Things to do in Brisbane with Kids

September 20, 2021


There’s never a dull day in the Sunshine State, and Queensland’s capital city is full of bright ideas and things to do for kids & families. 

There are outdoor adventures and indoor activities for every age, ability and interest, and whether you have a busy toddler or bored tween, Brisbane is the place to burn off excess energy and soak up endless entertainment. 

Here are lots of things to do in Brisbane with kids. 

1. Visit a park or playground 

Exploring a green space is great for your child’s body and soul, and Brisbane’s parklands are large and varied. Roma Street Parkland, New Farm Park, Kalinga Park7th Brigade Park in Chermside and Carindale Recreation Reserve are all rad places to ride, roam and relax. 

These parks have popular playgrounds, and Calamvale District Park (with its flying fox) and Ken Fletcher Park in Tennyson (with its all-abilities playground) are worth a visit, too.

Riverside Green Playground in South Bank, Hidden World Playground in Fitzgibbon and Baldwin Lawn Playground in the City Botanic Gardens are little gems, and further afield, Flagstone Adventure Park in Jimboomba is a BIG whoop for all ages. 

For a different kind of outdoor experience, there’s a Hide ’n’ Seek Children’s Trail in Boondall Wetlands, Downfall Creek Reserve and Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha (which also has a planetarium and Cosmic Skydome). 

Nature play abounds at Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre, IndigiScapes and Walkabout Creek (look for the dino dig while you’re there), and there are plenty of pram-friendly national parks close to Brisbane.

2. Try a new sport

Sport is the ultimate Brisbane kid’s activity and there are options for timid tots and extreme dare-devils. 

Your tyke can learn to ride a bike on dedicated paths or easy grassy areas, and once they’re wheelie good, there are family-friendly bikeways all over the city. 

BMX parks add adrenaline with dirt tracks and jumps, and there are stacks of skate parks for your boarder, blader or BMX bandit. 

Skateaway and Stafford Skate Centre will spin your roller-skater right round, and ice-skating is super cool at IceWorld

Urban Xtreme is Australia’s largest adventure sports park, with snow sports, rock climbing, laser tag and trampolines, and Playland makes the action accessible for your baby or toddler. 

There’s dedicated laser tag at LazerZone (for ages 6+), and iFly indoor skydiving is an option for ages 3 to 103! 

At Emerson Tennis Centre there’s on-court action for ages 3+, and ‘The Arena’ playground is a match made in heaven for your older kid. 

Then there’s Victoria Park Putt Putt, which will suit your kid down to a tee. 

3. Visit a museum, gallery, library or arts centre

Capital cities are full of culture, and Brisbane doesn’t disappoint. 

Queensland Museum has exhibitions, events and activities for your little learner or school kid, and SparkLab Sciencentre is a STEM space for ages 6 to 13. 

The Museum of Brisbane is family-friendly, and QAGOMA Children’s Art Centre has interactive installations and arty activities for kids, plus eye-boggling programs for your under five. 

Local libraries are great to visit, and the State Library of Queensland holds rhyme time, storytime and playtime events for your pre-reader. 

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) brings music and theatre to town, and Boggo Road Gaol is a totally different experience, with prison tours for all ages (including a ‘Ghost and Gallows’ tour for ages 10+). 

If your tyke loves trains, they’ll have a toot at the Workshops Rail Museum (about 60 mins from the CBD). It has Little Nippers activities for ages two to six, and miniature train rides during the holidays. You can also ride the rails with the Brisbane Bayside Steam Railway Society

4. Get wet

When the mercury rises, there are bucketloads of places to cool down. 

South Bank’s Streets Beach lagoon, Boat Pool and Aquativity water play park are all winners, and Chermside Aquatic Centre is Brisbane’s largest water park, with waterslides, a wading pool and more. 

Your kiddo will have a whale of a time at Wynnum Wading Pool and Whale Park. Ferny Grove Aqua Park is splash-tastic fun in Keperra Picnic Ground Park, and Newmarket Pool has a 30 metre double loop slide, splashpad and pirate playground.

Orion Lagoon is a water wonderland south of the city, and make sure you leave some time to explore the rest of Robelle Domain while you’re there. 

Further south, Darlington Parklands has brilliant wet and dry play areas, and if you’re north-facing, Settlement Cove Lagoon is a great spot for wading, followed by fish and chips. 

Back in the CBD, a trip on a CityCat, KittyCat, CityFerry or CityHopper is a fun way to get on the water, not in it. 

5. Meet some animals

If your child wants to be a vet, zoo-keeper or pet resort owner when they grow up, there are plenty of ways to have an animal encounter. 

There are koalas to spot at Daisy Hill Koala Centre and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (which also houses birds, reptiles and barnyard animals). 

Osprey House is a bird-watcher’s paradise, and Kubartcho Sanctuary (on the site of the old Bunya Park Zoo) is home to native fauna and a secret fairy garden. 

If you feel like spreading your wings even further, Australia Zoo is to the north, Sea World is to the south, and Tangalooma Island Resort (on Moreton Island) has whale watching and wild dolphin feeding. 

Then there’s the option of a farm stay. Places like Tommerup’s Dairy Farm and Cedar Glen offer hands-on experiences with barnyard beasts. 

What to do in Brisbane with kids

As well as searching out unique things to do and experiences, like dragon fruit picking, circus school, or a spin on the Wheel of Brisbane, remember to add these recurring events to the family calendar:

  1. The Ekka
    Queensland’s largest annual event brings farm to city, with showbags, rides, food, animals and a public holiday to boot!
  2. Brisbane Festival 
    The program includes family-friendly activities and events, and Riverfire finishes the festival with a bang.
  3. Bridge to Brisbane 
    This charity fun run is pram-friendly, and if you’re not participating, it’s a sight to behold, with thousands of runners and entertainment along the way. 
  4. Redcliffe KiteFest 
    This carnival of colour celebrates kite-flying in the air and on the ground, with demonstrations, DIY activities and brilliant entertainment.
  5. The Gabba
    This stadium hosts The Ashes and houses the Brisbane Lions, Brisbane Heat and Queensland Bulls sports teams, so look for fixtures that will go down in family history. 

The fun doesn’t have to stop when you go back to work. Off-site excursions and on-site activities make child care the place to be, and there are loads of quality early learning and OOSH services in Queensland and around Australia. 

To find a service that will entertain and educate your child, search Toddle

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