Don’t let grey skies and rainy days stop your blue-sky thinking. Brisbane’s inspiring museums and art galleries make a perfect rainy day activity for all ages. Keep our go-to list handy for the best indoor art galleries and museums to keep you covered until the clouds clear (or anytime you need a cultural top-up).
They’re our cultural anchors seen in every guide to Brisbane - and for good reason. A visit to the Queensland Museum, the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in South Brisbane’s cultural precinct is always a great way to soak up inspiration from local and international exhibitions, opening you up to new perspectives. With an on-site restaurant, cafe, and bistro you can spend a (rainy) day idly exploring all the galleries’ exhibits.
If you’re in the CBD, the Museum of Brisbane provides a peaceful pause from the hustle and bustle of the city below its level 3 home and introduces visitors to contemporary exhibitions that tap into our city’s ever-changing landscape. And just a short CityCat ride away is Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm – a pre-war, industrial powerstation converted into an iconic art centre and home to thousands of events and festivals.
We love the galleries and cultural spaces that put our city on the map, but Brisbane is also home to some hidden gems that you might not yet have discovered. Consider a visit to the QUT Art Museum and sister gallery William Robison Gallery, two of our state’s premier art galleries, with free exhibitions open to the public. At the other end of town? Stop in to see the story-sparking photography and art exhibitions at Adderton House.
If your interests are far more niche, there’s a museum for that. From MacArthur Museum Brisbane for war history buffs (pre-booking your visit is required), the Queensland Maritime Museum for sea-loving friends to the Queensland Police Museum, located on the ground floor of the Queensland police headquarters, sharing our state’s policing archives from as far back as 1864.
There’s no time like the present to introduce the kids to the wonder of museums and art galleries. Take their imagination and creativity on an adventure at QAGOMA’s Children’s Art Centre where they can be immersed in made-for-them exhibitions and keep their creative juices flowing with free online access to plenty of at-home video tutorials and craft ideas.
Encourage your little one's inner scientist to flourish with a visit to the Queensland Museum’s Sciencentre and Sparklab (STEM space for 6-13 year olds) where they can interact with exhibits and design and build in maker spaces. If your grasshopper has a burning question about the Big Bang, how fossils are found or their favourite creepy-crawly, tee up a chat with a museum expert to have their curious queries answered in the Discovery Centre that showcases more than 1300 objects, digital displays and more.
Prefer a more contemporary curation? Brisbane is home to boutique art galleries like Philip Bacon Galleries, Mitchell Fine Art spotlighting Australia’s leading Indigenous artworks, and esteemed collectives like the Institute of Modern Art and Artisan. These independent spaces offer the chance to witness emerging and respected local and international artists of all mediums. Check their schedule of exhibitions and opening times before visiting. If you feel so inspired, register for one of Artisan’s workshops designed to spark your inner Rembrandt or Jeff Koons.
For more inspiration, check out our other Brisbetter Explore articles, videos, and itineraries for inspiration.
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.
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