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10 Family-Friendly Things To Do In Brisbane in Winter

Winter in Brisbane might not bring snow, but the milder weather means we can enjoy a huge range of activities that are perfect for family fun, without freezing!

Whether you’re an adventure-seeker or someone who loves to relax and soak up the scenery, Brisbane has plenty to offer. From gliding on the ice in King George Square to wandering through picturesque parks, there’s something to delight every family member.

Ready to embrace winter in Brisbane? Let’s jump into the fun-filled adventures awaiting you!

1.    Ice skating adventures

Where to go ice skating in Brisbane

Who says you need snow to go ice skating? Brisbane might not be a winter wonderland in the traditional sense, but it offers some fantastic ice skating options that bring all the frosty fun to our sunny city.

While the options for outdoor ice skating are limited (depending on the year), for indoor skating, there are two skating rinks at Boondall and Acacia Ridge, offering a vibrant atmosphere with music, bright lights, and cozy rink-side cafés where you can warm up. Whether you’re an old hand bringing your years of retro back from the 80s or a first-timer, it’s a lot of fun regardless of the weather outside.

You might also find indoor ice skating pop-ups at your local shopping centres, so keep an eye on the school holiday activities for winter. And if you’ve got passes, Dreamworld has an annual Winterfest where you can try your hand at ice skating, too! Check our events calendar to see what’s coming up this winter. 

 2. Winter festivals

Winter in Brisbane is packed with festivals that take full advantage of the cooler climate. With days filled with sunshine and a slight chill in the air, it’s perfect for getting out and enjoying the local vibes.

Some of our favourites:

  • The Snow 4 Kids Festival in North Lakes is held every year and brings the magic of snow to Brisbane, offering kids the rare chance to play in real snow. Activities include snowball fights, snowman building, and snow slides, creating unforgettable memories for the little ones.
  • Winter Wonderland at Victoria Point – features ice skating, snow play zones, and various winter-themed activities set in a festive atmosphere. It’s a fantastic way to spend a day out with the family.
  • Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) brings a week of excitement. From carnival rides to animal exhibitions, live entertainment, showbags and the famous Ekka Strawberry Sundae (that made its appearance for the first time in 1950!), the Ekka a must-do for everyone.

To discover even more family-friendly festivals, check out the Families What’s On calendar here.

3. Strawberry picking

Strawberry picking at Rollins Strawberry Farm Elimba
Strawberry picking at Rollins Strawberry Farm Elimba

Winter is also strawberry picking season around Brisbane. You can visit several local farms to pick your own fresh, juicy strawberries from June to November. Our top choices include:

  • Rolin Farms,
  • McMartin’s Strawberry Farm,
  • LuvaBerry Farm,
  • Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm, and
  • Oasis Berries.

These farms often have amenities like cafés, play areas, and special events, making it a fun and educational outing for the kids. Entry is usually free, and you pay based on the quantity you pick. I always check the season timings and book ahead if needed. We wrote a detailed strawberry picking guide to helps you enjoy the best family friendly spots around Brisbane.

 4. Catch a show

Dinosaur Time Machine

Brisbane’s arts scene is buzzing with family-friendly shows. Whether you’re in the mood for a whimsical ballet, an engaging musical, or a side-splitting comedy, there’s something here to entertain kids and parents alike.

We love the Brisbane Arts Theatre kids shows. If you go to one of their matinees, the actors will come out afterwards and sing autographs for the kids! Our kids loved that!

The Brisbane Powerhouse hosts many children’s performances each year, from enchanting ballets to lively musicals, making it the perfect place to introduce your little ones to the magic of live theatre.

Over at the Logan Entertainment Centre, you’ll find a year-round program of live performances catering to all tastes, and the historic Kingston Butter Factory offers a fantastic mix of major festivals, concerts, and live performances.

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is another must-visit, and the QUT Gardens Theatre specialises in productions focused on culture and literature. Other great venues include the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre, the Redland Performing Arts Centre, and SunPAC Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre.

To stay up-to-date with all the latest family-friendly shows in Brisbane, check out our guide to kids shows in Brisbane that tells you about every family friendly theatre in Brisbane.

 5. South Bank adventures

City Playgrounds - South Bank Playground Riverside Green Playground - is open Christmas Day Brisbane

South Bank is one of Brisbane’s most loved destinations, and it only gets better during winter. Streets Beach is a great place to hang out on a cooler winter’s day. This artificial inner-city beach is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers a safe place to swim with lifeguards on duty. Nearby, you’ll find the Boat Pool and Aquativity, an interactive water-play park for kids. When it was too cool to swim, out kids still enjoyed the beach, happily making sandcastles for hours!

South Bank is also home to the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG), the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the State Library of Queensland (SLQ), where you’ll find a constant stream of exhibitions and events for both kids and adults.

The Collective markets - Christmas at South Bank

South Bank isn’t just about arts and sand and water play; it also offers lush greenery and vibrant markets. The Epicurious Garden is a hidden gem where you can pick fresh herbs or tea leaves to take home. And from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, the South Bank Collective Markets fill Stanley Plaza with a diverse range of homewares, jewellery, fashion, gourmet goodies, and ethnic snacks.

 6. Explore Brisbane’s parks and playgrounds

Things to do Near Brisbane Airport During a Layover, New Farm Park - carousel
Carousel at New Farm Park

Brisbane has over 2180 parks, providing endless opportunities for outdoor fun. Just a few of our favourites include:

You can find all our parks and playground reviews here.

 7. Get active

Family Cycling with Small Child in Bike Seat

Winter is a great time to get active with the kids. Brisbane’s extensive network of bike paths is perfect for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Brisbane’s bike paths are perfect for all levels of cyclists. Routes like the Bicentennial Bikeway along the Brisbane River and the Wynnum Manly foreshore offer scenic rides ideal for families. Pack some snacks and enjoy a day of cycling.

Hiking is another fantastic way to spend a day, and there are plenty of hiking trails and nature walks across the city. If you prefer, indoor rock climbing is a fun and challenging way to stay active. These facilities cater to climbers of all levels, making it a great family activity.

You might consider joining an outdoor boot camp, yoga, or Pilates class in parks such as New Farm Park and Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Or, try kayaking or paddleboarding along the Brisbane River or head to Moreton Bay for a day of sailing for fun on the water.

 8. Outdoor movies

Movie in the Park Margate

Brisbane’s outdoor cinemas provide a cosy movie-watching experience under the stars, ideal for winter evenings when the air is crisp but comfortable. Outdoor Cinema community events are held across Brisbane throughout the year, or for a nostalgic twist, the Yatala Drive-In is a must-visit.

This iconic venue takes you back in time with retro diner treats and the comfort of watching from your own car. It’s an ideal setting for a winter movie night, combining the charm of a classic drive-in theatre with modern cinematic experiences.

Whether you’re catching a new release or beloved classic, outdoor movies in Brisbane are a fantastic way to enjoy a film under the open sky. Check local schedules and plan your next family movie night out!

 9. Museums and galleries

Autumn School Holidays at MoB

Brisbane’s museums and galleries will get you out of the cooler winter temperatures so you can indulge in some educational and cultural experiences. Located in South Bank, the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) have a range of exhibitions perfect for a family day out. From world-class art collections to interactive children’s programs, these galleries cater to visitors of all ages and interests.

The Queensland Museum provides interactive and educational fun for kids. For train enthusiasts, the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich is a must-visit. Another gem is the Queensland Maritime Museum, where you can discover Brisbane’s rich maritime history. Or you can check out the local museums scattered around the region.

If you and the kids are art lovers, there are some great galleries that are family-friendly, including the FireWorks Gallery in Newstead and the Ipswich Art Gallery.

 10. Island excursions

islands near brisbane - Moreton Island

One of the things we love most about Brisbane is the accessibility to some of the country’s most beautiful islands! And they’re all within easy reach for a day trip or a few days escape this winter. Moreton Island is just a short ferry ride, and there’s plenty to do – including sand tobogganing down the island’s massive dunes, the magical experience of hand-feeding wild dolphins at the resort’s shores, or the adventure of snorkelling around the Tangalooma Wrecks. Read about our trip to Tangalooma Island Resort here and our day trip over back with River to the Bay here.

Stradbroke Island is also accessible by ferry and offers stunning coastal walks, excellent surfing conditions, and the chance to spot native wildlife like koalas and kangaroos. You can also catch a ferry to Coochiemudlo Island, where you can enjoy a picnic, go for a walk, throw in a line or swim in the shallow waters at Main Beach.

Within reach by car, Bribie Island offers many water activities like kayaking, fishing, and boating. The calm waters and scenic picnic spots make it a great choice for families looking to enjoy a relaxing day out.

We wrote about all the best islands (and how to get to them) in our Brisbane Island hopping article here.

Get out & about this winter

There’s no doubt winter in Brisbane is exciting (we just proved it)! So, whether you want to try ice skating in King George Square, explore the local parks or enjoy a cruise around nearby islands, there’s something for the whole family in Brisbane. Grab your jackets and make the most of Brisbane’s winter!

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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