10 free things to do in Brisbane with Kids

free playground southbank

Exploring Brisbane for free seems like a pipedream, but it really doesn’t have to be. Pack your own lunch and some cool beverages, grab a sturdy backpack, a hat and suncream and comfortable shoes, and let us take care of the rest! Whether it is raining outside or a beautiful spring day, there are always things to do for free around Brisbane. We have only mentioned 10 here and we wanted to make sure you had the complete list, so down the bottom we have listed a number of other free ideas.

1. Visit one of Brisbane’s awesome playgrounds!

Frew Park Milton

Pack a hat, suncream and some snacks, and make a day of it with your Brisbane Kids. Our Brisbane playground reviews will tell you if there are toilets and BBQ facilities, and if the playgrounds are fenced. Find one that is near a beach for some additional waterplay once all the fun of playground play is over.

Some of the biggest playgrounds in Brisbane include:

  • Frew Park at Milton
  • Rocks Riverside Park at Seventeen Mile Rocks
  • Pine Rivers Park at Strathpine
  • Lower Moora Park at Shorncliffe
  • Capalaba Regional Park at Capalaba
  • New Farm Park
  • Calamvale District Park
  • Riverheart Parklands
  • South Bank Playground
  • Kidspace Chermside

2. Head to the great outdoors

Walkabout Creek Adventures

Photo credit: Walkabout Creek Adventures

This is one one of our favourite free things to do in Brisbane, and you will find lots of places to go via our our Explore Brisbane page. There are running creeks in Brisbane you can head to which are always a bit of fun for kids, but make sure you head to them after it has rained to ensure the creek got a good clean out with some fresh water. You can also use your exploring as an opportunity to do some geocaching (type it into the search function on our website).

3. Visit the local library

brisbane square library

Brisbane Square Library

While you are there, borrow a heap of books from your local library. All libraries run free kids activities, particularly in school holidays. Most have a kids’ corner and computers for public use. Some of the Brisbane libraries like Brisbane Square Library offer free wi-fi, which makes it easier to convince the teenager to tag along. Check out our library page for your nearest library. You will notice that libraries have changed dramatically in 10 years and are more a destination for quiet fun than they once were simply a place for borrowing.

4. Visit the QLD Museum

the queensland museum

The Queensland Museum, located at South Brisbane, is free and there are literally hours of fun to be had with many levels to explore. The Queensland Museum is an interactive museum with the vast majority of exhibitions being child-friendly and hands on. The second level has a specimen section where kids can delight in looking at all the different insects and animals that make up the Australian natural world. There is an outside play area where parents can have morning tea and let the kids run around, and a cafe on site for lunches. Their Wild State exhibition is a relatively new permanent exhibition which shows exactly why Queensland is considered to be so biodiverse and is full of visually appealing displays and clever entertaining elements.  It is $15 for all day parking underneath the museum, but it is also located right near public transport drop points.

5. Enjoy The Gallery of Modern Art

The Gabori Sisters

GOMA has a kids’ exhibition going at any stage of the year, and offers a great chance to have new and varied conversations with your Brisbane Kids. The activities usually present the opportunity for hands-on exploration or artistic expression. It is air-conditioned, pram friendly, and the kids exhibitions are generally free entry. Find out what they have on now by heading to our Brisbane calendar.

6. Go to the State Library

the corner state library

The Queensland State Library is wedged between the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Museum. They have a wonderful kids’ corner and a games parlour, not to mention the regular FREE activities for Brisbane Kids. If you are in Brisbane on school holidays then you might want to check out their holiday section as they often host different activities during the school holidays than they do during term time.

7. Visit the Daily Hill koalas

injured wildlife in Brisbane

Head to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, pack a picnic and enjoy a morning or afternoon celebrating one of Australia’s most iconic animals. If you are on the Northside of Brisbane then you can check out Walkabout Creek at The Gap for a similar experience.

8. Enjoy Brisbane beaches

Sunshine Coast beach

Bullcock Beaach Caloundra

Head to Redcliffe/Sandgate/Scarborough and have a picnic on the beach, play some fun beach games, or simply build a sandcastle. Or make the trek slightly further to the beaches on the Sunshine or Gold Coasts. It doesn’t need to cost money- it shouldn’t cost anything! South East Queensland is blessed with the most gorgeous climate, and beach fun is what we are known for. Just remember to swim between the flags and be sun safe, which means regular applications of suncream and wearing clothing to protect yourself from the sun.

Some of the most popular family friendly beaches near Brisbane include:

  • Kings Beach (big waves, playground nearby, super popular)
  • Currimundi (lake and beach, popular but perfect for little ones)
  • Tallebudgera Creek (very family friendly, solid patrol with a lake and surf beach)
  • Burleigh Heads (surf beach with a nice mountain walk nearby)
  • Bribie Island (surf and calm with 4wd beaches)

9. Enjoy a swim at South Bank Lagoon

Southbank, places to eat at southbank, eat out with kids, picnic places brisbane

Head to Southbank for a free swim in the lagoon, pack a picnic and make a morning or afternoon of it. In addition to the Lagoon, South Bank also has an amazing playground that kids will literally enjoy for hours. Combine this with the rainforest surrounds, the river nearby and the New Zealand Icecream shop (ok, not entirely free), and you will have an outing they will be asking you repeat time and time again.

Some other free swimming places in Brisbane include:

  • Redcliffe Lagoon
  • Orion Lagoon
  • Wynnum Whale Park
  • Robelle Domain
  • Rocks Riverside Park

10. Check out the city and the stars

mount coot-tha

Take a drive up to Mt Coot-tha Lookout- Your Brisbane Kids will love to see how high up they are! While not technically free, an ice cream stop at McDonalds on the way for a soft serve cone could also be a way to make this extra special. Mount Coot-tha often plays host to the Brisbane astronomical society, and if you head to our calendar you will find that every 4th Saturday night of the month you will spot astronomers on Mt Coot-tha doing their thing. It is weather dependent, but you can take your own telescope to get their help setting up or simply take a look through theirs!

Other free ideas not mentioned here

  • Bike riding on the many bike tracks that run through Brisbane
  • Check out the wetlands at Boondall
  • Visit one of Brisbane’s many markets and enjoy the free entertainment
  • Ride the city hopper ferry (it’s free!)
  • Head to City Hall, Newstead House, or Government House for some local history
  • Enjoy one of Brisbane’s gardens like The City Botanic or Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
  • Enjoy the Brisbane Museum
  • Roma Street Parklands offers guided walks and a wonderful playground to enjoy the space

All these ideas and more are on the Brisbane Kids website- if you liked this post why don’t you share it on Facebook!

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3 responses to “10 free things to do in Brisbane with Kids”

  1. daron says:

    You missed Daisy Hill Koala Centre http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/wildlife-ecosystems/wildlife/daisy_hill_koala_centre/ which has a great picnic area with free BBQ’s. Roos will probably hop past you when your eating. Some great paths for scooters or if the kids are a bit bigger amazing MTB trails out there. You can also go for some great walks in the forest.

  2. […] Park also features another playground better designed for little Brisbane Kids with the wonder of a wooden cubby house with all the fun of bridges and ramps for pretend play and […]

  3. Nicole says:

    Model boats are often sailed in both the wading pool near the whale park on the foreshore at Wynnum and near the marina on the foreshore at Manly.

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