What's better than a weekend? A long weekend. And with restrictions easing from Saturday, it means there are more options for how Canberrans can make the most of their three days off.
1. National Zoo and Aquarium
Who doesn't like a trip to the zoo? After a couple of months of not visiting the residents at the National Zoo and Aquarium, this Saturday marks the first day you can make your return. There will be a few changes to ensure social distancing measures are kept - such as visitors needing to ensure they are in groups of no more than 20, and capacity restrictions on indoor areas - however, it will otherwise be open as normal. The zoo will operate with the standard opening hours of 9.30am-5pm and will be open seven days a week from Saturday.
2. Dirty Janes
Opening a business a week before coronavirus restrictions set in is not ideal but it was the reality for Dirty Janes. So you can imagine how exciting it is that the vintage precinct gets to reopen its doors this Saturday. With more than 90 individual small businesses housed under the one roof, Dirty Janes offers everything from vintage clothing to furniture to ceramics to toys to jewellery and lights. It will be open from 10am-5pm, daily from its Fyshwick site.
3. Pialligo Estate
With six separate dining spaces, Pialligo Estate is restriction ready. This weekend sees the estate reopen for two-hour dining slots for tables between two and 18 people. Each space is heated and has views over the 55-acre estate to enjoy with the a la carte menu - what more could you ask for? Bookings must be made via thepialligoestate.com.au.
4. National Arboretum
Give me a home among the gumtrees ... and the Himalayan cedars, fig trees, and oak trees. The National Arboretum is open and just waiting to be explored. With 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world, there is bound to be part of the arboretum that you haven't seen yet. Plus, the Pod Playground and Himalayan cedar picnic area are both open as well, and the cafe is operating from the north deck from 9am-2pm, daily.
Are you the ultimate lumberjack? Well, this weekend might be the time you find out. Axxe is Canberra's home of urban axe throwing. What is urban axe throwing, you ask? Well, it is when you get to throw solid steel axes at wooden targets. It's pretty simple, but a lot of fun, especially when versing your friends in a competition. Axxe reopens this Saturday. Bookings can be made axxe.com.au and each session comes with a dedicated coach to teach you everything you need to know.
Have any built-up frustrations from living in isolation? Well, Breakr might be the place for you. Canberra's very own 'break room' reopens this Saturday. A break room is a dedicated space for (safely) breaking plates, mugs, glasses, vases and other fragile items, either by throwing them at the walls or by using the tools provided. To make a booking go to breakr.com.au.
7. Les Bistronomes
You may not be able to get to France anytime soon but you can enjoy a French soiree at Les Bistronomes. To celebrate its reopening, the restaurant is offering an eight-course degustation for $120 and matching wines for $60. This menu features some of the restaurant's French classics but with a modern twist. For those who are not quite ready to go out yet, Les Bistronomes will be doing its dinner for two home packages as well. Call 6248 8119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
8. Dragon boating
Ever wanted to try dragon boating? Head along to the yacht club in Yarralumla on Sunday at 1pm and have a try. The Invictus Dragon Boat Club coaches will take you through the basics of the sport. Can't make it this Sunday? Invictus Dragon Boat Club meets the same time every Sunday, weather permitting.
9. Corin Forest
Head to Corin Forest this weekend before heading to the real deal when New South Wales travel restrictions open up. While the snowsport school and the ski and ride sessions are still unavailable due to coronavirus restrictions, the snow play and alpine slide sessions are up and running. Equipment is still for hire, but not snow clothing, due to restrictions. Go to corinforest.connectintouch.com to make a booking.
10. Australian National Botanic Gardens
Get some fresh air, enjoy the wide-open spaces and take a walk through the Botanic Gardens. Parts of the gardens have reopened to the public and the Pollen cafe is open for takeaway via a window. To assist with physical distancing requirements, the walking paths are now one-way and there are hand sanitising stations placed around the gardens. Please note that the visitor centre, Botanical Bookshop and children's paperbark treehouse remain close.
11. Poachers Pantry
Head out to Poachers Pantry to grab one of its takeaway picnic hampers. Stocked with meats, wines and condiments from Poachers Pantry - what more can you ask for? Poachers Pantry does have limited spaces - 10 seats - if you want to eat there. Go to poacherspantry.com.au to make a booking.
12. Snapper on the Lake
Grab some takeaway fish and chips from Snapper on the Lake and find a spot along Lake Burley Griffin to enjoy it with a view. Talk about a relaxing way to spend an afternoon or evening this long weekend.
13. Tribe 11
Gyms can now start to reopen from this weekend and Tribe 11 in Fyshwick wants to celebrate that. The women's gym is hosting a relaunch party on Saturday, with several different classes on offer. Spaces are limited so head to Eventbrite to reserve your spot.
14. Paint Pinot
Get creative at Paint Pinot in Braddon. The studio has two art classes on Sunday - Blue Nude and Funky Emu. The classes are designed for all skill levels and participants are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine to help unleash their hidden artist. To book your spot go to paintpinot.com.au.
15. 1882 Bar and Grill
It's time for a catch up with your friends and what better way than over a delicious combination of antipasto and free-flowing wine? 1882 Bar and Grill are offering a two-hour Champers and Charcuterie package from two to 10 people on Saturday and Sunday from 3.30pm. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.
16. The Dock
NRL is back and while you can't see any games in person, you can head to The Dock in Kingston with nine of your friends and make a two-hour event out of it. Not an NRL fan? That's fine. The Dock has two-hour sessions available, free of NRL games, where you can still book out the venue and enjoy one of the three party packages on offer. Head to Eventbrite for tickets.
17. Flow Yoga
After nine weeks, Flow Yoga returns to Lake Burley Griffin this weekend for Yoga on the Lake. The class will feature live improvised music by Ben O'Loghlin on the double bass and will be held on the pontoon by the National Museum. The class will also be live-streamed on the Flow Yoga Canberra website. To get your tickets, go to Eventbrite.
18. Beaver Galleries
Beaver Galleries reopens this weekend, with two new exhibitions. The first features Peter Boggs' Landscapes and Interiors which is comprised of landscape and interior scenes inspired by his travels through Australia and Europe. The second exhibition is PORCELAIN, which brings together the work of six highly respected ceramicists: Prue Venables, Keiko Matsui, Kevin White, Neville French, Shannon Garson and Alice Couttoupes. The exhibition showcases the complexity, beauty and strength of this material.
19. The Dinosaur Museum
For the prehistoric lovers in your life, The Dinosaur Museum reopens this Saturday. Get up close to skeletons and fossils, and discover the biggest permanent collection of interactive dinosaurs. Restrictions do mean sessions are limited to a maximum of 20 people. To reserve your spot got to nationaldinosaurmuseum.com.au.
20. The Wilderness Wanderer
Take a guided hike through Mulligan's Woodland Sanctuary with The Wilderness Wanderer on either Saturday or Sunday at 8am. At just more than 11.5 kilometres, the walk is suitable for all fitness levels, beginners and seasoned hikers and includes morning tea. Book your spot from Eventbrite.