School Holidays Ideas Brisbane – The Official Guide

Twin Falls hike in the Springbrook National Park, Queensland, Australia

Our school holidays ideas for kids in Brisbane list is the best collection of fun ideas and places to go over the school holidays. The Brisbane Kids website is filled with free school holiday events, fun school holiday workshops and a huge list of fun things to do from rainforest walks to butterfly houses and everything in between!

IMPORTANT> This list is COVID considered list. We have checked everything on this list is open, however, we highly recommend visiting the website and/or social media pages of anywhere you plan to visit well in advance. In some cases, pre-bookings are required and in other cases, there are limits or changes to operating hours and of course, things can always change. We will continue to add to this list as we discover more venues opening their doors. Stay safe, social distance and enjoy the Winter holidays with your kids! 

The ultimate school holiday list

All these activities are on our website- just use the website search function to locate them. We have done our best in checking each and every venue below but sometimes things do change and some venues require pre-booking or have number limits. Make sure you head to the website and/or social media pages as you plan your visit.  

  • Take a drive up to Mt Cootha to check out the view. FREE (pick up a McDonalds cheap soft-serve cone on the way as a treat!)
  • Enjoy some mini golf at Victoria Park at Herston or Golf Central at Skygate which is close to the DFO near the airport.
  • Head out to a BMX track, skate park or mini traffic track with the bikes, scooters and skateboards.  FREE
  • Explore the Abbey Museum and have some lunch at the Sandstone Point Hotel
  • Head to Redcliffe, Wynnum or the Gold Coast for a twilight fish ‘n’ chips on the beach or a picnic.
  • Check out any of the play centres in Brisbane for some indoor, air-conditioned fun – this list includes the best trampoline parks. Many indoor play places are reopening with limits and pre-booking so just check their website first before you go. 
  • Visit one of the 150+ WOW playgrounds on our website. FREE
  • Explore the Karawatha Environment Centre and enjoy a picnic in the bush setting
  • Have you seen the new Harry Potter Shop at Samford yet? its incredible with butterbeer and the kids can get sorted into their houses! They also offer holiday workshops you can book into now. 
  • Go strawberry picking at one of the many strawberry farms around Brisbane.
  • Picnic out of town and head past the local bakery for all your yummy supplies and #shoplocal
  • Make a kite and go and fly it. FREE 
  • Play putt putt and one of Brisbane’s best putt putt courses
  • Go to Lone Pine Sanctuary for a day amongst the animals, (make sure you check out their annual passes if you plan to visit again).
  • Visit Opal Downunder up towards the Sunshine Coast, kids can fossick for gemstones.
  • Walkthrough Burleigh National Park and finish with a picnic on the headland
  • Find a local river or creek with kids and enjoy some waterplay, dam building and creek fun. FREE
  • Book in a ninja session with Urban Xtreme
  • Head to the Queensland Zoo – to see the animals, the Big Pineapple and to have a picnic. Read our review first, they have some extremely unusual animals and animal encounter opportunities.
  • Go to Mount Glorious for a picnic, child-friendly bushwalk and scones with Jam and Cream on the way down. If you want to eat surrounded by rainforest you might like to head to the LEAF cafe for coffee and a warm feed while you listen to the resident whipbirds FREE
  • Take a trip to Springbrook for a glowworm tour.
  • Enjoy the lorikeet feeding at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Brisbane City Council is running their chillout program with kayaking, skateboarding and other fun programs for kids. They have over 120 events this holiday period for kids up to the age of 18. Brisbane City Council Chillout program
  • Go to the beach- collect shells and build sandcastles for FREE. Take some gloves and a bucket and collect a bucket of trash while you are there. I know it doesn’t seem fun, but it will teach the kids an understanding of how we continue to be blessed with some of the best beaches in the world and the importance of leaving only footprints.
  • Enjoy a day at Australia Zoo
  • Geocaching is a multiage activity and if you can muster up some trinkets, it is also completely FREE. Just search for geocaching on our website for the ultimate guide on how to geocache in Brisbane with kids.
  • Have an astronaut read a book from space to your kids, preferably after a visit to the planetarium, Kingaroy observatory or one of the many astronomy viewing nights at Mt Coot-tha (just search for these on our website).
  • Get up close with rescue deer at Lyell Deer Sanctuary. 
  • Visit all the mega slide playgrounds in Brisbane. FREE
  • Head to New Farm Park to let the kids climb the trees or Scarborough Beach Park if you are closer. Climbing trees is good for the soul. FREE
  • Have ice cream for lunch- head to any one of the best ice cream shops in Brisbane, as nominated by you!
  • Check out your local Bunnings for FREE holidays activities for kids and the Bunnings Playgrounds.
  • Go for a drive up to Mount Tamborine- take in the views- pack a picnic – enjoy the fresh air and if you fancy take the treetop walk or book the kids into some thunderegg seeking at Thunderbird Park.
  • Discover Brisbane’s best hot chocolate
  • Head to one of the many zoos in and around Brisbane> Brisbane Kids offer great deals and discount here.
  • Take the kids to the local farmer markets or second-hand markets.
  • Road trip to Maleny and enjoy a visit to The Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World to see some of their incredible bird life
  • Go for a bike ride on one of Brisbane’s awesome kid-friendly cycle paths.. better still..if you can.. drive with your bikes to somewhere lovely like Redcliffe and go for a ride or a skate if you rollerblade. FREE
  • Head to one of the two butterfly houses in South East Queensland. Find them on our website under “butterfly”.
  • Make a family time capsule. FREE
  • Head to the Crystal Castle just outside Byron, it has the biggest Amethyst Cave in the world and plenty of amazing crystal structures to inspire and bring peace to a busy world.
  • Climb the Brisbane clock tower
  • Take a road trip to the Crystal Castle in Northern NSW
  •  Go camping or camp in your backyard! We have reviewed lots of different camping spots on the website- go check them out!
  • Say hi to the cows at Trevana Glenn Farm.
  • Head out for a picnic at the Cleveland Lighthouse. FREE
  • Book the family into an escape room experience at one of Brisbane’s best escape rooms
  • Visit a local creek for rocks to create pet rocks
  • Tour the city on a citycat
  • Climb Mount Coolum at sunrise.
  • Feed the goats at Naughty little Kids
  • Head to the Glass House Mountains Lookout for a picnic and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables on the way home. The Landsborough playground reviewed on our website is amazing!
  • Visit the Penguins at Sealife Aquarium on the Sunshine Coast
  • Spend a Friday night at the Yatala drive ins
  • Head to the Springbrook for an amazing rainforest walk.
  • Book in for a visit at the Haigslea Ewe Nique Hobby Farm in Ipswich.
  • While you are at Springbrook, have a picnic at Apple Tree Park, also reviewed on the website. FREE
  • Take a whale-watching day cruise with Tangalooma
  • Check out Queen Mary Falls on an awesome road trip with the family (reviewed on our website). FREE
  • Make an “our family recipe book.
  • Enjoy the fig trees of New Farm Park and take a walk along the river
  • Take a road trip to Tropical Fruit World 
  • Enjoy a virtual tour of a world zoo
  • Go to the movies (such a novelty post COVID!) You need to make sure you head to the relevant cinema website and many have limitations on tickets
  • Take a day trip to the Darling Downs Zoo.
  • Head out to the Wivenhoe Dam on a day trip. FREE
  • Book a day-long whale watching tour with Tangalooma Island Resort 
  • Plan a Summer holiday
  • Visit Summerland Camel Farm on the scenic rim
  • Visit Slaughter Falls for a bbq and then make the walk up to the summit at Mount Coot-tha. FREE
  • Walkthrough the Boondall Wetlands and see what holiday activities are on at the Environmental Centre.
  • Watch the Harry Potter series 
  • Go to a Theme Park with discounted tickets thanks to our discount theme park tickets page. (Different theme parks are opening at different times with staged openings- check their website and if you are an annual pass holder, check to see if they are extending your passes)
  • Visit the Kumbartcho Environmental Centre at Eatons Hill for a play on their fenced playground and a walk through their lush grounds. They also have a native plants nursery onsite and a fairy garden they kids will enjoy. FREE
  • Check out Calamvale District Park for their AMAZING slide and draw bridge. FREE
  • Go bushwalking and try to spot some wild koalas.
  • Complete a Laser Tag mission, ride the bumper cars and play the arcade games at Laserzone in Lawnton. (Laserzone is open to limited numbers, pre-booking only online). 
  • Visit one of the children’s exhibitions at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 
  • Discover how to Paintball in Brisbane.
  • Walk across to King Island on low tide
  • Drive to Canungra and experience the Mountview Alpaca Farm.
  • Visit Osprey House for a dip into the importance of protecting the environment and enjoy a picnic in the natural area that surrounds. FREE
  • Head to Gardners falls (otherwise known as Serenity falls) for a lovely cool walk while being serenaded by whip birds. FREE
  • Have a picnic at Indigiscapes Redlands and visit their environmental education centre, enjoy a short bushwalk and pick up some native plants for the backyard FREE
  • Visit Capalaba produce for some NZ treats and to see all their funny animals
  • Pack a picnic and head into Roma Street Parklands
  • Spend the day at the City Botanic Gardens
  • Visit Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve for some bushwalking, a play in the playground and some lunch at their cafe
  • Ask your Brisbane Kid what they want to do. Enjoy them.. because this won’t last forever!

South Bank Parklands 

Kids love South Bank for 17 acres of parkland with lots of green space for family picnics, BBQ’s and games on the lawns.

Summary of things to do at South Bank –

  • Play on the two incredible playgrounds (Picnic Island and Riverside Green). Both have picnic areas nearby.
  • Stroll through the Epicurious garden which is an incredible green space
  • Admire the rainforest garden which is amazingly lush for an inner-city space.
  • Cycle along the waters edge or hire a range of different equipment from Segways, bicycles and even kayaks (find out more on Visit South Bank)
  • Sail along the river on a citycat.
  • Enjoy hokey-pokey icecream at the New Zealand Icecream shop or across the road from South Bank you can indulge in Max Brenner chocolate treats or head over to Nitrogenie for icecream created with liquid Nitrogen.

south bank playground

The Botanical Gardens and Sir Thomas Planetarium at Mt Coot-tha

At the base of Mount Cooth-tha sit the immaculate Botanical Gardens. Most of the gardens can be accessed by flat pathways, making them accessible for prams and wheelchairs and there is a cafe on site though many families opt to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy some time amongst nature while they eat.

The Sir Thomas Planetarium which sits next to the gardens is a great place to bridge some conversation around science or space. Check our website to find out about when the astronomical viewing nights are and when the International Space Station is headed over Brisbane. These are a great way to extend the learning and enjoyment of a place like the Planetarium. You can see a show while you are there (book in advance online on school holidays) or just walk around the planetarium and check out spacesuits and other space-related paraphernalia and information.

Summary of things to do in the gardens and at the Planetarium –

  • Head to the information desk at the Gardens and ask for a Hide and Seek Trail guide and you and your kids can enjoy a sensory trail experience of identifying sweet-smelling herbs and plants.
  • The natural playground a new feature and will afford a lot of imaginative play from kids who might be more used to the plastic structured playgrounds.
  • Head into the dome and marvel at the humidity and the fish in the pool at the top.
  • Catch a show on space in the Sir Thomas Planetarium. These are designed often with kids in mind and are both entertaining and quite marvellous in the way they display them.

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

The Queensland Museum and the Sciencentre

The Queensland Museum at South Bank changes as your kids do, we always suggest going when you feel up to answering and asking lots of questions because this is the best way to make the most of your visit.

Highlights for kids at the Queensland Museum –

  • For younger kids, the Playasaurus garden at the bottom of the Museum is a favourite with regular holiday screen shows, tunnels, dinosaurs and a range of interactive offerings.
  • The Dinosaur section on the next floor up, (located next to the cafe), is a favourite with dinosaur-loving kids especially when you put into perspective the size and age of the fossils.
  • The next floor up is the Discovery Centre which is a place for the people. What this means is it was designed to not only showcase the findings of the Museum but also allow the people/community to come in and check them out. When you arrive talk to the staff and find out what’s happening. There are often fun activities or things happening, you might even get to hold a stick insect!
  • Another permanent exhibition at the Museum is the Wild State Gallery which is a showcase of the biodiversity in Queensland. Filled with animals and a tunnelled area to explore, this is a favourite amongst kids.

wild state gallery museum

The Workshops Rail Museum

A little further than Brisbane but none the less worth the drive, check out the train-themed Workshops Rail Museum. Their exhibitions vary so check our website first and while you are down that way, make sure you check our website for some of the Incredible Ipswich playgrounds, find out what the Ipswich Art Gallery has on for kids and visit the free nature centre in at Queens Park.

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4 responses to “School Holidays Ideas Brisbane – The Official Guide”

  1. lisa says:

    My kids will be kept busy on the school holidays for sure. Thankyou for the ideas. i have found this imformation very useful!

  2. Kal says:

    Wonderful list I am inspired my kid will be thankful for a bucket list

  3. Hi
    Abbey museum at Bribie has school holidays activities program. Took my kids there yesterday and it was well worth it. Inexpensive and plenty to do. For $ the kids had a 45min archery lesson. We painted our own shields and princess hats dress up in medical garb nd did plenty of arts and crafts as well as outside play. Be prepared to read instructions and make your own fun.

  4. Georgia Nichol says:

    what a great list. Lots of bush walking, outdoor, nature activities that the kids love when they get there!! Thanks for such a comprehensive list

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