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Visiting the gardens - families

Visitor Centre | Childrens' Walks | Glasshouse | Holiday activities | Twilight forest adventure

Every year thousands of families visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens for a great day out. The Gardens offers a range of walking trails, interesting plants and animals, educational activities, a Botanical Resource Centre, lawns for running and playing, numerous picnic tables and a cafe and bookshop.

Visitor Centre

Call into the Visitor Centre between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm to pick up your Visitor Guide and Map and seek advice on child-friendly areas to visit in the Gardens. Free posters, stickers and bookmarks are available on request at the Information Desk.
We also have comfortable seating, a selection of children's picture books and a fuzzy felt board which is very popular with young children.

Children's discovery walk - Who lives here?

The 'Who Lives Here?' walk is a perfect introduction to the Gardens and is enjoyed by all.  The fun 30 minute activity is designed for children up to 8 years of age and demonstrates how plants are important for animal biodiversity.

Bush magic: storytime in the Gardens

First Friday of the month 10am – 11am
This is a lovely morning out for mums and pre-schoolers, offering stories, craft and some botanical exploration.
Make wattle pictures with tissue paper, insect masks, study pond-water with a hand microscope and socialise in a beautiful setting. 
Bush magic is held on the Education lawn, or in the Crosbie Morrison building in wet weather.
Gold coin donation.
More information

Do-it-yourself explorers

A selected range of Do-it-yourself explorer activities, which are part of the Gardens' education program, can be undertaken by children and their parents/carers.  The activity leaflets are available at the Visitor Centre
More information

Guided walks

Families with young children are welcome on the free guided walks provided by the Friends of the ANBG. The guides can cater for the younger visitor by showing them plants or animals of interest and helping them discover some of the more unusual or hidden features of the Gardens. Guided Walks run at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm every day. The walks leave from the Visitor Centre.
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The display glasshouse

The display glasshouse is one of our hidden treasures.  It features sub-tropical and tropical ferns, palms, epiphytes, ant plants, water lilies and orchids.   But did you know there is also a heated pond with fish from northern Australia?  You’ll find barramundi, cat-fish and archer fish.  Open 9.30 am - 4.00 pm.

School holiday activities

School holiday activities are advertised on the What's On pages of our website

Snakes Alive! annual exhibition

For one week each January the Gardens hosts the Snakes Alive! exhibition in conjunction with the ACT Herpetological Association.  This is one of the largest reptile displays in the ACT region and very popular with children on school summer holidays. 

Children have the opportunity to experience some of the animals on a one-on-one basis.

The herpetologists provide visitors, especially children, with the opportunity to handle pythons and lizards in a safe and controlled environment. Snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and even a baby crocodile are on display.
Please see What's On for dates and times.

Twilight forest adventure

This after-dark escapade is a great way for kids to experience the Gardens.  On a typical twilight walk you’ll be likely to see sugar-gliders, boobook owls, ring tail and brush tail possums, bats and kangaroos. You may even get a glimpse of the powerful owl. 
School, scouting, church and youth groups with accompanying parents, teachers or carers can join us for a Twilight Forest Adventure. Minimum numbers apply and bookings are essential.
More information


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