30 things to do this summer in Brisbane

We don't mean to brag, but we're giving this summer a 10 out of 10. If you don't make it to Australia's subtropical capital this season, you'll miss out on the biggest blockbuster of summer events yet, great weather and even better vibes.

Cool down with a splash in one of Brisbane's natural waterholes, get lost in a world of dots or take the family on a mini island escape. Read on to discover our 30 best summer ideas, and share your photos with us using #brisbaneanyday

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Arts & Theatre | Adventure & Sport | Music & Culture | Food & Drink | City Escapes | Family

Arts & Theatre

1. 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art | 24 November 2018 - 28 April 2019

Having been deprived of GOMA's contemporary art series for too long, we happily announce that the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) will be available for viewing during spring and summer. Since 1993, the APT series has drawn more than three million visitors and boasts one of the world's most significant collections of contemporary Asian and pacific art - so don't miss it.

2. Jersey Boys | 2 - 20 January 2019

Hitting the Lyric Theatre at QPAC just after Christmas, this global phenomenon tells the story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks become one of the biggest American pop music sensations of the time.

3. Monkeys! A Primate Story | until 28 January 2019

An exclusive exhibition featuring 60 taxidermy specimens and articulated skeletons ranging from the tiny mouse lemur to the might gorilla, get up close and personal with our closest living relatives at this hands-on exhibition.

4. La Scallet Ballet | 7 - 18 November 2018

From Milan to Brisbane, Italy's celebrated Teatro all Scala Ballet Company (La Scala Ballet) performs for the first time in Australia at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex (QPAC) in Brisbane. With over 75 dancers performing in two iconic productions, Don Quixote and Giselle, it is a performance not to be missed. 

5. Queensland Ballet's The Nutcracker | 14 - 22 December 2018

the nutcracker

Christmas isn't officially here until you see Queensland Ballet's annual production of The Nutcracker. With the magnificent music of Tchaikovsky and lavish sets and costumes, Ben Stevenson's production of The Nutcracker is a must-see Christmas treat.

Adventure & Sport

6. Get to the Gabba and see the Gillette T20 International: Autralia v India  | 21 November 2018

Get to The Gabba to watch Australia take on India in the first of three Gillette T20 International matches against India. It's the perfect family outing, and with fireworks, music and amazing catches, it is definitely an event that will make it in the crease. If you can't get a ticket there is still the Big Bash League which only gets bigger and better each year. Cheer on the men and women's Brisbane Heat teams as they take on their southern counterparts at The Gabba and aim to take out the trophy at the end of the season. The crowds are huge, the atmosphere is electric and the cricket is incredibly entertaining. 

7. Catch the Caltex Socceroos Versus South Korea | 17 November 2018 

Catch the Socceroos at Suncorp Stadium in their first home game since Graham Arnold was appointed as the new Head Coach. Don't miss the opportunity to catch this sensational global match. 

8. Do something left of field and try one of these 28 things you didn't know you could do in Brisbane

Think you've ticked it all off your list? Think again. We're pretty confident we could bet that you haven't done everything on this list - helicopter pub crawls, night kayaking on an island, buying ALL the cheese, visiting the drive-ins, trying hip hop yoga...

9. Plan your camping adventure near Brisbane

Camping at Lake Moogerah

Now is the time to plan your camping adventure in Brisbane. Surrounded by stunning displays of natural beauty, the Greater Brisbane region is home to national parks, beaches and lakes worth pitching a tent at. Read our top 10 camping picks here.

10. Pick a sport and check it out live

Like Ben Cutting charging down the pitch to axe a full toss for six, another Brisbane summer has stormed in fast and that means more live sport than you can poke a stick at. Check out what's on, nab your tickets early and get ready - Brisbane's summer of sport is going to be a ripper.

11. Brisbane International | 30 December 2017 - 6 January 2018

A highlight on Brisbane's summer events calendar, tennis fans will this year have the opportunity to see superstars Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and defending champions Grigor Dimitrov and Karolina Pliskova. Enjoy the matches courtside at Pat Rafter Arena, or chill out on a bean bag in front of the big screen outside in Tennis Central with a wine or beer in hand.

12. Brisbane Domain Day-Night Test: Australia versus Sri Lanka | 24 - 28 Jan

It's been five years since Sri Lanka has played on Australian soil so they better not expect to leave the country with a win. Come and cheer on the boys led by Tim Paine and coached by Justin Langer as the two teams face off at the Gabba in January.

Music & Culture

13. Woodford Folk Festival | 27 December 2017 - 1 January 2018

In its 33rd year, Woodford Folk Festival will bring more than 2000 local, national and international performers to the stage over six days and nights. With over 35 performance venues within the village, festival-goers will be inundated with concerts, dances, street theatre, circus performances and cabarets.

14. FOMO Festival | 5 January

Created for Brisbane by Brisbanites, FOMO Festival once more returns to Riverstage with an epic lineup of national and international artists. Nicki Minaj, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Pump, Mura Masa and Kali Uchis are just some of the names performing at this one-day-only event.

15. St Jerome's Laneway Festival | 2 February 2019

This boutique festival stays forever young by finding the what's fresh and putting it on stage around the country and internationally. Headlining acts from 2018 included Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, and Mac Demarco - what world famous artists could be performing in 2019?

16. Brisbane Comedy Festival | 22 February 2019

The Brisbane Comedy Festival held at the Brisbane Powerhouse is guaranteed to make you ROFL, crack up, LOL, chuckle, snigger, chortle, guffaw, heehaw and cachinnate your night away. So come and experience some comedy gold in the form of stand up, improv and sketch comedy and make up your own mind about who will be the next big thing. You have more than 70 national and international comedians to choose from. 

Food & Drink

17. Don't sweat it - keep cool with ice-cream, gelato or frosé

No way frosé! What is it, you ask? Why it's the drink of summer - frozen rosé. Delicious and alcoholic, Stokebar Q has it on tap for your enjoyment. If you prefer your icy treats sans alcohol, read our guide to the best ice-cream and gelato spots around the city.

18. Check out the new bars you'll be drinking at this summer

Relax within the confounds of a Queenslander at Little Big House, overlook the Brisbane River and South Bank from The Wet Deck and wander through a maze of shipping containers while sipping on a Lychee spritz at X Cargo. Not to mention TSO Lounge & Dining and two new craft breweries (Sealegs Brewing Co and Felons Brewing Co) will also keep your thirst in check this summer.

19. Tick off all 63 items on Brisbane's ultimate food bucket list

Rocky road Noosa Chocolate Factory

Looking for a food challenge to last you the summer? Try eating your way through all of the city's iconic dishes. Venues around town can't take these items off the menu without public uproar - and for good reason.

20. Sunday sesh in the sun

Long summer days' call for afternoon drinks and no one does a Sunday afternoon session better than Brisbane's outdoor bars. Close out your weekend with a spritz and a bang at these venues.

21. Eating local: Brisbane's paddock-to-plate experience

If you love to experience a city via your plate - Brisbane is the place to unfold your napkin. Brisbane's restaurants, bars and cafes go above and beyond to ensure where possible that its dishes and drinks come from within the local region.

22. Take drinking sky-high at Brisbane's best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop

Soak up the sunshine and raise your glasses to drinking sky-high at our picks of the best rooftop bars in Brisbane.

City Escapes

23. Take a day trip out to the regions

Venture onto your doorstep to discover a world alive with natural beauty, quality organic foods and rural gems. From the islands offshore to the serenity of the hinterland - explore new places within an hour of Brisbane.

24. Take a mini break on an island

Moreton 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, Bribie Island and North Stradbroke Island.

25. Hike through our national parks

From heritage-listed rainforests to sand islands and bushland - discover a new national park to horse-ride, fish, bushwalk or cycle around Brisbane this summer.

26. Go for a scenic drive - we've found 22 for you

Take the road less travelled and explore the hidden pockets of nature and history surrounding Brisbane on one of the many scenic drives in the region.

27. Cool off at all the lakes, waterfalls and watering holes

Brisbane summer is hot, so we can think of nothing better than escaping the heat at one of the many picturesque waterfalls and lakes around Brisbane - don't forget your togs (or bathers or swimmers, or whatever you like to call them).

Family

28. Keep the kids entertained with these 40 family ideas

Looking for ideas to entertain the kids for an hour or a weekend or the whole school holidays? We've got you covered with things to do on hot days, rainy days, quiet days or adventure days with children.

29. Keep visitors entertained or play tourist in your own town

With an influx of friends and family visiting over summer, be the best host you can be with this handy guide to entertaining new visitors with Brisbane's top major attractions or to get ones who have overstayed their welcome out of the house. No one in town? You don't need an excuse to play tourist in Brisbane get out and about exploring the city's best.

30. Explore local parks and connect with wildlife

Plan a barbecue, relax by the river or entertain the kids at one of Brisbane's best local parks. Whether you've got children to entertain or are a child at heart yourself, discover Brisbane's wide range of wildlife parks, zoos and animal farms.

Don't forget to share your summer moments with us using #brisbaneanyday

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