They say the best things in life are free and exploring the best that 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 to longboard, paddleboard or skateboard
There are hours of endless fun to be had at the many free or low-cost activities held by Brisbane City Council year-round. Try longboarding, abseiling, putt-putt golf, BMX coaching, windsurfing, scooter coaching and more – all available for free or just $5. Bookings are essential, so get in early to secure your place.
Cost: Free or just $5.
2. Go to infinity and beyond
Blow your mind with fun facts on the solar system at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. In the sky dome, you can escape to far-flung destinations departing from Mt Coot-tha. Go here for more details on showtimes and tickets.
Cost: Entry into the interactive play space is FREE. Shows: Adult $10, Child (3-14 yrs) $6.
3. Go wild at a free water park
Perfect for kids of all ages, Rocks Riverside Park in Seventeen Mile Rocks offers a jam-packed family day out, with a water-play area and two playgrounds to choose from. The water park features are awesome for little adventurers navigating the miniature river rapids, while older kids will whiz through the sky on the flying fox before scaling the nautical-inspired playground. This day out won't cost you a cent, with barbeques and picnic areas for your own BYO feast. On the other side of the river, head to Ferny Grove Aqua Park for more free water park fun.
4. Life's a beach at Southbank
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 manmade beach and a must-do activity in Brisbane. The pools are free to use and currently patrolled by lifeguards from 7am until midnight, daily. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, with sprawling lawns and shady nooks to relax after a dip.
5. Make a splash at a public pool
Brisbane City Council has 22 pools, with 15 featuring water play areas with slides and wading pools for hours of water-based fun for kids. Adult entry fees to Council pools can be found here and kids under two are free!
Cost: Various - under $10 for Adults.
6. Take a City Hopper adventure
Cruise the river on a City Hopper to take in the city from a different perspective. Best of all kids ride free on the weekend and seniors can travel for free off-peak! Make a stop at New Farm Park for a picnic or hit the impressive playground with the kids then hop on a double-decker CityCat for the trip home - it's got an upper deck with seating for 20, allowing you to admire Brisbane's stunning skyline. Hot Tip: Just remember having a Go Card will make travel at least 30% cheaper than buying a paper ticket.
7. Catch a break surrounded by beauty
Roma Street Parkland covers 16 hectares in the heart of Brisbane. It is open and includes sprawling lawns, designer gardens showcasing lots of endemic species of plants to educate the kids about, as well as an epic children's playground.
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, drinking fountains, CityCycle stations and bike availability. A casual CityCycle pass only costs $2 per day, which includes unlimited 30-minute rides. 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 - easy riders, sightseers, families, scenery-seekers, mountain-climbers and more.
9. Discover a hidden world of parks in Fitzgibbon
Whether you have kids, or are just a big kid yourself, Fitzgibbon's Hidden World Playground is a magical park with some seriously cool play equipment. Let the kids' imaginations run wild as they explore the colourful huts, climbable sand creatures, wobble bridges and slides. On the other side, there's a dedicated dog park so even your fur baby can enjoy the outdoors. Continue the fun up the road at Flinders Park, or head out on one of the bush paths that meander beside Cabbage Tree Creek at Taigum.
10. Become a park ninja-warrior
Find your inner ninja at the Park Warrior course in Guyatt Park, St Lucia. Designed for adults and children aged 12 years or over, the track takes you on a range of ninja obstacles challenging your fitness, strength, agility, and coordination. For the little ones, there's still plenty of fun to be had in the junior playground close by as well plenty of picnic and barbeque facilities.
11. Join a Junior Ranger program
Warril Parkland at Larapinta makes for a wild family day out. Navigate your way to this bush camp-themed playground with flying foxes and a lake - all part of the local Oxley Creek Transformation. There's also a lakeside boardwalk and pontoon, as well as birdwatching and space to picnic with barbecues. Can't tear the kids away at the end of the day? Sign them up to Oxley Creek Junior Ranger Program for a range of activities for children of all ages, including the Warril Parkland Discovery Trail, as well as activities for home or school.
12. Learn to ride at Grinstead Park
Grinstead Park features an impressive fort style playground but its latest addition is a real drawcard for kids wanting to learn the ropes of bike riding in a safe environment. A newly built learn to ride track provides the perfect space for little people to learn to balance on two wheels or take off on training wheels for the first time.