DESTINATIONS: Family-friendly guide to Brisbane CBD

17 December 2017
Reading time4 minutes

Heading to Brisbane with the kids? We share our favourite things to do in the city. From parklands, to play areas, and museums to spaces for booklovers and mini-Einsteins, we have your next day trip sorted.  

Brisbane Square Library

266 George Street

A building that is a real delight to the eye, it’s worth coming here just for a nosy. It is bright, colourful and there are lots of little study nooks, some with a view over the river, to settle in and read a book (sounds blissful!). The kids' section of the library doesn’t disappoint either. There is ample space to spread out and enjoy one of the many regular kids' events. As well as a great selection of books, you can find activity tables, an interactive floor section and even an arcade game, all set within an indoor treescape.

Museum of Brisbane and City Hall Clock Tower

Level 3, City Hall, 64 Adelaide Street

The museum explores the people and places of Brisbane. It has a great collection of over 5000 works of art including paintings, multimedia installations and ceramics, as well as an ever-changing variety of visiting exhibitions. The shop is full of beautiful items from local creatives, as well as a good selection books. When you have finished exploring the museum, head to the museum’s reception and book a free tour of the clock tower. You can ride the life up to the observation platform 72 metres above the city and take in the stunning view.

City Botanic Gardens

Goodwill Bridge or George Street, Brisbane

The best way to enter the gardens is via the Goodwill Bridge. Here, you can choose to follow the river, which drops down to a boardwalk among the mangroves, or hugs the beautifully manicured garden path, or cut through the QUT campus and head straight to the park’s café to recharge. Either way, be sure to stop at the fantastic playground – great for kids of all ages. It has a massive climbing structure, sound play elements, seesaws, giant swings and slides. There are plenty of places to spread a picnic rug. At certain times of the year, the gardens are awash with beautiful butterflies. Free regular events for kids also take place here. See website for details.

Roma St Parklands

1 Parkland Boulevard

You would never guess this park is nestled away in the CBD, right next to the busy train station. It is a serene space, divided into lots of different elements, all easily accessed by the walking paths. You can also ride through the park on the Parkland Explorer road train for a gold coin donation. Head to the lake and spot the birdlife, walk through the beautiful landscaped gardens next to the waterfall, or head straight to the play areas. There are two play areas – one more modern with a curly tunnel slide, and another with more traditional play equipment such as swings and a seesaw. There is also a community garden complete with worm farm. Take a picnic or stop at the café on your way back to the city centre.

Southbank circuit

Start at QPAC, Stanley Street

This walking circuit takes in some of the best features for kids that the city has to offer. Walk through the Southbank parklands, past the big wheel and stop at the new (and massive!) Riverside Green playground. The sprawling structure includes climbing nets, a huge tunnel slide and mousewheel. Read more here. From there, stop at Streets Beach for a quick dip or paddle and then head to one of Brisbane’s best chocolate cafes – Max Brenner – for a delectable chocolate treat. Then, onwards along the cobbled streets of Little Stanley St, which is home to The Collective Markets Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Then rejoin the river path, which you can follow until you reach the Goodwill Bridge and the Queensland Maritime Museum.

Queensland Maritime Museum

412 Stanley Street

Historic warship The Diamantina is the centrepiece of the museum. Visitors can take in the scale of the ship via access to the dry dock in which it sits. You can also learn all about the essential role of lighthouses and how they work, discover the equipment used in different ships, and view the collection of around 300 model vessels. The museum also holds regular exhibitions and events. See website for details.

Where the Wild Things Are

191 Boundary Street

A wonderful place to take the kids, this bookshop is just for them! With a huge selection of kids’ books, you can spend a long time browsing the shelves, stocked full of family favourites as well as some more unusual titles. The shop regularly hosts events for the book-loving kid such as craft activities and chats with authors. See the website for details.

The Cube

QUT, Gardens Point, 2 George Street

One of the largest digital interactive learning and display spaces in the world, The Cube offers an inspiring and explorative view into science and engineering with loads of hands-on workshops. Activities include the Plasma Wall, a collection of abstract light and movement games, Dino Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with very lifelike dinosaurs thanks to artificial intelligence, and The Arcade, where you can play retro inspired games. Regular events make this a place you can visit time and again. Read our review here and visit the website for details of what’s on.

Photos: Tourism & Events Queensland

Written by

Kerry White

Kerry is the Senior Writer for Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City. Kerry moved to Australia from England in 2013 with her husband and two daughters. She worked as a sub-editor in London for seven years before she had her girls. She now calls the Sunshine Coast her home and is making the most of its glorious weather and beaches. She enjoys baking, especially when she has a glass of wine in hand, and is a part-time Psychology, Criminology and Justice student. She also shares her home with two cats and her daughters' imaginary dogs.

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