UPDATED: 30 Things to Do this EKKA Public Holiday in Brisbane!

The BEST list of FREE School Holiday Activities Brisbane Southside
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We’ve rounded up a fantastic list of 30 EKKA alternatives you can do this EKKA public holiday – or any day when the EKKA isn’t on and you need your EKKA fix!

Check the Brisbane weather first (clue: always awesome!), then click on the links for further details for things to do on the Brisbane EKKA public holiday and feel free to share your own ideas in the comments below.

When is the EKKA public holiday in 2020?

The EKKA public holiday is usually celebrated on the middle Wednesday of the 10 day show. Here is a list of which dates the EKKA is celebrate on in each region in greater Brisbane:

  • Brisbane City Council USUALLY celebrates show day on Wednesday 12th August 2020
  • Redland City Council celebrates show on Monday 10 August 2020
  • Logan City Council celebrates show on Monday 10 August 2020
  • Moreton Region celebrates show on Monday 10 August 2020

But… the million dollar question is:

Will we still get the EKKA holiday in 2020?

The answer is YES! We WILL still get the EKKA Wednesday show day in Brisbane.

However this year, the EKKA holiday for Brisbane City Council area will be Friday 14th August, 2020.

Things to Do on the EKKA Public Holiday Brisbane

If you are looking for FREE things to do on the EKKA public holiday – click here

Strawberry Picking Various locations

strawberry farms brisbane

Make your own iconic EKKA Strawberry Sundae and show the kids where strawberries really come from when you pick your own fresh from the farm! Strawberry picking this EKKA public holiday will make lovely memories with your munchkins.

Visit an EKKA Strawberry Sundae Pop Up

Ekka Strawberry Sundae Pop Up

For the first time, EKKA’s iconic Strawberry Sundaes are hitting the streets of Brisbane. From now until August 16 you can get your hands on traditional Strawberry Sundaes and Dagwood Dogs via the Brisbane Showgrounds Drive-Thru, visit the pop up on King Street, or head along to one of the many roving outlets around town. We’re so happy to see this special Queensland tradition continue especially with all proceeds supporting the vital work of The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation. Here’s a list of locations:

The Ginger Factory Yandina

The Ginger Factory Yandina

The Ginger Factory at Yandina is almost a mini EKKA in itself. It has rides, produce, ice cream, demonstrations, and lots to explore. See the bees make honey, travel the world on an amazing indoor boat ride, sample fresh local produce, ride the mini train, and visit the wonderful old-world shops and displays.

Make the most of the Brisbane EKKA public holiday by taking a day trip up the coast and visit the Ginger Factory. So much to see and do (and eat!)

Make Pikelets Anywhere

Stay in and spend some quality time in the kitchen with your little ones. Read our hilarious recipe for making pikelets here.

Find other recipe ideas here.

Geocaching Various locations

Geocaching in BrisbaneHave you tried this amazing outdoor treasure hunt? Make a day of it and pack a picnic. Everything you need to know is listed on this geocaching with kids link.

Easy Indoor Activities for Kids Anywhere

We have some great ideas if you just want to stay at home and make the most of the midweek break we like to call the EKKA public holiday! These winter ideas for games at home are easy and fun!

Be a scientist for a day

Science and technology can really spark a child’s imagination. If your child loves to learn about the natural world around them, set them up as a scientist with these simple at-home STEM activities.

Take the Kids on a Fairy Adventure

Brisbane fairies at Kumbartcho Sanctuary and Nursery

We’ve compiled a list of cool places for kids to find fairies in Brisbane! This EKKA public holiday get ready to be a kid again as the wonderment and magic of fairy dust is sprinkled throughout your life (and possibly your car). Wiggle your nose, tap your toes and away we go!

Science at Home | Walking Water Science Experiment

The Walking Water science experiment is a wonderful colourful and fun way to teach kids about absorption and mixing primary colours. Everything you need, you will probably already have at home. Find out what to do here.

Now is the Time | South Brisbane

Raquel Ormella invites children to speak up about climate change and the environment in her upcoming exhibition at the Children’s Art Centre. Children can design a protest t-shirt, create a poster and cast a vote for what they care about. Now is the Time also includes a cumulative message-board allowing children to share their thoughts with other visitors.

Raquel highlights Australia’s long history of environmental activism with a timeline featuring historical protest songs, photos and posters. The exhibition also includes a video made in collaboration with Junction Park State School students sharing their views about climate action with the artist. GOMA

City Hall Clock Tower Tours | Brisbane

City Hall Clock Tower Tours

Enjoy the old-world charm of our Clock Tower tours. Step into the original 1930s hand-operated lift, travel past the Art Deco-styled clock face to arrive at the final, 64m-high platform for a bird’s-eye view of the city. There is a reason this has been a time-honoured tradition for Brisbane families for almost 90 years.

Tickets are free and allocated on a first come, first served basis. You can obtain a ticket in person on the day of your visit at the Museum of Brisbane reception on level 3 of Brisbane City Hall. Only eight people can fit into the lift, including the lift operator. We advise you to arrive early to avoid disappointment – particularly during school holidays and public holidays. Museum of Brisbane.

Train ride, various locations

We have put together a comprehensive guide to half day train trips around Brisbane. Take a look and plan your day.

Shorncliffe Line

Ferny Grove Line

City Train Stations

Caboolture Train Line

Day Trip Mt Nebo

Mt Nebo Day Trips from Brisbane

Mt Nebo, in Brisbane’s backyard is an ideal place for a day trip with kids. It’s just 30 minutes North West of Brisbane and has so much to offer. Head out along Mt Nebo Road through The Gap for a truly wonderful experience for your children. Read our guide to Mt Nebo.

Day Trip Samford


Cedar Creek has long been a popular day trip from Brisbane for families. Cedar Creek runs approximately 20 kilometers from the Mt Glorious state forest to where it adjoins the South Pine River in Eaton’s Hill. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day.

Horse Riding Various locations

Horse Riding in Brisbane

If you like to marvel at the horseback displays at the show, why not have a go yourself? There are lots of horse riding venues around Brisbane where kids and adults can learn to ride like a professional, or simply enjoy a trek through the bush.

Check out our Brisbane horse riding guide for kids for all you need to know.

Day Trip | Maleny Dairies


See how milk gets from the cow to the supermarket with a fascinating tour of Maleny Dairies. At this award winning farm you will visit the cows, see how hand-milking was done, and get to taste some of the delicious produce at its freshest.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary | Fig Tree Pocket

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located in beautiful Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane is the ideal place for a thoughtful, enjoyable and educational family outing. The Lone Pine Zoo has been a Brisbane institution since 1927 and is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. Lone Pine is open over Christmas and New Year!

You can find out how to get Lone Pine discount tickets because we have them cheaper than on the gate!

Boggo Road Gaol | Dutton Park

Family Fun Day at Boggo, Dutton Park

Discover the 119 year history of Boggo Road, the crimes and daily life of prisoners, officer’s duties, riots and roof-top protests. See the cell of the legendary “Slim” Halliday – “The Houdini of Boggo Road”. Suitable for all ages.

What does the tour include? 

  • 90-minute child friendly History Tour with Tour Guide
  • Entry into historic Number 2 Division, Boggo Road Gaol
  • Visits to the gatehouse, yards, the Circle and ends with time to explore F Wing cell block – where prisoners staged a rooftop protest in 1988
  • See original prisoner cells and authentic 1980s prisoner graffiti

Colour – See the World in a New Light | Ipswich

Colour - See the World in a New Light

See colour as you’ve never seen it before! Is your yellow the same as mine? How do pixels and paint differ? Have you ever wanted to see UV light like an insect? Visit the Room of Missing Colours and hear fascinating stories from people who see colour when they hear music. Discover Colour and see the world in a new light! 

Engage with more than 25 interactive experiences, ranging from coloured bubbles to iridescent insects to colour illusions. Explore how light influences colour, and compare your perception of colour with your family and friends. ‘See like a bee’ with the ultraviolet camera; take a high-resolution image of your eye; and see glowing quantum nanomaterials that change their colour with crystal size. The exhibition will show the power colour has on the choices we make every day, and on our responses to our environment. Ipswich Art Gallery.

Climb Brisbane’s best climbing trees

Climbing trees at Wellington Point

The EKKA lumberjacks are having a well-earned break from wood chopping this year, so get amongst the timber with a tree climb instead. Kids love to scale branches for a bird-eye view of the world below, and we’ve found the best climbing trees in Brisbane to do just that!

Pet some farm animals

FarmStay Gold Coast little boy feeding horse

There are lots of places in and around Brisbane to get your fix of cute baby animal encounters, from calves and goats to llamas and deer. Check out our list of fabulous family-friendly petting farm destinations.

Get your fresh produce

The Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion is a delight for connoisseurs of fine food and drink – and so is Northey Street Market. Packed with stalls full of fresh organic produce, hot food, and artisan crafts.

Visit a museum

free long weekend activities museum

If you miss taking a stroll up to The Old Museum at the EKKA, why not take a stroll around a new museum? There are lots of interesting museums in and around Brisbane and at some, entry is free!

Scavenger Hunt around Queensland Museum

Explore Queensland Museum with this buzzworthy scavenger hunt to find trinkets and treasures you might not have seen before around the museum. You’ll explore our exhibitions and halls as you search for items in their collection. Every day until 31 August 2020.

Take a hike!

Brisbane’s walking trails are some of the best kept secrets in the city and surrounds. Tire the family out with a long hike through one of our stunning national parks and gardens.

Create an obstacle course

kids obstacle course

Building a simple obstacle course for kids is fun, cheap and super easy! And we all know that the benefits of exercise for kids are many (not to mention it wears them out so they can sleep well at night!).

Play mini golf

putt putt putter

Mini golf is a family-friendly game in which players navigate a number of twists, turns and obstacles along a miniaturised golf course.  These are some of our favourite places to play Mini Golf in Brisbane, so if you’ve ever fancied swinging your putt on the green, give these a try!

Plant an edible garden

edible garden

You don’t need to spend a fortune or have a big space to create an exciting and productive edible garden that both you and your kids will want to spend time in. By far the best part about creating an edible garden is eating what you grow!

Build a cubby

Outdoor cubby

A simple cubby or tree house is hours of fun for little ones. You can create one in minutes from items as simple as a hula hoop and curtains or a blanket thrown over a line. The kids will love their new crafting, reading and picnic space!

Discover a discovery centre

Karawatha Discover Centre

A visit to a discovery centre makes a great day out for the family. In and around Brisbane we have lots of local discovery centres to choose from offering experiences from animal encounters, interactive displays and nature play, to bushwalks and wildlife discovery – and a whole lot more!

Need more ideas?

For more ideas of fun things to do over the 2020 Ekka public holiday long weekend, take a look under these tabs:

4 responses to “UPDATED: 30 Things to Do this EKKA Public Holiday in Brisbane!”

  1. Jen says:

    What about things for those of us who don’t have our health? I need a walking stick. That stops me taking kids to much at all. Something for the grandparents is the only option I have

  2. Glen says:

    The Rocks Riverside Park at Seventeen Mile Rocks

  3. Christine says:

    Thanks 👍

  4. Christine says:

    Some great suggestions here, but where are the rock pools in your first picture. Looks like a great day for the kids.

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