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Museum of Brisbane: What’s On for Families

If you’re looking to spend a great day with your family that won’t cost you ridiculous amounts of money then you need to visit the Museum of Brisbane.

Location, location, location

Museum of Brisbane brings our city’s vibrant art, culture and history to life through our exhibitions, workshops, tours, talks, special events and MoB Kids’ activities. 

The Museum of Brisbane is located above Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane’s premier heritage building in the heart of Brisbane CBD. Entry is free and it’s open to the general public every day from 10am to 5pm. As with all museums and galleries, you’ll need to leave backpacks and large bulky items in the cloakroom on the ground floor.

Current exhibitions

Your family needs to visit the Museum of Brisbane regularly to see their ever changing exhibits!

Clay: Collected Ceramics | 13 May–22 October 2023, Open daily 10:00am–5:00pm

A family at Clay: Collected Ceramics at the Museum of Brisbane
Clay: Collected Ceramics at the Museum of Brisbane

A celebration of colourful, contemporary ceramics and their imaginative makers.

From ancient vessels to figurines revealing the daily lives of people from antiquity, ceramics have been integral to cultures worldwide for millennia. Ceramics have stored our most precious resources, have been vehicles for knowledge and traditions, and passed between generations as heirlooms.

Clay: Collected Ceramics is a celebration of ceramics combining works from Museum of Brisbane’s Collection and Kylie Johnson’s personal collection. It is accompanied by Commune, a display of single pieces contributed by more than 300 makers responding to MoB’s largest community callout to date.

With pieces spanning 60 years of creativity, including fresh works never before displayed, Clay sparks a conversation about the relationship between potters and their visions. From functional wares of the 1970s to conceptual creations by iconoclastic makers of today, this exhibition will speak of the meaningful processes of making and collecting.

FREE Bilingual Storytime | Select Wednesdays, 10:30am – 11:15am. Fortnightly

Kids' Bilingual Storytime at MOB
Kids’ Bilingual Storytime at Museum of Brisbane

The magic is coming to the Museum with a Storytime adventure each fortnight.

Come along to the Studio every second Wednesday to enjoy a charming picture book and stay on for a craft activity.

All parents, carers and their children are welcome.

Prams can be stored at reception and lockers are available to store your backpack or nappy bag.

Please note, bilingual sessions will be offered on various dates.

All are welcome to join in on these sessions regardless of ability.

City Hall Clock Tower Tour

City Hall Clock Tower Tours

When you’ve finished with all of the exciting exhibits in the Museum of Brisbane, you can enjoy a free tour of the clock tower. Access to the clock tower is via a beautiful hand-operated lift that takes visitors up for spectacular bird’s eye views of Brisbane city every 15 minutes from the museum. The tiny antiquated lift is so small that it can only take 8 people at a time, including the lift operator! Bookings required. Details on how to secure your spot here.

Previous Exhibitions

Below you will find a list of the previous exhibits at the Museum of Brisbane.

Making Place

Making Place

We are at a crucial point in Brisbane’s urban development, with extreme changes to the city predicted over the next decade.

The Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane presents more than 100 historical and contemporary depictions of the Brisbane region.

Become immersed in a newly commissioned sound artwork by Lawrence English, Site Listening : Brisbane, that captures the city’s many soundscapes and surround yourself in the textures and nuance of Jenna Lee’s installation, Growing Place, illustrating her insightful reflection on ‘place’.

Find the details here. 

Play Moves

Play Moves Museum of Brisbane

Experience Play Moves – an exhibition that celebrates our senses and invites people of all ages and abilities to play. Weave, move and play your way through a series of interactive art experiences that come alive when you engage with them.

From high sensory experiences to low sensory journeys, this exhibition allows you to tailor your own adventure to suit your family’s needs. Love to make mischief? Step into an 80s office full of dancing pot plants and secret interactions courtesy of Counterpilot, create an orchestra of curiosity with Tara Pattenden’s zany tentacles, or shake and move your way through a cloud of pixels with Sai Karlen’s interactive digital projections.

Prefer to take it slow? Contribute to a community tapestry with Slow Art Collective’s giant loom, build a temple of serenity with UnitePlayPerform’s installation of coloured totems or
simply sink into the comfort of Michelle Vine’s affirming and serene artworks. It’s playtime at MoB!

Find out more here. 

City in the Sun

Museum of Brisbane City in the Sun

As Queensland’s gateway to the tropics, Brisbane has adopted imagery of all things subtropical over the last century, from frangipanis to pineapples and bikini-clad leisure-lovers.

City in the Sun at Museum of Brisbane uncovers and reimagines Brisbane’s subtropical image. Showcasing large-scale new contemporary artworks alongside historical imagery, the FREE exhibition reveals how the city’s history of migration, tourism, climate, environment and geographic location has contributed to the images of a subtropical oasis of leisure and abundance.

Newly commissioned works from artists Kinly Grey, Christopher Bassi, Laura Patterson, Rachael Sarra, Sam Tupou, Sebastian Moody, Holly Anderson and Rachel Burke are coupled with works by Gerwyn Davies, Michael Zavros, Tracey Moffatt, Scott Redford and Olive Ashworth to name a few.

The exhibition invites audiences to peek behind the sun-drenched façade of the tourist brochures and question if these images still represent who we are as a city… if they ever did.

This colourful exhibition provides playful reinterpretations, flamboyant re-imaginings and quiet reflections, proposing exciting new images of Brisbane’s subtropical identity today.

The Storytellers | Ongoing

The Storytellers Kids

Can you help break Slim Halliday out of Boggo Road Gaol? Pick up a free Code Breakers activity and wander the exhibition to help crack the secret combination and set Slim free. Little bookworms will love collecting the pages of the special Lung Fish story scattered throughout the exhibition, yours free to take home. Want to make the adventure last even longer? For the ultimate experience, grab a Storytellers Adventure Book available at MoB Shop, jampacked full of activities for ages 5 – 12 years, and only $5. Find out more in our events calendar.

What is Different?

Museum of Brisbane What is Different

Sometimes the biggest ideas come from the smallest artists. A celebration of children and creativity, Gallery of Children’s Art comes to Museum of Brisbane with What’s Different: Children’s Art in the age of COVID-19. This fully interactive exhibition showcases the imagination and unfettered wisdom of our city’s young people. Your little artists can even try their hand at creating some art of their own. Read more here.

Bauhaus Now

BYO Baby Bauhaus Tour

Step into a colourful world of history and design and explore the legacy of the Bauhaus in this amazing exhibition. Make sure you pick up your free take-home activity kit, where you can make your very own Bauhaus inspired creation.

Treat yourself to morning tea at Shingle Inn

A visit to Shingle Inn City Hall is top of the list of places to visit in Brisbane. Why not take advantage of a cool, quiet spot for breakfast, morning tea or lunch before you visit the Museum of Brisbane. With its wood-panelled walls and chandeliers, you can’t help but be charmed and transported to another time.

But where are all the dinosaur bones?

Rather than a museum of ancient and dusty old bones, the Museum of Brisbane is a living, breathing expose on our beautiful city of Brisbane – past, present and future. It’s a celebration of all that makes Brisbane such a unique and wonderful city. Relive the life of early settlers to Brisbane in photographic exhibits, explore the Brisbane River and local natural habitats with permanent or temporary exhibits, join in illustration workshops or watch short films.

The Museum of Brisbane has a huge variety of exhibits throughout the year and they’re all free. 

If you fancy a fun, fascinating and cultural day out with your child, pop on some comfy shoes and jump on a train to Brisbane Central Station or Roma St and it’s only a 5 minute walk to the Museum of Brisbane, the Clock Tower and City Hall. For more information on upcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Brisbane click here.

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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