Top 5 free things to do with kids on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast might be known for its glitz and its glamour, but there’s a whole lot of free family fun to be had too!

Two boys playing at the beach side
  • Jetstar
  • October 2018

With sun, surf and sand galore, the Gold Coast is built for family holidays. Beyond the beaches, however, activities can really add up, so we’ve rounded up the best free things you can do there that the kids will love.

HOTA outdoor performance centre and stage in Evandale Park near Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Is it HOTA in here?

HOTA opens in new window - Home of the Arts – in Surfers Paradise is a one-stop shop for all things creative – there are exhibitions, live performances, theatre and outdoor movies.

There is a constant rotation of family-friendly events here, but one freebie is the Little ArtLab, where kids under five can get hands-on and enjoy art-based activities inspired by the Gallery at HOTA’s collection and current exhibitions.

Our favourite link: HOTA’s family events opens in new window

One of the Gold Coast's beach side markets
One of the Gold Coast's beachside markets

To market, to market

The Gold Coast is a market hotspot, with a massive array of markets across the region. You can pick up fresh produce, local fashion, arts, crafts and souvenirs, and kids will love it when the markets often turn into party time, with live entertainment and gorgeous beach-side settings.

On the fourth Saturday of the month, the Hide & Seek Children's Market opens in new window specialises in independent, local clothes, toys and décor for kids. They also add a good dash of live music, children’s activities and some tasty food trucks to keep your market mojo alive.

Our favourite link: A guide to Gold Coast markets opens in new window

Boradwater Parklands
Boradwater Parklands

The Gold Coast has a huge range of parks dotted all over the place, but Broadwater Parklands takes it to the next level. Lush and green, with that incredible Broadwater view, it’s perfect for a picnic (there are also free barbecues to use) and a day of play, with a bouncy pillow, a water playground and lots of other play equipment for the kids. You can also catch outdoor entertainment, markets and lots of free, family-friendly events at this gorgeous spot. Also Laguna Park is another top spot for energetic kids, with an adventure playground, pirate ship, swings, slides – even a pedal-powered monorail! Laguna Park also has barbecue facilities, picnic areas and live entertainment too.

Treetop walk in Lamington National Park
Treetop walk in Lamington National Park

Walk the treetops

If you have adventurous kids who love exploring and climbing trees, a visit to O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk in Lamington National Park will make their day. They can walk along the nine suspension bridges 15 metres above the ground and get right into the thick of the forest canopy, where they can get a good look at all that rainforest flora as well as the view below.

Our favourite link: All about O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk opens in new window

Rainbow lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Rainbow lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Feed the lorikeets

A lot of Gold Coast attractions can come with pretty hefty admission charges, but if you want a dash of animal fun for free at Currumbin Sanctuary, you can go and feed the lorikeets twice a day – at 8am and 4pm. These multicoloured cuties are very people-friendly and front up regularly for their free feed. You don’t need to enter the Sanctuary to get up close with the birds, but there’s a gold coin donation if you want to buy them some feed.

Our favourite link: Lorikeet feeding at Currumbin Sanctuary.

✈️ Thinking about a Gold Coast adventure? Take a look at our cheap flights to Gold Coast.