Canberra’s biggest culture and creativity event, The Enlighten Festival (3-19 March), is just around the corner, and while everyone has their favourite event from the Night Noodle Markets and Balloon Spectacular to Lights! Canberra! Action! As the day turns to night, Canberra After Dark invites you to a range of exciting immersive experiences. Here are some of our favourites that are happening this year…

Fancy a drink?

On kick-off day, head to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to get creative with cocktails! Hosted by Canberra’s Martini Whisperer, transport back in time to the wild 80s with a themed cocktail masterclass alongside untold stories of the 80s nightlife in Canberra and 80s tunes. Held only on Friday 3 March. Book now.

If the 80s is a time you’d rather forget, explore the science of gin at Questacon’s Pure ImaGINation. Experience a selection of fine gins while the botanical aficionados dig deep to explore the science of this juniper-based spirit. The interactive workshop runs on 3, 4, 10 and 11 March. Book now.

Take a walk down memory lane

Interested in the history of Democracy? Go behind the scenes at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to ‘The People’s House’, a celebration of the chefs, hairdressers, typists and countless others who kept Parliament House running. Taking over the building alongside larger-than-life illustrations, roam the corridors as history comes alive in an immersive theatrical experience for all ages. The People’s House will run from 3-11 March, tickets are not required. Get all the information here.

Journey deep underground at Parliament House with an expert geologist to explore the phenomenon called an Unconformity – an ancient frock formation and a fascinating piece of a puzzle that helps us understand the earth in the Canberra region. The Unconformity Geology Tour runs from 4-18 March. Book now.

Family fun for all ages

Quite the family affair, while the kids slurp glowing slushies and dance with flashing hula hoops, mum and dad can watch from afar and sip on a cocktail from the bar at Questacon’s Atomic Carnival. Transforming their deck into a carnival playground, enjoy flashing fairy floss, cronuts, glowing slushies, pick-your-flavour popcorn, dagwood dogs and Atomics Glow Bar. Atomic Carnival is on 3,4,10 and 11 March, tickets are not required. Get all the information here.

Discover the birdlife, insects and trees featured in the Parliament House illuminations during a free talk in the external gardens with an ecologist and Eggpicnic artists. Passionate about wildlife conservation, Eggpicnic are known for their award-winning work that aims to capture the beauty of the natural world and inspire others to protect it. Held on Wednesday 8 March, the event is free however registrations are required. Register now.

Transform flat paper into three-dimensional forms at Little National Hotel’s Lumifold event. Producing a beautiful free-standing lamp and a wall sconce, use your thinking hats to explore mathematical concepts, biomimicry and the art of mathematical folding. Plus, enjoy a glass of wine, beer or soft drink with your tickets. Lumifold will be held from 17-18 March. Book now.

Enjoy an evening stroll and take in the culture

Observe art, film, light and sound with the Localjinni Pride Walk in celebration of International Women’s Day and World Pride. Explore the city’s many intersectional identities together on a promenade around Lake Burley Griffin’s foreshore, spotting underground art and activism with LGBTIQA+ safe guides. Held on Saturday 11 March. Book now.

Take a stroll around the Portrait Gallery after dark and enjoy their latest exhibition Portrait23: Identity. The exhibition presents new work from multi-award-winning contemporary Australian artists and collectives on what it means to represent themselves, their communities, histories and contemporary. The event will be held on Friday 10 March. Get all the information here.

To see the full program of After Dark events head to here.