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The Local’s Guide to Summer School Holiday Activities Brisbane

School holiday activities Brisbane
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Brisbane school holiday activities December/January 2021

School holiday activities in Brisbane are easy to organise when you have our detailed list of ideas. Our local guide will be an invaluable tool to help you plan!

As we head into the summer we, once again are grateful for Brisbane’s weather that is perfect for both indoor and outdoor activities with kids. Check the Brisbane weather for your planned day trip this summer and then get into our list of Brisbane school holiday ideas!

We have created an up to date list of the best school holiday activities with fun things to do in Brisbane with kids. These summer 2021 school holidays will be a little different to previous years, but we have still found excellent ideas for fun things to do in Brisbane with kids.

We have compiled the complete guide to the best school holiday activities over the December/January school holidays to help make your life so much easier!

Note: State schools finish on Wednesday 9 December and return to class on Wednesday 27 January 2021.

The summer school holidays in Brisbane are Thursday 10 December to Tuesday 26 January 2021

Fun things to do for the Brisbane school holidays

We have broken our list of school holiday activities into five sections to help you:

  1. Free school holiday activities,
  2. Cheap school holiday activities in Brisbane,
  3. Big days out in Brisbane,
  4. School holiday activities at home,
  5. Shows and concerts on during the school holidays.

As with everything at the moment, please check with the venue directly (either by their website or social media pages) to ensure they are open during the times you wish to attend. You should also check their current policy around advanced bookings, entry requirements/timings and social distancing rules.

Brisbane summer school holiday activities 2021

Brisbane school holidays are coming! We’ve put together a guide to school holiday activities in Brisbane for the Christmas school holidays.

Here’s how to treat your kids to an amazing break these QLD school holidays without blowing the budget! Add this page to your bookmark bar right now (or share it on Facebook so you can find it later) for an at-a-glance, go-to resource for parents this school holiday period.

school holiday activities - list of places to swim

ALERT! FREE e-book with photos! 50 places to swim in South East Queensland with kids! – Click here!

Cool things to do in the Brisbane school holidays

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 free on the weekend

10 fun FREE school holidays activities!

Looking for cheap school holiday activities? These school holiday activities are FREE!! Get the kids out of the house and doing some cool things in the school holidays.

Don’t miss our School Holidays Discount Codes and Coupons article with CHEAP things to do over the school holidays. Read all the ideas below then come back to find discounted options. I personally update it the week before EVERY school holidays! 🙂

Here’s ten free school holiday activities for fun things to do 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 Queensland’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 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 or go straight to the current exhibit here!

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. 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.

South Bank | South Brisbane

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 Riverside Green playground is nothing short of spectacular. Make sure you head to GOMA.

Museum of Brisbane & Clock Tower | Brisbane City

Over spring 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. 

The Museum is open 10am – 5pm daily and the tour operates from 10.15am – 4.45pm every 15 minutes.

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.

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. And remember the City Cat is good for kids!

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? Click here for more information.

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.

Looking for more ideas of things to do that are free these school holidays – we have dedicated articles for free school holiday activities for the Northside of Brisbane and free school holiday activities for the Southside of Brisbane.

Surfers Paradise  Looking for the BEST things to do on the Gold Coast with kids? Click here.

Five fun cheap school holiday activities

Fancy an affordable day out? Here’s five fun school holiday activities that your kids will LOVE for under a tenner per child! Cheap school holiday ideas for your kids in Brisbane.

Discounted parking these summer school holidays

Brisbane parking space at SW1

Secure Parking website now has $9* ALL DAY weekend parking in the CBD and South Bank when you book online in advance.

At South Bank we mostly use SW1 car park and in the city we usually use the Wintergarden car park, but there are lots to choose from! Go to the Secure Parking website here.

(*There is also a $1.10 booking fee)

Click here for other parking ideas.

Here are 5 fun cheap school holiday activities to help you over the summer holidays:

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. Find prices here.

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.

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. Find prices here.

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 $5.00 mark. They are open daily from 10am – 5pm. Watch our Ipswich Art Gallery video review here.

Bricks 4 Kidz |  Various locations

bricks 4 kidz super hero photo

If you have a Lego lover in your house, then this is for them. They have school holiday activities and workshops for LEGO and coding! The school holiday workshops are designed for children aged 5-12 and are staffed by trained, screened Bricks 4 Kidz instructors. Find out more about Bricks 4 Kidz school holiday activities here. Find other LEGO activities in Brisbane here.

Ten BIG days out in Brisbane – Summer 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 school holiday ideas for an amazing family day out over the break – that aren’t just about the theme parks!

Here are our top 10 favourite school holidays activities for making special memories:

Avegates school holiday program for students with a disability

Avegates Multicap for students with disabilities

With themed days, visits to local attractions, and lots of fun and inclusive activities, the Avegates School Holiday Program is a great way for children with disability to have fun and develop social skills within a supportive and safe environment.

Operated by one of Queensland’s leading high needs disability support providers, Multicap, the Avegates School Holiday Programs offer engaging and entertaining experiences for kids and teens alike. Each two-week program is designed to ensure each child has access to a wide range of fun activities that assist in developing social skills and increasing confidence. With almost 60 years of experience in supporting people with disability, Multicap’s qualified and friendly staff are knowledgeable, energetic and passionate about ensuring every child is supported and encouraged to get the most out of the program. They can also provide 1:1 support, depending on your child’s support requirements.

Whether it’s a day out at a theme park, taking part in sports and games, skill-building, art, cooking and science activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Avegates School Holiday Program is available in Toowoomba and Brisbane’s northside, call Avegates on 1300 135 886 or visit their website www.avegates.org.au to find out more.

SparkLab 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. You can play and investigate your way through SparkLab, using lots of the same skills that scientists, engineers and mathematicians use in their everyday. 

SparkLab is a timed entry experience. Choosing your preferred time will reduce waiting times and provide an enjoyable experience for all visitors. SparkLab is open daily from 9.40am to 5pm. Entry times commence at 9.40am, then hourly from 11am until last entry at 3pm. 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 $110.00 per child. Bookings essential.

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

Kids Dig It | Caboolture

The Abbey Museum will once again host another amazing school holiday activity, with this programs them being all things Viking! To tie in with their Medieval Festival which was sadly cancelled in 2020, the Museum has a range of fun and educational activities on offer including a dig for Viking artefacts, archery, and many fun arts and crafts to keep little hand busy. With three 2-hour workshops limited to 15 children each timeslot, 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.

Victoria Park Golf Complex | Herston

Victoria Park Mini Golf

Victoria Park is your one-stop destination for all things fun during the school holidays! With plenty of activities around the complex to keep the whole family entertained, it’s sure to be a great day out. Make your way around the challenging putt putt course, stop by the driving range and swing for the city, then head up to the Bistro to enjoy the alfresco dining areas and seasonal menu. Bookings essential.

The fun doesn’t stop there though! There’s a free on-site kids playground for all Bistro diners, plus there’s a free giant games areas on weekends with giant chess, giant jenga, badminton and more! To find out more about all the fun activities at Victoria Park, click here.

Cross River Rail Experience Centre | CBD

The new Cross River Rail Experience Centre is open and it is the perfect destination for curious minds of all ages. The Centre is fully interactive and immersive. Go and explore Brisbane, from the past to the future, and learn about the science behind a once-in-a-generation project that is Cross River Rail.

From the VR Station to the Reality Theatre, the Centre has been created in partnership with the Queensland Museum, to ensure every experience is world-class, fun and informative. You can find the Experience Centre at 151 Elizabeth St, Brisbane. And exploring it should take about an hour or so. It is open weekdays from 10am – 4pm and weekends 10am – 2pm. It is closed Tuesdays. For more information, click here.

Treetop Challenge Thunderbird Park | North Tamborine

Australia’s largest guided zip line tour and high ropes adventure park. Get amongst the treetops and traverse a course of rope bridges, swings and flying foxes with 6 courses of varying difficulty. Not for the faint hearted! The Tree Top Challenge is a ropes-course adventure with over 100 different challenges. Here you’ll find the Canyon Flyer (the largest zip line in Australia!) and a High Ropes Adventure Park that spans over 6 courses! If you’ve got a Ninja Warrior in your family who is looking to burn off some hardcore energy then this is definitely the place for you!Find more things to do at Mt Tamborine here.

School holiday activities at home

Over 100 at home activities

Many school holiday activities have been cancelled this year and popular holiday venues closed. There are still lots of things you can do to keep the kids safe and entertained. Take a look at these links for #stayathome fun ideas as well as these 100 school holiday activities you can set up at home.

List of boredom busters for kids

A list of over 20 things to do when there is “nothing to do”.

Cinema at home

 You can still have that home cinema experience with streaming, downloads or online DVD orders. Take a look at our suggestions!

Bear Hunt – social distance style

Explore your local neighbourhood in search of hidden bears. Tip: Create your own toilet roll tube binoculars with string and sticky tape, and decorate them for your hunt.

Virtual museum tours

Visit 17 different museums across the world with a virtual tour!

Go to virtual Disneyland

You can ride all the rides without queuing! Want to know how? Click the link!

Theatre & shows for kids in Brisbane in the summer school holidays

These are the shows we know have been confirmed for the December & January school holidays:

to come



Here’s what was on during the September holidays

Sat 19 Sept – 24 Oct | Sleeping Beauty | Petrie Terrace

A modern musical take on a classic tale, in a new Australian script. When the Bad Fairy becomes aware that she wasn’t invited to Princess Crystal’s christening, she casts a nasty spell-in-waiting to greet the princess on her 16th birthday. A rest of one hundred years may soon be the fate of the entire kingdom.  Meanwhile, Prince Goodheart of Fingleshire and his loyal servant Simon are on a quest for true love. Will the two families of neighbouring kingdoms cross paths? Check our events calendar for everything you need to know about this event.

Sat 19 Sept – Tues 22 Sept | Room on the Broom | Brisbane

After a sell-out 2017 tour, the team behind The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child returns with songs, laughs, and scary fun for children aged 3 and up (and their grown-ups). Room on the Broom adapted from the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler, published by Macmillan Children’s books. Click here for more information.

Wed 23 Sept – Thurs 24 Sept | Flipside Circus School Holiday Workshops | Cleveland

Roll Up! Roll Up! Join the Flipside Circus workshops and have fun, test yourself, and learn a lot of new skills. Whether it’s tackling the trapeze or harnessing the hula-hoop, Flipside Circus’ workshops make school holidays even more fun. No matter what your child’s skill level is, Flipside Circus trainers will help them learn new circus skills and give them a chance to show off. Visit our events calendar for more information about the workshops.

Sat 19 Sept – Sat Oct 3 | The Little Star that Could | Mt Cootha

The story of Little Star, an average yellow star searching for planets of his own. Along the way he meets other types of stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form clusters and galaxies. Recommended for children from 3 years. Approx. 35 minutes, inclusive of night sky tour. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Click here for more information.

Sat 19 Sept – Sun Oct 4 | We Are Aliens

Are we alone? The human race is connected better than ever before but could we one day be part of a galactic community sharing our knowledge and ideas? Or is Earth the only planet with life? We Are Aliens takes you on an epic ride in the hunt for evidence of alien life. Approximately 35 minutes, inclusive of night sky tour. This special event is recommended for children from 6 years. Approx. 35 minutes, inclusive of a night sky tour. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. See our events calendar for more information. Click here for more information.

Here’s what was on during the 2019/2020 summer holidays

Friday 29 Nov – Sun 15 Dec A Christmas Carol | South Brisbane

Following its sell-out world premiere in December 2018, shake & stir’s award-winning production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of compassion and forgiveness returns this Christmas, and is set to become an annual tradition cherished by families for years to come. QPAC

Sat 1 – Sat 21 Dec Carols In the Reservoir | Spring Hill

The people of Brisbane love carols, and what could be more mystical about celebrating Christmas than celebrating in the Spring Hill Reservoir, being serenaded by world-class performers singing traditional Christmas favourites with Carols in the Reservoir. Be six metres underground, in a 150 year old water reservoir, in Brisbane’s CBD, in Summer as the snow falls for your Christmas breakup at Carols in the Reservoir!

Sat 7 Dec Symphonic Santa | South Bank

Kick off your festive season with Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s family Christmas show! Join Sneezy the Reindeer and Izzy the Elf as they help Santa and Mrs Claus get ready for Christmas. There will be mischief, merriment, and lots of great music! Featuring familiar festive favourites and some new works too, children will be delighted as well-known tunes are brought to life by the Orchestra. Held in Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s own studio and hosted by their musicians, these concerts are relaxed, interactive, and fun – the ideal introduction to live orchestral music. There will be lots of opportunities to join in, sing along, and have fun.

Thu 12 – Sat 21 Dec The Midnight Gang | Brisbane

Twelve-year-old Tom unexpectedly finds himself lonely and lost in the children’s ward of St Crook’s Hospital, away from his family and at the mercy of evil Matron. Tom feels like he’ll never leave, but his fellow young patients have other ideas. The team behind The 13-, 26- 52- 78- and 91-Storey Treehouses, Mr Stink and Billionaire Boy bring David Walliams’ bestselling book to life on stage in a celebration of friendship, love and the power of the imagination for children 6+ and their families. Gardens Theatre.

Fri 13 – Sat 21 Dec Queensland’s Ballet The Nutcracker

For the seventh straight season, Ben Stevenson’s dreamlike choreography and Tchaikovsky’s enduring score will charm all ages. The Nutcracker is the perfect festive ballet for the whole family to enjoy. QPAC.

Fri 13 – Sun 22 Dec Room on the Broom | Brisbane

How the cat purred and how the witch grinned. As they sat on their broomstick and flew through the wind …The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy win blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. After a sell-out 2017 tour, the team behind The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child return with songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up (and their grown-ups). Gardens Theatre.

Fri 13 & Sat 14 Dec Redlands White Christmas | Cleveland

The Redland City Choir proudly presents the return of Redlands White Christmas with all your favourite Christmas carols and a splash of movie magic. This family-friendly show is filled with musical moments of splendour, awe and beauty. Redland Performing Arts Centre.

Sat 14 Dec – Sat 18 Jan Jungle Book – The Musical | Petrie Terrace

Jungle Book The Musical is a rock, pop and funky adaptation of the collected stories of Rudyard Kipling, returning by popular demand after a sell-out 2016 season. This unique production sees the classic tale brought to life through all new songs and memorable characters, allowing the whole family to rediscover the fable of the abandoned “man cub”, raised by wolves in the jungle. Brisbane Arts Theatre.

Mon 16 Dec Celtic Illusion | Cleveland

Witness a spectacular cast of champion Irish Dancers lead by Anthony Street, lead soloist of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. The show is an exhilarating production for all ages, combining the sheer brilliance of contemporary Irish Dance and the magic of Grand Illusion. Witness impossible levitations, costume changes in the blink of an eye and some of the fastest taps in the world. Redland Performing Arts Centre.

Fri 20 & Sat 21 Dec Spirit of Christmas Spirit of Christmas

Spirit of Christmas will once again feature a stunning line up with a full orchestra, choirs, and two of Australia’s leading musical theatre performers. These concerts are an occasion to enjoy uplifting songs, be inspired by Christmas’ enduring message of love and peace, and sing-a-long to much-loved Christmas carols. QPAC.

Sat 3 & Sun 4 Jan Operation Ouch Live!

This brilliant show will be packed with all-new crazy experiments and amazing facts, as the doctors explore the fascinating world of biology, showing you the incredible things your body can do. Plus, they’ll share the best bits from the award-winning TV show, Operation Ouch! QPAC.

Wed 7 – Sun 11 Jan Stick By Me

Told through imaginative physical and visual theatre, Stick by Me is an emotive and delightful escape for the school holidays. Created by internationally renowned and award-winning duo Andy Manley and Ian Cameron, Stick by Me builds on their vast experience of creating engaging and heart-felt performances for very young children. QPAC.

Wed 7 – Sat 18 Jan Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus

Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amid a storm of powder, tumbling and twirling, as musical mayhem and movement fuse in this family show with a circus twist. QPAC.

Thu 9 – Sat 18 Jan Fantastic Mr Fox

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox returns to QPAC to delight and dazzle audiences of all ages these summer holidays thanks to award-winning theatre company – shake & stir theatre co. 

Fri 10 & Sat 11 Jan Jojo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The Tour | Boondall

Frontier Touring, AEG Presents and Nickelodeon are beyond excited to announce that YouTube sensation JoJo Siwa will bring her D.R.E.A.M. The Tour to Australia this January. Her unparalleled live show, overflowing with colour and energy, is built on JoJo’s natural flair for entertaining and has been wowing audiences around the world night after night. Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Sat 11 Jan – Sun 9 Feb Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities | Hamilton

Kurios will premiere under their signature Big Top on 11 January in Brisbane at Northshore, Hamilton. Written and directed by Michel Laprise, Kurios is a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience inside a fantasy world where everything is possible. In this realm, set in the latter half of the 19th century, reality is quite relative indeed as your perception of it is utterly transformed.

Wed 22 – Sat 25 Jan Swan Lake Act !! & Graduation Ball

Two magical worlds collide in this exciting double bill presented for the first time in over 40 years by Ballet Theatre Queensland. QPAC.

Wed 22 – Sat 25 Jan Penn & Teller

Dubbed “the greatest performing duo in showbiz” by Jimmy Fallon, Penn & Teller have defied labels – and at times physics and good taste – by redefining the genre of magic and inventing their own very distinct niche in comedy. QPAC.

Sat 25 Jan – Sat 11 Apr The Twits | Petrie Terrace

Bored with playing silly tricks on one another, the revolting and hideous Mr and Mrs Twit turn their attention to capturing and training a family of monkeys (the Mugglewumps) for a circus act, but the monkeys turn the tables on the Twits, with the aid of some helpful birds that convince the Twits the world has turned upside down. Brisbane Arts Theatre.

Here’s what was on during the 2019 spring holidays

Sun 22 Sept | Colour Frenzy | North Lakes

North Lakes Colour Frenzy is back! – a colourful day for everyone! On Sunday 22nd of September 2019, Colour Frenzy will be holding the Fun Walk/Run at Lake Eden with a colourful fun run, market stalls, FREE face painting, FREE jumping castle and more!

Sat 5 Oct | Peter and the Wolf | Queensland Symphony Orchestra | South Bank

This school holidays join Queensland Symphony Orchestra for Peter and the Wolf – a musical tale of courage and adventure. This light-hearted symphony follows Peter and his furry and feathered friends as they outwit a fierce wolf. With animals and characters brought to life by different instruments, and a narrator to tell the story, this is the perfect introduction to the live orchestral experience. Guaranteed fun for all the family!

Until Sat 5 Oct | James and the Giant Peach | Petrie Terrace

James and the Giant Peach is back in Roald Dahl’s classic tale, a favourite for young and old, and a great introduction to live theatre. One day James meets a mystical old man who gives him a bag that contains the strongest magic the world has ever known. When James accidentally spills the bag near an old peach tree, the most incredible things start to happen. Brisbane Arts Theatre

Sat 10 Aug – Sat 5 Oct | My Hamster is a Genius | Petrie Terrace

Meet nine-year-old Benjamin Jinks and his grumpy hamster, Jasper Stinkybottom. Benjamin is a very normal boy, who hates maths. Stinky is a genius hamster, who likes carrots. Together, they are an unstoppable team! But can they overcome the evil scheming of Ben’s maths teacher, Beardy McCreedy? Find out in the world premiere adaptation of David Lowe’s striking tale of a boy and his hamster. Brisbane Arts Theatre.

Sun 6 – Sat 28 Sep | Brisbane Festival 

Treat your little ones to big fun with Brisbane Festival’s Family Program. From September 6 to 28, take them on a journey of music, song, dance, storytelling and discovery where each day will be more wonderful than the last!  There are plenty of shows to choose from.  Find out more here.

Tue 17 & Wed | 18 Sep Hitler’s Daughter | Brisbane

Did Hitler’s daughter really exist? This award-winning show tells the story of Hitler’s daughter through the eyes of four Australian children: Mark, Ben, Anna and Tracey. Hitler’s Daughter poses powerful questions and examines moral issues in relation to society’s fears and prejudices. The audience is left with the lingering question, as Mark is: Did Hitler really have a daughter? Today, in an age of fake news and fact manipulation, extreme ideologies and rising nationalism, Hitler’s Daughter demands its young audiences to question the reality of truth, and notions of personal responsibility and prejudice. Recommended for ages 10+. Garden’s Theatre.

Wed 18 Sep Spot | Logan

Spot and his friends are off on a new adventure to visit Spot’s Dad on the farm and meet the farm animals. But when they arrive, all the animals are lost! Can Spot and his friends find them all? They might need a little help from their new friends in the audience… Eric Hill’s beloved puppy comes to life on stage with puppetry, songs and puzzles for children aged 18 months+ and their adults. Logan Entertainment Centre.

Sat 28 Sep Spot – Based on the books by Eric Hill | Cleveland

Join Spot the dog on a farmyard adventure Spot is one of the most loved dogs in the world, and he’s coming to Australia! Spot and his friends are off on a new adventure to visit Spot’s dad on the farm and meet the farm animals. But when they arrive, all the animals are lost! Can Spot and his friends find them all? They might need a little help from their new friends in the audience … RPAC.

Tue 4 – Sat 8 June Duck – An Out of the Box Production

Duck is a simple yet heartfelt story of friendship and love showing us that we need others as much as they need us. Through movement and live music, follow the story of a boy and his best friend as they spend every waking hour together – soaring through the air, before Duck mysteriously goes missing. When the boy ventures to search for him without any luck, we’re left wondering, will Duck ever be found again? QPAC.

Sat 8 Jun – Sat 13 Jul Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.| Petrie Terrace 

Take a journey out of the zoo and into the theatre with your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends from the blockbuster DreamWorks film in Madagascar JR. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins, as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Brisbane Arts Theatre.

Wed 19 June Professor Brian Cox – Universal World Tour

 Using state of the art graphics and imagery from ground-based telescopes and space probes, presented using ultra-high-resolution LED screen technology, Brian will explore the latest missions to the planets, the nature of space and time from the Big Bang to black holes and the origin and fate of life and intelligence in the Universe. Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Thu 11 – Sun 21 July Queensland Ballet’s the Little Green Road to Fairyland

Set in the Australian bush, The Little Green Road to Fairyland takes the audience on a charming journey with colourful sets and costumes that will delight all ages. Inspired by the original 1922 tale by Annie R. Rentoul and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, this whimsical production will spark the imagination of our youngest audiences with a tale of love, hope, compassion and a touch of fairy magic. QPAC.

Fri 12 – Wed 31 July School of Rock | South Brisbane

Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There, he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. QPAC.

Tue 23 – Sun 28 July The Young King

A cleverly staged immersive entry process brings the audience into the world of the show and casts the audience as the people of the kingdom. The Young King tells the story of a young boy born to a princess and a poor woodland man. Snatched from his parents as a baby, the Young King is raised by a kindly goatherd in a deep forest. QPAC.

Fri 28 Jun – Sun 1 Jul Disney on Ice | Boondall

See fearless Moana with demigod Maui, follow Dory through the Pacific Ocean, join the Toy Story pals on an exciting adventure and discover true love with Elsa and Anna. Buckle in for the emotional rollercoaster of Inside Out and “Live Your Story” alongside Disney Princesses as they celebrate their favourite Disney memories! Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Thu 4 Jul Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat | Cleveland

The Cat in the Hat interrupts a rainy afternoon with his unexpected visit to Sally and her brother. Their outspoken and outraged pet Fish is astounded and concerned, but this cat will not be deterred. He will teach us all to make our own fun with nothing but a little imagination. Along with Thing One and Thing Two, the cat will fill the theatre with mischievous humour and madcap style that will be loved by the whole family. RPAC.

Sat 6 July Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus by CIRCA

Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amid a storm of powder, tumbling and twirling, as musical mayhem and movement fuse in this family show with a circus twist. Designed to amaze people from the age of three and upwards, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus reinvents the composer’s magical music in a skilful and illuminating show featuring Circa’s dexterous daredevil artists and a live accordionist. RPAC.

Mon 8 – Sat 13 Jul Sleeping Beauty | Yeronga

A magical, musical pantomime with a cast of 40 talented young performers. Lots of songs and dances, familiar characters, humorous scenes, even acrobatics! Based on the traditions of English Pantomime. LIVE ON STAGE! Yeronga State High School.

Sat 13 & Sun 14 July The Fairy Doll | New Farm

This enchanting one-act ballet will delight all the family, and is sure to create a magical memory for all aspiring young dancers. Brisbane City Youth Ballet at Brisbane Powerhouse.

Sun 14 Jul Embrace the Hype-Krump Workshops & Battle Night | Cleveland

Join in for an afternoon of intense action, where krumpers from across Australia and New Zealand go head-to-head as they battle for a spot on the Oceania team for the EBS World Championships. You will be up close to all the action as the competitors battle one-on-one until only the best krumpers are left standing. RPAC.

Sat 20 Jul – Sat 5 Oct James and the Giant Peach | Petrie Terrace

James and the Giant Peach is back in Roald Dahl’s classic tale, a favourite for young and old, and a great introduction to live theatre. One day James meets a mystical old man who gives him a bag that contains the strongest magic the world has ever known. When James accidentally spills the bag near an old peach tree, the most incredible things start to happen. Brisbane Arts Theatre.

Wed 24 – Sun 28 Jul Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts | Brisbane

A MESSY NIGHT OUT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Laugh, squirm, delight, smile and thoroughly enjoy the smorgasbord of Dahl’s terrific and twisted tales lovingly adapted for the stage at La Boite Theatre this July. Presented by La Boite and shake & stir, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts bursts off the page in a spectacular live show that takes the world’s best-loved fairy tales and rearranges them with surprising and hilarious twists. Tickets from $37. Book now for this delightful production, brought to you from the team behind Fantastic Mr Fox. Roundhouse Theatre.

Here’s what was on during the 2019 Easter Holidays

Throughout Apr & May The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) | Petrie Terrace

Roald Dahl’s classic book about the 24-foot-high Big Friendly Giant and a little orphan called Sophie comes to life on stage in The BFG. In one of Dahl’s most outlandish stories, the BFG and Sophie must team up to save the children of England from the child-eating giants, ably assisted by the Queen of England and the heads of the army and air force.  Brisbane Arts Theatre.

Tue 9 – Fri 12 Apr Dinosaur Time Machine | New Farm

Dinosaurs at Brisbane Powerhouse? What could possibly go wrong! Brace yourself and prepare to journey back in time when Dinosaur Time Machine roars into Brisbane Powerhouse from April 9-12. Fusing science, circus, puppetry and fun, Dinosaur Time Machine returns to entertain – and sneakily educate –children during the Easter school holidays following its smash-hit season in 2017.  Guided by two scientists, the imaginative and creative performance is peppered with up-to-date discoveries and scientific facts that transport audiences of all ages back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said the award-winning production proved a hit with dinosaur lovers young and old when the prehistoric beasts last came to life on the venue’s stage.

Thu 11 Apr That’s All Folks | Sunnybank

From the beautiful to the bizarre, this show features a powerful and charismatic cast of internationally renowned acts from around the world — juggling, acrobalance, bell routines, slapstick, comical routines, musical chairs and more!  It promises to be exhilarating and mesmerizing for audiences of all ages. SUNPAC.

Thu 11 – Sun 14 Apr Room on the Broom | Brisbane

The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy win blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand.  The team behind The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child return with songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up (and their grown-ups). Gardens Theatre.

Thu 11 – Sat 20 Apr Fantastic Mr Fox

No one outfoxes a fox, especially not the horrible and greedy farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean – one fat, one short, one lean. Dahl’s much-loved favourite leaps off the page (and all over the stage) in a spectacular new production from the team behind the award winning, sold out national tours of George’s Marvellous Medicine and Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts. QPAC.

Sat 13 Apr The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard | New Farm

The Lord Mayor’s Children’s Concerts are a new series of fun and engaging free performances taking place during school holidays! When a boy jumps the fence to retrieve his rogue soccer ball, he unwillingly finds himself on the stage of the world’s most famous theatre with The Bard by his side. What follows is pure midsummer magic framed by a whimsical chase through the streets of Elizabethan London. The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard is an original adaptation of Gregory Rogers’ much-loved picture book and presented by award-winning theatre company, shake & stir. Free event – bookings required.

Wed 17 Apr The New Tales of Quinn | New Farm

The Lord Mayor’s Children’s Concerts are a new series of fun and engaging free performances taking place during school holidays! The New Tales of Quinn is an interactive theatre show where you help our storyteller spin new tales for their hero, Quinn. It’s up to you to send Quinn on an adventure they’ve never been on before! What new lands will they explore and what mystical objects will they discover? What strange creatures will Quinn encounter and who will they meet – a giant? A pirate? A witch? You decide! The show is presented by one of Brisbane’s favourite improvised theatre companies, ImproMafia. FREE! Bookings required.

Sat 27 Apr Queensland Symphony Orchestra presents Jurassic Park

The action-packed adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Featuring visually stunning imagery and ground-breaking special effects, this epic film is sheer movie magic 65 million years in the making.  Now audiences can experience Jurassic Park as never before: projected in HD with a full symphony orchestra performing John Williams’ iconic score live to picture. Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Tue 30 Apr Alice in Wonderland | Ipswich

Join the White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter as Alice ventures through Wonderland. This all new ballet is perfect for all ages and is a magical portrayal of the classical story. With 40 unique costumes and newly designed tour-able sets, this ballet is sure to be a colourful and playful rendition on this story. Over a year in the making Melbourne City Ballet is set to entertain across Australia and New Zealand and bring a smile to both ballet audiences with its exquisite choreography and non-ballet audiences through its dynamic storytelling. Ipswich Civic Centre.

Sat 11 – Fri 17 May Billionaire Boy | Brisbane

Twelve-year-old Joe has everything a boy could even want, from a golden underwater Ferrari to his very own cinema. David Walliams’ best-selling book comes to life with songs, laughs and, yes, that cat sick and sweet potato mash from the canteen in this original Australian adaptation. Gardens Theatre.

Thu 16 & Fri 17 May Me & My Shadow | Cleveland

Me and My Shadow is about the fanciful escapades of a girl making friends with her shadow. It is a gentle, magical visual poem for children that uses paper, light, shadow, colour, water, music, sound and words to create a world of play where the imagined becomes real. RPAC.

Tue 21 May English Baoque with Circa

English Baroque with Circa will have you gripping your seat and gasping in awe. This breathtaking combination of Circa acrobats and Brandenburg musicians will have you spellbound from the first note to the last. Join the Brandenburg and Circa for this dazzling experience of contemporary circus and enchanting English masque and theatre music where the concert hall is transformed, exploding with sound, colour and movement. QPAC.

Wed 29 May Thoughts Have Feelings Too | Sunnybank

Meet two clowns: Sweet Clown and the absent-minded Professor. When the clowns meet in the Professor’s laboratory, they discover that thoughts and emotions are connected. Over four scenes focusing on happiness, sadness, anger and fear, the clowns discover how to recognise each emotion and find simple steps to deal with them.  SunPAC.

Thu 30 May Flipside Circus – Revolve | Cleveland

Revolve brings together 14 of Queensland’s youngest circus stars, experienced artists, and a live DJ to create a show that is bursting at the seams with energy and fun. Highly rehearsed elements are combined with moments of improvisation as the performers play with rhythms of movement and music.  RPAC.

 Want a FREE book with 50 Cheap things to do in Brisbane with kids? It’s here and it’s free – click here then scroll through the rest of this article for even MORE ideas!

More school holiday fun around Australia

We have lots of ideas for school holiday fun around Australia!

Going to the Gold Coast these school holidays?

Find the BEST list of things to do on the Gold Coast with kids here.

Going to Sydney these school holidays?

Find the BEST list of things to do over the Sydney school holidays here.

Going to Melbourne these school holidays?

Find the BEST list of things to do over the Melbourne school holidays here.

Going to Perth these school holidays?

Find the BEST list of things to do over the Perth school holidays here.

Whatever you are doing, may your school holiday activities be full of fun with the kids!

G0ing to Adelaide these school holidays?

Find the BEST list of things to do over the Adelaide school holidays here.

112 responses to “The Local’s Guide to Summer School Holiday Activities Brisbane”

  1. Karen says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through this list. It has given me excellent ideas of what to do with the kids this holidays. Thanks familiesmagazine!

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  5. Susan Mitterman says:

    Operation Ouch looks so much fun!

  6. William says:

    Homemade play dough!

  7. Chloe says:

    Picnics in the park and lots of library visits!

  8. Elke says:

    Local libraries events
    Brisbane museum
    Mount coocha planetarium

  9. Simon McFerran says:

    We have planned a trip to Mt. Cootha, The Planetarium & and hopefully we’ll get to spark lab too.

  10. margaret Barber says:

    Yes bowling would be on the list,beach as now weather is warming up and we live on sunny coast, southbank as grand daughter is in Lady Cellento having back surgery so we will take the boys to the museum and Im sure they will tell us other things they want to do.

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