ACT News

What to do in Canberra over Christmas, New Year and January holidays 2015

Events

Ben & Jerry's Open Air Cinema Movies in the summer sunshine at the Patrick White Lawns by the lake in front of the National Library. From January 15, there will be blockbusters, kids' flicks, and childhood classics, ranging from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to a Frozen singalong to Back to the Future. Food, ice-cream and drinks. $13-$45. See openaircinemas.com.au

Summer Sounds The Australian National Botanic Gardens holds concerts on the lawn in summer. This season features reality star Amber Nichols, TV host Justine Clarke, gypsy band Lulu Swing a Manouche and more. 5.30pm. January 16 to February 7. $2-$5. See parksaustralia.gov.au

Jimmy Carr British comedian and TV host performs at Canberra Theatre. Sold out.

Josh Pyke The singer songwriter performs at Canberra Theatre on January 30. 8pm. $50-$56 +bf. See canberratheatrecentre.com.au

Art

Basket maker Abe Muriata.

Basket maker Abe Muriata. Photo: AP

Artist in Residence Indigenous artist Abe Muriata will create an artwork in the main hall at the National Museum. Have a chat, watch him work. Free. National Museum of Australia.

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High Tea and Bush Breakfast Take in a luxurious afternoon tea, or enjoy a bush breakfast in the garden at the Tom Roberts exhibition at the National Gallery.

Summer Late Nights The National Portrait Gallery opens until 8pm every Friday in summer, with post-work drinks, the Sideshow Alley exhibition and gothic fun. Free entry. See portrait.gov.au

Tales from the Shearing Shed ABC Radio National presents a night of story telling about shearers. Free. Strong language. See nga.gov.au

Activities for Kids

The Australian Ballet presents a child-friendly version of The Sleeping Beauty.

The Australian Ballet presents a child-friendly version of The Sleeping Beauty. Photo: Eddie Jim

Sleeping Beauty: This interactive storytime ballet is performed by the Australian Ballet and is designed for children aged three and up. It's billed as a perfect first ballet experience for boys and girls. Kids can dress up in ballet costumes and dancing is encouraged. January 20-23. Canberra Theatre. $24-$44 +bf. See canberratheatrecentre.com.au

Discovery Space: Free activities and games for kids inspired by the indigenous exhibition Encounters at the National Museum of Australia. Grab a wearable art kit for $3 and help your little ones create a piece of their own art. And it's supported by The Canberra Times. Free. January 5-24. National Museum of Australia.

Amusement Parlour The National Portrait Gallery has a program of free activities inspired by the show Sideshow Alley for families. Until January 24. See portrait.gov.au

Portrait Play Explore portraits through creative activity in the National Portrait Gallery. $5. 11am daily until January 31. Book 6102 7070.

Pottery Classes Learn to create pots and form clay on a spinning wheel with these summer holiday classes at Watson Arts Centre. $85-$250. See canberrapotters.com.au

Horrible Histories The National FIlm and Sound Archive screens Bill, a feature film from the Horrible Histories team. $8-$10. See nfsa.gov.au

Zoocation Kids spend the day with the animals at the National Zoo and Aquarium, play games, make toys for the animals and learn something along the way. For kindy to year 6. $75. January 11-21. See nationalzoo.com.au

Snakes Alive Get up close and personal with more than 20 species of reptiles at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. $3-$6. 6250 9588.

Cooking classes Kids Pantry hold cooking classes where kids can learn to cook everything from mac and cheese to vanilla cruffins. There's even a day trip to a berry farm in Batemans Bay. $45-$140. See kidspantry.com.au

Learn to Sail The Canberra Yacht Club holds school holiday sailing courses for kids aged 12-16. $310-$390. January 4-29. See canberrayc.com

Battle Games A military-inspired holiday activity - climb, run and crawl through an obstacle course, then do mental challenges such as code breaking. January 28-29. $70-$85. For ages 7-14. See bfirm.com.au

Warehouse Circus Pick up a range of circus skills at this holiday course – unicycling, diabolo, trampoline and trapeze. $175-$330. For ages 5 and up. See warehousecircus.org.au

Sport Camps Take the kids to the AIS to hone their skills in swimming, basketball, tennis, triathlon, soccer and more. Or take the little ones for a music and games session to introduce them to teamwork and sports. Ages three to 13. $60-$270. See experienceais.com

Movies

Here's a selection of what's already out and what's coming up at movie theatres.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens JJ Abrams nostalgia-laden Star Wars sequel.

The Belier Family Feelgood French smash hit about an exuberant deaf family and their teen star daughter.

Youth Take mum and dad to this flick starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Charlotte Rampling.

Suffragette The story of women and the right to vote.

The Good Dinosaur Pixar's holiday flick about a dino who picks up a kid for a pet.

Joy Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Long Island single mum who builds a huge business empire.

Sherlock The hit British series starring Benedict Cumberbatch returns with a one-off movie special set in Victorian England.

The Revenant Leonardo DiCaprio is pursued by a bear.

Carol A shopgirl falls in love with a wealthy divorcee in this 1950s lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett.

The Hateful Eight Quentin Tarantino's controversial Western flick.

The Danish Girl Eddie Redmayne stars in a tale of transgender love.

Room Based on the bestselling novel about a boy who grows up locked in a tiny room with his ma.

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