State Library Queensland | Review

state library kids excited
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The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is a GREAT place to visit with kids. We know what you’re thinking, a library is supposed to be quiet right? And the truthful answer is that it is very quiet in places but due to the library being split across multiple levels there are different spaces to meet different needs.

For families looking for FUN, the State Library hosts a heap of free and paid activities where kids can get hands-on, dance, play and socialise with other kids. Importantly, they regularly update their program to respond to families looking for something educational AND fun to do! Plus, the play spaces are vibrant with spots for parents to relax while kids can safely explore the environment and learn!

Visiting the State Library of Queensland with children

Children are always welcome to visit the State Library of Queensland. The Corner is an interactive environment designed just for kids up to eight years old, with themed book list suggestions, art-making resources, and electronic activities.

Getting to the State Library 

The library is located in the South Bank Cultural Precinct. It’s a short walk from the Cultural Precinct Busway Station or the South Bank City Cat ferry terminal. If you are driving in, parking is available in several nearby car parks for a small fee.

Families Magazine has partnered with Secure Parking so you can grab a discounted parking spot. Find out more here.

State Library Queensland Accessibility

The State Library of Queensland is fully accessible for families with disabilities and also pram-friendly. Facilities include:

  • Accessible toilets
  • Beautifully appointed carers room
  • Wheelchair accessible desks
  • Hearing aid induction loop
  • Lifts and ramps to all levels
  • Assistance animals welcome when wearing identity cards
  • Cloakroom

Food and Drink at State Library 

You can take your own drinks and snacks to eat in one of the many designated indoor and outdoor ‘food-friendly’ spaces. There’s also a great small cafe, The Library Cafe, offering a range of delicious dishes for young and old and an even better gift shop!

First 5 Forever at State Library 

It’s pretty crazy when you consider that 90% of a child’s brain development happens in the first 5 years! First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland Government, coordinated by State Library of Queensland, with the primary aim of providing strong early literacy foundations for all Queensland children aged 0-5 years.

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) provides activities and workshops regularly as part of the First 5 Forever program. We’ve compiled a list of the most fun ways to explore the library with your kids:

Rhyme Time in the Corner

Performance at SLQ

If you’ve got a babe in arms or a little one ready to dance, Rhyme Time is a special time for you and your little one where you can share rhymes, songs, stories and reading in a creative and relaxed environment. You’ll always have a laugh with your child at these sessions that are often high-energy and full of giggles.   Every Wednesday, Friday & Sunday from 12:30pm-1:15pm.

Play Time in The Corner

Play Time is held in The Corner community space via 2 FREE, bookable sessions 3 days per week. During these sessions, you’ll be supported with open-ended play opportunities and curated resource packs to encourage fun and creativity. Play Time is held every Monday to Friday from 11-11:15am. These are great hands-on, interactive sessions where kids can use their imagination and grow their social skills.

Baby Play in The Corner

Rhyme Time SLQ

Head along to a free Baby Play session, designed for babies 0-12 months (not yet walking) and their parent/carer. The fun-filled sessions focus on baby-paced play, rhyme and story sharing in a way that supports you as your baby’s most important educator – with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow together. We know you’re going to love these special classes that are FREE every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-10:45am.


Story time at SLQ

Enjoy the fun of Story Time with your little ones in these mid-morning sessions featuring a variety of books, puppets, activities, songs, and games, plus simple ideas on sharing stories at home. Every Tuesday and Saturday 12:30pm-1:15pm, Monday 10:10:45am, and Sunday 11:30am-12:15pm. 

First 5 Forever online

SLQ First 5 Forever

The First 5 Forever program also offers a great online offering with lots of fun activities for you to download and participate in.

For details of all the upcoming workshops, events, and activities in the SLQ First 5 Forever program, click here.

State Library Queensland Workshops for kids

The State Library of Queensland hosts a range of activities and workshops for families throughout the year, but especially during school holidays. Most workshops are FREE to attend but require bookings so check the details to be sure you don’t miss out!

School holiday activities at State Library Queensland

state library kids working

You can always rely on the State Library of Queensland to provide some of the best school holiday workshops in Brisbane. From STEM activities and robotics to craft, music, and performance. 

What’s On at the State Library?

Winter Weekend of Fun

Bring the kids and join the fun at State Library this winter. They’ve got free activities the whole family can enjoy, from painting workshops and live concerts to family movie screenings and drop-in activities. 

Littlies can sing and dance along as Nadia Sunde performs her Songs for Little Queenslanders, check out the Story Stations to listen to stories written for little Queenslanders, and enjoy activities in The Corner and The Parlour. 

Families with older children can paint a self-portrait, check out a film screening or challenge other families in some good natured, interactive fun in the Queensland Quiz and Family Fun Days. 

Join in the free Winter Weekend of Fun on 3 and 4 July. Find out more here.

Big Voices: Children’s Art Matters | Until 11 July 2021

Big Voices Exhibition State Library of QLD

The Big Voices exhibition at the State Library of Queensland celebrates the power of children to express themselves through art and features paintings and drawings from the renowned Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM Children’s Art Archive.

Showcasing beautiful and thought-provoking artwork by children from Queensland, Vietnam and China, Big Voices takes you on a  journey into these young artist’s worlds, to see how they view themselves, their lives, their rights, and their futures. Find out more here.

Deadly Threads | Until 15 August 2021

Deadly Threads State Library

In Deadly Threads, see over 190 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designed singlets, t-shirts, polo shirts, and jerseys. From colourful sporting jerseys to protest and artists’ shirts, Deadly Threads looks at how the shirts have helped people freely express views, support community, show allegiances and champion causes.  Read more here.

Entwined: plants and people | Until Sun 14 November 2021

Entwined: plants and people explores our intrinsic relationship with plants through photography, illustrations, immersive projections, and historical objects.

In this State Library of Queensland exhibition, Entwined displays the works of award-winning creatives as they document and reinterpret plant life in modern Australia.

Entwined also digs into State Library’s rare botanical collections, exploring historical and contemporary stories in the process.

See how our lives are experienced and, at times, defined through our interactions with plants across social, emotional, scientific, and creative endeavours.

Enjoy in-person tours of the exhibition to deepen your connection to plants. Alternatively, you can join a workshop or talking event to continue the broader conversation of plants and people.

State Library Queensland is always worth a visit

There’s just so much to do at the library! One option is settling in with a good book or magazine in one of the many air-conditioned spaces on offer. Alternatively, why not venture out onto one of the many deck areas overlooking the river for some privacy and let your boisterous little ones let off some steam. The quality of books is unmatched and there truly is something for all ages at the State Library. Plus it is definitely kid-friendly.

It’s a great spot to take a break when exploring GOMA or South Bank which are often much busier. We highly recommend a trip to the State Library next time you’re in the CBD.

If you can’t make it into the city here are some great articles to help your little one grow:

We’ve also compiled a comprehensive list of FREE things for Toddlers to do in Brisbane where you can apply your First 5 Forever learnings.

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