10 BEST Things to Do at the Ekka | 2021 Ekka Fun for Families

The Ekka - Royal Queensland Show , Bowen Hills
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Update: The EKKA has been cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19.

We always go on opening day so we can hunt down and report back on the 10 best things to do at the Ekka each year.

In 2021, there are more free things than ever before and the vast majority of our list is full of FREE things for families to do at the Ekka!

 10 BEST things to do at the Ekka in 2021

What are the BEST things to do at the Ekka? So glad you asked…

10. Free Ekka shows & activities for kids 

Paw Patrol Live

Are you ready for a superhero-style PAW Patrol mission? Join Ryder, Chase, Skye, Marshall and Rubble as they get mighty and answer Mayor Goodway’s yelp for help.
  • Location: Main Stage
  • Timing: 11am-11.30am, 12pm-12.30pm, 1pm-1.30pm.

Luke’s Reptile Kingdom – Snake  and Reptile Show

Get wrapped up with friendly pythons and admire the incredible Australian wildlife at Luke’s Reptile Kingdom.

  • Location: King Street 
  • Timing: 9.30am – 6pm daily 

Get Cracking Get Cooking with Australian Eggs

Kids will be inspired as they learn to make a healthy Caesar wrap at Get Cracking Get Cooking with Australian Eggs.

  • Location: Agricultural Hall
  • Timing: 10am – 5.30pm daily 

Sheep Shearing Show

See the Ekka’s best sheep shearers in action.

    • Location: Mi-Feed Pavilion
    • Timing: 10am – 4.30pm
  • Find out more about the kids shows here.

Little Backyard Farmers

Little Backyard Farmers is an interactive educational activity teaching kids about urban farming.

  • Location: Brisbane City Council Flower & Garden Precinct
  • Timing: 8am-6pm

9. Royal Double Decker Carousel

best things to do at the ekka

Described as magical, spectacular and truly breathtaking, if your kids love ‘normal’ carousels they will go nuts for the chance to feel like royalty riding on this decadent double decker carousel. Isn’t it gorgeous??!

You will find it near the entrance to side show alley, on the right hand side (with the main rides on the left hand side) after you walk through the ‘tunnel’ heading towards the show bag pavilion. You can find it on our Ekka map.

8. Agricultural Hall 

Ekka technology precinct

Firstly, this place is A-MAZ-ING… and not to be missed. It provides hours and hours of free entertainment for kids of all ages and they have somehow managed to scale the entertainment for littlies, up to big kids. The littlies have things to play with, the bigger kids will enjoy the play, but also learn in the process.

There are two levels in the Agricultural Hall, downstairs is the Agricultural area (with lots of fun activities) and you’ll find heaps of fun but different educational activities upstairs, along with the new Technology Precinct.

7. Kids Carnival area

Ekka ride best things to do at the ekka

This is a hidden gem and has shrunk a little in the last few years.  It’s a great place to visit with kids aged between 3 and 8! The Fun House is a favourite in our house and offers a bulk ticket deal.  Just go with it, your kids are likely to ask you to go on it again.

In 2018, operator of the Angry Birds sideshow game was very “generous” with his scoring i.e. counting points even when items weren’t knocked over, as a result, my little guy was given the opportunity to choose any stuffed toy on the bottom row.  Keep in mind… not all sideshow games are created equal! 

Check out the prices and ask the question “do all participants win a prize?”.  There are quite a few which are similar and we’ve discovered that the pricing is quite different… AND a lot of them actually do guarantee a prize.

6. Show bags at the Ekka

things to do at the Ekka showbags

I defy any family to go to the Ekka without a trip to the showbag pavilion. We’ve spent hours pouring over every Ekka Showbag and have put together a guide to help you determine how to get the biggest bang for your EKKA buck, regardless of  your child’s individual interests. We believe there are no wrong decisions to be made as far as which category of show bag you choose, only wrong showbag choices within the categories i.e. when looking at value for money.

You will find our favourite Ekka show bags here.

5. Animal Boulevard


One of the most family friendly things to do at the Ekka is the RACQ Animal Nursery. In this building you will also find the Horse Expo, the Milking Barn and Sheep Shearing. For $2 cups of animal food the kids get to feed, pat and interact with all of their favourite animals. The RACQ Animal Nursery is home to around 550 cute and cuddly animals including pigs, lambs, goats, chickens, ducklings, working dog puppies, alpacas, llamas, donkeys, ponies and more. New this year are two adorable highland cattle with long shaggy coats, along with geese and turkeys.

Beside the main enclosure is an area where kids can ‘cradle a chick’ and hold a baby chick under supervision! This building is also the location of the Royal Queensland Championship Canine Show and all the doggies! Cradle a chick, pat a pig, sheer a sheep, milk a cow and see the most gorgeous dogs on show! It’s open from 9am to 5pm every day. 

4. FREE & Cheap food in the Woolworths Pavilion

Cheese Toastie

On Gregory Terrace you will find the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion where you can taste test your way through the pavilion for morning or afternoon tea. There’s plenty of free samples to enjoy at the Woolworths ‘stations’ but you can also sample other vendors products including dairy free yoghurt, various cheeses, lollies, wine, ice-cream and more!

With more than 60 food and drink stalls and the brand new Royal Queensland Tastes, your going to want to out this on your must visit list.

IF you want to spend a little here, you could invest in the $2 cheese toasties (cheaper in 2021, yay!) and the $2 mini hot-dogs which are hopefully back again this year!

3. Extreme rides zone – NEW in 2021!

Calling all thrill seekers and daredevils! The EKKA has let us know there will be a NEW Extreme Rides Zone arriving in 2021! More details to be announced. Sounds terrifyingly fun! We just know the older kids are going to flock to this new space.

2. Eat a strawberry sundae

Ekka Strawberry Sundae Pop Up

The strawberry sundae is synonomous with the Ekka and one one of the bests things to do at the Ekka. At some point in the day you must invest in this time honoured tradition and buy yourself and the kids a strawberry sundae. My favourite part about this treat? The cone is packed full of strawberries too! Yum! 

1.  Watch the EkkaNITES Fireworks!

The Ekka - Royal Queensland Show , Bowen Hills

The Ekka organisers obviously know that the BEST thing to do at the Ekka each year is sit with your family and enjoy the fireworks because they have added a family friendly fireworks time slot.

In an Australian first, new special effect fireworks will launch from a 25m high tower in the centre of the Main Arena, giving the stunning appearance of large suns. In fact, fireworks and special effects will launch from more than 200 positions, including from rooftops outside the Ekka grounds for the very first time.

The night show will feature an action-packed program including:

  • A spectacular fireworks display
  • Mechanical madness featuring wheel standing jeeps, a monster ball and of course everyone’s favourite – a monster truck
  • Freestyle motocross action, high-speed ute drifting and death-defying motorbike stunts
  • A dazzling display of skill and beauty featuring majestic horses and acrobats – see the amazing connection between man and horse
  • Vintage speedway cars – the first Speedway meeting was held at the Ekka in 1926!
  • The thrilling spectacle of harness racing presented by Racing Queensland

Want more?

Click on our FULL REVIEW of the Ekka to read ALL the details and more tips!

Do you agree these are the BEST things to do at the Ekka? What would be in your ‘Top 10’? Tell us in comments below!

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