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The Museum hosts regular festival days, with performances, demonstrations, conversation and craft. Check our online calendar for a full range of fun activities for families and children.

Coming up

Jonathon Mettes, Snags, Baz and Marianne Mettes
Jonathon Mettes, Snags, Baz and Marianne Mettes.

A 'Spirited' Australia Day

Monday 26 January 2015, 10am to 3pm

Inspired by the exhibition Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story, this event celebrates Australia Day and all things horse-related with country music, bootscooting, horse rides, craft and much more. Highlights of the day include the Baz ‘n’ Snags puppet show, X-Factor star Caitlyn Shadbolt and celebrated country musician Warren H Williams.

Free entry; costs apply to some activities
Hall and Amphitheatre

More on the 'Spirited' Australia Day festival


NAIDOC on the Peninsula, Sunday 6 July 2014

Dugong floor sculpture timelapse

See our giant dugong floor mosaic take shape, as part of our 2014 NAIDOC on the Peninsula festival celebrations. Visitors added to the sculptures of these large marine mammals as they visited the National Museum of Australia’s First Australians gallery on 6 July 2014.

The 2014 festival, presented in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Inspired by our exhibitions On Country and Old Masters and our new Torres Strait Islander gallery Lag | Meta | Aus and featuring live music, dance, films and tours, as well as art and craft activities.

View more information about NAIDOC on the Peninsula

View photos from the day on Flickr

Australia Day festival

26 January 2014

Inspired by the exhibitions Old Masters and On Country, visitors enjoyed dancing with Move it Mob Style, bush tucker cooking with Mark Olive, singing with Yamba the Honeyant and Jacinta Price, as well as sand sculpting and printing activities.

View video highlights from the festival

Come Alive Festival

28 October to 1 November 2013

The fourth annual Come Alive Festival of Museum Theatre drew together ACT secondary students to present a variety of theatrical performances designed to bring the Museum's collection to life.

NAIDOC on the Peninsula

7 July 2013

NAIDOC on the Peninsula – an annual event presented as part of a week of celebrations across Australia. Featured local and national music and dance performances, community stalls and delicious food outside in the forecourt, plus craft activities and tours inside the Museum.

View more on NAIDOC on the Peninsula

NAIDOC on the Peninsula 2012

The 1913 Country Fair celebrated the Glorious Days: Australia 1913 exhibition. More than 2400 people came to see a range of performers and activities typical of a country fair from 100 years ago. 


View photos from the 1913 Country Fair on Flickr


1913 Country Fair vintage photo booth images on Flickr

View the Country Fair program

View Punch & Judy video and photos from PuppetOOdle

Museum on the move

26 January 2013

Inspired by the planes, trains and automobiles and Big objects on show in the Hall, we celebrated the ‘Museum on the move’, with live performances, demonstrations and fun craft activities themed around the different types of transport people have used to travel around Australia.

View the program

NAIDOC on the Peninsula

1 July 2012

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the National Museum of Australia hosted NAIDOC on the Peninsula. It was a great day of music, performances and stalls to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Thumbnail sizes of images of people at a festival

Check out some of the images on Flickr

View more about NAIDOC on the Peninsula

Silk Road

15 April 2012

A day of festivities to officially open the exhibition Travelling the Silk Road. Featured cultural performances, belly dancing workshops, camel rides, pattern printmaking activities, puppet shows, sand animation and more.

Thumbnail sized images of people at a festival.

Check out some of the images on Flickr

View the program

Chinese Lucky Dragon

26 January 2012

The National Museum's Lucky Dragon family festival was supported by the Chinese community, with performances and demonstrations at the Museum on Australia Day. Visitors celebrated the success of the exhibition A New Horizon, as well as Australia Day and the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. 

Thumbnail sizes of images of people at a festival

View images of the Chinese Lucky Dragon festival on Flickr

View the program

Future Gen

3 October 2011

This festival was inspired by the Museum's Kspace futuristic 3D virtual reality theatre and took place in the Museum's Hall. Visitors enjoyed art, craft, transport and entertainment with a futuristic twist. Kids made vehicles of tomorrow and repurposed recyclables to make jewellery and accessories to take home.