TGIF: How to spend Friday nights this summer

Posted 2 Feb 2017

Story by Her Canberra

It’s that magical time of the week where you can kick off your work flats and trade them in for a gorgeous pair of heels with a party dress to match.

…or maybe just find a quiet event at which to gather yourself and replenish from the week that was. There are so many ways to unwind after work each and every Friday this summer.

Here are a few of our favourites.


Image: Martin Ollman

Image: Martin Ollman

Enjoy spectacular views, great live music and delicious food and drinks at the National Arboretum on the first two Friday evenings in February 2017.

Arboretum After Hours offers a northern deck that’s perfect for catching up with family and friends. Find that special something at the Curatoreum Gift Store – open until 7pm. Village Centre and National Bonsai and Penjing Collection open until 7pm. Pod Playground and forests open until 8.30pm.

There are also free guided Fire and Water walks.

Happening Friday 3 February and Friday 10 February from 4.30pm– 7pm at National Arboretum Canberra, Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek. Find more information on the website.



Image: Martin Ollman

We love the idea of getting dressed up and wandering a gallery late at night. Whether it’s with a group of girl friends or a night of calmness and individual serenity the National Portrait Gallery is the place to be on a relaxing Friday night. Luckily for us, the NPG will keep its doors open every Friday until 8pm from 3-24 February. They will have a variety of performances throughout the summer too, including the Popular Pet Show highlights tour at 7pm each Friday. 

When: Friday 5pm – 8pm
Where: National Portrait Gallery
How much: Most exhibitions are free (check website for more details)
Contact: 6102 7000


Image; Facebook - Canberra Openair Cinema

Image; Facebook – Canberra Openair Cinema


You won’t want to miss Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema on Patrick White Lawns (near the National Library). If you’re feeling fancy, American Express tickets are available and include reserved bean lounger seating, a blanket and a drink. This year you can also purchase food combos including pizzas and fries to make your night extra special.

With music by day and movies by night, Openair Cinemas support local musicians and play a mix of favourite cult classics and hot new release films. Check their website for full details and bookings. There are a variety of seating options available. 

Entry begins at 5pm and movie will start at sunset (approximately 7:30pm/8pm). Cost will vary depending on your ticket preferences check the website for further information.




Los Chavos will continue their successful monthly residency at The Phoenix with a show every Friyay. Come along to see their unique brand of latin ska reggae tunes with a little hip-hop, gyspy funk and cumbia flavours!

This month they will be joined by some special dancing guests from Salsabor Dance Studio.

Happening from 9pm onwards every Friday in February at The Pheonix Pub, 21 Eastrow, Civic. Find more information here.


The Southern Cross Yacht Club, located in quiet waterside Yarralumla, is the ultimate romantic or family-friendly Friday night. With loads of parking, and heaps of grassy space, perfect for picnic blankets and running around, it’s the perfect spot

We recommend soaking up the sunset while sitting on the grass next to the water with a steaming package of fish and chips from Snapper on The Lake. Delightful.

Sanpper by the Lake is open until 8pm on Friday nights and is located at the Southern Cross Yacht Club, Mariner Place, Yarralumla.




Friday nights are the perfect time for cocktail for two, especially surrounded by the iconic architecture of Old Parliament House. The courtyard is beautiful and shady and perfect for relaxing with a big or small group of friends.

From pop-up bars with Fat Yak, Pimms & Tanqueray Gin; to DJ sets and live acoustic acts; to BBQs, deck chairs & lawn games – there’s something for everyone.

Happening every Friday from 4pm until late at Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace until  7 April 2017.





Nostalgia, romance, and national dreaming are the stuff of Frank Capra’s rich and dreamy palette. Check out a delicious selection of groundbreaking contemporary cinema driven by new understandings of these ‘Capraesque’ themes to complement the National Film and Sound Archive’s Capra retrospective.

The New Romantics Film Festival screens films every Friday night in February and includes new work from acclaimed directors Peter Greenaway, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lee Tamahori and Aleksey German Jr.

Films screening:

Cemetery of Splendour – 3 February

Eisenstein in Guanajuato – 10 February

Under Electric Clouds – 17 February

Mahana – 24 February

Showing until 24 February 2017 from 7pm at The National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton. Find more information on the website.



Tapas, gin and tonic and a great group of gals is exactly what I need this Friday night. Parlour is the perfect place to unwind and have a glass … or two, while treating yourself to the exceptional dining experience. All summer long Parlour is helping us quench our thirst with their amazing $15 special including a gin and tonic and two freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters.

Parlour Wine Room is located in NewActon at 16 Kendall Lane (Kendall Lane runs off Marcus Clarke Street) and is open on Friday nights until late.

Contact: Call 6257 7325, visit the website at or check out their Facebook page.


Image: VisitCanberra

Image: VisitCanberra

On the first Friday of every month, sound curators at the National Film and Sound Archives hold a listening party, and you’re invited. The format is simple: Bring Your Own (BYO) vinyl, or choose from a huge selection on stage, share why you love them, or just listen to others’ stories.

Discover songs you’ve never heard whilst re-discovering the soundtracks of your past – all played on a pure analogue sound system you may want to hug on your way out. From Kraut-Rock to K-pop, TISM to Tijuana Brass, The Vinyl Lounge is an informal, sometimes moving, and always surprising way to close the week, and jump-start the weekend.

Happening Friday 3 February from 5.30pm-7pm at National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton. Find more information on the website.


Salut!, one of Australia’s foremost baroque music ensembles, performs music by CPE Bach, Handel, Telemann, Fasch and Steffani in Musical Letters.

Letters between composers from the Baroque period have provided us with a mine of information about life and music, revealing JS Bach’s cantankerousness, the charming friendship between Handel and Telemann, and Johann Fasch’s desire to develop a music-sharing network. For more than 25 years Fasch organised an “exchange of musical compositions” between cities across Germany, allowing for the cross-fertilisation of styles and access to additional performance repertoire.

Happening Friday 3 February from 7.30pm at Albert Hall, Commonwealth Avenue. Find more information on the website.



Farmers and Foodies is a weekly food market with a focus on local and organic produce, amazing street food and boutique beer wine and spirits. Come and do your weekly shop grab some dinner sit down and relax while you enjoy a cold drink at the end of a hot week! On every Friday from 4pm – 8pm at the Old Bus Depot Building, Wentworth Avenue, Kingston.

Visit the Facebook page for more information

This article has been repurposed with permission from the HerCanberra. To view it in its original form, click here.

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