Brisbane for kids: best free things to do

Planning a 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
  • Updated October 2022

With its celebrated sunshine and laidback vibe, Brisbane is the perfect destination for a family holiday. Even better, it’s got plenty of activities the kids will love – and they’re free! Check out our favourite family activities to see how you can live it up without having to splurge.

Splash around South Bank

Sprawling along the southern banks of the Brisbane river, South Bank is a wonderland of parks, restaurants, markets, the Brisbane Wheel, major cultural institutions and, yes – a man-made beach. Streets Beach is free to enjoy and works just like a real beach, so don’t forget your sunscreen! On weekends and during school holidays, interactive waterpark Aquativity combines fun and education to teach kids about river systems. Kids up to five years old will love the South Bank Parklands’ Kids Collective program on Thursday mornings, while the Roma Street Parklands’ school-holiday activities are great for older kids.

The artificial beach at South Bank across the Brisbane River from the CBD of Brisbane, the Queensland capital.
Sun, sea and sand, city-style: the whole family will love Streets Beach, South Bank

Supersize science time at The Cube

For scientifically inclined kids, you can’t go past 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.

The striking building that is the Cube at Queensland University of Technology, one of Brisbane’s many free, family-friendly experiences.
Kids of all ages can get their boffin on at the Cube, Queensland University of Technology

Take a ferry cruise 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.
Explore Brisbane at your leisure on the free CityHopper

Get a family-friendly culture fix

For a dose of culture that will delight 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, these must-see attractions offer fantastic, free activities for kids. Choose from interactive exhibitions, a kids’ corner and games parlour, play areas, and some great special events and programs, especially around the school holidays.

Life-size dinosaur skeleton in foreground and people in background inside Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
What child can resist a dinosaur? Journey back to the Stone Age at Queensland Museum

Go sky high at Mount Coot-tha

Head up to the Mount Coot-tha Lookout for an incredible view reaching all the way across the city. Use one of the pay telescopes or just take in the panorama and the fresh air from the highest point in Brisbane. Around Mount 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 young explorers.

Tourists at viewing platform on Mt. Coot-tha in Queensland Australia looking down on Brisbane
Get a bird’s-eye view of Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha Lookout

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