015 at Exhibition Park until Monday. All the usual Cancon events will be back, including board games, card games and fantasy role-playing tournaments, more than 50 games retail stalls, international guests/players, game designers, stacks of fantasy/sci-fi and militaria books and paraphernalia, and a new and improved second-hand stall. Free entry to the public, free participation games, and Cancon's largest ever Board Games Library. For more information visit

FOLK FESTIVAL The Numeralla Folk Festival runs until Monday with plenty to see, hear and do including a poets' breakfast, dance and bluegrass workshops, children's activities and a bush dance. Numeralla is on Cooma Road, off the Monaro Highway in NSW. For more information visit

ILLUMINATING THE MEMORIAL The Australian War Memorial will be illuminated during summer late-night openings of the Commemorative Area. Take the opportunity to pay your respects during the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. Volunteer guides will provide insights and stories from the Roll of Honour. Hear the recorded voices of Australian schoolchildren reciting the names of servicemen and servicewomen who appear on the World War I Roll of Honour. The names of those who lost their lives serving our country in World War I will be projected onto the memorial's dome after sunset. Until January 31. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7.30-9.30pm. Free entry.

ROYAL BALLET ON SCREEN Filmed live at Covent Garden in London, Palace Electric is this weekend showing Royal Ballet: Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In cinema January 23, 24, 25 and 28.



10am DISNEY FLASHBACKS The National Film and Sound Archives is showing Disney Classics in their Arc Cinema throughout January. Today, see The Fox and the Hound (G). Tickets $5 from the NFSA reception on 6248 2000.

From 10am WORDPLAY Wordplay is the National Library of Australia's new pop-up kids' space. It's a hands-on, interactive place where parents and kids can explore language and imagination through reading, writing and illustration with activities including drawing, poetry games, stamp making, letter blocks and iPad learning apps designed to inspire a love of language and learning. On until January 30 from 10am-4pm. Ferguson Room on Level 1. Free. Bookings are required for groups of 10 or more on 6262 1271.

10.30am and 2pm LIGHT MY SCULPTURE Build a light sculpture inspired by James Turrell and the spectrum using coloured gels and perforated materials. 10.30am-12.30pm and 2-4pm. For children aged 7 to 12. Small Theatre at the National Gallery of Australia. Tickets Child $25/Child Member $20 from

From 11am BACK TO SCHOOL CRAFT Kids can do free pencil case craft and drink bottle decorating at Westfield Belconnen from 11am-2pm. Centre Court, Level 1.

11am and 7pm CINDERELLA Ickle Pickle Productions presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in the January school holidays. Showing at Belconnen Theatre until January 24. Tickets Adult $26/Child $22.50/Concession $22.50 from

From 12pm BIDVEST RACE DAY An afternoon of summer horse racing at Thoroughbred Park, with eight races and bar and snack food available. Free entry.12pm-5.30pm.

5.30pm ASIAN CUP QUARTER FINAL The last chance to catch live Asian Cup action in Canberra. Iran will play Iraq at Canberra Stadium in the quarter final clash of the Asian Cup. Tickets $14.78-$70.35 from

5.30pm IMAGINARIUM Opening tonight, a collection of works by 20 artists linked by the theme mythical creatures. Tuesday to Sunday 10am-4pm. Belconnen Arts Centre. Free.

From 6pm SUNSET CINEMAS See Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (PG) at the Ben & Jerry's Open-air Cinemas. Gates open at 6pm, movie starts at 8.15pm. Fridays are Aperol Spritz Sunset Sessions where all 18+ ticketholders can enjoy a complimentary Spritz sample. Patrick White Lawns, Parkes (in front of the National Library). Online tickets Adults $19/Concession $15/Volkswagen Polo Class $27/Star Lounge $40 from Tickets cost more at the gate.

From 6pm OPENING NIGHT The first exhibition for 2015, 7 ½ heads tall, opens at Nishi Gallery, with a launch night party. Figure drawings and sculptures by life drawing artists in the Colony Collective and Nishi Art Collective, curated by Meg Morton. 6-9pm. Free entry.

7pm AFTERDARK TOURS Explore the National Botanic Gardens at night and combine it with a degustation dinner at their delicious AFTERDARK adults-only tours. Four courses with matched drinks plus a guided tour. Tickets $75 from Also on January 30, February 6, 20 and March 13, 20, 27.

8pm SECOND SUN Alternative acoustic rock band Second Sun from Canberra play at Smith's Alternative. Doors at 7.30pm. Tickets $10 at the door. Visit

8pm LACERATION MANTRA Brisbane heavy metal band Laceration Mantra make their first visit to Canberra. Transit Bar. $10 entry.

9pm FOAM PARTY Academy's infamous foam party will return featuring Some Blonde DJs. Wear your swimmers and board shorts (but no thongs) and bring a sandwich bag for your phone. Entry $15 before 11pm. Academy Nightclub, Civic.


From 10am FAMILY FUN DAY DEEKS Health Foods is celebrating the Aussie spirit with a family fun day at the new DEEKS Cafe and Lounge at Pearce shops. World champion marathon runner and former Australian of the Year, Rob de Castella, will be there to fire up the barbecue . Kids activities, Aussie fancy dress competition, gold coin donation sausage sizzle, hamburgers, pavlova and more. 10am-2pm.

10am and 12.30pm GIGGLE AND HOOT Starring in the live children's show of the year, Giggle and Hoot and Friends is a 50- minute stage spectacular with everyone's favourite songs, dancing, and of course fun and laughter. Joining Jimmy Giggle and the Owls onstage is the Bananas in Pyjamas and Zap, Mimi and Jango from popular ABC4Kids show Hoopla Doopla. Canberra Theatre. Also on Sunday 10am and 12.30pm. Tickets $39.90-$64.90 from Children under 12 months are free on the knee.

2pm FAMILY FILMS Escape the heat with free family films at the National Portrait Gallery. Today, see Lilo and Stitch (G) from 2pm. Liangis Theatre, National Portrait Gallery. Free. For more information visit

2pm and 6.30pm THE BOGGY CREEK SHOW Presented in association with Spirited, The Boggy Creek Show is a horseman show direct from the Snowy Mountains with fourth-generation cattleman Tim O'Brien. National Museum of Australia. Tickets $20 Adults/$5 Children/$15 Friends from or at the door. Ticket includes entry to the Spirited exhibition.

From 6pm SUNSET CINEMAS Head along to the Frozen (PG) sing-a-long at the Ben & Jerry's Open-air Cinemas. Gates open at 6pm, movie starts at 8.15pm. Pre-movie entertainment by producer and DJ, Beat Taskforce from 6.30pm. Patrick White Lawns, Parkes (in front of the National Library). Online tickets Adults $19/Concession $15/Volkswagen Polo Class $27/Star Lounge $40 from Tickets cost more at the gate.

7.30pm OVER 30 DANCE PARTY The new 30+ Dance Event is back this weekend, with a relaxed atmosphere to dance, meet new people, flirt, socialise, network, have a yarn, make friends, or even meet that special person. The event will be held every Saturday night at The RUC in Turner, and is suitable for couples and singles alike. Music by DJ Raven. Tickets $21 online from or $20 at the door.

8pm BLUES AND ROOTS South Australian blues-roots duo Halfway to Forth and Tasmania's youngest old-man-folkie Daniel J. Townsend squeeze into the same van for a month of front bars, folk festivals and fret-related frivolity, including a stop at Smith's Alternative. Doors at 7.30pm. Tickets $10 from


From 1pm DRAWN IN Let your creative juices flow at the National Portrait Gallery. Pick up a pencil and enjoy the experience of drawing while listening to local musician, vocalist Rose Maher. Free. Ideal for all ages and abilities. All materials are provided. 1-3pm.

1.30pm SUNDAY JAZZ Make your summer weekends last longer with Sunday afternoon jazz in the House of Representatives courtyard. Get a share platter and two glasses of sangria for $30, a rose-themed high tea, plus a full summer menu is also available. Every Sunday 1.30-3.30pm until February 22. Free entry. Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House. For more information visit

1.30pm FREE FILM The Australian War Memorial's BAE Systems Theatre is screening  The Colditz Story (1955, G) in which allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German POW camp housed in a mediaeval castle. Stars John Mills. Free admission.

From 4pm AUSTRALIA CELEBRATES LIVE The annual celebration on the lawns of Parliament House will see a huge lineup of live entertainment including Paul Kelly, Jessica Mauboy and Sheppard and Drawing North. Gates open at 3pm with entertainment starting at 4pm. The family-friendly concert includes the Australian of the Year Awards.

6pm SHIRAZ-A-ROO DINNER Four Winds Vineyard and Eden Road Wines are teaming up for a special shiraz dinner. Two courses, two shiraz wines, and a two-piece band. Plus the winemakers will give a rundown on their wines and the kangaroo dish to match. Four Winds Vineyard cellar door, Murrumbateman. Tickets $45 from


CLIMB MOUNT KOSCIUSKO Celebrate our nation's day with a climb to the top of Australia's highest point, Mount Kosciusko. Thredbo will host the nation's highest Australia Day barbecue , as well as live music performances, chilled poolside parties at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel and the annual Australia Day cricket match. For more information, visit

From 7.30am COMMONWEALTH PARK There's a full day of activities planned at Commonwealth Park, around Stage 88 and on Lake Burley Griffin. Early risers can catch the "Great Aussie Day Breakfast" from 7.30am at Stage 88. There's a rowing race on the lake, a series of Viking training workshops for kids inspired by How to Train Your Dragon, dragon boating. See

From 10am SPIRITED AUSTRALIA DAY Inspired by the exhibition Spirited: Australia's Horse Story, this event celebrates Australia Day and all things horse-related with country music, bootscooting, horse rides, craft and more. Highlights of the day include the Baz 'n' Snags puppet show, X-Factor star Caitlyn Shadbolt and country musician Warren H. Williams. 10am-3pm. National Museum of Australia. Free entry – cost applies to some activities.

From 11am O'MALLEY'S COUNTDOWN King O'Malley's will be open from 11am until late, and playing the Triple J Hottest 100 Live. Free entry.

12pm ON THE LAWNS Celebrate on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, with free live music and traditional Aussie fare. A range of seafood, snacks and sweets is on offer at Snapper on the Lake from 8am to 9pm. Live music and free face painting and a jumping castle from 12-3pm. Southern Cross Yacht Club, Yarralumla.

12pm HOTTEST 100 AT THE GALLERY The National Portrait Gallery is holding a "Hottest 100" party, where you can vote for the "hottest portrait" in the gallery's collection. There are backyard games and activities, plus a barbecue, bar and ice-cream stall from 5pm.12pm-9pm. National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes.

From 6pm FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR End Australia Day with family and friends and enjoy the Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The best vantage points are Regatta Point, the lawns of the National Library or Rond Terrace. Arrive early for live entertainment. From 9pm the sky above Lake Burley Griffin comes to life with a dazzling fireworks display set to a truly Aussie soundtrack.

7pm COCKTAIL CRUISE Watch the Australia Day fireworks from a privileged position aboard the M.V. Southern Cross, along with a sumptuous range of canapes, cocktails and drinks. Boat departs from Southern Cross Yacht Club, Yarralumla. Tickets $99.55 from

8pm GHOST NOTES  This Brisbane instrumental band make dynamic music which owes as much to folk, jazz, noise-rock, kraut, spaghetti-western soundtracks and various strains of 'experimental' music as it does to so-called post rock. Smith's Alternative. Doors from 7.30pm.