40 things to do with kids in Brisbane
Looking for ideas to entertain the kids for an hour or a weekend? Look no further – we've got you covered with things to do on hot days, rainy days, quiet days or adventure days with children.
1. Connect with wildlife
Cuddle a koala, view platypus, pat a llama or feed fish – discover Brisbane’s wide range of wildlife parks, zoos and animal farms.
2. What's on at Little Days Out
Spend a morning playing, creating and discovering with your child at Little Days Out, South Bank’s free children’s program. It’s on every Thursday from 9am-1pm, with locations and activities changing each week, so there’s always something new to enjoy!
3. Get out on the river
Riverlife offers a wide range of adventure activities to keep people of all ages busy. Try kayaking on the river, abseiling down the Kangaroo Point Cliffs or riding a Segway.
4. Explore local parks
Plan a barbecue, relax by the river or entertain the kids at one of Brisbane’s best local parks. There are plenty of awesome playgrounds to tick off the list – start today!
5. Burgers and bowling
Head to the Wintergarden centre in Queen Street Mall and book a lane at Strike Bowling. Afterwards, treat participants to burgers at Grill'd.
6. Rediscover Brisbane's past at Fort Lytton
Built in 1881 and used for the defence of Brisbane until the end of the Second World War, Fort Lytton is an important historical site in Brisbane and not far from the CBD. The fort is open every Sunday and most public holidays from 10am-4pm, with free entry and tours. Check online for the next re-enactment or cannon-firing event.
7. Go for a dip at South Bank
The Boat Pool has reopened after renovation, Aquativity is ready for the kids, and Streets Beach is looking as good as ever. Pop by South Bank for a free swim in the parklands.
8. Learn about how food grows
Not far from Streets Beach the kids can discover exotic plants, fragrant herbs, talk to their dedicated gardener volunteers (onsite at various times throughout the year), and learn about inner-city gardening at South Bank’s tranquil Epicurious Garden.
9. All aboard a steam train
Choo choo! The Workshops Rail Museum is an award-winning interactive heritage and cultural experience located at Australia's oldest operating railway workshop. Tour the active heritage workshops in Ipswich and see the state's steam fleet being restored.
10. Turn their world upside down
Flipside Circus offers workshops to young people and their families – head along to a school holiday workshop, drop in for Sunday Circus or sign up for a term.
11. Join a free Brisbane Greeters tour
Let the Brisbane Greeters teach you something new about Brisbane. These volunteers host free three-hour tours in Brisbane about almost any topic you can think of.
12. Satisfy a need for speed
Take the kids go-karting at Slideways in Eagle Farm or Kingston Park Raceway in Logan and let them test their skills against each other and the clock.
13. Eat your fill
The Eat Street Northshore is Brisbane’s bustling Asian-style night market with fairy-lit alleyways of shipping containers down by Hamilton Wharf. Eat your fill from 4-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, plus Sundays from 11am-7pm. Hot tip: don't forget to take some cash. It's a $2.50pp entry fee and some stalls take cash only.
14. Explore Roma Street Parkland
Climb aboard the Parkland Explorer – Roma Street Parkland's free motorised train. Run by volunteers, the train cruises through the parkland most days.
15. Ready, set, go!
UQ Sport Kids will keep children aged 5-14 busy playing tennis, swimming, doing track and field or joining in for fun activities at the Kids Club. Check out the full program details here.
16. Take a mini break on an island
Escape the city and head for one of the islands where wide, golden, sandy beaches and refreshing aquatic waters to swim in come standard. Read more about Moreton Island here, and North Stradbroke Island here.
Ride up the clock tower, explore 100% Brisbane exhibition, or join one of the hands-on school holiday workshops that allow kids aged 5-11 years to explore Brisbane's history - now with extended opening hours on Friday nights.
18. Stop for a round of putt putt
Take the kids to enjoy mini golf at Victoria Park in Herston. The premier golf course has a fantastic 18-hole course that weaves around rocky terrain, swinging poles, sand and water traps and more.
19. Go for a scenic drive – we’ve found 23 for you
Pack the car, take a picnic and travel the road-less-explored to discover hidden pockets of nature and history surrounding Brisbane. We have found 23 scenic drives in the region surrounding Brisbane City.
20. Have a boogie with free live music
Listen to the sweet sounds of local musicians at South Bank lawns or while you shop at Queen Street Mall thanks to City Sounds, start your weekends with Friday Night Jazz at Studio 188, or kick back on QPAC’s Melbourne Street Green for Front Yard Music and enjoy generous helpings of iconic genres including Latin, jazz, rock, folk, soul and pop.
21. Take the family to the farm
A short drive from Brisbane lie a number of homely farm stays where you can take the family to have an authentic farm experience. Take a look at our favourite farm stays here.
22. Look at the stars
The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is the perfect chance for kids to learn about the stars, planets and what's out there in the sky. Head along to see re-creations of the night sky in the cosmic skydome, see fragments of asteroids and spacecraft models, and watch short feature shows.
23. Hike through our national parks
From heritage-listed rainforests to sand islands and bushland – discover a new national park near Brisbane to horse-ride, fish, bushwalk or cycle around Brisbane this autumn.
24. Uncover the combat of the Colosseum
Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum comes to Queensland Museum from 23 June 23 to 28 January. It features more than 110 original artefacts such as pieces of the Colosseum and authentic weapons and armour preserved in the ashes of Pompeii.
See the historic warship Diamantina, the 1925 steam tug Forceful, the heritage-listed South Brisbane Dry Dock, and a large collection of exhibits such as Jessica's Pink Lady. The Queensland Maritime Museum at South Bank often hosts school holiday events for kids too.
The State Library of Queensland has a special Kids Corner with reading fun and games. Take little ones along for a fun time.
27. Take to the trees
At the TreeTop Challenge the kids will have the ultimate adventure experience as they undertake the 100-plus TreeTop challenges spread over six huge courses, spanning through 10 acres of unspoilt natural bushland combining rope and wire challenges.
28. Magical bookstores just for children
West End's Where The Wild Things Are and Manly's The Mad Hatters Bookshop are two special stores that stock a massive range of children's literature and picture books. Check the store websites for special author events, workshops and more.
29. Enjoy one of Brisbane's top day trips
Make the most of this beautiful weather and get out and about with the best day trips from Brisbane.
30. Art in the 'switch
The Ipswich Art Gallery always has a great program for children, including exhibition features and special events.
Picnic Island Green is the perfect family-friendly destination. Make the most out of summer holidays by enjoying the out-doors with your family. Bring snacks and pack a picnic meal with the use of the free barbecue facilities and let the kids burn off some energy at the state-of-the-art playgrounds.
32. Back to Medieval times
Go back in time to view a priceless collection of antiquities and fine arts from around the world at the Abbey Museum of Art & Archaeology.
33. Explore the gardens
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens at the base of Mt Coot-tha feature a wonderful display of plants and attractions including a Japanese Garden, Tropical Dome, Freedom Wall, self-guided walks, Cactus Zone, Bonsai House and Hide 'N' Seek children's trail, and the planetarium is right nearby.
34. Discover the history of the River City with Museum of Brisbane Kids
Museum of Brisbane brings our city's vibrant art, culture and history alive right in the heart of the CBD. Found in City Hall, the Museum runs its MoB Kids program through the school holidays. This spring, events focus on the food story of Brisbane in partnership with Tastes Like Sunshine. Make sure you take the kids to check out the marshmallow wall.
Join a fun, easy-paced Brisbane By Bicycle tour and discover a new side to Brisbane. The authentic and informative tours run alongside the Brisbane River daily and can be booked online.
Adapted from the 2009 Disney Broadway production of the story from the movie we all know and love, this stage performance of The Little Mermaid tells Ariel's story all over again. Complete with the songs you and the kids know the words to and the characters they adore, this is one not to miss while it's in town. Runs until October 14.
37. Play around with the interactive Cube
As the world’s largest interactive learning display space, The Cube at QUT is designed to inspire the next generation of thinkers and is a fun way to encourage interactive and hands-on learning experiences.
38. Thunderbirds are go
Find treasure-filled thundereggs formed when dinosaurs roamed Earth, play laser skirmish in a jungle setting, tackle the high ropes course at TreeTop Challenge, enjoy a horse trail ride through rainforest or play a game of adventure mini golf on a new championship course at Thunderbird Park in the Scenic Rim.
39. Play a round of Supa Golf
Get the whole family involved with a game of Supa Golf at the new 9-hole course at Sirromet Winery.
40. High tea for little ones
For a memorable outing, take the children to the historic Shingle Inn at City Hall and enjoy a traditional high tea on the first Monday of each month. It's a lovely way to create a beautiful family tradition.
Half the fun of parenting is sharing the fun, spread the word on Facebook!
Discover more things to do with children