30 Fun Free School Holiday Activities in Brisbane

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There are a spectacular number of free school holiday activities in Brisbane if you just know where to look. And luckily we know exactly where they are and how to access them. We have compiled a list of free things to do in Brisbane during the school holidays so you don’t have to do all the hard yards researching.

If you are looking for school holiday programs in Brisbane where you can leave your kids to be looked after while you work or take care of other responsibilities, then we have that covered too. Got teenagers? Find things to do with teenagers in Brisbane (that aren’t lame!) too.

Check out the Queensland school holidays dates and then read our suggestions of fun, free school holiday ideas in Brisbane below.

30 fun FREE school holidays activities!

Looking for cheap school holiday activities? These school holiday activities are FREE!! Get the kids out of the house and doing some cool things in the school holidays.

Here’s 30 free school holiday activities for fun things to do in Brisbane:

Government House | Paddington

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the people’s house. Complimentary tours are available for everyone. Each week the doors of Fernberg are opened and guests are warmly welcomed to experience a treasured piece of Queensland history, with tours available to members of the public, and to School and Community groups.

During the tour guests will go behind-the-scenes at Government House and explore rooms including the Drawing Room, State Dining Room, Fernberg Library and Investiture Room.  Find more information on the tours at Government House here.

Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre | Boondall

Visit the new look Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre where you can view the environmental and cultural displays, discover facts about the wetlands flora and fauna, and learn about the importance of preserving natural areas.

You can also meet the stick insects, play in the animation centre, browse the wetlands dioramas and enjoy the interactive display.  While at the centre, explore with the Agents of Discovery mobile game by downloading the free app.  You can find opening times of Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre here.

City Centre Heritage Trail | Brisbane City

Starting off at the Regent Theatre, follow the City Centre Heritage Trail and discover what it was like before it transformed into the city we know and love today. Of the 26 stops along the way, highlights include the beautiful Brisbane Arcade (try not to get lured in by all the beautiful stores), St Stephen’s Chapel and the site of the old convict barracks. Find more information on City Centre Heritage Trail here.

Darlington Parklands | Yarrabilba

The multi-age play and recreational destination features an amazing water play area, with shallow pools and fountains for kids to splash and cool down; a climbing dome and multi-swing; fort and climbing wall, and even a sand pit and musical wall for the toddlers.

A 30 metre twin flying fox will attract the bigger kids, as will the basketball/soccer court and cricket wicket set. The outdoor gym, which also contains ‘mini-exercise equipment’ for kids, will have families exercising together. Find out all of the details of Darlington Parklands here.

IndigiScapes Centre | Capalaba

The IndigiScapes Centre is Redland City Council’s environment education centre. Situated on 14.5 hectares of serene natural bushland, IndigiScapes offers native botanical gardens, a native nursery, bush trails, a nature playground and café specialising in local cuisine with a bush tucker twist. Pack a picnic and make the most of the beautiful surroundings. There is more information about IndigiScapes Centre here.

Osprey House Environment Centre | Griffin

Natural and created habitats surround the community facilities and are a peaceful sanctuary where visitors may enjoy the abundant wildlife. Facilities include gas barbeques, and tables and seating. There is ample off-road parking. Inside the environment centre you can see the life-sized Dugong statue and learn about the importance of a mangrove habitat with the educational displays.

Osprey House is also home to a specifically built raptor pole equipped with CCTV allowing you to watch live footage of the resident nesting Ospreys from inside the centre. Find all of the details about Osprey House Environment Centre here.

Fort Lytton Historic Military Precinct | Lytton

Fort Lytton is Queensland’s foremost military exhibit, with extensive historic fortifications and multiple military museums. Admission, guided tours and parking are all free 10am-4pm on Sundays and most public holidays.

It’s a great day out for everyone, from families to serious historians. Fort Lytton hosts a variety of historical re-enactments throughout each year. You can find more information on tours and re-enactments at Fort Lytton Historic Military Precinct here.

Ipswich Art Gallery | On the Move Exhibition | Ipswich

Here’s a hot tip! Do your family a favour and bookmark the Ipswich Art Gallery as a place to visit these school holidays. You see the Ipswich Art Gallery is made for families. The venue regularly hosts incredible FREE or low cost, high quality exhibitions that are hands-on and so fun!

Transport is the theme of On the Move, a new FREE interactive children’s exhibition at the Ipswich Art Gallery. This is the ultimate experience for kids who love planes, trains, and automobiles! The family friendly exhibition explores transport in all of its wonderful forms. Craft your own dream machine, get busy working on the cars in the Fuel Up Station and build a vehicle for the future from Lego® and test it on a futuristic city track. On the Move will be open in the Children’s Gallery till Sunday 18 July 2021. Bookings required. Watch our video review here.

Queensland Museum | South Brisbane

We are so lucky to have the Museum on our doorstep. It houses permanent and changing exhibitions. It is a great place to teach the children about Queensland’s history. There are lots of hands on exhibits. Most of the Museum is free, the visiting exhibits usually have an entrance fee. There is a family friendly café on the premises which is great for a quick coffee or lunch. It is pram friendly and a place where you can set your own pace. Opening Hours are 9.30am – 5pm daily. Click here.

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art | South Brisbane

GOMA in Brisbane

QAGOMA is also located in the Cultural Precinct of South Bank. It houses over 16 000 works of Modern Art. Entry to the Children’s Art Centre is free. Here you will find interactive installations, artist projects and activities for your Brisbane Family. The projects and activities change throughout the year to keep your little ones interested.

There are different dining options to suit you from a café to a restaurant. Or pack a picnic and sit in the lovely grounds that surround the Gallery. They are open daily from 10am – 5pm. Find out more or go straight to the current QAGOMA exhibit here!

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens | Mt Coot-tha

These Botanic Gardens are a favourite for Brisbane Families. You can either pack a picnic and enjoy it amongst the gardens, or visit the café for coffee or lunch. Venture along the hide and seek children’s trail, where your children can hunt for native bees, a crocodile, water dragons, dragonflies and other critters.

You can easily head up Mt Coot-tha when you are finished in the gardens and let your children see Brisbane from a different perspective. While you’re in the are we highly recommend a visit to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

South Bank | South Brisbane


Located on the banks of the Brisbane River, South Bank is 17 acres of lush parklands full of play areas for children, eateries and an amazing lagoon and water park area. And best of all, you can use it all for free! It is easy to spend a whole day here in the warmer months, playing in the water and exploring the play areas. The views are fantastic and the atmosphere happy! There is always something happening at South Bank and their Riverside Green playground is nothing short of spectacular.

Museum of Brisbane & Clock Tower | Brisbane City

You won’t find any fossils or bones when you visit Museum of Brisbane, but you will find a buzzing hive of living culture and activity that the whole family will love.    

The Museum of Brisbane is open 10am – 5pm daily and the clock tower tour operates from 10.15am – 4.45pm every 15 minutes.

Daisy Hill Koala Reserve | Daisy Hill

Do your children love koalas? If so this is the place to take them and it is all FREE! This dedicated Koala education facility has large koala enclosures and lots of interactive displays. There are two level boardwalks from which you can view the koalas. It is a great place for a picnic and opportunities for bush walking and spotting other critters and creatures. Open daily 10am – 4pm.

CityHopper | Various destinations in the City

Cruise the river on a City Hopper to take in the city from a different perspective. Best of all kids ride free on the weekend and seniors can travel for free off-peak! Make a stop at New Farm Park for a picnic or hit the impressive playground with the kids then hop on a double-decker CityCat for the trip home – it’s got an upper deck with seating for 20, allowing you to admire Brisbane’s stunning skyline.

Locals Tip: Just remember having a Go Card will make travel at least 30% cheaper than buying a paper ticket.  And remember the City Cat is good for kids!

Settlement Cove | Redcliffe

Settlement-Cove Redcliffe

Located bayside at Redcliffe, Settlement Cove will trick you into thinking you have landed on a tropical island. It is genuinely one of the top attractions in Brisbane (well greater Brisbane!). With clear blue waters, palm trees and lots of sunshine (hopefully!) it is like a little piece of paradise. There is a little water play area for the youngest of your Brisbane Family, BBQs, a shady playground and picnic facilities. You can easily spend a day here. Click here.

Robelle Domain Parklands | Springfield

This spectacular parklands has so much to offer. There are 11kms of boardwalks, walking and cycling tracks, amazing water park areas, playgrounds, picnic facilities, waterfalls and a café. What else do you need for a relaxing day out? Click here for more information.

City Botanic Gardens | Brisbane

Have you been to visit the new all abilities playground yet? Children of all abilities can play in this park, with wide access for wheelchairs and upgraded toilet facilities with a ceiling hoist. The Gardens are a magical place to spend the day and the children will love exploring them. There are free guided tours available at 11am & 1pm Monday to Saturday, where you can learn more about the plants and the features of the Gardens.

QUT The Cube | Brisbane City


The Cube is one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces consisting of 48 multi-touch screens and soaring across two storeys in QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre. It is a must see for any young budding scientists.

The Cube delivers unique interactive digital learning experiences which communicate science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) concepts and bring research to the public. During the school holidays, they run hands on activities and experiences for children.  You can find out more about The Cube here.

If you don’t mind spending a little cash over the school holidays then checkout our bumper guide to school holiday activities in Brisbane here.

State Library of Queensland | South Brisbane

The State Library of Queensland has a special Kids Corner with reading fun and games. With the support of parents and families, kids under 8 years old can explore and engage in the creative hands-on and minds-on experience of a digital exhibition, online games and reading activities. Find out what is happening at the State Library of Queensland here.

BMX Parks | various locations

There are more than 20 parks across Brisbane offering BMX facilities for fitness, fun and recreation. BMX facilities cater for different skill levels, but generally consist of dirt tracks, with some offering built-up dirt hills and various types of jumps. Visit your local BMX track to learn to ride, practice new tricks, improve your bike skills, or get ready for BMX racing. Find out where BMX Parks in Brisbane are here.

Bike Riding on the bike paths | various locations

Get on two wheels and explore the city under your own (and the kids on their own) power. Brisbane is filled with bike paths around the city and around the suburbs. No matter where you are, there will be something close enough to have no excuse. Get the details of Bike Riding on the Bike Paths here.

Adderton House | Spring Hill

Adderton’s program explores justice and social issues through contemporary art exhibitions and workshops and events engaging in actions to help create change. There are new exhibitions, meaningful children’s activities, creative workshops for adults, free tours and lots more. Find more information on Adderton House here.

Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre | Karawatha

Brisbane’s environment centre, located in the Karawatha Forest Park, the Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre is the place to teach the kids about the environment. Engage them in nature and family walks through the park so they can learn to understand the impact their choices will make – now, and for the rest of their lives. There is more information on Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre here.

Roma Street Parkland | Brisbane City

The Roma Street Parkland is arguably one of the most beautiful spaces in the CBD. Check out the Spectacle Garden and try to spot as many varieties of flowers as you can, wander through the rainforest and around Fern Gully or pack a picnic and relax (or nap) under a tree in the Celebration Precinct. You can find more information on Roma Street Parkland here.

New Farm Park | New Farm

Locals love New Farm Park – and it’s not hard to see why. One of the city’s most popular parks, grab the chance to sit on the grass by the river and watch the CityCats and other boats cruise up and down while embracing a riverside breeze, or drop a picnic rug under a tree in the main oval area and kick a football or throw a Frisbee with friends. Find all the details on New Farm Park here.

Brisbane Riverwalk | Brisbane City

The Brisbane Riverwalk is one of the best ways to move between two of the city’s most vibrant precincts, whether you’re walking, running or cycling. It links trendy New Farm with the CBD via a suspended path sitting above the water, while offering a beautiful view across the river to Kangaroo Point and a fresh angle of the city. Find out more about Riverwalk here.

Mt Coot-tha Lookout | Mt Coot-tha

One of Brisbane’s most popular tourist attractions it is a must-see for visitors to Brisbane. The lookout boasts the best view of the CBD and well-known Brisbane landmarks. Beautiful by day and spectacular at night. There are a number of walking tracks and mountain bike trails leading from the lookout area. You can even take the Citriodora Trail down to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha or Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Find the details about Mt Coot-tha Lookout here.

Brisbane Square Library | Brisbane City

One of Brisbane’s most visually iconic buildings, at the top of the Queen Street Mall, the Brisbane Square Library regularly hosts kids’ events and has a kids’ section featuring interactive games and storytelling activities. Keep an eye on their events calendar for what’s on for kids. Find out about what is happening at Brisbane Square Library here.

Frew Park | Milton

Frew Park in Milton is a playground for all ages near the Milton Tennis Centre. Built on the site of the former Queensland Tennis Centre, this Brisbane City Council site has been rejuvenated. This 3.5 hectare inner city area is now a magnificent parkland. The site is located between Frew Street and Milton Road, Milton. Whilst the parklands and playground is said to be designed for kids aged 10 – 15, you can see from our photos that there is something for all ages at this playground!

If you are happy to learn about ALL the best school holiday activities in Brisbane (paid and cheap as well) then read our detailed school holidays for Brisbane guide. If you are looking for things to do in Brisbane at night with kids, then we know that too!

Even more QLD school holiday ideas:

If you are heading north these Queensland school holidays check out our related articles:

If you are heading south these Queensland school holidays, these holiday ideas might help:

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of school teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, an expert Queensland publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children including things to do with them over the school holidays. Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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