30 Fun Things to do in South Bank Brisbane with Kids

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There are many exciting places to see in QLD. This includes Brisbane City and suburbs, there’s nothing quite like South Bank. It is one of our favourite places to go in the Brisbane CBD. So, we have compiled a list of the best fun things to do in South Bank Brisbane with kids.

Located on the south bank of the Brisbane River, South Bank draws in families from all walks of life, with a unique assortment of attractions to entertain everyone. The best South Bank activities include the Wheel of Brisbane, Street’s Beach, Rainforest walks, enormous playgrounds, amazing city views, and everything in-between.

So many of these South Bank activities are free that it’s easy to find something to entertain the kids most days of the week. What a great place – South Bank for kids!

Below is our list of the best things to do in South Bank with kids, including our favourite family friendly accommodation options if you are looking for a staycation! 

Fun things to do in South Bank Brisbane with kids

Are you planning a visit Brisbane city and heading to South Bank?  In this article I list the best things to do with kids, the best places to eat in South Bank with kids and the best places to stay in and around South Bank. We live here, we travel constantly from the Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast, so we know that you will be spoiled for choice when you visit South Bank with your family! 

1. Street’s Beach

Streets Beach South Bank
Children playing in the sand at Streets Beach, South Bank

Located in the heart of the parklands, Street’s Beach is a great place to escape the summer heat. Either head to the water for a splash, or lounge on the sand surrounded by a pleasing assortment of vibrant greenery. Regardless of where you’re enjoying the beach, you’ll have a perfect view of Brisbane’s stunning cityscape. When you experience this energetic attraction for yourself, you’ll understand why a trip to South Bank is simply incomplete without a swim at Street’s Beach.

2. Aquativity 

South Bank Aquativity
Spend a sunny day at Aquativity with your kids!

Aquativity is conveniently located right next to Street’s Beach and is a great spot for the younger kids to escape the heat in the most entertaining way. The water playground is home to a wide range of water-play features to interact with. This includes water squirters, fountains, streams, a lagoon, and a man-made creek. There’s also plenty of nearby picnic areas for families eager to sit back, relax, and enjoy the energetic atmosphere of South Bank. 

3. Wander along the Rainforest Walk 

things to do in south bank brisbane
Family enjoying the Rainforest Walk in South Bank

South Bank is home to a variety of natural settings to admire. Aside from the beach, families can also enjoy a wilderness retreat by embarking on the rainforest walk. The boardwalk trail guides travellers into a seemingly deep jungle – home to wildlife, subtropical plants, and plenty of tranquil vibes to go around. It’s the perfect activity for those eager to take a step back and enjoy the city’s quieter side. 

4. The Nepalese Peace Pagoda 

The Nepalese Pagoda in South Bank, Brisbane

If you’re embarking on the Rainforest Walk with the kids, you’ll likely stumble across the Nepalese Pagoda on your journey. It was initially brought to the city as the Kingdom Of Nepal’s offering to the World Expo 88. The pagoda extends over 3 stories and is made from Nepalese timber. It is especially significant among visitors as it’s only 1 of 3 peace pagodas situated outside of Nepal. 

5. The Collective Markets

Cool small businesses at the Collective Markets in South Bank

Who doesn’t love a good market? The Collective Markets are located in the Stanley Street Plaza, open from Friday to Sunday. They’re home to a variety of goods for families to shop across – including clothes, home decor, handmade crafts, delicious food, and plenty more. With the variety available throughout the market, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Head to the Collective Markets website for more information or to plan your visit. 

Address: Little Stanley St, South Brisbane

Website: Collective Markets

6. Queensland Maritime Museum 

With the variety of large and fascinating exhibits on offer, the whole family will be sure to enjoy a visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum. The museum allows visitors to explore and discover plenty of historic vessels for themselves, with popular showcases being the ‘Diamantina’ warship, ‘Penguin’, and more. For more information or to plan your visit, head to the Queensland Maritime Museum website. 

Address: 412 Stanley St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Visit the QLD Maritime Museum website for more details.

7. Pose with the Brisbane sign 

Brisbane sign south bank
Iconic Brisbane sign in South Bank

If you’re looking for a spot to snap a photo for your memorable visit to South Bank, you can’t look past the colourful Brisbane sign – located across from QPAC. The display features colourful letters against the towering city backdrop, proving to be the perfect combination for a unique photo.

History of the Brisbane sign:

Each letter was made by community groups for the original Brisbane sign:
(B) – Built by: Ridley Road Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Queensland Pride Festival
(R) – Built by: Pine Rivers Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Brisbane Youth Service
(I) – Built by: Labrador Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Amnesty International (QLD chapter)
(S) – Built by: Shed West; Decorated by: Griffith Uni Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art Group
(B) – Built by: Buderim Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Multicap Association
(A) – Built by: Carina Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Multicultural Development Association of Queensland
– Built by: Alexandra Hills Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Queensland Children’s week
(E) – Built by: Mt Gravatt Queensland Men’s Shed; Decorated by: Queensland Country Women’s Association

8. Stroll Along The River

What better way to admire a colourful sunset over the city than with a stroll among the Brisbane River? South Bank is home to an ever-extending water-front walking trail worth experience for yourself. From here, families can come together, walk along the river, admire different angles of Brisbane’s cityscape, and admire the bustling heart of the city from afar. 

9. Brisbane River Cruise 

Otherwise, if you want to enjoy the Brisbane River up-close, embark on a river cruise from South Bank. Jump on board for a 1.5-hour river tour, including entertaining and well-informed commentary. You can book a cruise in the morning or afternoon to suit your schedule. Head to River City Cruise website for more information or to plan your visit.

Address: A Russell Street South Bank Parklands, South Brisbane QLD 4101

9. Walk the Arbour Trail 

South Bank Arbor
Vibrant violet flowers at the South Bank Arbor

When it comes to exploring the South Bank Parklands, the Arbour Trail is the perfect tool to help guide you through the area. The path is an icon of South Bank, easily recognised by the 443 winding posts, draped in vibrant magenta flowers, stretching over the grounds. On top is even a cover of shade, making the track easy to enjoy in any type of weather. Plus, as it only stretches over a kilometre, it’s a quick and easy trip the whole family can enjoy. 

10. Riverside Green Playground 

things to do in south bank brisbane
Adrenaline-seeking heights at Riverside Green Playground 

Love, love LOVE this playground at South Bank!! The Riverside Green Playground is perfect for kids aged between 2 and 15 years. It has plenty of elements to keep kids entertained for hours upon end. This includes a pirate ship, slide, swings, skywalk, bridges, mouse wheel, supernova, and plenty more. There are even picnic tables and BBQs available for families eager to set up for the day, sit back and relax. 

11. River Quay Green 

South Bank River Quay Green
Sunny day at the River Quay Green in South Bank

If you are looking for picnic spots at South Bank, the River Quay Green is worthy spot to consider. It is a lesser known picnic spot in South Bank and a little more quiet. This patch of pristine grass delivers unobstructed views of the city to enjoy.

Bring along a blanket and some food and watch the boats float across the river with the city looming in the background. If you don’t feel like packing a picnic, head to one of the many restaurants located nearby. To kick the experience up to the next level, head down at sunset to watch the sun illuminate the city. 

12. Epicurious Garden 

Cool kid-friendly plants at Epicurious Garden

Kid’s with a green thumb will be sure to love the Epicurious Garden – home to an impressive assortment of plant-life for the whole family to enjoy. This includes fruit, vegetables, and flowers, which kids can interact with. Families can also snag some fresh, free fruit and vegetables from the gardens – though they can only be harvested by the garden’s volunteers. Head down between 7 am to 2 pm between Tuesdays and Thursdays to grab some delicious fruit and veggies. 

13. Queensland Museum 

things to do in south bank brisbane
Children enjoying the sights at the Queensland Museum

There’s plenty of events and exhibitions the whole family can interact with and enjoy at the Queensland Museum. This includes the SparkLab – with 40 interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy. They’re free to ask questions, make observations, build, design, and more. Otherwise, there’s plenty of other showcases and events hosted year-round that will make a visit to South Bank truly unforgettable. Visit the Queensland Museum website to browse their events calendar or to plan your visit. 

Address: Grey Street &, Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Queensland Museum

14. Gallery of Modern Art

things to do in south bank brisbane
Child having fun with the interactive kid-friendly activities at GOMA

GOMA has recently celebrated its tenth year of being the most dynamic, innovative and exciting cultural and art space in Brisbane. Paired with the Queensland Art Gallery, it is located across two riverside buildings. The galleries present evolving programs of Australian and international exhibitions with a focus on contemporary art from Australia and the Asia Pacific.

Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

15. Wheel of Brisbane 

things to do in south bank brisbane
The Wheel of Brisbane, situated in South Bank

At the very top of the Wheel Of Brisbane is the best seat in the house for families to admire sweeping views over Brisbane City, South Bank, and the winding river between them. Initially opened in 2008, the Ferris wheel stands at a height of 60m and includes 42 capsules to fit the whole family. Over the 12 minute ride, you’ll spot many of Brisbane’s most iconic attractions while marvelling the breath-taking 360 degree view. For more information or to plan your visit, head to the Wheel Of Brisbane website. 

Get Out with Kids Tip: You never have to pay full price for the wheel, you can get a discount right here.

Address: Russel Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Wheel of Brisbane

16. State Library Of Queensland

things to do in south bank brisbane
Children exploring the Corner, at the State Library in South Bank

Located on Stanley Place, the State Library Of Queensland holds a mix of facilities to help families entertain the kids. This includes the Corner – an interactive space for kids to uncover themed book lists and enjoy arts and crafts. Otherwise, visit Children’s Voice to admire drawings and paintings created by children of Brisbane in 1997. There’s always something new going on at the State Library Of Queensland, so be sure to check out their website before planning your visit. 

Address: Cultural Precinct, Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: State Library of Queensland

17. Cineplex Cinema South Bank

If you’re looking for an easy, affordable way to entertain the little ones for a few hours, Cineplex South Bank is an easy win. The cinema is home to many of the latest Hollywood flicks, with a great variety to satisfy anyone. Plus, with heaps of nearby eateries to choose between – dinner and a movie has never been easier. Head to the Cineplex website to browse the current offering.

Address: 167 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Cineplex Cinema South Bank

18. Queensland Performing Arts Centre 

things to do in south bank brisbane
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre in South Bank

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre regularly hosts a stream of live shows – many of which are perfect for kids and parents. For example, some recent shows that have crash-landed at QPAC include Shrek the Musical, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Wiggles, Bluey’s Big Play, and more. To arrange your visit to one of the many shows available at QPAC, head to the website below. 

Address: Cnr Grey and, Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Queensland Performing Arts Centre

19. Segway Tours of South Bank

segway tours south bank brisbane
Families enjoying the Segway Tours in South Bank

Tired of all the walking? No worries! Gather the families and embark on an exciting segway tour throughout South Bank. On the X Wing Mini Segway Tour, up to 4 people are welcome to take part in a 75-minute journey starting from either South Brisbane, Pelican Park, or Suttons Beach. On this tour, families can look forward to cruising alongside the scenic Brisbane River, while stopping by some well-known sights like the colourful Brisbane sign and the Wheel Of Brisbane.

Kid friendly hotels in South Bank Brisbane

With the variety of things to see and do in South Bank, you may want to extend your stay a night or two. Who could blame you? Here’s a list of family-friendly hotels to consider as accommodation in South Bank. 

20. Novotel Brisbane South Bank

Novotel swimming pool with kids
Novotel swimming pool with kids

We stayed in the lead up to Christmas 2020 at the Novotel in South Bank and the kids proclaimed *its a bit like a resort* such was their delight with the facilities for kids!

The Novotel is only a stone’s throw away from South Bank in Cordelia Street – with plenty of facilities to ensure a comfortable visit. This includes a heated swimming pool, wifi, air conditioning, a 24-hour reception, on-site restaurant and plenty more. Families can even choose between rooms with a city view or a park view. For more information or to plan your visit to Novotel Brisbane, head to the website below.  

Read our detailed review of our stay at the hotel here.

Address: 38 Cordelia St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Novotel, South Bank 

21. Rydges South Bank 

Rydges Hotel South Bank
One of the rooms available at Rydges, South Bank

Located in the heart of South Bank, Rydges is a convenient accommodation option for those exploring the many treasures of the area. The hotel has family rooms on offer, along with free wifi, parking, a restaurant, swimming pool, and gym. Many of South Bank’s attractions are also within walking distance. Otherwise, the train station is only a short while away – which you can use to explore other spots throughout the city.

We’ve stayed at Rydges so you can read our detailed review of the hotel here.

Address: 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Rydges Hotel, South Bank

22. Opera Apartments South Bank 

Also located along Cordelia St is the Opera Apartments South Bank – only a short stroll away from the South Bank Parklands. From the balcony, guests can admire the stunning views over the cityscape and lush parklands. Though for more impressive views, head up to the rooftop terrace – where you’ll see the wheel of Brisbane, Musgrave park, and plenty of other beloved spots. For more information or to plan your visit, head to the Opera Apartments South Bank website. 

Address: 47 Cordelia St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Opera Apartments, South Bank

23. Mantra South Bank Brisbane 

South Bank’s Mantra sits on Grey Street, with plenty of facilities to make for a comfortable stay. This includes internet access, childminding services, a laundry, 24-hour reception, valet parking, spa, pool, gym, restaurant, and more. To top it off, the parklands are only a short stop away, making it a great location to stay while exploring South Bank. Head to the website for more information or to make a booking. 

Address: 161 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Mantra South Bank Brisbane

24. Emporium Hotel South Bank

The Emporium Hotel South Bank is also located only Grey Street, only a short while away from the South Bank parklands and the variety of attractions within. The hotel has plenty of special offers for many occasions to suit families. For example, there’s often packages – with overnight accommodation, a treat basket, children’s teepee, movies, and a gift for the kids. The hotel also has an infinity pool with amazing views over the city that can’t be missed. Head to the website for more information or to make a booking with Emporium Hotel South Bank. 

Address: 267 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Emporium Hotel South Bank

Kid-friendly restaurants in South Bank 

Aside from accommodation, there’s also a wide range of kid-friendly restaurants scattered throughout the area for families to enjoy. With kid’s menus and special offers available, dining out becomes all the more affordable – you just need to know where to look. Here are some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in South Bank that are worth your time. 

25. Grill’d South Bank

Dishing out an array of fresh, healthy burgers; Grill’d South Bank is a perfect spot for the family to dine out. On the menu are meals specifically for kids – with the option of beef or chicken burgers. The meal also comes with chips, juice, and a toy. For more information or to see the full menu, head to the Grill’d website. 

Address: Shop 3/167 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Grill’d South Bank

26. Max Brenner South Bank

For families in the mood for something sweet, you can’t look past Max Brenner on Little Stanley Street. The restaurant has a chocolate focused menu, with a surprising range of dishes to soothe that sweet tooth. For example, there’s dessert pizzas, waffles, ice cream sundaes, pastries, cookies, cupcakes, chocolate fondue, sharing platters, and more. There are also sweet drinks like hot chocolate, iced drinks, milkshakes, and more. Head to the Max Brenner website for more information or to see the full menu. 

Address: Shop 1.1 & 1, 2 Little Stanley St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Max Brenner

27. South Beach Social

Whether you’re stopping by for lunch or dinner, South Beach Social has plenty of delicious options for the kids to choose between. This includes barramundi, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, calamari, or pizza. The meals come with salad, chips, tomato sauce, a drink, and ice cream for dessert. Prices start from only $14. Plus, since the restaurant overlooks Street’s Beach, you’ll have some spectacular views of South Bank and the surrounding cityscape to accompany the meal. To browse the full menu or to plan your visit, head to the South Beach Social website. 

Address: 30aa Stanley Street Plaza, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: South Beach Social

28. San Churro 

Another dessert spot in South Brisbane worth your time is San Churro, located on Grey Street. As the name suggests, the menu has a large range of churro-themed dishes for families to choose between. Other popular menu items include filled churros, snack packs, ice cream sliders, churro bowls, tapas, cold drinks, and more. See the full San Churro menu via the link below. 

Address: Shop 2/161 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: San Churro

29. Zeus South Bank

There’s a menu dedicated to kids at Zeus, with plenty of options to leave everyone feeling satisfied. There’s kid’s pitas with chicken or falafel. Otherwise there’s calamari or chicken schnitzel – all of which are served with chips and juice. These meals are available to children under 7. For parents, there are dips, sharing plates, salad, pitas, meats, and more. Head to the Zeus website for more information or to plan your visit. 

Address: 13/14 Little Stanley St, Brisbane City QLD 4101

Website: Zeus South Bank

30. Brooklyn Depot

Kid’s meals start from only $10 at the Brooklyn Depot, with a range of options for kids to choose between. There’s the cheeseburger – with a beef patty, milk bun, and American cheese; lightly crumbed chicken tenders; pork or beef hotdogs; or Mac and cheese. All the items come with chips. For dessert, there’s cheesecake, a chocolate brownie, or ice cream. For more information or to see the full menu, head to the Brooklyn Depot website. 

Address: B8, b9/168 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Website: Brooklyn Depot

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