Though there are many exciting places to see in 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!
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.
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.
Wander along the Rainforest Walk
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.
The Nepalese Peace Pagoda
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.
The Collective Markets
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.
Hours: Friday (5 pm to 9 pm) Saturday (10 am to 9 pm) Sunday (9 am to 4 pm)
Address: 29 Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Collective Markets
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.
Hours: Monday to Sunday (9:30 am to 4:30 pm)
Address: 412 Stanley St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Pose with the Brisbane sign
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
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.
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. Prices start from $65 for families. Head to River City Cruise website for more information or to plan your visit.
Hours: Monday to Sunday (9 am to 5:15 pm)
Address: A Russell Street South Bank Parklands, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Walk the Arbour Trail
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.
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.
River Quay Green
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.
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.
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 truely unforgettable. Visit the Queensland Museum website to browse their events calendar or to plan your visit.
Hours: Monday to Sunday 9:30 am to 5 pm)
Address: Grey Street &, Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Queensland Musseum
Gallery of Modern Art
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.
Hours: daily from 10am – 5pm.
Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art
Wheel of Brisbane
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.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (10 am to 10 pm) Friday and Saturday (10 am to 11 pm)
Address: Russel Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Wheel of Brisbane
State Library Of Queensland
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.
Hours: Monday to Thursday (10 am to 8 pm) Friday to Sunday (10 am to 5 pm)
Address: Cultural Precinct, Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: State Library of Queensland
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
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
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
Segway Tours of 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.
Novotel Brisbane South Bank
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.
Address: 38 Cordelia St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Novotel, South Bank
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. For more information or to make a booking with Rydges South Bank, head to the website below.
Address: 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Rydges Hotel, South Bank
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
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
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.
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.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (10:30 am to 10 pm) Friday and Saturday (10:30 am to 12 am)
Address: Shop 3/167 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Grill’d South Bank
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.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (9 am to 11 pm) Friday and Saturday (9 am to 12 am)
Address: Shop 1.1 & 1, 2 Little Stanley St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Max Brenner
Mister Paganini – PERMANENTLY CLOSED
Families in the mood for Italian cuisine can make their way over to Mister Paganini on Grey Street. The menu includes plenty of favourites, such as antipasti, pasta, and a variety of pizza flavours – such as Margherita, marinara, and Calabrese. Dessert is also available, with the option of tiramisu, bomboloni, affogato, and a dessert special. For more information or to browse the full menu, head to the Mister Paganini website.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (6 am to 9:30 pm) Friday and Saturday (6 am to 10:30 pm)
Address: 174 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
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.
Hours: Sunday (8 am to 10 pm) Monday to Thursday (11 am to 10 pm) Friday (11 am to 12 am) Saturday (8 am to 12 am)
Address: 30aa Stanley Street Plaza, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: South Beach Social
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. For kids, there’s the kid’s churros – including 3 small churros, 1 dip, and sprinkles for only $6. 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.
Hours: Monday to Thursday (11 am to 10:30 pm) Friday (11 am to 11:30 pm) Saturday (10 am to 11:30 pm) Sunday (10 am to 10:30 pm)
Address: Shop 2/161 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: San Churro
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.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (11:30 am to 9 pm) Friday and Saturday (11:30 am to 9:30 pm)
Address: 13/14 Little Stanley St, Brisbane City QLD 4101
Website: Zeus South Bank
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.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (11 am to 9 pm) Friday and Saturday (11 am to 9:30 pm)
Address: B8, b9/168 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Website: Brooklyn Depot
We have a list of even more family friendly restaurants in Brisbane’s South Bank here.