Stuck for a gift idea for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Why not think outside of the traditional chocolate box and plan a romantic Canberra experience during Enlighten Festival?
Enlighten Festival transforms Canberra into a hive of activity from 2-18 March. Eat to your heart’s content at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets; see illuminations and installations; enjoy live music and performances; and explore the culture and creativity of Canberra’s national attractions as they open their doors to host an array of exclusive events and surprising experiences.
With an extended program of free and ticketed events to choose from, you will be able to find the perfect romantic gift or Enlighten date experience. But we have picked a handful of experiences perfectly suited to couples to help you get inspired.
Dress up in your black tie best and join the festival’s premier masquerade party at Parliament House for a celebration of the beautiful with just a touch of the strange. Enjoy a roaming food service showcasing regional produce and a selection of Canberra’s best wines. Channel your ‘inner Bond’ at the Martini Bar and be entertained by cool rhythms on the exclusive Members and Guests Terrace on 2 March.
Rise early to see more than 30 balloons from around the world float across the city at dawn from 10-18 March. This mesmerising view is best appreciated from the lawns of Old Parliament House over a hot breakfast, as you watch the balloons inflate. While spectators on the ground are treated to an experience of the senses, for a truly unforgettable date get tickets to be among the lucky passengers who experience the thrill of hot air ballooning over the national capital during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular.
Take your Twilight on the Savannah experience to the next level with a picnic on the lawn of the National Zoo and Aquarium while enjoying the sounds of a classical string quartet and seeing the animal residents at night. The recently opened savannah area includes a beautiful new central viewing park with a waterfall, lawns and cabanas, and a café which will be open during the 10 March event for light refreshments and snacks.
Experience a taste of Hollywood in Canberra during Canberra’s very own short film festival under the stars. Bring a picnic rug or chairs to Lights! Canberra! Action! on 9 March and get comfortable while you watch the top twelve films created to this year’s theme of Strange, Beautiful and Unexpected. Entrants must shoot, edit and produce a seven minute film in just ten days.
Your next dinner date is sorted! Experience a magical sunset in the Canberra Discovery Garden at the National Arboretum Canberra as dusk descends on 7 March. Delight in live music as you dine under the stars with a seasonal menu featuring fresh, locally-sourced produce prepared and designed by award-winning chef Janet Jeffs. Be among the few to enjoy what is the best seat in town, taking in the breathtaking panoramic views as twilight takes over and the laser show lights up the night sky over the Parliamentary Triangle.
Get sparks flying and see Canberra light up in a dazzling display of aerial acrobatics and spectacular fireworks as Skyfire returns for its 30th year. Get prime position on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin on 17 March and tune in to the timed soundtrack broadcast on Hit 104.7 to make the most of the spectacle.
Tempt your appetite for delicious Asian eats at the ever popular Enlighten Night Noodle Markets from 2-11 March. Canberra’s Reconciliation Place will sizzle with this open-air market of food stalls set against the backdrop of the Enlighten building projections in the Parliamentary Triangle, making it the ideal place for a thrilling first date.
For more information on Enlighten Festival, view the program at www.enlightencanberra.com