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Fun Things to do with 3 Year Olds Around Brisbane and Beyond

Days out for 3-year olds can be tricky as some still have day time naps, whilst others just seem to have energy to burn the whole day.  So if you’re in need of some inspiration for days out with the kids (particularly little ones) then you’re going to love this list which focuses on fun things to do with 3-year olds.

We are pretty spoiled for choice with it comes to activities for 3-year olds in Brisbane and throughout South East Queensland, with loads of places to take the kids.  There are even plenty of free fun places for kids so fun days out for 3-year olds don’t have to break the bank either.

Days out with the kids: things to do with 3 year olds

Whether you’re looking for tips for things to do with a 3-year-old for the entire day, or maybe just some kid friendly places to go for a few hours, in the guide you’re sure to find some of the great kid’s activities Brisbane and the surrounding areas has to offer.

Best days out for 3 year olds

Here’s our list – are you ready?

Wildlife kids attractions

Without a doubt, we know that one of the best days out for 3 years olds would have to be a day at the zoo.  There are a variety of wildlife kid’s attractions in South East Queensland so your hardest decision is going to be choosing one.

Here are a few of our favourites:

  1. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Things to do with 3 Year Olds

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Brisbane (particularly things to do with toddlers) yet don’t want to drive to far away, a trip to Lone Pine is well worth it.

During your visit you can expect to see platypus, reptiles, Australian birds, dingoes, Tasmanian Devils, wombats, farm animals, koalas and crocodiles.  There are also some great shows such as the sheepdog show and the kangaroo reserve where you can pat and feed them. You can read our detailed review of Lone Pine here.

At the time of publishing children under 3 enjoy free entry to Lone Pine! You can check their website for their current prices for adults, kids, students, pensioners and even family passes. I always check Klook  as they often have cheaper prices and if you haven’t used Klook before, you can use the code FIRSTTIME for 10% of your tickets.  Click here to book your discounted tickets.

Lone Pine is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm and is located in Fig Tree Pocket.

So next time you find yourself wondering “what toddler activities, near me can I do?” pop on over to Lone Pine.

Find out how to get discounted entry every day to Lone Pineclick here.

  1. The Australian Shark and Ray Nursery

Shark and Ray Gardens Things to do with 3 Year Olds

A fun day out for a 3-year-old who loves marine life is a visit to the Australian Shark and Ray Nursey.  It’s also perfect for those days when you want to know where to go with kids, which isn’t too far away.

Located on Brisbane’s south side in Loganholme, at the Australian Shark and Ray Nursey kids can not only learn more about these interesting ocean creatures but also get the opportunity to pat them!  Yes that’s right pat them!  The guys at Australian Shark and Ray Nursery want kids to see the cuddly side of these feared ocean creatures.

I love that quite regularly Groupon and Scoopon have discounted passes for kids, adults and family passes.  Click the links for Groupon or Scoopon to see if they have any current discounts.

A visit to the Australian Shark and Ray Nursery is a great place to explore not only for educational activities for 3 year olds but also hands on activities for 3 year olds too.

When we visited the shark and ray nursery we LOVED getting up close with the stingrays!

  1. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Things to do with 3 Year Olds

Currumbin is not only one of the best days out with a 3-year-old, but great fun for the entire family.

The wildlife park is the perfect size for a family looking for places to go with toddlers as you can easily get through everything in the park within the day.  There are also plenty of playgrounds scattered around the park so the little ones can have a break throughout the day to play.

Arrive early for the 8 am lorikeet feeding then wander through the park checking out a range of Australian wildlife as well as other unique animals.  You’ll of course find Australian favourites including the cute and cuddly koalas as well as kangaroos and emus.  You can even hand feed the kangaroos and emus.

There are also a range of shows throughout the day where you can learn more about the animals.

At the time of publishing kids under 4 are free.  Click here if you prefer to book your tickets online.

Currumbin Sanctuary is located at 28 Tomewin Street Currumbin and is open daily from 8am to 5pm.

We found out that Currumbin Sanctuary is perfect for toddlers when we visited.

  1. Sea Life

 Sea Life Underwater World Mooloolaba Things to do with 3 Year Olds

The best day out for 3-year-old kids that are obsessed with the ocean is a day trip to Sea Life on the Sunshine Coast.  Here you will find loads of hands on experiences, displays and shows across 11 themed zones.

The main attraction at Sea Life is the Ocean Tunnel which is full of sharks, sting rays, turtles and fish.  But the various animal presentations on during the day are a must too.  These animal presentations include seals, sting rays, ocean tunnel tour and jellyfish.

Other activities to do with toddlers here, include the tidal touch pool where they can touch starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.  And of course, the 3 level playground is a hit with the little ones too.

At the time of publishing kids are 3 are free. Click here to book your discounted tickets.

Sea Life is opened 9 am to 5 pm daily (except Christmas Day) and is located on the Sunshine Coast at Mooloolabah.

We loved our recent visit to Sealife and you can read about that here.

  1. Australia Zoo

australia day with kids kangaroo Things to do with 3 Year Olds

Australia Zoo is massive and not necessarily the best zoo for little legs, but if you’re 3-year-old is just mad about animals and can handle big days, then they will just love Australia Zoo.

There are so many different animals on display at Australia Zoo, including Australian Lizards, Freshwater and Saltwater Crocodiles, Koalas, Birds of Prey, Kangaroos, Red Pandas and tigers.  There are also a variety of animal presentations such as tortoises, otters, koalas, birds of prey and crocodiles.

The main show during the day is the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.  This show is held only a once a day in the Crocosuem and is not to be missed.  You will see and learn about giant snakes, birds and saltwater crocodiles. Check the presentation times on arrival.

At the time of publishing kids under 3 are free.

If you are looking for discounted or even FREE tickets to Australia Zoo – we show you how to get this.

Click here to find out how to get your kids in for FREE.

Australia Zoo is opened 9 am to 5 pm daily (except Christmas Day) and is located on the Sunshine Coast at Beerwah.

  1. Visit a farm with your 3 year old

Things to do with 3 Year Olds

Farm visits also make great days out with 3-year-old children.  At farms kids get a hands-on experience of taking care of animals and learning all about life on a farm.

Here are a couple around Brisbane to consider:

White Ridge Farm

On the northside of Brisbane learn what life is like on a farm whilst meeting various animals such as sheep, goats, alpacas and miniature horses as well as other activities for 3yr olds such as hay rides and trampoline jumping.

EcoPark Fishing World & Farm Stay

Located at Luscomble, at EcoPark Fishing World and Farm Stay, as well as feeding and patting a range of farm animals other activities include putt putt, jumping castle, paddle boats and bowling.

Find your tickets – Click here to view all the discounted tickets.

Mountview Alpaca Farm

Located within O’Reilly’s at the Lamington National Park, at Mountview Alpaca Farm kids get to walk and feed the alpacas.

We visited many of these farms and wrote about them all here.

Theme parks suitable for toddlers

Theme parks sure do make for fun places to take little kids, but some theme parks are certainly better places to take toddlers than others.  Here’s our tips on the best theme parks if you’re looking for the best day out for a 3-year old.

  1. Dreamworld

dreamworld for families Things to do with 3 Year Olds

Whilst Dreamworld is home to some of the best thrill rides, it’s also one of the perfect places to go with a toddler if you’re looking for a child friendly theme park.

There are two worlds designed just for the little ones which include plenty of suitable things for 3-year olds to do, namely ABC Kids World (home to the Wiggles, Playground and Bananas in Pajamas) and the DreamWorks experience (which is home to the animated movie characters from Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Puss in Boots).

In addition to some great kiddy rides, Dreamworld also has various animal encounters such as Tiger Island and various Australian animals including crocodiles, koalas and kangaroos.

Entry to Dreamworld also includes entry into its water park – White Water World.  There’s some good activities for 3 year olds here at Wiggle Bay which includes kiddy sized water slides and a massive water play area.

At the time of publishing children under 3 are free. We also know how to get discounted Dreamworld tickets.

Click here to book your Dreamworld tickets.

You can also compare the prices at Oz Experience here.

Dreamworld is located at Coomera and is open 7 days a week between the hours of 10 am to 5 pm.

Check out more reason that Dreamworld is great for toddlers in our detailed article.

  1. Sea World

sea creatures are plentiful at Sea World Gold Coast Things to do with 3 Year Olds

There is plenty of great 3-year-old child activities at Sea World.  In fact I’d go as far as saying it’s one of the best theme parks for the little ones.

Some of the best activities for 3-year olds at Sea World include seeing Polar Bears, Stingrays, Dolphins and Penguins, whilst enjoying the tiny kid sized rides in Nickelodeon Land and the adventure playground at Castaway Bay.   There are also educational presentations and an interactive splash zone for the little ones, plus the kids will just adore seeing the Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob shows.

At the time of publishing kids under 3 are free.

You can also compare the prices at Oz Experience here.

Sea World is in Main Beach, Gold Coast and is open 7 days a week from 9.30am to 5pm.

  1. Aussie World

Things to do with 3 Year Olds Aussie World

Aussie World is so much smaller than the Gold Coast theme parks making it perfect for a day out with a little one.

There are over 18 Aussie World rides and attractions spread out over 15 acres.  Fun things for 3-year olds include the chair plane, Ferris wheel, dodgems, giant slides, swinging ship, carousel and tea cups.    As well as rides there is roving entertainers, Disney Princesses, water play area (bring swimmers and towels), mini golf, sideshow alley, fun mirrors and arcade games.

Aussie World tickets for under 3s are free and discounted family passes are available.  For Aussie World discount tickets, purchase online to save a few dollars per ticket.

Aussie World is located only 15 minutes from Caloundra on the Bruce Highway at Palmview and is open 10 am to 5 pm daily (except Christmas Day and Anzac Day).

Indoor activities suitable for toddlers

Perhaps you’re wanting inspiration on place to go with kids when it’s raining, or somewhere with aircon so you can escape the heat?  Here’s our best suggestions on the best inside activities for 3-year olds.

  1. Indoor play centres for toddlers

Crocs Playcentre North Lakes Things to do with 3 Year Olds

Places to go with kids on a rainy day don’t get much better than indoor play centres.  The little ones can run amuck and usually there is a dedicated area for the little ones, so they don’t have to worry about being knocked around by bigger kids.  Most have cafes too which is great for parents.

There are plenty of indoor play centres around Brisbane, what’s even better is that Groupon and Scoopon are pretty much always offering some sort of discount to one of them.

You will find all the local indoor playcentres here.

  1. Trampoline centres for toddlers

Urban Xtreme - playland Things to do with 3 Year Olds

For parents with high energy children and in need of fun indoor activities for 3-year olds, perhaps you need to consider a trampoline centre so they can bounce away all the energy.  Groupon and Scoopon are pretty much always offering some sort of discount to one of the trampoline centres around Brisbane.

Here are a few discounts which were available at the time of publishing:

  1. Inflatable centres for toddlers

what's on in brisbane today for families Things to do with 3 Year Olds

If you think a trampoline centre is just too much, but you’re still wanting some sort of indoor sports activities for 3 years olds, how about an inflatable centre? Most of the top inflatable centres have dedicated toddler areas where they can jump around without concern about being knocked around by the bigger kids.

You’ll almost always find some sort of deal on Groupon and Scoopon to one of the inflatable centres around Brisbane.

  1. Bowling with toddlers

Things to do with 3 Year Olds bowling

Bowling’s is one of the fun activities with 3-year olds, that the entire family will enjoy.  Grab a ramp so your 3-year-old can roll their ball down the alley and put the bumpers down so your little one doesn’t need to be disappointed with a gutter ball.

You don’t need much preparation for bowling so is perfect if you’re looking for things to with kids this weekend.

Bowling can be expensive for the whole family, but luckily Groupon and Scoopon pretty much always offering some sort of discount to one of the bowling arcades around Brisbane.

Here are a few discounts which were available at the time of publishing:

  • Caboolture Bowl & Mini Golf: have deals for bowling and a drink and for bowling, mini golf and arcade tokens – click here to get discount.

Water based activities for toddlers

On those warm summer days, the whole family will enjoy some water play.  Whether you choose to go the beach, local swimming pool or water park there’s plenty of great options for your little one.

  1. Aqua Park

coolum aqua park

For the little one’s that are super confident in the water and love a bit of a challenge, an aqua water park is great fun.   At aqua parks, they can bounce, slide, splash and swim whilst making their way through an inflatable obstacle.

But don’t pay full price; as Groupon and Scoopon pretty much always offering some sort of discount to one of the aqua parks around south east Queensland.

We wrote about our visit at the Coolum Aquatic Park here.

Free days out with a 3-year-old

Of course one of the best things about living in South East Queensland, is that you don’t even need to spend a cent to have a great day out with your toddler.  There are oddles of free things to do with kids in Brisbane where you can keep your 3-year-old entertained for hours.

Here are some of the best free things to do in Brisbane with kids:

  1. The Queensland Museum

3 year olds digging for dinosaurs

There is a stack to see and do at the Queensland Museum that I doubt you will get through it all in a single visit.  With the massive Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops in the foyer, this a particularly great place if you’re looking for dinosaur activities for 3-year olds.

Click here to find out more about visiting the Queensland Museum with kids.

  1. The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

FREE QLD School Holiday - Goma for Brisbane Kids Things to do with 3 Year Olds

GOMA regularly has organized activities for little ones.    During term time there is Toddler Tuesday and on school holidays they have a range of fantastic 3-year-old toddler activities suitable for older children also.

Click here to see what’s happening for kids at GOMA.

  1. State Library

Whilst you’re at the Cultural Precinct, don’t forget to check out the Queensland State Library as well.  Within the library is The Corner which is a great little area for 3-year olds to play and join in some arts and crafts.

Click here to see what’s happening for kids at the State Library.

  1. Local library

Garden City Library

Talking about libraries, be sure to check out your local library for some great free activities.  Most libraries have some free activities on throughout the week especially for toddlers and babies.  Local libraries are perfect if you’re stuck coming up with activity ideas for 3-year olds at home.

Click here to see some of the kids activities at Brisbane libraries.

  1. South Bank

Kids Collective | South Bank

There are numerous things to do with toddlers in South Bank, from playgrounds to having a swim at the synthetic beach.  There are also free children activities on each Thursday between the hours or 9am to 1 pm called Kids Collective.

Click here to see the program.

  1. Playgrounds

Flagstone playground

Gosh how lucky are SE Queensland kids today, with numerous awesome playgrounds scattered through out each suburb across the region?  You could easily take your 3 year old to visit a different one every week!

Click here to see some of the best playgrounds in South East Queensland.

  1. The beach

things to do in mooloolaba beach

Lastly, one of the best things to do with kids is to pack a picnic and head either down the coast or up the coast to one of our stunning beaches.

Click here for a list of some of the best beaches for kids that are close to Brisbane.

Things to do with 3 year olds around Brisbane and beyond

Spending time with 3-year-olds and taking them to some of these activities around Brisbane is important. It allows adults to engage in play-based learning with young children, which can help to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills. When adults spend time with 3-year-olds, they can actively participate in activities that promote learning, such as reading books, playing games, and exploring the outdoors.

Photo of author

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.

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