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28 Best School Holiday Activities in Ipswich

This article shares 28 of the best school holiday activities happening in Ipswich.

Are you seeking the best paid or free school holiday activities in Ipswich, QLD? Then you need to read this ultimate guide! It includes all the Ipswich school holiday activities and ideas you could possibly need, to stave off boredom the next time school breaks up. 

Whether you’re searching for summer holiday activities in Ipswich, kids’ school holiday activities for Easter, July school holiday activities for the cooler winter months or fun school holiday activities for spring, you can discover 28 of the best ideas right here. From preschool holiday activities to school holiday activities for teens, we also have you covered. 

We kick off with my top ten picks for the school holidays in Ipswich, before moving on to list all the most awesome school holiday activities for kids in the Ipswich area. 

Keep reading so you can find out about the best school holiday activities for kids living in Ipswich!

Don’t miss out on our dedicated guides if you’re seeking school holiday activities in Logan, Toowoomba or Brisbane – or school holiday ideas for teens and tweens.

Janine’s top 10 tips for school holiday activities

In no particular order, here is my list of the top 10 school holiday activities in the Ipswich area – including some of the best free options. 

  1. Ipswich Art Gallery with its child-friendly exhibits
  2. Springfield Water Park and Orion Lagoon at Robelle Domain
  3. Ipswich Children’s Library with play areas, reading nooks and so many books
  4. Grande Park Pump Track at Springfield Lakes with trails and a bike safety learning track
  5. Ipswich Nature Centre within Queens Park
  6. Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve in the heart of the city 
  7. Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway with Swanbank Station and old mines 
  8. Haigslea Ewe-Nique Hobby Farm for animal encounters and a lovely cafe
  9. Cooneana Heritage Centre for a wealth of local history
  10. Hidden Vale Adventure Park for an escape from the city

17 free school holiday activities in Ipswich

Get ready for a budget-friendly holiday bonanza with these awesome and free school holiday activities! From free art galleries to water parks and animal experiences making memories has never been this affordable or entertaining!

Ipswich Art Gallery

Playing with Light - Ipswich Art gallery
Ipswich Art Gallery

General admission to Ipswich Art Gallery is free, (although some exhibitions have a small charge (like $3 – $5) and it’s situated in the heart of the CBD. What’s great about this gallery is that many of the exhibits and activities are family-friendly. You can also see a great range of local artworks here. 

Robelle Domain

Springfield water park
Water park at Robelle Domain

Robelle Domain in Springfield occupies a 24-hectare site with sports fields, playgrounds, walking tracks and the water play area at Orion Lagoon. The Springfield Water Park is one of the best in the state, and is free to enter, though you may need to pay for parking. 

Please note: to facilitate maintenance works, the light and sound show is not currently operating.

White Rock: Spring Mountain Conservation Estate

View from White Rock
View from White Rock

Head to Redbank Plains to visit the White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate. It’s only around 20 minutes’ drive from central Ipswich, and there are 2,500 hectares of bushland to explore. You can take part in outdoor activities like hiking and horse or mountain bike riding here, have lunch at the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area, or look out for local flora and fauna. 

Grande Park Pump Track

Get the kids into mountain biking by taking them to Grande Park. The park at Springfield Lakes has a bike safety learning track as well as trails to explore. You’ll also find a skate park, playgrounds, sports courts and a picnic area here, plus an off-leash dog area over the road. 

Ipswich Children’s Library

Ipswich Children's Library Tree
Ipswich Children’s Library Tree

Nicholas Street Precinct in Ipswich is where you’ll find Australia’s only dedicated children’s library. So there’s no better place to get them into reading! As well as a broad array of books, there’s an interactive play zone and cute reading nooks here. 

Tails and Trails

Tales and Trails is an outdoor self-guided reading experience designed to encourage literacy, learning and discovery for families exploring Ipswich City Council parks and locations of interest. Ipswich Children’s Library is responsible for the self-guided Tails and Trails reading experience. The picture books used in this First 5 Forever initiative were created by authors and illustrators with a personal Queensland connection, and each trail features one of a dozen books. 

Website: First 5 Forever Tails and Trails

Flagstone Adventure Playground

Flagstone playground
Flagstone playground

Go to Flagstone Adventure Playground and the kids can let off some steam at the adventure playground here. There are climbing challenges for both smaller and bigger kids, and a cafe so parents can grab a coffee. 

Flagstone Water Park

Flagstone playground
Flagstone playground

Also at Flagstone Regional Park is the water park adjacent to Flagstone Adventure Park. This opened in December 2019 and is ideal for splashing about in the sun during school holidays. Read our Flagstone Water Park review here.

Ipswich Nature Centre

Ipswich Nature Centre
Feeding time: Ipswich Nature Centre

Ipswich Nature Centre is free to enter, though the donation of a gold coin is welcome. Among the landscaped gardens you can encounter native wildlife, and there are also educational exhibits. The centre is located within Queens Park. Read our Ipswich Nature Centre review here.

Active Kids

The Active Kids program run by Ipswich City Council is aimed at improving kids’ health, fitness and overall well-being. You can become an Active and Healthy member for free before making a booking. School holiday fun activities are offered daily. 

Website: City of Ipswich Active Kids

Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve

Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve is the perfect place for picnicking, dog walking, barbecuing and walking the trails. You can also enjoy city views from the 11-hectare site. The park is a nature refuge in the city centre, and favoured by bird lovers – make sure you listen out for laughing kookaburras. The ​​totem landscape art features also acknowledge the connection to the land’s Traditional Owners. 

Mihi Junction Trail

Did you know? Mihi Junction Reserve is a local archeological site, but that’s not all it has to offer. Mihi Creek is also home to the Mihi Junction Trail, which is linked to the Brassall Bikeway and Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. There are 2 kilometres of trail plus a pump track here for young bikers and BMX riders. 

River Heart Parklands

River Heart Parklands in Ipswich – aka Bob Gamble Park – offers a water playground, a 25-metre flying fox, boardwalks, a Discovery Forest and more. It’s all pleasantly sited by the Bremer River. Discover more water parks in the Ipswich area here.

RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

The RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre is free to visit and is home to the renowned F-111 aircraft. You can learn all about the Australian airborne military here too. The RAAF Amberley Heritage Centre is open 9am to 3pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the third Sunday of every month (excluding December). Bookings are essential.

Website: The RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

Kholo Gardens

Kholo Botanical Gardens featured image
Kholo Botanical Gardens

Just 7 kilometres from central Ipswich is Kholo Gardens, in the Muirlea and Pine Mountain area. It’s a great place to take a picnic or have a barbecue, play sports and run around. The lake also offers canoeing, kayaking and fishing, and there are plenty of pathways to follow too. And don’t miss the Kholo Botanical Gardens while you’re there!

Springfield Markets

The Springfield Markets hosts two markets every month, one on the first Sunday of each month, and the other on the third Sunday of each month. A visit to Springfield Markets is a great school holiday activity – though we cannot guarantee you won’t spend a cent! Head here and you can enjoy live music, plus an interesting assortment of stalls. Arts and crafts are a specialty, and the Orion Christmas Twilight Market also takes place every summer.

  • Robelle Domain Markets: 1st Sunday of each month from 8am to 1pm
  • Orion Shopping Centre Markets: 3rd Sunday of each month from 9am to 4pm

Website: Springfield Markets

Orion Mega Adventure Playground

orion mega adventure playground sails
Orion Mega Adventure Playground

The Orion Mega Adventure Playground at Springfield Central is four times as big as it once was. Millions of dollars have been spent on landscaping and play equipment, and it shows. The massive three-storey tower at the centre offers a slide as well as climbing. Don’t miss this if you’re in the Springfield area. 

10 cheap school holiday activities in Ipswich

Queensland Workshops Rail Museum

places to take overseas visitors rail museum
Rail Museum

The heritage-listed North Ipswich Railway Workshops now house the Queensland Museum Rail Workshops. This place has been listed on the Queensland Heritage Register since 1997, and you can learn about the history of local railways here. There’s also a large Queensland model railway. Read our Queensland Workshops Rail Museum review here.

The Llama Farm

The Llama Farm
The Llama Farm

Head up to Pine Mountain to get up close and personal with llamas. This working farm is set among 80 acres and is home to donkeys and ponies, plus a range of birds – including colourful peacocks – as well as llamas. Activities offered include guided llama walks, farm faces tours and ‘little llama farmers’ sessions. Bookings are essential. 

Discover more petting farms in the Brisbane area here.

Website: The Llama Farm

Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway

Take a ride on a century-old steam train by hopping onto the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway. Services depart from the heritage Swanbank Station and go through what was once the West Moreton pioneering coal fields. See the historic station, old mines and Swanbank Lakeside Park.

Website: Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway

Grandchester Model Steam Railway

The Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway isn’t the only option in the area. There’s also the Grandchester Model Steam Railway, which was built between 1875 and 1876. It’s been on the Queensland Heritage Register since 1992. Here you can straddle a miniature steam train, while enjoying the views, on the first Sunday of each month. 

Discover more family-friendly stops between Ipswich and Toowoomba here.

Website: Grandchester Model Steam Railway

Haigslea Ewe-Nique Hobby Farm

The 20-acre Ewe-Nique Hobby Farm in Haigslea is ideal for animal-loving families. Here you can meet and take selfies with alpacas, goats, lambs, sheep, geese and chickens. Kids can also get involved with feeding the creatures – and petting them too, of course! There’s a lovely cafe too, specialising in cakes and other sweet treats. 

Website: Ewe-Nique Hobby Farm in Haigslea

Cooneana Heritage Centre

Cooneana Heritage Centre is free to kids under 12, though there’s a small admission charge for adults. The site is home to the Ipswich Historical Society and Cooneana Homestead, and you can learn about the Ipswich area’s rich history here. There’s also a turn-of-the-century miner’s cottage and a schoolroom. Several local groups meet here, too, including Ipswich Mini Crafters.

Website: Cooneana Heritage Centre

Summer Land Camels

Summer Land Camels
Summer Land Camels

In Queensland’s scenic rim, you can find Summer Land Camels. This is the biggest camel farm in Australia, and it’s also a dairy. You can take a camel ride or tour, and shop for camel milk products, including skincare. 

Find more info on Summer Land camels here.

Limelight Cinemas

Why not head to North Ipswich for a cinematic experience on a wet or too-hot day? The complex can be found within the Riverlink Shopping Centre, and shows indie films as well as the latest releases. The hi-tech multiplex has many screens, stadium-style seats and superb screens. 

Website: Limelight Cinemas

Naughty Little Kids

Miniature Goats
Miniature goats

Naughty Little Kids in Peak Crossing is a child-friendly dairy farm where cheese and ice cream are made. In addition to tasting the produce, you can take a farm tour here. Kids might also get to feed or milk a goat. 

Website: Naughty Little Kids

Sip ‘n’ Dip arts and crafts

If it’s school holiday art activities you want, take a look at what Sip ‘n’ Dip has to offer. Their Ipswich branch is the original, though there are now branches in Redbank Plains, Mount Crosby and Springfield too. Here it’s all about “fun art, not fine art”, and there are various school holiday workshops for kids to enjoy. 

Website: Sip ‘n’ Dip art classes

1 big school holiday activity in Ipswich

Hidden Vale Adventure Park

Hidden Vale Adventure Park is around 35 minutes by car from Ipswich, and makes a great destination for a day out. It’s close to Grandchester and offers a whopping 110 kilometres of trails spread over 12,000 acres. You can hire cycles here, including eBikes, and shuttles can also take you up to the more elevated parts of the park for stunning views. 

Website: Hidden Vale Adventure Park

Which school holiday activities in Ipswich will you go for?

From free-to-enter parks and museums to the only dedicated kids’ library in Australia, there are plenty of school holiday activities in the Ipswich area. You can also visit a petting farm, take an art class, learn about local history or head to an adventure park for a real escape from the city. Then there are markets, the cinema, steam railways and plenty of trails to follow. 

Whether you want to find free school holidays in Ipswich or are happy to pay, there’s no shortage of options for local residents and visitors to take part in here!

Why not discover 100 school holiday activities at home, too?

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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