The Best Festivals in Brisbane for Families | Festivals Suitable for Kids
There are so many festivals Brisbane has to offer right through the calendar year! If you’re looking for something fun that the whole crew can enjoy, then we might have just the activity that you’ve been looking for (and some of them are cost-free, woohoo!)
Festivals Brisbane? We know where to go (because we go, too!)
Festivals in Brisbane are a great opportunity to really take part in what our beautiful city has to offer. From riverside delights to cultural celebrations to everything food – there truly is something for everyone.
Here are a few tips on making the most of Brisbane’s festivals. Make sure you also keep a close eye on our constantly updated festivals page so you don’t miss a minute of the fun!
The Lifeline Bookfest
- Various dates throughout the year – click here for updates
The Lifeline Bookfest is a long-running second-hand book festival which is held a couple of times a year all over Australia, including in Brisbane. The next Lifeline Bookfest in Brisbane will run from Saturday 13th June 2020 to Sunday 21st June 2020. Opening times are to be confirmed but are usually from 7:30am – 6:00pm weekends, 9:00am – 5:00pm weekdays and Fridays are ‘late night shopping’ from 9:00am to 9:00pm! You can visit at any time during the day which suits you, however, it is advised to visit as early as possible in order to get the greatest selection of millions of quality books.
UPDATE: The Lifeline Bookfests are on hold due to COVID-19 but the great news is you can still get your second-hand book fix for a good cause! The new Lifeline Queensland online op shop is now live so you can browse a huge selection of pre-loved books in all your favourite Bookfest categories
The best family festivals Brisbane in January
- January 26 annually – various venues
Australia Day is celebrated at various venues and in many ways across Australia. Most council regions will host their own events, usually including citizenship ceremonies and fireworks. Here are some ideas of things to do on Australia Day with kids.
Got any great family festivals in January? We’d love to hear about them! We’ll continue to hunt for them and update this section when we find ’em.
The best family festivals Brisbane in February
Lunar New Year Festival, Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley
- 1st and 2nd February 2020
Chinatown erupts with colour and light in a family-friendly celebration of the Lunar New Year. This is the year of the rat and will see the whole area turn red and gold in celebration! Enjoy the culture and atmosphere (and the food!) as you soak up all the sights and sounds of this ageless festival.
- 1st – 29th February 2020
There are more than 80 cultural and artistic events being held across the city of Brisbane presenting the very best of Asian culture.
Logan Car Show
- 29th February 2020
Brazilian Street Festival
- 29 February (free)
- Eagle Lane, Brisbane
This is a colourful and energetic Brazilian street party featuring delicious food and drink, live music and entertainment. It’s held in Fortitude Valley and there’s even a KID ZONE soccer field and face painting setup. (Please note – children under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult)
The best family festivals Brisbane in March
Mould – A Cheese Festival
- 20th – 22nd March 2020 – This year’s event has been RESCHEDULED to 2021
Australia’s favourite cheese festival, MOULD, is in Brisbane for a mozzare-hella good time! MOULD will bring together the best artisan cheese producers from across the country for cheese, wine, masterclasses and more. Alongside the best Australian cheeses, there will also be a full food program featuring dishes from local cheesemongers and to wash down all that delicious cheese, there will be wines, whisky, sake, beer and cider available to purchase. Taste the best cheese from all over Australia in one place.
World Science Festival
- 24 – 28 March 2021
Brisbane Cycling Festival
- 24 March – 12 April 2021
The Brisbane Cycling Festival will return in 2021 (24 March – 12 April), with an expanded festival program making it Australia’s biggest cycling event. The Brisbane Showgrounds will host an all-new Festival Village showcasing an exciting array of multi-discipline cycling events, an active lifestyle expo, and entertainment for all ages.
The best family festivals in April
- 10 April – Good Friday (free) – This year’s event has been POSTPONED until September (date to be confirmed)
The famous Bluewater Festival held at Shorncliffe Pier showcases the beauty and attractions of the northern Bayside.
In 2020 the festival is celebrating its 23rd year and will be jam packed with entertainment, fun and celebrations for the whole family on Good Friday; with food trucks, art and craft markets, rides, workshops and activities for children of all ages. There will even be a train ride running from Sandgate along the boardwalk to the festival.
Bluewater Festival at Shorncliffe provides the absolute best waterfront views for the official start of Australia’s second biggest yacht race ‘The Brisbane to Gladstone’. It’s known to be one of Australia’s flagship offshore yacht races and has been held annually over Easter since 1949. Note: The 2020 Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race has been CANCELLED.
Festival of Tibet
- 17 – 18 April 2020 – (some parts are free and some require tickets) – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
The best family festivals Brisbane in May
Buddha Birth Day Festival
- 1 – 3 May 2020 – (free, family friendly event) Open from 9am to 9pm daily! – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
Stones Corner Festival
- 3 May 2020 – (free) – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
Wynnum Manly Seafood Festival
- 4 May 2020 – This year’s event has been POSTPONED until later in the year. Date yet to be announced.
Head down to the foreshore of Wynnum and Manly overlooking Brisbane’s Jewel, Moreton Bay. Take a rug or chair, sit on the grass and listen to live music while you enjoy great seafood and something from the bar. There are carnival rides for the kids, live music and competitions, market stalls and educations displays. You can learn about Moreton Bay’s mysterious lost shellfish reefs and the work to get them restored.
This free community event is one of a kind. It is run by the volunteers from OzFish Moreton Bay with proceeds going towards Moreton Bay Shellfish reef restoration. Find out more here.
Anywhere Theatre Festival
- 7 – 24 May 2020 – (some events free, some ticketed)
The Brookfield Show
- 15 – 17 May 2020 – (tickets) – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
The Brookfield Show will be held at the Brookfield Showground, 550 Brookfield Road, Brookfield. (Just in case you were wondering how many times we could say the word ‘Brookfield’ in one sentence!)
Show activities begin on Thursday before the show when the art, photography, needlework and woodwork competitions reveal their winners . Show Friday is known as District Day because the horse events are limited to local riders, horses and owners. The action winds up in Sideshow Alley after school Friday afternoon with a rodeo and live music in the Happy Hour Bar.
Show Saturday and Sunday see a full program of ring events, sideshow entertainment, with all pavilions open to visitors and judging of various competitions including horticulture, poultry,waterfowl and guinea pigs. The program includes fireworks Saturday evening and live music Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Find out more here.
Paniyiri Greek Festival
- 23 – 24 May 2020 – (tickets) – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
One of Australia’s longest running festival, Paniyiri celebrates all things Greek, including food, dance, grape stomping, plate smashing, cooking and cultural activities. Located in Musgrave Park in South Brisbane and also in the Greek Club across the road. There’s always plenty happening on the entertainment stages and don’t forget the legendary honey puff eating competition.
Logan Eco Action Festival (LEAF)
- May – (free) (date not yet released for 2020) – This year’s event has been POSTPONED until further notice (date to be confirmed)
- 10am – 3pm
‘Rethink the future’ with Australia’s favourite gardener Costa Georgiadis and sustainable farmer and chef Paul West as they explore how we can all reduce, reuse and recycle and create a healthier world and future. Take a photography MasterClass with Steve Parish, or learn how to create a butterfly garden, turn your backyard into heaven for chickens, or make your own sugar-free jams, cheese and kimchi.
With everything from workshops in up-cycling and sustainable gardening to delicious organic food and coffee and rides and activities for the kids, the whole family will have a great time at LEAF 2018. This free community festival will take place at Griffith University Logan Campus, 68 University Drive Meadowbrook.
Madman Anime Festival
- 23 – 24 May 2020 – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
The ULTIMATE anime event is at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre! You can definitely expect a huge range of awesome fan and community events, and they’re keen to get everyone involved with making Anime Festival Brisbane truly one of a kind!
- 1 – 31 May 2020 (some events free, some ticketed)
The Hills Festival is packed full of fun events, activities and will be a blast for the whole family! Four weeks of incredible picnics, movies, shows and so much more.
Dayboro Day Festival
- 31 May 2020, 8:30am – 3:00pm – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
The Dayboro Day Festival is held in conjunction with the Dayboro Antique & Collectables Fair in the township’s main street. The Festival and Fair is an opportune time for locals and tourists to explore the gorgeous Dayboro Valley area, uncover its hidden gems and experience all that this quaint rural township has to offer.
Since 1991, this festival has grown to attract over 20,000 visitors to our beautiful country town. Dayboro is located at the foot of the D’Aguilar Ranges, 21 km’s N/W of Petrie. Go and experience a touch of rural hospitality from our historical town.
The best family festivals Brisbane in June
Green Heart Fair
- 7 June 2020, 9am-3pm
Chermside plays host to the Green Heart Fair – a twice-yearly community and sustainability festival (the second one is later in the year at Carindale) that promotes earth-conscious living in a family-friendly way! Join the celebration of information and knowledge served up with a healthy dose of fun activities and entertainment.
Brisbane Chilli Festival
- Sunday 14 June, 2020, 11:00am – 6:00pm – (tickets)
This year the “Briz Chilli Fest” will be held at the Waterfront Park, Newstead. Everything hot and spicy, delicious and diabolical, fun and frivolous, educational and exciting will be on display. Kids can visit the animal nursery, ride a pony (or a unicorn!), watch the model boats, have their face painted or play in the Council playground adjacent to the festival site.
Proudly supporting Cystic Fibrosis Queensland through donation of 10% of net ticket sales.
Out of the Box Festival 2020
- Dates and times to be confirmed for 2020. This is a biennial festival.
This festival is carefully curated to offer connected arts and educational experiences for children aged eight years and under. In 2020 QPAC’s Out of the Box will have a different format. A number of Out of the Box productions will be presented throughout the year and will complement QPAC’s year-round program for children and young people.
- 13 – 14 June, 9:00am – 4:00pm – (tickets)
- Pelican Park, Clontarf
Families will get swept away in the fun, colour and excitement of the annual Redcliffe KiteFest where kites of all shapes and sizes fill the sky. 2020 will be the biggest KiteFest yet with a huge contingent of international and domestic kite flyers set to come together in Pelican Park.
The best family festivals Brisbane in July
Le French Festival, South Bank
- 24 -26 July, 2020
- Musgrave Park, South Bank
Le Festival is a not-for-profit association organising a three day event of the same name, followed by “La French Week” in cooperation with other French associations. “Le Festival” and “La French Week” attract the French, Francophile and wider community to South Bank to celebrate Bastille Day in fashion. The festival showcases a diverse range of music, food, education and lifestyle
“à la Francaise”.
- Saturday 4 July 2020, 10:00am – 9:00pm – (tickets)
Every year the breezy suburb of Teneriffe explodes in a delightful, eclectic celebration of everything both new and old. Visitors can experience one of the widest ranges of musical acts and activities sure to entrance and delight. Folk music to punk rock, piglet races to face painting, fitness displays to (gasp) CHEESE DISPLAYS. It’s ALL here.
The festival generally sees about 50,000 through the gates every year to explore the streets and laneways. You’ll chance upon musical acts and entertainers and there’s even a Kids Zone! This is a day not to be missed on the family-friendly festival calendar!
- 5 – 12 July, 2020 – This year’s event has been RESCHEDULED to 8-15 November
This year’s theme is Always Was, Always Will Be.
There will be many activities and festivals around Brisbane (including Musgrave Park) to share in the very important messages of hope that NAIDOC brings to us. Let’s work together for a brighter tomorrow.
- 9 – 19 July 2020 – various venues
The `reimagined’ Ipswich Festival is an 11-day city-wide event celebrating the people, places, arts and culture of Ipswich. The 2020 program will deliver up the events we have come to love and know like the Parade of Light and Fire on the River, alongside fresh new festival content.
Abbey Medieval Festival
- 11 – 12 July 2020 – (pre-purchase tickets or buy on the door) – This year’s event has been CANCELLED
This is the Abbey Museum’s BIGGEST event and is a drawcard every year for lovers of both history and fantasy. There are re-enactments, sizzling meats (oh, the meats) and tasty mead with which to quench your mighty thirst and an all-round COOL historical experience. There are plenty of things for kids to do (and big kids as well).
Regional Flavours @ South Bank
- 18 – 19 July 2020 – (free) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED
Queensland Music Festival
- 5 – 28 July 2019 – (some parts free and some ticketed) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
- 28th July 2019 – dates for 2020 yet to be released – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
This incredible festival, running since 1992, is a celebration of all things Sandgate. It’s the village atmosphere, that gorgeous environment and the quirky and talented characters who make the area so special. Stalls, performances, games and activities make this a great day out for the whole family.
The best family festivals Brisbane in August
The Ekka – Royal Queensland Show
- 7 – 16 August 2020 – (tickets) – CANCELLED
- Saturday 2 August 2020, 9:00am – 2:00pm – (free) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
- Cannon Hill Anglican College
The CHAC P&F Association is proud to organise the 2020 Wetlands Festival. This major fundraising event sees the CHAC campus come alive every two years, with art and craft stalls, rides and attractions, student performances, food and drinks and much more in celebration of the natural environment of the Perrin Creek Wetlands. These Wetlands are one of the last remaining stands of Melaleuca wetlands in Brisbane, and CHAC is fortunate to be their custodian. This biennial event is a celebration of community, environment and sustainability of the wonderful Wetlands area.
The best family festivals Brisbane in September
Strawberry & Dessert Festival
- 19 September 2020 – (tickets) – Postponed to 18 September 2021
The Sandstone Point Hotel is home to the Strawberry Festival! Fresh strawberry stalls, strawberry milkshakes, chocolate coated strawberries (OMG) and a ‘Strawberry Patch Bar’ that specialises in… you guessed it, strawberry drinks. There will be children’s entertainment and rides, live music, strawberry eating competition and FIREWORKS!
- 4 – 26 September 2020 – (some parts are free and some require tickets)
- UPDATE: Sunsuper Riverfire 2020 has been cancelled. We look forward to seeing it return in 2021!
- 10 – 12 September 2020 – This year’s event has been CANCELLED.
The Lockyer Valley welcomes families from across South East Queensland to attend this three-day festival. Enjoy community exhibitions and demonstrations, markets, an array of food options and live entertainment. Of particular interest is the free Family Fun Day *12 September* featuring the annual street parade, activities, face painting, roving entertainment and wildlife presentations. Find out more on their website.
- 4 – 6 September 2020 – (tickets) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
- Norm Price Park, Redlands Showgrounds
Join in the celebrations with singers, dancers and artists from around. Families can enjoy over 50 carnival rides, reptile show, circus workshops, lantern decorating and parade, various craft activities and fireworks displays. Select from a range of food trucks and consider entering the annual Strawberry Eating Competition. RedFest has something for everyone.
Nundah Village Street Festival
- 13 September 2020 – (free) – Postponed to 12 Sept 2021.
- Sandgate Road, Nundah
Join Nundah in its annual festival, celebrating with food, stalls, bands, schools and entertainment.
Green Heart Fair
- 13 September 2020, 8:00am-2:00pm (free) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
Celebrate sustainable living with the family at the Green Heart Fair. Enjoy artisan markets, environmental and sustainability workshops, live music and food trucks. A range of children’s entertainment, activities and the Brisbane Billycart Championships will amuse the younger family members.
Scandinavian Festival Brisbane
- Postponed to 2021: The Scandinavian Festival has decided to take a break in 2020 and promises to be back in 2021.
There’s so much on offer for families at the Scandinavian Festival. A veritable smorgasboard of food and drink smattered with lashings of history and topped with music and dancing. And VIKINGS! It’s held at Perry Park in Bowen Hills.
4074 Family Fun Day
- 8 September 2019, 10:00am-2:00pm – (free)
- Postponed to 2021: 4074 Family Fun Day has decided to take a break in 2020 and promises to be back in 2021.
Help raise funds for DanDaLion Friends and Logan House Fire Support Network. Families can browse through market stalls, listen to live music and purchase from various food trucks. Children can enjoy rides, games, animal farm and rock painting activities. The festival has something for everyone.
Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival
- 11-22 September 2020, 10:00am – 4:00pm – (free)
The Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival is an annual event to celebrate the great lifestyle enjoyed on the Mountain. It is essentially a huge Sculpture Show with the subjects being Scarecrow-related!
The Scarecrows on the Discovery Trail can compete in several categories, for great prize money and local fame. Young, old, clever, and artistically-challenged all participate, and the result is hundreds of scarecrows that have to be seen to be believed. Families can enjoy market stalls, rides, games, street performers, pig racing and food trucks. Gold coin entry fee.
- 14 September 2019 – (free) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
Held at O’Callaghan Park from 10am to 3pm, this festive community event features bustling market stalls, live music & dancing across two stages, interactive drum, dance and art workshops and fun activities for children.
One of the major highlights this year is the showcase of international food which will be priced at $5 or less! There is also a dedicated Children and Family Zone offering free activities including a bouncy castle, face painting and reptile show.
The best family festivals Brisbane in October
MOSAIC Multicultural Festival
- 11 October 2020, 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Roma Street Parkland
MOSAIC can be reached via Roma Street Station and is an accessible festival held at Roma Street Parkland for the whole family. Its intention is to showcase the rich cultural benefits that our broader community experiences thanks to the incredibly diverse population of Queensland!
You can expect:
- The best in music and dance
- International cuisine
- Handmade arts and crafts
- Cultural kitchen
- Cultural enterprise stalls
- Youth ad kids activities
- Drumming Circle
- Pop Up Library
- Animal Farm
- Roving Entertainment
- And more!
- 11 – 13 & 18 – 20 October 2019 – (tickets) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
The Oyster Festival
- 17 October 2020 – (Adults $7 and kids $5 +Booking Fee)
The Sandstone Point Hotel is home to a GREAT family day out. Seafood stalls, wine, celebrity chefs, live music, rides, entertainment, and the famous Australian Oyster Opening Competition. You may even see a visit from *gasp* Spongebob Squarepants!
The best family festivals Brisbane in November
- 7 – 8 November 2020 – (tickets)
This is for lovers of all things pop culture! Supanova is a celebration of the small and big screens. It’s held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in South Bank – expect to see some Cos Play! (People dressed in costume as their favourite characters)
Wonderland Festival – Brisbane Powerhouse
- Thursday 21st November – Sunday 1st December 2019 – (tickets ) – This year’s 2020 event has been CANCELLED.
Check to see that the event you’re attending is child appropriate (or not, if you’re leaving them at home!)
Wonderland Festival at Brisbane’s beautiful Powerhouse combines carnival atmosphere with circus, music, theatre and comedy! It’s all a little weird and eccentric – just the way we like it! Tickets available on the net.
The best family festivals Brisbane in December
Woodford Folk Festival
- 27 December 2020 – 1 January 2021 – (tickets)
- This event has been cancelled for 2020/2021 but will be back bigger than ever in 2021/2022!
Christmas in Brisbane!
Christmas is the BEST time of year in Brisbane and we couldn’t close this article without mentioning it. While it’s not *technically* a festival, there’s SO MUCH to see and do in the city at this time of year! Check out our wrap up here!
Special Mention – Festivals Brisbane Every Month!
- Every second Friday, 5:00pm-9:00pm
The Sunset Social is held at the Souths Leagues Club in West End on every second Friday of the month. There are family-friendly activities, great child-friendly fun, food trucks and stands, plenty of marquees, and fantastic entertainment for all ages!
Festivals Brisbane – did we miss your fave?
Let us know what your favourite festival in Brisbane is in the comments!