Click to find out more

Things to do in Brisbane with the kids

Are you thinking about what to do with the kids this weekend or over school holidays? There are some great Brisbane suggestions below.

Hey… why not tell us about your favourite activities? Feel free to contribute your ideas and we will include them in our list.

Museums, State Library and GoMA
Located right next to each other near Southbank, the Queensland Museum, State Library and Gallery of Modern Art make a fantastic day out for the whole family.

The Queensland Museum has all your typical exhibits – dinosaurs, native species from the present and past, Indigenous history and transport history, but from a Queensland focus. There’s a number of hands on exhibits and the whole museum is very kid friendly. Better yet entry is free. Be sure to check out the dinosaur garden in the basement but watch out for the Raptor song, it tends to get stuck in your head.

Underneath the museum is an excellent Science Centre, although there’s a entrance fee.

Next door the museum, the State Library has a great imaginative play area that’s perfect for under 8’s. There’s crafts, puppets, toy kitchens, computers with drawing activities and staff on help out. There’s also a giant chess set for older children.

Just next door to the State Library, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) often has family friendly exhibits. It also have a specific area for children with crafts and interactive activities based around the current exhibitions. The activities and displays change all the time but they’re usually wonderful and always free.

Ride a CityCat to New Farm Park
A ride on a CityCat (Brisbane’s river ferry) is an adventure in itself. They’re fast so standing on the deck is a lot of fun. Plus it’s a great way to see the city.

To make the ride even better, catch the CityCat to New Farm park to experience one of Brisbane’s best playgrounds. Built up and around giant fig trees there’s something for children of all ages. Thanks to the floods in early 2011 the park has recently been completely renovated.

The playground has plenty of shade and there are plenty of seats for parents and nearby coffee shops. If you have time, the nearby Powerhouse Museum usually has great exhibitions for teens.

CBD Parks
Central Brisbane has three fantastic parks
within a short walk of the CBD – Southbank Parklands, the Botanical Gardens and Roma St Parklands.

Botanical Gardens
All ages will love the Botanical Gardens and in particular young children as there is a great playground, you can ride bikes/scooters/skates through.  Along the riverbank there’s also an interesting Mangrove boardwalk where you can learn about mangrove forests.

Roma Street Parklands
With a duck pond, plenty of boardwalks to explore, a great playground for all ages the Roma Street Parklands is a great day out.  An observation deck where you can watch the trains pulling in and out of the tunnels for Roma St train station.  On weekends there’s often a kids train running around the gardens, although it’s not particularly cheap.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Unlike Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane doesn’t have a state zoo.  But what it does have is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – a fantastic open-range zoo with a great range of native animals. Entry used to be very quite reasonable but it’s gone up recently. Still it’s a fantastic zoo and you can feed the kangaroos that are free to roam a large enclosure.

If you don’t have time to get to Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast, Lone Pine is a great alternative. It’s not as large but it’s a lot lot cheaper, less busy and offers the same opportunities to get up close to Australian wildlife.

Lone Pine is in the western suburbs but several buses and one boat daily go there. Check out the Sanctuary’s website for full instructions on how to get there.

Mt Cootha Lookout and Botanical Gardens.

The mountain just near Toowong to the west of the city offers great views. On a clear day you can see almost all the way to the coast and south to Ipswich, as well as the CBD.

At the base of the mountain is a lovely botanical gardens with restaurants, picnic spots and duck ponds. There’s also a great planetarium. The highlight for our kids was always the cactus gardens and the dinosaur gardens filled with ancient conifers and cycads that have existed for millions of years. They loved seeing “real dinosaur food”.

The city council 471 bus leaves from Adelaide and Albert St in the city for Mt Cootha. Alternatively you can catch a train to Toowong and then take a taxi.

Visit the Alma Park Zoo
An exciting yet affordable thing to do with kids in Brisbane with kids is to visit the Alma Park Zoo, which is 30 minutes north of the CBD in Dakabin. The zoo is open daily and has extensive tropical palm gardens all around the 15 hectare site. Alma Zoo also features a wide variety of Australian, international and even some endangered animals that have to be seen to be believed.

Golf Driving Range
If  you like golf  or even to introduce the game to your kids try The Big East Golf and Leisure Center, they have putting greens and driving ranges which will keep you occupied for hours. If you really want to get serious you can even have a lesson, best to always book ahead.