The “CityNews” holiday guide to happenings and attractions around Canberra and Queanbeyan as compiled by NATHAN SCHMIDT and NICK OVERALL.
CITY Walk is getting into the holiday spirit with its “kaleidoscopic” Christmas tree, unique Christmas decorations designed by artist Stephen Mok, as well as family activities, giveaways and performances by local artists and roving carollers. Information here.
“DICKSON Sounds in the Village” has been bringing sounds alive in Dickson every Saturday for the past month, and will host its last performance featuring the Bec Taylor School of Music at Dickson Library courtyard, 11am-1pm, December 19. Information here.
CLASSIC Christmas film “Elf”, starring Will Ferrell, will be on show at the courtyard in front of the Dickson Post Shop from 8pm, with entertainment from Lucy Sparkles and friends starting at 6pm, December 19. Information here.
DABBLE in magic and macabre this holiday season with the stage production of “The Nightmare Before Xmas”. With even an appearance from Santa Claus included, this will be one for families to enjoy. At the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, 5.30pm, December 19 and 12.30pm December 20. Information here.
FINISH off the year with a relaxing Sunday morning at “Christmas Picnic in the Park”. Do some shopping at more than 200 local market stalls, grab some delicious food or coffee, bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the sunshine. At the Queanbeyan Town Park, December 20. Free. Information at The Queanbeyan Market Facebook Page.
THE Canberra Miniature Railway has a treat for children and parents alike with its Christmas special miniature train rides. A one-off $10 entry fee (per person) will allow visitors to take unlimited rides on the Yerrabi Line, through the tunnel and return to Symonston Station. Free parking and canteen facilities. Remember to wear enclosed shoes. At Jerrabomberra Avenue, Symonston, 5-9pm, December 20. Information here.
FOR a day of family fun, the National Arboretum is offering orienteering adventures, where families can pick up a map and clue sheet from the village centre and head out into the forests and gardens on a letter search to discover which rare bird is nesting there. At Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley, 9am-4pm, December 19 until January 31. Suitable for all ages, entry is $5. Tickets here.
AN exhibition telling the stories of the 2019/20 bushfires is running in Braidwood with photographs, artworks, poetry and more from those in the region affected by the black summer. “Art on Fire” is showing at the Braidwood Regional Arts Group, 10am-3pm, Mondays to Saturdays until December 20. Free. Information here.
TAKE a peek behind the curtain of iconic works from the National Portrait Gallery collection with “Before Hand: The Private Life of a Portrait”, including interviews with artists and sitters as well as rarely seen working drawings, scrapbooks, sketches and footage taken in artists’ studios and out on location. At King Edward Terrace, Parkes, 10am-5pm daily, until February 14. Free. Bookings are essential. Tickets here.
EXPLORE a bygone era at “Out of This World: Australia in the Space Age” at the National Archives of Australia. This new exhibit explores the iconography and paraphernalia of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, including the Woomera Range Complex and everyone’s favourite puppet, Mr Squiggle – “the man from the moon”. At Kings Avenue, Parkes, 9.30am-4.30pm, daily, until March 14. Free. Booking is essential at naa.gov.au.
THE “Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now” exhibit is a celebration, a commitment and a call to action, showcasing the work of underrepresented female artists throughout the decades at the National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes, 10am-5pm, daily, until July 4. Free. Booking is essential at knowmyname.nga.gov.au.
FROM bushfires to a global pandemic, a year in political cartoons is on display at the Museum of Australian Democracy with “Behind the Lines 2020: The Year in Political Cartoons”. At Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes, 9am-5pm, daily, until November 15. Free. Booking is essential at moadoph.gov.au.
WATCH Sydney Thunder take on the Perth Scorchers in the Twenty20 Big Bash League at Manuka Oval, Manuka Circuit, Griffith, 7.15pm, December 22. Tickets here.
AFL fan? Been missing it this year? The Googong Hogs are hosting a pre-Christmas training session open to anybody who would like to have a kick of the footy. At Rockley Oval, Googong, 6.15pm-7.30pm December 22. Information here.