Jan. 26 has rolled around again, so it’s time to put on the Akubra, slip into some thongs and raise the Aussie flag. Don’t have any plans? Read on for a bunch of great ideas, no matter where you are!
The good ol’ Aussie BBQ
BBQs will be getting fired up in backyards across the country, so join in the fun and throw a few snags on the barbie too. Invite your friends around and settle in for a leisurely afternoon while the boys play cricket in the street and the kids have waterbomb wars in the backyard. You could even organise a game of Aussie trivia. (First question: Which Australian celebrities played everyone’s favourite couple Scott and Charlene on Neighbours?) Or turn up the radio and listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown (or of course a bit of Johnny Farnham) — and after a few beers, even the blokes might be up for a rendition of the Australian anthem!
A picnic in the park
January is still steaming hot across this sunburnt country so keep out of the sun in the hottest part of the day and opt for an afternoon tea picnic instead. Find a shady spot in your local park, throw down the rug and invite your friends to pop in as they please. Everyone can bring a plate or two of their favourite Aussie treats — think lamingtons, ANZAC biscuits, scones and pavlova (yes Kiwis, we’re taking it back). Pack a few props and play some fun games in the park, like thong throwing, three-legged sprints and egg and spoon races.
Get amongst the crowd
There are many fantastic public events being held in cities and towns across Australia, so check out the official Australia Day website to find out what’s happening in your area. If you’re in Sydney, head to The Rocks, Hyde Park or the Harbour. Brisbanites can listen to local bands Ball Park Music and Charlie Mayfair at the free AusSounds Concert in the South Bank Parklands. Melbourne residents can gather in Federation Square to hear a hilarious debate on whether or not “It’s Really Cool To Be A Bogan.”
Make it a multicultural celebration
More than 20 percent of Australians are foreign-born, so why not host a multicultural dinner and celebrate the wonderful nationalities that help make Australia great! Ask your guests to bring along a plate or two of international food, like fried rice, spanakopita or pizza, and let your tastebuds go on a tasty adventure around the globe!
Keep the kids happy
Public holidays not only mean you get a day off work, but your kids do too… but don’t worry, we’ve hatched up a few clever activities to keep the kids entertained all day without leaving the house. Get messy in the kitchen and whip up some Vegemite scrolls, before setting up a craft table full of fun activities. They can design new Aussie flags (and stick them on Paddle Pop sticks to make flag-wavers), colour in pictures of native animals from the internet, make their own Australia Day posters and create their own paper origami koalas. And when the day is done and dusted, the whole family can retire to the couch to watch Skippy re-runs — perfect!
If you’re stuck in the office
Many of you may still have to work on Jan. 26, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the fun! Decorate your office with flags, banners and balloons, and hold a special morning tea with your colleagues. You could even organise some fun activities and competitions to keep the spirits up — hallway cricket, anyone?
Happy Australia Day, folks!