When school holidays strike, it can be hard to find the inspiration to make each day more fun-filled than the last. If your goal is a whole two weeks without hearing the words ‘I’m bored’, check out our comprehensive list of all things school holiday fun!

Free fun:

  1. Try a free kids’ program – if there’s one thing that beats fun school holiday activities, it’s FREE fun school holiday activities. The Little Days Out program at Brisbane’s South Bank and Active & Healthy Gold Coast are two examples, but there are always loads of free things going on at local shopping centres, museums and parks!
  2. Play in the park – when all else fails, head to your local park or playground for the day. The kids can run wild and you can enjoy a coffee in the shade (or, in reality, push your kids on the swings for 45 minutes straight… at least there’s no mess to clean up!)
  3. Go to the beach – we’re lucky to live near some of the best beaches in the world, so get out there any make the most of them!
  4. Try an at-home science experiment – slime has taken the world by storm, but there are loads of other fun science experiments you can do with things in your kitchen pantry. A quick Google will reveal loads of options!
  5. Have a picnic – whether you leave your backyard or not, making a picnic out of things you’ve got in the fridge is a fun way to enjoy your kids’ company (with minimal dishwashing!)
  6. Have a movie marathon at home – this one is particularly great for night time or rainy days. Grab some popcorn and log into Netflix for a fun, free school holiday treat!
  7. Ride a bike – if you own a bike, chances are you don’t ride it as much as you’d like. Get out into the sunshine and explore the city from the back of your bike (we’ve even found the Gold Coast’s best bike tracks: www.scoutmagazine.com.au
  8. Make a scavenger hunt – think like a pirate and create a scavenger hunt around your home, offering up chocolate coins or other treats as the treasure!

A little bit cultural:

  1. Fun at the theatre – there are so many great shows on at the Gold Coast’s HOTA and Brisbane’s QPAC, so keep an eye out on their websites!
  2. Watch a movie – school holidays mean awesome kids movies, so make a day of it and hit your local cinema.
  3. Go to the museum – whether it’s life-size dinosaurs or Australian history your kids are into, there’s always something fun to do at the museum
  4. Take an art class – whether it’s pottery or painting, drawing or tie-dying, there are loads of art classes to try around town. The Craft Parlour at Palm Beach is one of our favourites!
  5. Go to the art gallery – if you’re not into making art yourself, head to the art gallery to see the how the pro’s do it. There are always plenty of fun school holiday activities on at art galleries, too!
  6. Off to market – we’ve got no shortage of markets here in south-east Queensland, so check out which ones are on this week (we’ve even done the hard work for you: [link to markets page])
  7. Go to the planetarium – the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium offers loads of informative, exciting activities, shows and exhibits to make sure your school holidays are out-of-this-world!
  8. Hit your local library – the kids may not be at school, but that doesn’t mean they can stop learning. Whether it’s borrowing some new books or getting involved with the activities on offer, your nearest library is a great place to spend a day or two these holidays.
  9. Go to the Sciencentre – Brisbane’s Sciencentre has a brand-new attraction! SparkLab includes over 40 interactive exhibits based on science, technology, engineering and maths, designed for you to unleash your imagination.
  10. Explore local history – climb to the top of the iconic Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower or stroll through Logan’s Forest of Memories and better understand the stories that created the cities we live in today. 

Live for the thrill:

  1. Go to a theme park – gone are the days where visiting more than one theme park in the school holidays would cost you an arm and a leg, with Dreamworld’s visitors pass giving you access to Dreamworld, White Water World and Sky Point for a whole year!
  2. Go rock climbing – live on the edge with a day of rock climbing. Our go-to’s are Rocksports Indoor Climbing in Fortitude Valley or Paramount Adventure Centre in Burleigh Heads.
  3. Ride the wheel – the Wheel of Brisbane has become an iconic landmark, offering an unbeatable view of the north and south banks of the Brisbane River. A must for visiting tourists, and for locals who want to see their city from a different perspective.
  4. Try ten-pin bowling – whatever the weather, an afternoon spent ten-pin bowling makes for unbeatable family fun! Strike Wintergarden and Surfers Paradise are some of our favourites, but there are a bunch of other bowling spots around town, too!
  5. Attempt an Escape Room – speaking of Strike, both the Wintergarden and Surfers Paradise locations have ‘escape rooms’ for you to put your detective skills to the test. You can also hit up Escape Hunt at Southport for some brain-boggling, adrenaline pumping escape room fun!
  6. Hit the arcade – whether you’re trying your hand at a claw machine or dominating a game of air hockey, there’s unlimited fun to be had at the arcade. Check Google to find one in your area!
  7. Play paintball or laser tag – it doesn’t get much more thrilling than ducking and diving to avoid shots from your enemy (whether they’re balls of paint or laser lights!) so give paintball or laser tag a go these holidays.
  8. See some sport – we’ve got some serious sporting talent here in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and while the various footy codes may be wrapping up, there’s still a lot of cricket and water sport to look forward to!
  9. Throw a grand final party – we’re lucky enough to have two major footy events on this weekend, so gather your friends or family and watch the AFL Grand Final on Saturday afternoon or the NRL Grand Final on Sunday evening.
  10. Get your skates on – whether it’s one the ice or on wheels, skating is a tried and true school holiday activity. Epic Skate Rinks on the Gold Coast are great for roller skating, while Paradise Resort and Brisbane’s Ice World are our picks for ice skating.
  11. Go to a water park – the weather is finally heating up, and we’re finding ourselves reaching for our swimmers. Check out the many waterparks around town, including free spots like the Rock Pools at Broadbeach and South Bank’s Aquativity area.
  12. Go golfin’ – think classic putt putt is fun? Take things up a notch at Holey Moley, now at Surfers Paradise as well as in Fortitude Valley, or practice your long shot at the Gold Coast’s latest attraction, Top Golf.
  13. Bounce it out – trampoline parks and school holidays are a match made in heaven, which is why Bounce Inc. (in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast) is one of our all-time faves!

Go Wild:

  1. Watch for whales – we’re seeing the last few whales pass by our beaches, which means this is your last chance to jump on a boat and get up close and personal with the biggest animals on the planet before they all migrate south for another year.
  2. Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – want to hang out with Australia’s cutest and quirkiest native animals not far from Brisbane’s city centre? Lone Pine is the place to pat a kangaroo, get photos with a koala and even see a platypus and a bilby – all in one day!
  3. Head to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – whether you’re feeding the hundreds of lorikeets out the front or exploring the park by Segway, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary offers loads of school holiday fun.
  4. Go fishing – our nearby beaches offer more than fun in the surf – they’re also good spots to cast a line!
  5. Go for a hike/bushwalk – there are so many great walks in and around town, so lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails for a school holiday activity that will certainly tucker the kids out.
  6. Make a garden – spring is here, which means now is the time to get gardening! Whether it’s a small flowerbox or a larger veggie patch, creating your own garden is a school holiday activity that you’ll be benefiting from well beyond the first day back at school.

Foodie fun:

  1. Bake something – baking is one of our favourite school holiday activities, because it keeps the kids occupied AND promises a yummy treat at the end. If they’re adamant to do it on their own, try some of the kid-friendly no-bake recipes floating around the internet.
  2. Do a cooking class – if you’re not much of a DIY baker, why not enrol yourself and/or your kids in a school holiday cooking class? The Collective Palm Beach have a number of kid-friendly cooking workshops, while Come and Cook is a favourite for Brisbane-based kid cooks.
  3. Go to a night market – between Eat Street Northshore in Brisbane to Mt Gravatt Marketta, and right down to Night Quarter, Helensvale or Miami Marketta on the Gold Coast, there is no shortage of fun food markets to satisfy your cravings.
  4. Have a barbecue – now that it’s a bit warmer, we’re welcoming back the backyard barbecue! Grab some snags and your closest friends for an at-home barbie, or head to your local public BBQ area for some fun in the sun.
  5. Enjoy family night out – going out for dinner during the school holidays doesn’t have to be expensive! There are so many great family-friendly meal deals, particularly at The Oasis Broadbeach. Check out our top picks here: www.havenmagazine.com.au
  6. Host a dinner party – keep it casual or go all out with a dinner party! Invite your nearest and dearest over for some great food, with loads of activities (board games, movies, etc.) for your little guests to enjoy with your own kids.
  7. Visit Sugar Republic – it’s a sweet-lovers dream, and it’s on in Brisbane from now until October 21. Swing in a fairy floss room and jump out of a birthday cake at this one-of-a-kind pop up event!

Get Crafty:

  1. Build a cubby – get out those spare blankets and replenish the peg supply – building an indoor cubby house is one way to keep the kids entertained for hours. All they’ll need are some well-positioned chairs, a bit of floor space and a lot of creativity. Plus, once the cubby’s built, they’ll have somewhere they can chill out.
  2. Learn something new – knitting or crochet are two timeless, super-useful skills that a lot of kids might never pick up. With the growing trend of knitted clothes and crochet keepsakes, now is a great time to learn!
  3. Make some art – whether it’s painting on a canvas or page, drawing with chalk on an outdoor surface or trying a new craft activity like macramé or making beaded bracelets, there are so many ways to help your kids explore their creativity when they’re not at school. Plus, it usually keeps them quiet!
  4. DIY jigsaw puzzle – Whether you’re on a plush rug indoors or soaking up the sun outside, a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to keep the kids entertained and their little minds stimulated. It also means you can take some time out to sit and chat with them, which sure beats chasing them around all day – win, win!
  5. Board games – they’re a tried and true way to keep children entertained, but have you thought about showing them how to make their own? Noughts and Crosses, Guess Who and Tic Tac Toe are a few examples of games they can recreate, but they could also make up their own if they’re feeling inspired! Pick up some coloured card, clue and a set of coloured markers and watch their imaginations run wild.
  6. Make an ‘I’m Bored’ jar – sick of hearing those two dreaded words, ‘Mum in the Madhouse’ thought up 1001 school holiday activities to keep her kids busy over the holidays. How many can you attempt before school goes back? www.muminthemadhouse.com

For tonnes, more school holiday fun, keep an eye on our list of top family events of the week or our monthly ‘what’s on’ calendar around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay!

Anastasia White

Anastasia White  

Anastasia (‘Anny’ to her friends and family, thanks to some nickname experimentation in year 4 that unfortunately stuck) is a born-and-bred Brisbanite with a love of coffee and her cat, Olive. Having recently finished a degree in journalism, Anastasia loves being able to learn and write about so many different topics for a variety of audiences.