Top 20 Best Free And Low-Cost Summer School Holiday Activities for Brisbane Kids & Families 2019/2020

  • Kids
    All Ages

If you blew the budget over Christmas, fear not! Brisbane is a hive of activity over the summer school holidays and, better still, there are loads of fun ways to keep the kids out of your hair, that won’t break the bank. Check out our top 20 free and low-cost school holiday activities for the ultimate in inexpensive inspiration.

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1. See the Christmas Lights before they’re gone. Official 4KQ Christmas Lights Competition tours run until 20th December or you can do-it-yourself for free with our guides to the best displays in the North Brisbane, South Brisbane Brisbane East, and Brisbane West. Displays can be viewed from 7 - 10pm each night until Christmas Eve.

2. Get crafty at Creative Kids at West Village. They run a variety of workshops that are engaging and inspiring for kids of all ages – and they’re free! Until Tuesday 31st December.

3. See the decade out with a bang and join the free family celebrations at New Year's Eve At Lakeside - or stay up late for the free New Year's Eve Fireworks at Southbank. Sandstone Point Hotel has a family-friendly NYE party for next to nix with lots of great entertainment!

NYE Fireworks South Bank

4. Museum of Brisbane runs an amazing school holidays program inspired by the current exhibitions. Activities range from free to $20 and run until 27th January.

5. There is so much good stuff to explore at Southbank. This free, public precinct is home to Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach, Streets Beach - a sure-fire winner for Brisbane kids. There is also the nearby Aquativity, an interactive water-play park, the Riverside Green and Picnic Island Green playgrounds and the Epicurious Garden. You can also hitch a ride across the parklands on The Xpress Fun Train for $5.

Streets Beach South Bank

6. Get cute and cuddly at The Daisy Hill Koala Centre. This free education facility is set on 435 hectares of open eucalypt forest - home to many native animals, not just koalas! They run Wildlife Officer talks daily.

7. State Library of Queensland Summer Festival has a jam-packed program of excitement and adventure for all ages including free drop-in and ticketed workshops running throughout the school holidays until 24th January. 

8. The Cube, a digital interactive learning space at QUT Gardens Point Campus, is launching its free summer holiday program with a Family Fun Day also with loads of free hands-on activities. 

9. Let your taste buds transport you anywhere in the world at the Eat Street Markets - a special sensory experience created with 180 colourful dining and entertainment shipping containers on the North Shore’s historic Hamilton Maritime Wharf. Entry is $3 and 12 years & under are FREE. There is entertainment every weekend! Find out our pick of the Best Food Stalls To Hit Up At Eat Street.

10. Go mad for art at the GOMA Kids Summer Program at their Children’s Art Centre. There's loads of free creative workshops for young art lovers throughout the holidays and beyond.

GOMA School Holidays Workshops

11. It costs nothing to browse! Check out Where The Wild Things Are and The Mad Hatters Bookshop - cool bookshops for kids - or see Australia’s largest haul of official Harry Potter merchandise at The Store of Requirement. They also run School Holiday Wand Making, Potion Making and Cupcake Decorating classes for $30.

12. The Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mt Coot-tha offer free guided discovery tours every day, as well as free Story Time and Holiday Maker Space sessions at the Garden’s Mt Coot-tha Library.

13. Transport buffs can explore Brisbane’s new rail system at the Cross River Rail Experience Centre and engage in free school holiday including LEGO© Engineering, Robotics Playground and Reverse Garbage.

14. Keep the kids entertained during the school holidays at  The Everton Park Hotel with their fun free kids program. They are hosting a family-friendly NYE party, and also do $5 kids meals Monday to Wednesday, and a kids magic show on Friday and Saturday nights.

15. Explore the sensational Roma Street Parklands - an iconic city oasis and one of it’s most inclusive spaces. Kids can run free over expansive lush lawns or seek out exotic wildlife while you explore the stunning designer gardens. There are free guided tours daily plus free barbecues, picnic spots and two playgrounds.

Roma Street Parkland

16. Get the bike, scooters, skateboards and roller skates, burn off some energy at one of the Best Bike Parks And Trails For Kids In Brisbane

17. Take a trip to Orion Lagoon in Springfield for a day of free waterplay. Just a 30-minute drive from Brisbane's CBD you can splash around in one of the largest public lagoons in the Southern Hemisphere! Part of the Robelle Domain Parklands the lagoon is a collection of interconnected shallow pools and water features. Lifeguards are on duty and there are playgrounds and BBQ for a family day out! Find more Free Water Play Parks In Brisbane.

18. For a bird’s-eye view of the Brisbane city lights, try this free after-hours experience atop an iconic landmark. Scale the 92m high Brisbane City Hall clock tower in the original hand-operated lift for a free After Dark Clock Tower Tour. Every Friday night from 5pm.

19. Libraries across Brisbane run loads of free classes, workshops and events for kids of all ages throughout the summer school holidays. It’s an ideal place to unwind and cool down!

20. If the kids have cabin fever and you need a holiday from your holidays, escape the city on a low-cost getaway at one of our six Best Camping Spots For Kids Near Brisbane

Ballina Headlands Big4 Holiday Park

Need more inspo?


Have you signed up to the ellaslist newsletter? Join now to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!
Plus for a limited time, you'll go in the draw to win a family holiday thanks to Big4 Holiday Parks.