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School Holiday Activities in Brisbane for Winter!

Whether you are looking for Snow Festivals, strawberry picking, local events or a big day out these holidays, this article is a detailed guide with my personal suggestions and ideas for school holiday activities to do in Brisbane and surrounds over the winter break. I have booked my own children into many of these activities.

Are you looking winter fun school holiday activities Brisbane style? I have just updated this article and it gives you guys a detailed list of the all best things to do these June/July school holidays with kids in Brisbane. I love this list – it is my ‘go-to- when I am looking for something to do with my kids! We have a huge range of school holiday ideas as well as updated school holiday events at local theatres in this bumper guide.

This article is a Brisbane day trip guide that has a tonne of things to do in school holidays in Brisbane that is written by me, (a Brisbane local) for locals…. and visitors too!

Janine’s tips for upcoming winter school holidays:

  • Lord Mayor’s Children’s Program – free kids shows
  • Museum of Brisbane – kids program
  • Circus Fun House – with 4 extra shows over the school holidays (see below)

Here are our local area holiday guides to use if you just want something super local to you. Or, if you are keep to stretch your wings these holidays, DO read this article to the bottom with a huge range of ideas!

Choose your school holiday ideas by local area:

Choose your school holiday events by activity:

Ideas for stops on the train for a ‘half day out’

Perhaps you want to jump on a train to see a new stop with a playground and cafe or library. We took a tonne of train rides and wrote up what you can do at each stop.

10 fun FREE school holidays activities!

Looking for cheap school holiday activities? These school holiday activities are FREE!! They are my favourite free, cool things to do 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 first, then come back to this highlighted box to find discounted options. I personally update it the week before EVERY school holidays! 🙂

1. Lord Mayor’s Children’s Program: FREE kids shows | Brisbane CBD

<details to come>

Read more and book here.

2. Museum of Brisbane & Clock Tower | Brisbane City

<details to come>

3. Botanic Gardens playground | CBD

brisbane botanic gardens playgound

4. 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, although the visiting exhibits usually have an entrance fee.

Families tip: 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.

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 do what we do and 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!

6. Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens | Mt Coot-tha

These Botanic Gardens are a favourite for my family. We either pack a picnic and enjoy it amongst the gardens, or visit the café for coffee or lunch. Have you checked out the hide and seek children’s trail, where your children can hunt for native bees, a crocodile, water dragons, dragonflies and other critters? I recommend it! 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.

Families tip: While you’re in the area, we highly recommend a visit to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

7. South Bank | South Brisbane

Located on the banks of the Brisbane River, South Bank is 17 acres of lush parkland 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! We find it 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. It gets busy though so my advice is to go early!

8. 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.

9. Take a ride on the CityHopper

Route Map for the City Hopper Ferry
Route Map for the City Hopper Ferry

Cruise the Brisbane River literally free! We wrote about his last time we did it on a Sunday here. Make a stop at New Farm Park for a picnic or hit the impressive playground with the kids then hop on a double-decker CityCat for the trip home – it’s got an upper deck with seating for 20, allowing you to admire Brisbane’s stunning skyline.

Families Tip: Kids travel free on weekends but on other days, just remember having a Go Card will make travel at least 30% cheaper than buying a paper ticket.  And remember the City Cat is good for kids!

10. State Library of Queensland | South Brisbane

World Science Festival Brisbane will roll into the State Library

The State Library of Queensland is a great place to visit with kids. Split across multiple levels, there are activities available for all ages. I love the free workshops including craft, STEM, music and performance. You can find out more about visiting here.  

5 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 kids in Brisbane are some of the best things to do in Brisbane with kids! Here are 5 fun cheap school holiday activities to help you over the June/July holidays.

1. 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 bushland 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.

2. 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. The children will enjoy the big exhibits such as the warship Diamantina. Take a complimentary audio-guided tour to make the most of your visit. It is open 10am – 4pm Wednesday to Friday, 9.30am – 4.30pm weekends, closed Monday and Tuesday. 

3. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium | Mt Coot-tha

Brisbane Planetarium
Brisbane Planetarium

If your little ones are interested in all things astronomical, then this is the my pick for fun things to do in the school holidays with 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.

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday, 10am-4pm
  • Friday, 10am-8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm.

They often host fun holiday activities for kids! Read our Planetarium review and check the website for opening times as they do vary. Find prices here.

Ipswich Art Gallery Treasure Hunt
Ipswich Art Gallery Treasure Hunt

My kids love, love, love the Ipswich Art Gallery during the school holidays. 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. And I know I said it before but this is one of our favourite kids’ activities for the school holidays. Watch our Ipswich Art Gallery video review here.

5. Bricks 4 Kidz |  Various locations

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.

10 BIG days out in Brisbane – winter school holidays

Right, it’s not just about the big-ticket theme parks. There are other great ways to treat your kids to an amazing school holiday excursion. Here are 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 winter memories:

1. Victoria Park Golf Complex | Herston

Victoria Park

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 to learn more about Victoria Park school holiday activities

2. Circus Fun House | Hamilton

Circus fun house Hamilton
Circus Fun House – Hamilton

Join Ringmaster Francois and his talented international circus performers for an unforgettable adventure filled with music, comedy, dance, and jaw-dropping circus acts. Perfect for children of all ages, this reimagined circus experience promises to captivate and delight.

School holiday show date:

  • Saturday, 22nd June
  • Thursday, 27th June
  • Friday, 28th June
  • Saturday, 29th June
  • Thursday, 4th July
  • Friday, 5th July
  • Saturday, 6th July

Don’t miss out on this magical school holiday experience – book now!

2. Head to one of the two Snow Festivals on this winter!

Snow 4 Kids at North Lakes

  • 📅 Date: June 1 to July 28, 2024
  • 🕒 Operating hours: 9am to 6pm (last session starting at 4.30pm)
  • 📍 Location: Westfield North Lakes (outside car park next to Ikea)
  • 🎫 Ticket Cost: $29 per person or $99 for a family of 4 pass.

Winter Wonderland at Victoria Point

Winter Wonderland is returning for another year, and will be a fire and ice spectacular.

  • 📅 Date: Sunday 30 June
  • 🕒 Operating hours: 3:00pm -8:00pm
  • 📍 Location: Victoria Point Lakeside
  • 🎫 Ticket Cost: TBC

There will be entertainment for the whole family with a fire show, market stalls, food trucks and fireworks at 7:30pm.

3. Dopamine Land | Brisbane City

Dopamine Land
Dopamine Land

Dopamine Land is a multisensory experience in Brisbane that combines media, technology and play in one place. It’s an interactive museum made up of colourful installations that channel the limitless imagination of your inner child into reality. Take a break from your everyday life, have some fun, take some photos and boost your happy emotions!

Grab all the details here.

4. Archie Brothers | Bowen Hills

Archie Brothers Brisbane
Archie Brothers Brisbane

We tried out the brand new Archie Brothers venue at Bowen Hills last week and hoooo boy we had fun!! Packed full of arcade games, virtual reality rides, bowling lanes as well as yummy food and drinks, this is a serious contender for our favourite thing to do these school holidays. If you want to see how we went on the rides and what the food looks like, check out our Facebook post here. We loved it!

5. Ice Skating at Iceworld | Acacia Ridge and Boondall

Free Skate Hire Iceworld Boondall

Ice skating in Brisbane – it’s like bobsledding in Jamaica! If you are looking for places to go ice skating Brisbane city, with all its sunshine, might seem a long way down your list of possible destinations. Amazingly Brisbane has TWO Olympic sized ice skating rinks: Iceworld Boondall and Iceworld Acacia Ridge! The venue has heaps of free parking available, a coffee shop, free skate hire and an Olympic-sized ice skating rink ensuring room for all. We went along to see what facilities and ice skating Boondall had to offer.

Check out our Iceworld review and video then check out the session that works for you here – then just rock up at the front door to buy your ticket for your session entry!

6. Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre offer seasonal holiday programs during Queensland school holidays—4 times a year (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring). Each program is packed with lots of fun nature-based activities about conservation and wildlife to help keep kids active and engaged during the school holidays.

Here’s whats on at Walkabout Creek this holidays:

  • Joey Rangers (Children 4 years and under with parent)

Online bookings essential. You can find more on the program at Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre here.

7. 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 session times are: 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm. See more details about the Sciencentre and all that is happening there.

8. School holiday fun at The Workshops Rail Museum | Ipswich

Ipswich Rail Museum

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. You can either pack a picnic or buy food from the café onsite. They are open daily 9.30am – 4pm. Read our Ipswich Rail Museum review here.

9. Junior Joeys and Senior Serpents Keeper for a Day | Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary | 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. This experience is suitable for 5 – 8 year olds (Junior Joeys) and 9 – 12 year olds (Senior Serpents) and sells out quickly, so this might be something you plan for your next school holiday. Bookings are essential.

Find out how to get discounted entry every day to Lone Pine – click here

10. Cross River Rail Experience Centre | CBD

cross river rail experience centre
Cross River Rail Experience Centre

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.

Theatre & shows for kids in Brisbane in the June/July school holidays

kids shows in Brisbane

We love, love, LOVE going to the theatre with our kids! Here is what’s on these school holidays at the local theatres in Brisbane!

Lord Mayor’s Children’s Program – <to be confirmed> | Brisbane CBD

This FREE performance will take you on a visit to the curious world of circus and fun. Guests will be greeted with colour and sparkle at this not-to-be missed performance as roving performers guide audience members to their seats. Keep an eye out for face-painting fairies who will work their magic on the audience as they wait for the show to start. This one-hour circus variety show will feature some of Brisbane’s best performers that will delight people of all ages from the young to the young at heart.

Bookings essential – find out more here.

Danny Champion of the World | Brisbane

See Roald Dahl’s classic book brought to life on stage! Nine-year-old Danny lives happily in a gypsy caravan with his father, but his world is turned upside-down when he learns that his father poaches pheasants from the estate of the nasty, greedy Victor Hazell. One night his father doesn’t return from a poaching run and Danny fears the worst. Danny sets off on a courageous journey to find his father and with a little help from the village soon finds himself masterminding the most incredible and exciting plot ever attempted against Victor Hazell. Sat 30 Mar – Sat 27 Apr. Bookings required. Brisbane Arts theatre. Find out more here.

Alice in Wonderland | New Farm

Meet the White Rabbit, the eccentric Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and of course, the boisterous Queen of Hearts as a cast of brilliant actors bring over 20 curious characters to life. Featuring breath-taking costuming and puppetry using ingenious stagecraft and limitless imagination, this glorious production of Alice in Wonderland will thrill children and adults alike. Tumble down the rabbit hole and join Alice on her captivating and magical adventure. Tue 2 – Wed 3 Apr. Bookings essential. Brisbane Powerhouse.

Garden Party | Kingston

Queen Bee and Worker Bee are here for a new circus and physical theatre show for children and families incorporating a kaleidoscope of acrobatics, dance, magic, and live music. The bees are in a sticky situation, but some new friends and new tricks might help them get unstuck. Join the bees on their magical adventure and be amazed by their super strength, glow-in-the-dark escapades, acrobatic skills, groovy dance moves, and giant new friends. Thu 4 Apr. Bookings required. Kingston Butter Factory Cultural Precinct.

The Wiggles Groove Tour | Fortitude Valley

Embark on a musical adventure like no other with the world’s most popular children’s entertainment sensation, The Wiggles! With over three decades of wiggly hits, The Wiggles are taking the Big Red Car on the road again to bring their high energy, catchy tunes, and signature dance moves. Fri 5 – Sun 7 Apr. Bookings required. Fortitude Music Hall.

David Walliams’ Ratburger | Brisbane City

Be the first to see David Walliams’ best selling book come to life on stage! Things are not looking good for Zoe. Her stepmother Sheila is so lazy she gets Zoe to pick her nose for her. The school bully Tina Trotts makes her life a misery – mainly by spitting on her head. And now the evil Burt from Burt’s Burgers is after her pet rat! And guess what he wants to do with it?The clue is in the title… See David Walliams’ screamingly funny number one bestselling book live on stage for children 6+ and their families. Sat 6 – Sun 7 Apr. Bookings essential. QUT Gardens Theatre. Get the details here.

Dinosaur Time Machine | New Farm

Join two time-travelling scientists in Dinosaur Time Machine, as they explore all things dinosaurs on this adventurous ride into the prehistoric. Science, circus, puppetry and plenty of imagination combine when this award-winning production returns to entertain (and sneakily educate) kids during the school holidays. Tue 9 – Sat 13 Apr. Bookings required. Brisbane Powerhouse.

Dog Man the Musical | Brisbane CBD

With the head of a dog and the body of a policeman, Dog Man loves to fight crime and chew on the furniture. But while trying his best to be a good boy, can he save the city from Flippy the cyborg fish and his army of Beasty Buildings? Find out in this epic musical adventure featuring the hilarity and heart of Dav Pilkey’s beloved characters. Bookings required. Wed 10 – Sun 14 Apr. QUT Gardens Theatre.

School holiday activities at home

If you are looking for what to do in the holidays at home, we know that too!

Over 100 at-home activities

There are so many ways to keep your kids entertained during the holidays. Take a look at these links for fun ideas as well as these 100 school holiday activities you can set up at home.

More school holiday fun around Australia

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

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

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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