ACT News

Canberra (Long) Weekender: September 26-29

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

All Weekend

FLORIADE Now in its 27th year, Canberra's month-long celebration of spring is on. It showcases 1 million flowers in bloom at Commonwealth Park along with cooking demonstrations, children's activities and more. Admission is free. For a schedule of events and more information, visit floriadeaustralia.com.

Commonwealth Park will come to life after dark for Floriade NightFest. Talia Liolios, left, of Chisholm, and Laura Mann, ...
Commonwealth Park will come to life after dark for Floriade NightFest. Talia Liolios, left, of Chisholm, and Laura Mann, of Queanbeyan, in the Triffid Garden. Photo: Melissa Adams

NIGHTFEST Commonwealth Park will come to life after dark for Floriade NightFest, with light shows, live music, comedy, night markets and DJs. The new Balloon Arena is filled with hidden pockets of entertainment, and the Triffid Garden offers a magical journey through the rhododendrons. September 24-28 from 6.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets Adult $25/Child and Concession $10/Family $50 from ticketek.com.au.

TULIP FESTIVAL The Tulip Top Gardens spring festival offers a four-hectare display garden of tulips and other spring flowers. Open seven days a week, 9am-5pm until October 12. Admission Adults $14/Seniors $13/Under 16 free. Old Federal Highway, Sutton. Visit tuliptopgardens.com.au for more.

Children's favourite The Gruffalo is on at the Canberra Theatre Centre.
Children's favourite The Gruffalo is on at the Canberra Theatre Centre. Photo: Supplied

SPRING AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE Parliament House is celebrating the season with a series of weekly events. Every Saturday, until October 11, go behind the scenes of the iconic building on a 60-minute guided tour. Tours are also held some weekdays: 9.30am, 11am, 2pm and 3.30pm. Tickets Adult $18/Concession or Child $13/Family $45. Every Sunday until October 5, an experienced member of Parliament House's landscape services team will lead tours of the private courtyards and share gardening tips. Tour finishes with tea in the Queen's Terrace Cafe. 10.30am and 1.30pm, running for two hours. Tickets Adults $92/Concession or Child $82. All tickets from canberraticketing.com.au.

OPEN GARDEN 
Discover a gem of a garden on Saturday and Sunday. The Keith Reid Memorial Open Garden and Exhibition will  feature a display of fine Asian sculptures in a riverside garden setting. 7A Thorpe Avenue, Queanbeyan, NSW. 10am-4pm. Entry is $5 a person, with all proceeds going to HOME in Queanbeyan; a new approach to supported living for people with mental illness.

BABY AND BEYOND EXPO For the first time in Canberra, the Baby & Beyond Expo brings together products, support services and advice, from pregnancy to primary school. AIS Arena, Bruce. Saturday and Sunday, 9am-3pm. Tickets Adults $10/Under 16 free from canberrababyexpo.com.au.

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Friday

From 9am ART PRIZE Opening today, see nature through the eyes of the artist with the winning and highly commended art from The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2014. On show at the National Archives of Australia until November 9. Free entry. Visit naa.gov.au.

Jerry Hearn, left, and Benjamin Hardy star in Peter Shaffer's Equus, directed by Barb Barnett.
Jerry Hearn, left, and Benjamin Hardy star in Peter Shaffer's Equus, directed by Barb Barnett. Photo: Jamila Toderas

6pm POCKET FOX Local folk-pop darlings Pocket Fox celebrate their new single and upcoming album with a night of dancing, spoken word and live music. The Street Theatre. Tickets $5-$15 from thestreet.org.au.

7pm COUPLES DON'T TALK A thought-provoking show consisting of five plays that look at "wrong" relationships. Smith's Alternative Bookstore. Tickets $15 from trybooking.com.

The Griswolds are playing at Zierholz @ UC on Saturday night.
The Griswolds are playing at Zierholz @ UC on Saturday night. Photo: Supplied

7pm BACH TO THE BUSH Having recently returned from New York, cellist Anthony Albrecht performs a selection of J. S. Bach's suites for solo cello. St John's Church, Constitution Avenue, Reid. Tickets Adults $25/Students $15/Children free.

7.30pm ONE DAY TOUR Hip hop collective One Day, comprising of Horrorshow, Spit Syndicate, Jackie Onassis and Joyride, are touring for their new album, Mainline. The show features sets by each band, and a collaborative finale with all seven members. ANU Bar. Tickets $42.11 from ticketek.com.au. 18+.

Twilight markets Hustle & Scout and The Forage return to a new location in Fairbairn.
Twilight markets Hustle & Scout and The Forage return to a new location in Fairbairn. Photo: Jay Cronan

8pm PAWS FOR LAUGHTER The residents of ANU's Ursula Hall present [Paws for Laughter], a series of five contemporary short comedies from a range of American playwrights on subjects including dog shows, beauty pageants and the deeper meaning of fortune cookies. The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. Also on Saturday at 2pm and 8pm. Tickets $15 ($10 for Ursula Hall residents) from canberratheatrecentre.com.au.

Saturday

From 9am PLANT SALE Shop ground covers, herbs, perennials, shrubs, trees and more at Marymead's spring plant sale. 9am-1pm. 255 Goyder St, Narrabundah. For more, visit marymead.org.au.

10am VEGIE PATCH STARTER SESSION Learn how to start your own vegetable patch at the Seed Starter Session at the Murrumbateman Farmers Market. 10am-12:30pm. Free. For more information, visit 100kilos.org.

10am, 12pm and 2pm THE GRUFFALO Based on the award-winning picture book, The Gruffalo is about the adventures of a mouse in a forest that scares away predators with tales of the terrifying Gruffalo; until she meets the very creature she imagined. Canberra Theatre Centre. Tickets $22 from canberratheatrecentre.com.au.

From 10am PORTRAITURE Get a free portrait of yourself taken by photographer Sean Davey at the Gorman Arts Centre from 10am-3pm. The artist is collecting the photos as part of his artistic residency. All welcome, from families, to friends or individuals, and subjects will be sent a free digital copy of the shot. Currong Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre. No booking required.

From 11am WINE TASTING Taste your way through a range of cool climate wines at the Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds Hall. 11am-4pm. $15 per person. Bookings recommended on 0408 022 969.

From 2pm HUSTLE AND FORAGE Hustle and Scout fashion markets and The Forage food markets are back at a new location in Fairbairn. The afternoon will feature 53 fashion markets, 30 food and drink stalls, two live music acts, a DJ, roaming models by April's Caravan, photobooth, HAUS models live photoshoot and a live stream of the AFL Grand Final. Free entry. 2-7pm. Hangar #47 Fairbairn. For more information, visit hustleandscout.com.au.

3pm FINDING NEMO The National Portrait Gallery will have a free screening of the classic children's film, Finding Nemo (G). 3pm-4.40pm. For more, information visit portrait.gov.au.

5.30pm PUBLIC TALK The Australian Academy of Science presents a talk from Sir John Gurdon. His early work with frogs was later used to clone Dolly the sheep and led to Sir John sharing the Nobel Prize for showing mature cells can be converted to stem cells. The Shine Dome, Acton. Tickets $6. Visit science.org.au.

7.30pm POLE CHAMPIONSHIPS The Australian Pole Championships will feature more than 50 of our country's best pole dancers as well as World Pole Sports champion Alessandra Marchetti and US champion Charlee Wagner. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre. Tickets $49.50-$106 from canberratheatrecentre.com.au.

8pm EQUUS A powerful play that tells the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man with a fascination with horses. Directed by Barb Barnett. Canberra  Repertory Society. Tickets Adult $40/Concession $35 from canberrarep.org.au.

8pm HANDS LIKE HOUSES Explosive Canberra six-piece Hands Like Houses take the stage at ANU Bar. Tickets $30.23 from ticketek.com.au. 18+.

8pm THE GRISWOLDS After spending much of 2014 in the US, The Griswolds return home to Australia for a tour to celebrate their debut album, Be Impressive. See them at Zierholz @ UC. Tickets $18.40 from oztix.com.au. 18+.

From 8pm " AFTER PARTY Keep the market vibe going after Hustle & Scout and The Forage at the special after party at The Chop Shop, Braddon. Featuring live music and special Hustle & Scout cocktails. Free entry.

Sunday

7.45am " BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS Bird lovers, spend a morning spying on the many bird species that call the Australian National Botanic Gardens home. The Breakfast with the Birds guided tours are on each Saturday and Sunday morning until October 12. Tour followed by a hot breakfast at Floresco in the Gardens. Tickets $35, which includes tour and breakfast. Suitable for ages eight and over. Wear comfortable footwear, warm clothes and bring binoculars if possible. For bookings, visit friendsanbg.org.au or phone (02) 6291 6396.

From 9am " COLLECTORMANIA An event dedicated to those who have hobbies, from model cars to trains, action toys and comics. Buy, sell, trade or just browse the collections. 9am-3pm. EPIC. Free entry. For more information, visit collectormaniafairs.com.au.

From 10am " WELLNESS OPEN DAY Mura Pathway to Wellness in Gungahlin is celebrating opening with a free day of wellness. Head along to enjoy 10 to 15-minute massage tasters, short Rayid Iridology and birth order readings, 15-minute naturopathy consultation, talks on health and wellness topics, browse organic products, and try a range of organic food and drinks. Free. 69B Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gungahlin. For more information, visit murapthway.com.

1pm DRAWN IN Head along to the National Portrait Gallery and listen to Anton Wurzer play the piano accordion while drawing your next masterpiece. Suitable for all ages and abilities. Free class, and all materials are provided. 1-3pm. For more information, visit portrait.gov.au.

Monday

From 10am FAMILY FUN Head to the National Arboretum for a day of activities for the whole family. Take a ride in a Clydesdale horse-drawn carriage, which carries six to eight people. Meet at the Canberra Discovery Garden, next to the Events Terrace. $10 per person for 30 minutes. Or make and fly a kite in the amphitheatre. $10 per kite. Meet at the information desk in the Village Centre. 10am-3pm.

From 11am DAY BY THE LAKE Celebrate Family and Community Day by heading to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin for free children's entertainment. Have fish and chips from Snapper on the foreshore lawns, or take a one-hour sightseeing cruise departing the jetty at 3pm. Ferry tickets $15 Adults/$9 Children under 12. Mariner Place, Yarralumla.

From 3pm BOWIEFEST To celebrate the public holiday, Transit Bar will be dedicating the day to David Bowie. Free entry.