Coming Up in 2014 #1

11 Jan

One of the most regular bits of feedback I got in 2013 was “I wish I’d known about that event you reviewed sooner! I would have attended.” That’s awesome feedback for me in that it means I’m reviewing things you’re interested in, but it also highlights the restrictions on being a review blog.

I’ve said elsewhere, but I’ll state it again: this ain’t a preview blog. I don’t claim to know the scoops around town. Honestly, I usually learn about things opening up when everyone else does.

My main sources of ‘review ideas’ are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Visit Canberra. Look, “Visit Canberra” isn’t the right name for this institution. They should be something like “Visiting and Living in Canberra”. The people behind Visit Canberra showcase all the things on in Canberra – suitable whether you’re a tourist or living here. Their website is pretty easy to navigate, and they’ve got a great presence on social media, and encourage Canberrans to share what’s going on. It will also point you in the direction of the Visitors Centre on Northbourne – even if you live here, don’t be ashamed to stop in.
  • Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog. If you’re looking for bushwalking ideas, you’ve got to start at John’s page… or mine. But I will freely admit that John’s page is hands down the best resource for walks in and around the ACT. John is a seasoned walker (understatement!), has a great sense of humour and diligently documents every single walk he’s on. Canberra’s lucky to have John and his website as a resource, and long may it continue. Some of John’s walks are a little bit long for me (sometimes I’m lacking a bit on the patience, time or energy side – or all three!), but he provides critical detail with maps and what you should expect – as well as highlighting things you might have never heard of before!
And one of your humble correspondent in her fashionable bushwalking outfit at the summit on a walk with John Evans

And one of your humble correspondent in her fashionable bushwalking outfit at the summit on a walk with John Evans

  • The Riot-Act is Canberra’s pulse. It’s full of Canberra content, including reviews, advice on businesses in Canberra, images of Canberra (more bushwalking ideas! Or submit your own pics), and a user-compiled list of things to do on the weekend.
  • Twitter. A lot of people don’t get Twitter. For years I just had an account to read Twitter, instead of contributing. Now, I love contributing. Either way, it’s a great source of advice and well of ideas about things to do in Canberra, and what people are enjoying (or not!). Search for the hashtag #canberra to get an idea of what’s on the boil. Through Twitter, I’ve learned of things to do that I might be interested from people including our Chief Minister. And, it was through Twitter that I learned about what became my most favourite Canberra event ever. Can’t argue with that!

With those main sources out of the way, I’d like to start up a semi-regular post on the blog letting you know of things to do in Canberra which have caught my eye and/or which I reckon I might head along to. I’m not sure if this will be weekly, monthly or simply ad-hoc, but I’m sure a rhythm will reveal itself! Without further ado!

Coming Up in 2014 #1*:

  • PM’s XI v England at Manuka Oval. There are still tickets available* for the game this Tuesday, 14 January! *at the time of writing. No idea how good they are.
Me and my dear dad in #likecanberra shirts at Manuka Oval last year

Me and my dear dad in #likecanberra shirts at Manuka Oval last year

  • Sunday arvos throughout January at Old Parliament House / Museum of Australian Democracy. Enjoy drinks at OPH each Sunday in January (including Australia Day), with live performances. Inside on Sunday arvos you can be drawn as a caricature (free!). (We’re still waiting to hear whether OPH drinks will be back on after what seemed like a successful showing throughout December.)
  • The Sculpture Bar appears again at the National Gallery of Australia on Thursday, 16 January. For those who haven’t been, it’s a bar at the back of the gallery amongst some rather lovely mist (perfect on a 39 degree day) and the NGA’s lovely sculptures. Drinks in the past have been expensive. Looking forward to seeing what’s planned with their Peruvian/Chandon theme (in the past it’s been Veuve, explaining the $ tag for drinks). Here’s my review from a few years back.
Drinking in front of a sculpture in 2012 - very refined, I assure you

Drinking in front of a sculpture at the NGA in 2012 – very refined, I assure you

So privileged to go on a behind the scenes tour of the broadcasting service at Parliament House in late 2013

So privileged to go on a behind the scenes tour of the broadcasting service at Parliament House in late 2013

  • Valentine’s Day (Friday, 14 February if you need reminding!). BOOK IN QUICK. Canberra restaurants are starting to issue their pricing plans/menus for the big day, including some tempting degustations at some of Canberra’s best. Before you book, you may want to read what I’d like to describe as my public service announcement for what you should NOT expect for a Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • AfterDARK Grazing Tour at the Botanic Gardens. Includes a tour in the evening and a three course dinner at night. There are still sessions available for Valentine’s Day (~$85) and Friday, 7 March (~$50).
  • Enlighten Canberra is back on between 28 February and 8 March (why they don’t extend it for the long weekend MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Despite the silly dates, just block those eight dates out. You won’t regret it.
Just a little bit amazing.

Just a little bit amazing.

  • The Mapping Our World expo at the National Library (free, but you really should book online to avoid disappointment – here’s the linky) ends on the long weekend date of Monday, 10 March. This is only two months away. You could spend two months at this exhibition. For this reason, you need to get there and spend time with these remarkable maps as soon as possible.
  • Finally, the Canberra Craft Beer Festival has been pushed forward thie year to Saturday, 29 March (it’s been April or later in previous years). Don’t confuse this with the Small Brewers Beer Fest (dates still to be confirmed for 2014) or Canberra Beer Week (hopefully to be held again in November 2014).
With the Centennial Beer at the Canberra Craft Beer Festival in 2013

With the Centennial Beer at the Canberra Craft Beer Festival in 2013

* Not one of these venues/institutions/events asked me to tell you about this stuff that’s happening – it’s all of my own research/knowledge.

Happy blocking out your calendars!


10 Responses to “Coming Up in 2014 #1”

  1. Vanessa Monaghan January 11, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Great list! I’m taking the kids to see Mapping Our World on Thursday. We went to Gold and the Incas at the National Gallery last week and really enjoyed it. I agree about the Visit Canberra website, it’s surprisingly good.

    • inthetaratory January 11, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      Fabulous! Looking forward to taking my parents to see Gold and the Incas and Mapping Our World in March!

  2. Dad January 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    Excellent, informative, and well written – keep up the good work.

  3. yomibitoshirazu January 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

    What dad said!

  4. hercanberra January 20, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Great list, Tara! We also do a weekly roundup if you’re looking for more ideas…


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