Brisbane for kids: best free things to do

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

Families playing in the water and on the sand at Streets Beach, South Bank, Brisbane.
  • Jetstar
  • October 2020

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.

Splash around South Bank

Brisbane’s South Bank opens in new window, 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 opens in new window 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 opens in new window 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’ Kids Collective opens in new window 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.

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

Supersize screen time at The Cube

If you’ve got some science fans on your hands, head to the Cube. It’s free, 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. Even if your kids aren’t into science (yet), they’ll be wowed by the Cube’s enormous scale and interactive experiences.

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

Hop down the river

Cruise along the Brisbane River on the free inner-city CityHopper ferry. It’s super fun for the kids and it won’t cost a cent. The nifty cruise between the city and New Farm has eight hop-on, hop-off stops, and runs every half an hour, every day.

Aerial view of Brisbane River with CityHopper ferry, bridge and city skyline, Brisbane, Queensland.
CityHopper on Brisbane River

Join the Culture Club

For a dose of culture that can accommodate kids and grown-ups alike, make for the Queensland Museum, the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. All conveniently close to one another, this quiet-time cluster offers fantastic, free activities for kids, including interactive exhibitions, a kids’ corner and games parlour, as well as play areas. Keep an eye out for special events and programs for kids, especially around the school holidays.

Life-size dinosaur skeleton in foreground and people in background inside Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Queensland Museum

Go sky high at Mt Coot-tha

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. Around Mt Coot-tha, there are loads of walking trails, picnic spots and wide-open spaces for little legs to run wild. At the base, roam free in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, where the Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail promises grand adventure for little explorers.

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

Also consider