7 budget-friendly activities to do with kids in Brisbane

If you're looking for fun, Brisbane is the place to be. The river city is famous for its family-friendly appeal, but a day out with the kids doesn't have to drain the piggybank. Thanks to a little local knowledge, we've put together a list of budget-friendly activities that aren't just easy on the wallet – they'll score you some serious brownie points too!

1. Tour Bluey's neighbourhood

Book a Paddington walking tour with our friends at Brisbane Greeters and enjoy a casual stroll through the ‘hood of Australia’s most lovable cartoon blue heeler, Bluey. Your Bluey-loving youngster can say ‘wackadoo’ while you take in some of the architecture and history of Paddington, Rosalie and Red Hill. All that walking’s sure to work up an appetite, so once you’re done why not stop to refuel at one of Paddington’s great cafes.

2. Get arty in the city

Start their appreciation for art early with a game of 'I spy' through Brisbane’s laneways using the artworks in the Outdoor Gallery. The exhibits are constantly changing so make sure you check back regularly to keep the game fresh. While you’re in the city, duck into the Museum of Brisbane for an additional hit of art, culture and history. Bonus points for downloading the free MoB Kids @ Home activities, so they channel all of that new-found creative energy.

Artwork: Richard Bell, You Can Go Now (2021)

Live the park life

With more than 2160 parks across the city and blue skies often in our favour, a trip to your local park is the perfect way to burn off youthful energy. Pack snacks, scooters and sunscreen and head off on a family adventure at firm favourites like New Farm Park, Roma Street Parkland and South Bank. Or discover a new favourite haunt like Torwood Park at Auchenflower (the adorable Peach Cafe next door will have all your caffeine needs covered) or Kidspace Playground in 7th Brigade Park in Chermside.

If your kids would rather do a day on wheels, Brisbane’s BMX parks and skate parks have you covered. Whether they skateboard, blade, BMX or scooter, there’s a track for them to have a ‘wheely’ good time while you cheer from the sidelines.

Bracken Ridge BMX facility, Bill Brown Sports Reserve, Fitzgibbon 

Spend the day stargazining

While belting out David Bowie’s Space Oddity won’t win you kudos with the kids, a trip to Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium certainly will. Sit back and relax under the Cosmic Skydome as you jet off on an outer space adventure. Conveniently located in the heart of the Mt Coot-tha precinct, you can make a day of it exploring the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, waterfalls and Hide 'n' Seek Children's Trail.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

For real-life stargazing, head to one of Brisbane’s best parks with a lookout after dark and explore the cosmos at your own pace. Our vote goes to Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve for its 180-degree cityscape views.

5. Let the trip be your destination

Do your kids love anything that floats, flies or drives? Spend the day indulging their passion for public transport by riding one of Brisbane’s buses, exploring the river onboard a CityCat or traversing the suburbs via train. You can also pack a picnic and head to one of Brisbane Airport’s dedicated plane spotting sites to experience the magic of flight firsthand (minus the airfare).

6. Roll out the red carpet at the movies

If you’re little one is a budding Scorcese, a movie day in picturesque Rosalie Village might just be the inspiration they need. Catch a flick at the Cinebar Rosalie Village before enjoying a scoop (or two) of the handmade gelato from Gelateria Cremona. Make sure you keep an eye on their seasonal flavours for a real treat!

7. Spark their creative side

Keep little hands, minds and bodies busy at South Bank’s Kids Collective (on each Thursday). The fun, free workshops only take around 30-45 minutes and cover music, sports and craft. Creative Kids Brisbane in West End also has a calendar of imagination-stoking projects including glittery star mobiles, crazy car paintings and more. Keep their craft-streak flowing with a visit to Reverse Garbage Queensland in Wooloongabba to stock up on ideas and supplies for an array of eco-inspired DIY projects.

Keep the fun times rolling

Want even more family-friendly inspiration and activities? Head to Brisbetter Explore to discover more fun things to see and do near you.

Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane and to buy local as part of the city's Economic Recovery Plan. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this video.

Come back regularly to check for new and updated content and don't forget to share your favourite places on Instagram using #Brisbetter!

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