Best free things for kids to do in Brisbane

Planning a super fun, family-friendly holiday in Brisbane on a budget? Check out these free activities for keeping kids – and wallets – happy.

  • Jetstar
  • September 2018

Brisbane is the perfect destination for a family holiday, with that Queensland sun and laidback vibe. Even better, it’s got some prime activities the kids will love – and they’re free! Have a look at some of our favourite family activities and see how you can live it up without having to splurge.

The artificial beach at South Bank across the Brisbane River from the CBD of Brisbane, the Queensland capital.
Streets Beach, Southbank

Splash around South Bank

Brisbane’s South Bank, unsurprisingly located on the southern banks of the Brisbane river, is a sprawling wonderland of parklands, restaurants, markets, the Brisbane Wheel, all the major cultural institutions and, yes – a man-made beach. Streets Beach is free to lounge on and splash around in and works just like a real beach, so don’t forget your sunscreen! On weekends and during school holidays, interactive waterpark Aquativity brims with fountains, water features and educational elements that teach kids about river systems.

Every Thursday from 9am-1pm, there are free activities for kids up to five years old at the South Bank Parklands’ Little Days Out program. Activities vary from week to week, but can include crafts, sports, stories, painting and dancing. For older kids, the Roma Street Parklands have activities during the school holidays.

Brisbane Australia Queensland Central Business District CBD QUT Queensland University of Technology Garden Point campus Student Centre center Science
The Cube, Queensland University of Technology

Free the geek

If you’ve got some science fans on your hands, head to the Cube. It’s free and open daily and is one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces. Like the sides of a cube, there are six zones, including the Data Wall, the Physics Playroom and the Virtual Reef. It’s large-scale and thrilling and even if your kids aren’t into science, the interactive nature of The Cube proves far too alluring to resist.

People onboard viewing a Big ferris wheel at the free CityHopper ferry in Brisbane

Hop down the river

One super fun thing for the kids that won’t cost a cent is cruising along the Brisbane River on a CityHopper. This commuter ferry runs a smaller route than the CityCat, which travels further, but it’s a nifty cruise between the city and New Farm and it runs every half an hour, every day.

Bronze elephant sculpture at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art
Sculpture at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

Join the Culture Club

For a convenient dose of culture that can accommodate grown-ups and kids alike, the Queensland Museum, the Queensland State Library and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art are all close to each other and all offer fantastic, free activities for kids – interactive exhibitions, a kids’ corner and games parlour – not to mention the actual exhibits themselves, as well as play areas to keep them amused while parents have a much needed coffee. Keep an eye on all of them especially around the school holidays.

Tourists at viewing platform on Mt. Coot-tha in Queensland Australia looking down on Brisbane
Mount Coot-Tha Lookout

Go sky high

Head up to the Mt Coot-tha Lookout for an incredible view reaching all the way across the city. There are pay telescopes there or you can just take in the view and the fresh air. It’s a pretty drive up if you have your own car.

Get to Sesame (Chicken) Street

With free entry for kids under 12 (and only $3 for anyone older) Eat Street Northshore is a weekend foodie wonderland – a communal gathering of people, dogs and performers here to dine on a mind-boggling array of street food being sold from the 180 shipping containers that make up this magical complex. With astroturf and canopies of lights, city and river views, the kids will love the atmosphere, and with such a broad range of affordable eats, even the fussiest eater will be satisfied without blowing the family budget. From crepes to calamari, cheese to churros, you can curate the ultimate family feast.