Brisbane with a Toddler
Brisbane with a toddler can be hard work especially if you have the kind of toddler with neverending enthusiasm minus the ability to nap. Finding things to do in Brisbane with a toddler is like a fun bucket list waiting to be discovered from outdoor fun to museums and other indoor activities to pass the days away. With just a short time to enjoy the toddler years, we hope this list of things to do in Brisbane with a toddler is enough to keep you and your little one engaged, giggling and learning even if naps are a thing of the past.
Take your toddler to Southbank
Catching a bus or train makes the journey so much more of an adventure for toddlers! Make South Brisbane your next destination and enjoy the multitude of experiences at your disposal. Southbank is just gorgeous in the autumn, and the free venues like the Corner at the Queensland State Library, the Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA and the Queensland Museum are the perfect places to stay warm while also having a great time with your toddler. They also often put on great activities for the younger kids on weekdays. Pack a picnic lunch to eat in one of the many sunny spots at Southbank to keep the excursion costs to a minimum. Of course, not everything at Southbank is free. Some other low-cost and toddler-friendly places include the Wheel of Brisbane, the very cool Science Centre or the Maritime Museum, which is heaven for your little ocean fanatics.
Taking your toddler on an animal adventure needn’t cost any money thanks to the Ipswich Nature Centre. With animals including wombats, wallabies, emus and even a bilby this is a fun day out that your toddler will remember. The Ipswich Nature Centre is located in Queens Park at Ipswich and features all the facilities you could need in addition to an adventure playground. If you are heading to Ipswich from Brisbane, then make the most of your drive and see if there are any kids activities on at the Ipswich Art Gallery or visit the Ipswich Workshops Rail Museum for some train inspired fun with your toddler.
Other free ideas for seeing animals in Brisbane with a toddler
- The Daisy Hill Koala Centre with resident koalas
- The Albany Creek Produce Centre (yes they sell farm animals) but your Brisbane toddler will love the array of chicken, birds and ducks.
- Discover the array of wild native animals in Brisbane in our “where to find wild native animals in Brisbane” article
Cruise the Brisbane River
Grab your toddler and jump on a CityCat or ferry and point out the city sights. There are even some free CityHopper ferries that let you see the CBD on the cheap and they go a lot slower that Citycats, so you have time to take in all the sights.
Autumn is the ideal time to see these sights, as the skies are bright and the sun shines without it being too hot. Point out the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the mangroves around the City Botanic Gardens, even hop off and explore the Gardens themselves. Inspire in your toddler an interest in the beautiful natural sights that autumn brings. Just make sure you bring an extra jumper, as riding the river can get chilly.
Start with a local Playgroup
On any given day of the week, toddlers are having fun with their peers at a playgroup session. Held in Brisbane parks, community halls and homes Brisbane-wide, playgroups provide the opportunity for you to make new connections within your local community while your little one plays with other children. To find a playgroup near you, check out the list of Brisbane Playgroups seeking members. Remember that all playgroups are different, with some focused on nature outings and others centred around local toddler playgrounds. If you go to one and it doesn’t seem like your kind of place, then try another because they are all very different. Playgroups usually cost a couple of dollars to attend to cover insurance.
Enjoy a WOW toddler playground close to home
After your big adventure in the city, head towards home and stop at one of your local parks. Your toddler can burn off that last little bit of energy in one of the many amazing parks in Brisbane found on our Brisbane parks map.
Our favourite toddler-friendly playgrounds in Brisbane are
- Lower Moora Park (which you can see in the image above)
- Carindale Recreation Reserve
- Milton Train Playground
- Kalinga Park
- The Enchanted Forest at Ashgrove
- Victoria Park Playground
- Funderwood Hollow
- Jindalee Playground
- Sherwood Arbortoreum
- New Farm Park
First Five Forever
First Five Forever is about improving the outcomes for kids 0-5 concerning communication, learning while also helping to support parents during this critical development time. We highlight this activity because it forms the foundation of many free activities across the library networks in Australia. Whether you prefer to head to your local library or to one of the bigger ones, like the State Library of Queensland or Brisbane Square Library you will like find a similar theme. Most Brisbane libraries (across all councils) offer free activities, routinely to allow you to structure your week around attending with your toddler. It is so wonderful that we have these free programs designed especially for toddlers in Brisbane and we highly recommend you take advantage of them!
Take your toddler tumbling
Toddler tumbling classes and Kindergym are an excellent feature of PCYC Centres across Brisbane. The days and the times will vary, but the costs are usually well below what you would expect to pay in private classes. Kindergyms are a hive of activity, with toddlers, (supported by their parents), set loose to enjoy what looks to be a massive obstacle course of tumbling, climbing and moving. You will find this another way to meet local likeminded parents and is a lovely weekly outing for you and your toddler.
Paddle at a local aquatic centre
One of the best things about Brisbane is almost all year round swimming conditions which is why local pools often resemble mini water parks. Wherever you are located in Brisbane there is likely a local pool a short distance away with the vast majority featuring splash pads and wading pools designed with families in mind. Many council pools also offer a loyalty program whether it be buying ten visits at a reduced cost of a membership program which covers swimming for the year. Your toddler will look forward to a weekly swimming outing. The pool you see above is Sandgate Aquatic Centre.
We make every effort to ensure all of this information is up to date, but it should be used as a guide only. If you know of a change, then please do let us know at [email protected]