There's more to Enlighten Festival than illuminations, noodle markets and balloons. Here's our pick of the extra ways you can experience the event this year.
1. Enlighten cruise
See the Enlighten Illuminations from a different perspective. Take a cruise along Lake Burley Griffin for a great view of the lights and action of the festival. Departing from Commonwealth Place every half-hour around the Central Basin from 6-10pm. February 28-29 and March 1, and 6-7. Free event.
2. Questacon's Illuminated Igloo Garden
Private garden dining experience, anyone? Head into one of Questacon's Illuminated Igloos. Nestled under the trees between the National Library and Questacon, you can immerse yourself in colour and light while enjoying food and drinks in comfort. The experience is designed for six people so get your friends or family together for an Enlighten night like no other. Each session is one-and-a-half hours long and includes an exclusive igloo, a signature atomic lightbulb cocktail, butler service, and your choice of either the illuminated feast or the artisan cheese and dessert board. Various times on February 28-29 and March 6-7. Tickets are $363.25 per igloo from Ticketek.
3. Enlightening Elections
Did someone say democracy sausage? Come for the democratic treat and stay for the chance to experience democracy in action. The National Electoral Education Centre and explore electoral history, join in with an election simulation and take a #democraselfie (with or without your democracy sausage). February 28-29 and March 6-7, 6-10pm. Free event.
4. Club Muva
It's no secret that for 11 nights the National Gallery of Australia will be illuminated with images of water and bodies in the monumental video projection by Club Ate. The 2020 iteration of the Enlighten projection will tell stories of resistance, transformation and queer futures. To go along with this, there will be a performance event. For one night only, Club Muva will be an inclusive and intimate celebration of community and connections, through movement, sound and storytelling. Led by Bhenji Ra and Justin Shoulder, Club Muva will feature Club Ate artists as well as Asia-Pacific artists from Sydney and Canberra. March 7, 8-11pm. Free event.
5. Breakfast with the Balloons
The National Arboretum is one of the best spots to watch the hot air balloons take to the sky. This Balloon Spectacular make an occasion of it by getting up early, checking out the balloons as they take flight and then heading into The Conservatory Restaurant for an Enlightened Festival inspired menu. It features locally sourced, season ingredients prepared by the Ginger Catering team, and includes tea or coffee and juice. March 7-8 and 14-15 from 8-11am. Breakfast is $32 per person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6130 0173 for bookings.