School Holiday Activities Brisbane | December & January Holiday Ideas 2022
Are you wondering what to do in the summer December/January school holiday activities Brisbane style? We have just updated this article today and it gives you a detailed list of the all best things to do this summer with kids in Brisbane. We have a huge range of school holiday ideas as well as updated school holiday events in this bumper guide. It is written by locals for locals…. and visitors too!
Brisbane school holiday activities January 2021 & December 2022
School holiday activities in Brisbane are easy to organise when you have our detailed list of school holiday ideas. Our local guide will be an invaluable tool to help you plan!
As we head into 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 December/January 2022 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 summer school holidays to help make your life so much easier!
Note: State schools finish on Friday 10 December and return to class on Monday 24 January 2022.
The Dec/Jan school holidays in Brisbane are Saturday 11 December to Sunday 23 January 2022.
Fun things to do for the Brisbane school holidays
We have broken our list of school holiday activities into five sections to help you plan your school holiday fun:
- Free school holiday activities,
- Cheap school holiday activities in Brisbane,
- Big days out in Brisbane,
- School holiday activities at home,
- 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 school holiday activities summer
Brisbane school holidays are coming! We’ve put together a guide of things to do in the school holidays in Brisbane for the summer 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 to help parents plan kids school holiday activities.
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”:
- Northside FREE school holiday activities
- Southside FREE school holiday activities
- Local library events
- Brisbane shopping centre school holiday activities
- Kid friendly cinemas in Brisbane
- Kids movies OUT NOW – reviews
- Tween and teen school holiday activities
- Holiday programs for childcare options
- School holiday ideas for animal lovers
Half day train trips free on the weekend
- Caboolture Line
- Shorncliffe Line
- Ferny Grove Line
- City Stations
- Beenleigh Line
- Ipswich Line
- Gold Coast Line
- Local swimming spots
- Craft at home – project ideas
- Cooking at home – recipe ideas
RELATED: Planning a birthday party? We know where the BEST 10 birthday party venues are in Brisbane.
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:
1. Built for Speed | Ipswich
Design, build and race your LEGO® hot rod, dragster or supercar down rad ramps and slick tracks. Modify your vehicle for extra speed, then re-race your ride for ultimate victory! Whose machine will reign supreme? Get set for summer holiday fun as this turbocharged exhibition takes over the Ipswich Art Gallery. Find out more here.
2. 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.
3. 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!
4. 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. While you’re in the are we highly recommend a visit to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
5. 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.
6. Museum of Brisbane & Clock Tower | Brisbane City
Creativity, colour and crafting chaos is set to take over The Storytellers exhibition when The Storytellers: Next Chapter launches this summer! Step inside a life-size storybook and fill MoB’s exhibition with colour in this one-of-a-kind interactive museum experience.
Be transported to a riot of art, history and fun as we let your imagination run wild for 43 days of creativity. Plant a crafty creation in our handmade sunflower field, graffiti a cell inside Boggo Road Gaol, flood the walls of our exhibition with your memories and help a flock of Ibises take over the city. We’re even letting you draw on our walls! With a whole bunch of fun art adventures to choose from, help transform our award-winning exhibition into a celebration of community creativity. Can you help us bring The Storytellers to life?
The Museum of Brisbane is open 10am – 5pm daily and the clock tower tour operates from 10.15am – 4.45pm every 15 minutes.
7. 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.
8. CityHopper | Various destination in the City
Cruise the river on a City Hopper to take in the city from a different perspective. Best of all kids ride free on the weekend and seniors can travel for free off-peak! 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: 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!
9. 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.
10. 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.
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 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 summer 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. 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.
3. 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. They often host fun holiday activities for kids!
4. Ipswich Art Gallery | Ipswich
Ipswich Art Gallery is Australia’s first permanent interactive children’s space designed for the under twelves. It is one of our favourite kids activities for the school holidays. 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.
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.
Eight BIG days out in Brisbane – Christmas 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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
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.
3. 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 Pine – click here.
4. Ice Skating at Iceworld | Acacia Ridge and 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. Book online here. Check out our Iceworld review and video!
5. 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.
6. Victoria Park Golf Complex | Herston
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.
7. 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.
8. Treetop Challenge Thunderbird Park | North Tamborine
If you are looking for things to do near Brisbane then check this out! Treetops Challenge is 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.
A list of over 20 things to do when there is “nothing to do”.
You can still have that home cinema experience with streaming, downloads or online DVD orders. Take a look at our suggestions!
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.
Visit 17 different museums across the world with a virtual tour!
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
Charlotte’s Web | Petrie Terrace
When a little piglet arrives at the Arable Family Farm, most don’t think much of the new arrival. With the threat of the marketplace looming over Wilbur, a friendly spider wants to show the world just how humble, radiant, and terrific he is. Charlotte’s Web is a heart-warming tale about friendship, loyalty, and family. This enduring classic has been passed down through generations – is it time to introduce your little ones to the magic of this story? Bookings required. Brisbane Arts Theatre. Throughout Dec/Jan. Find out more here.
Puffs! (Two Act Edition) | Petrie Terrace
You know the story of a certain-boy-wizard at a certain Wizard School… but have you heard the story of the Puffs? They just happened to be there too! This is a tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world, Puffs is an inventive must-see performance for certain-boy-wizard fans! Bookings required. Brisbane Arts Theatre. Until 18 Dec. Get the details here.
A Christmas Carol | South Brisbane
This December, the award-winning stage spectacle – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – returns to lift your spirits. Brimful of song, humour, love, and lashings of festive joy, A Christmas Carol is a magical, grand-in-scale production, perfect for the entire family. Complete with live music, yule-tide carolling, innovative video design, lavish costumes and, of course, snow. Bookings required. 2 – 24 Dec. QPAC.
Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker | South Brisbane
Be captivated by an enchanting Christmas Eve story, featuring a dance by the sugar plum fairy and a waltz of the flowers in the land of the sweets. As you enter the dream of a young girl be enchanted by a world of dance featuring mice, toys and lollies that create magic for every imagination. This classical ballet was first performed in Russia in 1892 and has become a cherished Christmas tradition the world over. Bookings required. 16 – 23 Dec. QPAC. Get the details here.
Spirit of Christmas | South Brisbane
QPAC’s longest running event returns for its 37th year in the Concert Hall. Featuring a host of special guest artists, QPAC’s Spirit of Christmas is a celebration of the true meaning of the festive season; an occasion to celebrate and reflect on the year that has passed and embrace the season’s enduring message of Peace, Love and Joy. Bookings required. QPAC. 17 Dec – 18 Dec.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show | Brisbane
One of the most-read and famous children’s books of all time, The Very Hungry Caterpillar emerges off the page in a masterful theatrical experience for children 18 months+ and their adults. Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the production features a menagerie of over 75 magical puppets, including the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Alongside The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the show features three other Eric Carle stories – Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Ten Little Rubber Ducks, and The Very Busy Spider. Bookings required. 3-6 Jan.
The Wizard of Oz | Redcliffe
Dorothy’s house is sucked up by a violent tornado and lands in the mystical land of the Munchkins. How will she ever get home again? With the help of Scarecrow, Tinman, and a Cowardly Lion, Dorothy travels to the land of OZ to seek the help of the Wizard but the Wicked Witch of the West has other ideas. Will Dorothy get home again? Bookings required. 7 – 16 Jan. Mousetrap Theatre. Head to our events calendar for more information.
Be swept into a joyous world of comedy and romance by Ballet Theatre Queensland’s must-see production of Coppélia, a showcase for the talents of Queensland’s finest young dancers. Filled with fun, romance, and lots of beautiful ballet, all to the glorious music of Léo Delibes, Coppélia has been a charming favourite with ballet lovers both young and old, since its first performance in 1870. Bookings required. 19-22 Jan. Event details here.
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.
Heading to Sydney these school holidays?
Find the BEST list of things to do over the Sydney school holidays here.
Lucky to be off to Melbourne these school holidays?
Find the BEST list of things to do over the Melbourne school holidays here.
Visiting Perth these school holidays?
Find the BEST list of things to do over the Perth school holidays here.
Taking a trip to Adelaide these school holidays?
Find the BEST list of things to do over the Adelaide school holidays here.
Whatever you are doing, may your school holiday activities be full of fun with the kids!