What's on for kids and families in Brisbane this weekend

Are you and your brood pumped for another weekend in Brisbane? We are too! There are so many exciting events and activities happening in and around the River City, we’ve had trouble choosing. From music and musicals to arts and exhibitions, and even a bit of mid-year Christmas fun. Here are our picks of some of the best things you can do this weekend…

If you like the stage

A little bit of comedy

The hilarious New York and Las Vegas hit Friends! The Musical Parody is making its way to The Tivoli this weekend. If you’re a fan of the show — or you’ve introduced your kids to it thanks to endless repeats on Channel 10’s Peach — then you’ll want to join your six favourite friends at their favourite cafe. It’s a night of unstoppable laughs with this new parody musical that pokes fun at the beloved NBC sitcom. You’ll follow Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe as they navigate love, life and friendship, and relive some of the shows best bits. You can purchase your tickets via The Tivoli website. The show is suitable for all ages.

A little bit of drama

If swashbuckling tales is more your thing, Lynch & Paterson’s critically acclaimed and multi-award winning new production of Pirates of Penzance returns to Brisbane. It’s being performaned at the Twelfth Night Theatre in Bowen Hills from Friday, July 22 through to Saturday, July 30. It’s features brilliant humour and razor-sharp wit, with bumbling policemen, sentimental pirates and an eccentric Major-General. Suitable for all ages, The Pirates of Penzance makes for the perfect night out. You can purchase your tickets via the Ticketek website.

A little bit of romance

Step back in time… and straight into the latest club opening on the banks of the Brisbane River. Queensland Theatre teams up with QPAC for the first time since the record-breaking success of Boy Swallows Universe to present The Sunshine Club. This show is filled with all the razzle dazzle musical theatre audiences are used to, but it’s set on our own soil.

First Nations boy Frank Doyle (Marcus Corowa) returns to Brisbane from the battlefields of World War II filled with optimism and ready to start the next chapter of his young life. All he wants to do is spend time with girl next door Rose (Irena Lysiuk) but in 1946 Brisbane it’s still frowned upon for black and white to be together. Filled with hope and defiance Frank sets up his own ballroom, The Sunshine Club, where anyone and everyone can come together … to dance. Internationally acclaimed playwright and director Wesley Enoch, prolific composer John Rodgers, and a cast of industry icons and leading lights, harness the innate optimism of the musical theatre form to create an unmissable love story. Grab your tickets via the QPAC website.

For Disney lovers

Experience the magic of Disney with the enchanting Disney: The Magic of Animation. This family friendly exhibition draws back the curtain on almost 100 years of Walt Disney’s Animation Studios. Marvel at the magic and hard work from behind the scenes of your favourite animated films. You’ll see early pencil and paper drawings and new computer-generated wonders, and learn more about the skills of animators and storytellers. Plus you can step inside some of the timeless scenes of your favourite movies.

Brisbane events and activities

Sticking with the Disney theme, test your mini golf skills at Pixar Putt. Australia’s much-loved open-air mini golf sensation is made up of interactive putt putt holes inspired by the stories, characters and icons of Pixar’s most beloved movies. You’ll see Toy StoryMonsters Inc.The IncrediblesLuca and more! You can choose from nine or 18 holes at Northshore Brisbane. The season ends on Sunday, July 24.

Check out these incredible exhibitions

At the Ipswich Art Gallery is Imagine This… is a hands-on studio space where children and families can imagine and make together. Four inventive artworks by Australian artists provide the inspiration and all the art materials are provided. It’s perfect for encouraging children to explore an artist’s ideas and stimulate their own imaginations. For children under three years, explore the baby and toddler play space. Stimulating toys and padded forms fill the space; a safe spot for little ones to imagine.

Imagine this

There are only two more weekends left for you to join Bribie Island Seaside Museum on the high seas. Ahoy! is a fun and educational exhibition where kids learn about marine life in Moreton Bay. Pop on a pirate’s hat and be the Captain of your very own sailing boat or sit back and enjoy a quite read in the mini maritime themed library. Complete the nautical treasure hunt, taking home your own Ahoy pack. It’s jam-packed with fun activities.

The World Press Photo Exhibition returns to Brisbane Powerhouse on its worldwide tour. It showcases the best and more important photojournalism from around the world. More than 4,065 photographers from 130 countries entered 64,823 photographs to the 65th edition of the Contest. In yet another transformative year for the world, the highly anticipated exhibition presents courageous stories, invaluable insights, and a diversity of interpretations. You’ll step outside the news cycle and think more critically about the important topics in our world. Most suitable for those aged 15 years and older, it’s on until Sunday, July 24.

Check out this dazzling exhibition celebrating jewellery designer Margot McKinney at the Museum of Brisbane. World of Wonder: Margot McKinney not only celebrates her jewellery, but looks at the inspiration behind the designs — Queensland’s coral reefs and the rich colours of Tanzania, Africa. You’ll be in awe of the treasure chest of jewels. Check out opals and pearls along with rare and exotic gems. Learn more at the Museum of Brisbane website.

Activities for adventurous types

If you have a kid who likes to get crafty, head along to the Mt Coot-tha Library this Saturday, July 23 for its Makerspace session. Suitable for all ages, kids can go wild with the selection of art and craft materials on-hand. Bookings are required, so call the library on 07 3403 2550.

Explore Brisbane in a new way with City Symphony. This is your last weekend to hear the hidden stories and sounds of the city. City Symphony streams you a personal cinematic soundtrack while you stroll through Brisbane’s iconic streets and landmarks, revealing a world of audio based on your location. As you walk around the CBD you’ll hear music and stories by some of Brisbane’s best contemporary artists such as Kate Miller-Heidke, Hope D, David Hudson, Anisa Nandaula, Kathleen Jennings and many more.

City Symphony

While you’re out and about, explore the self-guided art trail, OUTstanding. The Indigenous Art Trail transforms Brisbane’s streets into an exhibition of Aboriginal artworks. You’ll find the artwork in various places and spaces, including large-scale banners, light boxes, vitrines and projections, in Brisbane’s laneways. The spectacular line-up of artists includes Elisa Jane Carmichael, Jody Rallah, Kyra Mancktelow, Boneta-Marie Mabo, Chris Bassi, Mia Boe, Keemon Williams, Tori-Jay Mordey, Sam Harrison, Melissa Stannard, Dylan Mooney and LaVonne Bobongie. You can find out more information on the Brisbane City Council website.

Celebrate Christmas in July

If you love chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at your nose, then celebrate Christmas in July with Griffin State School. On Saturday, July 23 between 3pm and 8pm you’ll find a most spectacular event. Market stalls, loads of rides and entertainment from locals are just some of the things you can enjoy.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, events may be postponed or cancelled at the last minute. We do our best to ensure our events are up to date, but be sure to check the organiser’s own event page for the most current updates.

You can find more at our comprehensive What’s On page for all the kid and family fun around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. 

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Family friendly events on the Gold Coast this weekend
The best things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast this weekend

Written by Calista Bruschi

When she’s not moulding Play-Doh or dancing in the living room with her children, Calista Bruschi is an editor and writer. She has oodles of experience working on newspapers, magazines and websites. Calista likes to organise and be organised. She loves being a mum, Italian food, wine, sport and stationery. She hasn't sleep a full night in more than five years and is powered by coffee.

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