1. Check in to your local library
Libraries are a great source of activities for kids (and adults) of all ages, with most running a variety of programs throughout the school holidays catering for a whole range of interests. If you and your kids aren’t already members of your local library, now is a perfect time to join and start taking advantage of the creative and inspiring activities on offer. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage good reading habits in your kids — a crucial part of healthy brain development that is often overlooked. For those in Brisbane and surrounds, you’ll find all the information on your local library and school holiday activities at Brisbane City Libraries. And best of all, most library activities are absolutely free!
2. Ice skating & tobogganing in Brisbane? You betcha!
As Queenslanders, we often feel a bit left out from those classic winter activities that are more easily in reach of our southern neighbours. But, for the last couple of years, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre has been filling that gap over the winter break with their FREE ice skating rink and tobogganing slide, open right through the holidays from 10am - 4pm, and until 8pm on Thursdays. Catering for everyone from beginners to skilled skaters, what better way to get the kids out of the house than giving them the thrill of a winter wonderland.
3. For the daredevil in us all
Both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Recreation Centres are running a fantastic series of indoor and outdoor physical activities over the holidays, as part of their Coast Club program. Designed for children 8 years and over, parents are also welcome to join in the dizzying (quite literally) array of activities, including abseiling, canoeing, caving, bungy-style jumps and challenging rope courses. You can register for a half-day (3 hour) or full-day (6 hour) program, with the cost of the full-day including lunch. Neither option is exorbitantly priced given the great selection of experiences on offer.
4. Explore the universe
If you haven’t already visited, make sure you put the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium on your list of things to do these winter holidays (with or without kids!). Established in 1978 by Brisbane City Council in the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, the Planetarium features a Cosmic Skydome, where Brisbane’s night sky is projected across a 12.5 metre dome, alongside a mind-blowing series of events about both the known and unknown aspects of our incredible universe. This holidays, the Planetarium’s events for kids include ‘We Are Aliens’, a film which takes you on an epic ride in search of intergalactic life; ‘Stories In The Stars’, where two Indigenous kids return to their family’s country and are told the traditional stories of the stars; and ‘Black Holes: Journey Into The Unknown’, a film narrated by Geoffrey Rush about the chaos that ensues when universal order breaks down, amongst many other shows. All events include the night sky show in the Cosmic Skydome.
5. Skew your perception @ Queensland Museum
The amazing exhibition — Perception Deception — is running at the Queensland Museum until August 5th and is an ideal school holiday activity for both kids and adults. Underlying the various sensory experiences throughout the exhibition is the question - is what we see, hear and feel real? The Museum’s website describes some of the activities as follows: ‘Test your balance while walking along a path wearing special glasses, make your arms feel like they are floating, see into infinity and watch a ball disappear in mid-air. Explore your visual, multisensory, social and audio-language perception.’ As a whole, the exhibition is geared towards exploring how the brain perceives things and people, and how everyone’s perception of reality is slightly different. Admission is $5 per person and children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult (18+).