12 things to do with kids in Brisbane for under $10

Colmslie Beach Reserve

They say the best things in life are free and exploring the best Brisbane has to offer shouldn’t break the bank. We’ve pulled together some fabulously fun, family-friendly activities to enjoy on any budget.

1. Learn basketball and football skills or how to skateboard

There are hours of fun to be had at one of Council’s many free or low-cost activities held year-round. Try kayaking, longboarding, abseiling, putt-putt golf, basketball and soccer skills workshops, pottery and adventure walks, paddleboarding, windsurfing, scooter coaching and more – all available for free or just $5. Bookings are essential, so get in early to secure your place.

2. To infinity and beyond

Blow your mind with fun facts on the solar system at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Escape to far-flung destinations departing from the Cosmic Skydome with most public shows including a full-dome, immersive presentation that finishes with a guided tour of the Brisbane night sky. The laser-powered system generates one of the world's brightest and most detailed night sky experiences! The Planetarium also includes an observatory and gift shop and the Sundial Courtyard.

3. Go wild at a free water park

Perfect for kids of all ages, Rocks Riverside Park in Seventeen Mile Rocks, Wynnum Aqua Park, and Aquativity at South Bank Parklands all offer a jam-packed family day out, with water-play areas and surrounding playgrounds.  The three water parks feature varying attractions such as miniature river rapids, flying foxes, spray zones, tidal wading pools and educational play elements about the water cycle and preservation. The day out won't cost you a cent, with barbecues and picnic areas for your own BYO feast.

Wynnum Aqua Park

4. Life's a beach at South Bank

Relax and have a dip at Streets Beach at South Bank Parklands on the edge of the Brisbane River. Positioned within 17 hectares of gardens at South Bank, Streets Beach is Australia's only man-made inner-city beach and a must-do activity. Next to Streets Beach, there are two other aquatic spaces - the Boat Pool and Aquativity (an interactive water-play park for children).

The pools are free to use and patrolled by lifeguards from 7am until 10pm, daily, although times may change due to season. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, with lush lawns and shady nooks to relax after a dip.

Streets Beach, South Bank Parklands

5. Bust a move at our BMX tracks

Did you know that there are more than 20 parks across Brisbane with BMX facilities? Our 2 largest BMX parks, located in Fitzgibbon and Darra, are free and world-class - perfect for honing your flairs, freewheeling and flat spins. Both facilities have an asphalt track suitable for beginner through to more advanced riders. Council also hosts free BMX, skateboard, scooter and longboard coaching clinics if you’re just starting out. Find Council's upcoming BMX events.

Bracken Ridge BMX facility, Fitzgibbon

6. Take a CityHopper or CityCat adventure

Cruise the river on a free CityHopper to take in the city from a different perspective. Hop on and off a KittyCat at any of the 7 stops between North Quay and Sydney Street, from 5.30am to midnight, with services operating later on Friday and Saturday nights. Or jump on a double-decker CityCat and make a stop at New Farm Park for a picnic or hit the impressive playground with the kids, before a return trip home. 

7. Go on a park crawl

Brisbane’s brilliant year-round weather means heading to the park is always a good idea and even better when you've got more than 2180 to choose from! Enjoy some of the city's most popular parks including New Farm Park, Roma Street Parkland, Calamvale District Park and Frew Park. Roma Street Parkland is an inner-city oasis covering 16 hectares of sprawling lawns and designer gardens, as well as an epic children’s playground. There's also the recently upgraded Bradbury Park at Kedron which provides a hub of active opportunities such as award-winning nature play space and scooter track, fitness equipment and basketball half-court. 

Bradbury Park, Kedron

8. See the sights by bike

Explore the city’s endless bikeways and shared pathways using the Cycling Brisbane bikeway map. The map allows you to see the locations of bike parking, repair stations and drinking fountains. To help you take your riding adventures to the next gear, here’s a list of the best Brisbane bike rides and cycle paths to try. There's something for everyone whether you're sightseers, easy riders, families, scenery-seekers, or mountain-climbers.

Mother and son riding on Norman Creek Bikeway
Norman Creek Bikeway

9. Catch a free movie and live bands

There may be no place like home, but our Outdoor Cinema in the Suburbs and Bands in Parks program will have you heading out to catch all the fun films and live music. The screenings are free with movies starting after sundown. You don’t need to book, just take along chairs or a blanket, and don’t forget the snacks. Some parks even allow furry friends to come along. Just check the event details before inviting your pets. With events throughout the year, we’re bringing the entertainment to you!

10. Uncover Brisbane's history

One of the best ways to get to know a city is through the eyes (and tales) of a knowledgeable local. Our friendly Brisbane Greeters are passionate volunteers who give free daily tours, sharing Brisbane's stories, and showing you some great hidden gems along the way.

While you’re in the CBD, the free Clock Tower Tours are also a ‘must-do’! For many years, City Hall’s Clock Tower made the building the tallest in Brisbane, offering visitors a magnificent 360-degree view of the city. Whilst the view has changed significantly over the past 90 years, the time-honoured tradition of ’taking a trip up the tower’ happily continues from the Museum of Brisbane, where entry is also free.

11. Journey into the natural world

Our three environment centres at Boondall Wetlands, Downfall Creek and Karawatha Forest are wonderful places to explore Brisbane’s diverse bushland, wetlands and forests. Each centre offers a unique nature experience, with opportunities to learn about local flora and fauna, and participate in free or low-cost activities such as canoeing, guided walks, bird watching and crafts. There’s lots of things to see and touch, so the kids will love this adventure. 

12. Connect, learn and become a bookworm

Brisbane’s 33 libraries provide numerous free activities, including reading programs, book clubs, computer training, Toddler Time and rhyme time events and workshops. Visit your local library to sign up for a free membership, renew or borrow books, and use the many resources on offer. The online catalogue has thousands of books, music, e-books, magazines, and movies available to download. You can renew Council library items in person, over the phone, through our online catalogue or the BNELibraries app.

Zillmere Library

Even more to see and do

Looking for more child-friendly things to see and do in Brisbane? We've got you covered! Having fun doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg when you are looking for entertainment around Brisbane, so get out there and try some of our ideas today.

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**This article was updated in March 2024.**

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Topics: things to do

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.