Affordable activities for kids

Keep the kids entertained these school holidays with a range of activities from arts and culture, to active and outdoors. Read on to find a list of the top low-cost or completely free activities that Brisbane has to offer. 

Arts and culture

GOMA

1. For the budding artist, why not take a trip to Gallery of Modern Art? Kate Beynon: Friendly Beasts brings to life four hybrid creatures with their own personalities to helps the kids feel imaginative, expressive and entertained. They'll create new 'beasts' through mask-making, dance with them through a video installation and contribute to their magical world in a collaborative drawing activity. Free

2. Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum comes Queensland Museum from June 23 to January 28 and features more than 110 original artefacts preserved in the ashe of Pompeii. Adults $18, Concession $16, Kids $12. Families $13.75 each. 

3. The Ipswich Art Gallery has a dedicated children's gallery that includes a full program of exhibitions curated for little ones. Free

4. Youngsters will enjoy a visit to the State Library of Queensland for interactive exhibitions like Digital Futures Lab. Explore the technological future with smart cities, real life robots, and amazing algorithms. Free

5. Escape the crowds with your children at Brisbane Square Library's Children's Lounge on level one for art, craft and storytelling suitable for kids aged 4-10 years. Free

Brisbane City Hall

6. Take the kids on an exciting tour of Brisbane City Hall's clock tower. The guided tour runs every 15 minutes. Put your name down at reception on level three to secure your spot. Free

7. Take a drive out of the city and head for Ipswich Art Gallery for a change of pace. These holidays, they're hosting Loose Ends: Theatre for Families, a journey to an eccentric place where gadgets are poetic, puppets are naughty, machines are untrained and circus tricks pop-up when you're least expecting it. All tickets $7. StoryArts Festival Ipswich also runs these holidays with theatre performances, illustration exhibitions, workshops and fun family programs. Kids' tickets for StoryArts are free. 

8. Choo Choo Choose to take the kids to The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich (entry fees apply). The train will have little ones lit up with excitement as they explore a real-life Thomas the Tank Engine departing from and returning to The Workshops Rail Museum on Steam Train Sunday. These school holidays it's running from June 24 to July 9. Cost: Adult $14.50 Child (U15) $11.50 Concession $12.50 Family (2A+1-2C) $44.50 Child (U3 not occupying seat) Free

Sciencentre fun

9. Let the kids run wild at Queensland Museum's Sciencentre. This entirely hands-on area is fun and educational (but the kids won't know it!). Cost: Adults $14.50 Child (3-15) $11.50 Concession/Student $12.50 Family (2A/Con + up to 4C) $44.50

10. Imagine what life was like for prisoners back in 1883 with a tour of Boggo Road Gaol. Cost: Adult $25 Teen $17.50 Child $12.50 Family $50

11. Explore South Bank from a different perspective with a Greeters tour. Departing 10am daily from the South Bank Visitor Information and Bookings Centre. Bookings essential 24hrs in advance. Call (07) 3156 6366 or email vicsouthbank@brisbanemarketing.com.auFree 

12. Ariel swims back into Brisbane with Brisbane Arts Theatre's production of Disney's The Little Mermaid from September 9 to October 14. This adaptation of the 2009 Broadway show features all your favourite songs and will take you straight back under the sea. All tickets $23. 

The Cube at QUT

13. Meet the world's most scientifically accurate, life-sized, digital dinosaurs at QUT's The Cube. Find The Cube's whole program here. From 10am-4pm. Free

14. Young film buffs and those who just want to be entertained will enjoy catching a flick at the South Bank Cineplex. There's always something for all ages, and with prices this affordable, the whole family can go! Weekends and evenings after 6pm cost: Adults $8.50 Students $6.50 Children (2-12) $4.50. Disney films $1 extra.

15. If your kids need to stretch their creative muscles, try Sprouts in the Park's arts, craft, and gardening activities. In the Children's Garden at Roma Street Parklands, kids can paint, play, and grow their own fun. Check out the other Sprouts in the Park activities here. $2 per head - please bring correct change. 

Active and outdoors

Little Days Out

1. So the younger nippers don’t feel left out, bring them along for one of South Bank’s Little Day Out programs. Held daily 9am-1pm every Thursday, kids can participate in dance, art and craft workshops while having plenty of fun. Free

2. Check out Brisbane's best local parks. Kids will have fun running, jumping and climbing while you sit and relax. That looks like a win-win to us! Free

3. Wow kids with the spectacular view from Mt Coot-tha. Take the drive yourself, then come back and jump on the mini bus tour of the Botanic Gardens which runs Monday to Friday from 10.30am. Free

4. Ahoy there! Little sailors will enjoy a day out at the Queensland Maritime Museum where they can explore the decks, engine room and staff quarters of the warship Diamantina. Adults $16 Child $7 Concession $14 Family $38

5. Explore the river city with a cruise along the Brisbane River. The CityCats are quick, easy and cost only a few dollars for maximum enjoyment.

Parkland Explorer

6. Ride the Parkland Explorer through Roma Street Parkland. The trackless train gives tired legs a rest while still being able to explore the gardens. Free

7. Pack a picnic and head to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre where you can hang out with a real-life Blinky Bill. Free

8. Have a future Tony Hawk on your hands? Beginner skateboard sessions are being held by Ramp Up in the Moreton Bay region for all youngsters wanting to develop their skills and learn a few tricks. Bring your skateboard or scooter and leave the rest to the professionals. Free

9. Escape to the seaside at Redcliffe, Wynnum or Manly with hot fish and chips or an ice-cream. Free

Family get back to nature at the Lost World

10. Hit the road with a day trip to the Greater Brisbane region. Check out our list of tourist drives that boast scenic views wherever you go. Free 

11. Stop and smell the roses, dandelions and gerberas with a visit to Roma Street Parkland. Free

12. Feel the wind in your hair with a bike ride around Brisbane. Hire a bike, ride your own or join a tour. The warm spring weather is the perfect excuse to get outdoors. Tour from $50pp with Brisbane by Bicycle or hire from $35 for adults and $25 for children. 

Victoria Park Putt Putt

13. Make like Aussie golf champion Adam Scott and try your hand at golf (or mini golf for mini people). Victoria Park Golf Course offer putt putt golf which makes for a perfect family day out. Family $11 a head.

14. Explore cascading waterfalls, expansive lakes, and trickling waterholes near Brisbane. Be sure to keep an eye out for native wildlife on your adventure! Free

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