There’s something on for every member of the family at our national collecting institutions this summer.

19 December 2019

Check out our highlights of what’s on below and be sure to find out what’s on at your local gallery, museum or archive for more ideas on how to beat the heat and get cultural over the break. 


National Library of Australia (NLA)

Get to know the NLA a little better this summer with a range of exhibitions and events to help you enjoy their collection, exhibitions and activities.

From a Getting started at the National Library workshop, to guided tours and a film screening of Mary Poppins Returns there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Take your family to explore the Story Time: Australian Children's Literature exhibition for a nostalgic look at some of Australia's greatest authors and illustrators, from Bob Graham and May Gibbs to Emily Rodda and Shaun Tan.
Enjoy an interactive family experience at the NLA's curated free Playtime space as part of the Story Time exhibition or drop into Summer Wordplay to enjoy stories, games and puzzles.

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National Gallery of Australia (NGA)

Make time for the NGA's blockbuster Matisse & Picasso exhibition, a visual storytelling of the artistic relationship and rivalry between two of Europe's greatest twentieth-century artists. 

Explore the Yayoi Kusakma – Infinity Room, a must-see contemporary installation to explore. A vibrant yellow room overrun with black polka dots surrounding a mirrored box of illuminated pumpkin sculptures, endlessly reflected in the room's internal mirror.

Families can enjoy art chats, storytelling, music, dance and creative making at Super Sundays from 26 January to 23 February. The Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery and Mobile Studio are open every day for creative making.

Families are invited to join a free 45 minute school holiday family tour of the national collection.

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Bundanon Trust

Bundanon Trust is kick-starting the summer holidays with extended visiting times at Arthur Boyd's art studio and historic homestead and their annual family-friendly event, The Big Draw on Sunday 19 January.

The Big Draw is an international festival celebrating the power of drawing for all ages.  Artist Gary Warner, renowned for his automated drawing machines and bots will lead the Big Draw this year.

Bundanon Trust will also host open days every Saturday and Sunday in January. Pack a picnic and bring the whole family to wander through the iconic landscape that inspired one of Australia's greatest artists.

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National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA)

Enjoy a very NFSA Christmas with a film program featuring classic Christmas movies and audience surprises or buy a family season pass to Game Masters: The Exhibition and experience the Archive as Australia's biggest video game arcade.

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Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM)

Choose your own adventure these school holidays with a plethora-saurus of things to do.

Be inspired by the ANMM's Sea Monster's exhibition with art-making and science experiments, dress up in Kids on Deck, enjoy a family theatre show or join a hands-on workshop.

The whole family will enjoy gliding with prehistoric sea creatures in the immersive Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium experience, discovering the Artic with Wonders of the Artic 3D and exploring 75 years of Sydney to Hobart.

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National Museum of Australia (NMA)

Summer holidays provide the perfect opportunity to escape into the wonderful world of DreamWorks with the DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition – Journey from Sketch to Screen. Take a closer look at the process that created some of your family's favourite animated characters.

Join puppet designer Philip Millar for an NMA Up Late session as he discusses bringing fantasy creatures to life using puppetry, animatronics and complex hydraulics.

The museum's always popular virtual reality experience is back with a trip into the Okavango Wilderness. Come face-to-face with elephants, lions and hippos as you explore one of the world's largest wetlands with the National Geographic Project team in the stunning 360-degree experience.

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National Portrait Gallery (NPG)

Rediscover the recently reopened NPG as a family with story time, portrait play and free activities in the Gallery's family space.
Look for familiar faces as you wander through the 68 striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the NPG's collection in The Look or follow the direction of the subject's gaze in a summer Portrait Gallery collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact from eyes closed and looking away to staring right-back at you.

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