One Day in Brisbane with Kids

City Hopper ferry on Brisbane River

Brisbane is an exciting and vibrant city to visit, with a vast array of sights and activities to delight kids and adults alike. Whether you’re visiting from afar, or even just venturing in from the outer suburbs, we have put together three awesome options to help you get the most out of one day in Brisbane with kids!

Option 1 — Central Sights

When we think of the CBD, it’s often just a blur of office blocks and busy streets. But the centre of Brisbane is one of the best places to explore with kids!

brisbane city hall sunshine

Start off on Queen Street Mall, the main shopping area in Brisbane. Enjoy browsing in the shops and exploring the arcades. Then stroll down Albert Street to King George Square, where you’ll find the iconic Brisbane City Hall. Inside the hall, you can learn all about the people, places and stories of Brisbane in The Museum of Brisbane, which is free to enter and is open 10am–5pm. There are also free daily tours of City Hall, including tours to the top of the Clock Tower for a unique view over the city. Click the links for more information.

Then head across the Victoria Bridge to South Bank. The first stop for energetic kids is the awesome Riverside Green Playground. This great play park has been recently upgraded with state-of-the-art play equipment for kids of all ages.

Grab some lunch from one of these great, kid-friendly places to eat. Then change into your swimmers for some watery fun in the sun at Streets Beach. This man-made lagoon on the banks of the Brisbane River brings the beach right into the heart of the city. It is a must-visit attraction where you can build sandcastles, swim in the lagoon and explore the water play fun at Aquativity.

aquativity at southbank

After everyone has expended all their energy, what better way to keep exploring the city than to sit back and relax on a free river cruise?! Yes, a FREE river cruise! Well, more a free CityHopper ferry service. This fantastic Brisbane City Council service runs every 30 minutes and you can hop on and hop off as you like. You can hop on at South Bank, pass under the landmark Story Bridge, see the Kangaroo Point cliffs and travel all the way to New Farm. You can hop off here to explore New Farm Park, or simply stay on to return to South Bank.

Finally, a short stroll across the pedestrian Goodwill Bridge will take you to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens; a beautiful green space right in the centre of the city. Here you will also find the lovely Gardens Playground.

Option 2 — Aussie Icons

If you’re visiting Brisbane from afar, you’ll probably be interested in meeting some of our famous Aussie icons! This option gets up close and personal with our beautiful native wildlife.

Mother and baby hand-feeding a kangaroo

From the city centre, jump on board the Mirimar II cruise boat. You can enjoy a relaxing cruise along the winding Brisbane River, passing iconic landmarks and listening to informative commentary along the way. There is even a cafe on board for refreshments.

The cruise will take you right to the doorstep of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Here, you can hand-feed kangaroos, cuddle a koala, feed rainbow lorikeets, watch a bird of prey show and see an extraordinary duckbilled platypus! This is a beautiful, sprawling sanctuary showcasing our wonderful Australian native wildlife.

Eat Street Markets North Shore

There is so much to do here to keep you busy for a full day. You’ll be sure to work up an appetite, so when you get back to the city, why not jump on a ferry and head to Northshore Hamilton for Eat Street Northshore? This food market features cuisines from all over the world, served from unique repurposed shipping containers. Aside from the awesome food, you can expect fairy lights, music, arts and crafts and a really fun vibe. A perfect way to end a fun day out!

Option 3 — Cultural Kids

This is the perfect option if you want some cultural fun in Brisbane or need something exciting to do with kids on a rainy day!

Child touching lightning ball in a science centre

Head over the river from the CBD to South Bank. Here you will find Brisbane’s cultural centre, with an array of great places to explore with kids. Our favourites are the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum, the Science Centre and the State Library of Queensland. Aside from the Science Centre, these places all have free entry to their main areas and often offer great activities for kids to enjoy, especially during school holidays. Walk with dinosaurs, do arts and crafts, see performances and more at these wonderful facilities.

Family dining at Hop & Pickle

You can have a lunch break at one of these great, kid-friendly places to eat. And break up your day with a fun ride on the Wheel of Brisbane. The 60-metre high wheel has fully enclosed, air-conditioned gondolas in which you can enjoy the insightful commentary as you look out over the beautiful Brisbane city. You can even get discounted tickets here!

Finally, if you are lucky enough to visit Brisbane for just one day then check out these local Brisbane deals first to save you money. 

About the Author
Johnson
Paula Johnson
For over fifteen years Paula has worked as an editor and writer of educational books and support materials, working in England, Hong Kong and Brisbane. Now with two Brisbane Kids of her own, she enjoys spending time with her children, discovering new places together, making things and getting grubby … and sharing it all with our readers! She loves the fun and creativity of writing for Brisbane Kids and how it allows her to combine her two greatest passions — writing and mummying!

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