Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium at the Brisbane Botanic Garden is a great activity when you’re looking for something indoors, or it can be combined with a walk around the gardens for a great day out. For a comprehensive list of things to do in Brisbane with children, check out my blog post here.
Little wannabe astronauts will be excited by the displays about the moon landing, solar system and our night sky! I was surprised to see how excited our young son was to explore the displays and chat about all things space!
Explore the Display Zone
The Sir Thomas Planetarium display zone begins in the foyer. Here you will discover models of spacecrafts, a replica of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit and fragment’s of asteroids! Our son was quite enamoured by this part of the planetarium.
Next is the gallery which takes you around the planetarium walls and teaches you about the Solar System, Milky Way and the Big Bang as well as Sir Thomas Brisbane. This part of the planetarium includes an interactive display.
The Display Zone also houses Skylore: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Astronomy. It is fascinating to learn about our local Aboriginal elder’s knowledge of the stars and sky. I was so pleased that this incredible part of Aboriginal culture has been shared at the planetarium.
Entry to the Display Zone is free.
Watch a show at the Cosmic Skydome
During our visit we popped in to watch a show on the Cosmic Skydome which is a large overhead projection dome that creates an immersive experience for the audience.
There are two shows suitable for very young children:
- Perfect Little Planet – 45 minutes – suited to 5 years and up – a tour through the solar system
- The Little Star That Could – 35 minutes – suited to 3 years and up – a story about stars
These animated features teach kids about astronomy through fun stories.
We saw Perfect Little Planet and to be honest, our 3.5 year old got a little restless about halfway through. I think this is more suited to children over 5 years old. Most other kids in the theatre seemed to enjoy it though and as with anything, it might depend on your child’s mood.
Our show also included a short talk at the end about Brisbane’s night sky and we were shown some of the popular constellations to look out for.
Other Cosmic Skydome shows for older age groups include Capturing the Cosmos, Dark Universe, Samskara, Tales of a Time Traveler, Experience the Aurora and We are Aliens! Many of these are listed as suitable for 6 year olds and above (for both the child’s experience, and the enjoyment of the audience).
The cost for the Cosmic Skydome shows is $16.40 for adults and $10 for children aged 3 – 14 years.
For the most recent show times and entry costs, and to discover what’s on at the Brisbane Planetarium, we recommend you check the Sir Thomas Planetarium website here.
The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium also includes an Observatory. On selected Saturday nights (dependent on weather and visibility) you can make a booking to participate in a tour of the night sky. You can make a booking here.
Make a day of your visit to the Planetarium
The Planetarium also includes an observatory, sun dial garden and small gift store.
If you want to make a day of it and the weather was nice, you can spend plenty of time exploring the Botanic gardens – there is a great playground and sensory walk for kids amongst other things.
There are also many great places for a picnic or you may like to enjoy lunch at the Brisbane Botanic Cafe on site near the car park.
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium Open Hours and Parking
The Planetarium is generally open Tuesday to Sunday and closed on public holidays. Opening times are below.
Monday: Queensland school holidays only, open 10 am – 3 pm.
Tuesday – Thursday: open 10 am – 4 pm
Friday: open 10 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday: open 10:45 am – 7:30 pm
Sunday: open 10:45 am – 4 pm
Parking at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens is free.