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10 FREE Queensland School Holiday Ideas

Take a day trip to our favourite FREE QLD school holiday destinations – boredom-busters that won’t break the bank!

Free QLD school holiday ideas!

Looking to keep those tots, tweens and teens happy and engaged these holidays? Check out our list of the absolute BEST destinations for maximum fun at minimum price! We’ve got the best free QLD school holiday ideas right here …..

Half-day trips on the train line!

Playground near Kingston Station on the Beenleigh train line

Take the train (using your GoCards – remembering that children travel for free on weekends!) to a variety of stops along the line. We’ve pre-planned some walks for you that lead to playgrounds, picnic areas, art galleries and more!

We’ve graded these walks from easy to hard to take into account the ages and abilities of your children, the heat of the day and the amount of time you’re willing to spend outside of the house. The best part about these trips? The afternoon nap that will invariably follow! A great free QLD school holiday idea for the South East!

Check out our half-day trip train adventures here:

Old-fashioned lagoon, beach and wading pool swimming

FREE QLD School Holiday - Wynnum Wading Pool

Would your kids like to swim but you don’t want to pay for them to visit a public pool? Heritage listed Wynnum Wading Pool, gorgeous Settlement Cove in Redcliffe and world-famous Streets Beach at South Bank Parklands offer free swimming for families! Our beautiful Queensland weather means swimming nearly year round so why not jump in and make a splash at this free school holiday idea!

Visit gorgeous swimming holes in SE QLD

Speaking of splashing, why not try one of these wonderful natural swimming holes in SE QLD? This great free QLD school holiday idea involves a little car-trip, a little planning, a little picnic and a lot of fun.

Be conscious that none of these swimming holes will have lifeguards so duty of care is completely your responsibility. Families Magazine advises to NEVER dive in, to always wear shoes and to use common-sense at all times. If you are visiting a natural swimming hole be aware of your environment and ensure you leave it exactly as you found it.


FREE QLD School Holiday - Goma for Brisbane Kids

GOMA is a fantastic place to take kids. It’s air-conditioned, there’s always plenty of parking and the facilities are family and access friendly. The artwork installations at GOMA change regularly and the Children’s Art Gallery always has hands-on, creative activities designed to engage a range of ages.

There is plenty of space in the surrounding grassed area to have a little picnic or you could always just bring food from home and eat it on one of the outdoor tables. A nice stroll along the river would cap off another great free school holiday idea.

QLD Museum

Queensland Museum is a great free QLD school holiday idea for families in and around Brisbane and the South East. In the Cultural Precinct, adjacent to the South Bank Busway, the museum offers exhibits, early childhood activities, public programs and guaranteed entertainment and wonder. Entry to most exhibits and displays is FREE! The Queensland has had over 10 million visitors since it opened! The dinosaur forecourt is a must-see as is the wold-famous Whale Walk.

Roma Street Parkland

Roma Street Parkland - FREE QLD School Holiday

Situated right in the heart of the city, Roma Street Parkland is a fantastic choice for active families who love getting out and about in our beautiful climate. A huge range of playgrounds are available, there’s heaps of picnic space, top-notch facilities and it’s easy to access via car or public transport. Roma Street Parkland often run family-based events on holidays, including free movies in the park! A brilliant free QLD school holiday idea that’s sure to interest kids of any age.

Fingal Head Lighthouse

Fingal Head Lighthouse family friendly light house walk

If you’re prepared for an adventrure in the Great South East, near the Tweed River, you’ll find the glorious Fingal Head Lighthouse – one of the most delightful, family-friendly natural outings around. There’s so much to see and take in for families looking for that great free QLD school holiday idea that gets them closer to nature.

A reminder – eating and drinking in natural environments is fine as long as you do not feed wildlife and you bring all rubbish with you. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by so much pristine wilderness – let’s keep it that way!

Be a book worm!

If you’re not a regular visitor at your local library, don’t worry! We’ve made a cheat sheet for you – here’s information on many of the wonderful local libraries:

Most libraries have free wifi, activities for kids of all ages, sections for children and young adults, comfy seating and coffee close by. Plus – air con! Sounds like a great free school holiday idea might be to curl up with a good book.

Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk

FREE QLD School Holiday - Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk

Imagine this – you’re surrounded on either side by towering mangroves filled with sea-life, birds of every description imaginable and the lapping waves of majestic Moreton Bay. Out to sea – is that a turtle? A dolphin? A dugong? You walk 500m of winding boardwalk, shaded for most of your journey, and take in the expansive beauty of one of the wildest parts of Brisbane.

Sounds expensive and far away? Not quite! Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk is 25 minutes’ drive from the Brisbane CBD, open every day of the year and completely FREE! Post-card picture-perfect great free school holiday idea!

Visit the Griffith University EcoCentre

Turtle at the EcoCentre
Turtle at the EcoCentre

If you are looking for a place to take your kids to spot koalas in the wild around Brisbane, look no further than the Griffith University EcoCentre also known as the Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre! Set in the Toohey Forest, just 12kms for the Brisbane CBD it is a fantastic day out for families with kids of all ages. We visited on Sunday and participated in their ‘Open House’ event including a FREE guided koala spotting walk and wanted to share our experience with you! Read more about the Griffith University EcoCentre.

School holiday ideas in a jar

Feeling like a home day but don’t want it to turn into a Netflix-a-thon? Try this cute idea of ours – we’ve got a few fun, free activities you can do at home. Put them into a mason jar, get the kids to choose and you’re off on whatever great school holiday idea gets pulled out first! (Maybe one about everyone having a nap might be good, too!)

Entertaining kids does not have to cost the earth

We often hear about the exorbitant costs involved in raising children. At Families Magazine, we think there’s something to be said for old-fashioned family time that doesn’t cost a dime. If you can think of any other great free school holiday ideas for QLD kids let us know in

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “10 FREE Queensland School Holiday Ideas”

  1. All of these fun things for children to do with parents are just amazing and I know I hope to be taking my grandchildren to some of them. They are only little but know they would enjoy many of these activities.


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