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Things to do this school holidays in Brisbane City

It's that time again – the kids are on school holidays, and after a few days you're scratching your head wondering what to do with them. Whether it's entertaining young primary aged kids, tweens or even teenagers, Brisbane City has stacks to do for kids of all ages – you just have to know where to look. As parents you want two things – to entertain your kids and create memories as a family. Look no further. We've compiled this list of great activities to do with your family this school holidays in Brisbane City.

Eat your way through the Brisbane City Markets

Every Wednesday the country comes to the city when one of Brisbane’s best farmers’ markets pops up in Brisbane Square from 8am-6pm. Take the kids along to meet farmers and producers, buy fresh produce and pasta, taste cheese and jams, and find meat, seafood and hot smoked salmon to take home. Arrive hungry for the hand-picked food stalls, where you’ll find everything from fresh juices to falafel pita wraps to indulge in for lunch. Find out why this weekly CBD market is a must-visit yourself.

Shop until you drop

While you’re in Brisbane City, why not take the kids shopping and kit them out in the latest looks of the season. The City has everything from department stores David Jones and Myer offering the latest designer looks for kids, and buys that are easy on the hip pocket from Target and Big W, to great Australian boutiques Seed Heritage, Country Road and Cotton On Kids. Plus there are delights for all tastes and ages to take home and enjoy thanks to National Geographic and EB Games. 


Visit for Shop BNE City

Better yet, join the Shop BNE City celebrations. This major event is back and bigger than ever with three days of scorching hot retailer offers to kick start your summer wardrobe. Expect an entire weekend of lavish fashion shows, unique experiences, exclusive retailer offers, free styling sessions, live music and more from 27-29 September. Kids will love Cloud 9 at The Myer Centre, an Instagrammable space with free fairy floss and a live DJ, or drop into Mind Games for a packed weekend of games and prizes.

Rediscover The City with a Greeter

Have you ever noticed the brass animals above your head as you walk along Adelaide Street? It’s amazing how many little facts and secrets the Greeters know. Book a free walking tour with a Brisbane Greeter and have them show you and your family the CBD in a whole new light. You can book a general greet, or request a special topic – like street art, architecture or war history – to suit your family’s interests. Be sure to register your interest a few days in advance.

Ride the CityCat

City Cat

Feel the wind in your hair as you cruise around the Brisbane River on a CityCat. Sit up front to see all the sights as you make your way into the CBD and have your Titanic moment at the front of the boat. Depending which way you travel, you may see the New Farm Riverwalk, the Story Bridge, or South Bank. The two stops that will get you into the city are Riverside (at Eagle St Pier) or North Quay near the Treasury Casino. Check the Translink website for fare and timetable info.

The Museum of Brisbane

Celebrate the school holidays with the MoB Kids spring program where every activity is inspired by the latest exhibition, High Rotation, about Brisbane's music history. There are heaps of free art, activities and hands-on workshops with professional artists and designers on daily during the school break, with everything from screen printing band shirts for teens or kids, to making music and fanzines. 

  

Event Cinemas, The Myer Centre

Catch the biggest family-friendly films on the big screen at Event Cinemas, on the top level of The Myer Centre. The cinema also regularly offers promotional deals for families. This school holidays check out The Lion King, Angry Birds 2, Abominable and Armstrong, or catch one of the special Japanese anime flicks this cinema frequently screens.

Get active with SMASHHDOWN

Nine’s new children’s sports show, SMASHHDOWN is produced in Brisbane and will be coming live to Brisbane Festival. Get active, discover some weird sports facts, and have a laugh in Brisbane City Hall at this free event. SMASHHDOWN is on the hunt for Australia’s Number 1 Junior All-Rounder – expect excitement, great energy and crazy challenges.

Ignite a love of music with the City Sounds

If your kids love music, they'll love the City Sounds. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday Australia’s largest free live music program presents local and touring bands and artists on stages in the Queen Street Mall, Post Office Square and other locations around the CBD. Kids can get up close with the artists and say hi between sets. Expect every genre from alternative and folk, to jazz and electro – you can check out who is playing this weekend here.

Explore the giant Roma Street Parkland

Flowers in bloom at Roma Street Parklands

Jump aboard the Parkland Explorer at Roma Street Parkland. This trackless train provides an alternative to the guided walks within the parkland and operates Wednesday-Friday between 10am and 12.30pm and Saturday-Sunday between 10am and 3pm. The Kids Collective also runs during school holidays from 9am-1pm Thursday to Saturday.

 

While you’re there, bring a picnic rug and use the Parkland’s many barbecue facilities, or visit the Cafe on site. The Parkland also offers beautiful large lawn areas, gardens and artworks you can explore.

Holy smokes, Batman!

Who runs the night? Batman does. Celebrate 80 years of DC Batman with this 5km fun run that stretches from our very own Gotham Building (sometimes officially known as the State Law Building) through to South Bank. Hurry to get your official kit in the mail ahead of the September 21 run!

Dance the night away with Latin Friday Nights

Latin beats and dancing feet take over Reddacliff Place every Friday night. Wear your dancing shoes and join a passionate, pumping crowd that loves to shake their hips. The DJ plays fun, fresh and modern Latin music that teenagers and pre-teens will love. It kicks off at 8pm with a dance lesson, so grab dinner in the city and then wander over for a fun and safe dance street party that goes until late.

Elizabeth Picture Theatre, Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Picture Theatre

The Elizabeth Picture Theatre delivers glitz and glamour with its Golden Age visage. Step back in time with the family and explore the Tara Room, formerly a ballroom whose roof has been preserved so you can feel that little closer to the stars. The heritage-listed building offers full food and beverage service in selected cinema rooms. 

Relax in the City Botanic Gardens

City Botanic Gardens

A must-visit for kids in Brisbane City is, of course, the City Botanic Gardens. It’s Brisbane’s oldest park, originally planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony. The gardens include ancient trees, rainforest glades and exotic species and run the full length of Alice St. It’s the perfect place to take the family for a picnic, or dine in at The Gardens Club. There's also the Riverside Gardens Markets held each Sunday from 8am-3pm.

Follow the lights and find fairies


Planning an outdoor adventure these school holidays? Take the kids out at night and discover fairies hiding in Brisbane CBD. From secret fairy doors, magical fairy lights and hidden nooks in The City, there’s plenty to explore after dark with the family.

It's a Strike!

Home to 12 bowling lanes, a laser-tag arena and escape rooms, Strike Wintergarden is a fun-filled paradise for children and adults alike. Bond over some healthy competition and then fuel up with the Level 1 food vendors. There are some great deals for the family, such as if you drop by on Monday nights, spend $7 on food or drink and get a free game of bowling. On Tuesday nights there is unlimited activities for $30, on Sundays it's just $25 and on Thursdays you can play unlimited laser tag for just $15. 

Learn something at The Cube

The Cube at QUT

Housed in QUT's Science and Engineering Centre, The Cube is one of the world's largest digital interactive learning and display spaces, consisting of 48 multi-touch screens soaring across two storeys. The Cube regularly hosts hands-on programs for kids during school holidays, with an exciting line-up of new coding, robotics, and technology-based workshops.

High tea? Yes please!

For a memorable outing take the children to the historic Shingle Inn at City Hall and enjoy its Fairies and Gnomes High Tea just for little ones. It's a lovely way to create a beautiful family tradition.

Brisbane Square Library

Expand your child’s creativity and join the Brisbane Square Library for its extensive educational program featuring story time, entertainment and arts and craft in the Children's Lounge on Level One.

Family-friendly dining

Keep little tummies happy with family-friendly dining with everything from free meals at The Bavarian at Eagle Street Pier, to watching your pizza and pasta made right in front of you at Vapiano. Don't forget to keep space for a sweet treat afterwards! For a full list of dining options in the City, head here.

FunHouse, The Myer Centre and iPlay, Albert St

There is a whole world of gaming fun to have at FunHouse in The Myer Centre. Buy your tokens, play lots of games, count your tickets, then redeem for awesome prizes! Or battle it out at iPlay with favourites including Dance Dance Revolution, Tekken7, Jurassic Park and a photo booth to capture all the fun.

See something edgy at Metro Arts

One for high school children, Metro Arts is a cool and alternative arts space dedicated to supporting independent artists. Inside the five-storey converted building on Edward Street is a theatre, gallery, studio and arts cinema. There’s always something new and interesting to explore, so check the program before you head in.

Navigating & parking in the CBD 

Travelling to the city with a hive of children can make things trickier. The good news is there are a few easy ways to access Brisbane CBD with your family. 

$5 weekend and evening parking 
The cheapest parking in the city is at the Brisbane City Council-run King George Square and Wickham Terrace car parks. After 4pm weekdays and on weekends you can park for just $5. If you enter the Roma Street Parkland car park before 9.30am weekdays, you can stay for just $10. Find out more about parking in the city here.  

Public Transport 
Brisbane’s buses, trains and ferries all service the CBD as a central point. You can use Google Maps or the official Translink Journey Planner to find the best way to access the city from your location. Many suburban train stations have free park’n’ride facilities, so you can leave the car and take the train into Central Station or Roma Street Station. Catching the CityCat or free CityHopper is also a super delightful way to arrive in the city via the river.