For something free, fun and educational head down to your local Brisbane City Council library. In addition to regular events such as Storytime and Toddler Time, each library will be hosting a range of free school holiday activities including Crafty Kids (craft for kids aged 4-12 years), Roald Dhal birthday celebrations, Pantomime shows and Kitchen Gardening workshops. Some libraries such as Wynnum will have movie days, and Garden City will hold a ASHCAN Comic Workshop where young people can learn about the production of comics and create their own comic superhero. Not every library will host every event so check out the Brisbane City Council website to find out what's on at your local library.
Kick off the school holidays with the free Symphony Under the Stars concert as part of the Brisbane Festival on Friday 21st September at 7.00pm.
Or on any day during the holidays roam the gorgeous gardens, explore the public artworks, set the family up under a tree and have a picnic or make use of the barbecue facilities. Chilling out and dining in at the Melange Cafe onsite is another option. Kids can make use of the playground, pick up a free activity worksheet (from the Visitors Info Booth) and for a gold coin can ride the Parkland Explorer train (daily between 10.00am and 3.00pm only).
Get the whole family, pooch included, to the parklands on Saturday 29th September for the Purina Bark in the Park Festival from 10.00am - 2.00pm. Or on Saturday 6th October children aged 8-12 years can take part in the free Catch and Release Fishing Day; there's a 12.00pm and 2.30pm session and bookings are essential (07 3006 4545 to book).
A visit to Southbank Parklands at any time is a fun day for the whole family and can include a picnic or barbecue, a wander around the markets, a splash of fun at the 'beach' and interactive Aquativity Water Park, or perhaps a splurge at Max Brenner's Chocolateria.
But the first week of the September school holidays is a particularly exciting time at Southbank as it coincides with the last week of the Brisbane Festival. Head to the Cultural Forecourt to witness the radiant Brisbane Airport International Lantern Garden, nab a prime viewing position for the Santos GLNG City of Lights spectacular, or be there on Saturday 29th for the festival finale extravaganza - Riverfire.
Get the family out to Wynnum Manly for a day of fun, fresh sea air and sunshine. Take the bikes, scooter, blades and prams down to the foreshore, relax with a picnic or barbecue, and let the kids run wild at the popular Pandanus Beach. Explore the Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk or take a stroll along the William Gunn jetty and stop at the kiosk for an icecream.
On the first weekend of the holidays (22 & 23 September) the Manly Boat Harbour will host Brisbane's first ever on-water marine industry showcase, Power, Sail and Paddle. With endless boats and marine equipment on display both on and off the water, this showcase promises to delight the whole family. Take part in free sailing lessons, get behind the wheel of your dream luxury yacht or learn about fishing from the experts. Families can register for a sail on a Vagabond and kids can go solo on a Tacker's Opti. Kids can also partake in free marine workshops and learn basic fishing skills such as how to cast a fishing rod, cast a bait net and pump for yabbies.
For those who prefer the indoors, general admission to the museum is free and there is no shortage of things to occupy children here. Top of the entertainment list is the Energex Playasaurus Place, an interactive, educational palaeontologic playground. In a curious educational mix, learn about sustainable living alongside the fascinating history of dinosaurs in a fun and interactive environment. Check out the Playasaurus Place website page for a full list of displays and activities.
The dinosaur skeletons and fossils of the Giants of the Past exhibition will wow the kids, while ocean lovers can explore the Marine Reptiles exhibition as part of the general admission.
If you're prepared to fork out a bit of cash ($8.00), kids between 7 and 14 years can take part in the interactive Mummify: DIY workshop on selective dates between 25 September - 3 October. Accompanying adults enter free of charge. Check here for session dates and times, and to book.
And on the off chance the kids get bored, pop over to GOMA's Children's Art Centre for the final days of Fiona Hall's Fly Away Home exhibition (finishes 3 October 2012). Allow their creativity to flourish as they create their own bird and nest.
Go native with the Rapt in Reptiles program at the Queen St Mall stage on Tuesday 25th September and Tuesday 2nd October from 11.30 - 1.00pm. Join a wildlife ranger and get up close and personal with an array of Australian reptiles.