The Complete Guide to School Holiday Activities in Brisbane
School holidays are coming! We’ve put together a guide to school holiday activities in Brisbane for the upcoming school holidays. Here’s how to treat your kids to an amazing break without blowing the budget! Add this page to your bookmark bar right now for an at-a-glance, go to resource for parents this school holiday period.
Getting out and about in your neck of the woods
When the kids have had a lovely morning in but you’re starting to get “I’m borrrreeddd” complaints, here’s a few ideas for getting your kids out and about in your part of Brisbane. For a full list, check out these “local guides”:
Half Day Train Trips:
Join Cinebuzz and get $8* movie tickets at your local BCC Cinemas.
Membership is free to join and you can join now at bcccinemas.com.au. $8 tickets are available now for members at BCC Cinemas Strathpine, Morayfield, Capalaba and Toombul!
With school holidays here, now is the perfect time to head to your local BCC Cinemas. Check out awesome family flicks like The Emoji Movie, The Lego® Ninjago Movie, Rip Tide, Captain Underpants and more!
You want to escape to the movies for just $8? That’s what I want!
*Must be a registered member of Cinebuzz to receive offer at the box office or online. Valid at BCC Cinemas Strathpine, Morayfield, Capalaba and Toombul only. Check the BCC Cinemas website for full terms and conditions.
FREE things to do for Brisbane kids!
Get the kids out of the house and doing some cool things over the school break. Here’s ten ideas for cool experiences and activities that are free in Brisbane.
Queensland Museum, South Brisbane
We are so lucky to have the Museum on our doorstep. It houses permanent and changing exhibitions. It is a great place to teach the children about Queenland’s history. There are lots of hands on exhibits. Most of the Museum is free, the visiting exhibits usually have an entrance fee. There is a family friendly café on the premises which is great for a quick coffee or lunch. It is pram friendly and a place where you can set your own pace. Opening Hours are 9.30am – 5pm daily. Click here.
Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, South Brisbane QAGOMA
QAGOMA is also located in the Cultural Precinct of South Bank. It houses over 16 000 works of Modern Art. Entry to the Children’s Art Centre is free. Here you will find interactive installations, artist projects and activities for your Brisbane Family. The projects and activities change throughout the year to keep your little ones interested. There are different dining options to suit you from a café to a restaurant. Or pack a picnic and sit in the lovely grounds that surround the Gallery. They are open daily from 10am – 5pm. Read our GOMA Review to find out more!
Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha
These Botanic Gardens are a favourite for Brisbane Families. You can either pack a picnic and enjoy it amongst the gardens, or visit the café for coffee or lunch. You can venture along the hide and seek children’s trail, where your children can hunt for native bees, a crocodile, water dragons, dragonflies and other critters. You can easily head up Mt Coot-tha when you are finished in the gardens and let your children see Brisbane from a different perspective. Click here.
South Bank, South Brisbane
If you are looking for fun activities for kids on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July, Little Farmer’s Days Out is taking place at Regional Flavours food and wine festival. Activities run from 10am-5pm with learning to sow carrot seeds at Epicurious Garden and creating your own cow, chicken or carrot crown at Central Café Lawns.
Located on the banks of the Brisbane River, South Bank is 17 acres of lush parklands full of play areas for children, eateries and an amazing lagoon and water park area. And best of all, you can use it all for free! It is easy to spend a whole day here in the warmer months, playing in the water and exploring the play areas. The views are fantastic and the atmosphere happy! There is always something happening at South Bank and their new playground is nothing short of spectacular. Click here.
Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane
If you are heading into the city with your Brisbane Family, make sure you visit the Museum of Brisbane, located in Brisbane City Hall. City Hall itself is beautiful to walk around and you can catch the lift up to level 3 to where the museum is housed. This is not a museum of fossils and bones, it is dedicated to the living history of our city. You can book in for a free tour of the Clock Tower for an insight into how the clock tower was built and how it operates. You travel up into the clock tower in a lift and get a bird’s eye view of the city. Pretty special! The Museum is open 10am – 5pm daily and the tour operates from 10.15am – 4.45pm every 15 minutes. Click here.
Daisy Hill Koala Reserve, Daisy Hill
Do your children love koalas? If so this is the place to take them and it is all FREE! This dedicated Koala education facility has large koala enclosures and lots of interactive displays. There are two level boardwalks from which you can view the koalas. It is a great place for a picnic and opportunities for bush walking and spotting other critters and creatures. Open daily 10am – 4pm. Click here
CityHopper, Various destination in the City
The CityHopper will help you fall in love with our city again! It is a free ferry service that runs every 30mins from 6am to midnight, seven days a week. The CityHopper travels along the Brisbane River, stopping at North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside and Sydney Street terminals.
Settlement Cove, Redcliffe
Located bayside at Redcliffe, Settlement Cove will trick you into thinking you have landed on a tropical island. With clear blue waters, palm trees and lots of sunshine (hopefully!) it is like a little piece of paradise. There is a little water play area for the youngest of your Brisbane Family, BBQs, a shady playground and picnic facilities. You can easily spend a day here. Click here.
Robelle Domain Parklands, Springfield
This spectacular parklands has so much to offer. There are 11kms of boardwalks, walking and cycling tracks, amazing water park areas, playgrounds, picnic facilities, waterfalls and a café. What else do you need for a relaxing day out?
City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane
Have you been to visit the new all abilities playground yet? Children of all abilities can play in this park, with wide access for wheelchairs and upgraded toilet facilities with a ceiling hoist. The Gardens are a magical place to spend the day and the children will love exploring them. There are free guided tours available at 11am & 1pm Monday to Saturday, where you can learn more about the plants and the features of the Gardens. Click here.
School holiday activities for under $10
Fancy an affordable day out? Here’s five activities that your kids will LOVE for under a tenner per child!
Brisbane Tramway Museum, Ferny Grove
You can step back in time in Brisbane and ride a tram at the Tramway Museum as many times as your Brisbane Family would like. Set in a bush land setting, you can explore restored trams and other reminders of Brisbane’s tramway era. There are plenty of spots for picnics and souvenirs and drinks available. It is open Sundays from 12.30 – 4pm. Children cost $6.50.
Queensland Maritime Museum, South Brisbane
You can discover historic vessels of all shapes and sizes at the Maritime Museum. It is located on the banks of the Brisbane River at South Bank. You can take a complimentary audio guided tour to make the most of your visit. The children will enjoy the big exhibits such as the warship Diamantina. It is open daily from 9.30am – 4.30pm. Children cost $7.00.
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Mt Coot-tha
If your little ones are interested in all things astronomical, then this is the place for them. You can view regular shows in the Cosmic Skydome which are projected onto the dome. These shows are recommended for different age groups, so check that detail when deciding which show to go to. There is also the Galaxy Gift Shop where you can buy all things cosmic. The Planetarium is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Read our Planetarium review and check the website for opening times as they do vary. Children aged 3 – 14 years cost $9.40.
Ipswich Art Gallery, Ipswich
Ipswich Art Gallery is Australia’s first permanent interactive children’s space designed for the under twelves. They are committed to delivering child-centred programs that you will not see anywhere else. They have different exhibitions that are VERY hands on for the children. This is not a place for the children to be directed by adults, it is a space for the children to really explore and self direct. The exhibits for the children range from free to around the $3.00 mark. They are open daily from 10am – 5pm. Click here
Bricks n Fun, Capalaba
If you have a Lego lover in your house, then this is the place for them. They have a Lego Buildroom where the kids can go for a 1 hour or 2 hour session. There is a massive variety of LEGO kits they can choose from and sit and build them. All of the instructions are included and there is something to suit all abilities. There are only 12 children allowed per session so there is plenty of room for the LEGO creations. There is also LEGO displays to look at and become inspired from. Sessions run from 10am each day until 4.00 or 5.00pm. One hour sessions cost $8.50. Click here.
BIG days out over the Spring September 2017 school holidays
Right, it’s not just about the big ticket theme parks. There’s other great ways to treat your kids to an amazing school holiday excursion. Here’s some ideas for an amazing family day out over the break – that aren’t just about the theme parks!
Perception Deception at the Sciencentre, South Brisbane
The Sciencentre is located on Level 1 of the Queensland Museum. They have permanent and changing exhibitions and your Brisbane Family can be very hands on to learn more about science. Perception Deception is the exhibition from the September school holidays. Suitable for ages 10 and up, Perception Deception is a collection of 28 hands-on exhibits and 60 interactive multimedia experiences that challenge our sensory signals to create our perception of the things and people around us. Perception Deception is the ultimate display of mind trickery to test and fool visitor’s perceptions. Lift shapes of the same weight, though due to texture, the brain perceives them as lighter and heavier. Adult: $14.50 Concession/Full-time Student: $12.50 Child (3-15) (must be accompanied by an adult 18+) $11.50 Family: (2 Adults/Concessions & up to 4 Children) $44.50. See more details on the Sciencentre and all that is happening there.
School Holiday Fun at The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich
For a relaxed day out with your Brisbane Family, you can’t go past The Workshops Rail Museum. There is so much to do here – you can drive a train on the simulator, check out the miniature railway, explore the history of trains, get hands on with the interactive exhibits, get creative at the Creation Station and let off steam at the indoor playground Nippers Railway. The children can also build wooden toy trains and carriages in the Wood Workshop (these workshops cost $10.00 and are not included in the entry price). You can either pack a picnic or buy food from the café onsite. They are open daily 9.30am – 4pm. Children cost $12.00. Read our Ipswich Rail Museum review here.
Junior and Teen Keeper for a Day, Fig Tree Pocket
Your children can spend a day with an experienced wildlife education officer at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. They will discover all areas, including behind the scenes, of the Sanctuary. They will get to clean enclosures, feed the animals, train birds of prey and get a photo with a koala as well as much more. Cost is $98.00 per child. Bookings essential.
Kids Dig It, Caboolture
The Abbey Museum will once again host another amazing school holiday activity, with this programs them being all things Medieval! To tie in with their Medieval Festival which is just around the corner, the Museum will have a range of fun and educational activities on offer including a medieval dig, archery, drumming workshops, story tellings, dress ups, and many fun arts and crafts to keep little hand busy. With doors opening at 9:30 and activities beginning at 10am, this is one school holiday program you do not want to miss! Book your tickets online to receive 10% off!
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Mt Coot-tha
Another fun activity to do is to visit the Sir Thomas Planetarium at Mt Cootha. The planetarium will feature a variety of different shows on the day, including ‘Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown’ (3pm) and ‘The Search for Life: are we alone?’. The child friendly show ‘Perfect Little Planet’ is also playing and is recommended for children from the age of 5. You could pack a picnic and make the most of the Botanic Gardens afterwards or there is an onsite café.
Maleny Dairies, Maleny
For a big day out, head up to one of our favourites – Maleny Diaries! They run farm tours multiple times a day. You will get to pat calves, get to see where the cows get milked (at the 2.30 session, you will see them getting milked), see the factory where the milk is processed and bottled and at the end of the tour, you will get to sample some of the dairy goodness. Click here and see our video review.
Theatre & Stage Shows for Kids in Brisbane in the September School Holidays and beyond
Sat 16 – Fri 22 Sep Dinosaur Time Machine, New Farm
Buckle up for an adventurous ride into the prehistoric! Join two time travelling scientists as they explore all things dinosaur. Using science, circus, puppetry and plenty of imagination, Dinosaur Time Machine is a visual feast that gives dinosaur lovers young and old an unforgettable glimpse into the past. Incorporating up-to-date science and discoveries made about dinosaurs and the world that they lived in, this unique experience is not only educational but also extremely funny and entertaining. Awarded best children’s show of the Adelaide Fringe 2016, don’t miss this riotous performance featuring fossils, fun and cool dinosaur facts galore. Brisbane Powerhouse
Sat 9 Sept – Sat 14 Oct The Little Mermaid, Petrie Terrace
Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the stage production of the much-loved Disney movie complete with the children’s favourite characters, baddies and comedic sea creatures. Disney’s The Little Mermaid 9 September – 14 October including school holiday performances Tickets $23, group discount available. Brisbane Arts Theatre.
Thu 7 – Fri 8 Sep Diary of a Wombat, Logan
Three performances – Thursday 7 September 4.30pm & Friday 8 September 10.30am & 1pm.
Millions of young people around the world have adored the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat. Now finally this iconic work by Australian Children’s Laureate, Jackie French and Bruce Whatley comes to the stage. Logan Entertainment Centre.
Sat 9 – Fri 29 Sep Laser Beak Man, Kelvin Grove
Jam-packed with the trademark visual puns of artist Tim Sharp and featuring live music composed and performed by Sam Cromack of Ball Park Music, the world of Laser Beak Man is brought to life in puppet form by the creative geniuses of Dead Puppet Society (The Wider Earth, Argus, The Harbinger) in this stunning new visual theatre work. La Boite Roundhouse Theatre Part of Brisbane Festival.
Tue 29 Aug – Sun 3 Sep Horrible Harriet, Brisbane
Horrible Harriet lives in the roof of her school and keeps teachers chained in the cellar to do her homework. Harriet and the other children don’t see eye to eye – but all Harriet really wants is a friend.
When Athol Egghead lands in his hot air balloon, Harriet finally meets someone who understands her. Then Mr Chicken arrives to disrupt the whole show! Fortunately Horrible Harriet knows how to handlle it! Gardens Theatre.
Sat 16 Sep Diary of a Wombat, Cleveland
Millions of young people around the world have adored the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat. Now finally this iconic work by Australian Children’s Laureate(2014/15) Jackie French and Bruce Whatley comes to the stage. Redland Performing Arts Centre.
Tue 19 – Sun 24 Sep Driftwood, South Bank
Brisbane’s world-beating Casus Circus present their dazzling new work. Casus have travelled worldwide with their impossible feats of brute strength, mesmerising acrobatics and aerial stunts, gathering stellar reviews at the Edinburgh Festival and winning Best Circus at Festival d’Avignon. As we drift through life we are shaped by those we encounter. The stories of our loved ones, our enemies and complete strangers guide us and determine the person we become. South Bank Cultural Forecourt.
Fri 22 Sep Grug and the Rainbow, South Bank
Based on the much-loved picture book character created by Australian author Ted Prior, Grug is back by popular demand! Grug began his life as the top of a Burrawang tree that fell to the ground. Fascinated by the world around him and full of determination, Grug embarks on an epic journey to reach the rainbow that always seems just beyond his grasp. QPAC.
Lah Lah Having Fun
If you see one family concert this year make it ‘Having Fun’ with Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band! Get ready to pull on your best red, white and black stripes because everyone will be Having Fun with the stars of ABC KIDS – Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band – around Australia in 2017. Find all the venues for Lah Lah here.
Tue 26 Sep The I Hate Children’s Show, South Bank
Your little monsters will be the stars of the show as every child over the age of eight is invited on stage to help magician and world-class child-hater Paul Dabek with all sorts of magic tricks. This world-beating, top-rated kids’ show is a cruel comedy for cool kids that will win the whole family over.Here’s a show that won’t make parents spit up in their kid’s sip cup. Cultural Forecourt. Part of Brisbane Festival.
Wed 27 Sep The Mudcakes in Concert, South Bank
The Mudcakes are children’s entertainers originally from Nashville in the US, now based in Australia, and loved around the universe! Their debut album ‘Songs for Little Monkeys’ was voted top 10 children’s CD by The New York Post, and recent sold-out tours in Australia, New Zealand and the US have enhanced their reputation as favourites in the movement towards more adult-friendly kids’ music. Cultural Forecourt. Part of Brisbane Festival.
Thu 28 Sep The Chipolatas – Gentlemen of the Road, South Bank
Since 1992, The Chipolatas have presented unique performances incorporating circus skills, music, theatre and dance in more than 45 countries. To celebrate 25 years on the road, they are presenting their legendary family show in Brisbane for the first time! This is where circus meets theatre and live music is played – a common ground where magic is made. South Bank Cultural Forecourt. Part of Brisbane Festival.
Fri 29 Sep Dan TDM On Tour, South Brisbane
The show takes families on a journey through the digital world as Dan, his online and real life friends and maybe even a few audience members try and save the day, solving puzzles and playing games as they go. See Dan live in action with his pugs, Dr Trayaurus, Craig the Mailman and lots of other well-loved friends, for an amazing Diamond Minecart adventure! Brisbane Convention Centre.
Sat 30 Sep Guinness World Records – Officially Amazing Live! South Brisbane
Presented by: Andrew Kay and Associates, Live Nation Australia and BBC Worldwide in association Guinness World Records The hit ABC ME children’s television series Officially Amazing is coming to Australia in their first ever live stage show! Hosted by Ben Shires and packed with incredible record attempts by your favourite challengers Mr Cherry, USRay and Sizzlin’ Steve. Brisbane Convention & Exhibition.