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The Best Festivals in Brisbane for Families | Festivals Suitable for Kids

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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

reading books for kids

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. 

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

Australia Day

  • 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

Chinese Lunar New Year | Fortitude Valley

  • Saturday 13 February 2021

Experience Lunar New Year in the heart of Fortitude Valley and enjoy the unique flavours and vibrant culture that Chinatown has to offer. Book a table at your favourite venue and enjoy the roving entertainment, including lion dances and Japanese drumming.

BrisAsia Festival | Across Brisbane

  • 1 – 28 February 2021

Are you ready to try something new at BrisAsia Festival 2021? From the city to the suburbs, see an array of diverse live entertainment, outdoor activity as well as healthy and active events. There is something for everyone to enjoy with a range of events across Brisbane that celebrate the diversity of food, music, dance and art within Asian culture. From dumpling making to lion dancers, a rooftop dance party and weekend food festival, Brisbane city and the suburbs will come alive and ring in the Chinese New Year in style. Find out more here.

Brisbane Holi – Festival of Colours | Rocks Riverside Park

Brisbane Holi - Festival of Colours

  • 27 February 2021

Brisbane Holi – Festival of Colours welcomes its fifth year of celebrating Brisbane’s vibrant multicultural communities. Organisers are promising that this year the colors will be extra vibrant and the atmosphere extra joyful! Originating in India many centuries ago, Holi is a widely anticipated annual event across the globe, with many forms of celebrations taking place to share in the joy and happiness of colour, dance and music. Find out more here.

The best family festivals Brisbane in March

Curiocity | Various Locations

  • 12 to 28 March 2021

Let your imagination roam free! Curiocity Brisbane is a 17-day celebration of science, art and tech, where new possibilities play and big ideas collide. Explore a packed program of interactive installations and events including World Science Festival Brisbane. Watch as the city around you is transformed into a world of discovery. Curious visitors of all ages can explore, create and play with the physical and digital Curiocities, including 28 never-before-seen installations created by artists and makers from across the state and around the globe.

World Science Festival | South Brisbane

World Science Festival Brisbane

  • 24 – 28 March 2021
This is one of our favourites. The World Science Festival showcases a huge variety of all things science. From engaging and enthralling conversations with leading scientists and experts to a collision of science and art over 5 days. There is something for all ages at World Science Festival Brisbane in 2021. The festival will once again hit the road! World Science Festival Queensland is returning to Regional Queensland throughout the year to Townsville, Chinchilla, Gladstone, Toowoomba, and Ipswich. Definitely NOT one to be missed!

Brisbane Cycling Festival | Various Locations

  • 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.

Mould – A Cheese Festival | Bowen Hills

  • 26 March 2021

Australia’s favourite cheese festival, MOULD, is coming back to Brisbane for an even bigger mozzare-hella good time! MOULD will bring together the best artisan cheese producers from across the country for a day of cheese, wine, masterclasses and more. To make sure cheese-crazed fans can access as many dairy delights as possible this year they’ve added even more session times for you. See more here.

The best family festivals in April

Redcliffe Festival of Sails | Redcliffe – CANCELLED due to Covid-19 Lockdown

Redcliffe Festival of Sails

  • 2 April 2021 – Good Friday 2021 (free) 

This Good Friday, point the steering wheel towards Redcliffe and spend the day by the seaside at the Redcliffe Festival of Sails! Packed with fun the whole family will love this Easter and the best vantage point to catch the historic Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, there’s no better place to kick off the long-weekend. It wouldn’t be Good Friday or Festival of Sails without the Easter Bunny, making the infamous festival appearance via water this year. Redcliffe Festival of Sails is bursting at the seams with fun for the kids including the Kids Zone jam-packed with children’s entertainment, stalls and activities.

Bluewater Festival | Shorncliffe

  • 2 April 2021 – Good Friday 2021 (free) 

The famous Bluewater Festival held at Shorncliffe Pier showcases the beauty and attractions of the northern Bayside. Organised by the Sandgate Bayside Chamber of Commerce, the famous Bluewater Festival held at Shorncliffe Pier is one not to be missed and a memorable day out with family and friends.

 
The Bluewater Festival is held on the scenic foreshore at Shorncliffe in conjunction with the annual Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. It’s a perfect vantage point to watch the start of this iconic race plus an opportunity to see the Multihull Yacht race start up close off the Pier. Head to Lower Moora Park, Shorncliffe for FREE entry to the food festival, markets, entertainment throughout the day including live bands, kids’ activities, rides, and fireworks in the evening.

Festival of Tibet | Newfarm

  • 24 April – 4 May 2021 – (some parts are free and some require tickets) 
The Festival of Tibet celebrates the dynamic and unique culture of the people of Tibet. The 2021 Festival of Tibet will start with a special in person concert ‘Prayers for Peace – Brisbane Sings for Tibet’ at Brisbane Powerhouse Arts on 4 April to 4 May, and will be followed by a ten day online virtual program of events through stories, panel discussions, music, poetry, workshops and films, and will focus on the impact of Climate Change in Tibet and the ongoing plight of Tibetans.

The best family festivals Brisbane in May

Anywhere Theatre Festival | Multiple Locations

  • 6 – 23 May 2021 – (some events free, some ticketed)
Anywhere Festival is 18 days of performances anywhere but a theatre in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and from anywhere online 6-23 May 2021. You can expect theatre in car parks, comedy in laneways, opera in reservoirs, dance in stairwells and quirky workshops exploring arts and craft. The full program revealed Friday 26 March 2021.

Moreton Bay Running Festival | Clontarf

  • 8 May 2021

Bring your whole crew along to the inaugural Moreton Bay Running Festival to enjoy the perfect running conditions and cooler evening temperatures on the gorgeous Moreton Bay foreshore. Distances are available to suit all running (and walking) abilities. For the super fit, why not make a weekend of it and take on one of the Moreton Bay Triathlon events the morning after your run. With distances from kids and beginners right through to elite athletes, there’s certainly something for everyone. Registrations required.

Buddha Birth Day Festival | Priestdale

  • 14 May – 16 May 2021– (free, family friendly event)

The Buddha Birth Day Festival celebrates Australia’s harmony and diversity, and this year the festival will be held at Chung Tian Buddhist Temple. The festival includes unique experiences such as traditional Chinese tea ceremonies, multicultural performances, meditation, vegetarian food stalls, Buddhist talks, Baby Blessing ceremony and much more! Entrance to the Buddha Birth Day Festival is FREE and open to the whole family. Bookings Required. Chung Tian Buddhist Temple.

The Brookfield Show

  • 14 – 16 May 2021 – (tickets)

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 | South Brisbane

  • 22 – 23 May 2021 – (tickets) 

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) | Meadowbrook

  • Sun 23 May 2021- (free)
It’s time to celebrate making small changes everyday to help our planet. Head to Logan Eco Action Festival aka LEAF and join in learning big and small tips to live a more sustainable lifestyle!
There’s interactive presentations and workshops from some of our country’s leaders in sustainability, gardening and waste reduction! Plus eco stall holders, sustainable cooking demos, hands-on craft making, eco-markets, plant sale, an array of food trucks, live music and fun kids’ activities.

Madman Anime Festival | South Brisbane

  • Not going ahead in Brisbane in 2021. Anime Festival will return to Brisbane (May 21-22, 2022)!

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!

Dayboro Day Festival | Dayboro

  • Not going ahead in 2021.

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.

Green Heart Fair | Chermside

  • 30 May 2021

Brisbane City Council’s Green Heart Fair is back and will be better than ever! The fair will feature over 120 of Brisbane’s leading sustainability experts ready to share practical tips and tricks to live a more eco-friendly life. You’ll be treated to sustainability displays, expert talks, eco-friendly exhibitors, artisan markets, food trucks and so much more! 7th Brigade Park.

The best family festivals Brisbane in June

Out of the Box Festival 

  • Dates and times to be confirmed for 2022. 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 2022 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.

The best family festivals Brisbane in July

Le French Festival, South Bank

  • 2021 dates TBC
  • 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”.

Teneriffe Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC

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!

NAIDOC Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC

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.

Ipswich Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

medieval festival caboolture brisbane

  • 3 July 2021 – (pre-purchase tickets or buy on the door)

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

Regional Flavours, South Bank - festivals Brisbane

  • 2021 dates TBC
This is definitely a festival Brisbane foodies will go bananas for! Fresh produce from our very own regional areas is used to satisfy even the fanciest of pallates. There are cooking challenges, plenty of goods to purchase and even appearances from some fabulous celebrity chefs! Southbank really turns it on for the Regional Flavours festival.

Queensland Music Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC
The Queensland Music Festival makes use of 15 venues throughout Queensland where local musos sing and play the songs of their communities. You’ll find all tastes are accounted for from rural to urban to fabulous melodic arrangements. The QMF works hard (in conjunction with the Queensland Government) to encourage and support budding local talent via scholarships, awards and touring programs.

Einbunpin Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC

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 EkkaRoyal Queensland Show 

ekka - festivals Brisbane

  • 2021 dates TBC
At Families Magazine, we LOVE the Ekka! We believe when it comes to festival, Brisbane’s beloved Ekka is the cream of the crop! It’s been around since 1876 (if you can believe it!) and showcases all the best things about living in Queensland. Rides, showbags, displays, agricultural pursuits, games, media displays and so much more are on offer for families looking to have a brilliant day (or couple of days) off. We’ve even got some advice on how to do the Ekka on a budget. Score!

Wetlands Festival

festivals Brisbane

  • 2021 dates TBC
  • 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

Redcliffe KiteFest | Clontarf

  • 11 & 12 September 2021
In hopes that September will bring more wind, the family-favourite Redcliffe KiteFest will be moving to September this year. It might have a new weekend, but the annual Redcliffe KiteFest promises to deliver the same fun and colour for one huge weekend, boasting world-class kite displays, live character performances (headline act to be announced in March), workshops, market stalls, amusement rides and aerobatic displays, plus so much more. Can you guess who this year’s headline children’s act will be? Make sure you’ve clicked “Interested” in or “going” to be the first to know!

Strawberry & Dessert Festival 

  • 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!

Brisbane Festival

festivals Brisbane riverfire

  • 2021 dates TBC
Thinking festival? Brisbane Festival is an absolute corker. Across the whole city for three weeks in September you’ll find dance, music, art, drama and displays that aim to excite and delight. There are also plenty of kids shows and events to be found. Most of the action takes place at Southbank and culminates in RIVERFIRE on Saturday 28th September! Woohoo!
 
Laidley Spring Festival 
  • 2021 dates TBC

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.

RedFest Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC
  • 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

brisbane festivals nundah village

  • 2021 dates TBC
  • Sandgate Road, Nundah

Join Nundah in its annual festival, celebrating with food, stalls, bands, schools and entertainment. 

Scandinavian Festival Brisbane

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

  • 2021 dates TBC

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.

Zillmere Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

  • 2021 dates TBC
  • 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!

Oktoberfest

Mother and Daughter looking off into the distance in german clothing - festivals Brisbane

  • 2021 dates TBC
Australia’s Largest German Festival is not just for grownups! The Kinder Zone at Oktoberfest (held at the RNA Showgrounds) teaches kids about science, history and language as well as providing some pretty fun carnival rides. And of course, there are a few adult beverages to be had as well… A must-do!

The Oyster Festival

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

Supanova!

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

festivals Brisbane wonderland

  • 2021 dates TBC

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

woodford-folk-festival poster - festivals Brisbane

  • 2021/2022 dates TBC

Woodford Folk Festival has an innovative area set up JUST for kids! 

As well as the fun stuff for the kids, you’ll find a wide variety of folk music as well as other genre on display for your listening pleasure. There are comedy acts, visual arts, theatre, circus tricks and oh-so-much more. You can camp or caravan onsite too. It’s a peaceful yet exciting way to round out the year.

Christmas in Brisbane!

brisbane festivals christmas

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! 

Festivals Brisbane – did we miss your fave?

Let us know what your favourite festival in Brisbane is in the comments!

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