Best Things to do with Toddlers in Brisbane

Southbank with a toddler

If you’re looking for exciting, convenient and affordable activities and attractions to explore with young children and toddlers in Brisbane – I’ve made things easy by creating a one-stop directory, organised by location!

Brisbane is an ideal destination for a family getaway and a fantastic place to raise children. Known for its relaxed lifestyle and enviable weather, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and explore with kids.

Read on to discover our favourite activities, with helpful information for your visit including how to get there, opening hours, any associated costs and links to more information.

What makes these places and activities great for toddlers? 

I’ve chosen a list of toddler friendly activities and attractions in Brisbane that:

  • provide little minds and bodies with plenty of stimulation
  • include space for them to run around safely
  • provide exciting new situations and environments for them to explore and
  • will keep them entertained long enough for Mum and Dad to enjoy a coffee. 

Most of the activities are free or low cost.

All of these activities are also suited to pre-school and primary school children. Therefore, this a great resource for families with siblings of varied ages. 

Best Activities and Things to do with Toddlers in Brisbane – by Location

Below are all the best activities and attractions in Brisbane for young children, categorised by location.

I’ve included activities for toddlers in Ipswich, which I know is technically a city in its own right, because it is still within an hour’s drive of the CBD, and some of the attractions here are very popular with families – so I didn’t want to leave them out!


Central Brisbane

Southbank Parklands

The iconic Southbank Parklands are located on the Brisbane River, a short stroll from the CBD. It is a popular attraction for local families and a must do for visitors to the city. 

Well known for its impressive man-made beach and swimming lagoon, the parklands also include multiple playgrounds and green space to explore.

Southbank is also a cultural precinct – home to the Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Gallery of Modern Art and the State Library. The Wheel of Brisbane is also located at Southbank and offers gorgeous views across the city (for an additional cost).

For lunch we recommend you pack a picnic to enjoy with a view, but you can also buy lunch from one of the many cafes surrounding the area. 

Cost: Free

Open: Every day 5 am – 12 am

Getting there: Take the train to Southbank or South Brisbane stations. If you’re staying in the CBD, it is just a short walk over the Victoria Bridge. Paid parking is available – starting from around $15 a day on weekends.  

Find more information here: Visit Southbank

New Farm Park

Brunswick Street, New Farm

This heritage listed park is a long-term establishment to Brisbane, and a very popular destination for local families on the weekend. Spanning about 37 hectares and situated on the Brisbane River, it provides beautiful views and large green lawns – making it a great spot for a picnic. 

The playground is well suited to toddlers – shaded by magical fig trees, with a large wooden fort and bridge to climb and explore. Other equipment includes swings, rockers, and a rope climbing frame. 

Electric BBQ’s and public toilets are available and pathways mean little ones can bring their trike for a ride.  After playing and eating, families can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Brisbane river.

Cost: Free

Open: Every Day

Getting there: 9 minute drive (3 km) from the city. Or catch the CityCat ferry to New Farm Park.

Find more information here: New Farm Park

Roma Street Parklands

1 Parkland Boulevard, Brisbane. 

The Roma Street Parklands is another great place to explore if your toddler needs to get outside and burn off energy. 

Located on 16 hectares of land just outside the CBD, the parklands have lots of walks to explore and include two playgrounds.

For lunch – there are a number of barbecues and picnic tables available, and a café is located on site. 

This parkland is also a popular location for many festivals and events. 

Cost: Free

Open: Every day, 24 hours

Getting there: Roma Street Parkland is just over a 1 km walk from the CBD. Catch the train to Roma Street Station. Parking is available at the Roma Street Transit Centre for $15 all day on the weekend.

Find more information here: Roma Street Parklands

Powerkids – Little Artists at Play

119 Lamington Street, New Farm

Just next door to New Farm Park is the Brisbane Powerhouse. Once an industrial power station, this refurbished building now houses an art centre. Powerkids, little artists at play is held here every Tuesday during the school term. 

A collaboration between the Powerhouse and Imaginary Theatre, these sessions are designed for children aged between 0 – 5 years old. They encourage children to engage in art, theatre, dance, and creativity through play. 

Cost: Free

Open: Tuesdays, 30 minutes sessions run from 9 am – 11.30 am depending on capacity. 

Getting There: The Powerhouse is a 9 minute drive (3 km) from the city – free parking available. Or if coming from the city catch the CityCat ferry to New Farm Park.

Find more information here: Powerkids, Little Artists at Play

West Brisbane

Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens 

Mount Coot-tha Road, Mount Coot-tha

Mount Coot-tha is Brisbane’s tallest mountain, and home to arguably one of the best views in Brisbane. At the foot of Mount Coot-tha is the Brisbane Botanic Gardens – a great place to explore the outdoors with a toddler. 

The gardens include a Senses ‘Hide n seek’ trail designed especially for young children. Grab a map and try to find the hidden surprises along the wayOur favourite area to visit is the picturesque Japanese garden and the playground. 

There are plenty of shady spots to eat a picnic. If you don’t want to BYO your food, the Gardens Café is located onsite and up the road to the lookout you can find a meal with a view at the Kuta Café. 

Cost: Free

Open: Every day 8.00 am – 5.30 pm

Getting there: 15 minutes drive (6.5 km) west of the city. Free parking available.

Find more information here: Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-Tha with toddlers

North Brisbane

Lyell Deer Sanctuary

6 Lyell Court, Mount Samson

If you’re happy to venture a little further from the city, a day trip to Samford is worth your while. The Lyell Deer Sanctuary is located at Mount Samson, in the scenic hills of the Samford Valley. It offers a relaxed and affordable weekend activity for little animal lovers. 

Children are able to get up close and personal with the group of deer that call this sanctuary home. You can pat and feed the gentle creatures, then relax with a picnic. 

The property has a large undercover, casual dining area. Think rustic and no-fuss! They sell tea and coffee, and you’re welcome to bring your own lunch to enjoy.  

Cost: $10 gets you entry for the whole family and feed is $1 per bag

Open: Weekends 10 am – 4 pm (we recommend you check their Facebook times for updated hours). Group visits can be organised outside these hours. 

Getting there: Lyell Deer Sanctuary is a 46 minute drive (34 km) north west of the city. Free parking.

Find more information here: Lyell Deer Sanctuary

Raven Street Reserve Senses Trail 

815 Rode Road, Chermside

This is a great place to discover Brisbane’s bushland with young children. The Raven Street Reserve includes a short Senses Trail walk, Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, playground and picnic area. 

The Senses trail is fully accessible by pram or wheelchair, and is a 200 metre round trip, so little legs won’t get tired. 

Electric barbecues, sheltered tables and toilets are located near the playground – making it a great day out for the family. 

Cost: Free

Open: Every day (Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is open Monday – Thursday 9 am to 4 pm)

Getting there: Raven Street Reserve is a 20 minute (12 km) drive north of the CBD. Free parking available.

Find more information here: Raven Street Reserve

Ferny Grove Water Park

Corner of Samford Road and Upper Kedron Road, Keperra

This free water park (provided by Brisbane City Council) features tipping buckets, an interactive water play table, a spray tunnel, smaller water bubblers and larger water streams to suit children of various ages. 

The park also includes a playground, picnic tables, barbeques and toilets – making it a popular location for birthday parties. It is completely wheelchair accessible, including the water park and amenities. Plenty of shade is offered too. 

Cost: Free

Open: Every day, the aqua play operates from 8 am – 4 pm. 

Getting there: The Ferny Grove Aqua Park is a 26 minute (14 km) drive north-west of the Brisbane CBD.

Ferny Grove Water Park

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

60 Mount Nebo Rd, The Gap

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre is home to our favourite native marsupials – including wombats, wallabies, snakes and the elusive platypus! 

Located at Enoggera Reservoir, Walkabout Creek is wildlife centre, café, and outdoor recreational facility combined! Surrounding the centre are lovely walks through D’Aguilar National Park. A fossil dig sits along the bank of the dam where you can also swim during the warmer months. 

Bring a picnic or grab a bite to eat at the Walkabout Creek Café – situated on a wooden deck amongst the tree tops.  

Cost: Entry to the Discovery Centre is $7.70 for adults and $3.70 for children aged 4 – 17 years. The Enoggera Reservoir, walks and fossil dig is free. 

Open: Monday to Friday 8 am – 2 pm. Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 3 pm. 

Getting There: a 20 minute drive (13 km) north-west of the city. Free Parking.

Find more information here: Eight Reasons to Visit Walkabout Creek

Kumbartcho Sanctuary Fairy Garden

15 Bunya Pine Court, Eatons Hill

Located on 6 hectares of bushland, the Kumbartcho Sanctuary is a great place to encourage young children to explore in nature. Shaded pathways take you through a scenic walk to the Fairy Tale Trail.

Here you will discover a magical fairy village, including Peter Rabbit’s house and a miniature speedway track! Kids can write letters to the fairies and leave them in the letterbox. 

Onsite is also a playground, barbeque and picnic tables. An Environment Education Centre includes displays on the local bushland.  We recommend you bring insect repellent for your walk. 

Cost: Free

Open: The grounds and walks are open every day 7 am – 7 pm. The Environment Education Centre is open Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 2 pm. 

Getting There: 35 minute drive (24 km) north of Brisbane CBD.

Find more information here: Kumbartcho Sanctuary

Kumbartcho Sanctuary Fairy Garden

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

78 Musgrave Rd, Fig Tree Pocket

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a long-standing and popular establishment in Brisbane. It is the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary, being home to 130 koalas and many other animals! 

The sanctuary is popular with young children because you can get up and close to the animals – hold a koala and hand feed the kangaroos.

Set aside a whole day for this adventure – there are also wombats, cassowaries, Tasmanian devils, platypus, birds, dingoes, crocodiles and farm animals to visit as well as live shows to see! 

You can purchase your lunch from the Riverside Café, but as entry to the sanctuary itself isn’t cheap you may like to pack a picnic to save on additional costs.

Cost: Adults $38, Children over 3 years $22

Open: 9 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week

Getting there: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a 15 minute drive (12 km) from Brisbane city. Free parking. The sanctuary also has a public bus stop at its entrance (regular buses travel there from the city).

Find more information here: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

South Brisbane 

Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Regional Park, 253 Daisy Hill Rd, Daisy Hill 

Home to five adorable koalas, this centre is free to visit and filled with interactive, educational displays perfect for children aged from toddlers to primary school age. It even has a little koala hospital where kids can dress up as carers and nurse the koalas back to health. 

At 11 am and 2 pm each day there is a 20-minute presentation given by a wildlife officer, all about these cute marsupials.  Short films are displayed in the Woodland Theatre.

The centre is surrounded by shaded parkland, including picnic areas and both wood-fired and electric barbecues. A number of walking and bike tracks are also available.

The centre is mostly pram and wheelchair accessible except for the treetop tower.

Price: Free

Open: Monday to Sunday 9 am – 4 pm

Getting there: Daisy Hill Koala Centre is a 26 minute drive (26 km) from Brisbane CBD. Free parking available.

Find more information here: Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary

Ipswich

Workshops Rail Museum

North Street, North Ipswich 

The Workshops Rail Museum has something for the whole family and is a huge hit with toddlers right up to older primary school aged children! 

Interactive the whole way through – this museum includes real life restored trains, a model railway of Queensland, and lots of areas to dress up and role play including Nippers Railway.

Each school holiday features special exhibits – such as visits Thomas the Tank Engine and educational activities for little engineers.

The café onsite is very affordable but there are also nice areas to sit and eat a packed lunch.

Price: Entry costs $14.50 for adults and $11.50 for children over 3 years.

Open: Every day 9.30 am – 4 pm except Good Friday, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Getting there: 45 minutes south west of Brisbane CBD by car.

Find more information here: The Workshops Rail Museum

The Workshops Rail Museum

Queens Park

Merle Finimore Avenue, Ipswich

A favourite with locals, this attraction is a must do for families visiting Ipswich. Queensland’s oldest park, Queens Park is perfectly suited to toddler’s and young children. 

More than just a park, children will love exploring the Japanese style Nerima Gardens, playing on the excellent playground facilities, and checking out the Environment Education Centre.

The all abilities playground includes all the usual favourites plus plenty more – a flying fox, climbing wall, large slides, train, liberty swing and water play area. 

Beautifully designed and manicured gardens provide a scenic location for a picnic lunch. Barbeques, picnic tables and public toilets provide convenience for families.

A café is also on site, if you prefer to purchase your lunch. Not to be missed, the Nature Centre is located here also, and details of this toddler friendly activity are below. 

Open: Weekdays 9 am – 5 pm, Weekends 9 am – 4.15 pm and most public holidays. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday.

Cost: Free

Getting there: Ipswich is a 45 minutes drive south-west of Brisbane CBD by car. Free parking available. 

Find more information here: Queens Park, Ipswich

Ipswich Nature Centre

Queens Park, Goleby Avenue

Located within Queens Park, the Ipswich Nature Centre is great for toddlers and young children right up to older family members. It is home to a number of native Australian wildlife and farm animals.

Beautifully designed, the centre takes you around a wooden boardwalk past a pond and water feature to see all the animals. 

The Nature Centre is fully accessible by wheelchair. Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic within the grounds of the park or grab a bite to eat at the Queens Park café. See more about the park and playground above. 

Cost: Free (gold coin donations accepted).

Open: During the school term the centre is open 6 days, Tuesday – Sunday 9.30 am – 4 pm. During school holidays the centre is open every day 9.30 am – 4 pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Getting there: Ipswich is a 45 minutes south-west of Brisbane CBD by car. Free parking available.

Find more information here: Nature Centre, Ipswich

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