Enlighten Canberra & Night Noodle Markets

Anyone who says that Canberra has nothing to do is someone who is seriously mistaken. I know I keep saying this, but seriously there has been so much on lately: one weekend was the Canberra show, then the multicultural festival, then Enlighten… And these are just the “big” events.

These big events are some of my favourite things to do in Canberra. Enlighten was an event I hadn’t yet experienced so I was really keen to

Enlighten is a family friendly artistic festival of lights and pictures projected onto iconic buildings around Canberra’s Oarliamentary Trianbgle. The main event is free, with entertainment around the ground of the event, but you can choose to go to fancy events at places like the National Gallery.

Now that it is in its 3rd year, it has expanded beyond the Parliamentary Triangle and places like the Aboretum and Canberra Botanical Gardens are now putting on events with music and fine food.

Enlighten also has the night noodle markets set up on the foreshore. Ther didn’t seem to be too many “noodle” options – in fact it was more of an Asian street food market type event. But there were lots of gluten free and vegan options available, which was great to see.

We tried a Japanese dish which was chicken on rice with sides of shallots, pickled ginger and a mayonnaise style sauce. It was quite delicious and a great dish to share.

We also tried the Fantastick, which I think has a misleading name… I think they were trying to say Fantastic-stick, but the name sounds like Fanta-Stick (we had kits if fun making up what this stick could actually be, like is it a stick covered in the soft drink Fanta?). The point I’m actually leading to is that is was meant to be Fantastic, but it wasn’t. It was chicken in a skewer stick that was flavoursome but it had the burnt barbecue taste to it, which overpowered the chicken marinade flavour. Normally I would be a fan of this but I wasn’t too happy with this one.

I also finally tried the bubble tea and had a lychee flavoured tea. It was a nice flavour but I’m not a big fan of the bubbles that pop when they hit your tongue. I was driving so I didn’t get to try the alcoholic one but I would be keen next year tp try the “adult” bubble tea!

There were lots of different foods to try and I wish I tried more! There was also a beer garden style area set up which would have been fun to sit in but it looked quite busy by the time it was open to the public.

Once we were done filling our tummies with food and drink, we went for a wander around the festival. It’s easy to walk around and lots of different things to look at. There was one part where you could have your photos taken in a photo booth and then they would eventually be projected onto this building that had a photo “train” moving all the photos along the building.

Of course there was entertainment as well. There was a band playing on a stage on the lawns of Old Parliament House. There was also music being played around the venue from DJs and musicians. There was even a large glass room with three “angels” showing messages such as “Do you hold onto fears and hopes”.
We also walked past giant light up “bees” that were held up by the performers walking them around the festival.
Each building appeared to have its own theme to display in the projected images, with Old Parliament House showing political cartoons and important stories part of Australian history.
We had lots of fun at this event. The great thing about it is that it’s a family friendly event, so everyone can enjoy it. You don’t have to go to the noodle markets either – it’s just a bonus if you want to get dinner while you were at Enlighten.
We will definitely go next year, but I will make sure I’m not designated driver so I can try an alcoholic beverage or two!

Tips for Visiting Enlighten & Noodle Markets

If you plan on going next year, I have some tips that might be helpful in making sure you get the most out of the event

  • Check out the schedule of events when it comes out to see what is on and when. You don’t want to get to something and realise that you needed to prebook of prepay for it
  • Get your money prepared. The noodle markets were cashless in 2017, which they will probably be from now on. So leave the cash at home!
  • Get there early. Around 6ish is probably a good time. There’s not much with parking available so it takes time finding a spot. You can also grab a table to eat at and get full on food and drink before the lines get long.
  • Share your food. This way you’ll get to try a bit of everything and really enjoy the delicious food on offer.
  • Take an umbrella and jacket. The weather can get cool and wet so you need to be prepared.
  • Have enough battery on your phone or camera for photos. You’ll want to take lots of photos and videos!
  • Take your time. It’s a good relaxing event so enjoy it!

Have you been to Enlighten and the Night Noodle Markets? What was your favourite part? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Bye for now,

Vintage Barbie xoxo

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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