40+ of the Best School Holiday Activities in Brisbane
Updated 15 January 2023
Our 40+ Brisbane school activity activities cover indoors, outdoors, underwater and everything else, with free and value-focused fun things for kids aged 3 or 4 to 12 to 13.
- Take the stress out of the school holidays with our guide to over 40 activities that will keep you busy for the entire December and January break. We’ve ordered them by activity so you can shortlist what’s close to (and what the kids would like to do) quickly.
- Many of the ideas we suggest are either free or inexpensive, so you can have fun without breaking the bank. Family passes are offered widely, decreasing the cost. What’s on offer for kids is, arguably, fantastic, and a definite benefit of living in Brisbane.
- If you want to save even more, consider purchasing annual passes for certain attractions. These passes often pay for themselves after just a few visits, so your kids can enjoy themselves as often as you allow.
- This is the first edition of this guide, please contact us if you would like to have a suggestion included – our team would love to hear from you.
Public Swimming Pools
Despite Brisbane not having any accessible beaches from the city, there are still many public pools throughout the city where you can enjoy a good swim with your family.
- Newmarket Olympic Swimming Pool – this pool is well-known for its kids-friendly program and facilities that will keep your toddlers entertained throughout the day. Enjoy water slides, fountains, and fun activities your little ones can participate in.
- South Bank Parkland – If you’re hunting for something more central, the South Bank Parkland pool might be the better match for you. The crystal clear lagoon located in the heart of the city is not only free to enjoy but also offers a close-by water park for kids, which is open daily from 8am-8pm
- Colmslie Aquatic Centre – a one-stop shop for swimming and splashing around. Find indoor and outdoor pools, a toddler playground and an outdoor lagoon for extra adventure. A visit to the Aquatic Centre is a great opportunity to teach your kids how to swim.
- Hibiscus Leisure Centre – enjoy three pools, slides, an indoor heated pool and some outdoor activities. Here, you can also find professional swimming lessons your kids can participate in while you enjoy a good breakfast at the enclosed café.
Explore Brisbane’s Surroundings
Not only the city itself offers amazing activities for you and your family. Brisbane is surrounded by beautiful places you should visit on your next day trip.
- Bribie Island – located just 1.5 hours out of the city, Bribie Island is home to many astounding sea animals like dolphins and turtles. You can enjoy a boat cruise along the shore or simply relax at the beach.
- Moreton Island – Brisbane’s most famous 4WD camping destination, Moreton Island is perfect for adventure with the family. Enjoy a day at one of its wide sandy beaches, try out sand surfing at the dunes or go for a snorkelling trip around the famous shipwreck.
- Coochiemudlo Island – a 10-min ferry will take you and your family from Victoria Point to Coochiemudlo Island. Rent some bikes and explore the small island or get yourself some water gear and try out fun activities like stand-up paddling, kayaking or snorkelling.
- Mt. Coo-tha lookout – this spot is only 20 mins outside the city and offers a beautiful 360-degree view of Brisbane and its surroundings. Enjoy a picnic or grab lunch at the cosy Summit Restaurant on top of the hill.
- Lake Somerset is the perfect place for you and your family if you like getting out of the teeming city for one day and enjoying mother nature. The lake is located one hour from Brisbane and ideal for sports lovers and swimmers.
Brisbane’s ‘Big Five’ Attractions that Kids Love
Find the most popular attractions for kids in the city based on reviews and experience:
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary– a pleasant way to spend a day with your family. Discover the koala sanctuary in Brisbane and connect with the animals in the wild park. Purchase tickets easily online and participate in fantastic kids programs, such as Junior Keeper or Sanctuary Sprouts.
- South Bank Parklands – use free swimming facilities, try out diverse walking tracks along the river or have a family picnic at one of the licensed picnic areas. In addition, you can find a fun playground along the Brisbane river for your little ones to play on or stroll through the nearby CBD.
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens – Brisbane’s botanic gardens feature various events, such as concerts, exhibitions and shows all year round. Take your kids on an adventure day throughout the garden and explore all the different attractions, such as the Bamboo Grove or the ornamental ponds. It’s also a great spot for a picnic.
- City Cat – one way to explore the city and all its facets is by boat. City Cat ferries drive you and your family around Brisbane’s riverside area. Enjoy a nice cruise on the catamaran and use the City Cats to get around the city easily and with heaps of fun.
- Channel Seven Wheel– enjoy panoramic views of Queensland’s capital. The Channel Seven Wheel is located on South Bank right next to Brisbane River and offers a beautiful view from above. Take your kids on a ride to see the sunset or to have a fun afternoon activity in your pocket, whenever you need.
Gardens, Harvesting and Picnics
Spend time with the family and have a pleasant picnic in one of Brisbane’s beautiful parks. Many of these offer events all year round and host fun activities for kids and teens.
- Roma Street Parklands – a 10-min walk from the CBD, you can find Roma Street Parklands. You will be surprised how many designer gardens you can find here. So enjoy your day with a good family barbecue and hit up some upcoming events in the garden.
- New Farm Park is Brisbane’s greatest and oldest park and lies directly in front of the river, making it a perfect spot for a picnic. Go for a walk, play fun games in the park, and spend quality time together.
- Rocks Riverside Park – looking for some afternoon fun with your kids? Brisbane’s Riverside park offers various playgrounds, awesome picnic spots, an amphitheatre to visit and a water play area for the small ones.
- Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm – between May and October, it’s strawberry season. So gather your little ones and visit the Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm in Brisbane to pick – or rather eat – your own.
Zoo and Animal Parks
What’s better than seeing your kids’ eyes filling with excitement and happiness? Visit Brisbane’s animal parks and spend a day feeding wildlife or farm animals in beautiful surroundings.
- Tangalooma Island Resort – the island resort located at Moreton Bay is home to over 600 wild dolphins and sea turtles. In Tangalooma, your kids will have the experience of their life as guests are given the opportunity to feed marine animals right at the shore.
- Australia Zoo – located one hour north of Brisbane, Australia Zoo is a destination you should not miss when exploring Brisbane with your kids in the holiday season. See wild animals in action and experience exciting wildlife shows hosted by the Irwin family.
- Ipswich Nature Centre – from Tuesday to Sunday, you can stroll through the Ipswich Nature Centre and explore typical Australian wildlife with your kids. Here you can see emus, wombats, dingos and many more.
- Trevena Glen Farm – the Trevena Glen farm is a family-run business that offers horse riding experiences for kids. You can also participate in tours where you meet cute farm animals, such as alpacas, llamas or mini horses. A great experience for your little ones.
Arts & Crafts
If your kids love to craft and paint, then maybe it’s time to check out some nice places where your little ones can enjoy their hobby with others. Especially during the holiday season, you can find various activities throughout the city.
- Children’s Art Centre – this art centre is located at GOMA within the art gallery and is perfect for kids of any age. Here you can find multimedia shows and themed activities where your children can make origami, puppets and diverse crafts for free.
- Colour my Pot – a place where your kids can paint their own pottery, like bowls, pots, little animals or cups. Located in Cleveland, the paint-your-own-pottery place is open from 10am – 4pm during the week and throughout the school holidays.
- Plaster Fun House – if your kids would love to experiment with colour, this is the place to go. Spend a few hours at the Plaster Fun House in Carina and give your kids the opportunity to paint different artsy pieces. Have fun with cute accessories and heaps of glitter.
- Creative Kids Brisbane – Creative Kids Brisbane offers diverse workshops throughout the week, which you can find on their website calendar. Here, your kids can enjoy hanging around others and making creative crafts, paint different things or working with clay.
General Fun Stuff
There’s always something to do in Brisbane. Save these fun ideas for days when you desperately need something to do because boredom seems to escalate.
- Brisbane Scooters – the South Bank Parklands are the best spot to find some scooters to explore the beautiful city and its surroundings. For a few dollars, you and your kids can enjoy a fun ride through Brisbane and end the drive wherever you want.
- Outdoor and Indoor Cinema Brisbane – located directly in South Bank, the Twilight Flicks Outdoor Cinema offers family-friendly blockbusters with heaps of popcorn and comfortable bean bags. And if it is too cold during winter, simply head to the nearby Cineplex Cinema.
- Eat Street Northshore – for an entry fee of $5 per adult (kids under 12 enjoy free entry) you can enjoy an evening at the Northshore markets. Grab a delicious dinner with your family and listen to different free performances on stage. A perfect evening with a great atmosphere and good company.
- Picnics – select one of Brisbane’s many parks and set yourself up for a nice picnic in mother nature. Simply bring a big blanket, some crackers, snacks, and drinks. And don’t forget to pack a Frisbee or a football for some fun in the park after eating.
- Go Camping – Brisbane is great for a day in the city and offers some charming spots for family camping. Take a day to relax and drive out of the city with some camping gear in the boot and your kids in the back seat. Springbrook National Park or Benarking State Forest are great spots to camp and enjoy the night under the stars.
Sports and Competitions
Your kids want to be active in the holiday season, not bored at home. That’s why we recommend checking out these entertaining activities and competitions to get your kids out of the house and try new, exciting things.
- Pokémon Go – great for sunny days; this game is perfect for older children and can easily be downloaded on the phone and used throughout the city. You can organise a competition on who finds and collects the most Pokémon in the neighbourhood and celebrate their wins with some sweet treats.
- Crank Indoor Climbing – this is the perfect place for a rainy day in the holiday season. Gather your family and visit the Crank Indoor Climbing Hall in Brisbane. Try rock climbing, bouldering, or even the famous Ninja Warrior parkour.
- Holey Moley Mini Golf – this indoor mini golf place is ideal for kids’ birthdays or family activities. Have some fun kicking putt and enjoy a great lunch at the in-house burger place to calm your hunger.
- Ice skating – the Iceworld Olympic Ice Rinks can be a nice opportunity for your children to learn ice skating. Book a private session at the skate school, or enjoy sliding around yourself. Try fun ice sports and head for hot chocolate in the nearby café to heat up.
- Aussie Hoops – if your little ones love Basketball, then you should try Aussie Hoops in Carina. Here, your kids can participate in fun classes with great trainers and learn how to play with team members. This is ideal for a sporty afternoon or a rainy day in Brisbane.
School Holiday Programs
Especially during school holidays, many organisations, or institutions offer fun activities for children. This is a great way to get your kid to participate in interesting programs where they learn about nature, sports and playing in a community.
Holiday programs are the best way to send your kid on a great adventure alone or with their friends. Brisbane offers many daily activities for your young ones and teens during the holiday season, ranging from sports camps to animal welfare and even creative classes.
- North Caloundra Surf School – this surf school offers training on Stand Up paddling and surfing for kids and teens. Especially during the summer holidays, you can get great offers for a day full of fun. It doesn’t matter whether your little ones are just starting out or are already steady on the board – the school has something for everyone.
- Camp Australia Rocketeers – Camp Australia provides families with great adventures throughout the holiday season. The programs vary from suburb to suburb and can be booked online. Depending on what your kids would like to do, you can choose between a wide range of fun incursions, interesting excursions or exciting Base Camp Days.
- RSPCA School Holiday Program – if your kids are interested in wildlife, they can join RSPCA during their full week school holiday or 1-day programs. Here, they learn about animal welfare and participate in fascinating activities with animals, such as feeding or taking care of them.
- Brisbane Youth Theatre – Brisbane’s Youth Theatre organises fun holiday workshops and classes. Kids can come to Junior Actor classes (6-11 years) with their friends or participate in the Senior Actor group (12-17 years). These workshops teach your little ones everything about performance, acting, creativity and confidence through exciting games and quests.
Baking and Cooking
Baking and cooking with your kids is always a great way to spend some time together. Of course, everyone can be a master chef and learn the cooking 101s in a super exciting way. But you can also check out these places and sign up your kid for some fun when learning new recipes.
- Come and Cook – your kids can experiment in a kitchen with professionals and excitingly learn cooking. They offer weekend cooking events, themed classes and school holiday workshops for kids from 7-16 years. This way, your own kitchen can stay clean, and your kids can have fun learning new skills and recipes.