10 fun and low-cost ideas to do with kids these holidays

Kids looking at displays at Brisbane Planetarium. Photo supplied by Brisbane City Council

If you despair at how to keep the kids off screens and occupied for the school holidays (without spending a small fortune) we have some good news: Brisbane City Council has you covered.

This winter you can swap the Xbox for your local skate park, ditch YouTube in favour of the Planetarium’s new six-projector digital skydome, or tune out from the TV and try one of council’s active workshops instead! Here are our top 10 low-cost ideas for keeping the kids off the couch these holidays.

Kids playing in field. Photo supplied by Brisbane City Council.

1. Get fit while the weather is cooler

Winter in Brisbane is the perfect time to get outdoors and get active. Brisbane City Council offers numerous active and healthy activities  for kids and teenagers, including:

  • Fitness, Fun and  Games – a fun outdoor exercise session for young children and teenagers. The session includes skipping and hula hooping to assist in improving cardio, strength and core stability. The session also includes sports drills that assist with motor coordination for sports such as netball, soccer, volleyball and basketball.
  • Revolutions skateboarding workshop – gain confidence, get comfortable with your balance and learn a whole new set of skateboarding skills! All levels welcome but bookings are essential.
  • Kickboxing – fun kicking and striking pads for beginners.
  • Zumba® Kids – be active, be healthy and be happy. It’s a dance party! Participants will learn different types of dance to modern music.

Kids at planetarium. Photo supplied by Brisbane City Council.

2. Join the search for alien life

If you’re looking for something out of this world these school holidays, we recommend a journey through space at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium! There’s never been a better time to check it out – the historic structure has just reopened following the installation of a new digital system in the Cosmic Skydome. Aliens, stars and the solar system are just a few of the exciting topics children and families can learn more about at the planetarium. Families can enjoy the show narrated by Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, ‘We Are Aliens!’ which takes viewers on an epic ride in the hunt for evidence of alien life.

Swimming pool, girl with goggles and pool noodle

3. Make like a fish and…

Just because it is winter it doesn’t mean you can’t dive in and enjoy a swim! Twelve of Brisbane’s 22 pools are heated and open for business. With opening hours catering to dedicated lap swimmers and families alike, pools are a low-cost activity for the whole family.

Boy riding bike at skate park. Photo supplied by Brisbane City Council.

4. Skate parks rule

Whatever your wheel of choice, you can skateboard, blade, BMX or scooter at 20 BMX parks and 37 skate parks across the city and enjoy the great outdoors while seeking wheel-based thrills. Get your skateboard down to a Council skate park with facilities on offer for people of all ages to feel welcome, learn new skills and get active and healthy. Plus, if you get bored of doing 180s and board slides, you can ride your scooter or BMX at many skate parks too.

5. Get back to nature

Brisbane has environment centres at McDowall (Downfall Creek Bushland Centre), and Karawatha, (Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre). Each natural area is unique and provides opportunities for visitors to relax and play in a natural setting with family and friends. During the school holidays, there is a range of free or low-cost organised activities, such as canoeing, guided walks, bird watching and crafts, which aim to teach kids more about the local flora and fauna.

Two girls at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. Photo supplied by Brisbane City Council

6. Enjoy a daily serving of greens

If you don’t have a garden at home or only a small one, the Council has acres of green space to share with families! Both the City Botanic Gardens and the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha offer a playground, café, picnic spots, wide open spaces for exploring and plenty of school holiday activities.

carindale library, books brisbane, child reading

7. Cosy up with a good book

Drop into your local library these school holidays to pick up some winter reading material, and while you’re there, check out the myriad of workshops and activities on offer. There’s everything from craft and games to writing, cartooning and gardening workshops. Bookings are recommended.

city botanic gardens playground brisbane

8. Plan a playground crawl

Did you know that Brisbane City Council maintains more than 2100 parks across Brisbane? Many of them have epic playgrounds to discover, including Frew Park at Milton, Rocks Riverside Park at Seventeen Miles Rocks, Whites Hill Reserve at Camp Hill and Hidden World Playground in Bill Brown Sports Reserve, Fitzgibbon.  Check out our full listing of parks with playgrounds on both the north and south sides of Brisbane.

cute redhead girl with badge making badge, cute as a button

9. Get arty at the Museum of Brisbane

Write a secret story, craft a self-portrait badge, or tell your story on ABC radio. The Museum of Brisbane provides the inspiration and the tools to get little ones creating! This is also the access point for the Brisbane City Hall daily clock tower tours.

fishing for kids brisbane

10. Go fishing

For something different, sign the kids up for a Council-run fishing class and let them catch your dinner! Kids will learn how to gather bait, tie fishing knots, put various baits on the hook, cast a rod and hopefully hook a fish.

Council’s school holiday program is an affordable way to keep the kids entertained and discover a world of fun in their own backyard. Some events may book out so check out Council’s website (search ‘things to see and do’) or phone (07) 3403 8888.

This article was written in partnership with Brisbane City Council

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