SparkLab Science Centre Brisbane, located in the Queensland Museum at South Bank is a fantastic indoor Brisbane activity for curious minds.
This educative science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) experience has so many interactive displays that children of all ages will enjoy. Although it’s designed for 6 to 13 year olds, our three year old also loved this experience and we recommend it for a great day out.
It’s true that pre-school aged children will have a different experience to older kids at SparkLab Brisbane, but I wouldn’t rule it out for a weekend activity. It is a great option for really hot or rainy days.
Interactive activities at SparkLab Science Centre Brisbane
Our son enjoyed challenging himself to pulling on levers, making balls jump, building bridges, flying paper planes, watching noise manipulate water and creating music – amongst other things!
Older children will learn why all these things happen. They can read about the activity, guess what will happen, test out their theories and ask questions.
In total there are 40 interactive exhibits across three zones.
Our son’s favourites activities at SparkLab Science Centre were:
- Sitting in a chair and pulling the ropes to make himself move higher and higher off the ground. This lets children test out the different pulley systems.
- Making a paper aeroplane to fly above an air vent. This allows children to try different aerodynamic designs, and different levels of air flow – to see what will happen.
- Making music by hitting different length pipes. This demonstrates the science behind sounds.
- Blowing dry ice and watching the patterns he could make.
- Watching his heat patterns in a large screen as he danced around.
- Using noise to make patterns in water.
- Pulling a lever – to push air into a tube and force a tennis ball as high as he can.
- Building a bridge and then pushing it all over again.
- Testing how circuits turn on lights, make alarms sound, hair dryers blow and other everyday items work.
These are just some of the activities he loved, but there was plenty of activities to keep him busy. We spent a couple of hours here – making the experience worth the admission fee.
The Maker Space at SparkLab
The Maker Space allows children to make and create things out of the material provided – to test design ideas and learn along the way. During our visit there was an opportunity to design a chair from cardboard. Kids will learn what works, what doesn’t and why. This is a great way to get children thinking creatively and problem solving.
The Maker Space has new program ideas and resources every few months.
The SparkLab Science Bar
At the science bar, kids can get up close and watch interactive presentations and experiments.
These are run throughout the day every hour, at 45 minutes past the hour.
Presentation and experiment topics range from vacuums, flames, human circuits, lights and colours, and mixing chemicals to make reactions.
Our three year old wasn’t prepared to stick around for these – but there was a group of very interested children participating, answering and asking questions and getting very excited whenever there was a presentation on.
Make a Day of your visit to SparkLab
There are plenty of other things to explore in the Queensland Museum. We also explored the dinosaur exhibit, Yidaki: Didjeridu and the sound of Australia exhibit and a collection from Queensland’s contribution to WWII.
The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art is located just next door and often has exciting interactive exhibits on that are suitable for children. Or you might like to bring your swimmers and go for a dip at Streets Beach, just a short stroll away.
Where to Eat Nearby SparkLab Brisbane
The Muse cafe is on site at the Queensland Museum, and offers a large variety of meals and light snacks at a reasonable price. Or you might like to venture outside to one of the many restaurants or cafes that South Bank offers. If you’re looking for a budget option, bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawns at South Bank.
SparkLab Opening Hours
SparkLab is open 9:40 am – 5:00 pm daily.
SparkLab Entry Fees
SparkLab is a timed entry experience. Their website recommends you purchase tickets online for your preferred time to avoid disappoint – especially during school holidays. Tickets are for single entry only (unless you buy an annual pass).
Cost is $15.50 for adults, $12.50 for children aged 5 – 15 years or $46 for a family of 4. Children under 5 years old are free!
Buy your tickets online here.
How to get to SparkLab Brisbane
SparkLab is located on Level 1 of the Queensland Museum, Corner of Grey Street and Melbourne Street, South Brisbane.
The best Sparklab parking is situated just underneath at the Cultural Centre parking which costs $17 per day.
If you would like to catch the train – get off at South Brisbane station, which is only a few minutes walk to the Queensland Museum.
The City Hopper is also a fun way to get to South Bank – get off at the South Bank Parklands stop.