Things to do this autumn in Brisbane City

From belly laughs and toe-tapping rhythms, through to quirky dramas and curious questions – Brisbane City is alive with unique festivals and events this autumn. Since warm weather is a year-round blessing, sink a spritz by the river and make your way to one of the many free events or awesome things to do in the CBD this March, April or May. 

1. Be inspired by Easton Pearson | Until 28 April

Don’t miss the chance to view The Designers' Guide: Easton Pearson Archive with 200 garments personally selected by fashion designers Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson. At the forefront of Australian fashion for 27 years, explore the artistry, techniques and demi-couture practices at the Museum of Brisbane.There are plenty of extra events including fashion drawing and archive tours.

2. Eat at one of Brisbane City's newest restaurants and bars

Donna Chang

Dine on dumplings and grilled lobster at opulent Donna Chang, or sink pizza and pints by the river at Felons Brewing. The City has exploded with new venues. At the Brisbane Quarter find Italian at Persone, pan Asian-Indian at Heritij, and paddock-to-plate dining at Three Blue Ducks. Howard Smith Wharves opened with half a dozen new riversides spots. Read more about what’s new in food and drink here

3. Head to the green for Gigs & Picnics

Gigs and Picnics

Bring a picnic blanket, snacks and friends and kick back in the City Botanic Gardens with Gigs & Picnics. Once a month you’ll find food trucks and free live music. It’s different each month with everything from mellow jazz sounds, modern reggae and dub vibes, to gypsy swing and more.

4. Go shopping in The City

We might be biased, but we think there’s no better spot to shop in Queensland. Stroll down open-air Queen Street Mall seeking out 700 specialty stores. Sounds daunting? Fear not – we have a comprehensive guide to shopping the city here. Check out big international brands Uniqlo, H&M and Zara, shop luxury stores on Edward St and inside Queens Plaza, and hunt out boutique finds inside the Brisbane Arcade. Find parking deals from $5 here.

5. Get a giggle on at Brisbane Comedy Festival | until 24 March 

A whole lotta laughs will be happening in Brisbane with 70 huge international and national comedians taking over the city for the annual Brisbane Comedy Festival. There are a few gigs at Brisbane City Hall including the totally free Friday Knockoff events. Arrive early to get a seat!

6. The City Sounds like…. music

The City Sounds

More free music? Sign us up! City Sounds is Australia’s largest free live music program and every. single. week. you can catch local and touring artists and bands in Queen Street Mall, Post Office Square and other locations. Keep an eye out for big names or discover someone new and local.

7. Get inquisitive at Curiocity Brisbane | 15 Mar - 3 Apr

This all-new three-week festival combines the best of science, technology and the arts. Enjoy a fully immersive sensory experience that takes place all over Brisbane with interactive creations, augmented reality spaces, pop-up playgrounds and music events. Seek out the curious installation in Queen’s Park and tag your pictures #brisbanecity. We want to see them!

8.  Summer clear out at Suitcase Rummage

Suitcase Rummage

Pick up some sweet new second-hand threads, or book your own stall and #KonMarie your closet. The Suitcase Rummage market pops up in Brisbane Square giving locals a chance to sell, swap and buy second-hand wares and artisan goods.

9. Expand your brain, then your stomach

World Science Festival Brisbane is popping up just over the river at South Bank from 20-24 March. Celebrating the entanglement of science and art at this fun, theatrical, inspiring and interactive festival. Duck over the bridge and dine in the CBD between festival events, plus (hot tip!) after 4pm weekdays and on weekends you can park from $5 in the CBD. 

10. Prepare for the Brisbane Racing Carnival | 12 May - 9 June 

Fashion on the field is obviously the most important aspect. The best spot to shop for that unique, one-of-a-kind outfit and fascinator or hat is Brisbane City. The historic Brisbane Arcade is filled with local designers worth a look. Start planning now and come time for the Channel Seven Brisbane Racing Carnival 2019 you’ll look a million dollars. 

11. Catch big flicks in the Moonlight (Cinema) | Until 31 March 

The best spot to see advance screenings, season blockbusters and classics is obviously right under the stars at one of Brisbane's favourite inner-city green spaces. Get your tickets and kick back at Roma Street Parkland with popcorn.

12. Everything is a stage at Anywhere Theatre Festival | 9 – 26 May

The nooks and crannies of Brisbane will explode with over 500 performances in places you least expect it. Theatre in car parks, comedy in laneways, opera in reservoirs, dance in stairwells and quirky workshops exploring arts and craft from cooking to jewellery. Open your hearts and minds to this cool festival.

13. Watch the Anzac Day Parade Brisbane 

It is the 103rd anniversary of the Brisbane Anzac Day Parade on 25 April 2019, with the day having been continuously commemorated from the first Anzac Day in 1916. Brisbane’s largest dawn service also occurs in the CBD.

14. Plan a staycation in The City

Ovolo Inchcolm

Escape close to home with a weekend in Brisbane City. From boutique spots (like the all-new art hotel, The Fantauzzo, at Howard Smith Wharves or the heritage Ovolo Inchcolm), through to five-star newcomers (hello W Hotel and Westin Brisbane). Use the room as your base to explore all things new, or stay in with room service, spa trips and pool dips all close by.   

15. Get among the NRL Magic Round Brisbane | 9-12 May

For the first time in NRL history, one round will be held at one ground. Yep, eight games all in Brisbane. Before you head to Suncorp Stadium, stop through the CBD and sink a few brews by the river and test out the city’s craft brewery Felons, or hunt out a tasty lunch with this list.

16. Reduce speed at the Slow Fashion Weekend | 22-24 March

Over one weekend the spotlight is on slow fashion, artisanal skills and a make-and-mend approach to fashion consumption. The Stitchery and Museum of Brisbane have combined to offer workshops and events.

17. Shake those hips on Friday night

You know you want to check out the place that was pumping Despacito long before we even knew it existed. Every Friday night, Latin beats and dancing feet take to Reddacliff Place (outside the Treasury Casino on Queen St) and transform the square into an energetic hub of dance each Friday from 8pm. 

18. Take to the streets with Brisbane Art Design (BAD) | 10 May - 26 May

A celebration of visual art and design will animate a network of parks, laneways, galleries, artist spaces and studios across the city this May. Over 17 days more than 150 artists will host exhibitions, open studios, art tours, workshops, talks and performances at 25 venues.

19. Climb the Story Bridge

You’ve driven over it 1000 times and turned to look at the bridge every time a Powderfinger hit comes on the radio, so why not climb over the famous structure. Ascend the historic Story Bridge to experience awe-inspiring 360-degree views of Brisbane City, the river, mountain ranges and Moreton Bay Islands with the Story Bridge Adventure Climb

20. Shop handmade at the BrisStyle Twilight Markets | 10 May

Meet Brisbane makers and artisans at the only Brisbane-based marketplace that sells 100% locally handmade products. Shop unique, quality handmade items directly from the small makers and shakers, plus there will be food, craft workshops and live music to keep you entertained.


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