29 December 2022

Things to do in Canberra in January

| Evelyn Karatzas
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The Milky Way

Come and explore the Milky Way at the National Museum through their new VR experience from Boxing Day. Photo: Pete Wheeler, White Spark Pictures Pty Ltd.

Virtual Reality experience at the National Museum

When: Daily, from 9 am to 5 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia
Cost: Free

Have you ever wanted to dive deep into space and explore the Milky Way? Or visit the cool continent of Antarctica?

A new virtual reality (VR) experience is launching at the National Museum of Australia this summer to transport you beyond the solar system and explore some of the great wonders of the world and the planet.

This new addition to the museum invites visitors to put on a VR headset and enjoy one of two virtual reality cinema screenings; either Beyond the Milky Way or The Antarctica Experience, both by acclaimed filmmaker Briege Whitehead and her innovative company, White Spark Pictures.

Beyond the Milky will take its audience on a virtual tour of the CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, and The Antarctica Experience will transport audiences to the coldest place on Earth where they will get to see penguins, see the southern lights and explore the frozen landscapes from a helicopter.

With a run time of about 30 minutes each, visitors will get to immerse themselves in the remarkable sights of each VR film with 360-degree vision and surround sound.

MOAD exhibit

Behind the Lines 2022 is open for Canberrans to visit. Photo: MOAD.

Behind the Lines 2022: the year in political cartoons

When: Daily, from 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Museum of Australian Democracy
Cost: Free

An exhibition that showcases the art of political cartooning is on display at the Museum of Australian Democracy.

This year’s exhibition features more emerging artists working in non-traditional publications than ever before, including Adele K. Thomas, Pat Hudson and Gorkie, as well as returning artists including David Rowe, Cathy Wilcox, Danny Eastwood and First Dog on the Moon (aka Andrew Marlton).

The exhibit focuses on 20 years of Australian asylum seeker policies, from the Tampa affair in 2001 through to Operation Sovereign Borders.

Visitors will be able to climb aboard the Democracy One spaceship and take their pick of cartooning co-pilots, with Fiona Katauskas, Kamsani bin Salleh and James Hillier (Nordacious) along for the ride.

They will also get the opportunity to play a game of Guess Who, but with a political twist.

Moon Gallery at Questacon

Come and check out the moon gallery at Questacon. Photo: Questacon.

Under the Moon at Questacon

When: Daily, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Gallery 8, Questacon, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Tickets from $18.90, and can be purchased here

Questacon’s Under the Moon gallery is now open daily for all visitors.

A large suspended moon sculpture is the centrepiece of a room where you can discover how First Nations peoples have used the moon for keeping time and forecasting weather, see the earliest moon maps and delve into moon stories from around the world.

Sunset Cinema

Relax, unwind, and enjoy a movie under the stars this summer. Photo: Sunset Cinema.

Sunset Cinema

When: Various dates until Sunday 25 February, 6:30 pm
Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross St, Acton
Cost: Tickets from $10, and can be purchased here

One of Canberra’s favourite summer activities is back, and everyone is invited to celebrate 11 years of film in the great outdoors.

Sunset Cinema brings a mixture of new-release blockbusters, all-time classics and family favourites screened at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Bring your family, friends and partners and get in the mood for a movie under the stars with so many movies to choose from. There will also be a three-night Lindsay Lohan fest on 14, 18 and 20 January.

Salar Ayoubi

Salar Ayoubi. Photo: Moein Hasheminasab.

Drawn In – Salar Ayoubi

When: Monday 2 January, 1 to 3 pm
Where: National Portrait Gallery of Australia
Cost: Free

If you love listening to live music while drawing, come along to the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and listen to a special free performance by Salar Ayoubi.

Salar is an Iranian oud player, who specialises in playing Persian and Kurdish songs and will sweep you away and help you become calm while being creative.

red cars

Summernats 35 Fringe Festival Braddon media launch, 2022. Photo: James Coleman.


When: Thursday 5, Friday 6, Saturday 7, and Sunday 8 January
Where: Exhibition Park, Canberra
Cost: Tickets from $34.50, and day passes are available. Book here

The annual four-day festival of tyre smoke, mullets, and noisy car engines is returning to Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) for its 35th iteration.

It’s set to be one of the biggest events to date with 2700 cars booked in and tens of thousands of visitors expected to head to the nation’s capital to watch all the car action.

As one of Canberra’s biggest events of the year, Friday night will also feature a four-hour “mega rock show, starring Jon Stevens, Daryl Braithwaite, Diesel and Shannon Noll.

University of Canberra Capitals

Tickets for the UC Capitals’ next home game are on sale. Photo: UC Capitals.

UC Capitals v Townsville Fire

When: Saturday 7 January at 5:30 pm
Where: National Convention Centre, Canberra
Cost: Tickets from $15, and can be purchased here

The UC Capitals are back in 2023 for their first home game up against Townsville Fire at the National Convention Centre.

Defence wins games and the UC Capitals will be applying the pressure against the Townsville Fire, with Lauren Nicholson and Stephanie Reid back for another spin and former cap Mikaela Ruef suiting up for Townsville. Reid top scored for the Fire last season with 204, with Nicholson not far behind with 151 points.

Off the back of last season’s abrupt ending, players and fans alike are ready for a season of stability and success. Be part of a bigger and better season with the UC Capitals.

Canberra Cavalry

Canberra Cavalry vs Perth Heat on 12, 13, 14 and 15 January 2023. Photo: Peter Norton. SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL MEDIA.

Canberra Cavalry vs Perth Heat

When: Thursday 12, Friday 13, Saturday 14 January
Where: MIT Narrabundah Ballpark, Kyeema St, Narrabundah ACT
Cost: Tickets from $10, and can be purchased here

If you love baseball, then we’ve got a match you won’t want to miss.

For their first game of the year, come and see the Canberra Cavalry go head to head against Perth Heat. There will also be food and drink available to purchase at the ballpark while you’re watching the game too.

Circus Of Illusion poster

The Circus of Illusion takes place mid January at Canberra Theatre. Photo: Supplied.

Circus of Illusion

When: Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra ACT 2601
Cost: Tickets from $59, and can be purchased here

Escape into a world where sawdust and sequins join cutting-edge illusions and spectacular magic to create Circus of Illusion, playing two shows only.

The ringmaster will take you on a journey where he blends world-class circus artists with spellbinding magic that will leave you mesmerised by a show of mystery and mayhem.

There will also be amazing showgirls levitating, disappearing and flying high in the air as the talented troupe of performers from across the globe treat your senses to a show of pure spectacle.

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, the incredible Sascha Williams, will astound with his high risk rola-bola act that has taken him all over the world.

photo print

Have you ever done photo printing? The National Library is holding a special event for kids these school holidays. Photo: Supplied.

Photoprint Workshop at the National Library

When: Thursday 19 January, from 10 am to 12 pm
Where: The National Library of Australia
Cost: Tickets are $5 per person, book here

To coincide with the exhibition Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now, the National Library has partnered with PhotoAccess ACT for a special school holiday workshop.

In this two-hour workshop, participants will have an opportunity to have a guided tour of the Viewfinder exhibition and experience producing a cyanotype print. Cyanotyping is a very early photo imaging process developed in the 1840s using the sun, and (harmless) chemical reaction patterns and shapes can be captured.

This workshop is suitable for children aged eight to 15 and their families (or younger with parental supervision).

Bookings are essential for this workshop. The cyanotype printing portion of this activity will take place outside on the Podium, so please bring appropriate sun protection.

This event is presented by PhotoAccess ACT and the National Library of Australia.

Yottam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi Flavour Of Life is on 21 January at The Canberra Theatre Centre. Photo: Canberra Theatre Centre.

Yotam Ottolenghi Flavour Of Life

When: 21 January, at 3 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: Tickets are from $10, and can be purchased here

Chef, author and much-loved foodie Yotam Ottolenghi is coming to Canberra as part of his Flavour of Life tour this January.

He will be joined on stage with ABC Radio host Alice Zaslavsky.

Ottolenghi’s passion, warm presence and inclusive voice have attracted devotees worldwide.

This event will be an exclusive opportunity to hear directly from the man himself about the taste sensations and ingredients that excite him and will inspire your own cooking, navigating the pandemic, and the joy of taking time with food and family.

lakeside light show

There will be a special light show taking place on the lake for Australia Day. Photo: National Capital Authority.

Lights on the Lake & Night Markets

When: Wednesday 25 to Sunday 28 January, from 5 to 10 pm
Where: Commonwealth Place, Lake Burley Griffin
Cost: Free

A free community event is taking place on the lake across four evenings this January.

From 25 to 28 January, you’re invited to come alomg and enjoy a light show filled with lots of bright colours on two large scale water screens with choreographed high pressure water jets and laser lights set to music. Images will also depict scenes from an array of Australian experiences and stories.

To make things more exciting, there will aslo be night markets taking place each evening on the lake, with plenty of food and drink on offer too, so there’s something for everyone.

Mamma Mia experience

The Dancing Queen: Dining Experience is coming to Canberra this January. Photo: Hidden Canberra.

The Dancing Queen: Dining Experience

When: Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January
Where: Saint Malo, 19 London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: Tickets are $99, and can be purchased here

Take my money, money, money! A Mamma Mia-themed dining experience is coming to Canberra in January for an unforgettable pop-up evening full of dancing, dining and jiving that will transport you to the Greek island of Skopelos.

As you indulge in food and wine and enjoy the Grecian atmosphere, prepare to be serenaded by performers recreating all your favourite scenes and singing all your favourite songs from the classic film.

The night will have you so deeply immersed in Sophie and Sam’s love story, and Donna’s love triangle, that you’ll be begging for a man after midnight. My, my, how could you resist?

Mamma Mia will be brought to life as Saint Malo Restaurant in Canberra’s CBD transforms into Niko’s Tavern to serve you a mouthwatering Mediterranean feast. Don’t miss out on your Mamma Mia moment and book now.

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