1. MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL
The centre of Canberra will be filled with food, colour, entertainment and live music this weekend for the annual Multicultural Festival. It all starts Thursday night with a ticketed pre-opening concert at Canberra Theatre. From 7.30pm, see Baker Boy, Lucy Sugerman, Salsabor and more perform. Tickets $20. On Friday night, a free concert in Garema Place from 5pm will kick off festivities, headlines by Leo Sayer and Baker Boy. Live entertainment continues on Saturday and Sunday, including live cooking demonstrations from the festival's first ever food ambassador, celebrity chef Poh Ling Leow, and of course, a whole lot of food. Free entry and all ages. See the program at multiculturalfestival.com.au.
2. HYPER REAL
This is your last chance to see Hyper Real, with the National Gallery's summer blockbuster exhibition finishing up on Sunday. The exhibition combines eerily lifelike sculptures using painted silicon skin, glass eyes, and human hair (unfortunately the artwork using the artists' own blood has had to make an early exit). Open daily 10am-5pm until Sunday. Entry is $22.50-$25, kids under 16 free. Tickets at nga.gov.au/hyperreal.
3. BIG CANBERRA BIKE RIDE
Get on your bikes and ride - the Big Canberra Bike Ride is on Sunday at Lake Burley Griffin. With the longer races starting at 6.45am from Rond Terrace, there are four rides to suit different levels and experience from 5km to 120km, and everyone gets a medal. From 10am-2pm there will be live music, a jumping castle, face painting and food and drinks at Rond Terrace as all the riders come in. The event is free and open to all. Register online at bigcanberrabikeride.org or on the day.
4. SHAKESPEARE BY THE LAKES*
Lakespeare & Co, a new Canberra theatre enterprise keen to make Shakespeare's work more accessible, is launching Shakespeare by the Lakes this week with four free outdoor performances. The season starts with Much Ado About Nothing, with two performances at Tuggeranong Town Park Community Stage on Wednesday and Thursday nights, one on Friday night in Glebe Park, Civic, and the final on Saturday night at Queen Elizabeth II Park. Performances all start at 6.30pm, and sessions include live music and food, beer and wine from local food vans. Tickets are free but you can register your attendance at eventbrite.com.au to help with planning.
*We realise two of these events are not by any lakes, it's just what they've called it. Queen Elizabeth II Park is by a river though.
5. CELLAR DOOR SESSIONS
Take your picnic rug to Pialligo Estate on Sunday for a relaxing afternoon of acoustic tunes on the lawns. Local singer songwriter Liam Wright, who got his start playing at open mic nights and busking at markets in Canberra, and indie folk pop songstress Tessa Devine will each play a set between 2.30pm and 6pm. Wine, beer and nibbles available to purchase. Tickets $15 from eventbrite.com.au.