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Out of the Box Festival: QPAC’s Biennial Festival for Kids 8 and Under!

Out of the Box is a biennial festival for children eight years and under, held at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). The event dates are to be confirmed for 2023.

Previous Out of the Box events

There are a wide number of shows suitable for audiences of tiny tots to terrific tweens at the Out of the Box Festival. We’ve got an overview of everything you need to know and everything you need to see! Don’t miss out!

out of the box garden

QPAC’s famous Out of the Box Festival

Here’s what you need to know about Out Of The Box!

The 2023 dates are to be confirmed. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre plays host every two years to a colourful, diverse, daring and darling variety of performances and shows that are designed to captivate and entrance young audiences. There are also in-theatre activities and workshops designed to make this experience one that your little ones will never forget.

Out of the Box acknowledges the importance of diversity, creativity and performing arts when it comes to helping to shape children into fully-rounded individuals. It’s a celebration of colour, light, dance, drama, action and wonder and it’s one that lucky children have had the opportunity to experience for over 25 years!

How much will Out of the Box cost – TBC 2023?

To enter the Out of the Box Festival, you will need to purchase a Day Pass. This is necessary for each adult and for any child over the age of four months. Once you purchase the pass, you’ll then be able to reserve space for the shows you’d like to attend. It’s straight-forward, hassle-free and the perfect way to organise a great family day out. You’ll get a personalised itinerary emailed to you on booking so you’ll easily remember which shows you chose to attend. Easy!

Ticketing prices will be different depending on the ages of your children and the number of family members attending. 

out of the box airplay

What shows can we see at Out of the Box – TBC 2023?

Here are the details from the 2018 event. 

How long is a piece of string?!

There are 16 shows to see at this year’s Out of the Box festival at QPAC. Here’s a quick overview of each.


(3 years and above, 60 minutes, Concert Hall) Two siblings travel through a surreal world in this circus-style performance. There are flying umbrellas, balloons, giant kites that soar over the audience and a HUGE snow globe. It’s an absolute joy to behold.


(2 years and above, 30 minutes, Lyric Theatre Foyer) This is a participatory performance designed to tap into the imagination of all who are lucky enough to attend. There is a lot of interaction with the performers and artists who’ll help to promote a lifelong love of the arts and literature.


(4 years and above, 30 minutes, Melbourne Street Garden) This great green space is completely transformed into a huge dance floor! Choreographers will be there to help teach you some moves then it’s game on as everyone cuts a rug to classic and new songs! Take the fun home with a living room dance party of your own that would put So You Think You Can Dance to shame!


(2 – 5 years, 40 minutes, Cremorne Theatre) This is a simple, beautiful story about friendship, love and acceptance. It’s an adaptaion of the book of the same name by Janet A. Holmes and explores the importance of loved things (and loved ones) in our lives.


(4 years and above, 30 minutes, Cascade Court) You’ll be supplied with headphones so you can hear some side-splittingly hilarious commentary accompanied by a dance mix from the 70’s until now. You’ll then be taken on a journey around QPAC and nearby precincts in the hopes of spontaneous laughter, interpretative dance and CRAZY improv. It’s crazy fun!


(2 years and above, 30 minutes, Studio 2) Classic songs and nursery rhymes are interpreted by Tim Jackman – a seasoned children’s entertainer of almost twenty years. This is a particularly great show for the younger set who will be entranced by these super-fun versions of the songs they know and love.


(2 years and above, 30 minutes, Studio 2) Madame Lark has synesthesia – a condition where things she sees become enhanced with sound and colour! Your children will be entranced by this ‘harmonious symphony of ridiculousness’ from Christine Johnston, one of the famous Kransky Sisters.


(3 years and below, 40 minutes, Tony Gould Gallery) This is an Aboriginal contemporary dance performance designed for little ones. It’s storytelling done via the mediums of movement and music with traditional live and recorded sounds. It’s interactive and transformative whilst being respectful of children’s needs to explore AND feel secure at the same time. This is a great way for families to connect with each other and Indigenous culture through a dynamic theatre experience.


(5 years and above, 30 minutes, Playhouse Balcony Foyer) This is hands-on workshop where children can paint their own self-portraits. It asks them questions like how do I feel, how do I represent myself to the world and how do I want others to see me. This is an exploration of diversity and individuality. Each creation will be digitised and added to a window installation wherein the light that shines through the QPAC windows will wash the passers-by in the colours and shapes created by the children.

10. HOME

(All ages, 30 minutes, continuously running, QPAC Tunnel) This is an exploration of the children who have travelled from all over the world to call Australia home. It explores multiculturalism and how it adds wonderful, tangible layers of complexity and nuance to our society. These are the stories of our children.


(5 years and above, 55 minutes, Studio 1) Shadow puppets! Woo hoo! Two brothers embark on a quest of epic proportions to find a brand new planet to call home. This amazing show features the use of everyday props that you’d find around the home – boxes, bubble wrap, straws, tennis balls and old toys – it’s a universe made entirely out of rubbish!


(6 years and above, 55 minutes, Playhouse) This is based on the beautiful graphic novel by Shaun Tan and explores the idea of migration in a fantasy setting. This is a tribute to migrants and refugees and explores the ideas of hardship, humanity and hope. It truly is a must-see.

out of the box the arrival


(All ages, 30 minutes, continuously running, Lyric Theatre Lounge) This is a free space where you can curl up with a book or engage in imaginative, exploratory play in a family-friendly dedicated space. Enjoy early literacy as a family.


(All ages, 30 minutes, Playhouse Green) This is a gathering for jarjums (children) in celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queensland culture, Contemporary song and dance, yarning, weaving and story-telling combine to make this is a joyous celebration of the oldest culture in the world.


(All ages, continuously running, throughout the festival) This is a museum curated by KIDS! You’ll see life through the eyes of Indigenous kids (aged 4-9) that provides an intimate, funny and honest exploration of their hopes and dreams.

16. WE ARE

(3 years and above, 30 minutes, Flowstate South Bank) This is a workshop where kids can paint and add to an exhibition in celebration of identity. They can view performances from Indigenous kids that reflect a deep cultural connection within the framework of contemporary society.

QPAC’S Out of the Box Festival

out of the box plane

This festival is an exciting chance for families from Brisbane and beyond to engage in a broad series of performances and workshops designed for young children at one of Australia’s best venues. Make sure your family does NOT miss out and book your day passes TODAY at the QPAC website!

Looking for more family fun? Check out list of all the family friendly festivals around Brisbane here.

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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.

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